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Gardening Author Rob Sproule

Winter Container Gardening Forcing Bulbs Indoors Bernie Whetter

Houseplants 2012 with Canada's Favourite Gardener, Ken Beattie

Backyard Birding Carrisa Nykamp

Cobi on Colour

Style and Colour with Cobi Ladner

Trends Meet Traditions Jackie Cornwall

Martha Vandepol

How to Decorate an Artificial Tree



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CONTENTS Container Gardening in the Winter 8 Gardening Author Rob Sproule


Forcing Bulbs Indoors - Bernie Whetter


Houseplants 2012 - Canada's Favourite Gardener, Ken Beattie


Backyard Birding – Carrisa Nykamp


Cobi on Colour – Cobi Ladner


Trends Meet Tradition - Jackie Cornwall


Fall & Winter Fashions


How to Decorate an Artificial Tree - Martha Vandepol


Creating Memories with Rosemary - Mark DeWolf


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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John Christenson Rob Sproule Bernie Whetter Jackie Cornwall Carrisa Nykamp Ken Beattie Martha Vandepol Jami Kloet Mark DeWolf Charlotte Roggie


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The Green Spot Home & Garden Magazine is published byCarle Publishing Inc. All content, copyright © 2012, 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 The Green Spot will be held responsible for omissions or errors.

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Providing Cold Protection - Charlotte Roggie


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Bernie Whetter (Local)


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t’s been 12 months since the last holiday issue of the Home & Garden magazine. The old saying “time flies” still stands as my years add up. As a younger parent, I scolded my kids for saying “I’m bored.” when they thought time was moving too slowly, and me responding “Just wait till you’re my age and you won’t say that anymore!” I think I was right on that one. In our retail business, plans for next Christmas begin about 2 weeks after the Christmas past. That’s when we do our buying. Yes, we’re just a little tired of the glitter and tinsel of the season but there’s no better time than when the successes and failures of the season just finished are fresh on our mind. Once our major Spring season is over, the loading dock fills up with Christmas shipments purchased back in January and the rush starts all over again. Each year, we find new themes for our Christmas merchandise. It’s not necessarily what we want but rather what’s available from our vendors. While you may give us

all the praise for putting this together, we owe some credit to the designers and manufactures for giving us the ideas and materials to work with. This year, we will continue with some of the successful themes such as pets, sports, western, and garden, but we’ve gone all out on a new theme for wine lovers – just about everything for the wine drinker – except the wine of course. For someone who really enjoys their wine, we’ve got something for them. Check out Diane Nelson’s article on page 30. Bobbles and bows are a dime a dozen around town so we’re offering you something distinctive! Make a list. Check it twice. You’ll find out we’re Novel and Nice! Thank you to our magazine sponsors. Please consider their products and services next time you make a purchase. All of us at The Green Spot look forward to serving you over this holiday season and all year round. Bernie Whetter

Defining the Elements Four Seasons a Year Accents for the Earth, Wind, Fire & Water 1329 Rosser Ave East Brandon, MB 204-727-5884 4)

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To Fashion or Not To Fashion I

t’s a discussion that continues to spin around garden centre management, “Should we include fashion merchandise in our offering or stay with traditional gardening products and services?” Some garden centre owners have moved into fashion in a big way and it has exceeded some of their garden departments, while others stick to their principle that there is no place for fashion in their business. The impetus to include product lines outside conventional garden items came out of necessity. Traditionally, garden centres were a seasonal business. They began seeding in January and growing through to April. Sales began in May and by the summer’s end, the business would shut down for the fall and early winter months. However, owners found they could not retain their good employees over these months so they looked for ways to keep them hired. What could generate business from September through to December? The preparation and production of Christmas and poinsettias. If you’re going to sell poinsettias, why not add the rest of the holiday trimmings. And while you’re at

it, why not add some items for holiday entertaining, and ok, add a couple of fashion accessories. It’s easy to make the association. The obvious factor that the majority of garden centre clients are women provides an opportunity to offer products of interest to their segment of the population. Sorry guys, we’re working on things that will have more “male appeal.” Keep on coming; you’ll know when we’ve got there! We are committed to offering fashion accessories to our clients! During the busy gardening season, our challenge is to keep the shelves freshly re-stocked but we will aim to keep seasonally appropriate stock available 12 months a year. With the reduction of independent fashion shops in our trading area, we will attempt to offer products that are different from franchised stores. We are excited about our collection of hats, scarves, costume jewelry, and hand bags and hope our clients are satisfied with their choices.


These fine products available at


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Green Spot Home & Garden Calendar of Events Fall 2012

Closed for Year-End October 28 – November 4 October 31 marks the fiscal year-end of The Green Spot. During this time, we count the entire remaining inventory and brush down the cobwebs spun over the summer months. But most importantly, we transform the garden setting into a winter wonderland – Christmas Spectacular 2012. Christmas Spectacular 2012 November 5 – December 31 We open our doors and welcome enthusiastic shoppers eager to find that perfect Christmas gift, trimmings for the tree, festive décor for the home, useful gadgets for the kitchen, or something new for the winter wardrobe. Ladies’ Night November 9 Overheard at last year’s Ladies’ Night, “This has got to be the social event of the year!” Yes indeed! We pull out all the stops. So Ladies, gather up your gang and come on out to The Green Spot for an evening with good friends, cool entertainment, hot deals and tasty snacks. It’s our opportunity to showcase our Christmas merchandise. We will be featuring our select brand lines such as Zwilling J.A. Henckels knives and kitchen ware, Mordens’ Chocolates, Maggie and Mary’s Dip Mixes, Colonial Candle, San Diego Hats, Crocs Shoes, Powder Scarves and many more. There will be draws, specials, demonstrations, and samplings. It’s also the time of year we share our good fortune with the less fortunate – please bring a non perishable food donation for Samaritan House. Festivities begin at 6:30pm. Zwilling J.A. Henckels Knife Sharpening November 10 Bring in all your Henckels knives to The Green Spot for their annual sharpening. Lee, our knife pro, will sharpen your knives and introduce you to the new products from Zwilling J.A. Henckels – knives, kitchen gadgets, and the amazing Zwilling Sol Thermolon non-stick fry pan. These will make excellent gifts for those who enjoy their time in the kitchen and have a passion for the best. Start a collection – one of the few gifts that can last a lifetime.


