Next is Terri Steffes from Our Good Life with her recipe for delicious homemade Sugarfree Cranberry Juice. “My daughter and I are a big fan of the Christmas cocktail called Poinsettia. It is a simple cocktail of vodka, champagne, cranberry juice and some orange zest. We made it for the first time a few years ago and it has been a semi tradition ever since.
I had a bag of leftover cranberries and rather than waste them, I made them into juice for our cocktails. It was super simple and I know our cocktails will taste wonderful due to the fresh taste of our juice!
4 c water
Susan Brandt from Blooming Secrets inspires us with her post The Year in Color-Rockin’ the Red. “This month we’re giving you the red carpet treatment! We’re cutting through the red tape to share our perspective on the color red and its place in gardening lore…At a time of year which is often dominated by cooler colors like blue and white it isn’t as difficult as you might think to generate some warmth, and foundation plantings like shrubbery are the place to “see some red.” Follow our feathered friends and you’ll find holly berries and winterberry bushes which they use for protection as well as a food source. Red twig dogwood and nandina can provide a beautiful contrast in a snow covered landscape and if you are looking for flowers keep an eye out for witch hazel and camellias as the winter comes to a close.” Read more…
Teri Schuler from the Freshman Cook delights us with her recipe for Candy Cane Cookies. “I love everything about Christmas Cookies! The smells, the colors, the yumminess! But my favorite thing about them is all the emotions and memories that immediately come back. Memories of my mom and I making them every year, since I was 4 years old. The neighbor across the street that taught me how to make pizzelles when I was ten. The many plates full of cookies we would wrap up and deliver to friends at school, church, and the neighborhood. The tins I would carefully fill with special cookies for a boyfriend or two. The mailing boxes carefully filled with sturdy cookies and bubble wrap after my husband and I moved 2000 miles away and couldn’t come home for the holidays. The trays full of cookies I brought for classroom parties over the years, and the many boxes of cookies I sent to my son and his room mates when he was away at college. All these memories flood my mind and make me smile when I think of Christmas Cookies. So, yes, I do love everything about Christmas Cookies, and you probably do too! I hope you will create some memories with these Candy Cane Cookies”…recipe…
Lastly is This Month’s Color in the Garden-The Power of Red from yours truly! “In landscape design and architecture, the color red tends to dominate when compared to other colors. Red tends to make a strong, dramatic statement and creates an illusion of boldness and depth. Red can be used to brighten a space in all seasons, including winter, with the incorporation of architectural elements or perhaps some berry producing shrubs in the garden against a white snowy background. Red foliage creates striking contrast in spring throughout fall, and red flowers, especially tubular-shaped ones, are an attraction to hummingbirds and other pollinators. The color red will have a lot more impact in your garden when used sparingly, and is nicely complemented by the the color green, which is considered neutral. Examples of red blooms in the landscape include Red Knock Out Rose, Tulips, Peony, Zinnia, Dahlia and Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal flower). Red berry producing plants include Nandina domestica, Winterberry, Holly, Skimmia and some varieties of viburnum. Plants exhibiting red or maroon foliage include…read more…
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For more gardening tips and design information, you may be interested in my book, A Guide to Northeastern Gardening: Journeys of a Garden Designer (Gardening in Zones 3-9) available on Amazon.
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