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Santa and his reindeer preparing for their flight
Welcome to the Paul Parent Garden Club 2014 Newsletter
*How to print article's at bottom of newsletter.

Rudolph the red nose reindeer eating Mom's spreading Yew 

 

This holiday story begins in May. It was to be a surprise for Mom, as all she wanted for Mother's day that year was a garden on the island in the center of the driveway turn-around. The island of green grass was nice, but flowers would be much better--so she asked her family for a colorful garden for her special day.

Down to the nursery the three kids and Dad went, as Mom would be away all day Saturday and the project must be done while she was away. Dad and the three kids asked for my help to design this special Mother's Day garden. The five of us talked about what Mom would like in the garden, because Dad wanted everyone to be part of the design.

One of the children said that Mom loves the pink weeping flowering cherry--and that's a great idea for the center on the island. The next child said Mom loves daisies and tulips, so we planned the garden to have several colors of daisies that would flower all summer long. The tulips could be planted in the fall for spring color. The third child said Mom would like to have a bird bath and bird feeder in the garden so she could watch the birds all year long.

Then Dad and I talked about an evergreen shrub border around the garden to frame it and to keep some of the green grass strip around the garden to prevent the soil from washing into the gravel driveway. Dad had been in Colonial Williamsburg several years ago and loved the formal yew hedges around the homes there.

We were set and the garden was all planned out. So the kids picked out a flowering cherry tree for Mom, several types of daisies, and a bird bath and feeder--while Dad and I selected 12 spreading yews for the border.

A truckload of topsoil was delivered and dumped in the middle of the island to create a mound, and the planting began. All three children worked along with Dad, and before Mom could return, the surprise was completed. Just this is a wonderful family story--but the best is yet to come, because this really is a Christmas story!

The children were getting to the age where the thought of Santa Claus was in doubt. On Christmas Eve, Mom and Dad were entertaining family and friends when it came to be time for the children to go to bed. All the adults encouraged the children to go to bed as Santa Claus would be here soon--but only if they went to bed. So the children went to bed with visions of Santa and Christmas morning in their heads. They were restless, like all children, that night and got out of bed several times to look out the window to see if Santa was coming to their home yet.

From the children's window, the front yard was all lit up, as the garden they planted for Mom was filled with white lights, making her weeping cherry as pretty as it was in the spring when the tree was all in bloom. Dad had also covered the yew hedge with white lights, making Mom's garden glisten for the holidays. The celebration continued with the adults, and slowly the children fell off to sleep on that Christmas Eve night.

Then all of a sudden the thunder of footsteps came running down the stairs and the excitement of the children laughing was everywhere. The startled guests, Mom, and Dad quickly halted the celebration, as the three children talked of Santa, Rudolph, and many reindeer. There was much talking and excitement in the living room but no one could understand what was going on until the children pulled Mom, Dad, and their guests to the window to see.

The garden they had planted was filled with eight reindeer. The reindeer had come to the garden to feast on the yew hedge we had planted for Mom that spring. The bird feeder was filled with seed, and one of the reindeer ate all that seed, as another was drinking from the birdbath--as if in a toast to the celebration. But the biggest of the reindeer was what brought all the excitement to all of those who were there. Because---as he ate the yew hedge--his antlers caught in some of the strands of white lights and tiny white lights dangled from his head. That is when the children yelled, "That's Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!"

The deer stayed around for a while, entertaining the family and guests, while enjoying the yew hedge. As much as Dad wanted to chase them away, he knew the children would not want him to chase away "Santa's Reindeer." All were amazed--and that year, the belief in Santa Claus and the reindeer did not disappear. Enjoy!

 

Merry Christmas!

Paul, Chris, Matthew, Jason, and Patrick

 

The Christmas Shoes
The Christmas Shoes


 

Kissing under the mistletoe  

 

This wonderful holiday custom began during the Greek festival of Saturnalia and was also part of primitive marriage rites of the time. It was believed that it had the power to bestow fertility on the newlyweds. In the Scandinavian countries, the plant mistletoe was considered a plant of peace under which enemies could declare a truce--on the domestic side, it was a sign for spouses to kiss and make up.

