A few tips on Christmas tree selection
Cool November’s pansies are tough. In November the days are still getting a minute shorter every evening. The brightly colored pansies with faces add a lot of brightness, beauty and color to the cool November days. Their deep green foliage adds a lot to the deck and porch.
For them to thrive, you should water them once a week. Feed the pansies Flower-Tone organic flower food or pansy boosters in 1-pound bags in gardening departments and hardware stores. You can also feed pansies Miracle-Gro plant food, which is mixed with the right amount of water in a spray can and poured around the bottom of the pansy.
Pansies can still be planted in November. Pansies are still available at Walmart, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Ace Hardware, and most nurseries and hardware stores. Pansies are robust and bloom well into spring.
Maintain rose bushes in November. As November progresses, it’s time to pay some attention to the rose bushes and prepare them for the winter season, which will arrive later next month.
Cut back any long sticks that could cause ice and sleet damage in the winter months. Remove all dead flowers and rose hips. Apply a layer of bone meal around the base of the rose bushes to encourage vigorous root growth in winter. Add some rose-tone organic rose food and dig into the soil. Add a layer of crushed leaves to protect the rose bushes during the winter months. All of these steps pave the way for big roses in 2021.
Preparing autumn leaves for a harvest table display. Leaves can be used along with cream-colored pumpkins, gourds, Hershey’s Fall Kisses, and Indian corn to create a centerpiece along with pilgrim and turkey candles. To make the leaves last the Thanksgiving season, melt a piece of beeswax and dip the leaves in the wax.
Another week or two to trim the evergreens. November is a good time to shape and prune the evergreens and azaleas. We have about a month before it is time to decorate Christmas trees outdoors, and now is the best time to start sculpting evergreen plants with the decoration in mind. Trimming and shaping also protects evergreens from snow and ice damage.
Lots of Juncos and Chickadees at the feeding stations. When the November days get chilly, the junkos, chickadees and sparrows crowd the birdhouses in search of a quick meal. You are more active every day and your feeder becomes a welcome addition to your food supply. They are fun to watch from the porch too. The cardinals are active and with their red color certainly provide a touch of the pre-Christmas season.
Fill the bird feeders daily and replenish the bird baths with fresh water. Empty the ice from the bird baths every morning after freezing temperatures.
Looking for some hidden Christmas decorations. Many leaves have fallen from the trees, exposing bare branches and twigs. You can show an elaborate bird’s nest that can be carefully removed and made into an unusual Christmas tree ornament. Some birds build nests out of twigs, but the best thing for a Christmas decoration is a nest out of straw and grass that looks like it has been woven together.
If you find one, carefully remove it. Spray with several coats of clear lacquer and let it dry. Add several glass eggs to complete the ornament. Find a small box to store the ornament and wrap the nest in layers of paper towels or toilet paper. The nest lasts a lot of Christmas.
A little more green in the house. In the winter months and late autumn, it’s always nice to have something green in the house. There are two green items that grow easily in your home during fall and winter. If you have a lot of bulbs in the garden, put two or three sets in a container of potting soil and place the container near a sunny window. They grow quickly, and the tips can be cut and used in salads.
Another green item that will bring out brightly colored flowers is the white paper bulb daffodil, which can be planted in a container of potting soil and taken indoors. If they are planted next week this week, they will bloom by Christmas. When Christmas comes, you can decorate the container with red or green foil.
Thirty dark evenings are with us. With daylight saving time ending and the days getting a minute shorter each evening, there is now a lot of early darkness and it is hard to get used to. We now have darker thirty four months earlier.
A pumpkin butterscotch bread pudding. We are in the season when everything tastes great with pumpkin. A bread pudding recipe with lots of simple ingredients is perfect for an autumn dinner.
You will need a 15-ounce can of Libby’s Pumpkin, a 3-ounce box of instant butterscotch-jello pudding mix, two eggs, a cup of light brown sugar, a tablespoon of pumpkin pie spices, half a cup of milk, a teaspoon of vanilla, four hot ones Dog bun or hamburger bun and half a cup of water.
Let the hot dog buns run through the mixer in “grate” mode. Whisk the eggs and pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices with the grated hot dog buns. Add other ingredients and mix well. Spray a 13x9x2 inch baking dish or pan with Pam Baking Spray. Add the pudding ingredients to the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until firm. Top with Cool Whip of Dream Whip when the pudding has cooled down.
Cool splendor in November. November is the month of tanned lawns, trees with mostly bare branches, a crisp, cool wind, and the blue Carolina sky strewn with puffy marshmallow clouds.
The color green is a piece, and we see it in the cedar, pine, and honeysuckle vines, and its color is enhanced by the background of the trunks and branches of mighty oak, maple, poplar and birch, hickory and dogwood.
The leaves that once covered the trees now form a blanket under them. The garden plot has its green part from onion sets, kale, mustard greens, beets, broccoli and cabbage.
The November splendor reaches the autumn glory and another season of the year is on the way, which is paved by the November days.
The Christmas cactus investment that pays off year after year. The Christmas cactus is the plant that brings color and beauty year after year. They can be enjoyed at any time of the year and reward us at any Christmas time with their dainty flowers in red, white, pink and coral.
November is the time to purchase a Christmas cactus at most nurseries, hardware stores, Walmart, Lowe’s, and Home Depot. They cost anywhere from $ 5 to $ 10, depending on the size.
When buying a cactus, buy a bag of cactus potting medium and a larger container, and repot the cactus as soon as you get home. The cactus you are buying now has a plus because it is in full bloom and you know which color to choose.
A bit of November “Mudhole Lore”. November can bring some cold weather, but we hope it has nothing to do with that weather story (or boredom!). This lore says, “If a mud hole has ice in mid-November that a duck can carry, the rest of November will be sleet and filth.” We hope, of course, that this is just lore or boredom. We would rather have sleet than dirt!
How-How-Howdown: “Old Age Has Privileges” An elderly woman drove a large, expensive car that was brand new. She was preparing to return to the empty space in a parallel park. Suddenly a young man in a small sports car rushed into the gap. The elderly lady jumped out of her car and angrily wanted to know why he had done that when he could clearly see that she was trying to park there. The young man’s answer was: “Because I am young and fast too.” When the young man came back a few minutes later, the lady was using her luxury car as a bulldozer against the sports car. Now the young man was furious and asked her why she was beating up his car. The lady’s answer was: “Because I’m older, I’m angry and also filthy rich!”