Happy Holly Daze

It’s time to deck the halls and yard in a festive flurry as we all test our holiday design skills squeezed into our already busy daily schedules….sounds like fun huh? I call it “Holly Daze” and you suddenly discover you’re in the thick of it when standing on an aluminum ladder in the dark holding a ball of lights and an extension cord.Auld Lang Pine You Auld Lang “Pine” for some help navigating the hap…happiest of holidays. Here are some “Holly Daze” pointers to help you through this “most wonderful time of the year.” Rick’s Six so to speak…….

1) Measure the area in your home where your tree will go before going to shop for your tree. Then take the tape measure along with you when going to get the tree. Make a fresh cut at the base of the tree and immediately plunge it into fresh water. Place a ping pong ball or fishing bobber in the bowl of the tree stand so you can see at a glance the water level. Maintain a sufficient water level in the tree stand at all times.stack of trees

2) In our area tying the tree to the top of the family sleigh is legal. You are however responsible to securely tie the tree. How many of us have cringed observing the vehicle on the expressway with a mattress tied to the top of the car? Place the tree with the trunk or butt or handle facing the front of the car, not the top facing the front. Think aerodynamics. It is your responsibility to prevent driving with a load that is “dropping, sifting, leaking, blowing off or shifting” for both your safety and the safety of others on the road.

3) If you light up the exterior of your home, it is generally considered neighborly practice to unplug the lights at night when you go to bed.Christmas lights This is particularly true if you have thousands of blinking lights and a 15 foot tall inflatable Santa in the front yard.

4) Christmas greens add fragrance, style and drama to your entry areas. Fresh green roping, wreaths and boughs are the perfect welcome to visitors arriving on your doorstep. Consider using an anti-dessicant spray like Wilt Stop to your greens to keep them fresh. A biodegradable pine resin spray can keep those greens looking fresh all the way to Valentine’s day if you choose to keep them up that long.blog porch pots With the popularity of container gardening, have some Porch Pots on the front steps to add to the holiday cheer. Some evergreen boughs, some clippings from the landscape and some ornamentation will make for a container of Christmas cheer.

5) Speaking of Christmas cheer, don’t drink and decorate. The Christmas spirits will cause you to think your presentation is beautiful but may be just the opposite to your audience…..those who drive by your house. glass of wineBesides it would be downright dangerous to drink and climb around on ladders with extension cords in your hands. Decorate like you drive…..and while you’re at it, wait with texting until the halls are decked.

6) Christmas is for kids but don’t use them for design or style advice. More can be tacky. Try repetition of a style or color. It ties the display together, gives it “reason” and is far more stylish than clutter.

It's over....call it a day....sorry that it had to end this way
It’s over….call it a day….sorry that it had to end this way

Happy Holly Daze! Before you know it as Johnny Mathis would sing…..it’s over….call it a day….sorry that it had to end this way…..

Pumpkin Smash 2012

Fall officially arrived at 10:49 AM on Saturday September 22 with the fall equinox. After a hot dry summer I think a lot of people are ready for some cool fall weather. We decided to celebrate with Pumpkin Smash 2012. After this summer’s drought it seemed appropriate considering a pumpkin is 80% to 90% water. We rang in the fall season similar to the New Year’s Eve ball drop by dropping a giant pumpkin on it’s gourd to celebrate the moment!

Countdown to smash
Pumpkin Smash 2012
Flowerland Show on the Air
Preparing for the drop
Doug prepares to drop George the Pumpkin
Action shot just before impact!
Pumpkin smashed
Fall has arrived

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A “Tree”-freshing Perspective

It’s one thing to stand on the ground and gaze up at a giant Tulip Poplar. It’s another thing to jump off one. A massive Liriodendron tulipifera provides an exhilarating platform as you “leaf” your feet and zip through a forest canopy of Southern Magnolia, Hemlock, Pine and Sourwood trees. Fly above a Hackberry tree, a Fraser Fir and zip past a Buckeye tree. For someone who appreciates trees I enjoyed my zip line adventure….it gives you a “tree”-freshing perspective of their beauty and stature.

The view before jumping out of a Tulip Poplar and down a thousand foot zip line
Ready to go
Trust your equipment…….better double check it…..
A steady hand
At speeds of 40 miles an hour you want to make sure to brake or you’ll get quite personal with a tree
Walking the plank to the next tree
A birds eye view moving from tree to tree
Stepping up notched branches to get to the next platform
Good thing I’m high above the forest floor….don’t want to brush against any Poison Ivy
Go Green