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Sunset nursery HOLIDAY 2013

Gardening author Rob Sproule

A Canuck's Guide to Growing Citrus The Heirloom Christmas Cactus Bernie Whetter

Wonderful Winter Planters Martha Vandepol

So Close You Can Smell It Ken Beattie

Welcome Home Creations Jackie Cornwall

"Eureka" LIGHTS! Ken Paulusma

Fall Fashion 2013 Anne Carolyn

Fresh Fixes with Mark DeWolf

Celebrate with Sparkling Wine





CONTENTS A Canuck's Guide to Growing Citrus 8 Gardening author Rob Sproule The Heirloom Christmas Cactus - Bernie Whetter


Wonderful Winter Planters - Martha Vandepol


Creating Your Very Own Terrarium Garden - Deanne Cram


The Holidays, So Close You Can Smell it! – Canada's favourite gardener, Ken Beattie


Backyard Birding 101 - Leesa Healy


Creating 2013 Welcome Home for the Holidays – Jackie Cornwall


"EUREKA" Lights! - Ken Paulusma


Fall Fashion 2013 - Anne Carolyn


Fresh Fixes: Celebrate the Season with Sparkling Wine - Mark DeWolf


2177 Greenwood Rd Pembroke, ON (613) 638-4107 Sunset Nursery Home & Garden Magazine is published byCarle Publishing Inc. All content, copyright © 2013, Carle Publishing Inc.All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced, all or in part, without written consent from the publisher. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of all content in this publication, however, the publisher nor Sunset Nursery will be held responsible for omissions or errors. Please address all editorial and advertising inquiries to Carle Publishing Inc., 60 Shayla Court, Fredericton, NB, E3G 0N3, Canada. Carle Publishing Inc. is not held responsible for the loss, damage or any other injury to unsolicited material (including but not limited to manuscripts, artwork, photographs and advertisements). Unsolicited material must be included with a self-addressed, overnight-delivery return envelope, postage prepaid.

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Andy Buyting Carle Publishing Inc. Carle Publishing Inc. John Christenson Stacey Cowperthwaite Rob Sproule Bernie Whetter Martha Vandepol Deanne Cram Ken Beattie Leesa Healy Jackie Cornwall Ken Paulusma Anne Carolyn Mark DeWolf Andy Buyting (National)


Ross Hugli (Local)


All images sourced from unless otherwise identified.

From the Owner W

elcome to our Christmas Edition of the Sunset Nursery Home & Garden magazine. We hope you enjoy the contents and keep it for future reference or pass it along to a friend. As fall comes to a close we reflect on the much better growing season we had this year and the superior yields we benefited from our gardens. By now we have planted our bulbs for spring and it's time to focus on the Christmas season. While you may be just starting to think about Chrismas, we are planning for Christmas all year. Our buying team starts to search out new ideas, themes and unique Christmas items in early January. We literally search the world in our quest to bring you our unique blend of quality and affordable Christmas products. Christmas starts to arrive in July, then gets priced and sorted into themes. This is when our professional design team takes over to create the stunning displays we have become famous for. Whether it's our new colour flip LED trees or our exceptional Ombre tree, they know how to blend the right combination of ornaments, picks, lights and decor to astonish everyone from Scrooge to Santa. We have become known as the destination for all things Christmas in Eastern Ontario. We are proud that we

have everything for both the amateur and professional. Whether you are just looking for special items to do it yourself or you need assistance we are here to help. You love Christmas but you don't have time? Ask about our custom design service to create that special exclusive wreath, mantle piece, or fresh greens arrangement. Bring the family and pick from our wide selection of fresh premium Christmas trees which are known to be the best in the Valley. Ladies are raving about Sunset Nursery's Karisma Fashion Boutique. Immerse yourself in our exclusive lines of women's fashion, purses, scarves, jewellery and more. We would love to host you so you can experience our unique blend of Christmas from plants to decor. Sample some free hot mulled apple cider, smell the fresh Christmas trees, listen to the sounds of Christmas music and absorb the magic of our decorated theme trees. Don't be left behind. Check out our events page, grab a friend or two and live the Christmas experience everyone's talking about. See you soon! Ross

The Elf on the Shelf®: A Christmas Tradition


he story of how Santa knows who’s naughty and nice, The Elf on the Shelf®, written by Carol V. Aebersold and Chanda A. Bell, has captured the hearts of children everywhere who have embraced the magic of adopting their very own scout elf from the North Pole. Each Christmas season, the elf works as Santa’s eyes and ears, traveling back to the North Pole each night to report in. This gift set includes a North Pole elf, hardbound children’s book and keepsake box. Families can register their elf online to receive an official Elf Adoption Certificate and a special letter from Santa Claus! The Elf on the Shelf, copyright (c) 2013, CCA and B, LLC.




Calendar of Events Experience the magic and beauty of Christmas in the Christmas Dreams Barn at Sunset Nursery. Located 5 minutes east of the Pembroke Mall. Regular hours: Monday – Wednesday 9:00-6:00, Thursday and Friday 9:00-8:00, Saturday 9:00-5:00 and Sundays 10:00-4:00

Christmas Barn Open House

Friday, November 1, Saturday, November 2, Sunday, November 3 See the latest trends along with traditional decor to make your home exceptional for the Christmas season. We have over 6,000 sq. feet of magic. Enjoy our hot apple cider and gourmet food samples.

