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shopping, socks and celebrating

December 4, 2016

The rain stopped today but it was an overcast and cold day.  Looking ahead to the weekly weather forecast it looks like cold weather is on its way. I still have not had a killing frost, but that may change this week.  While it was not a spectacular fall foliage year, right now the Japanese maples are absolutely glorious.  jap-maple-16-1 jap-maple-16-3

It is interesting that we say you should pick a tree in the fall to determine what color it will be, but this one has bright red on one side and a deep orange on the other, and it is the same tree.

There was some discussion this week when I mentioned how fabulous the fall color was on the ginkgo trees that they are not as good for wildlife as some natives.  I suppose the Japanese maples would fit in that same category, but I guess you can strike me down for choosing beauty over habitat.   I am not a purist, and probably look at a garden from a different perspective.  I don’t think it has to be all or nothing with any category of plants.  I like a diverse mix of natives, non-natives, perennials, annuals, evergreens, and deciduous plants. The only thing I would choose to dissuade folks from planting are those things that are invasive.

I also think it is important that people plant the right plant in the right place.  There is often too much wrong information out there.  One good example is the Norfolk Island Pine.  It is a houseplant and is not winter hardy in Arkansas. Many people hear the pine name and assume it is a tree for outdoors.  Today at a local grocery store they reinforced that idea by still having them OUTSIDE along with the cut Christmas trees.  norfolk-island-pines-16They won’t last long if the cold weather comes this week, nor would they fare well moving indoors to a heated house right now.  Right plant, and good information.  When in doubt, call your local county extension office.

Today was a busy day for me. I spent the morning getting supplies together for our annual holiday party which is next Friday night.  Then I got food together for a sock holiday party today. I was invited to a friend’s house sock-party-16-5and was told to bring some finger food to share and holiday socks stuffed with something to exchange. It was a neat idea and a fun get together with some clever items in socks. sock-party-16-7 sock-party-16-10 sock-party-16-12

While many were dressed for the occasion including the dogsock-party-16-6, there was one who really got into the spiritsock-party-16-4

I love the holiday season and I have seen some clever themed trees today at several stops: christmas-tree-flamingo-16-3 sock-party-16-2 and a unique vented chiminia innovative-chiminea

After my party, I drove to pick up some holiday jewelry I had ordered from another clever Master Gardener.  So many of our volunteers are multi-talented.  jewelry-16

A good fun and productive day!


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