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Festival of Poinsettias December 1 – December 22 Our festival celebrates the Poinsettia. This beautiful flower of Christmas has been growing in the greenhouse since July and now the bracts have fully changed color and ready to beautify your homes. Every Saturday of the Festival, enjoy specials, coffee and shortbread and local entertainment. Also during this time, fresh Christmas trees are available for purchase. Choose from the popular varieties of fresh trees all pre-hung for your viewing convenience in the comfort of the greenhouse. Depending on availability, several Farmers’ Market vendors set up shop during the festival with home-made, home-grown products just in time for the season of feasting. Come and join the celebration.

w Christmas Greenings Workshops Here is your opportunity to make your own Christmas greens decoration. Sign up for one (or more) of our workshops and get some advice from our pros and create your own masterpiece. We supply all the materials. Take your treasure home and leave the mess behind. To make a reservation for a workshop, call The Green Spot at 204727-5884. It first come – first served so don’t hesitate, they fill up quickly. Private workshops may be arranged for groups of 12 friends, staff, relatives, clubs or sororities who like to get together and have fun. Outdoor Urn Saturday December 1, 10:00am Thursday December 6, 7:00pm Filled with Christmas Greens, bobbles and ribbon, this urn can sit on your front step welcoming all your holiday guests. $60 Outdoor Hanging Basket Saturday December 8, 10:00am A hanging basket filled with Christmas greens and ribbon is a novel and festive sight hung where all can see outdoors during the holiday season. $35 Tropical Basket Thursday December 13, 7:00pm Plant a basket with the Christmas poinsettia and other attractive tropical plants to create a colorful, long-lasting, living accent for your home or as a house gift for someone special. $45

Outdoor Swag Saturday December 15, 10:00am A swag consists of a bundle of branches of fresh greens adorned with ribbon and trimmings and can be hung outside on the front door or indoors on the mantle, banister or wall hanging. $35 Table Centerpiece Thursday December 20 7:00pm Saturday December 22 10:00am As a designer, you will create beautiful centerpieces for your dining table or coffee table. With candles, pine cones and ribbon, your centerpiece WILL be the center of conversations at your holiday dinner parties. $30 - $45

w Scrooge’s Dash Sunday December 23 Let’s just say – the more you shop during the Festival of Poinsettias, the more savings you earn. Wear your running shoes! Post Christmas Sales December 27 – January 5 It’s all over but the clean-up - time to pack up the trees and take down the Christmas lights. We have to count the leftover inventory so we’re anxious to sell off as much as we can. So its sale – sale – sale – all week long. Hours of Operation

October 28 - November 4 November 5 – November 25 Monday to Saturday Sunday

10:00am – 6:00pm 12:00noon – 5:00pm

November 26 – December 23 Monday to Wednesday Thursday to Friday Saturday Sunday

10:00am – 6:00pm 10:00am – 8:00pm 10:00am – 6:00pm 12:00noon – 5:00pm

Holiday Week December 24 December 25 December 26 December 27 – 29 December 30 December 31 January 1


10:00am – 3:00pm Closed Closed 10:00am – 5:00pm Closed 10:00am – 3:00pm Closed

Regular Winter Hours January 2 – April 28 Monday – Saturday 10:00am – 5:00pm Sunday Closed HOME & GARDEN MAGAZINE

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Container Gardening in the by Rob Sproule


resh greens have exploded in popularity in recent years because they offer cold climate gardeners a chance to be creative outside over the holidays. Large garden centres offer dozens of varieties of boughs, not to mention branches, cones, and countless accessories that allow you to be as creative as you were in the spring. In this article, I’m teaming up with Megan Hahn, a professional visual artist with Salisbury Greenhouse, to show you how to create your own winter container garden one step at a time. Recommended Varieties For outdoor use, look to cedar, pine, fir and spruce to form the foundation of your creation. Pine and spruce are very robust and are ideal for strength and structure, especially near the center. Western red cedar is one of my favourites. It’s a playful, fragrant green and brings a deliciously smooth texture. Silver fir is excellent because the undersides of the needles have a subtle silver tinge that glimmers under porch-lights. There is a parade of coloured ingredients available to add visual pizzazz. Ilex, or winterberry, boasts stems of clustered red berries that catch the eye wherever they are. Avoid Ilex with shrivelled berries or if considerable berries fall off when you handle the stem. Stems like curly willow, dogwood, or even birch add a bold vertical appeal. Curly willow is my favourite as the twisted stems bring a jester’s twist to the overall silhouette. Choose dogwood or birch if you prefer more contemporary straight lines.


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Winter Using Fresh Evergreens Making your Own Fresh Urn Megan Hahn is a designer with Salisbury Greenhouse and has been making innovative arrangements with fresh greens for years. For this article, she offered to create an urn liner, step by step, to show that anyone with a little creativity can make their own. Here are the ingredients that Megan is using for this arrangement: 3 bundles Western Red Cedar / 2 bundles Fir / 2 bundles White Pine / 1 bundle Incense Cedar / 1 bundle Juniper or Blueberry Cedar / 1 bundle Curly Willow / decorations as desired. She starts with a simple fibre pot. Although not gorgeous on its own, I recommend fibre or another inexpensive pot to use. Because you will be filling it with sand to hold the branches, and then water to freeze it all in place, it’s best to make the frozen mixture in a cheap pot that fits inside your decorative container. We fill the pot with playground sand, making sure to first cover the drainage with plastic. The sand will act as florist foam, holding the branches in place. Just as with a spring container garden, Megan starts at the centre of the pot with her strong vertical element. The only difference is that she is using branches instead of a tall sunflower or alocasia plant. She reminds us to “position your central element depending on where the urn is in relation to the house. If it’s against the wall, consider putting the centre at the back of the pot. If it’s going to be seen from all around, the central element should remain at the center.” Megan suggests a pyramidal shape to the arrangement, with the branches tiering down from the centre. “Make sure to insert the branches deep enough that they