Military Appreciation Day Friday, November 29 This is our way of saying thanks to the men and women who serve in the military. Show your military ID and get 20% OFF all Christmas ornaments. Family Christmas Tree Experience

Sun. Dec. 1 to Sun. Dec. 15 Customer Appreciation Day Bring your family to choose one of our premium quality Friday, November 8 fresh or lifelike artificial Christmas trees and SAVE 10% on Sunset Nursery invites you to our “CHRISTMAS DREAMS all your Christmas ornaments purchased that day. Our BARN” Customer Appreciation Day. With all the sights, professionals are available to help guide you through the sounds and smells of a magical Christmas, we make it latest decorating techniques to achieve spectacular results! easy for you to get into the Christmas Spirit. 15% OFF all Holiday Fashions That Sparkle Christmas Décor. Many in store specials, one day only on Sunday, December 1 to Sunday, December 15 Christmas items. Reveal your passion for fashion in our new Karisma Fashion Sinamay and decorating for the Holiday Season Boutique! Select your perfect holiday outfit and SAVE 25% Sunday, November 10 on jewellery purchased that day to give your outfit some Learn to decorate using “Sinamay” from our staff. extra holiday sparkle. Valid on all regular priced clothing Decorate a Holiday Christmas tree at 12:30 pm or a purchases of $50 or more before taxes. Christmas garland at 2:30 pm.

Christmas Tea

Wednesday, November 13 at 1:00pm to 4:00pm Join us at Sunset Nursery to extend a helping hand to Grandmothers in Africa. Tickets $15.00 per person. Buy your tickets early to avoid disappointment! All Proceeds go to Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign Pembroke Chapter, The Steven Lewis Foundation. Door prizes, Raffle Draws, Red Hot Mamas will be here to sing.

Sunset’s WEBSITE

Check out our redesigned website at www.sunsetnursery. for monthly gardening to-do-lists, current specials, inspiring photos, events calendar, new products, plant varieties, gardening tips, help and pest control.

Fresh Greens Hanging Basket Workshop Sunset's Gift Shop is open year round and stocks an Saturday, November 16 at 1:00pm Learn how to add a fresh seasonal touch to your entrance with this attractive basket brimming with fresh greens. Please call 613-638-4107 to reserve your spot in advance.


ever-changing selection of designer scarves, jewellery, watches, artwork, sunglasses, and home decor. There is always something new and something for everyone! Sunset is the largest supplier of CROCS footwear in the valley! Please check our website for new arrivals, best sellers, and specials.




A Canuck's Guide to Growing Citrus


ccording to Feng Shui, a citrus plant wards off negative forces in the home and provides a beacon of positive energy. When you smell a Calamondin in intoxicating bloom and see its rich, luscious leaves, it’s easy to understand why.


Rob Sproule

Excerpted from “Edible Container Gardening for Canada”, 2013, Lone Pine Publishing

Citrus has an unfortunate reputation for being difficult to grow. While it’s true that you’re not going to have an orange grove in your backyard, anyone with a bright window and a little love to give can enjoy citrus in their home throughout the year. Citrus’ tendency to bloom and fruit during the winter makes them a holiday favourite. They are also a traditional gift given over the Chinese New Year. The Best Varieties to Grow Many varieties are well suited to growing indoors. Acidic fruits like Calamondin oranges, Lemons, and Limes are miniature plants, not growing past 3-4 ft, that are well suited to normal household conditions. Sweet fruits, like naval and blood oranges, grapefruits and kumquats need too much space, light, and heat than our homes can give them. You’ll still need to get your breakfast grapefruits from the supermarket. Availability can be elusive, so call around to large Garden Centers to find citrus for sale. Before you buy, check for yellowing leaves which indicate improper watering. Give it a gentle shake and if leaves flutter down it probably hasn’t been properly cared for in the store. Caring for your Citrus Luckily, acidic citrus varieties thrive in temperatures of about 20 degrees C during the day and a couple degrees cooler at night. If it’s too cool you will know when the fruit doesn’t ripen. Try not to subject it to anything under 7 degrees, and of course frost is lethal. Give your citrus as much light as possible. Even though you won’t need to add a supplemental grow light for an acidic type, it will still need 6 hours of bright light daily, which can be a tall order in Canadian winters. Put it in the sunniest window you have. Like most tropical plants, citrus like to be moist but not wet. Expect them to consume more water when in fruit/ bloom and during the heat of the summer. Water with room temperature water when the first 5-7cm of the soil is dry. Soak the soil thoroughly to rinse accumulating salts away. Afterwards, make sure to empty the saucer to avoid the dreaded wet feet.

