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Edition 14.50 H&H Gardening Newsletter November, 2014

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Keep up with the harvest in the veggie garden and plant more, if desired. You can plant artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, greens, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, peas, potatoes, and radishes now.

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"A garden is always a series of losses set against a few triumphs, like life itself."
~May Sarton

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Gardner & Bloome Eden Valley Potting Soil


Mistletoe, in older times, was believed to have protective properties and was hung to ward off evil spirits. Celts believed that mistletoe, a parasitic plant that grows on trees, had special powers that could heal diseases, make poisons harmless, protect against evil spells and bring fertility to childless women. For many years, Christian places of worship did not allow it inside because of its pagan associations. But nowadays it is mostly used as an excuse to steal a kiss.

The origin of our tradition of kissing under the mistletoe is lost in the mists of antiquity. Some say it probably stemmed from the Druids, who considered it sacred and would declare a truce in an area where it grew.

Others say the custom comes from the old festival of Saturnalia, and still others claim it comes from old Norse mythology and the tale of Baldur's death from a twig of mistletoe. Legend has it that the tears of his mother, Frigga, changed the berries of the mistletoe from red to white.

Whatever the origin of the tradition, most consider it a good deal of light-hearted fun to steal a kiss under the mistletoe. Just be careful whom you kiss--a jealous spouse may be lurking.

Despite its use as a holiday decoration and its association with love, peace, and stolen kisses, mistletoe is actually a parasite. It lives on trees and shrubs, tapping into the plant's nutrients by sending its roots under the bark. Mistletoe can weaken, or even kill, a plant. It is also poisonous (all parts), so keep it out of the reach of children and pets!

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Pot Luck--Using Pottery for Garden Art

Most homeowners look at pottery as just a container to hold a plant on the patio or inside the home. But with so many unique shapes and sizes available today, more homeowners are using pots as decoration to add a piece of interest to the home or garden.

Sometimes a pot can be the perfect solution to turning a space that is missing something into a dazzling focal point. Just like a water fountain or a piece of statuary, a well-placed piece of pottery can turn a boring area into a visual treat for the eyes.

Consider glazed containers in unique vase or urn shapes. Tall and slender pottery can be especially stunning when placed in the right location. Instead of just putting out a sea of plants, consider how you can lead the eye to points of interest throughout your landscape or home by using a well-placed piece of pottery.

We have a great selection of pottery. Come in for a visit and our staff of nursery experts will help you find the right container to transform your empty space into a visual delight. In the right setting, the perfect pot will look like a work of art. They make great gifts, too!

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National Poinsettia Day - Dec 12th

December 12 is National Poinsettia Day, designated by Congress to honor the flower and Joel Robert Poinsett, botanist and the first United States Ambassador to Mexico. Native to Mexico, the poinsettia, with over 50 million sold annually, is the number one flowering potted plant sold in the United States.

History of Poinsettias
The Aztecs called poinsettias "Cuetlaxochitl." During the 14th-16th century the sap was used to control fevers and the bracts ( modified leaves) were used to make a reddish dye.

Montezuma, the last of the Aztec kings, would have poinsettias brought into what now is Mexico City by caravan because they could not be grown in the high altitude.

Centuries later, Joel Roberts Poinsett became the first United States Ambassador to Mexico, being appointed by President Andrew Jackson in the 1820's; because of his interest in botany he introduced the American elm into Mexico.

During his stay in Mexico, he wandered the countryside looking for new plant species. In 1828 he found a beautiful shrub with large red flowers growing next to a road. He took cuttings from the plant and brought them back to his greenhouse in South Carolina.

Even though Poinsett had a distinguished career as a US Congressman and Ambassador, he will always be best remembered for introducing the poinsettia into the United States.

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Brussels Sprouts

Many people stay away from Brussels sprouts, because they feel they are bitter and not a dish you could serve to guests. WRONG! Brussels sprouts are a delicious accompaniment to any dish, if prepared properly - and they are so easy to do!

I prefer to use a cast iron skillet for this dish - but any skillet will work:

What you will need:

  • 1 package frozen Brussels sprouts
  • 1 tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup grated mozeralla cheese

Step by Step:

  • Boil a package of Brussels Sprouts in one cup of water with 1 tablespoon of vinegar and one teaspoon of salt. Allow to boil until the sprouts are tender. Once tender, the vinegar and the salt will remove any bitter taste.
  • Place sprouts in a skillet with one stick of butter, and allow the butter to melt and to infuse the sprouts.
  • After 15 minutes on medium heat, cover the sprouts with grated mozzarella cheese.
  • Cover and cook on low heat until the cheese melts.
  • Serve and watch the sprouts disappear!


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