Create your own Holiday Centerpiece

Flowers add to the holiday holidays and parties that we have. Here are directions for an easy to make centerpiece. The arrangement is in red, white and pine giving it the Christmas look.

What I like about the centerpiece is the use of hardy flowers that last. Carnations and cushion mums stand up in arrangements so that you will be able to enjoy the flowers for a week or more.

You may also have family ornaments or other valued items that you can add to the centerpiece or set nearby that will bring family tradition to your arrangement.

I often will mist an arrangement to help it last a little longer. To do this I place the arrangement on a towel and mist lightly. When it has a chance to dry I will replace it on a table.  If you have bows you may want to remove them when misting or cover them.

This is a basic arrangement form and can be used for other holidays by changing colors, flowers or the centerpiece container.


  1. Find containers or floral trays at garden sales.
  2. Choose flowers that have a long life. Cutting flowers are best for floral displays.
  3. Keep watered.
  4. If your taking to a party or giving as a gift, keep covered well if you going outdoors in the cold and use a nice container or added nick nac to keep after the arrangement is finished.

The Rose and its meaning.

The rose is a favorite of many gardeners and has a rich history, both in plant culture and garden lore. Varieties include rose bushes, vines, and indoor miniature rose plants.

The rose is perhaps the most commonly known romantic flower. Its ability to be used as a cut flower and last for a week or more also adds to it being used in floral shops and cutting garden businesses.

But did you know roses are also edible? According to Linda Stradley, author of “I’ll Have What They’re Having — Legendary Local Cuisine,” their flavor is reminiscent of strawberries and green apples, and the darker the color, the stronger the flavor.

The rose hip, or seed bud has also been used for centuries for tea and healing purposes. And as for crafting, the rose has many uses, from potpourri to beads.

For growing purposes and for those with a cutting garden the rose is often grown for its meaning.
·    Red: Love, beauty, romantic love, I love you, courage passion
·    Yellow: Joy, happiness, friendship, a new beginning, remember me
·    White: Purity, innocence, humility, youthfulness, sincerity, unity
·    Pink: Elegance, gracefulness, appreciation, thank you
·    Peach: Desire, anticipation, optimism toward the future, closing the deal, let’s get together
·    Coral: Desire
·    Orange: Enthusiasm, desire

Because of its many uses, colors and practicality, the rose will continue to be one of the most popular flowers.

And if you haven’t tried the small indoor rose plants, they are wonderful. I like to mix them in with other potted plants for a rich full feel of an outdoor garden.

Five factors that affect your potted indoor plants in the winter

Winter has an effect not only on container plants left outdoors, but also on potted plants indoors. There are five important key factors that affect your plants in the winter months. With a little care and a watchful eye you can keep those plants healthy throughout the winter months.

1. Proper lighting is the very first element to consider. In winter natural light is not as strong. Place your plants closer to the windows, and rotate them regularly so all the leaves receive enough light. (Check any windows you place plants by for drafts. If outdoor air is blowing on your plant it will suffer.)

Choose the location for your container plants by taking into account the following:

North: Does not receive direct sunlight, but it is a good source of light for your plants. Most convenient in summer. African violets do best in a northern window, they like the low defused light.

South: it receives the most sunlight. Very convenient in winter. Best for plants that like every ounce of sunlight they can get such as tropical plants.

East: it allows early sunlight. This is very important for excellent growth of your plants. If you have a mix of east and west sunlight, your plants will do very well.

West: it receives much sunlight. This lighting is best for tropical plants and those that really like sun. These plants will also require more water or a humid climate.

* If your house lacks natural lighting add grow lights and use to lengthen the light your plants receive.

2. Temperature is another key factor to consider because in the winter we increase the temperature of the room via heaters, fireplaces and other heating devices. When the temperature of the room increases, the water of your plants evaporates quickly. It may be necessary to increase the amount of water they receive. As always, the exact amount of water will depend on the type of plant you have.