During the eighteenth century, the British people would form a ball of mistletoe because of the magical powers it was thought to contain and called it the "Kissing Ball." At Christmas, bright evergreen branches of holly, ivy, and pine were added to the mistletoe ball with colorful ribbons, along with holiday decorations to help make the holiday more festive. Young ladies standing under the mistletoe ball that was hung in the arch of doors could not refuse to be kissed. Such a kiss could mean deep romance or lasting friendship and good will. If the girl remained un-kissed, she could not expect to marry during the coming year.

In parts of England, the Christmas mistletoe is burned on the twelfth night, lest all the boys and girls who have kissed under it never marry. In Canada and some European countries a kiss under the Mistletoe exchanged by a couple in love is interpreted as a promise to marry as well as a prediction of happiness and long life. In France the custom of mistletoe in the home was reserved for the New Year: "Au gui l'an neuf" (Mistletoe of the new year).

Today, kisses under the mistletoe can be exchanged at any time during the holiday season. Mistletoe is still hung up in the home under a doorway for young men to have the privilege of kissing the girls under it. With each kiss, a white berry must be plucked from the plant and when the berries are all removed the kissing privilege is over for the holiday. Most of us have conveniently forgotten the part of picking off the berries after the kiss, so the fun continues through the holiday season.

Mistletoe is a very interesting plant, because it is a partial parasite and lives off the plant that it grows on. It favors the southern oaks and oak varieties from around the world. The plant grows on the branches of the tree and also the trunk of the tree, but is usually found on the top of the tree. The mistletoe plant will actually send out roots that will penetrate into the tree and take up the nutrition it needs to grow and thrive. Mistletoe is also capable of making its own food like other plants by photosynthesis but most commonly found plants are parasitic plants.

Mistletoe plants can be found growing from southern New Jersey to Florida and west to California. The plant is evergreen, with small one-inch oval leaves that are lime green. The plant is very noticeable in the trees during the fall and winter, when the trees have lost their foliage for the season. Mistletoe will stunt the growth of a tree--or even kill it in time. The only way to stop the plant is to remove the entire branch it is growing on, as the roots the mistletoe makes in the tree branches can grow 3 feet or more inside that branch. If you just remove the plant, it will redevelop the following spring from the roots in the tree branches and grow even stronger and faster.

In the late spring, the plant will make small yellow flowers in clusters, and small white sticky berries are produced on the plant during the summer months. The berries are POISONOUS, so if you're decorating your home with fresh berry branches for the holidays and you have animals or small children, you could have a problem. Use the treated foliage with plastic berries attached to them to prevent problems, as some of the berries may fall off the plant onto the floor and will be eaten buy pets and toddlers. This is a fun plant for the holidays, so enjoy all the kissing under the mistletoe this holiday season but get started now while the supply is still available at your local nursery or garden center.

you see the results.  Enjoy!

 

 

JINGLE BELLS BATMAN SMELLS: Christmas Jingle Bells. Kids Christmas Songs. Xmas Songs

JINGLE BELLS BATMAN SMELLS: Christmas Jingle Bells. Kids Christmas Songs. 

 Patrick our son in the 4th grade sang this on stage with his class.

 

Holly with red berries for Christmas

When thinking of Christmas plants or cut greens, there is no better plant than holly. With its shiny green leaves and red berries, holly contains all the colors of the holiday. Because the holly bears fruit and stays green all year, it is considered a Christian symbol of immortality. One legend is that the holly hid Jesus from Herod's soldiers during the flight to Egypt and holly was thereafter blessed with green leaves all year.

To insure good luck your holly had to be burned, not thrown away. Some legends held that the berries of the holly were once yellow and that the wounds of Christ on the cross stained them red. In early Yule celebrations, holly represented the male and ivy the female. Whichever type was brought into the house first was said to rule the house for that year.

One Pennsylvania tradition from Scotch and Irish settlers held that if holly was brought into the house in fair weather, the wife would rule. If it was cut in stormy weather, the man would be the master of the house for the coming year. But, if holly was allowed to stay up until the New Year, bad luck would stay with the house.

American holly was used as a holiday plant from early days in our country. George Washington, in fact, decorated the white house in Philadelphia with this native plant. He loved this plant so much he planted many holly types at his home at Mount Vernon. You can still see them today.

