The holidays are here and that means the flower shops, garden centers and many homes are filled with poinsettias. No need to worry, this plant is non-toxic.
Yes, it’s true. Research by Universities and Poison control centers reveal this plant is non-toxic. You still shouldn’t eat it, but you can enjoy this beauty throughout the holidays.
It was named for Joel Poinsett, a U.S. Ambassador to Mexico in the 1820’s. He happened upon a blooming poinsettia shrub while in Mexico and brought cuttings back to the United States.
The legend of the Poinsettia is also of Mexican origin. It is said on the first Christmas two small children wanted to visit the baby Jesus, but were too poor to buy him a present. So they picked weeds along the road to decorate his crib. The other children made fun of their gift, that is, until their gift of love, turned a beautiful red.
A bit more information: The part of the poinsettia we call the flowers are really gracts, modified leaves. These holiday favorites were first grown and sold by nurseryman John Bartram. In the early 1900’s the Ecke family in Southern California started growing and selling them as landscape and cut flowers and became the leading poinsettia producer. I was lucky enough to spend a summer propagating, caring for and shipping poinsettia cuttings for this company.
When you contemplate a winter holiday meal, stuffing seasoned with sage may be on the menu. This herb has long been used for culinary and medicinal purposes.
For centuries, people believed and modern evidence suggests sage has antibiotic, antifungal, astringent and other benefits. In fact, the botanical name, Salvia, comes from Latin and means “to save” referring to its medicinal properties.
Grow sage in full sun and well drained soil for best results. It is a hardy perennial in zones 5 to 10 and can be grown in containers, edible and herb gardens or added to flower beds for its texture, color and edibility.
And when extreme heat or cold drives you indoors, consider growing Dwarf sage (Salvia officinalis ‘Compacta’). The smaller leaves and more compact plant make this a great addition to small spaces, containers and indoors in a windowsill herb garden.
A bit more information: Add a bit of additional beauty and interest with the colorful leaves of purple and tricolor sage. The large leaves and compact habit of Biergarten sage makes a nice foil for annual and perennial flowers.
The holiday shopping season is HERE and I'm sure you could use some tips & tricks to help you save some money and frustration, right?
That why I'm chatting it up with the Super Coupon Queen Jill Cataldo!
Jill became a serious coupon user in September 2006 when she and her husband found out they were going to have another baby. Jill started using the internet to track store sales and learned the best time to use coupons from the newspaper and internet in conjunction with those sales.
In this interview Van talks with Jill about...
Doing your shopping "homework" AND "cash back" credit cards.
Hope you and your family had a great Thanksgiving! Now that we are on the other side of the "Turkey", we move into the craziness of the holiday season but let us not forget about those less fortunate than we!
In all reality if your reading this, YOU have it made!
Electricity for a computer, a roof over your head, money for groceries, etc... but what about those people on the East Coast?
Hurricane Sandy relief efforts continue and the President / CEO of the American Red Cross joins me to talk about it PLUS how you can help!
In this interview Van chats w Gail Mcgovern about...
How Hurricane Sandy relief effort are going.
Are Americans donating to the Red Cross?
How did Gail get involved with the American Red Cross?
Listen all this week at 8:55 to win your trip to the Riu Palace Riviera Maya with all inclusive accommodations for two courtesy of Funjet Vacations. Check out the video below of my recent trip to Riviera Maya. I hope you win!
Houseplants make a wonderful addition to the indoor décor of our homes. But those with young children and pets may be concerned about the safety of these green beauties.
Fortunately, there are many non-toxic houseplants to choose from. Popular flowering plants like African violet and Christmas cactus are non-toxic. Even though the poinsettia can cause irritation it is not poisonous. Baby tears, prayer plant, spider plant, snakeplant and coleus are also safe. Visit the ASPCA website or talk to your pediatrician for a more complete list of safe plants.
Reduce problems and calm your fears by keeping all plants out of the reach of children and pets as much as possible. Know the names of your plants so if one is ingested and you are concerned about poisoning you have the needed information for the doctor or vet.
A bit more information: Other kid and pet friendly plants include: Aluminum plant, Boston and birds nest fern cast iron plant, dragon tree and Janet Craig dracaenas, grape ivy, hoya (wax plant), jade plant, kalanchoe, lipstick plant, Norfolk Island pine, ponytail palm, sensitive plant, Swedish ivy, and wandering Jew. Increase your family’s gardening enjoyment by teaching children to never eat any part of a plant without the advice of a trusted and knowledgeable adult.
Need a break from all the holiday festivities? Put your family and some of those recycled materials and cast-aways to work by building your own terrarium.
All you need is a 2-liter bottle, well-drained potting mix, some small stones, shells or figurines and a few houseplants cuttings, small tropical plants, moss or other slow growing small scale plants.
Create the terrarium from a soda or water bottle heading to the recycling bin. Remove the label using a hairdryer set on low to melt the glue.
Use a pair of scissors or utility knife to cut the bottle into a base and cover. Make the bottom deep enough for planting. Slice several vertical cuts in the cover to make it easier to slide the top into the base.
Fill the base with a well-drained potting mix, plant, and then moisten the soil. Add a few decorative features and cover with the top of the bottle. Vent as needed.
A bit more information: For more detailed directions click here. And check out Bottle Biology at http://www.bottlebiology.org/ for more ways to put 2-liter bottles to work growing, composting and learning about science and the environment.
They Got To Me...
The two guys from A Great Big World stopped by the Mix studios to sing their hit, "Say Something" and it happened...I cried.
If you have not listened to the song yet...well...I suggest you do, but don't cry :( These guys are very nice and I wish them nothing but success!
I recently spent some time a La Reve...want to see what I enjoyed?
#yum #alist #wisn
A-List: Best French Cuisine
12 News Contributor Kidd O'Shea stops by La Reve, 2012 A-List winner for the
Which One Is Your Favorite?
I am getting a custom made suit from Richard Bennett at Mayfair and I need your help. Which one do you like best? Did you know that Richard Bennett makes tailor made suits? This means you will looking amazing this holiday season because you are wearing something that is made just for you. You will feel great knowing you look great and that is when you play great! Visit them today inside Mayfair and let them know I sent you.
Which one is your favorite?
Create a Pest Management Calendar
Is your mailbox filling with next year's calendars? Put them to use managing pests in the garden.
No, I'm not talking about smashing insects with the rolled up calendar. Instead, use them to develop a pest-monitoring calendar for next year.
Take a few minutes to review this year's garden journal. Look for notes on any pest problems you encountered. Make a note to watch for these pests in next year's calendar. This helps with early detection; a key to successful control.
Consider adding notes about the weather and control measures you tried that were effective. Try using preventative eco-friendly measures like barriers and traps to prevent problems. Covering your cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower before the cabbageworm moths are active allows you to prevent damage.
Setting out shallow cans of stale beer will help you minimize feeding damage by slugs and snails during wet weather.
A bit more information: No garden journal? This is a good opportunity to create one that includes your growing successes, failures as well as pest problems. Use a spiral notebook, three-ring binder or computer calendar or spreadsheet. Just make it easy and fun. That way you are sure to keep recording, referencing and putting your gardening experiences to work.
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.