Poinsettia has steadily become established as a quintessential Christmas flower in recent decades. It's bright red colour making it as seasonal as red berried holly (although don't forget that Poinsettias are also lovely in pink and white)
Care of your Poinsettia:
Poinsettias hate to be in a draft or to be in an overheated area, so if you see Poinsettias for sale outside shops and other retailers, they are dead before you even buy them! They absolutely cannot be in cold temperatures for any length of time. Margaret's Tip: water with tepid water – they respond to this treatment terrifically.
Caring for your Christmas Tree
When you buy your tree, recut the base – otherwise your tree will not take up water. Cut about an inch off the base and immediately place the tree in a stand that can hold at least 1 gallon of water. You should expect your tree to take up extra water. Water the new tree until the uptake stops.
Always keep the base of the tree in water. If the base dries out, resin will form over the end of the tree, preventing it from absorbing water again. Add a few spoons of sugar and it will help hugely!
A Welcome Garland
A garland of Christmas tree foliage, ivies and decorations of your choice will be a wonderful welcome for all visitors. Scented pine cones would be perfect to give that festive aroma that we all love! Don't forget to buy some battery operated lights (warm white is usually nicest) to give that welcome an extra warm Christmas glow! Some red berries from your garden will transform your wreath: Pyracantha, Skimmia and Malus fruits are all ideal.
Margaret's Tip for Pond Pumps
Pond pumps are usually turned off in winter but if they are still running, make sure that leaves and other debris including algae are not blocking the inlet, which can quickly cause the pump to wear out. It's probably best to drain your pump if the weather gets very frosty.
The secret of Granny Griffin's Brown Bread!
Granny says a pre-heated oven is important, and dough must be worked by hand into a nice moist mix. Of course, you must use the finest ingredients and Granny's olive oil is one of her top secrets...oops! Did I just say that out loud?
At Griffins, Granny has been baking a selection of festive treats including Mince Pies, Plum Puddings and Christmas Cakes. These mouth-watering home baked wonders are so delicious and really bring back the nostalgic magic of Christmas!
Christmas Spice your Cones!
Put all you cones into a plastic bag. Add 3-4 drops of christmas spice oil. Seal you bag tightly for 24 hours in a warm place. The fragrance will be infused throughout the cones. These scented cones should should last throughout christmas. This oil could also be applied to your radiators to bring a nice festive fragrance to your home.