Don’t be in a rush to transplant. Citrus like to be somewhat snug and root bound in their containers. If you buy it in a grower’s pot, which aren’t always very attractive in the living room, place the pot in another container with decorative rocks around it. Misting your citrus every few days, especially if you don’t have a humidifier to temper the furnace’s dry heat, will keep it lush and help it fight off insect infestations. Make sure it’s not above a heat register or the leaves will quickly dry out. If you have hard (alkaline) water, consider using distilled water or adding about a tablespoon of vinegar to a gallon of water to adjust the pH. Citrus are heavy feeders and need regular fertilizing in order to yield. You can use 20-20-20 (which contains micronutrients which are very important, like iron and magnesium), or a specialty citrus fertilizer. Pale leaves with green veins are evidence of nutrient deficiency. During the summer, you will probably want to enjoy your potted citrus outside with your other containers. With our intense Canadian sun, however, you may need to protect it from the afternoon scorch. Calamondin Oranges Calamondins because they are the most popular and easy to grow indoor citrus. As the most ornamental variety, they also make a beautiful house-guest. Although not true oranges, calamondins produce scores of 4cm fruit which are preceded by intoxicating fragrant delicate white flowers. The fruit is edible (peels and all), and although it’s sour it’s perfect for making marmalades or adding to summer drinks. They make a zesty lemon substitute. You will need to be the “bee” and pollinate your Calamondin. It sounds harder than it is. Simply rub a small, dry paintbrush or Q-tip in all the flowers to spread the pollen around. Don’t be in a rush to pick them. The ripening oranges are gorgeous on the branch and last for months, sweetening gradually as they hang.




The Heirloom

Christmas Cactus

Bernie Whetter


e take great pride in showing off heirlooms that have been passed down to us through generations – a pretty dish, a piece of jewelry, a favorite tool, coins, or a childhood toy. Indeed, these are treasures. However, they need not be limited to hard goods. Consider the Christmas Cactus. It too deserves heirloom status since many have been propagated from the mother plant that belonged to Great Grandma! Originating from Brazil, this jungle cactus, known as Schlumbergera, is an epiphyte (lives on trees) and has a trailing habit. Christmas cacti have smooth, spineless, flattened leaves with scallop-edged margins and tubular, 3-inch, pinkish-red to pinkish-white flowers. They are popular because of their spectacular blooms and relative ease of care. Good news for pet lovers. The Christmas cactus is non-toxic to dogs and cats. A Christmas cactus appreciates bright, indirect light and normal house temperatures of 18°C - 21°C. Keep it away from drafts, heat vents, fireplaces or other sources of hot or cold air blasts. It is a tropical cactus, not a desert cactus and therefore cannot tolerate completely dry soil. Water thoroughly and let the soil dry before the next watering. Too much watering will cause root rot and leaf drop. Plants enjoy humidity. Create it by placing the pot on a saucer filled with stones and half filled with water. Misting leaves frequently will also suffice. Fertilize 2-4 times a year with 20-20-20. Move the cactus outdoors in summer to a shady location but remember, it is not frost tolerant. Because it is thermo-photoperiodic, the proper light exposure, correct temperatures and limited watering are required to stimulate bud development and flowers for the holiday season. Beginning in mid-October, the Christmas cactus requires long, uninterrupted dark periods, about


12 or more hours each night for 6-8 weeks. The naturally long, cool nights of autumn provide this. If your home is kept warmer, move it to a room where you can lower temperatures. Water less frequently and discontinue fertilizer. Introduce these changes gradually. Sudden changes can cause the flower buds to drop. Once buds begin to show, return the plant to its normal conditions. During bloom, keep the plant moderately moist and fertilize lightly with a high potassium fertilizer. After blooming, the plant should rest until March. Decrease watering and withhold fertilizer during the rest period. Cacti flower best when crowded in their pots. This also reduces chances of root rot so repot only when absolutely necessary, perhaps every three years. Repot in late winter - early spring after blooming is finished. The cactus will grow to the circumference of its pot. If you want a bigger plant, put it in a wider pot but increase the size only incrementally. Your garden centre will have a good selection of pots with holes in the bottom. Combine 3 parts potting soil to one part sand for the potting medium. Prune the Christmas cactus to either maintain a desired size or to promote branching. More branching will result in more blooms. Pruning is best done right after blooming. Give the stems a quick twist in between one of the segments. You can also use a sharp knife or scissors. If you are pruning to reduce its size, you can remove up to one third of the plant per year. If you are trimming to make them grow in more fully, you only need to remove the end 1-2 segments from the stems. The fun thing about trimming a Christmas cactus is that you can easily root the cuttings and give the new plants away - just like Great Grandma did. Propagate by cutting off sections of the stem consisting of two or three joined segments. Allow each section to dry for a few hours. Plant into a 3-inch pot containing a mix of 50% sand and 50% potting soil. Insert one half of the first segment into the soil. Don’t water. Mist it to keep soil from drying out completely. It is normal for the cutting to wilt. In four to six weeks, the cutting should root and will begin to show new growth. You can water and fertilize after the cutting has grown one new segment. Keep the cuttings in bright, indirect light. With good care and a sharing spirit, the Christmas cactus will continue to bring color and warmth to holiday homes for generations. HOME & GARDEN MAGAZINE


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Wonderful Winter Planters I

love making outdoor container displays for all the seasons,but I get the most excited when it comes to winter displays. The fragrant mixture of princess pine, BC cedar and noble fir makes me imagine new innovative ways to design these festive arrangements. I like incorporating interesting and memorable items (antique hockey sticks and skates, LED lanterns, even old golf clubs) into the porch planter so that the entrance to my home is more unique and reflective of my personality. The basic mechanics for the design of the winter porch planter are easy to learn. Begin by turning on some great music, grabbing your favorite beverage, making the children (and spouse) busy and letting the magic begin. Start with an inexpensive plastic or fiber pot that has drainage holes that can be placed inside your decorative container. This will enable it to withstand