are sturdy. Cutting the ends at a sharp angle will turn them into spears, making it easier to put them into the sand.” As she moves around the container poking in the branches, she slowly changes the angle of the stems. From positioning stems vertically in the center, she angles them down as she moves towards the sides to create the pyramidal silhouette. Use the natural curve of the boughs to your advantage by sloping them away from the center. “Make sure to step back periodically to look at its overall shape from a distance. Because it will be seen from the road, it needs to look good close up and far away.” Use robust stems, like pine and fir, around the branches in the center to establish a strong structure. Save the majority of your drooping incense cedar and berried juniper for the sides. Cedar is tall but flimsy, so while it will provide central height you may need to support it by wrapping it through your curly willow. Now is the fun part! Reach for the brightly coloured berries, the deliciously textured ribbon, the pine cones and the Christmas balls for the next step. The sky is the limit for how creative you can be with your decorations. Some people choose a colour scheme, like lime green, and wrap chartreuse sinamay mesh around reflective green ornaments. Others, who may want a more natural look, opt to accessorize with pine cones and some simple, nostalgically oldfashioned ribbon. Now step back and admire your creation. Add any finishing touches that inspire you and be proud of yourself: you’ve officially cheated winter by refusing to allow it to stop you from container gardening! Photos: Megan Hahn

Rob is a published author of several gardening books including: "Gardening with Colour; Creative Design Ideas for Canadian Gardens". HOME & GARDEN MAGAZINE

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Providing Cold Protection by Charlotte Roggie

Autumn - The leaves change, the air is crisp, we can pick fresh apples straight from the tree and, of course, there is pumpkin pie! It is also time to get your gardens ready for winter by providing that added protection.

The aim of cold protection is to insulate plants from the extreme freeze and thaw conditions of Winter. Small trees, shrubs, climbers, root crops, strawberries and small fruit trees & bushes benefit from being wrapped in burlap. Burlap helps to shade the plants from the sun and slow the warming process caused by thaw and keeps plants dormant through any midwinter mild spells. It also helps to moderate soil temperatures. You could also build a loose wire netting cage around the plant, tree or shrub and then pack with dry leaves or straw to serve the same purpose. If your tree or shrub is in full sun, you may want to consider placing a burlap guard or fence around it that is about 6” – 12” away from the tree (not touching) that will provide shade from the sun, but still subject it to the cold temperatures. By doing this, you will avoid trapping in heat which may cause the tree or shrub to begin translocation, which can become damaged when night-time temperatures drop to well below zero. Plastic sheeting tied over the top also helps to keep it dry, just make sure that it doesn’t touch the plant. For perennial plants place mulch or leaves around the plant and keep it in place with straw or evergreen pruning’s. This protection should remain on the plants

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until the warmer weather of early/mid-Spring comes along, and the risk of extreme freezing temperatures is far behind us. For roses, there are a number of solutions that can help you protect them for winter. One option is to wait for a hard frost then mulch the roses or use a “Rose Cone”. Just be careful that it’s not done too early or during warmer daytime weather, as this can cause molding. For less hardy roses like Hybrid T Roses, it is best to protect it by mulching it, mounding soil around the base, or if you live in a colder part of the region, you may want to trench it. To trench roses – loosen the root ball then dig a trench long enough to lay the bush into, and about 12” deeper than the width of the plant. Line the trench with a 4” layer of straw around and above the shoots. Fill in with soil, covering the plant to a depth of 12”. Place a marker on it so you don’t forget where your rose is by spring! When you go to uncover, or dig up your roses in Spring, make sure you wait until almost mid-Spring. If you uncover them too early, you can run the risk of having a tender rose exposed to the elements during a late frost. Fall is also a good time to clean up any dead plant growth, divide perennials, plant Spring bulbs and fertilize gardens. It is also a good idea to take photos and measurements for any projects you may be planning for spring. Spending snowy, winter days picking plants and planning new beds or landscape projects will help get over the winter blahs and bring a hint of Spring.



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Forcing Bulbs Indoors

by Bernie Whetter


he term "forcing" refers to inducing a plant to produce its shoot, leaf, and flower ahead of its natural schedule and out of its natural environment. This can be done in three simple steps: 1) plant the bulb in a suitable medium, 2) subject the planted bulb to a chilling period, and 3) move the planted bulb to a warm bright location to produce its flowers. Bulbs for forcing can be purchased at our garden centre during early winter months and are available either in bulk or as a complete kit with the bulb, pot, growing medium and instructions. Hint: these make great Christmas gifts! Planting to flowering time varies with each species. Do some research before you begin. Bulbs can be planted in soil or water. If using soil, a light potting soil mix, available from our garden centre, is best. Choose a pot that’s just bigger than your bulb with drainage holes. Plant the bulb so that the point is poking out of the soil. Water well and keep it moist, never allowing water to stand at the bottom of the pot. Using water instead of soil presents an interesting view of the root development. Water culture requires a specific container whereby the bulb sits in a cup on top of a wider bottom which holds the water. Add pebbles, sea glass or marbles for effect. For multiple plantings, choose a wide container and half fill with pebbles. Set the bulbs on top and add additional pebbles to anchor them. Water level should be just touching the base of the bulb. Bulbs submerged in water will quickly rot. Outdoors, the winter months would provide the chilling period, but indoors, this period can be mimicked by placing the bulbs in a dark cool basement or even a refrigerator with the ideal temperature at 10°C. Each species requires a different length of chilling period but generally until signs of root and shoot growth appear. Some bulbs available in garden centres 12 )

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have been “prepared” meaning they have already been subjected to a chilling period to reduce the time to flower in your home. Once the signs of growth appear, move the bulb to a warmer, brighter location. In general, blooms last longer at 18°C and in indirect sunlight. The success rate of forcing the same bulb a second time is slim. When the flower is dead, discard the bulb and soil or maintain the vegetative plant for the rest of the winter and transplant it outside in the spring. Popular Bulbs for Forcing Amaryllis can be planted in either soil or water culture. If planting in soil, it is best to place the base and roots of the bulb in tepid water for a few hours before planting. Bulbs purchased at our garden centre do not require a chilling period. Once planted, place in a warm location and flowers will appear in 7 to 10 weeks. An attractive new variety you may want to try called 'Rudolph' is now available at our garden centre. Hyacinths can be planted in soil or water culture. Normally, the chilling period is approximately 15 weeks. However, prepared hyacinth bulbs require a chill period of 8 weeks. After this time, they can be moved into a room temperature area and blooms will appear in 2 -3 weeks. Narcissus Paperwhites can be planted in soil or water culture and don’t require a chilling period. Large group plantings look better and keep the bulbs from toppling over. Set the container in the dark until the roots are developing, and then move to a sunny window. They will grow leggy if the temperature is too warm. The fragrant flowers bloom about 3 weeks after planting and will last longer if moved to indirect light.



