Categories > Gift Ideas

Christmas Tree Success

Posted by Wallish on Nov 29 2016

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, everywhere we go. There is still something very nostalgic about having a live Christmas tree.  Popular varieties are Scotch Pine, White Pine, and Balsam Fir.

Here are a few pointers on choosing and caring for a live tree.

Selecting an Awesome Christmas Tree:

  •  First – know the final destination of your tree – determine the height required and width needed, give it space to stretch out
  • A freshly cut, well hydrated Christmas tree should have the following characteristics:
    • A healthy green color & is fragrant – indicates it has maintained its water content
    • Strong looking – not ‘wilty’
    • The needles stay on when you gently pass you hand down a branch
    • The needles are pliable, they don’t snap when you lightly bend them
    • The outer needles stay on when you pick the tree up and gently tap it on its stump – inner needles will always slough off, it’s part of their natural cycle
  • Check for a stump that is at least 8-10” long to give you wiggle room for trimming
  • Look for any insects

Caring for your Christmas Tree:

  • Store your tree outdoors until you are ready to decorate it
    • Cut off about 1-2” from the base to open the pores which have been sealed off by the pitch or sap solidifying; and place it in a bucket of water that holds at least 4 litres or 1 gallon of water.
    • Keep it in a sheltered location protected from sun & wind
  • When you are ready to move it indoors, cut off another 1-2” and place it in a Christmas tree holder that again holds a minimum of 4 litres or 1 gallon of warm water – this encourages the sap to flow so the branches can re-hydrate
  • Water every day, they may drink up to 4 litres or 1 gallon a day because bringing it indoors breaks its dormancy
  • Keep the water level above the cut line of the stump or ideally you will need to re-cut that stump because the pores will seal – and you SO don’t want that to happen!! – set an alarm to remind yourself to water the tree if you have to
  • The cooler the tree is, the longer it will last
    • Keep it a good distance from sources of heat such as fireplaces, heat registers, wood stoves, baseboard heaters, etc
  • An anti-transpirant spray may be helpful in extending the life of your tree by decreasing the moisture loss through the branches and needles
  • Adding sugar, baking soda, bleach, etc to the water has no effect on extending the life of your tree – use clear water

Safety Tips:

The possibility of your live Christmas tree going up in flames is a real and present danger. Here are some tips to keep your tree safe:

  • Never use real candles
  • Use non-flammable Christmas decorations
  • Use LED lights – they stay cooler
  • Turn off your Christmas lights when you are out of your house or sleeping

Recycle Your Tree

 Remember to recycle your tree once you are done with it.

  • In Strathcona County:
    • For those with curbside service, tree pickup is Jan 2-13, 2017
    • Instructions for rural residents are on the website
    • More information can be found on the Strathcona County website

Sources:  http://www.almanac.com/content/christmas-tree-care-tips, http://www.christmastrees.on.ca/index.php?action=display&cat=34, http://www.almanac.com/content/christmas-tree-care-tips, http://www.strathcona.ca/departments/utilities/waste-collection-recycling/special-events/christmas-tree-pickup/, https://www.evergreen.ca/blog/entry/10-easy-care-tips-for-your-christmas-tree/, https://www.bugwood.org/christmas/pdf/97007.pdf

Contact us today for more information on caring for live trees!

Tips on Choosing the Right Hanging Basket or Container

Posted by Wallish on May 3 2016

These are the days when we start thinking of what kinds of containers or hanging baskets we would like to have in our growing space. As in real estate, it’s all about location, location, location. Take a look at our handy chart below to see what you should plant this year!

hanging baskets

Factors  about location that should be considered are:

  • Hours of sun exposure
  • Buildings or fences that may shade the area
  • Intensity of sun exposure: direct or indirect
  • Wind exposure

We would be happy to consult with you to try to get the best match possible for your location. Call us now at 780-467-3091.

Clovers and Shamrocks | Gardening Information

Posted by Wallish on Mar 8 2016

The word “shamrock” comes from an Irish word meaning “little clover”.  Shamrocks, Ireland’s most recognized nation symbol, are included in bridal bouquets and boutonnieres for good luck. Shamrocks were also used by St. Patrick in Ireland as an evangelism tool to spread the gospel and illustrate the concept of the Trinity.

