- Gardening, General

New Gift Ideas For The Gardener In Your Family

If you have a gardener in your family or friend group, try one of these creative and unique ideas to put a smile on their face. Or, perhaps you’re the one with green fingers amongst the group. Treat yourself this season. After all, everyone puts a little something in their shopping basket while doing all that holiday shopping.

Succulent wall planter kit
This succulent kit doubles as a plant and a piece of art. Not just for the gardener in your life, anyone who enjoys home decor, hosting, flowers, plants and unique items will adore this in their home. Succulents are low-maintenance and can thrive indoors or out (in warmer climates). They can also last several years, reminding the recipient of your thoughtfulness every time they look at it. From Uncommon Goods, $110

Mason jar solar lights
This charming repurposed mason jar solar light is a perfect gift for the hostess in your life or the person who enjoys garden decor and upcycling. These lights will create just the right atmosphere for an evening garden party as they light a walkway or brighten up a patio space. They are also available in green for the gardener who likes a pop of colour. From Houzz, $10

Self-watering tea plants
Great for those friends and family members who are short on space but still want live plants in their home. Start sprouting these seeds indoors and then move them to a container on a windowsill or balcony to thrive in your outdoor space. Cooks will also love these fresh herbs that they can use at any time to add flavour to favourite dishes. From Uncommon Goods, $30.

Mini Greenhouse
If you really want to spring for something special, this mini greenhouse offers 26 square feet of growing room and 6.5 feet of headroom so the gardener in your life can be in this greenhouse for hours on end. Designed for small spaces and as a do-it-yourself project—without needing special tools—this gift is one that will last all year long. From Sam’s Club, $372

Gathering basket
Functioning as cute kitchen decor and a companion at harvest time this gathering basket is a great gift for the person who grows their own fruits and veggies. They can take it with them to gather their food from the garden and keep it in the kitchen to store fresh produce in the off season. From Williams-Sonoma, $44.95

Personalised garden tools
This thoughtful gift is handmade and would be ideal for someone special in your life such as a mother or sister. You get to choose the personal message that is engraved on these tools, making this gift both thoughtful and practical. From Etsy, $29.99
So which gift ideas for the gardener in your family do you like? Or, tell us your ideas for giving to the person with green fingers who is closest to you. Leave us a comment on Facebook sharing the link to the items you plan on gifting this year. And, happy shopping!

- Gardening, General

Tick Seed: Strange Name, Fabulous Flower

When newbie gardeners first hear of the word tick seed, they probably start running for the hills. Ticks are some of the pests you definitely don’t want to see anywhere near your garden or your home, so the thought of a flower that might attract ticks obviously sounds like a nightmare. Of course, if you know anything about tick seeds, you know that this bloom’s name isn’t a threat. (If you are worried about ticks, though, try planting some of these deer-resistant plants!)

Tick seed is the common name used to talk about Coreopsis and a few other genera, which are flowers with showy heads. The reason people call them tick seeds is because the plant is known to latch on to you or your clothing when you brush up against it—kind of like a tick. Except, with tick seed, you don’t have to worry about it making itself at home on your body like a tick does. *Cue sighs of relief.*

In fact, Coreopsis are gorgeous flowers that any garden would be lucky to have. The tick seed family boasts varieties in yellow, peach, red, and fuchsia shades, and they look fantastic in patio containers as well as borders. Oh, and some of them attract bees and butterflies, too, so you can be certain buds will be duly pollinated!

Types of Tick Seed Flowers
As mentioned above, tick-seed flowers can come in a few varieties. In addition to Coreopsis, Bidens, Corispermum, and Desmodium are all commonly referred to as tick seeds because of their attaching abilities. The Coreopsis family, however, is one of the most favoured for gardeners.

Coreopsis ‘Creme Brulee’
With striking serrated petals shining bright in a deep yellow hue, Creme Brulee flowers all the way from late June until October. The long blooming period paired with its flowers that appear on the head and down the stem make this variety a quick favourite.

Coreopsis ‘Limerock Dream’
What’s more fun than this flower’s name is its colour. A peachy shade that fades from orange to ruby, Limerock Dream offers plenty of aesthetic. This variety has a tendency to branch and flowers from early summer until the fall. We love this flower either cut and displayed in a tabletop vase or greeting guests in your front border.

Coreopsis ‘Limerock Passion’
Changing from a lavender colour to a pretty pink as it blooms from early summer to fall, Limerock Passion also features a yellow centre and gorgeous dark green leaves. And there’s good news: this flower also attracts butterflies!

Coreopsis ‘Limerock Ruby’
This self-supporting variety is mounded, and its colour is another stunning hue. Look to Limerock Ruby for deep red shades and yellow centres—the daisy flower head is one anyone will love. Also blooming from early summer to fall and attracting butterflies, this flower is a great indoor vase addition or container plant.

