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GROWING THINGS: Preserving contemporary cedar boughs by the vacations

Plus, serving up the perfect seeds for the birds we share our gardens with

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Q A number of years in the past you talked a couple of methodology of preserving lower boughs of cedar and spruce over the vacations. I wish to use the boughs on the stairway handrail and I must maintain them trying properly for at the very least two weeks. I appeared again by your columns however can’t discover it. Any probability you can point out it once more?

A It’s undoubtedly time to revisit the subject of the preserving of boughs and branches for the vacations. You may strive utilizing florist water vials, which are available quite a lot of sizes. Examine on-line or together with your native florist for availability. These vials are merely plastic tubes with rubber tops. The rubber permits inserting a department or stem by the stopper with out the water spilling out. You’ll have to add water to the vials every day or much more because the evergreens will drink lots. For bigger preparations or for branches too giant for the vials you may think about taking down the contemporary evergreens every day and inserting them within the bathtub to mist or soak in water. This will likely sound like lots of effort however in case you benefit from the scent of contemporary evergreens within the house it’s value it.

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Bear in mind additionally you could lower these branches from pine, spruce and cedars across the yard and you are able to do this pruning right now of the yr with out harming the crops. Take care when pruning the cedars that you just aren’t eradicating a department which may not develop again. Take solely the inexperienced portion of the department and by no means lower into the brown a part of the department nearer to the trunk as that won’t develop again. Make your cuts rigorously to protect the form of the evergreen as properly. You don’t wish to create a gap or make the evergreen look lopsided. I take advantage of spruce and pine completely from my yard and purchase cedar and balsam fir branches as properly. The fir and cedar add an exquisite perfume and I don’t threat injury to my cedar shrubs.

 Feeding feathered pals

Q You’ve talked about being a hen fancier and we had been hoping you can inform us what the perfect seed is to place out for the wild birds. We’ve been attempting some combined seed varieties with poor success.

A Birds are an necessary a part of the enjoyment of my yard within the winter. I’ve all the time had the perfect success attracting the widest number of birds with black oil sunflower seeds. These seeds have a excessive focus of oil, which is necessary within the winter months, and the birds simply appear to love these seeds higher than any others. In the event you discover the sunflower seed shells make a multitude on the bottom you’ll be able to all the time strive the shelled sunflower seeds. They’re just a little costlier however there isn’t any waste and no mess to wash up.

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Bird seed
Black oil sunflower seeds are probably the greatest selections to draw the biggest number of wild birds in Edmonton. Picture by Phil Burke /Provided

To you …

I ran throughout this quote that spoke to me and I hope it does to you too.

“Let nobody suppose that actual gardening is a bucolic and meditative occupation. It’s an insatiable ardour, like all the pieces else to which an individual offers their coronary heart.” — Karel Capek

To my readers and all my gardening pals — might all that’s lovely, significant and brings you pleasure be yours this vacation season and all through the approaching yr! Merry Christmas!

Each week, Rising Issues Outside runs on-line at or, in case you desire an epaper format, Study extra by emailing your inquiries to [email protected], studying previous columns at or my ebook, Simply Ask Jerry. It’s also possible to comply with me on Twitter @justaskjerry01.

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