A Few New Year’s Traditions Explained

Have you ever wondered how it became popular to kiss at midnight on New Year’s? Or why eating black-eyed peas is a tradition? Here are a few New Year’s rituals explained:

Happy New YearThe midnight kiss: according to folklore, your first encounter with another person in the New Year will set the tone for the rest of your year. Having that encounter be a kiss symbolizes strengthening the relationships you wish to continue in the future. This tradition dates back to ancient European times and a slightly different version says that the New Year’s Eve kiss can drive evil spirits away during the New Year.

The ball drop: the ball drop in Times Square has been happening since 1907 and was inspired by time balls (old time signaling devices that were used to ensure that marine timepieces were keeping accurate time). In the years prior to 1907, fireworks would be held in Times Square to mark the beginning of the year but those were banned in 1906 because hot ash raining down on the streets didn’t seem like a good idea. The New York Times’ chief electrician sought to create a new display to wow the crowds and combined the time ball drop with electricity. He covered a 700 pound ball of iron and wood with 100 light bulbs and used a system of pulleys to lower it at 11:59 pm. Today, millions of people tune in to watch the ball drop in Times Square to count down the final seconds of the year.

Eating black-eyed peas: this tradition goes back 1,500 years and is first linked with the Jewish custom to eat black-eyed peas to celebrate Rosh Hashanah. There are a number of theories that attempt to explain this ritual to eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day and they all tie back to this as a way to experience economic prosperity in the coming year. One is linked to the expression “eat poor on New Year’s, and eat fat the rest of the year,” meaning that starting the year off with this humble legume means your luck will increase during the year. Another theory says that since black-eyed peas resemble coins, eating them will bring an abundance of wealth over the next year.

Singing Auld Lang Syne: this song title translates to “times gone by” and the message of it is about not letting the past be forgotten by taking the time to remember old friends. Robert Burns wrote this song in the 1700s and it was not written to be a New Year’s Eve song. In 1929, a band playing at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York on New Year’s Eve happened to play this song just after midnight. It was well received and with that, a tradition was born.

Regardless of whatever traditions you choose to honor this New Year’s, all of us at Garden Supply are wishing you a safe and joyful time!

Fire Pit Fun

FirepitFire pits are all the rage these days, and for good reason. Nothing is as cozy and cheerful as sitting around a crackling fire. It can be simple and inexpensive to have your own fire pit, especially with the variety of portable ones on the market today. Even installing your own can be a fairly easy DIY project, with a range of plans being easily accessible online. Position some comfortable seating around the fire and have additional light sources around the fire pit area to create a more welcoming atmosphere.

A fire pit is a wonderful way to enrich the mood of a party—they are dramatic and enhance the ambiance with a cheerful warmth that people will gravitate to. The nice thing is that they expand the use of your outdoor areas because you can use them at any time of the year. Especially when it’s chilly, they provide a way to continue enjoying the outdoors. In the warmer months, you can add sage to the fire to keep mosquitos and bugs away so you can sit outside in peace.

Fun with a fire pitYou can use a fire pit to add some versatility and fun to the menu when entertaining. Roasting marshmallows to eat by themselves or for s’mores is enjoyable and delicious. Or, you can get more creative and involved with dishes to make on an open flame. There are several popular recipes for cooking bananas in the fire by slicing down the middle (leave the skin on) and filling it with peanut butter, marshmallows, or chocolate chips, then letting it heat on the fire. Here is a list of 34 interesting dishes to make with a fire: http://www.buzzfeed.com/twopoodles/recipes-for-camping-food. (You may need a metal grate that fits over the top of your fire pit for some of those.)

Nothing beats a sitting around the fire with a glass of wine and good friends or family, so stop by to check out our fire pit selection. We have a cool new portable fire pit that is a show stopper!

December Garden Clean Up

There’s a lot of gardening chores to be done in December to prep for winter weather. Here’s a quick run-down of some activities to think about doing:gardening tools

  • Keep mowing lawns until the grass stops growing and let clippings lie one the soil to return some nitrogen into the ground.
  • Clean up beds by pulling weeds, battling garden pests, and removing unnecessary debris from around plants and off of lawns.
  • This time of year is a good time to start thinking about the birds in your yard. Putting out a feeder is helpful for them during the winter months and they greatly appreciate an always-available, unfrozen water source.
  • Any plant that will not weather the winter well should be stashed in a safe spot for over-wintering. You can pot small plants or herbs like chives or rosemary and bring them indoors to continue growing them during cold months.
  • Make sure all of your bulbs are planted. They won’t do you any good come spring if they’re still sitting in the garage and you’ll be happy to have those beautiful blooms next year. It’s not too late to plant them and we still have bulbs in stock!
  • Get any trees or shrubs you want planted into the ground so they can thrive next year. We’re getting a new stock of trees in this month, so stop by and check them out.
  • Prep your new beds for next year’s plantings by laying newspaper or cardboard down to smother grass or weeds, then lay mulch on top.
  • Prune out or remove any plants, trees, or shrubs that look dead, diseased, or damaged. Don’t do aesthetic pruning now because new growth could begin and get damaged by the cold—save it for the spring.

Gift Ideas for the Man in your Life

Are you having trouble thinking of gifts for the men on your Christmas list? Well, we are here to help! These thoughtful ideas cater to many tastes and are a great place to start. Next time you’re stumped about what to get your guy, keep these gifts in mind!

To start, our first few ideas are for the bacon lover on your list. Everyone loves the sound of sizzling bacon and that irresistible smell that wafts through the kitchen. Buy some gourmet bacon from the grocery store or butcher then pick up something like these items to go with it!


