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Edition 14.52 H&H Gardening Newsletter December 22, 2014

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December

Pruning
Prune deciduous fruit trees and also prune roses. Also spray your roses with horticultural oil to prevent insect problems later.



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Featured Quotation:

"A New Year's resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other."
~ Author Unknown

Happy Holidays
 
 
2015 Rose Catalog
 
Gardner & Bloome Eden Valley Potting Soil
 

Holiday Trivia

• The first commercial Christmas cards were commissioned in London, in 1843, by Sir Henry Cole, with illustration by John Callcott Horsley. President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first official White House card in 1953.

• "Rudolph" was actually created by Robert May for Montgomery Ward in the late 1930's as a holiday promotion. The song was written later by Johnny Marks, and recorded by Gene Autry in 1949; it promptly sold about 2 million copies.

• Christmas became an official national holiday in the USA on June 28, 1870.

• Poinsettias are the most popular Christmas plant and are the number one "flowering" potted plant in the United States.

White House Christmas tree, 1994

• Franklin Pierce put the first Christmas tree in the White House (in 1856), for a group of Washington Sunday School children. Benjamin Harrison is credited with starting the tradition of the White House tree, being the first to have a decorated family Christmas tree in the White House in 1889, and Calvin Coolidge put the first National Christmas Tree on the White House lawn (not in the White House) in 1923.

• The first reported electrically lit Christmas tree was in December, 1882. The world's first practical light bulb was invented by Thomas Edison in 1879, and a mere three years later, in 1882, an officer of Edison's electric company, one Edward Johnson, electrically lit a Christmas tree for the first time. In 1917, after a tragic fire in New York City that was caused by Christmas candles, Albert Sadacca (fifteen years old at the time) invented safety lights for Christmas trees. Decorating a live Christmas tree outdoors became popular, and eventually moved to indoor trees. The outdoor lights also moved onto houses, and decorating houses in lights became (and has remained) popular.

• Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states, including Hawaii and Alaska.

• In 1979, the National Christmas Tree was not lighted except for the top ornament. This was done because of the American hostages in Iran.

• According to the Guinness World Records, the world's tallest cut Christmas tree was a 221' Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) erected and decorated at Northgate Shopping Center, Seattle, Washington, USA, in December 1950.

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Recycling Christmas

By Tamara Galbraith

Soon after the festivities end, your once-fresh Christmas tree begins moving from Christmassy to crispy. No matter. When you're ready to take down the decorations, explore all your options of how to reuse or recycle.

Many communities across the country offer a recycling program, whereby trees are collected and ground up into mulch for municipal use. Areas with lots of man-made lakes sometimes collect and sink old trees into waterways to slow erosion. Check with your local city government or county Extension Office to see if such a tree collection program is in place.

Also, if you have the space and don't mind "the natural look" in your landscape, lay your old tree in a remote corner of your yard; it will make a great hiding and nesting place for birds, rabbits and other small creatures. If you have a compost pile, you can cut the branches into small pieces, and add them to the compost pile. It will take time, but they will break down to beautiful soil.

Whatever you choose, be sure all the non-natural decorations, like tinsel and ornament hooks, have been removed. While sparkly mulch might have an interesting look, it's not very good for the environment.

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Featured Recipe: Slow Cooker Chocolate Candy
This is one of the easiest recipes you will ever make, and you will want to keep it as a holiday tradition!

What You Need:

  • Crock pot/slow cooker
  • 8 oz. sweet chocolate bar
  • 12 oz. bag semi sweet chocolate
  • 2 lb. white chocolate
  • 2 lb. of peanuts or pecans (or any nut you like)
  • 48 cupcake shells

Step by Step:

In a slow cooker or crock pot, layer the ingredients as follows:
  • First, the nuts
  • On top of the nuts, layer the 8 oz. chocolate bar
  • On top of the chocolate bar, pour the bag of semi sweet chocolate chips
  • On top of the chocolate chips, place the white chocolate
  • Cook on low heat for three and a half hours.
  • Turn off the slow cooker.
  • With a large spoon, stir the mixture until well-combined.
  • Ladle the mixture into the cup cake shells, filling them only halfway to the top.
  • When all shells are filled, place them in the refrigerator for two hours, then enjoy!

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