Outside Influence
by Daniel Keeley

As a garden and exterior designer, I can’t help but incorporate natural and outdoor elements when decorating for the holidays. And hey, if you think about it, the holiday season is the perfect time to bring the outdoors in. I mean, at what other time of year do we traditionally cut down real trees and put them in our living rooms?!   >> read article
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Poinsettia Combinations
by Susan Frakes

Poinsettias have decorated homes for many years. A single poinsettia can be an awesome sight sitting alone on a table, showing off its striking color, or colors. And their colors are astonishing – from various shades of red, pink, purple, to white or multi-colors. With names such as Monet Early (‘PER2009’), Jingle Bells (‘PER 2110’), ‘Prestige’, ‘Shimmer’, Maren (‘Beckmanns Altrosa’) and ‘Luv U Pink’, there are over 100 varieties of poinsettias. So why combine poinsettias with other plants? Plant combinations take you beyond the ordinary to extraordinary! I enjoy creating combinations that scream “Look at me!” Garden centers have made it easy to do this by having poinsettias in all sizes from teeny tiny to very large ones. The selection of foliage plants to complement the poinsettias also come in various sizes.

The first step is to select your container. The container can be anything that holds enough potting mix to accommodate the number of plants you want to use. To create a tabletop arrangement, you may choose a 10-inch bowl. A bowl of that size would accommodate a 5-inch poinsettia with room for other plants or two 4-inch poinsettias with less room for other plants. The nice thing about having so many sizes of poinsettias to choose from is that you can make a combo in just about anything – from a small ornate container, such as a sleigh, to a huge combo in a ceramic pot ...   >> read article
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How to Make Compost
by Kerry Heafner

You know fall of the year is the perfect time to start rejuvenating your garden beds for next spring, and in this vegetable garden, the perfect thing to do is add compost now so it can settle in and nutrients can be released in time for the spring plant. So, come on back with us and we’ll show you how to set up a compost pile.   >> read article
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Muhly grass
Muhlenbergia capillaris
by State-by-State Gardening

As a single specimen or planted en masse, muhly grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris) is dramatic, drought resistant and easy to grow.

Hardy in USDA Zones 5-10, the growing conditions for muhly grass are precise, requiring full sun and excellent drainage for the best results. The optimal time for moving or dividing is during the cooler months, when rainfall or hand watering can be done in abundance – although muhly grass is extremely drought-tolerant once established, it needs copious amounts of water to get the roots settled in to its liking.
  >> read article
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Reusing Salvaged Brick
Bring historic charm to your garden paths and walls
by Brandee Gruener

Paths are an essential part to any garden. They help improve access to plants, invite visitors to enter and provide an aesthetic improvement as well. Brick paths can be an elegant addition to any garden, but starting from scratch with new brick can be cost-prohibitive. If you want the elegance of brick without the sticker shock, look into salvaged bricks. They bring both elegance and an historic element to your garden.

In my own garden, I decided I wanted a series of elegant brick walks to divide my front lawn and echo the charming brick columns on the front porch. During my research I feasted my eyes on photos of brick walks with subtle geometric designs. Then I began to look at the price tag for pallets of fresh, identical red brick, and I decided to change direction slightly.   >> read article
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How to: Select a Fresh Cut Live Christmas Tree
by State-by-State Gardening

Today we’re going to show you how to select that perfect live Christmas Tree.

Now the first thing to consider when selecting a live Christmas tree is the height of the tree vs the height of the room it’s going in. Make sure you select a live tree that is going to be proportional to the height of the ceiling in the room the tree is going to be standing in. So, when you go to a Christmas tree farm they’ll often times have these poles marked off at different heights. Now, this tree is approximately 8-feet tall, which means, when you get it in the stand it’s going to be at least a foot taller. So, make sure the room that this tree will go in has a ceiling that’s at least 10-feet tall.
  >> read article
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Respect Your Houseplants
by Kylee Baumle

Maybe it's not a greener thumb you need, but a change in attitude.

Growing plants inside our homes has been done for centuries. The desire to surround ourselves with plants in our very non-natural abodes is a testament to the connection we feel with nature. Even those who don't grow houseplants usually enjoy seeing them in other people's homes and places of business.   >> read article
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Candied Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
by Karen Atkins

Simmer Brussels sprouts in chicken stock over medium heat until tender. Drain. Mix sprouts with butter, liqueur, salt and pepper, to taste. Top with Panko and bacon. Broil until golden and crisp. Serve warm.   >> read article
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