By Shawn McClain
Thinking back on the years of selecting Christmas trees for the Kingwood traditional display in the house, many have questioned why we haven’t tried other types of Christmas trees in the house. Let me reassure you that we have tried a blue spruce once in the dining room. It was extremely heavy and hard to work with in the stand, not to mention that the needles didn’t make it through the season. Hence, the desired effect was less then satisfactory. The next attempt was to try a Douglas fir for the foyer tree as you walk into the house. It was so much better to work with and filled the requirements for the height and space available. The reason for this selection that year was finding a suitable Fraser fir tree. We determined that in a pinch this could be a good alternative to our all-time favorite Fraser fir.
Christmas tree production in the mountains of North Carolina
By Glenna Sheaffer
When you are making your own wreath out of fresh greens, there are some things that make the job easier. One major item to look for is evergreens that have smaller stems like Taxus [yew], Juniperus [juniper], Pinus [particularly white pine], and Thuja [arborvitae]. These choices make wire wrapping the stems to add to the wreath so much easier and assures that the observer will see only the greens not the brown stems. Using only 6-10” stems of these evergreens keeps you at the tips of the branch where the stems are smaller and easier to use. Another excellent choice is Abies fraseri [fraser fir] with it’s wonderful fragrance.
By Karen Frazier
The end of October, beginning of November is the perfect time to focus on putting your landscape beds to sleep for the winter. This should include deciding on what to do with your ornamental grasses. Should I or should I not cut them back. Is it bad for them, good for them, or does it even matter. Whether your grasses are big (Arundo donax, Giant Cane) or small (Pennisetum orientale, Oriental Fountain Grass) there are a few things you should consider to help make the decision easier.