It’s Christmas time!!, there’s nothing more exciting to me than decorating my home for the Christmas season.
Decorating should be fun, so put on some holiday music and let your imagination go.
Some of you will decorate with more of a classic style, and others will think outside the box just a bit more, like Trevor here at Van Wilgen’s. Did you know he has 9 trees set up in his house? Stop in our wreath room and talk to Trevor he has lots of cool ideas to help your tree or trees look amazing. Remember to have fun with it.
While Trevor likes to decorate with Lots of trees to get his holiday spirit on, I prefer to make my home festive by decorating with you guessed it, PLANTS!!
Our Poinsettias this year look amazing. So many colors to choose from, there’s something for everyone. Christmas red for the classic decorator and there’s even a blue for those thinking about something different. My favorite this year is one of our new poinsettias, the princettia series. The smaller and compact leaves give this poinsettia a stunning look. It is quickly becoming one of your favorites also as it is flying out the door fast this year.
You will need some companion plants to go along with your poinsettias, here’s a list of a few.
- Christmas cactus- colorful Christmas standard, everyone’s grandma had one years ago.
- Cyclamen-Lots of colors to choose from, gaining in popularity every year.
- Amaryllis- The large flowers on this plant are just stunning, and if your lucky and plan it perfectly they will bloom just in time for Christmas.
- Lemon cypress trees- These are for indoor use only. The color alone is a reason to have one, its lemony green color adds a great contrast in color to any holiday display, and the scent is oh so delicious.
- Norfolk Island pines- This is the perfect tree for those of you that want a real tree on a smaller scale. This is a tropical tree so it can not go outside when it’s cold. So, have fun decorating it for Christmas and afterward, you have a great houseplant for years to come.
There are even small 2 inch plants perfect for your office desk at work. Two of the favorites by far are the poinsettias and kalanchoes. Makes for a sweet little gift for someone.
Stop by, say hi, and get inspired to get your Christmas spirit on. Just walking into our greenhouse this time of year with all the colors going on in there will do just that.
Merry Christmas everyone
Turkish Fir is quickly becoming our most popular Choose & Cut Christmas trees at Van Wilgen’s. Growing Christmas trees is a labor of love. There is a lot of work that goes into making sure our fields are full of premium Van Wilgen Grown trees. We all know Fraser Fir,
The most popular Christmas tree in our area. They are great for needle retention, great color contrast, and pretty good for holding heavy ornaments. Frasers are slow-growing and may take up to 10 years before they can be harvested. They are also tricky to grow. Frasers do not like hot dry summers and are prone to many pests and fungal problems.
Those are many of the reasons we started looking for alternatives to Fraser Fir for our fields. We needed a tree that had all the great features of Fraser without many of the headaches. We were recommended to try Turkish Fir by many people we know in the industry. At the time none of us knew much about them. All the research on them was positive so we started planting them in our fields. We quickly saw we had a winner! They were growing much faster and fuller than Fraser. That we instantly liked! They have not suffered pest damage or root rot like Frasers either. All positives from a growing point of view.
Turkish Fir is native to the mountains of the Black Sea. Their needles are two-tone green and silvery blue that gives off a shimmery look. They are very full and elegant looking and have been the number one choice for Christmas trees in Europe for many years. They have sturdy branches for heavy ornaments and excellent needle retention. I invite you to come to walk our 15 acres of trees and see how great Turkish Fir are.
How to protect your trees & shrubs in winter
The Boxwoods, Rhododendrons, Hollies, Azaleas, and Arborvitaes were all hanging out around the birdbath that sits between the properties of two neighbors, the Protectors & the Forgetters. They often get together to chat about insects, diseases, and deer that have been bothering them. This time they joined to discuss the upcoming winter. All of them at the Forgetters home were dreading the upcoming winter. “We get so dry that our leaves ache. And forget about the sunburn! It takes us all spring to recover from that. Our owners have no idea how we suffer in the winter.” The Boxwoods and Rhododendrons at the Protectors were kind of looking forward to a winter rest. They did not suffer like their friends next door. “What is your secret? How could you possibly be looking forward to the cold, drying winds and hot, burning sun!?” The trees and shrubs figured they should share their secret considering they were their good friends.
