Winter Holidays are Coming!

The holidays are coming and this Garden Lady’s thoughts are of the garden and the plants that I want to add to my garden. There are many great gifts online that gardeners may want. But as for this Garden Lady, I cannot wait for plant catalogs to arrive in my mailbox. Instead of sugarplums dancing in my head, I have thoughts and dreams of flowers. So I am eager to see what is new in the seed and plant business that I can buy for my garden.

Now that I have limited space in my garden, I have to be much more selective of the flowers I add. I would love it if readers of TheGardenLady blog would tell me about their favorite flowers. The garden lady has a wooded property so that the sunniest area is the front of the garden on the eastern side of the property- this is where most of my plants are planted. This is the area nearest the street, so that this garden is for everyone who passes by- and people love to walk or drive by just to see what is in bloom. So could my readers suggest their favorite big showy flowers so that drivers and walkers can enjoy them, too? Tiny flowers just get overlooked in this garden. I also would like readers to recommend favorite plants that are low maintenance, low care plants that have flowers for a long blooming season. This garden is in temp zone 6b.

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Merry Eastern Orthodox Christmas

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate Nativity on January 6 & 7! by fusion-of-horizons

I think it should be a rule that everybody celebrate everybody else’s happy holidays so that every month the whole year long is filled with festivities and happy holiday cheer. Now that Christmas and New Year’s Eve and day as most people- at least in the Western world-  celebrate is over, we can now start preparing for the Eastern Orthodox Christmas which comes on January 7th.

Traditionally Eastern Orthodox Christmas was celebrated with vegetables making up most of the foods served.  Orthodox Christmas food may include:

  • Nuts and fresh dried fruits.
  • Vegetables and herbs such as potatoes, peas, and garlic.
  • Mushroom soup.
  • Slow-cooked kidney beans with potatoes, garlic and seasoning.
  • Bobal’ki (small biscuits combined with sauerkraut or poppy seed with honey).
  • Bowl of honey.

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Keeping your pet safe during the holidays

Untitled by Î’ethan

Pets today are like family and they will be celebrating the holidays this December with their masters. While you are having special foods, you might want to treat your pet to something special. Before you share your holiday food, check the ASPCA’s list of food to see if it is safe to feed to your pet. (see here) For example, I would never share my guacamole with my pets. Guacamole contains too many ingredients that are toxic to pets, like onions, avocados and garlic. You don’t want to spoil your and your pet’s holiday spending it in the veterinarian’s hospital.

Consider making some special food this holiday for your pet. You can use your special Christmas or  Hanukkah cutters to make your pet feel like it is celebrating. Or get dog bone cookie cutter shapes if your pet is more traditional. An easy recipe for these cookies is just baby food and whole wheat flour or wheat germ  or use 2 cups wheat germ with 3 (2.5oz jars) strained meat baby food (be sure there is no onion or garlic in the baby food) to about 1 tbsp water (add more if needed ). Make about 2 dozen  balls  and put on baking sheet. Dip fork in water and flatten the balls slightly. Bake about 25 min. in preheatened 350 F or 175 C oven. This will be yummy for both your dogs and cats. (see here)  Your pet might not be able to eat your holiday foods, but when you make your pet cookies, you know what ingredients are being used and how clean they are, so you can sample your pet’s cookies.

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Native American Foods for Thanksgiving

Cherokee White Eagle Corn Cobs by unhappybrthday

This is the time of year to start thinking of recipes for Thanksgiving. There are those who like to make the traditional foods- whatever the traditions are in your family- because with a big feast, your family doesn’t want surprises; they want the comfort foods they have grown used to.

Then there are people like TheGardenLady who likes to include new or unusual foods into the menu. I belong to the ‘variety is the spice of life’ group and want surprises on the table.