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Houseplants 2012

by Ken Beattie Canada's Favourite Gardener Winnipeg, MB


ith shorter days, the low light periods, and yes, we can’t forget about the low temperatures, apparently in Canada fall and winter are upon us. At any rate, the conditions for growing plants outdoors are not applicable, and the climate for growing plants indoors can be a challenge for many. Basic science dictates that plants need light, humidity (unless cacti and desert plants are your thing) and finally, nice warm room temperatures. Many times I have witnessed unhappy plants struggling to cling onto life in some of the most challenging growing conditions imaginable.

so successful; they are virtually foolproof. These delightful, colourful flowers are relatively easy to grow and available throughout the year. Maintaining your Moth Orchid cannot be easier: simply leave them alone, water them so that the media is moist (by flooding them in the kitchen sink), place in just about any light condition and go away!

So what can a person do? First, I recommend you start by taking inventory of where in your home sunlight penetrates, when and for how long as well as what your personal lifestyle is. Many people pick up houseplants because of an article they read, a great sale, or maybe a TV show on decorating. However what is most commonly missed when making those decisions is asking yourself what it is you do every day. Are you at home for most of the day, or away at work? Plants are not simply inert decorative items. They are alive and require attention, some more than others. So, understand that these living creatures may need attention daily or weekly, and that their needs change depending on the time of year. Please, under no circumstances become one of those folks who say “I water every Wednesday, or once a week after the dusting.” Plants should not be scheduled this way as it rarely proves successful. Granted, some of you may be great at keeping houseplants and have been diligent for years. Then there are the rest of you who may be new at it, or find yourself struggling to keep your plants looking healthy and lush. Whether you are a novice or veteran, I’d like to highlight a few houseplants that will probably be suitable for a good cross section of the typical Canadian household. Let’s start with two of the most popular. Orchids, specifically Moth Orchids (Phalaenopsis), have taken the retail market by storm in recent years. It’s obvious why this common orchid has been 14 )

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When you purchase a Moth Orchid, the containers are typically either net-like or have superior drainage with several holes throughout the pot. To water your orchid, place the pot in the kitchen sink, flood it with tepid tap water and drain sufficiently. The medium orchids are grown in is basically bark chips or some other porous material. As such, the nutrient availability is next to nothing. To solve that, a balanced soluble fertilizer or a specified orchid fertilizer is recommended. Simply mix the soluble fertilizer into the water every third watering or so. That seems to work well for me. They do require lots of nitrogen due to the decomposition that occurs in the media, so a typical feed has a higher first number in the three number ratio (ie 30-10-10). Of course there are numerous other supplements, specific fertilizers and amendments for orchids that you may try as well.

Flowers are usually smaller, brightly coloured and nestled into the centres of most of the Bromeliads. Some will grow long stalks on which clusters of flowers will form in branch-like arrangements. Once finished flowering and the colour dissipates, it is best to cut the stalks off, unlike the Phalaenopsis Orchids which should have their flowering stalks left on to rebloom.

A periodic “spritzing” with tap water is healthy as it raises ambient humidity. However, a much better way to raise humidity is to place the orchid onto a wide humidity tray or saucer full of water that has pebbles in it to keep the actual orchid pot out of the water. An overturned tea saucer works well in a larger plant saucer, creating an island for the orchid. Keeping water around the plant at all times allows for increased humidity without compromising any roots from saturation, and it saves you the bother of constantly having to mist. Also, grouping like plants or plants that take similar conditions together will raise the ambient humidity for all of them. Good rationale to buy more than one orchid! Bromeliad (pronounced “Bro – mee- lee-ad”) is a wide and diverse grouping of plants that are rather exotic and easy to maintain. Typically these plants are vase-shaped with rather tough leathery leaves. Some will have brilliant leaf markings while others appear to have been dipped in paint or splattered with droplets of color. Often the leaf edge is barbed with teeth-like appendages or saw-edged like a bread knife. One of the most interesting features of Bromeliads is how the vase-shape is a very clever water holding device. In fact, you should keep a little bit of water in the vase at all times. This will increase the humidity and is natural for these plants.

Unfortunately, once your Bromeliad has flowered, it signals a change for the mother plant and she’ll actually start to die. Pups or side shoots will appear either at the time of flowering or shortly after. So as the parent plants go downhill, the next generation are forming. This process can take many months, so be patient. Feeding is generally not as critical for Bromeliads, however the occasional boost of either a balanced feed or fish fertilizer will not do any harm.

There is nothing like the brilliant colour of orchid blossoms mixed with a collection of neon coloured Bromeliads in mid-winter to bring an exotic touch to the home. Try both for a remarkably easy and low maintenance addition to your growing collection of houseplants and flowers.


