Gardeners Corner

Gardeners Corner

Christmas cacti and a little sidestep into Advent wreath-making

Erik reminisces about making wreaths with his mom with step-by-step instructions

I wrote about my Christmas Cactus earlier (other names, Schlumbergera or Christmas cacti bloom), purchased just after moving to Smithers twenty years ago. It has been me great reminder of time.

How to care for your Christmas Cactus: As soon as the top inch of soil in the container feels dry to the touch, soak the soil until water runs through the pot’s drainage holes; discard water in the tray so the plant doesn’t sit in water. It’s especially important to water well while the plant is flowering.

From spring through early fall, feed every two weeks with a houseplant fertilizer. During the fall and winter, feed the cactus monthly. Prune plants in June by simply cutting off a few sections of each stem. Leave the sections in a cool place for 2-3 days, before planting them in moist vermiculite to make more plants—they root easily.

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If your Christmas cactus is exposed to any type of stress, the plant will likely drop its blossoms. it usually has to do with either receiving too much or not enough water or lack of air humidity

I would like you take a small sidestep with me from gardening, considering this Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent. I would like to take you along to my childhood days, when my mom and I were making the advent wreath.

First the inside part, made of straw, was kept from year to year, but I will take you through the making of it. I should perhaps mention, it is an outdoor job.

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You can use any straw you want. As you make the circle the size you want for your home, you will squish the straw together hard, to make a circle about three inches. To hold it together, have on hand some thin wire, you will go around as necessary, to keep the shape you’re after.

For decoration, you need some spruce branches, you will cut the tips off in lengths of three or four inches. Lay the evergreen on the straw circle and secure it with strong black thread, decorating as you wish.

The four candles are inserted with a finishing nail, to be heated to red hot. The length should only be a little less than the width of your finished wreath. When cool, insert the candle into the wreath.

So, what is the advent wreath helping us to look forward to? It can be so many different things. One could be, when we light the last cantle, the days are getting longer and with that the gardening season is approaching.

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