Martha Vandepol

the freezing during the winter months, and allows you to remove it easier in the spring. Fill the insert pot with tightly packed top soil, sand or floral foam to create a dense base. If I am designing with birch poles, I pack the soil around the poles, and then add a top layer of floral foam secured with floral tape. (Tip: In a pinch, you can use duct or hockey tape. It’s not pretty, but it works.) Make sure that you water the base prior to inserting your assorted foliage. In the center of the pot, arrange your vertical elements (birch poles, dogwood, and curly willow) and keep them fairly tall. Use noble fir and cedar to create the pyramidal shape, cut the stems with pruning shears prior to placing in the soil, so that they are easier to insert. Always design the greens so that they drape towards the outside of the pot. (Tip: If you are creating an all-round planter, it helps if you turn your display as you are designing.) Fill in the gaps

Birch Poles, Red Dogwood & Curly Willow

Milo Berries Seeded eucalyptus, Magnolia & Variegated Oregonia for accents Base of White Pine & BC Cedar 12 ) HOLIDAY 2013 HOME & GARDEN MAGAZINE

Sugar Pine Cones Sinamay Mesh Ribbon

with white pine to complete the “base” of your outdoor planter. The most important thing to do is – RELAX. This is not rocket science and you can usually fix a hole with a perfectly placed pine cone or all weather shiny ornament. Now it’s time to use your creative flair and create your own masterpiece. Add some texturized greens, such as seeded eucalyptus, variegated oregonia (my favorite) or incense cedar to add depth to your display. With the use of sugar pine cones, milo berries and natural pods, you will create a warm, earthy outdoor planter. A more modern look may consist of shiny red or silver plastic balls, glitter pine cones and weather resistant berries. Using silk flowers in shades of turquoise, hot pink or indigo blue can add just the right amount of color to match your décor. (Tip: Pop off the metal hanger on plastic balls, and hot glue a bamboo stake inside it, so that you can easily insert your ornaments.) I personally love the new outdoor twig lights that come in warm white so that my planter can be enjoyed from a distance on a snowy winter night. The finishing touch can be a Sinamay mesh ribbon to cascade from the front and some glitter ting that creates a wispy shimmering element to the arrangement. Remember to water the outdoor pot continually until freezing temperatures set in and avoid placing your pot in an area that has heavy winds or snow. (Tip: When spring arrives, carefully store away all your accent pieces, plastic berries and ornaments for use next year). One of the best things about creating your own winter outdoor pot is the satisfaction you have every time you enter your home, and of course, the compliments that you receive from family and friends as you entertain over the holiday season. Check out this helpful video on youtube: How to Create an Outdoor Christmas Planter from Van Belle Flowers.



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Creating Your Very Own Terrarium Garden


ave you ever admired a terrarium, but were not sure how to create your own? Great news! A terrarium is easy to construct and is a fun way to be creative with plants!

Deanne Cram

landscape fabric, potting soil, plants, miniature decorations (optional)

Choosing a Terrarium Container Any clear, watertight container can be made into a terrarium. Choose something that is large enough to accommodate 3-5 plants and has a cover, lid, or door to prevent the moisture from escaping. If you find a beautiful glass container that you’d like to use, but has no lid, you can cover the top with plastic wrap, a moss ball or a decorative saucer. Jars, bottles, and aquariums are some of the most common containers used but the possibilities are endless: Cookie jars, vases, lanterns and trifle bowls are all fun ideas to consider.

Start by gathering your materials, keeping in mind that your layers will be visible from the outside of the container, so the material used needs to be visually appealing as well as practical. To start, you’ll need a minimum ½” layer of drainage material, such as pea gravel, glass pebbles or small colored stone. Next, sprinkle in a fine layer of charcoal. Charcoal will purify and cleanse the terrarium by reducing mold and mildew problems. Following the charcoal, add the potting soil. If you’ve chosen to plant tropical leafy plants, you need a well draining potting soil. If you’ve chosen succulents and cactus, you can use a grittier cactus soil. To keep these layers separate use either a layer of sphagnum moss or landscape fabric to keep the soil from settling into the pebbles and charcoal. The minimum depth of the soil should be the pot size of the plants you are using. Finally, you can install the plants into the soil and press the soil firmly around the plants.

Picking Your Plants It is best to choose plants that are slower growing and will be easy to maintain at a smaller size. All plants will require some trimming to keep them from growing into each other as they mature. Almost any houseplant will work in a terrarium, but try to keep plants with similar light and moisture requirements together. Here is a list of plants that are especially suitable for terrariums:

Your terrarium will not need a lot of care. Water lightly only after it gets dry once every few weeks, depending on conditions and the plants you have chosen. NEVER OVERWATER! If you have over-watered remove the lid temporarily to allow some moisture to evaporate. Keep your terrarium in a bright area, but not in direct sunlight. When the plants get as big as you want, pinch off the newest growth to encourage bushier growth.

Air plants- Tillandsia, Baby's Tears- Bromeliads, Clubmoss, Creeping Fig- Ferns, Neanthebella Palm, Pepperomia, Polka Dot Plant, Rex Begonia, Ferns, Cactus, Succulents, Venus fly traps.

If you want to have some fun and get creative with your terrarium, add decorative rock or moss to the top surface, or even some fun miniature furniture or stones to create your own miniature landscape! Or you can personalize your terrarium even more by turning it into a Fairy Garden, a popular new trend right now.