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Backyard Birding by Carrisa Nykamp


ackyard birding is an enjoyable hobby for all ages. The interest in feeding our feathered friends has increased tremendously over the past decade and is second only to gardening in hobby popularity. If you would like to join the large group of year-round birding enthusiasts, there are three basic things you should consider: food, shelter and water. Food: Food is the most basic of needs for our backyard feathered friends. A study released a few years ago found that feeding birds through the winter will help them raise bigger and healthier chicks. They found that birds that had to find all their own food laid the same number of eggs as those that had access to feeders. The difference was that the birds who were fed by humans laid eggs earlier, giving their babies a chance to fatten up before all the other bird families are hunting for food. The study also found that the young grew up stronger and healthier. In the end, these families produced one more surviving young bird than the birds left on their own. However, it is still a mystery which part of the food matters most. The researchers could not determine if it was simply the extra calories (and fat) that helped the birds, or if it was the vitamins and minerals that aided in raising their young, such as vitamin E, crucial in egg production. Peanuts, among other seeds, are rich in vitamin E. 16 )

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When researching what type of feed to put out for your birds it is best to pick up a reference guide and determine which type of birds you have in your area and want to attract. It is best to provide a number of feeder styles and types of feed to attract many different kinds of birds. A feeder such as the Peanut Coil can be very effective and enjoyable to watch as birds fly in for a feeding. The Peanut Coil is shaped like a slinky with a circular steel frame and can be filled with peanuts in the shell, suet balls or a combination of both. The feeder has proven to be very effective at attracting Blue Jays, Woodpeckers, Chickadees and Nuthatches, to name a few. Shelter and Housing Development: Everyone wants to live in a safe neighbourhood and birds are no exception. Here are a few pointers to help prepare your backyards for winter: Roll out the ‘Welcome’ mat by offering areas with assorted types of trees, shrubs and evergreens that will allow birds to seek shelter from the elements and from predators. As your love of birding grows, so may your landscape needs! The more variety of habitats that you create on your property, the more interest you create for your birds! Don’t remove dead flower heads in the fall. The seed heads that are left in place on plants such as coneflowers, sunflowers and

thistle will provide a lasting source of food for finches and sparrows. Berries on trees and shrubs are also great food supplies, and often a constant source of bird chatter. Also, don’t rake too much. Dead leaves left under trees and shrubs are ideal spots for sparrows to forage for insects throughout the colder months until the snow flies.

Water: Many people put food out for birds, but fewer provide a regular supply of clean water. Birds need water for drinking and bathing, especially during the winter months in order to keep feathers in top condition. Research has shown that a chickadee with well-maintained feathers can sustain a 70 degree layer of insulation between the outside air and its skin. This is why water is particularly important during the winter months when natural supplies may be frozen. Water can be supplied in bird baths, bubblers or moving water in water features and ponds. Moving water will attract more birds because the motion catches their eye and they can hear the water over long distances. Bird bath heaters are available for year round use. Once you have addressed the food, shelter and water considerations, you are ready to welcome and enjoy your feathered friends all winter long. Hours of enjoyment await you - consider getting started this season!



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Cobi on Colour

Cobi Ladner talks trendy tones for Fall By Jami Kloet


decorating conversation with Cobi Ladner always turns to the topic of colour. The former magazine editor turned designer has always been a fan of the brighter side of décor. So much so that when she launched her namesake brand, cobistyle, a collection of home and lifestyle products, it was her mission to add colour to a marketplace full of monotones and neutrals. Three years later and mission accomplished. As her cobistyle brand has grown, so has the design world’s affection for all things bright and beautiful. “This colour world that we now live in came into the marketplace last spring and it came on strong,” says Ladner with delight. “You couldn’t deny it. The whole world went to colour.” Still riding high on spring’s vibrant invasion of colour, Ladner says she’s excited to see how these tones will transition into Fall. Though she’s never been one to label something as a trend, she admits to being thrilled over this current colour craze. And because colour is currently trending, and because nobody loves colour like Cobi Ladner, this is one design trend she’s delighted to discuss. Here are Ladner’s picks for Fall's prettiest pops of colour. ORANGE Ever since the Pantone Color Institute declared “Tangerine Tango” (Pantone 17-1463) as the colour of the year for 2012, orange has been the au current colour choice in everything from fashion to furniture.

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“Orange is wonderful, fresh and new for Fall,” says Ladner. “We’ve got it in a few things in my line because it works so well.” If you’re not a fan of typical Fall colour pairings like orange and brown, Ladner recommends orange and turquoise for a beautiful, modern mixture or orange and red for a more unconventional, yet contemporary, combination. JEWEL TONES While Spring was bursting with bright pops of colour, Fall will feature rich jewel tones such as deep purple, blue and olive green. “It’s still colourful, but it’s got that richness to it,” she says, adding that she’s noticed jewel toned hues in fashion accessories like handbags.

“It’s pretty beautiful. I think Fall is going to look great” RED Red is another colour on Ladner’s Fall radar. “Red is really fresh. It’s livable, rich and warm,” she says. It’s also one of the season’s shades that’s being coordinated into more uncommon colour combinations such as red, brown and cream, a mix Ladner thinks is wonderful for Canadian winters. WARM NEUTRALS “Even the neutrals are rich and warm and nice,” says Ladner of the season’s pretty palette of chocolates, charcoal grays, navy blues, and even warm shades of black. “I hope it continues on for a while,” she says. “It really works well with our Canadian Fall/Winter.”


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Available at


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Trends Meet Traditions

New Looks for a Classic Season

Ahh Christmas. Christmas is for friends, it’s for family, it’s for celebration…and of course, it’s the one time of year that no matter how much glitter you add to your décor, no one’s going to tell you that you went overboard.

If you’re like me, you pour over designer magazines for inspiration. Yet I still love going to my mother’s house to see her tree, coated in styrofoam and pipecleaner masterpieces my sister and I created when we were young. That’s the thing about Christmas décor. There’s no reason you can’t have both. It’s a time to bring out all your favourites, to truly enjoy your home, and take pleasure in every detail. This season, embrace all that inspires you in your décor plans. Whether your plan is to turn your home into a designer holiday dream, or simply try the latest trends in a guest or bathroom, the themes arriving for this season are the pinnacle of holiday inspiration. I have to say, one of my favourite looks for 2012 is surprisingly earthy. Tones of cream, sage green and sky blue paired with the textures of burlap and woods bring a warm, cozy look to any room and truly stand out as something new and different. For a little added sparkle, pair this combo with soft golds or glittery chocolate to truly stand out as something unique. Red, as always, is a Christmas winner. This year, instead of playing it safe with green, red is being combined with some more unlikely colour culprits. Red with black (yes, black at Christmas) can be dressed in glitter for a dramatic look, or mixed with plaids for a more rustic, homegrown feel. 20 )

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by Jackie Cornwall

Turquoise was a hit last season. Look for it this year paired with lime greens and dark golds, and even getting a bit wilder with pops of pinks or purple. Metallic hues of copper, platinum, silver and gold are being spread through the house to add pizzazz to décor, and are perfect to carry your design through to New

Year celebrations. Look for shiny metallic accents setting off classic colours like burgundy or forest green to bring them new life. Winter white continues to be a favourite. I just love how in white décor, it’s texture more than tones that set the stage. From porcelain snowflakes to fluffy feathers, to birch bark and soft wool throw blankets, the thought of wrapping yourself in wintery white warmth is as classic as Christmas itself.

