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A Holiday Guide to Rosemary

A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but rosemary has cornered the market on fresh and fragrant. This woody, perennial herb is a popular jolly-time companion to tinsel-strewn trees and twinkling lights. But to experience the full potential of this evergreen wonder, it’s important to know its uses as well as proper care during these colder months.

Health and Wellness Benefits
When we put out our first batch of rosemary trees in the fall, everyone seems to pause when they walk by to take in the amazing aroma they provide. What they may not know is that just smelling rosemary has been linked to improving mood and relieving stress.
Rosemary contains active components that are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic. It has a measured effect against bacterial infections, especially those in the stomach. Stimulating blood flow, rosemary has also been effective in treating migraines. With the added perk of containing anti-aging properties, it’s easy to see why rosemary tops the list of Chef Manu’s favorite cooking herbs.

Proper Care and Maintenance during the Holidays
Traditionally, rosemary is cold hardy (even in Hampton Roads), and they are perfectly happy outside. But with friends and family coming in, you may be tempted to bring your rosemary inside (and with all those aromatic benefits we told you about-why wouldn’t you?) However be aware you should limit the time inside to 5 days or less.
Feel free to continue cutting sprigs off your rosemary all season for cooking. The growth will slow, but you can expect spring temperatures to revitalize this perennial. With normal conditions, it should come back nice and full.
Don’t forget all the amazing décor opportunities with our gorgeous rosemary trees (available in a variety of sizes). One of our favorite decorating hacks this season is using extremely versatile and easy-to-manage Invisilites. Click here for more info.

Whether you’re taking in its alluring aromatics, enjoying its bountiful beauty, or cooking with its exquisite essence, your holiday season is sure to be roseMERRY and bright!

Cusine de Jardin with Chef Manu - Pumpkin Butter Pie

A delectably delicious twist on a classic, Chef Manu’s pumpkin butter pie is like a marriage of pumpkin pie and pumpkin tart with a sweetly cool, vanilla finish. By using only a few ingredients with McDonald Garden Center’s Virginia-made pumpkin butter, this recipe is as easy as…well..pie! So take the guess work out and whip this up in a jiff this Thanksgiving. The only thing you’ll have leftover is time to watch the big Snoopy float.

Ingredients:

  • 1 store-bought pie sheet
  • Butter (enough to grease baking dish)
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream for pie filling
  • 10oz heavy cream for Chantilly cream topping
  • 1 tbs powdered sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 jar of McDonald Garden Center Pumpkin Butter

Pie Filling:

  • Grease pie plate with butter.
  • Unroll pie crust and mold and press crust into of pie plate.
  • In a bowl, mix entire jar of McDonald Garden Center Pumpkin butter with 2/3 cup heavy cream and 2 eggs. Blend until smooth and velvety.
  • Pour pumpkin mixture into crust.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

NOTE: The top should brown a little bit when done. Cool for 1 hour.

Chantilly Cream Mixture:

  • Cut vanilla bean in half (lengthwise) and remove paste and add to 10oz of heavy cream plus 1 tbs of powdered sugar.
  • Whip vanilla paste and heavy cream until smooth and creamy.
  • Top pie with Chantilly cream and enjoy.

Lumineo Compact Lights

Trying to light up your holiday season? We have the best selection of unique lights that make it easy to light up your indoor or outdoor spaces.

Lumineo Compact Lights

Lumineo Compact Lights are one of the easiest ways to brighten up your holidays. These LED string lights have 500 or 1000 lights per strand, but that is just the beginning. They have 8 functions from steady-on to an array of twinkle and fading functions. They can be used indoors or outdoors. Compact Lights won’t tangle (no more struggling to get your lights ready to use) and with one inch spacing between each light, you get more bang for your buck. They are virtually unbreakable (check our our video where we walk on them!) and they burn for a minimum of 50,000 hours. That is almost 6 years of constant burn (or over 22 years of a 3 month burn). They come in warm white, cool white, classic warm white, and multi and never heat up to the touch. Since they are LED they use 70% less electricity, compared to standard light strings. The 1000 light strand is 74 ft in length, and the 500 light strands are 36 ft long.

The possibilities are endless with the compact lights. Imagine being able to put up a 1000 lights in no time. Decorating with light has never been so easy. You can use one to two sets on a fresh cut Christmas tree. Use them on a mantle, banister or table for max impact. Add them to garland for indoor or outdoor use. Go big with lights in your landscape by using them on trees, shrubs, topiaries or lay them on the ground in the landscape. And the best part is next year when you go to pull them out, they won’t tangle! No more dreading pulling your lights out every year. Brighten up your holidays with Lumineo Compact Lights.

Lumineo Durawise Battery Operated Lights

From the same people who make the compact lights, these lights give you the possibility of lighting up anything when power cords cant be used or you have no access to power. They come in either 48 or 96 light counts, and can be used indoors or outdoors. Durawsie battery operated lights run on three AA batteries and will last up to 30 days on one set. With a built-in timer that stays on for 6 hours and turns off for 18, all you do it set it and forget it. These too have 8 functions, won’t tangle, are unbreakable and will burn for a minimum of 50,000 hours. They come in cool white, warm white and multi but are also available in black or transparent wire.

Use Durawsie Light sets for mailboxes, lamp posts, railings, garland, wreaths, topiaries, trellises, mantles, tabletops and so much more. The black wire disappears into wreaths and garlands or any outdoor use, and the transparent wire adds a little shimmer to your mantle or tabletop décor. Fill up a lantern or glass vase with them; use them on small trees, or to brighten up your planters and container gardens.

Invisilites- the holiday trend that has everyone glowing

Invisilites are one of our favorite ways to brighten your holiday décor during the upcoming season. Invisilites are micro LED lights on a thin, flexible wire that are super easy to use. They come in a variety of styles, designs and colors that are sure to match any décor for the holiday season-or all year round.

We have the largest Invisilite selection in Hampton Roads. They come either on green, copper, or silver wire and we carry them in both battery-operated and plugin. Each year we add more to our collection, like snowflakes and stars, as well as gold, silver and red ornament string lights.

The possibilities are endless with these little lights. The green wire Invisilites literally disappear into any greenery you use them in. The silver and copper wires add a little sparkle or decoration when used in lanterns, glass and centerpieces. The light has a warm candlelight glow and they also come in multicolored lights for more of a traditional holiday feel.

Invisilites also come in bunches or waterfalls-a group of strings, usually 6-8 strands, which are great for mantles, poinsettias, houseplants and a number of other applications. Because you have multiple strands to work with, decorating just got easier.

Use them for decorating:

- Wreaths
- Garland
- Small Trees
- Houseplants
- Poinsettias
- Lanterns
- Glass Containers
- Centerpieces
- Topiaries
- Figurines
- Mantles
- Branches
- And so much more….

Holiday Lookbook 2016

Step into a magical Christmas wonderland at the McDonald Christmas Shoppe, where every corner is packed with new treasures and collectible wonders.