Terrariums recycle their moisture therefore they need very little attention. They actually thrive on neglect! If you’re forgetful about watering, or if you travel often, a terrarium may be the perfect answer for you!

Creating and Caring for your Terrarium Materials: Enclosed glass container, small pebbles, decorative stones , activated charcoal, sphagnum moss or




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The Holidays, So Close You Can Smell It!

Ken Beattie


innamon, nutmeg and allspice share the reputation of being the distinctive aromas of the holiday season. Merge the heady, almost antiseptic fragrance of fir, pine and balsam and your senses just know what time of year it is. To my way of thinking, Grandma’s special pumpkin pie smell or the distinctive aroma of Uncle Bill’s steaming hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick to swizzle with, are all excellent memories triggered by plants, yes plants. Cinnamon as we know it comes in “quills” of caramel coloured bark rolled tightly forming the iconic cinnamon stick. Actually this is not real cinnamon but the bark of a cassia tree which is a very close cousin to the real cinnamon. The bark of the cinnamon tree is very soft, flakey and much lighter in colour, almost a golden colour as I recall. The distinctive scent is non distinguishable to my nose but to a connoisseur, chef or other such culinary expert, there is doubtless a difference. This spice has many attributes other than its great flavour and smell, it is an antiseptic also and often used in purification rituals. The trees have been the basis of many economies down through the ages as well as the booty of many a Southeast Asian pirate. During the holiday season we see cinnamon stick or quills used in many floral arrangements, as accent pieces in wreaths for indoor or outdoor use as well their proprietary spot in a glass of hot toddy or cider. When at the garden centre or craft supply retail outlets, look for the longest quills that you can find. These longer bundles are easily cut with hand shears to any desired length or that special decorative touch. You might consider stuffing a quill into the napkin rings on the festive table to add interest, aroma and initiate conversation; the pirate bit is always a good opener! One trick that works like a charm is to very sparingly mist your cinnamon wreath, arrangement of even potpourri that contains the quills. The moisture enhances the aroma and it doesn’t seem to affect the longevity. Nutmeg also has a “spicy” history, perhaps even moreso than Cinnamon, and please excuses the pun. The sweet, medicinal aroma of this once enormously expensive spice is imperative in my mind for the holiday season, actually from the first of autumn onwards. During the 15th Century and after much looting, pillage and ransacking, the trees made their way to several other Indonesian islands where they literally grew the economy of the Dutch, Portuguese and British crowns. Spices during the Middle Ages were extremely important because there was no refrigeration and in general the food was quite bland. Exotic spices from faraway lands provided not only a perk up for the tasteless food, but also preservative qualities as well as 16 ) HOLIDAY 2013 HOME & GARDEN MAGAZINE

Ken Beattie is the Manager of Habitat Programs with the Canadian Wildlife Federation

masking abilities if the food had already “turned”. Nutmeg at one point in history was worth more than some people’s homes and was the cache of many a nobleperson in Italy, France and Britain. This spice is best used freshly “rasped” from the nutmeg itself. Be careful how much you use however as there is clear evidence and historical acclaim that nutmeg is a powerful aphrodisiac. Finally, allspice, one of the New World’s claims to fame in the spice world is also well known during the holiday season. This lovely, perfectly formed little tree offers a berry-like fruit that once dried, exudes a flavour and aroma

of several spices in combination. Many Caribbean islands as well as sub tropical USA can boast allspice trees in their landscapes as well as the fruit in many recipes and beverages. Similar to many other common spices there are a load of libations that allspice can be used in to pump up the pizzazz factor of holiday bevies. Of course Eggnog is a natural; the fruit based liqueurs such as Cointreau, Triple Sec and even Anisette are enhanced by crushed allspice also. Should you be a potpourri maker or even if not, use allspice in combination with cinnamon and nutmeg for a grand holiday sniff appeal. Allspice will keep indefinitely in a sealed container, preferable not in a bright location. This is a good rule for many spices as the heat tends to affect the aroma over time. Small sachets of allspice can be hung on your Christmas tree or tucked into a wreath giving each an exotic yet familiar holiday scent. All the very best to each and every one of you and may your holiday season be safe, full of love and laughter with family and friends.



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Backyard Birding 101 A

Leesa Healy, Sun Country Farms

n essential part of any bird’s diet, the most important thing to keep in mind about fall and winter bird feeding is OIL SEED.

Backyard Best Blend is a perfect hopper mix. It provides a mix of black oil sunflowers, striped sunflowers, peanuts, safflower and white millet.

Your best source of oil seed can be found in black oil sunflowers, peanuts and tree nuts. Oil seeds provide energy for migrating birds, fuel for warmth and energy for wintering birds. Keep in mind that small birds like chickadees cannot survive more than 12 hours without food for fuel on long cold winter nights.

Tube feeders are a good choice for winter. They keep the seed dry and fresh. Most seed mixes will work in a port feeder, but keep in mind that the birds will still rake through it looking for the oil seed. A classic hanging tube feeder or one like the Aspects Antique Brass feeder are good examples.

Black Oil Sunflower Kernel is a perfect choice for fall and winter. Black Oil Sunflower is like an electric blanket for the birds during our cold Canadian winters. This product provides 100% oil seed, 100% food and more calories for warmth and energy. With no shell or waste, it offers no mess under the feeder in the spring. Seed hulls left on the ground in the snow and slush will get mildew, a leading cause for disease and death among birds.

