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Identifying Pine, Spruce, and FirIdentifying Pine, Spruce, and Fir
By Joannabanana, December 23, 2012

These three trees are the staple of winter and holiday decor, however, they are often confused with one another. Viewing them side by side is a helpful way to see the differences.

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Making a Christmas Gingerbread HouseMaking a Christmas Gingerbread House
By GordonHawk, December 22, 2012

For this house you'll need 1 " styrofoam or construction foam insulation available at Home Depot, decorative mini garland items, dark brown paint, and white latex caulk. Optional items: clear plastic for the windows, mini decorations and tiny battery lights.

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Christmas Ornament PlantersChristmas Ornament Planters
By GordonHawk, December 21, 2012

Here's an idea for turning a large hollow Christmas ornament into a planter.

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Add Some Red to Your Holiday GreensAdd Some Red to Your Holiday Greens
By Paul2032, December 20, 2012

The addition of a splash of red to holiday greenery will brighten your holiday designs.

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Homemade Holiday DecorationsHomemade Holiday Decorations
By plantladylin, December 19, 2012

For easy homemade holiday decorations, collect items from your garden. Pine cones, pruned branches from evergreen shrubs or trees, holly branches with berries attached, and even grape vines are garden items that will work well for simple and easy projects.

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Helping Your Fresh Christmas Tree Last LongerHelping Your Fresh Christmas Tree Last Longer
By BookerC1, December 18, 2012

If it will be more than 4 hours between the time you cut your fresh Christmas tree and the time you set it up in the tree stand, put it in a bucket of water in an unheated, sheltered spot like a garage or porch until you're ready to bring it inside. Cut a fresh "cookie" off the base of the trunk before placing it in the tree stand, so it can continue to take up water. No other additives are needed. Be sure to keep adding water as long as the tree is taking it up. It will absorb up to a full gallon in the first day.

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Decorative Treats for BirdsDecorative Treats for Birds
By Sharon, December 17, 2012

If you have grapevines or wisteria that need a winter trim, here's an idea that your feathered friends will love.

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The Organized GardenerThe Organized Gardener
By LarryR, December 16, 2012

Carry a small digital voice recorder with you when you garden, either in your pocket or with your tools. Make “voice notes” of important things to remember, or to do later, as these thoughts come to you. Schedule a time at the end of each day to transcribe your notes onto paper or type them into the computer. These recorders cost as little as $15, are small (generally about 4” tall, 2” wide, and 1/2” thick), and lightweight (less than 2 oz.).

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Gardener's Calendar GiftGardener's Calendar Gift
By Joannabanana, December 15, 2012

Add a personal touch to a gardener's gift.

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A Quick Tip: Make the Most of Your Christmas TreeA Quick Tip: Make the Most of Your Christmas Tree
By CindiKS, December 14, 2012

If you have a live Christmas tree, recycle it by cutting branches off and laying them in flower beds for mulch and bird cover.

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Simple and Natural Winter DecoratingSimple and Natural Winter Decorating
By Trish, December 13, 2012

30 minutes, clippers and access to some evergreen material is all you need to add a little bit of nature inside your home.

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Value MistletoeValue Mistletoe
By SongofJoy, December 12, 2012

Mistletoe has often been considered a pest that kills trees as well as degrading and devaluing natural habitat. The plant has now been recognized as an ecological keystone species, playing "a critical role in maintaining the structure of an ecological community, affecting many other organisms in an ecosystem and helping to determine the types and numbers of various other species in the community" (Wikipedia).

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A Little Garden for my Christmas TreeA Little Garden for my Christmas Tree
By Sharon, December 11, 2012

It's just an old well worn gardening hat that's seen many years.

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Landscape Design Tips for a Smaller GardenLandscape Design Tips for a Smaller Garden
By LarryR, December 10, 2012

Want to make your small garden look larger? Try using a color scheme that includes plants with mostly white blossoms and green leaves. Add some green shrubbery and a colorful accent plant as well. The green and white combination gives the illusion of more space. Add some curving paths. They will also trick the eye into seeing the space as larger than it actually is.

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Team Natural or Team Artificial?Team Natural or Team Artificial?
By Trish, December 9, 2012

Historically all indoor winter decor was natural. With the invention of artificial greenery, Team Artificial was created. I'll even allow that some bat for both teams. Whatever the case for your family, come share your holiday traditions of decorating with us!

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Firewood CautionFirewood Caution
By Sharon, December 8, 2012

Be sure your firewood is untreated. Chemicals in treated wood can react with fire and will release toxins into your home.

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Poinsettia CarePoinsettia Care
By Joannabanana, December 7, 2012

Here are a few poinsettia care tips.

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Decorating for the HolidaysDecorating for the Holidays
By Paul2032, December 6, 2012

Judicious pruning around the garden can provide materials for holiday decorating.

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Growing Crinums in Colder ZonesGrowing Crinums in Colder Zones
By LarryR, December 5, 2012

If you garden in a zone that’s too cold to grow crinums, plant them in pots and treat them as you would amaryllis. They need to be crowded in their pots in order to bloom, so be sure that there is no more than an inch of space between the bulb and the pot rim. Winter them over right in their pots in a cool, dark area that remains above freezing.

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Glossary: CleistogamusGlossary: Cleistogamus
By SongofJoy, December 4, 2012

Cleistogamus is a Greek word meaning closed mouth. Cleistogamus flowers are small, inconspicuous closed self-pollinating flowers that are additional to and often more fruitful than the open showier flowers on the same plant. Violas and peas are examples of cleistogamus plants.

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Winchester Gardens Fertilizer ReportWinchester Gardens Fertilizer Report
By Trish, December 3, 2012

Your reviewing reporter, giving you the followup scoop on my fertilizer trials. Read about my experience with the fertilizers from Winchester Gardens.

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Take Note of Your PlantsTake Note of Your Plants
By BookerC1, December 1, 2012

Keep notes or diagrams on where you plant things. That way you'll still have a good idea what a plant is, if the label is moved or destroyed.

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Killing Off an Invasive PlantKilling Off an Invasive Plant
By flaflwrgrl, November 30, 2012

If you have an especially invasive plant that is large and you want to get rid of it, you can cut it back to 3 or 4 feet. Drill holes 2 or 3 inches straight down into the cut stems, then pour Roundup into the holes. The plant will take the poison internally and it will kill any suckers as well. You may wish to refill the holes after about 12 hours. Please be sure to cover each filled stem with tin foil secured with a twist tie, so our lizard and insect friends don't get into the poison. I had a Shooting Star Clerodendrum that I had to treat this way. It was sending suckers out 30 feet away!

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Lightweight RocksLightweight Rocks
By Dutchlady1, November 29, 2012

Like the look of rocks in your landscape but have a bad back? No young person around to help you move the giant boulders? Consider buying 'feather rock', so called because it is 'light as a feather' (it is a very porous type of lava rock). It is very attractive and a sizable stone can be easily picked up.

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Harvesting Juniper BerriesHarvesting Juniper Berries
By SongofJoy, November 28, 2012

Edible common Juniper berries (Juniperus communis) turn from green to dark blue when ripe and to black when dried. To dry them, pick only ripe blue berries and allow to dry. Crush the dried berries well just before using; flavor will decline quickly when exposed to air. Three or four berries should flavor most dishes without being overpowering. Pregnant women and those with kidney problems should avoid Juniper berries due to their diuretic qualities.

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