tofino garden in december

Tofino Gardening in December 2006

by Trina Mattson, Tofino


Gardening in December is pretty much non existent in Tofino, unless you have a cold frame or a green house, and even then the pickings are slim, but possible. But if you are a die hard like I am, there is always something to do, last minute cleaning up, sharpening those tools, research, and dreaming about what to do in the garden next year.

Going over lists of seeds and plants that are coming in keeps my green thumb in practice. Plus there is the added bonus of house plants, although sometimes when it comes to house plants my green thumb tends to be more on the brown side.

There are several tropical plants that are hardy, even for me, the biggest thing I've learned about houseplants is do not over water, if it's not doing well, chances are you are over watering. One of my all time favourites, is Sanseveria, snake plant, mother in laws tongue, again, not requiring a lot of water, but will put up with cooler temperatures, dim lighting, and drafts. Zygocactus or Christmas cactus is another easy to grow plant, and with the added bonus of flowers over the holiday season as well, although they do flower at other times too. As the Christmas season approaches, you'll find that Poinsettias, Zygocactus, and Amaryllis are now readily available at Garden Centres, and are great for putting some colour inside the house when most plants outside are not in bloom, although there is still the winter favourites for out doors, heathers, and camellias are at the top of my list.

As for the homespun recipes for harvested plants, there are the dried herbs for cooking, but did anyone dry their rose petals or lavender for potpourri sachets, these make a wonderful gift for someone as a drawer sachet, and with the scent of lavender to calm the head.

Rose Petal Potporri:

1 cup dried rose petals
1/3 cup dried chamomile flowers
3 tbsp dried heather flowers
1/3 cup dried lemon grass or lemon verbena
A few drops of rose geranium essential oils, or your favourites combinations of essential oils

Mix it all together and bag it in a fabric tube closed off with a piece of ribbon

Spicy Lavender Potpourri:

1 cup dried lavender
1/3 cup dried rose petals
1/2 cup whole cloves
2- 6 Cinnamon sticks broken into pieces
1 tsp ground all spice
A few drops of lavender essential oil
Mix it all together and bag it in a fabric tube closed off with a piece of ribbon

Don't forget to gather salal, spruce, cedar, huckleberry, heather and pine for making little evergreen bundles, for the front door, table arrangements, and wreaths.

Happy Holidays.

Trina Mattson runs the Ordinary Corner Nursery in Tofino at 619 Tibbs Place Road.

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