Where does this tradition of giving someone an innocent (or not-so-innocent) peck on the cheek whenever you find yourselves beneath the mistletoe come from? And just what is mistletoe anyway? Continue reading Mistletoe: Norse legend leads to Christmas kisses
Now that we’ve consumed millions of turkeys, waited in line to buy things, shopped at small businesses and bought even more stuff online from the comfort of our homes, many people turn their attention to bedecking their halls to bring about the spirit of the holidays. Bright colors, knick-knacks and sparkly things are all part of the great holiday festooning. But you’ll notice, in large … Continue reading Decorate for the holidays with natural elements
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
‘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
Mother’s Day: The time when we focus on honoring the matriarchs of our lives — our mothers, grandmothers or those who we consider motherly to us (I include my Aunt Ruthie in the list). Whether or not the maternal influences in your life are still living, a common and traditional way of honoring them is with flowers. Flowers have been a part of the celebration … Continue reading Mother’s Day Garden Reflections
Let’s take a few minutes now to talk about some last-minute details about the holidays. Of course, many people work themselves into a frenzy around the holidays. But that’s not what the holidays are really about. They are about simplicity, about family and friends, about reflection and, for many, religious observance.
Now, there is more than one holiday this time of year. Christmas, of course, plays the lead. But there’s Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, solstice and Yule. People even celebrate the imaginary Festivus, created for an episode of “Seinfeld.” Continue reading A gardener’s holiday gift list
Where does this tradition of giving someone an innocent (or not-so-innocent) peck on the cheek whenever you find yourselves beneath the mistletoe come from? And just what is mistletoe anyway? Continue reading Norse Legend Leads to Christmas Tradition
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?
This article was originally published in the Charleston Gazette-Mail on Dec 8, 2013. Perhaps the most widespread symbol of the celebration of the Christmas holidays is the Christmas tree. Storied with lore, both ancient and modern, the Christmas tree finds itself in homes, stores, offices, churches and public squares. How did an evergreen tree become the center of attention for a religious holiday? And … Continue reading TBT: Christmas trees (real ones) have tradition, lore
The chill of early December gives way to winter cold. Mornings are filled with the sparkle and glint of the play of sunrise on frost. And many homes, shops and offices are bedecked with the finery of the holidays as the season of celebration approaches. More often than not, you’ll find poinsettias — hopefully real ones — among the decorations of the holiday. This plant … Continue reading Happy National Poinsettia Day: There’s more than meets the eye in your Christmas poinsettia