In this issue:

  1. December in the Garden
  2. Gifts from the Garden
  3. Gardenerd Tip of the Month: Monarch Habitat for Survival
  4. Gardenerd Product of the Month: Gardening for Geeks


1. December in the Garden

Brrr, it’s cold out there. Even here in Los Angeles, we’re experiencing frost in some places. The good news is we’re getting our chill hours for stone-fruit trees. Without at least 500 hours of temperatures below 45 degrees, we will not have fruit next year. So I don’t mind the cold.

It’s  holiday time, and it always makes me happy to hear my favorite Christmas song, “That Holiday Feeling” by Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, which I grew up listening to on my parents hi-fi. It’s so delightfully cheesy, it gets me in the spirit within the first few bars. Bring on the martinis and mistletoe! Do you have a favorite song or tradition this time of year? Share it below in the comments section. We’d love to hear from you!

The weather has been kind to our Test Garden. We’re harvesting kale, lettuces, radishes, and mustard greens. Our peas are climbing the trellis and will soon be flowering. Some nighttime scavenger plucked out every single sprout of our cover crop but we’re not discouraged. We’ll plant again soon, maybe when our December heat wave arrives (thanks, Climate Change). After that, the garden will be on auto pilot through the holidays. We’ll be taking a little break, too, here at Gardenerd. We look forward to gardening with you in the New Year.

Happy Gardening,


A client's herb garden is going strong
A client’s herb garden is going strong

2. Gifts from the Garden

Holiday gifts from the garden are both inexpensive and from the heart. Kids may not appreciate the care that went into making a handcrafted gift (it’s not Xbox, so whada ya gonna do?), but grown ups recognize it instantly. Homemade jams from last summer’s fruit, bouquet garni bundles and sachets from homegrown herbs, and pomander balls are just a few examples of what you can create from your garden as gifts for loved ones. Here are some helpful hints for gift giving this season:

Bouquet Garni – a few simple ingredients make a delightful hostess gift. Fresh or dried, it still makes an impression.

Pomander Balls – Southern gardeners can use homegrown oranges to make these great gift ornaments. They last for years after they dry out (ours is about 15 years old and is still fragrant).

Holiday Jamuse seasonal fruit to make tasty gifts.

Of course, if you don’t have time, there’s always Gardening for Geeks  or something from the Gardenerd Store. Just sayin’…

3. Gardenerd Tip of the Month – Monarch Habitat for Survival

Monarch butterfly caterpillars eat milkweed along their journey.
Monarch butterfly caterpillars eat milkweed along their journey.

Our latest YouTube video shows you why it’s a good idea to plant milkweed in your garden. In some places it grows wild. Instead of pulling it out like a weed, leave it there for our winged friends:

Growing Milkweed for Monarch Butterflies

4. Gardenerd Product of the Month – Gardening for Geeks

It’s a fact: Gardening for Geeks makes a great gift–one that keeps on giving year after year. Got a gardenerd in your life? Give them the gift of knowledge. Find the best places to buy it here:

Gardening for Geeks

Gardening for Geeks by Christy Wilhelmi
Gardening for Geeks by Christy Wilhelmi

Stay tuned for more tips and tidbits from Happy winter gardening!

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