Archive for November, 2011

The holiday season is upon us and it’s time once again for the annual tug-of-war over what’s appropriate – if anything – when it comes to seasonal decorations in public spaces. With half of our waking hours spent working, it’s not a surprise that many wish to liven up the daily office grind with some fun seasonal decor.

The problems generally arise when there are differing opinions on what is appropriate and whose holiday is being celebrated. In most cases, we have adopted an “all in” mentality – mixing Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa traditions, depending on the makeup of the office staff. In the best circumstances, this fosters a nice camaraderie between co-workers. In the worst, it can become a battle of personal expression vs. the rights of those who don’t celebrate the season and prefer not to deal with it for half of their waking hours. Generally, it makes sense for a company to establish a written policy based on safety issues as well as the general cultural makeup of employees and customers. Read More→

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Christmas Floral Facts and Fancies Christmas Trees and Wreaths Winter was a time of celebration to pre-Christian Romans and they decorated fir trees in honor of this seasonal change.

The Votayk tribe of Finland believed that certain branches of the evergreen were family gods and they made sacrifices to these branches with bread, meat and drink. Traditionally, these items were placed under the tree. The tribesmen further believed that a new house would have bad luck unless a pine tree was placed under the roof. Each tree was complete with cloth spread and a feast was laid in sacrifice to the family gods dwelling with the tree.                                                               Christmas Rose Read More→

Nov
18

Types of Christmas Trees

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People have been decorating Christmas trees for hundreds of years. Fir, pine and spruce varieties are among the most popular.

There are about 30 million Christmas trees sold in the United States every year. Most of these are conifers, or cone bearing trees with needles. Pine trees have their needles in clusters of two, three or five while the needles on fir and spruce trees are individually attached. Needles of fir trees look flat and those on spruce trees are more squared. In the southeast, Cypress trees, particularly the Leyland Cypress, is popular as a Christmas tree. Its needles are arranged in flat sprays. Read More→


Beginning an indoor garden requires considering the lighting requirements for each plant. Avoid scorching or drowning your indoor plants withhelp from the owner of a nursery in this free video on gardening. Expert: Frank Burkard Contact: www.burkardnurseries.com Bio: Frank Burkard, Jr., the third-generation proprietor of Burkard Nurseries, carries on the family tradition. Filmmaker: Max Cusimano Series Description: Growing vegetables can be done in a large-scale backyard garden, or in small containers on your apartment balcony. Grow your own vegetables with help from the owner of a nursery in this free video series on gardening.

Nov
10

How To Pot Orchids

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Orchids are not grown in potting soil, they’re grown in wood bark. Learn how to pot orchids in this free gardening video. Expert: Lori Young Bio: Lori Young graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and biology. Young works in the plantscape industry. Filmmaker: Grady Johnson

By Dennis Rodkin.

Establishing an indoor garden isn’t just about buying plants, it’s about first knowing what you want those plants to accomplish for you–just like outside. Local experts offered these guidelines for decorating with houseplants.

Get into shape: Because many varieties of houseplants have either insignificant blooms or none at all, it’s almost automatic to consider their form and texture. Ben Bond, general manager of Foliage Design Systems in Broadview, Ill. notes that slender, upright plants seem more suited to a formal decor, while loose or flowing plants enhance a casual feeling. Sometimes it’s a matter of try, try again, he says. The slender stalks and plumy tops of a kentia palm, for example, can look either formal and elegant or contemporary and spare, Bond says. Read More→

By Knight Ridder/Tribune.

A greenhouse is houseplant heaven where light, temperature, moisture and humidity are controlled so that plants thrive. It’s a different story once plants are purchased and transported to a house with dry, furnace-heated winter air and weak sunshine coming in a distant window. In response, leaves often turn yellow and drop, and overall plant growth stalls as it adjusts to the new conditions. To smooth the change, wrap a plant in several layers of paper when transporting it outside in winter and keep it in the heated passenger compartment of the car.

At home, make sure the plant is in a container with a drainage hole so excess water doesn’t stay trapped in the soil. Do not use softened water on houseplants. Wait to fertilize until new leaves appear. For most houseplants, that will be in late February or March. Match the plant’s light requirements to its indoor location. Houseplant labels usually indicate if the plant needs or tolerates high, moderate or low levels of light.

The highest light is in a southern exposure, followed by east and west exposures. Northern exposures provide lowest light and coolest temperatures. During winter, prevent houseplant foliage from touching window glass, where it can be damaged by cold temperatures.

Growing Expectations, Inc. PO Box 268 Princeton, NJ 08542 Telephone – (609) 924 – 9782 FAX (609) 737 – 2344