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Dress up your holiday table with a centerpiece using everyday houseplants.

Dress Up Your Holiday Table

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and you may be looking for ways to dress up the table. Sure, the turkey looks great…but what about your centerpiece? There are unlimited ways to impress the guests at your table for your Thanksgiving feast or holiday parties. Consider these ideas to spice up your table this season.

Lemon Cypress – vibrant color and a citrusy smell make these topiaries a cheery choice for your holiday get-together. Trimmed into a traditional Christmas tree shape, these trees can be decorated with lightweight decorations or enjoyed on their own.

Orchids – phalaenopsis orchids are popular this time of year. Use single stem, double stem or waterfall orchids to give your table an elegant look that will impress your guests. Orchids also look great surrounded by ivy or ferns.

Cyclamen – the patterned leaves and delicate blooms of cyclamen are a simple way to add some color to the table. These low growing plants won’t get in the way of you passing the stuffing either. In shades of red, white, and pink, they look perfect in shallow pots

Holiday Cactus - the perfect plant to start a family tradition: This long lived cactus blooms each year for the holidays. This makes it the perfect plant to pass down through the generations of your family for decades to come. Your family’s Christmas cactus will make a meaningful centerpiece as you gather for the holidays.

Poinsettia - for a traditional touch, use poinsettias in shades of red and white at your Christmas party. Decorate poinsettias with our battery operated InvisiLites for some added sparkle.

Amaryllis – another dramatic touch for the table is the amaryllis. Amaryllis flowers are stunning in shades of red, white, and pink. Try using several red amaryllis surrounded by green or variegated ivy for an elegant and simple centerpiece.

Succulents – the popularity of succulents seems to be never ending; just like the many ways to us them decoratively. Shallow pots and bowls are the best way to display them on the table. Use different kinds of succulents in shades of green and blue to create interest. Don’t forget to add some sparkle with lights or ribbon.

Incorporating ribbon, ornaments, pinecones, cut greens, branches, or lights is easy to do and all depends on the look and feel you want to achieve. Stop on by to see us and gather inspiration for your next celebration. We can help you create the perfect arrangement.

While the weather is getting colder outside, things are still lush and tropical in the McDonald Garden Center houseplant departments! Visit us at our Independence location and our new Great Neck location.

Autumn Rocket Cameilla
Yuletide Camelllia
Pink-a-Boo Camellia

Bedazzle Your Fall & Winter Garden with Sasanqua Camellias

When most of the garden is resting, camellias burst onto the scene with elegant, perfectly-formed blossoms. Sasanqua camellias are the first to bloom, and November and December are the best months to select and plant, since you’ll be able to see them in action.

The small scale of sasanquas make them ideal for today’s gardens. None gets too large. They have smaller leaves and flowers than Japanese camellias and a variety of shrub forms. Some are narrow and upright, some low and spreading and others form rounded shrubs. The variety of forms makes them useful for a variety of spaces. They’re best in partial shade but older shrubs can tolerate considerable sun. Give them well-amended, well-draining soil.

Just as lovely as their romantic blossoms is their ease of care. A well-established shrub is tough and durable. Pests and diseases rarely bother camellias and you need to prune only to shape. The glossy, dark green foliage is gorgeous year-round. Even the early forming flower buds create interest in late summer and fall.

While they’re not often used as such, camellias make wonderful cut flowers. A single bloom (or several) floating in a low bowl will provide close-up pleasure. But a bouquet of branches loaded with blossoms is sensational. The long-lasting foliage can be used to complement flowers of all kinds all year long.

Did you know?
Espalier is an ancient and artistic practice of training trees, shrubs and woody vines by pruning and tying their branches to a frame, fence, trellis or flat against a wall. Used in France for centuries, especially with pear and apples trees, this technique is ideal for small garden, where it makes it possible to fit a large camellia into a small space. Sasanqua camellias are the plant of choice for espaliers.

Fertilize Lawns and Plants in Fall and Winter
McDonald Organic Greenleaf
McDonald Traditional Greenleaf
Fertilome Winterizer Fertilizer

Fertilize for Winter Protection

Fall and winter are the perfect times to fertilize your lawns and plants for better health and disease resistance through the winter months. Stronger and healthier lawns and plants will endure the hardships of winter much better then weaker plants and lawns. Applying a fertilizer now through the end of December will ensure your plants success. Plants and lawns are expending energy now developing root systems and preparing for winter by storing food to be used during those colder months, so by feeding your pants you can aid in the survival during winter and stronger root development.

For general feeding of your trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals, we recommend McDonald Greenleaf Fertilizer. This classic fertilizer was designed for the Hampton Roads area, with all the major ingredients needed by all plants; it also has smaller trace elements (micro nutrients) that are essential to plant health. This great fertilizer just got better with the introduction of our McDonald Organic Greenleaf, ideal for all your organic gardening needs. This is our number one option for all your houseplants needs as well, light enough to not harm your indoor plants, but also strong enough to give you visible results within weeks.

Lawns also need winter protection, whether you have an evergreen fescue lawn or a summer lawn like St. Augustine that is going dormant. Summer lawns especially need help as they haven’t usually been fertilized since summer, but also because harsh winters can cause some lawns to struggle to survive the long, cold months ahead. St. Augustine, Bermuda, Zoysia, and Centipede lawns can all benefit from Fertilome Winterizer Fertilizer, loaded with potassium that will protect your lawn all winter long. Fescue lawns also need a little help and this winterizer fertilizer will help it develop that strong root system you will need come next summer.

Need something more specific, come in and talk with our lawn and garden experts. We have a huge selection of specific fertilizers that can target specific plants and specific problems that you may have. From organic to traditional fertilizers, we have everything covered from root to leaf to help grow the best plants and lawns in Hampton Roads.