One of the surprises I have been considering this year is to try to make Native American foods for the table. TheGardenLady read somewhere that the Pilgrims probably didn’t have too many sweets at their feast because they didn’t have much sugar. But surely they must have been taught to tap sugar maple trees for maple syrup. Unless whatever date at the end of November they really celebrated was too early for the tapping of the trees.  Continue reading “Native American Foods for Thanksgiving”

Celebrate the Bees – National Honey Bee Day – August 18th

Pollinator by macropoulos

This Sat., Aug. 18 is National Honey Bee Day. Check out this website to see how you can help the Honeybees.

A few things to do

Is your garden a Honeybee Haven? TheGardenLady likes to think her garden is.

If You’re Celebrating Easter or Passover, TheGardenLady Hopes Your Holiday is Full of Happiness

Darom Adom – CC-BY – Zachi Evenor by Zachi Evenor

TheGardenLady wishes all those who celebrate Passover and Easter, a very happy holiday season surrounded by family and friends with good eating.

This is a wonderful time to decorate your homes with beautiful flowers. If you would like to have something different instead of the usual lilies, tulips and hyacinths to decorate your homes, consider the Anemone coronaria or poppy anemone (see photo above) if you are lucky enough to have a florist that sells this flower. The Anemone coronaria grows wild in the fields and forests of Israel in the spring. (See here)  So, in a way, you will be bringing a little of what the ancients saw in Israel into your homes. (See here)

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Want to Know What Flora Jesus Saw?

Mount of Olives flora_2197 by hoyasmeg

As this holiday season has been approaching, I have been dreaming that it would be nice to go to the source of the holidays. I am a dreamer.

Then I read this post and saw that there is an Ultimate guide to Christmas in Israel where you can not only see where the events occurred in the Biblical portion of the Christmas holiday but you can also see the flora of the area that Jesus saw when He lived in Israel. And, you can also buy Christmas decorations and see Christmas trees.

Of course, you will probably not have a white Christmas there as you might have in other parts of the world. But since I don’t ski, I wouldn’t mind missing the cold.

If you are Jewish, why not take the kids to Israel to light the menorah or Hanukkiah and spend 8 days admiring the beauty of the country where the Maccabees had their military victory in 165 BCE that gave the Jews in Judea independence for 100 years. Even though Hanukkah is a minor festival, there are many Hanukkah activities in Israel or you can plan your own environmental tour to see the flora and fauna of the country.  See here.

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Great Christmas Trees You Can Visit

White House tree by afagen

December is the month for public Christmas Trees to be lit and Christmas Tree exhibits. Dec. 3rd seems to be the date many of the decorated trees are lit. TheGardenLady thinks everybody can enjoy the lit trees whether you celebrate with decorated trees in your home or not. Traditionally called a Christmas tree, if it makes you happy, call the tree a Holiday Tree. Whatever you call it, the lit trees are so colorful and delightful on these cold, dark days of late fall and winter that they bring warmth and joy to the outdoors.

Of course, everyone knows of three of the most famous Christmas Trees: the National Christmas Tree outside the White House , the National Christmas Tree inside the White House  and the tree at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, NY said to be “the biggest, brightest, most famous Christmas tree on our planet”.

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Great Gardening Gifts for Christmas

Dear Santa,

The holiday season is approaching fast, so shopping has begun with a vengeance. I know that when I give gifts, I want the gift to be the perfect gift for each person; but I want the gift to be a great surprise. I am hoping those who give gifts will also surprise this recipient with the perfect present. So that is why I am writing to you, Dear Santa, in the hopes that you will whisper in the giver’s ear the exact place to shop or item to buy. I am not dreaming of sugarplums. They are fattening. The gifts I dream of would be for the garden. And no, we dreamers cannot afford to buy these things ourselves. Some of these garden items are only sold wholesale. Santa you know that we gardeners have been nice, not naughty. That is why I write to you. Santa, you have the connections.

Santa, here is my short list. I am hoping TheGardenLady blog readers will have other suggestions:

When I was in West Virginia, I met sculptor Joe Foley 1622 Oakhurst Drive, Charleston v 25314 (304) 542-6999 and saw his Steel Blooming Metal Flowers (see here) I thought one of his unpainted daffodils would fit into my garden very nicely.

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