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Resolve to Have Bold Winter Color

CYCLAMEN

Try Cyclamen for big, bold winter color! This cool weather bloomer boosts unusually shaped, colorful blossoms and variegated gray-green elliptical leaves. Depending on the variety, the blossoms may be pink, lavender, deep purple, white, or red. Cyclamen needs cool temperatures to continue blooming, so be sure to keep this plant away from heat sources and, preferably, in the coolest part of the house.

To prolong the life of your plant, water the soil as soon as it feels dry to the touch. Avoid overwatering, and be careful not to spill water onto the crown (center) of the plant. If it becomes too dry, the leaves will wilt and may fall off, and flower buds may fall off too. You can also keep humidity high around plants by placing plants on a tray of moist pebbles; just don't let them sit in standing water. A McDonald watering TIP- would be to soak the pot from the base, as in a saucer for a few minutes, then drain the water. We recommend removing the flower stalks once they have finished blooming as this can promote renewed flowering. To do this, cut the dead leaves and spent flowers off with scissors. Be sure to remove completely, as stalks left on may rot and get gray mold disease.

If you want to try reblooming your Cyclamen for next winter, here’s some easy steps:

Once your plant stops blooming, reduce watering, and allow it to dry out. Remove the corn (the bulb-like structure from which leaves grow) from the soil, and place in peat moss, vermiculite, or a mixture of the two to keep it moist. Store it for a few months at 50 degrees F. In June, repot it in a mixture of equal parts peat moss, garden soil, and sand, keeping the upper half of the corm above the soil surface to help prevent rotting. Move it to a shady spot outdoors, and water as needed. Fertilize twice a month. Before the first autumn frost, bring your cyclamen indoors. Place it in a cool, sunny window, and wait for the blooms!

Just in Time for the Holidays

HELLEBORE JACOB

There are few shade perennials that can compete with the seasonal interest of Hellebores. Often called Christmas or Lenten Rose, these staples of the winter garden are tough as nails and take center stage in the winter landscape.

Hellebore Jacob is characterized by its smooth, dark green foliage with striking, crisp 2-3 inch white flowers. This early bloomer flowers from mid-November to January, just in time for the holidays! The flowers mature to a pink and rose color in cool temperatures. In warmer temperatures, they mature to light green. Hellebores can be used in the garden in many ways, in containers, in flower beds or simply tucked under a tree. Once planted and established, the Hellebore will bring joy to the garden for many years to come. Hellebore Jacob is the perfect cure for long winters and cabin fever. Oh, and just one more thing…they’re deer resistant too.

Fresh from the Farm

FRASER FIR CHRISTMAS TREES

Bring the family out to experience your local Christmas Shoppe as you select the perfect family tree this year! Available from 2 feet all the way up to 12 feet.

Here's a little tree trivia for you curious folks…
The beloved Fraser fir was named for John Fraser, a Scottish botanist who explored the southern Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina in the late 1700s. It is a pyramid-shaped tree that reaches a maximum height of 80 feet and a trunk diameter of 1-1/2 feet. The species is sometimes called Southern balsam or Southern balsam fir.

The Fraser fir grows naturally only in the southern Appalachians, above 3,000 feet. The cool temperatures and lots of rainfall of the North Carolina High Country are what causes the Fraser fir to keep its needles throughout the Christmas season. The strong branches are turned slightly upward which gives the tree a compact appearance and makes it perfect for decorating.

Over 50 million Fraser firs are grown in North Carolina on 25,000 acres for use as Christmas trees, and the Fraser fir represents over 90% of all the trees grown in North Carolina as Christmas trees. Christmas Trees haven't always been a Christmas Tradition. No one really knows who put up the first Christmas tree, but some historians believe that even the Egyptians and Romans used some form of an evergreen to decorate their homes in late December.

What a treasure to purchase a tree grown this close to home. When you purchase a McDonald tree, they come straight from the farm in North Carolina so this Christmas icon will stay fresh and looking good all season long.

McDonald Garden Center offers three options for a Fraser Fir. The traditional tree is full with a traditional, pyramidal shape and lots of branches for displaying ornaments. The Natural Fraser captures that all natural, fresh from the farm feeling. It is more open allowing ornaments to hang nicely. The other option is a tabletop Fraser perfect for adding big impact to a small space.

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