With the first wind that came by, the Boxwoods and Rhodies leaned into their friends and whispered “Wilt-Pruf”. “Wilt-Pruf is our secret. They shower us in it every year around Thanksgiving. It keeps us warm and cozy throughout the winter. At first, it is a little sticky. It is a natural pine resin. Once it dries, we enjoy it immensely. Its waxy layers keep us from drying out and protect us from the sun. It is flexible too. We can still stretch our branches and sway easily in the breeze.” The trees and shrubs at the Forgetters could not believe that there was a possible miracle that could give them some relief through the long winter.
The Rhododendrons at the Protectors raved about Wilt-Pruf. “My leaves used to all curl up and get brown at the tips before Wilt-Pruf. The Protectors don’t spray us right now. They wait until closer to Thanksgiving or the beginning of December. We need to harden off before they spray us down. My Arborvitaes friends, you should definitely wait a little longer until you harden off. I don’t want you to get damaged. I do know that our owners never spray us when the temperatures are under 40. After all, we don’t want Wilt-Pruf freezing on our tender branches. Wilt-Pruf is the best thing that ever happened to us!”
The Arborvitaes at the Forgetters house had some hope again. If only they could get the homeowners to use Wilt-Pruf! But how? The Azaleas had an idea. “When the Protectors come to spray our leaves we will knock the empty bottle out of their hands with the first wind.” The Arborvitaes chimed in. “Great idea and then we will hide the empty bottle under our branches for the Forgetters to find.” They all raised their branches in joy. “Let’s hope our plan works, exclaimed the Hollies. We really could use some winter help. Wilt-Pruf to the rescue!”
It’s the time of year to start talking about Christmas Trees. Although given the chilly weather we are having it’s easy to get into the spirit. Let’s give it a try! Here is a guide to help you select the perfect tree for this Christmas from Van Wilgen’s.
-Needles are short dark green with a silver underside.
-Soft to the touch.
-Very fragrant with excellent needle retention.
-Branches are strong, great for heavy ornaments.
-Needles are long light green in color
-Soft to the touch
-Very full in shape
-Extremely fragrant- it smells like oranges!
-Best needle retention
-Needles are deep blue in color
-Sharp to the touch…Kids & Pets be careful!
-Strongest branches…Perfect for heavy ornaments
-Good needle retention
-A Van Wilgen Favorite!
-Needles are dark green with a silver underside.
-Needles are larger and showier than Fraser Fir.
-Soft to the touch.
-Best fragrance and needle retention.
-Sturdy branches are perfect for heavy ornaments.
The holidays are upon us, and nothing brings that festive spirit out more than getting your Christmas tree. For many families, this means gathering up the family and traveling to cut a tree down. But for others, this means going to a nursery to pick out a live tree. While it may seem intimidating at first, decorating and then planting a tree that you can enjoy the rest of your life is simple, and only requires you to follow a few key guidelines.
- Pre dig your hole: By digging now and covering your hole with mulch or straw, you can avoid the hassle of having to dig in frozen ground.
- Slowly bring your tree inside: Your tree will be used to cold temperatures. Before bringing it to your heated indoor space, bring it to an unheated garage or porch first, allowing it to slowly acclimate.
- Plan to keep your tree inside no longer than five days. Any longer and the tree may begin to break dormancy.
- Keep the root ball moist but not overly wet.
- When moving outside, follow the same routine as you did while bringing them inside. Allow a week to readjust to colder temperatures before putting your tree out in the elements.
By following this list, as well as your usual planting instructions, you will be able to enjoy your tree year after year. Happy Holidays!
Breathe easy, by bringing the fresh air indoors with houseplants.