Because the holly plant is so beautiful and hardy in many areas, it became popular all over the country. This year let's decorate our homes with natural plants and enjoy the tradition, for they are part of our history

If you purchase holly plants this year from the nursery, keep them outside or on a cold porch. The holly is dormant and if you bring it inside it will wake up within the warm house and start to grow. Then, you put it outside for the winter after the holidays or it will die. Keep potted plants on the shady side of the house outside during the winter or in the garage or tool shed.

The best holly for most all of New England is a new hybrid called "Blue" holly. These plants are a cross of the wild American holly that lives everywhere south of Boston and the English holly usually found on the west coast but numerous on Cape Cod. American holly is hardy, with dull green leaves and small red berries. English holly is not as hardy but has shiny green leaves and large red berries. American holly will grow to 25 feet tall and the English around 15 feet tall. The blue is more a bush type and grows wonderfully as a sheared large bush on the corner of your home. As a cut branch, English holly must go inside or the berries and leaves will turn black with very cold weather, but they are great in a vase of water. American and blue holly will tolerate the cold and do well outside all winter in addition to indoor use. Enjoy!

 

 


"We make a living by what we get, But we make a life by what we give."    

"Winston Churchill"   

 

 

It is now time to decorate the house inside and out for Christmas.

 

Let us begin outside:
If you are planning to place evergreen roping around the front door and around the lamppost, you will need 7 yards for the average front door. The lamppost will need 3 yards.

Most nurseries sell roping by the yard or by the roll. Most rolls of roping come in 10 yard length and is cut to your order. It will be cheaper to buy the roll if you plan to do both. Now, the softer the evergreen you select the more pliable it will be and easier to attach to the house. Use aluminum nails when attaching to the house; that way it can be left up for next year without rusting and staining the house.

If your house faces south and you live where it does not get so cold during the winter, you may want to use needle evergreen foliage over broadleaf foliage as broadleaf foliage could dry up faster. If it's a must for you, hang up the roping and spray with Wilt-Pruf or Wilt-Stop antidesicant to prolong the life of the evergreens.

The most common evergreen roping materials are mountain laurel and boxwood for broadleaf evergreens. White pine, princess pine, and balsam fir are the best for needle evergreens. Some nurseries have combinations that are very nice also.

If you have whiskey barrels, window boxes or planters you want to fill with cut greens, your selection is endless. The most popular is balsam fir; when mixed with other types of evergreens the various textures make them stand out in your yard. Look for white pine, red pine, black pine, blue spruce, mountain. laurel, boxwood, native holly, and cypress. Now, for a little color with the greens, add Italian ruscus or red alderberries. When pushed into the container filled with soil, the moisture in the soil will keep it fresh until almost spring.

 

Now indoors:
Any cut greens must be sprayed with a antidesicant like Wilt Pruf or Wilt Stop before attaching to railings or walls. Apply and let dry first! If you are thinking of adding greens near a fireplace be sure to use a antidesicant or they will fall apart quickly. Needle evergreens or princess pine do best inside. For mantels, I suggest that you use west coast greens such as noble fir or silver fir, as these greens dry up BUT will not shed. KEEP AWAY from open flames! If you do not touch them once placed, they will not drop needles as much.

Keep away from the spruce family, as they dry up very quickly. Spruce needles dry up and become very pointed and sharp. Norway and blue spruce are the best for indoor use of the family if you want to use them. KEEP AWAY from white spruce, as once in your home it will produce an order that resembles cat urine--very unpleasant. Don't forget the mistletoe! Enjoy! 

French Canadian Chocolate Silk Pie

 

 

                                              Rita Parent's chocolate Pie                           

                                Paul's mother makes a wonderful chocolate pie

 

 

  

In Double Boiler

3 cups milk

2 Tablespoon butter

Mixing Bowl

3 cups Sugar

3 heaping Tablespoon Hershey Cocoa

3 heaping Tablespoon Flour

1 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla -- at end of cooking

 

Preparation:
Mix the milk and butter in the double boiler until the butter melts and then blend.  
 Add dry ingredients to double boiler mixture, when it thickens, then add vanilla and pour into unbaked pie shell.

