Caring for a Living Christmas TreeWritten by Sherri Allen
The Christmas season brings with it many decisions to be made. Among them is, "What type of Christmas tree should I put up?" This year, consider a living Christmas tree. Not only will you enjoy it through holidays, but a living tree can be planted in garden to enhance your landscape and spark wonderful memories for years to come.
To allow your living tree to thrive in your garden, you must provide it with a small amount of special care. The following tips from National Christmas Tree Association will help ensure your living tree's success:
• The adaptability of species should be considered. Many species are shipped outside of their natural area and may not be adaptable to other areas. Check with a reliable nursery or extension forester.
• Keep in mind that living trees are VERY heavy and bulky. A six foot tall balled and burlapped tree will weigh as much as 250 pounds.
• Protect tree from elements. The tree should be stored in an unheated, sheltered area such as a garage or porch, out of wind and sun. Do not expose tree to freezing temperatures at any time.
• The tree will need adequate water. The root ball or soil should be kept slightly damp but not flooded. Wrap root ball of a balled tree in plastic or place in a tub while it is in house.
How to Care for Your Outdoor Water FountainsWritten by Kathy Burns-Millyard
Garden lovers around world love putting fountains among their flowers, plants, bushes and shrubs. And with Christmas season upon us in U.S., many garden lovers may get their very first fountain as a gift this year.
Fountains make wonderful gifts year round. They're beautiful to look at, and fit well with almost any landscape. They're also quite serene and have a wonderful calming effect. So if you're getting or giving an outdoor water fountain for a gift this year, here are a few caretaking tips you'll want to have on hand...
Many outdoor fountains are made of concrete, and concrete expands and contracts in cold weather. If at all possible, you should move your concrete fountain indoors for winter.
If you're not able to move it indoors, check it frequently to see if there's water collecting in it. You should keep it completely dry during winter months.
If your fountain will stay outdoors throughout winter, you also need to remove pump and store it indoors. Fill, wrap, or cover fountain with blankets, burlap bags, tarp or other protective materials to help shield it from severe cold. Be sure you have fountain covered entirely for maximum protection.