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December 16, 2014     Cape Gazette
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: 3 Cape Gazette TUESDAY, DECEMBER 16 - THURSDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2014 29 lbrune evergreens for live greens By Melinda Myers Special to the Cape Gazette Liven up your holiday d6cor vith lights, a bit ofglitz and some :olorful blossoms this season. Start by gathering greenery from your landscape. Use nee- dled evergreens like pines and firs, broadleaf evergreens like boxwood, holly and evergreen magnolia as well as junipers and arborvitaes to create wreaths, swags, centerpieces and gar- lands. And don't forget to include cones, holly berries, crabapples and the bluish-colored fruit of junipers. Be selective as you prune your trees and shrubs when collecting these materials. Use sharp bypass pruners that have two sharp blades and will make a clean cut that closes more quickly. Make your cuts above a healthy bud, where the branches join anoth- er branch, or back to the main trunk. Take only a few branches from each tree or shrub. Place freshly cut greens in a cool location away from heat- ers, fireplaces and open flames. Set them on colorful fabric or paper to catch the sap and avoid damaging your woodwork and furnishings. Check your green- ery for freshness every few days. Brighten up the display with some cool-burning LED lights. Look for something unusual like pinecone string lights, which can be found at www.gardeners.com, to add sparkle and charm to your display. If you have artificial greens that could use a facelift, add fresh berries, cones and seedpods for a more natural look. Increase the glitz with the help of silver and gold metallic paint or glit- "ter. Paint milkweed, lotus and other pods and then tuck them into the greens. Painting allium seedheads white will add the ap- pearance of flowery snowflakes in your indoor arrangements and outdoor container gardens. Don't forget the fresh flowers and flowering plants. Poinsettias are a longtime favorite, but you may want to change things up with amaryllis, spring-flowering bulbs and lily of the valley. Add a few flowers to your greenery and houseplants for some instant color. Stick your greenery and flowers in damp- ened floral foam to create a long-lasting holiday centerpiece. Or place cut flowers in floral picks and set them in dish gar- dens and houseplants tobrighten things up. Now is the time to put on your gardening shoes, grab the prun- ers and get started decorating for the holiday season ahead. Gardening expert, TV/radio host, author and columnist Melinda Myers has a master's degree in horticulture and has written over 20 gardening books. She hosts The Great Courses "How to Grow Anything" series and the nationally syndicated Melinda's Garden Moment segments. Myers is also a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. Visit www.melindamyers.com. lOth Annual Delawa Agricultu Week retu This year, Delaware AgWeek goods and services that support re re rns will begin on Monday evening the largest industry in the First with the Fruit session and Beef State. More than 1,900 Delaware agri- Agriculture Best Management cluding small fruits, fresh market session. The main meeting area Delaware Ag Week is spon- cultural producers will learn best Practices - Financing, Weather- & processing vegetables, small will be in the Exhibit Hall, and sored by the University of practices and new technologies, ing These Changing Times, Soil flock & commercial poultry, the trade show, with more than Delaware Cooperative Exten- expand existing networks, and Health, and Growing Delaware's grain marketing, grain crops, 80 exhibitors, will be housed in sion, Delaware State University make connections with leading Agriculture in Urban Communi- hay & pasture, beef cattle, ir- the Dover Building. Cooperative Extension and the vendors during the 10th An- ties. All sessions are free, but rigation, direct marketing, and Agriculture is an $8 billion Delaware Department of Agri- nualDelaware Agriculture Week, some require preregistration, much more. Nutrient manage- industry in Delaware, according culture. For more information, Jan. 12-16, 2015, at the Delaware Delaware Agriculture Weeksent, pesticide, and certified to a 2010 University of Delaware visit http://sites.udel.edu/del- State Fairgrounds in Harrington. provides numerous sessions that crop adviser continuing educa- report which factors in agricul- awareagweek/or call Karen New sessions for 2015 include: cover a wide array of topics in- tion credits will be offered, ture jobs and related production, Adams at 302-856-2585, Ext. 540. It is the season of wonder, and I wonder why red and green are the colors of Christmas. Could it be the Para- dise Tree that harks back to the BOOs, with the celebration of Adam and Eve's Day each Dec. 24? Churches brought in pine trees and decorated them with apples to represent the Tree of Good and Evil. Soon people began to deco- rate green trees in their homes. When Christmas became a major holiday, the colors red and green already represented the December season. Christmas is also a time to reflect upon next year, and Red, Amarillo Yellow or Yel- amarylla) has fruits inside of perhaps make your own color lowstone yellow carrots, Cos- protective husks. They ripen in statement in the garden. Instead mic Purple, Dragon Purple and just 60 days from transplant- of green Swiss Chard, how Lunar White and Solar Yellow ing with firm, juicy, very sweet about Five Color Silverbeet carrots. Many seed companies fruits for jams, jellies, added to (Beta vulgaris), offer mixes of carrot colors such salads, eating fresh off the vine This Australian heirloom as Burpee's Kaleidoscope Mix. or making salsa. has brilliant stems and leaves But you can just as easily create And finally, why not get out in orange, red, purple, yellow your own by mixing several your Christmas wish list and and white. It is pretty enough to packets of seeds and sowing go for the most popular garden plant in the flowerbed. The ten- the mix in rows in your garden, vegetable grown, the tomato. der leaves can be picked young Like all carrots, your colorful How about Christmas Grapes for baby greens or let mature in mixture does best in loose soil Tomatoes, a very productive just 50 to 60 days. in full sun. In just 75 to 80 days tomato that has two-ounce Plant Five Color Silverbeet you will have a colorful mix of brilliant red fruits that hang in directly in the garden in early nutritious carrots in red, purple, clusters like grapes. The flavor spring after the soil heats up orange, white and yellow,starts out very sweet, but fmish- to about 50 degrees. Sow the And why stop with purple es with a typical old-fashioned seeds one-half-inch deep, seeds carrots when you can growtomato flavor. four inches apart, in rows 20-24 yellow tomatillo. Also called the- All of these seeds can be inches apart, husk tomato, it is indeed related found in local garden centers You can also start Five Color to the common tomato. Native or online at mail-order seed Silverbeet indoors six weeks be- to Central America where it companies such as Burpee fore your last frost. It does best has been grown for thousands (www.burpee.com or phone grown in full sun, but can with- of years, it is most famous as 800-888-1447) or Seed Savers stand light shade. It is a hardy the key to authentic Mexican Exchange (www, seedsavers. vegetable that even withstands salsa. Most tomatillos are green org, 3094 North Winn Road, light frost, or purple, but there is a new Decorah, Iowa 52101, phone: For a rainbow of carrot colors yellow tomatillo from Poland. 563-382-5990). try planting a mix of Atomic Amarylla (Physalis ixocarpa So color up your home and color up your garden and keep the season and its good will growing in you and out. THIS AUSTRALIAN HEIRLOOM has brilliant stems and leaves in orange, red, purple, yellow and white.