Finch feeders are a necessity for overwintering finches, including redpolls and pine siskins. Tube type feeders with small feeding holes and perches work well, as do mesh type feeders that allow many birds to cling at a time. The best choice for feeding finches in winter is a blend of nyjer seed and black oil sunflower mini’s.

Benefits of providing different types of feeders. Hopper feeders are preferred by larger birds, like cardinals, jays, grosbeaks. Made from plastic milk jugs and pop bottles, recycled poly lumber, as opposed to wood, does not retain moisture like wooden feeders. This means your feeders are less likely to cause the seed to get wet and mildew. In addition, wooden feeders are difficult to clean. Recycled feeders, on the other hand, can simply go into the dishwasher! Like other feeders, hopper feeders come in a variety of shapes and styles. In fact, some even come with suet feeders on the ends – a double whammy for the woodpeckers, nuthatches, and chickadees. It’s like catching two birds with one feeder!


Nut feeders are an important part for the woodpecker, chickadee and nuthatch families. Peanuts and tree nuts are a valuable source of protein and fat for winter foraging, when insects and other natural foods are not readily available. Be sure to provide nuts in a mesh tube feeder. This allows birds to cling and peck while putting on a great show for a window birdwatcher. You’ll want a blend of whole tree nuts that provides 100% oil seed, and 100% energy! GROUND FEEDERS Provide a less expensive mix on a ground platform feeder for the birds that prefer grains, like millet, canola, oats and cracked corn. The sparrows, doves and juncos will go to the cereal grains that they are used to finding naturally in nature, leaving your more expensive sunflower to the birds you enjoy at your other feeders.

WATER Invest in a heated bird bath. I cannot say enough about the importance of water for birds in the bitter winter months. Birds rely on clean feathers to insulate them from the cold weather. A clean bird is a warm bird. Once your birds discover your ice-free bath, they will return again and again all winter long. There are deck mount units that mean you don’t have to trudge out through the snow in the yard to refill, or deicers that can be used in existing bird baths. Suet is another important part of a good winter feeding program. Suet is simply fat for warmth, energy and protein. Look for good quality product with no cheap fillers. The best ingredients, besides rendered beef kidney suet, are peanut butter, peanuts, insects and fruit. Avoid suet cakes with added corn, oats and other cereal grains. The birds will simply flick it to the ground. A FEW BIRDING TIPS Don’t take your hummingbird feeders down too soon. Wait a couple of weeks until you see the last ones at your feeder. There may be hundreds of other hummers north of your backyard that will be passing through, and will need a recharge for the long migration. This will not interfere with their migration. When doing fall yard cleanup, leave tree trimmings and garden clippings somewhere on the property for cover and protection from predators and the elements. Your fine feathered friends will be grateful. Same goes for that Christmas tree. Instead of disposing of it after the festivities, recycle it by placing it outside near your feeders. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to see the birds that appreciate your thoughtfulness! One more important note- don’t clean out those nesting boxes just yet. Leave the vacant nests there for the winter. Overwintering birds like chickadees and nuthatches will use them for warmth and cover during the winter months. Wait until spring to clean them out for the returning migrants! THANKS FOR FEEDING THE BIRDS! OUR FEATHERED FRIENDS SURE APPRECIATE YOU!!



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Creating a

Welcome Home for the Jackie Cornwall

Trends in Christmas 2013 It’s that time again, time to throw on your favourite Christmas album and get whisked away in holiday glitter. Time to pull holiday memories from their boxed away storage and breathe cheerful new life into your décor. This season, the focus is all about home, and who can argue with that? Christmas is a time spent with loved ones, and creating a warm, welcoming environment to entertain in is always a pleasure. Whether your décor is the pinnacle of modern or more cozy cottage, the trends for Christmas 2013 are easily adaptable to suit any design. Let yourself be inspired by the hottest trends of the season! The Return of Red With the past few year’s trends leaning toward more wild designs, it’s refreshing to see red back in the picture. Big bold shades of fire engine red are splashing their way into Christmas this season, no holds barred. From table décor to tree, mixing and matching reds is a sure fire way to jump on board of the hottest look this season. Look for: • Oversized red ornaments in big bright shades • Big statement, “see-em-from-the-road” door wreaths • Glitter covered silk flowers in indoor arrangements Texture Texture Texture Creating a Christmas you can reach out and touch brings warmth to any home. Throws, blankets and accent pillows allow you to wrap yourself in the spirit of Christmas, and create an ambiance of comfort and cosiness for your guests. Look for: • The return of the tablecloth and runner as an essential part of the table • Throws, blankets and pillows in comforting knits and fierce faux furs


Holidays Living in Luxury Creating an air of opulence, antique golds and chocolates have been paired together to create a luxurious take on the holidays in 2013. Garnish your home in this regal look to stand out among a crowd. Antique gold is back, and creating a look so rich you could eat it with a spoon. Look for: • Mercury Glass • Gold Vases & Finials • Glittery chocolate Christmas tree picks Shades of Silver When you think silver, bright cool and shiny are words that most frequently come to mind. This year, for a more modern look, silver is being refreshed with accents of pewter and grey. Combined against a backdrop of fresh greens, this metallic palette adds dramatic flair in a sophisticated manner. Look for: • Felted grey & silver silk poinsettias • Brushed silver sleigh bells • Tinsel inspired silver accents Simplified Rustic Weather beaten, natural and barn board looks are taking over full scale in fall décor this year, and they’re the perfect accents to segue into Christmas. Think simple to avoid looking crowded or cluttered. With this trend, less is truly more. Look for: • Simple twig and berry centerpieces • Sugar cones and pinecones • Woodland accents There’s so much to look forward to in Christmas trends for this year. Bring a new look home for the holidays.