A solution to this is to place containers on a pebble tray. The tray catches extra water and keeps it away from the roots but also emits humidity, which will keep the leaves and plant cooler. The leaves will absorb the water by transpiration.

I also mist plants in the winter. It keeps the leaves clean and supplies extra water to the leaves.

3. Watering your plants in winter is important for the reason listed above. To water your plants properly, do so with abundant water fewer times, rather than with less water and very often.

The reason for this is because the water needs to reach all the roots of the plant, including the deepest ones. When you use abundant water, the plant does not need more water for a while, so you can space the watering.

If not watered properly, the plant may die, even though the surface of the soil may appear wet.

Two tips that will help your indoor plants.

  • Water from below, never on top of the soil. This will stop disease and make sure the roots are getting enough water, not the top of the soil.
  • Use pebbles or a mulch on top of your soil. This will help prevent soil diseases.

4. Ventilation is a key factor since some indoor plants need air moving around them occasionally. Air movement keeps plant stems and leaves strong.

Although they do not need a continuous flow of air, the truth is that they get exactly what they need under “friendly” weather conditions, that is early autumn, spring or summer, when we naturally open doors and windows and allow breeze to flow.

But in winter we keep windows closed for longer periods of time, therefore preventing air flows. Again you should ensure that your specific plant is receptive to air flows (not all indoor plants are).

I occasionally use a fan on low to circulate air in the room. It benefits the plant and also the people who live in the home.

5. Some plants may undergo a period of hibernation during winter. Hibernation is just a “sleeping period” some plants need. The plant may stop growing or even appear weak and loose their leaves. Consequently, the owner believes (wrongly) that the plant is dying or dead and ends up throwing it away.

The thing is, while plants hibernate, they don’t need so much water or fertilizer. If you doubt whether your plant is hibernating or actually dead, just leave it where it is and water it occasionally, and you might just see it alive again in spring.

A perfect example of a plant that needs an occasional hibernation period is the Shamrock plant.

By watching for these 5 key factors in plant care, you can grow healthy container plants all winter long. And in the spring, when it warms up you may want to set them outdoors.

Stop Kudzu Before It Takes Over

Kudzu has taken over many parts of the U.S. particularly the warmer southern areas. It quickly covers trees, buildings, fences and telephone poles. It spreads at a rate of 120,000 acres a year, killing tree, shrubs and other plants that lay in its wake. And for those not familiar with the plant and its spreading abilities, it can cover small creeks and ravines, creating a deadly trap for animals and people.

“Kudzu is an annoying vine that can grow as much as a foot in 24 hours,” says Lance Walheim; garden expert, who wrote the book “Lawn Care for Dummies.” Walheim states, “If left unmanaged, it can take over and choke trees that have taken decades to grow.”

Often times, these plants that later create havoc, were innocently brought to this country. In 1876, the Japanese introduced the Kudzu vine to the United States at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. In the 1930s, the U.S. Soil Conservation Service decided the vine helped prevent soil erosion and developed 85 million kudzu seedlings. The government then offered farmers $8 an acre to plant the vine. Little did they know the havoc this would cause in later years.

In the 1940s, an Atlanta newspaper columnist and radio host named Channing Cope started Kudzu Clubs and called it the “miracle vine.” Yes, there are positive aspects to growing Kudzu, but the uncontrollable spread of the plant far outweighs any positive plant properties and its growth in the United States.

As the plant overtook other plants and property, The U.S. Department of Agriculture took a new stand and in 1972 declared kudzu a weed. The National Park Service says this weed causes more than $100 million a year in damage.

How can you kill kudzu before it takes over your yard?

  • Dig up and burn any small plant you see.
  • Never trade this plant with another person in any state in the US. Many people find this a fascinating plant and will do plant trades, but you cannot control it so please leave this invasive plant alone. Many states have also outlawed it.
  • There are several strong weed killers that will kill kudzu, as well as poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac. If you use weed killers you want the mixtures that also kill the roots.

I use the dig and burn method in my yard. I really am not an insecticide user. But all gardeners have different methods and Kudzu is a difficult plant to remove.

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