HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

This should probably be called a “Gift Guide for Gardeners” because, as you can imagine, I zero in on all things garden related. I’ve found all sorts of distinctive and, while not really unusual, they ARE off-the-beaten-track kind of items.

First of all let’s focus on some new garden books.
Do you know Monty Don?  If you don’t yet know him, check out  “Gardeners World” on YouTube. The BBC program has just celebrated its 50th season and every single one is worth watching. He is a wonder. I have learned so much and anyway, it’s a great way to pass some time!

Available HERE

If you are a Bloomsbury Group follower, or a Virginia Woolf admirer, or both then this book is for you. The reviews are wonderful; the photography said to be “sumptuous”; it combines gardening with the life of Leonard and Virginia Woolf at Monk’s House.

Buy it HERE

 

How about these beautiful return address labels? Many to choose from, and many other products, but the designs with flowers and fauna are so lovely.

 

For the active gardener(!) , this pad will never get lost or misplaced:

 

This is something I came across last year. I found it at Terrain but you can also buy direct from the manufacturer, Rosy Rings.

This scent is heavenly! I do wish they had/sold small candles, oils, whatever so you could buy a few in a pack and test the scents. So difficult to choose without actually having a sniff test… This is the only one I know, and I love it. I so also have the Wax Sachets and love them too.  In any case, it is a USA made product and definitely worth looking at.

And now to some live plants:

 

A real live Southern Magnolia! It could be the start of something wonderful. Available HERE and sure to please any gardening friend.

 

There are SO many places, both on line and in store, to buy Amaryllis bulbs. But rather than the traditional red and its variations, this candy pink with green centers version is stunning. And the beautiful garden pottery pot from Wakefield Sutdio is gorgeous. And perfect for re-use!

I just found this today:
What a great idea: a market backpack made from palm leaves. How to look really cool at the market whether used as a backpack or the carrying handles!

Buy it here at Greige Design

 

So, that’s it for now. I will try to post another Gift Guide for next Monday. But it’s getting busy around here.
For all you locals, I am selling at two shows in early December:

First up is the St. Thomas More Holiday Shoppe on December 2nd. I did this show last year and am fortunate to have made it in again this year.

 

The following week, December 9th, I will be at The Carolina Inn:

You will be hearing more about these two shows as the time gets closer!

 

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BEST EVER CRANBERRY SAUCE

In lieu of Friday Flowers this week, I thought you all might like this recipe for Cranberry Sauce.. I’ve blogged about it before, but it is just THAT GOOD that you must see it again! And to all my new subscribers, or those passing through here, this is the BEST I have ever made. So take a look:
I  L- O- V- E  cranberry sauce.
But it must have the whole cranberries in it… none of the jellied stuff for me.
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 I found this recipe on Epicurious.com several years ago. This cranberry sauce is crunchy, tart, freezes well, and is always a huge hit at the table. It’s easy to make….once you find some cherry or black cherry cider. I did try the cranberry juice cocktail once but found it was too sweet and just didn’t have enough taste. The cherry cider, or juice, is perfect. Dried cherries are available in most specialty stores; they cost more than dried cranberries, but go for it as they make a huge difference.
First, to find the cranberries.
Fresh Market has them floating in a “bog”! What a great idea. So, I scooped up about a pound and took them home.
If you can’t find cranberries from a “bog”, then your ingredients will look like this:
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To make it simple and easy for you I’ve copied the recipe here:

Believe me, this is as good as it gets! Let me know if you try and how you like it.

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FRIDAY FLOWERS: GROWING GARDENIAS FROM CUTTINGS

This is how it all started:

A friend gave me cuttings from her gorgeous, healthy gardenia bush. She was about to bring it inside for the winter and said sure, you can take some cuttings. So I researched the best way to **try** to get them to take root and actually grow.

You can read ALL ABOUT the process in my post of October, 2015:
How to Root Gardenias: Friday Flowers

I even have a video there to show you the way.

 

And here, my friends, is one of those cuttings two years later!
Yes, it takes quite a while. After about six months, when there were roots showing in the glass bottle, I transplanted the gardenia to a small pot with potting soil. It grew…slowly. I put it outside for the summers and brought it inside for the winters.

This past summer, when the plant was about 15 months old, it really took off.
As you can see, it is happy!

 

This second plant was difficult to photograph with the green pot in the background. But you can see it is taller and not as full as above, but still doing very well.

This one is in a large outdoor planter (see the Acuba on lower right?) so I may try it outside for the winter. I can always cover it on very cold nights. And I’ll report back here!

I am, as they say, “tickled pink” that this actually worked! If you live near me and want a cutting, I’ll be happy to supply you with one. Actually, the original plant has had some problems with the leaves turning yellow at the end of the summer season. So this year I gave it Iron Chelate and it absolutely cured it!! So if you are having the same problem, I highly recommend investigating this solution.

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