Creating ambience to go with your home décor is a key trend in whole home design this season. Lighting and fragrance are that tiny detail that put your décor over the top. Warm your room with flickering flameless candles in lanterns, on your mantlepieces, your dining table, and even use them in your tree with the help of tree candle arms. As for fragrance, the scent of Frasier fir or warm apple cider creates the ultimate invite for holiday guests.

This Christmas season is going to be a beautiful one. Enjoy it.



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Fall and Winter Fashion

Get ready for an explosion of colour


all and winter fashion has not been this colourful for many years; it’s warm and cozy but the colour palette has exploded to include so many colours that shopping will be fun in this dreariest of seasons!

bottom...even belts are coloured to match the bottoms but have gone skinny! If you dare, feel free to colour match colourful tops and bottoms and then layer with a dark jacket or sweater.

This Fall’s runways show ochre and burnt yellow along with different shades of orange, especially burnt orange; lipstick red turns to a burnt red and deep purple and chocolate brown continue to be strong along with forest and olive greens. Grays are deeper and even navy can be found. If you stand by the rule, “no white after labour day,” then stand aside as white for Fall and Winter is all the rage, but in shades from almost silver to French Vanilla. Never fear, the perennial black has been included as well!

Leggings and tunics are still huge and carry over from Spring but the leggings become fleece lined or corduroy. Great news gals...waists are back up and jean jackets are back! Layering is still hot but the tops can be ¾ sleeves if you like. Skirts are all different lengths and even dresses are strong this fall.

When it comes to bottoms, skinny legs are still in but so is the boot cut and trouser leg, particularly in dark brown and indigo denim. New colours have been introduced from all over the pallette that include some metallics and many of the jewel tones, particularly sapphire blue, emerald, jade and amethyst!

Shoes and fashion jewelry have taken over from handbags and scarves as the dominant accessories. Speaking of footwear, the whole motorcycle boot and riding boot trend is in place but add in cut-off versions to the mix. Yes, you can wear socks with them...just let the socks fall low and scrunch up like they are part of the boot and keep the colour simple and solid in colour. You can even wear this combination with a skirt but never an open toe! With a coloured bottom in place add a neutral top with a complimentary piece of jewelry... particularly gold or semi precious stones with splashes of colour to tie in the 22 )

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While flats are still fine, heels are huge and you will find them everywhere. Again the idea is colour...colour blocked patterns, T-straps, ankle straps, shoe-boots and even colourful skins along with pointed toes!

Gold is back! However, silver is still strong in fashion jewelry. Black metals and rose gold are still around but use them wisely. Don’t panic, bling is still a great way to sparkle this holiday season but fashion rings now contain large slices of stone and we are seeing this carry through to bracelets and necklaces as well. Bracelets have also gone wrap-around along with watches, while watch faces are trending back towards round. Thanks to Princess Kate you can transform loose hair into a statement! Hair pieces and accessories are the new rage so grab some decorative barrettes, headbands or clips and make your statement!

Handbags are shrinking in size but can be colourful to match those coloured bottoms. You will also see a lot of small, coloured clutches carried over from spring for both daytime and evening wear. Riding boots and motorcycle boot trends have brought us handbags that are smaller and cross-body in a saddle bag or messenger bag shape. Even leather satchels are back and coloured so look for them in patent leather. Speaking of patent leather...get ready for it in the Spring collection... but that is for next time!


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How to Decorate an Artificial Christmas Tree

by Martha Vandepol

The decoration of a permanent Christmas tree usually defines your décor style, and the type of style that you take the most delight in. The first step to creating a memorable Christmas tree is the purchase of the tree. If you are looking to save money and time, be sure to purchase a festive tree from your local garden centre that is a prelit tree. Select one that is well made, usually composed of PVC, plastic or a combination of both, because it will last for many years. If you like to keep your Christmas decorating simple, choose a tree that has some character, perhaps with additional pine cones, white flocking or berries, so that the tree can majestically stand on its own. A more natural tree, such as the Canterbury or Oregon Fir tree, would be a preferred backdrop for a selection of Christmas balls, ribbons and ornaments.

The magic begins as you start to decorate your Christmas tree.


Christmas tree can be the most magical symbol of the festive, holiday season. Its warmth and comfort allow childhood memories to come flowing back of family gift giving and waiting for Santa to come with a large sack of presents. The Christmas tree brings heartwarming inspiration for home décor and can help to create lasting memories of the holiday season. By being placed in the center of the living room window or tucked beside the fireplace for family gatherings, it usually is the focal point of your décor. The tree reminds us of our history and the stories of Christmases past through the collection of ornaments, ribbons, balls and twinkling lights, and will continue the story for years to come.

