Thanks for visiting. We aren't actively blogging here anymore. Please visit us on our new site.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

We dim the light, we stoke the fire, we breathe the evergreen...

Tuesday afternoon I found myself, for the very first time, working at our third floor Readers' Services desk. Despite the heavy snow that had begun to fall outside, the desk was busy, lots of folks looking for that certain book or DVD to curl up with on a frosty night. I'd only been at the desk a few minutes when a particular scent attracted my attention - mmm, yum. What is that?

At that moment I realized the festive holiday decorations on the bookshelves behind me were not made of the artificial pine boughs so common at this time of year, but real pine! What a wonderful surprise, and undoubtedly the work of the library's resident gardener, Readers' Services staff member Linda Knorr.

Linda is not only a dedicated and knowledgeable library assistant, but her green thumb brings delight to the library year 'round, too. She sells plants to raise money for our Relay for Life team, and even made an appearance as "Professor Sprout," teaching wizards - I mean kids! - how to grow pumpkins at our Harry Potter event. Linda recently shared with the library staff some gardening tips for creating an evergreen container. I asked if I could pass those suggestions along to our PlainTalk readers, so read on. Next time you're checking out a DVD or novel, stop by and take a deep breath of the fresh pine behind the desk - it will definitely get you in the holiday spirit. Above all, be careful out there as the snow and ice pile up over the next few days, maybe even weeks. We want to see you back in the library in 2009!

"Winter Gardening" with Linda Knorr
If you want to liven up your balcony or porch for the holiday season try putting together a container of evergreens. Local garden centers sell supplies and often offer classes. (Or if you're lucky, you have evergreens growing in your own yard or a friendly neighbor's yard.

Start with a medium sized container (plastic pots work better than pottery as the clay expands with the cold and may crack) and add potting mix or top soil to about an inch beneath the rim. If you have a little money to spend buy a spruce top (look for one with cones for more interest) and a selection of branches from several of the following evergreens: white pine, spruce, juniper, noble fir, arborvitae, yew, etc. Then add a few red or yellow dogwood branches, a branch or two of berries (winterberry is gorgeous but expensive) and add some pine cones and a red bow. You can also add a few artificial branches and berries if the "live" ones cost more than you want to spend. Add water to the pot, after you've arranged it the way you like it, so that it will freeze and last longer. Most will look good until well into January and beyond. Enjoy the season!

Want to find books about winter gardening? Try these.

That is Linda in the photo above, posing with her handiwork up on the third floor.

The quote in today's subject line is from a beautiful Christmas song by Amy Grant, "Emmanuel, God With Us." The library has a great selection of Christmas and holiday CDs. You can browse through them on the third floor, or click this link to see them listed in our Catalog.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to post your comments and thoughts. We love to hear from you.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.