Looking back on Christmas Traditions

As I wind down my time as the Garden Guru, I’m looking back at some of the articles I’ve written for the holidays. These are some of my favorite articles I’ve written over the years. From talking about the Norse legend that gives us kissing under the mistletoe, to the pagan roots of Christmas trees, the controversy of the Christmas cactus impostors and waxing nostalgic … Continue reading Looking back on Christmas Traditions

Give the gift of local food flavors for the holidays

Stuck on what to get someone for a great holiday gift? Need a host or hostess gift or something to send to a friend out of state? How about giving a taste of the Mountain State? The local food industry and small farms seem to be booming, so it is easier than ever to give great local tastes for the holidays or include them in … Continue reading Give the gift of local food flavors for the holidays

Simplify the Holidays: Give the Gift of Gardening

The clock is ticking down the days, hours, and minutes to the celebration of Christmas. Hanukkah has come and gone. Kwanzaa will make an appearance, as well as the Solstice, Yule, and Saturnalia. And we can’t forget the New Year. There’s lots of celebrating going on this time of year, and lots of opportunities for giving gifts. Perhaps it is a little Charlie Brown-ish of … Continue reading Simplify the Holidays: Give the Gift of Gardening

Poinsettia: More than Meets the Eye

More often than not, you’ll find poinsettias — hopefully real ones — among the decorations of the holiday. This plant is a standout in the mostly weed-filled and much-maligned spurge family Euphorbiaceae. This family includes lots of different plants that take on a variety of forms. It does include many weeds, but also many houseplants that have much more of a cactus form than poinsettia. … Continue reading Poinsettia: More than Meets the Eye

Selecting a Live Christmas Tree

‘Tis the season to deck the halls and trim the tree. Tree sellers are popping up in local markets and parking lots, and many folks are picking out the perfect Christmas tree. Last year 26 million real Christmas trees found their way into American homes. There are many benefits to using a real tree as opposed to artificial trees. First, real Christmas trees are a … Continue reading Selecting a Live Christmas Tree

Think local and homemade food for holiday gifts

Now that we are in the season of giving, what do you give the person who has everything? Or how about someone you know little about? Or the host or hostess who has invited you to a celebration? I’m a person who likes to think about the gifts that I give people. I’m not a big fan of gift cards or those ready-made gift sets … Continue reading Think local and homemade food for holiday gifts

The First Thanksgiving Feast

It is a holiday that is quintessentially American (or North American, since our Canadian friends also have their own Thanksgiving). A commemoration of not only the arrival and survival of the pilgrims in Plymouth in 1621, but of our thankfulness for what we have. It is a time for us to gather with family or friends and reflect upon our blessings. While, much to my … Continue reading The First Thanksgiving Feast

Is your Christmas cactus an impostor?

A cactus, of all things, is one of those plants that have come to represent the holidays. But, my friends, it seems that there has been an insidious marketing campaign to confuse consumers. For the cactus you buy in the store labeled “Christmas cactus” is an impostor. It is, in fact, a Thanksgiving cactus. Now this wouldn’t be such a big deal, except that there … Continue reading Is your Christmas cactus an impostor?