Gardeners! Do you have an indoor plant, flower arrangement, outdoor garden, or landscaping photo that you would like to share? Here’s the place to impress, inspire and share ideas about your indoor or outdoor successes.  

Email your picture to heartofvamg@gmail.com with a first name, city, with a short description of your photo.  We will try to post it as soon as possible. 

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Holiday Houseplants

by Jill Baedke

One of our favorite gifts to give (& receive!) during this holiday season is a colorful houseplant! Right now the stores have some beautiful Poinsettias, Christmas Cactus, Amaryllis, Kalanchoe, ferns and more! They come in many different colors and sizes. So what is the first question my family member, friend, or neighbor asks when I deliver their surprise? Yup … “How do I take care of it? Temperature? Water? Sunny window? Will it bloom again?” Over the next few weeks I am posting here on our web page, to Facebook, and in Instagram some quick fun “tips and facts” about these special plants. You can print out the information and add it to your gift or send the URLS to view the information and resources for more details. **Don’t forget to buy YOURSELF a beautiful flower to remind you of this special season!**

Care: https://bit.ly/PoinsettiaHOVMGA
Warning! – poisonous to pets: https://bit.ly/2022HolidayPlantPoisons

Valentine’s Gifts

by Kelly Love-Schwarz

Are you ready to gift for the next big holiday – Valentine’s Day? Do you buy cut roses, or send chocolates, or haven’t decided? This all depends on what type of relationship you have established with your partner. If it’s new, maybe you aren’t sure what to do. Whatever it is make sure it’s something you can do over and over again, like a tradition for you both and your family. If you have been historically “not that great” about doing something, why not go for it this year? If this is your thing, why not do something different?

I personally don’t care to watch dying flowers and we (hubby & I) just buy things when we want them, so we don’t really have a tradition established. If I were to establish one, it would be a plant or flower for my garden, something new that I don’t currently have and will grow in our time zone. (Or one that will at least live through me neglecting it indoors for a while before it dies.)

I have heard of something newer on the market – forever roses. They are supposed to last a year without water and care. Sounds interesting, but be prepared – they are a big purchase up front, but will last for quite a while before wilting and being thrown away.

My suggestion is you buy local – the florists and greenhouses do all of the work for you – they pick the best plants to have available for this time of year. Ask them about your selection whether it is a bunch of flowers, roses or if it is a plant. How long is it expected to last? Is it possible to make it last longer and does it need any special care? Is it easy or hard to keep the plant going? Can it be planted outside afterward, or is it grown for indoor use only?  

In referencing the Virginia Cooperative Extension office publications: I have chosen this publication to be relevant to the holidays because these plants can live here in Virginia and be show stoppers for years to come – a landscape reminder of your show of love!

Niemiera, Selecting Plants for Virginia Landscapes: Showy Flowering Shrubs: Publication HORT-84P https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/content/dam/pubs_ext_vt_edu/HORT/HORT-84/HORT-84-PDF.pdf

Questions? eMail: heartofvamg@gmail.com.