Sitting by a crackling fire is one of the joys of the winter season. Fat Wood fire starters make starting fires a cinch. They are easy to use and work in fireplaces, barbeques, fire pits, and more. Blazin’ Buddies are the no hassle way to have a fire in your outdoor fireplace or fire pit. Pair these items with a bellow, fire wood, and a cozy blanket and you’ll be set! For added fun, get graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows to make s’mores over your blazing fire.

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Do you have a camper or hunter on your list? Or maybe just someone who loves camouflage and the outdoors? This traditional style red lantern is fully functional with long lasting LED bulbs. It can be used for camping or just hanging out on the porch. Pair it with a new sleeping bag and a pair of warm socks. Pair the travel mug with lid with some of his favorite coffee or hot chocolate. The bottle opener would be a great companion gift with a six-pack of his favorite beer. The insulated flask can be paired with a sampling of mini bottles of his favorite types of alcohol.


Here are a few more ideas we wanted to share with you. For the guy in your life that likes to cook, consider getting him some grilling tools and recipe starters like BBQ sauce or seasonings. Get some top-of-the-line cooking utensils and pair them with some food items that he is guaranteed to love. Snack foods may seem basic, but they can be unique items that won’t just be bought at the local grocery store. It is easy to build a goodie bag full of delicious snacks, or get a sampling to use them as stocking stuffers.

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These next items can cater to a variety of interests. We’ve included just a few examples of unique gifts that can stand alone or be paired with other items. These funky socks come in a variety of prints. They are a fun twist on a classic gift. You would be surprised how many people love to get socks as gifts, especially when they are as quirky as these. Beer soap is a distinctive gift that works well as a stocking stuffer (and it is made from real beer). Wrap this gift up with a “make-your-own-6-pack” from the grocery store or wine store as a thoughtful gift for the beer lover on your list.

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BONUS GIFT! Build a terrarium! This considerate gift is easily personalized. You can choose the shape and size of the terrarium, the plants that go in it, and even some special accessories for it. Terrariums are easy to take care of and require little maintenance so no green thumb is needed here.


We hope this helps out with your holiday shopping! Everyone here at Garden Supply Company wishes you a Happy Holiday Season!

It’s That Time: Poinsettias are Here!

Poinsettias: few other flowers are as synonymous with Christmas as this one! This plant was brought to the United States from Mexico in the 1828 by Bright Pink PoinsettiaJoel Roberts Poinsett. In Mexico, this plant is a perennial shrub and can grow 10-15 feet tall. The part of poinsettias which most people think of as the flowers are actually colored bracts, or modified leaves. The flowers are the center of the bracts. To get the longest-lasting poinsettias, choose plants with little or no yellow pollen showing because the plant drops its bracts and leaves soon after losing their pollen.

While poinsettias have long been rumored to be poisonous, this is not true. Ingesting the leaves of this plant will cause a child or pet to be sick with an upset stomach, vomiting and nausea, and they would have to eat 500 to 600 leaves to experience those side effects (and the leaves are not tasty). Despite that, it’s still best to be cautious about where you place house plants with pets and children in mind.

Red PoinsettiaThere are over 100 varieties of poinsettias on the market, ranging from red to pink, white, and purple. The red variety is the most popular and traditional. Although most poinsettias sold in the US come from California and their sales contribute over $250 million to our economy, our Poinsettias are grown locally. They are the bestselling potted plant in the US, which most being sold in the six weeks leading up to Christmas.

When bringing poinsettias home, make sure to place them poinsettias near sunny windows, or somewhere where they will receive plenty of sunshine. Be careful not to let the leaves of the plant press against the cold window panes, as they are tropical plants that dislike cold. They do not do well with very hot or cold drafts, so take care to keep them away from air registers and open windows or doors. Water only when soil feels dry and when watering, ensure that water soaks the soil down to the bottom of the pot, and then discard any excess water. If you plan on keeping your plant for several months, apply a soluble houseplant fertilizer for best results.Speckled Poinsettia

It is possible to keep your poinsettia going for longer than the Christmas season. You will need to care for it as you would any houseplant, and probably cut back the old flowering stems in February or March to maintain a good shape. Continue to fertilize the plant as needed.

For those who just want holiday blooms, take advantage of our “Dead or Alive” Program. Save the “Dead or Alive” tag and bring it back in the new year for a $5.00 discount on any house plant.

Our beautiful stock of Poinsettias is ready and waiting for you, so stop by and see us! Our knowledgeable staff can help you with any questions you have about caring for these festive flowers!

Burlap Goes Ballroom: A Christmas Trend

One of the most popular Christmas trends this season is Burlap. We are loving this trend because it adds a rustic touch without looking messy. Burlap can be interpreted in many different  ways. In our tree we chose to add burlap ornaments, props, and picks. This theme goes great with soft browns, ruby reds, and piney accents.


We brought in different brown tones to the tree to complement the burlap pieces. From there we added ruby red accents for a pop of color. To keep the tree from looking too rustic, we added some soft gold,silver, and cream ornaments and props.


Bows are a great way to tie in the colors of your theme. They make great filler and add shape to the tree. We chose a glittered burlap, a brown plaid, and a bright red ribbon to compliment the pines, floral, and ornaments in the tree.


Props are large pieces that we wire or zip-tie into the tree. You would be surprised what items you already have lying around your home, that would look great in your tree. For this burlap tree we added birdcages to keep with the natural look of the theme. Props should be built in around picks and sprays. We also place bows near our props, especially when we use neutral colored props.


This beautiful tree is only one of the masterpieces at the store this year. We welcome you to come by and see all of the wonderful themes. We would also love to help you create your own custom look. We can help you make bows, pick out ornaments, and much more.