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By displaying your tree in an outdoor cast iron urn, or an ornate fiberglass container, you will achieve a more refined look. Also, take the time to “fluff” your permanent Christmas tree for a more natural look and to ensure that there is enough space between the branches to display the ornaments. Just before decorating, step back to view your tree to make sure that the lights are evenly spaced and the tree is aligned correctly. Now, the magic begins as you start to decorate your Christmas tree. You may have a theme and colour scheme predetermined from previous years, such as traditional reds and greens, elegant whites and silvers, or a classic Christmas red. Try something new and trendy by creating a gold and metallic combination, a vintage look with the use of gold, naturals and platinum shades, a fun and colourful look with multicoloured baubles, or the latest trend of frosted greens, moss and whites. Whatever your preference, there are a few

key decorating elements that will ensure that you have a showstopper tree. When selecting your Christmas decorations, select two to three colours. If you are incorporating a new and trendy colour, use accent pillows or home décor items of the same shade in the room to tie it together. Use 2¾” ribbon or sinamay mesh to change the colour scheme at minimal cost and create a fuller looking tree. Always start from the top of the tree, working your way down and around to give a more balanced look. Set out your decorations before you begin hanging them up. Place the larger, less expensive decorations deeper in the tree which contributes to colour depth and allows the reflection of lights to create a warm glow. Sentimental ornaments should be hung at eye level so they can be the focal points of the display. The use of non-Christmas items will make the tree more personal or unique. For instance, a lantern with a Reallite candle inside, or a candle placed on a tree arm allows for Christmas comfort and warmth, skateboards and hockey sticks for a sport themed tree, artificial flowers and poinsettias to add volume, or feathers to use as a tree topper. Add the finishing touch to the base of the tree with a velvet tree skirt or fur-lined throw, and presents that are festively wrapped. Consider the presence of multiple Christmas trees in your home. Maybe have a more elegant, sophisticated tree in your living room, a “kids themed” display in the family room, and various other trees placed throughout your home for festivity and warmth. Always remember, the holidays are about celebrations, and a Christmas tree is a twinkling, glittering reflection of everything that it represents – the memories of Christmases past, the gathering of friends and family today, and the wishes for Christmases to come.


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This popular new foot wear, featured on many popular TV shows are soft, warm and simply adorable. We have many fun styles to choose from. They’re fully machine washable, they won’t shrink and the incredible thing is they’re under $15.

Real Lite Candles The realistic flickering flame candle from the Abbott Collection creates a true illusion of a real burning candle. No one will ever know the difference with this patented design. Real, drip free wax is safe for children and pets.

Seasonal Must Haves These fine products available at

Cranberry Wreath

Add the finishing touch to your front door with a 22” Cranberry Wreath. Composed of beautiful, high quality faux berries that are water resistant, it is a must for the holiday season.

Powder Scarves

Looking for a way to add a little extra pop to your outfit? Just throw on one of these fashionable Powder scarves. With our wide selection, you’ll find one to go with just about everything in your closet! Each style is designed in fabulous head-turning colors, so you’re sure to find something here that matches your personal taste. No outfit is complete without the perfect accessories, and that’s why we’re proud to carry Powder scarves in a variety of colors and styles - and perfect for gift giving! Powder Scarves by Evergreen – sold at The Green Spot Home & Garden.

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Green Solutions Bird Feeders Top quality bird feeder at an affordable price! Green Solutions bird feeders are made from 98% recycled material and are guaranteed to never fade, crack, or split. They will outlast countless other plastic bird feeder containers. The feeders come in several styles and are designed to hold all sizes of seed and suet giving your wild birds a smorgasbord of food all winter. Green Solutions Bird Feeders by Sun Country Farms – sold at The Green Spot Home & Garden

Canterbury Christmas Tree

This pre-lit artificial tree is the ideal backdrop for all your Christmas ornaments and decorations. Combining molded poly, bristle branches and different textures of greens, these mixed branches create a very full, realistic and authentic looking tree for your home.

Don’t Throw the Poinsettia out with the Christmas Tree


nfortunately, in some homes, the poinsettia plant gets pitched when the Christmas tree comes down, usually because it looks pathetic. Most of the leaves have dropped and just a few small colored bracts remain atop knobby arthritic looking branches. No wonder! With a little care, your poinsettia should last for months. In fact, the plant can last for several years, moving it out of doors for the summer months and in for the winter. And with some day length restrictions during September/October, it can be forced into color for the next Christmas season. Only two conditions need attention to keep your poinsettia healthy: proper watering and proper placement in your home. When watering, the soil should be moist but not wet and can be allowed to dry slightly between watering. The plant does not like to sit in water so any excess water should be removed after watering. It is best to take the plant out of the pot cover or tray, place it in the kitchen sink, water thoroughly and allow it to drain before placing it back in its cover. A plant that is either too dry or too wet exhibits the same symptoms – limp leaves. Once you see this, act quickly. Leaving it in either extreme condition too long results in leaf drop. Poinsettias prefer bright filtered light and room temperature, nothing special. However, don’t place them near doors or registers or directly in windows where cold drafts are frequent. Also avoid the tops of fridges and audio or visual equipment where warm air is expelled. If you do wish to keep your poinsettia for an extended period be sure to fertilize with an all purpose fertilizer such as 20-20-20 following the instructions on the container. This is a good practice for all house plants. With these simple common sense practices, your poinsettia can be a healthy living enhancement to your décor. Placed elegantly in your home, aka - the Christmas Star, will be the symbol of the holiday season as it is in many countries around the world. Bernie Whetter The Green Spot Home & Garden Brandon, Manitoba HOME & GARDEN MAGAZINE

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he earliest recordings of the use of rosemary date back two millennia. Long used for medicinal purposes and as a flavouring agent, in the Middle Ages rosemary became a symbol of remembrance. It was used both at weddings and funerals to celebrate love, fidelity and a love of life. Christmas is a time when we celebrate loved ones and memories both old and new, so why not incorporate some rosemary into your holiday celebrations?

Mark DeWolf is a food, drink and travel writer, a sommelier instructor and owns By the Glass, which takes guests on epicurean adventures around the world.

Creating Holiday Memories with Rosemary By Mark DeWolf


Rosemary Wreath

Rosemary trees have become very popular. Just add a few colourful decorations and instantly you have a fragrant and seasonal holiday display for your kitchen. Or if you want to get crafty, you can make a rosemary wreath. What you’ll need: Supplies: Rosemary branches 1 5-inch grapevine wreath - available at most craft stores Clear thread Florist’s wire Scissors Twine Directions: 1. Tie 3-4 rosemary branches into small bundles at base with the clear thread. 2. Lay first bundle on the wreath and secure with the florist’s wire. 3. Overlay second bundle on top of first bundle and secure with wire. Repeat until last bundle meets up with the first bundle. 4. Fill in any empty spaces with individual branches if necessary. 5. Garnish with twine bow. Crafty tip: Clip the branches off a rosemary tree, as they are more flexible and cost effective compared to buying individual packages from the grocery store.

