Monday, November 25, 2013

It's That Time of Year Again!

Preparing to Shop For Your Christmas Tree

We’re not here to tell you what kinds of trees there are, what kind of tree you should get or any of that. You might already have a favorite variety that you purchase every year, or you believe in Love At First Sight of Perfect Tree and choose randomly from year to year. We’re here to review the logistics of getting organized for bringing your tree home.

Before you go shopping…

SCOUT OUT THE PERFECT SPOT IN YOUR HOME. AVOID PLACING YOUR TREE NEAR HEAT SOURCES. You’ll want to keep your tree away from radiators, fireplaces, heating vents and even overly sunny windows. Measure the ceiling height and width of the space you choose. Don’t forget to consider your tree topper when measuring.

MEASURE MEASURE MEASURE. Once you’ve decided where you want to place your tree, be sure to measure the space, write down measurements and take them with you to shop for your tree. This will make for an easier set up once you get home with your tree. Take your tape measure along with you to confirm measurements when shopping.

TREE STANDS. Make sure your tree stand will accommodate the size of your tree. It's also a good idea to have a stand that holds a generous amount of water. (We love the Cinco tree stands.) This will cut down on your need to replenish water while you have your tree, which can get tricky once it’s surrounded by gifts.

Cinco Tree Stand

PICK A WINNER. When selecting your tree, be sure it’s fresh. Needles should not be discolored, nor should they fall off with a brushing of your hand. Needles should be bendable and not snap when you test them. If the lot you’re shopping at seems to have all duds, don’t feel bad. Just wish them a Merry, Merry and check out another lot. You want your tree to be perfect and special.

TRANSPORT IN COMFORT. Consider taking an old blanket to lay out in your car/van for transporting your tree. Also, take a pair of heavy duty gloves for handling your tree.

WELCOME HOME, TREE! Consider leaving a bucket of lukewarm water waiting to welcome your thirsty tree. And have your tree stand on stand-by. A little eggnog might also be a nice reward for yourself for getting your newest (temporary) member of the family through the door!

MAINTENANCE. Water your tree daily the first few days. You may even need to water twice a day.

Decorating Guidelines. For trees up to 8’ tall, you’ll need about 100 lights per foot. Increase to 150 lights per foot for trees over 8’. Depending on the size of the ornaments, you can use 20 to 50 ornaments per foot of tree.

Keep your poinsettias well-hydrated and away from warm or cold drafts. Poinsettias are tropical and sensitive. They like to be well-hydrated and not too cold or too hot. Keep in mind, if you under-water, the plant will wilt and lower leaves will drop. If you overwater, the lower leaves will turn yellow and then drop.

Hang your outdoor lights before it snows! Might make the job a little easier to hang lights pre-snow. Watch your local forecasts and seize the best weather day!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


The Xeriscaping symbol was developed by many employees at Denver Water (the water department of Denver, CO), where the term was coined.

The concept of xeriscaping was created for the purpose of minimizing the use of water. Although originally conceived as a response to the drought of 1977 in our western states, it has become popular across the nation. In light of the extreme weather conditions we've been experiencing these past few years, we're all more and more aware of what a precious commodity water is and we're continuing to make changes to preserve and use it wisely.

If you'd like to read more about this topic, Colorado State University Extension is a wonderful place to start.

A fine example of xeriscaping can be found at the
Lurie Garden in Chicago's Millennium Park.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fall Is Fabulous

Fall is here and with it comes lots of color, great flavors, wonderful smells and  the sounds of crunching leaves and children laughing. Enjoy the season!

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