Sources differ as to whether there really is a ‘shamrock’ plant or that it is a clover.  It is thought that the original shamrock is a Dutch white clover called ‘trifolium repens forma minus’ from the legume family, which grows 6 – 12”. White clover spreads by underground runners (hence the opinion of weed), and has been added to lawn mixes recently for the nitrogen fixing (less chemical fertilizer dependency & use). Clover puts up with heavy foot traffic, is easily mowed, and deters chafer beetles. It is said that there is actually up to 300 different perennial species of clover. Being very high in protein, phosphorus and calcium, clover is also very nourishing for livestock.

For an ornamental application, we will be carrying 2 varieties of oxalis (which is a clover relative) this spring:

  • “Charmed Wine” has purple leaves with small white flowers.
  • “Molten Lave” has amber colored leaves with small white flowers.

Both “Charmed Wine” and “Molten Lava” add a unique burst of color, thrive in shade, and grow well in containers.

Best of luck to you all!

Call us for more information on buying Clover for your garden: (780) 467-3091.

*Sources: Enclyclopedia Britannica, World Book Encyclopedia, Lollysmith.com, franklieflowers.com, West Coast Seeds

 

Fine Tuning your Garden Plan – Use this quick & easy chart for ideas

Posted by Wallish on Feb 23 2016

We put together this chart for you of some of our favorite tried and true annuals and perennials. You may be at a spot in your garden planning where you are looking for some new ideas.  This is by no means an exhaustive list of what is available in the marketplace but it may get your juices running.

Happy planning!

Alberta garden plan

 

For more garden plans or ideas, contact our gardening experts at Wallish Greenhouse!

Alberta and Roses: How do the Two Interface?

Posted by Wallish on Feb 11 2016

Just one quick sniff of a tea rose can make anyone feel soft and fuzzy inside. Oh, how we wish we could grow tea roses in Alberta! Unfortunately, the cold hard fact (literally) is that tea roses are rated for  horticultural zone 5, and we are zones 3 and 4 at best in central Alberta. There are some people who live here who have perfected the technique of getting them to overwinter but it takes a strength and tenacity that even we Wallishes don’t often have, but all is not lost, there is hope!

Tea roses can be grown in containers as an annual on sunny patios, decks, and porches that get at least 6 hours of sunlight and they will bloom all summer.  Tea roses can even be used in a mixed container with other sun loving flowers and creative foliage.

For those who would like to grow roses as part of your landscape, there are options with blossoms are still beautiful.  There is quite a large number to choose from.

The following series of roses are hardy for our area:

  • Explorer Roses – are the hardiest roses available and are continuing to be bred and developed in a program that began in the 1960s crossing hardy roses with tea roses. They have nice form, are easy to grow, disease resistant and hardy up to -35, depending on the variety. Explorer roses are named after historical figures such as David Thompson, Henry Hudson, and John Cabot.
  • Parkland Roses – bred at the Morden Research Station in Manitoba, they have good winter hardiness, pretty form, and are disease resistant as well. Favorites are Winnipeg Parks, Morden Blush, Morden Sunrise, and Hope.
  • Canadian Artist Roses – a continuation of rose breeding spawned from the 2 above programs but now an industry driven program with the end goals being beauty, easy of care, disease resistance, and hardiness. Varieties include:  Emily Carr, Oscar Peterson, Felix Leclerc, Bill Reid, and campfire.

The future for roses in Alberta is an optimistic one.  When you have the opportunity, give one of the above roses a try in your landscape.

Call us at (780) 467-3091 for more information.

Grow Your Love with A Wallish Greenhouses Gift Card | Valentines Day Gifts

Posted by Wallish on Feb 2 2016

February has arrived and it is all about love, love, love.  We’ve come up with an idea for something to pair with those long stemmed roses or other cut flowers you may have chosen for your loved one to extend the love to your Valentine even longer —

What about attaching a Wallish Greenhouses gift card to them?

That way, the love of Valentine’s Day can extend through the summer with something like a container or hanging basket!

How can that be done, you may ask, in light of the fact that our retail store isn’t open yet?

Well, we are busily preparing for spring and are inside the greenhouses Monday to Friday from 9 am – 4 pm and we would be happy to load a gift card for you.

Here are a couple of ways to find us:

–  As you come through our front gate, bear to the right following the sign for pickups & deliveries and continue down the driveway until you see our main shop to the left; then just come through the man door and someone will be nearby to help.

– We could set up a quick date by:

 

Gift cards can be loaded in any amount and we take all major debit and credit cards.

 

Hope all goes well with Valentine planning!