Companion Flowers for Tick Seeds
To ensure your tick-seed flowers thrive and look their absolute best, we recommend planting them with some of their companion flowers:
Coneflowers
Blazing Star
Rudbeckia
Gaillardia
How to Care for Tick Seed Flowers
Now that you know that tick seeds don’t attract ticks and are actually wonderful additions to your garden, you’re probably wondering how to keep them alive! As with all plants, you’ll want to make sure your tick seeds get the correct sun, water, and soil.
Sun: Full sun to partial sun
Water: New plants should be watered well, but once they are matured, tick seeds are very drought tolerant and require little care. You can mulch with bark mulch to retain moisture and repel weeds.
Soil: In places with wet summers, make sure your soil is well-drained to prevent crown rot.
You will also need to trim your tick seed depending on the variety you have. This guide does a great job breaking it down for you.
All in all, tick seeds are great flowers for your front borders, patio containers, and indoor arrangements. Just remember to give them the proper care, and they’ll provide plenty of flower power! Don’t forget to join Rozanne’s Inner Circle for even more useful information like this.

- Gardening, General, Slider

6 Cozy Cocktails From The Plants In Your Garden

‘Tis the season to cosy up to the fireplace with a drink in your hand. Whether you’re staying in for the night or hosting a holiday soiree, these garden cocktails are the perfect addition to your night! Take your party to the next level with one of these signature drinks.

Pineapple and Rosemary Crush
Pineapple symbolises hospitality and guests will feel especially welcomed as they sip on this yummy drink while in your home. The sweet combination of pineapple and the distinct taste of rosemary come together in this easy-to-make garden cocktail.
Ingredients:
2 chunks of pineapple
Sprig of rosemary
80 ml of sparkling wine
Ginger ale
Make It:
Mix wine, pineapple and ginger ale together.
Garnish with rosemary sprig.

Pomegranate Champagne Punch
Nothing says “let’s celebrate” like some champagne! Treat your guests—or yourself—to some bubbly with this festive punch. The pomegranate gives it just enough kick so this drink isn’t too sweet.
Ingredients:
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 750 ml bottles chilled brut Champagne
1 1/2 cups white rum
1 1/4 cups pomegranate juice
1 large lemon, sliced
Pomegranate seeds
Fresh mint leaves
1 ice block
Make It:
Bring water and sugar to boil in small saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer 5 minutes. Let cool completely.
Combine champagne, rum and pomegranate juice in a punch bowl. Add enough syrup to sweeten.
Mix in lemon slices, pomegranate seeds, and mint leaves. Add ice block to bowl.

Spiced Persimmon Old Fashioned Cocktail
This slightly sweet twist on an old classic will give you a reason to use up all those persimmons growing in the orchard. The bright colour and sweetness of the persimmon make this a pretty and tasty garden cocktail.

Ingredients:
1/4 medium ripe Fuyu persimmon diced, ends trimmed and discarded
1/8 orange
2 to 3 tsp. pure maple syrup
Ice
2 oz. rye or whisky
4 dashes orange bitters
1 (3 inch) cinnamon stick for garnish

Make it:
Combine persimmon, orange, and maple syrup in an a lowball glass and muddle enough to bruise the orange and start to break up the persimmon.
Add the ice, rye or whisky, and orange bitters.
Grate a touch of the cinnamon over the top then stir with the cinnamon stick until chilled through.
Clementine Bay Leaf Cocktail
Clementines are plentiful this season and so delicious and juicy. Take those clementines you get in your Christmas stocking and whip up this yummy drink.
Ingredients:
6 to 8 clementines or 4 tangerines
3 oz. dark rum
Juice of one lemon
6 bay leaves, 2 for muddling and 4 for garnish
Make it:
Muddle two of the bay leaves in a mason jar using a wooden spoon or cocktail muddler. Slice and squeeze the lemon and all of the clementines.
Add the juice and rum into the jar with the muddled bay leaves.
Shake well and pour over ice. Garnish with the remaining bay leaves.
Cucumber Lime Punch
This refreshing cocktail will taste as fresh as a garden and have you rejuvenated for all those holiday parties.
Ingredients:
1 cup rum
1 Cucumber, thinly sliced
2 limes, thinly sliced
1 cup water
12 oz. can limeade concentrate, thawed
1 liter club soda
Ice
Fresh mint
Make it:
Add rum, cucumber, lime, water, and lime concentrate to a small punch bowl or pitcher and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Add cold club soda and ice just before serving.
Slap mint leaves between your hands before adding.
Bloody Scary
Bloody Marys are a great way to use fresh ingredients from your garden. This one incorporates tomato, lemon and Thai chiles for a spicy take on this cocktail favourite.
Ingredients:
1 large heirloom tomato (8 oz. chopped)
1/2 cup potato vodka such as Blue Ice
1 tsp. grated fresh horseradish
Juice from 1 lemon
Green olives
Long Thai chile
Make it:
Whirl heirloom tomato in a blender until smooth. Strain into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice.
Add potato vodka, grated fresh horseradish, and lemon juice and shake to blend. Strain into 2 highball glasses.
To garnish each glass, thread 3 pitted green olives onto a long Thai chile and set over glass
Garden cocktails are more unique and adventurous than ever before. You can grow a range of herbs, vegetables and fruits with the idea of making a perfect concoction with your home grown ingredients. After all, the only thing better than a cocktail, is a fresh cocktail with ingredients from your own garden. Let us know what your favourite winter cocktail is. Leave a comment on Facebook or Instagram showcasing your yummy drink. Use the #geraniumrozanne so Rozanne can get ideas for her next garden party!