Christmas Trees & More
No doubt somewhere out there in Internet land there is more information about Christmas, but Christmas Trees & More from the University of Illinois Extension offers more than I'll ever be able to absorb and use in one lifetime. It really is an enjoyable site, not only offering extensive Christmas tree facts, traditions, types, selection and care, and events but also tree-themed holiday recipes, information about other holiday plants, both fun and educational projects for teachers and parents, plus, extensive links to many other holiday Web sites.
Clever Gardening Technique
Swags to the Rescue
Decorating your home with fresh holiday greens is one of the rewards of gardening, and it's a lovely fantasy to think about all the intricate and ornate designs you're going to create. Then the holiday crunch hits. When all else fails, evergreen swags come to the rescue as they are the easiest of all to make. Basically, a swag is an "artistic" bunching of one or more evergreen branches. Make a simple door swag by wiring three or four 18-inch to 3-foot branches together. If desired, make smaller ones to use indoors. Decorate as simply or as elaborately as desired, perhaps adding a ribbon or raffia bow over the wire. Or add pinecones, bells, seedpods, ornaments, gourds, or other holiday paraphernalia. My favorite addition is dried stems of okra pods sprayed gold. Each to his own.