Did you know that houseplants can turn carbon dioxide into oxygen? According to NASA, they also remove airborne volatile organic chemicals like benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene. These chemicals are commonly found in things like detergent, paints, and tobacco smoke. Plants also have the ability to increase humidity levels inside, provide you with a less stressful, happier, and greener environment. NASA recommends at least one plant per 100 square feet of living or office space for efficient air cleaning.
Our Glasshouse is an oasis all year long, bringing you colorful plants for all the seasons. Our team is eager to help you find the perfect plants for your home.
Here are a few of our favorites:
- Peace lilies- Did you know that this is the perfect plant to put in your bathroom? It will keep mold spores under control by absorbing those spores through its leaves, sending them down to the roots where it turns into food for the plant. Also does a great job of absorbing acetone, which all of us girls use on a regular basis.
- Spider plants- This is a good plant for those of us with allergies. Also good in absorbing carbon monoxide.
- Boston ferns- not only is this a great-looking plant, but this plant is a great humidifying plant and helps restore moisture to the air.
- Aloe vera- this plant not only looks cool but helps heal cuts and burns. But did you know that it also helps rid the air of benzene which is commonly found in paints and chemical cleaners.
- English ivy- This is a good plant for pet owners. It absorbs lots of chemicals given off from pet odors. Also, been known to help you focus better. This is why we often see ivy in a lot of office settings.
- Bromeliads- This air purifying plant is not only one of the most colorful. But it also ranks up there very high among the air purifiers because it has been tested to remove 6 of the top eight chemicals we try to get rid of in our daily life.
- Here are a few more: Dracaenas, snake plants, areca palms, rubber plants, robellini palms, and Chinese evergreens.
So if you are looking for a great air purifier, stop in and take a look at any one of the above, and breathe easy.
(KEEPING RODENTS UNDER CONTROL FOR THE WINTER)
Hickory Dickory Dock, don’t let those mice run up the clock or anywhere else in your house for that matter. As it gets cold; mice, squirrels, chipmunks, and rodents get desperate. They start running around like “three blind mice” foraging for food and looking for warm and cozy nesting places. Your toasty, inviting home is a perfect spot for them to find food and shelter. It is nice to open our homes during the holidays but do you really want to open them to rodents?! Get as busy as the squirrels and start battening down the hatches.
*Scurry around the outside of your home and look for any holes or gaps that make for easy entry of these critters. They can enter holes as small as a dime. The expanding foam is a quick fix but they often gnaw right through it and make a cozy nest inside. Copper wool is a really good choice for filling holes. They hate the scratchy feeling against their furry faces.
*Sprinkle a granular rodent repellent around the outside of your home. It has a smell and taste they do not like, keeping them from entering your house, garage, shed, etc. The repellent scent will trick them and mask the smell of delicious holiday foods cooking in your house.
*Repel them from the inside out. Mouse Magic Mint Repellent Packets are perfect for inside cabinets, under stoves, and the inside of sheds, cars, and RV’s. You won’t mind the minty smell but they do not care for it a bit!
*One little cute mouse, usually means many more. If baiting put several bait stations throughout your house. Sill plates in basements, utility rooms, areas around piping, and electrical are often good spots to place a little bait. Don’t put baits out in the open. Rodents are tactile and usually like one side of their body touching a structure. They are skittish by nature. This makes them
*They will steal your last little crumb. When you leave pet food or people’s food out, they think you were being very kind and preparing a holiday snack for them. Seal food containers up tight. Don’t let them have a midnight treat.
*Little critters leave greasy little spots behind. This grease lets other rodents know that food is available and they may want to move in. Be sure to use a cleaner with a little bleach to get rid of rodent grease. Gross, I know, but it can happen, no matter how clean your house is!
Let’s get those little rodents to run down the clock and all the way out of your home, garage, shed, car, and/or RV. Check out my shopping list of helpful products below.
Come see us at Van Wilgen’s. We would love to help!
*Mouse Magic – All natural repellent – great for inside use
*Rat Magic – All natural repellent – great for outside
*Revenge Refillable Mouse Bait Station
*NEW! MOUSE X – All natural and safe way to eliminate mice