Posts in Holiday
Caring for Your Poinsettias

Remember when caring for your poinsettias that they are a tropical plant. They are accustomed to the tropical climate of Southern Mexico. There are a few things to know about caring for these tropical plants:

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They like direct sunlight. It is ideal to keep your plants in 6 hours of direct sunlight every day. But take care to keep them from getting too close to cold windows.

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Keep them in temperature from 65-75 degrees F during the day and no lower than 55 degrees at night. They like the slightly lower temperatures at night.

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Water the plant when the soil is dry to the touch. Water until the excess water drains from the plant. Do not let the plant sit in this excess water.

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Make sure your plants are not in the path of a warm or cold breeze from radiators, windows or open doors. This breeze will hurt the plant and any direct contact with too high or too low temperatures will hurt the plant as well. Do not let your plant touch a cold window.*

Follow these few tips and your poinsettias should last long past the holiday season.

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http://urbanext.illinois.edu/poinsettia/care.cfm

Switch Up the Thanksgiving Decor this Year

There may not be another holiday that is more based in tradition than Thanksgiving. Between the family, turkey, filling, sweet potatoes, football, parade and décor scheme there is little that changes from year to year. While the rest of the year the formal dining room may gather dust and the kitchen table may be a rotating door of friends and family, one day a year everyone gathers in the dining room, that same person carves the turkey and the family over eats. In the background there may be the sounds of the first sounds of Christmas music on the radio, the announcements from the Thanksgiving parade or the whistles, grunts and cheers from a football game.

Take a small step away from tradition this year and switch things up a little. Before you panic, I am not talking about swapping out the turkey for tofu; I am talking about the color scheme on your table. Instead of focusing on the darker oranges, plums and burgundy this Thanksgiving, switch it up and use more peach, violet and yellow to brighten up your house as the family arrives to carve the turkey.


Traditionally the day’s color scheme tend to mimic the food that covers the table. Fall has come with beautiful burgundies, burnt oranges and rich plums, colors as rich and delicious as the foods of the season. We hold no grudges against these rich colors, in fact, we used them many times in the spring, but since we have already broken the “laws” of seasonal colors, why not bring a little bright onto the Thanksgiving table.


Try replacing out some of those rich burnt oranges for a softer peach and those rich plums for a brighter violet. Add some sunny yellow to bring that earthy atmosphere to your table. You can even add a touch of magenta to hold on to that deep rich color while keeping it bright and light.

HolidayAlthea WilesComment
Pumpkin Season

It is the seasons of pumpkins. If you know where to look you can drive past a field that instead of full of corn or beans, pumpkins is all the eye can see. It is pumpkin picking time. In fact the pumpkin craze has covered everything from coffee and Pringles to the World Championship Punkin Chukin in Dover, Delaware. For those who do not take part in the art of catapulting pumpkins across open field, pumpkins are traditionally used from Jack-O-Lanterns, Thanksgiving tablescapes and pies.

This time of year we like to change up our arrangements a little bit and replace a vase with a pumpkin. The pumpkin adds color and texture to an arrangement and gives you one more reason to get into that holiday spirit.


Traditionally when we think of pumpkins, we think of the bright orange ones we see on Halloween, but pumpkins come in a few more colors than just orange. Pumpkins also can be found in white, green, yellow, tan, blue and red. The white variety is a relatively new color in the pumpkin patch, having only been bred within the last twenty years. The white skin makes a more elegant presentation for a subtle colored arrangement. Blue pumpkins are rare and difficult to find but are stunning in their dust blue color .


If the pumpkins are not the color you would like for your arrangement or you are looking for something a little more artistic, you can paint pumpkins to match the colors or patterns you desire. A painted pumpkin, however, cannot be saved until next season. If you are going to paint a pumpkin you should have a smooth, clean pumpkin. A base coat of sealer or varnish will help the paint stick but it is not necessary. It is best to paint in sections and let each one dry so that you do not have to put a wet pumpkin down to dry.  For some glamour you can add slimmer to our pumpkin as well, an elegant idea when using the little ones for candle holders.

Try out your favorite uses for pumpkins this holiday season, but please do not forget the pumpkin pie!