Gifting Idea: Rosemary Oil

Flavoured oils make wonderful gifts for the epicureans in your life. Dry a ¼ cup of finely chopped rosemary in an oven for 4-5 minutes or set out for a few days in a warm 28 ) FALL 2012 HOME & GARDEN MAGAZINE

sunny spot (don’t use fresh rosemary as you run the risk of botulism). Place the dried rosemary in a heavy bottom pan, add a bottle of good olive oil and heat on medium until it turns colour (about 5 minutes). Let cool completely and funnel into an artisanal oil bottle. Make sure the bottle is absolutely dry. Add a couple tablespoons of pink peppercorns and you’re done. Tie a recipe onto the bottle with a colourful ribbon. Add a bottle of wine and you’ve got the promise of a wonderful night of great food and drink. This makes a great hostess gift.

Quick and Easy Appetizer:

Rosemary Skewered Lamb

Use rosemary branches in place of skewers to spruce up your holiday hors d’oeuvres routine. 16 ounces lamb loin, cubed ¼ cup lemon juice 2 tbsp olive oil 1 clove garlic, minced 2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary Rosemary skewers Cherry tomatoes Zucchini slices Marinate the lamb in a bowl with the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and fresh rosemary for an hour. Place a piece of lamb, a cherry tomato and a slice of zucchini on a rosemary skewer and cook on a grill pan over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes per side.

Rosemary Entree:

Lemon Rosemary Shrimp 1/4 cup butter 1 clove garlic minced 1 tbsp lemon zest 24 jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined Lemon wedges Salt & pepper Rosemary Oil 1. Place a large sauté pan or wok over medium-high heat; add the butter. 2. When the butter is melted, add the garlic and lemon zest. 3. Add the shrimp and sauté until center is cooked through; about 3-5 minutes. 4. Transfer the shrimp to a plate; squeeze some fresh lemon juice over top. 5. Drizzle the shrimp with rosemary oil and season with salt and pepper. 6. Add a little pizzazz to the presentation by skewering the shrimp with fresh rosemary.

Wine Pairing Tip: Rosemary & Riesling:

In Taste Buds and Molecules, Quebec sommelier François Chartier has revolutionized food and wine pairing by revealing natural flavour bridges between food and wine by connecting the molecular structure of the flavour compounds of our favourite dishes and classic grape varieties. One of the perfect harmonies revealed in the book is the complementary relationship between rosemary and Riesling. I’d suggest brushing grilled or sautéed shrimp with rosemary oil and serving it as a satisfying hors d’oeuvres at a holiday dining event.



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Wine gadgets and gizmos and gifties – oh my! by Diane Nelson

Christmas came early to my house this year. Santa, in the form of Bernie Whetter, owner of The Green Spot, dropped off a sack – well, OK, a box – full of goodies for me to check out. “Write about what you like,” he said. I couldn’t wait to get started. Because if there’s one thing a wine writer likes almost as much as wine, it’s wine paraphernalia. I was almost giddy as I tore into the huge, heavy box, wondering what delights awaited me. The first item I grabbed was a package of two Capabunga rubber caps – these allow you to recap a bottle of wine and lay it on its side! Genius! Especially when one is entertaining and refrigerator standup space is at a premium. To give them a real workout, I opened a couple of roomtemp Chardonnays, put the Capabungas over the bottle tops, then laid them in the freezer. After an hour, the wine was icy and there was no leakage whatsoever. “I am SO keeping these,” I muttered to myself. Next, some gorgeous bottle stoppers, topped with huge glass jewels. I dug deeper. Another find – stoppers for the festive season that actually light up! Cool! Then the functional stuff that every wine lover needs: the Trudeau Aerating Pourer, which fits onto a wine bottle and allows a justpoured glass to taste as though it’s been breathing for an hour. I poured one glass straight from the bottle, then dispensed another through the Trudeau device. There was no comparison. The wine was 30 )

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smoother and noticeably better after a quick trip through the Aerating Pourer. It didn’t hurt, either, that I sipped from the Resistech leadfree crystal wineglasses. About eight inches tall, with ultrathin rims that are fortified to be chip resistant, AND with a 25-year warranty against cloudiness or chipping, they’re a bargain at four stems for $29.99. Another great gadget – the Trudeau Wine Preserving Pump, which sucks excess air out of an opened bottle so the wine lasts days longer than it otherwise would before going bad. I tested it, leaving some Chard in a bottle, and using the pump to remove the oxygen. A few days later, I tried the wine. Brilliant! It tasted great. And a bonus: The Trudeau pump’s action is smoother than any other I’ve used, and comes complete with two rubber corks for $19.99. More digging, and the box delivered a bounty of treasures that were not only functional, but FUN! Wine gift-bags, some elegant, some comical. A fabric, plastic-lined carrier bag with two completely separated pockets to transport two bottles. My favourite vinyl chiller bags in festive green. And – unbelievable! – a plug for the kitchen sink topped by a small painted pewter wineglass! Then came the wine-bottle holders. A heavy resin-thatlooks-like-ceramic top hat adorned with holly, lovely for a festive table. For those who, like me, adore both wine AND shoes, an oh-so-sexy stiletto that would make ANY wine look even more appealing. Finally, there was the deer-antler bottle-holder. I’d heard about this, and had my doubts. But I chuckled when I saw it. It was sturdy, secure, and rustic. Cheesy? Perhaps. Charming? Certainly. Whimsical and delightful? Ab-so-LUTE-ly! Fancy corkscrews, hand-painted glasses, wine-and-cheese plates, and more – I could go on and on. But why not head to The Green Spot and see these items first-hand? There’s a whole section of the store devoted to products sure to please the winos on your list. And who knows? You might just find a little something for yourself while you’re at it … Diane Nelson is the Brandon Sun’s wine writer. Her column, Vine Lines, runs weekly in the Saturday edition.



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Available at

The Green Spot Home & Garden Magazine  

Fall / Winter Issue of The Green Spot Home & Garden Magazine.

The Green Spot Home & Garden Magazine  

Fall / Winter Issue of The Green Spot Home & Garden Magazine.