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"EUREKA" Lights!

Ken Paulusma

Years ago I remember having my mini lights all spread out on the living room floor painstakingly swapping out bulbs until “Eureka!� the string lit up. These days, pre-lit trees have really gained in popularity and will have you checking the bulbs while on the tree as in most cases they are secured with ties. Usually when one bulb burns out, your entire light string will not die on you. However it is important to remember that if a burned out bulb is not replaced within a short period of time, the entire string will have a shortened life. Most mini light strings are designed in such a way that when a bulb fails, the failed bulb enables the power to bypass it and be redistributed among all the other bulbs. If one bulb fails, the effect to the rest of the string is very minor. The challenge you run into however is when multiple bulbs fail on a string. The power for each of those bulbs is essentially redirected to the rest of the string, risking a power overload to the rest of the bulbs. If enough bulbs fail, the entire string will flash and you will have to change all 50 bulbs with the correct voltage replacement. Therefore, it’s important to remember that running light strings with unlit bulbs will shorten the life of the entire string of lights. The general rule is that mini bulbs should last approximately 5000 hours. If the tree is lit for 6 hours a day the life expectancy should be approximately 750 days. LED lights have gained popularity with many new options available. However they too have some issues. Inexpensive LED lights are prone to premature failure and are non repairable in most cases. In recent years, there have been new and unique products introduced to the market, one of which is Crab lights. Crab Lights are a quick and simple lighting application consisting of many small tips of light. They enable the user to assemble a stunning feature that has not been offered before. Integrating a controller will add to this twinkling star-field of lights. Crab Lights can be a very unique way of lighting any Christmas tree. A simple package consists of 3 sets of crab lights with a transformer will make your tree truly unique this holiday season! The Crab light garlands offer versatility because they can be plugged together or integrated into the Versaline product family for large scale, customizable and controllable displays. What is Versaline? Versaline is a ground-breaking low voltage lighting system that in its simplest form allows the user to illuminate stand alone products with a compact 24V power supply. It also allows users to create and illuminate multi-product lighting configurations. Versaline is constructed of high grade commercial components and is designed for indoor and outdoor use. The system runs on a non-lethal (24V) voltage, which enables safe installation. No other low voltage products offer the versatility of the Versaline System. Add a controller so the entire light display is capable of phasing, colour-changing, flashing, chasing and more.


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Fall Fashion 2013

Anne Carolyn


ormally fashion articles are so wrapped up in telling you about the shocking outfits or the new trends on the runway that they forget to tell you how to work those trends into your everyday wardrobe. For example, if I told you that the lines of the 40's have clashed with punk just how would you know how to shop? Fashion always strives to be exciting and this fall is exceptional. There’s literally a style for everyone so you just have to find which one(s) suits you. There’s lace, studs, fur, leather, prints, belts, leggings and boots in every shape and colour. It’s the attention to small details this year that will allow you to make your statement. You’ll find fur on coats, handbags, boots and even sunglasses but if that’s a little over the top for you, look for a sweater that has fur accents around the edges or a fur scarf. Like wise for studs and lace find something that has some stud or lace detailing on the shoulders or sleeves instead of allowing the detail to consume the outfit. My personal favorite trend for fall 2013 is pulling as many different fabrics together as possible to create one complete outfit. For example feel free to throw on some fleece lined leather leggings from Cest moi, affordable suede or leather boots (high or short in length), a plaid blouse, a heavy knit cardigan and maybe a fur scarf. I’m sure you can find some of these pieces in your current wardrobe, so you only need to add a bit to create the majority of this look. By substituting a blouse or a cardigan, you can create a few different looks, which is always nice. Although this year it seems like designers have used every colour they could think and black is still the queen, grey and blue are the strongest cool colours and red and pink the hottest warm ones. If you’re not a huge pink fan, try diving into the berry colours such as magenta, burgundy and eggplant. You will find some amazing lifestyle tops in these colours that are great for the fall. When looking at prints animals are everywhere as well as the rose in various forms. Coats are large and relaxed in their fit. Handbags have added colour and can be large and textured or even micro in size. Dresses are body hugging or reflect the lines from the 40's hitting the knee and belted at the waist. Finally, jewelry can be worn two ways, either dainty or a focal point to make a statement with oversize and even chunky being perfect.




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Fresh Fixes

Mark DeWolf

Celebrate the Season with Sparkling Wine "I drink it when I'm happy and when I'm sad. Sometimes I drink it when I'm alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I'm not hungry and I drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it, unless I'm thirsty." – Madame Lily Bollinger


tend to share Madame Bollinger’s sentiments and so do many other wine lovers. Sparkling wine has never been more popular. This holiday season consider setting up a sparkling wine bar for your holiday celebrations. The key to a successful sparkling wine bar is to offer a couple different styles and to accompany the sparkling wines with some well-chosen hors d’oeuvres along with some fresh fruit and fruit juices, should any of your guests decide to make some impromptu sparkling wine cocktails. For the sparkling wine bar, I recommend offering one fresh and light sparkling wine and one that is more bold and complex.