 

Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes.

 

Let it cool then refrigerate. Great with Cool Whip or whipped cream.

 

This pie is extremely sweet. We try to only eat a very small piece but only sometimes we succeed. This is a family favorite at Christmas time.

 

 

 

 

 

              Garden Journal - A garden is a friend you can visit any time. Gardens require planning and cultivation, yielding beauty and joy. This garden journal helps make planning and organizing easy. This book makes a great gift for gardeners, family, friends, birthdays, Christmas, new home or as a self purchase.

Cover holds a 5 x7 or 4x6 photo, Heavy-duty D-ring binder

1. 8 tabbed sections
2. 5 garden details sections with pockets for seeds, tags....
3. Weather records page
4. 6 three year journal pages
5. Insect & diseases page - 3 project pages
6. 3 annual checklist pages
7. Plant wish list page
8. 2 large pocket pages
9. Sheet of garden labels
10. 5 garden detail sheets
11. 5 graph paper pages for layouts
12. 5 photo pages holds - 4- 4x6 photos in landscape or portrait format

Journal, Planning, Inspirations. 

 To Order call 207-985-6972

Regular price $34.95  Special Price $29.95! Limited supply!! Now Available!!!!

            

 THE HISTORY OF WILT-PRUF PLANT PROTECTOR

 

Just after World War II ended, US building construction came alive once again. Homes were built to help returning service personnel. With the buildings came landscaping. Whether it was winter or summer, the weather was always a factor. But horticulturists knew that some plantings would not make it through the hot or cold windy weather and drought that was destined to arrive. A gardener by the name of Dr. Luther Baumgartner developed a chemical mix that he felt would reduce evaporation from foliage. Luther experimented with his invention at a nursery in Hawthorne, NY and it worked. He was able to get a well known Chemical Co. to bottle his formula which he called Wilt-Pruf. He sold his new product to his neighborhood nurseries to help them protect their plantings. Wilt-Pruf became successful almost overnight, so Dr. Baumgartner sold his Wilt-Pruf to a company in Connecticut who was familiar with the lawn and garden distribution process.

The chemical formula being used back then was a bit difficult to use for several reasons. It was sticky, difficult to clean up, could not be frozen, and had a limited shelf life. A company in Pennsylvania produced many agriculture sprays using pine resin as their base material and they felt they were a natural to make Wilt-Pruf. After extensive experimenting and testing, Wilt-Pruf was now ready to be produced, bottled, stored, and shipped from this company in Pennsylvania. Not only was Wilt-Pruf a very useable garden spray, but Wilt-Pruf also boasts being organic, biodegradable, and non-hazardous. It has an indefinite shelf life and is not damaged by freezing.

Now that Wilt-Pruf was in demand throughout the country, a distribution system had to be determined. New ownership was necessary and the product was sold to its present owner over forty years ago. Sales representatives were hired and lawn and garden distributors were solicited to sell Wilt-Pruf to garden centers and other retail outlets.

 Now Wilt-Pruf was entering a new era. Gardening was growing by leaps and bounds. Wilt-Pruf has been accepted nationally as a much needed plant protector during periods of water stress. It is being distributed by some of the country's largest lawn and garden distributors as well as many highly professional smaller garden supply stores. Wilt-Pruf is currently in demand overseas with customers in England, Belgium, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and South Korea.

Wilt-Pruf spray dries to form a clear transparent and flexible protective coating without interfering with plant growth or materially affecting respiration, osmosis, or photosynthesis. Ultraviolet rays from outdoor daylight react with our film polymer which produces a continuous flexible film which forms a coating similar to having numerous bed sheets on a bed. When the top sheet is removed there are still many more sheets left. The same phenomenon is true with Wilt-Pruf. As the outside layer wears off with the sun, wind and rain and powders away, another layer has formed. This process continues until all layers have worn off which takes three to four months and sometimes longer depending on climatic conditions. Wilt-Pruf is the only horticulture anti-transparent that has the ability to provide this long lasting protection during severe periods of water stress.

 




 
  
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  Written by Paul Parent                         Produced by Christine Parent


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