Fresh and Light Many guests find Champagne and other sparkling wines made in the same style too aggressive. Be sure to serve one that is made using the Metodo Italiano. Currently the most popular of this style, which is made by re-fermenting a base wine in a tank rather than a bottle (as is the case of Champagne) is Prosecco. Prosecco, which is made from Glera grapes, grown in a designated area of Northern Italy deliver fresh pear, apple and citrus flavours. They are generally made in a dry, or slightly off-dry style but are less puckering than most Champagne. They are great all-purpose sparkling wines and match well with a variety of dishes. They also can make the great base to many sparkling wine cocktails; most famously the Bellini which is made by combining peach nectar and Prosecco. Recommended Pairing: Parmesan Cups with Garlic Shrimp Makes 24 pieces Ingredients: 6 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated Cooking spray 1-lb salad shrimp, cooked ¼ cup minced fresh parsley 2 cloves garlic, minced Juice and zest of 1 lemon 3 tbsp olive


1. Spray mini muffin tins with cooking spray and set aside. 2. Line baking 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. 3. Make 2 tbsp mounds of the grated Parmigiano on the parchment paper. Flatten with a spoon. Be sure to leave an inch or more of space between each mound. 4. Bake the cheese in an oven preheated to 300 F for 3 minutes. You may need to work in batches. Remove from the oven and using a spatula transfer the cheese to mini-muffin tins. Place each individual round of melted cheese in a prepared muffin tin. Press the cheese against the side so they form a cup. 5. Meanwhile combine the shrimp, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest and olive oil in a bowl; toss. 6. Fill the cheese cups with the shrimp mixture and serve.

Bold and Complex Champagne is made in a distinctive style. While the Champagne region’s cool climate plays a significant role to its character, it also gains a lot of nuances and complexity thanks to how it is made. Unlike Prosecco, Champagne is re-fermented in the bottle and then allowed to age in direct contact with the lees (spent yeast cells) for varying amounts of time. The longer it ages on the lees the more nut, yeast and fresh bread aromas and flavours it acquires. Champagne is the classic interpretation of this style but a number of Canadian producers from coast to coast are emerging as world class producers. This wine style is best served with flavourful hors d’oeuvres but it also makes a fine base to classic sparkling wine cocktails such as a Kir Royale or the appropriately named Champagne Cocktail which is made by placing a sugar cube soaked with bitters in a flute and topping with a splash of Cognac and 4 to 5 ounces of Champagne. Recommended Pairing: Savoury Pancakes with Smoked Salmon Serves 8-10 as Hors D’oeuvres Ingredients (batter): 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 tsp salt 1 cup water 1 tsp dried dill 4 green onions, thinly sliced Pinch pepper Vegetable oil Ingredients (toppings): ½ red onion, skin removed, thinly sliced 9 ounces cold smoked salmon 1 cup sour cream 2 tbsp chopped chives 1. Combine all the batter ingredients and mix thoroughly. The mixture should have the consistency of a light pancake batter. Adjust the amount of water as needed. 2. Add two tablespoons vegetable oil to a non-stick frying pan. Place over medium heat. 3. Fry pancakes in batches. 4. Serve the pancakes on a platter accompanied with smoked salmon and individual bowls of sour cream, red onion and chopped chives.



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Holiday Wish List BIRD FEEDERS

Whether it's a giant suet filled pinecone or a Peanut Coil feeder, we've got what your birds want! The Peanut Coil is shaped like a metal wreath and can be filled with peanuts in the shell, suet balls or a combination of the two! These feeders have been demonstrated to be very effective at attracting blue jays, woodpeckers, chickadees and nuthatches, and will provide you with hours of entertainment! A unique gift for any bird lover!


This popular footwear is soft, warm and simply adorable. We have many fun styles to choose from. They're fully machine washable, they won't shrink and they have a non-skid sole. The perfect gift for someone special or a great way to treat yourself!


Specially cultivated to flower earlier than other Amaryllis (usually about 30 days after being potted up), Christmas blooming amaryllis bring a wonderful burst of colour during the festive season! With an assortment of colours to choose from, you will find the perfect shade to match any decor. These make unique Christmas gifts and are sure to bring holiday cheer to any!


Stand apart from the crowd with these NEW Camo redneck wine glasses! Realtree melamine 16 oz. plastic cup sits on a glass pedestal for true redneck “class�. Or if you're a more traditional redneck, we carry many other styles from the redneck collection to choose from. Perfect gift for your redneck family and friends. Get yours today!


The Pre-Lit 7.5 ft. Vintage Black Ombre Spruce with Clear Lights is an exclusive design. Let your imagination run wild with this elegant tree that speaks of sophistication and class. Your holiday guests will be amazed with the graduation of white to silver to black branches. Truly sophistication at its finest, only for those outstanding homes during the holiday season.


The Blitzen II Croc has a comfy lining and a sleeker, more streamlined shape than before. The lining snaps into place making it easy to remove, and it's washable! Crocs Lodge slippers offer a soft footbed and outsole, keeping your feet comfy and cozy all day around the house. Available in an assortment of colours including camo!



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