Christmas or Thanksgiving Cactus?

Cactus 2Right “on time” our Christmas cactus is blooming, as it has the past three years since our neighbors, Greg and Luci, presented the seasonal gift to us.

Although we profess to be gardeners, I can tell you that I have a long history of killing anything green and growing indoors, except for the standard philodendron.

(And I’ve come VERY close to killing those, too.)

I did a little research, and found that the Christmas cactus is one of the Schlumbergera (say that three times) genus of cacti, growing in the coastal mountains of south-eastern Brazil. There is a second type called a Thanksgiving cacus, that blooms in the fall, and a third, Easter or Whitsun cactus (blooming at Easter).

On the linkedwebsite, someone posted a question about why her Christmas cactus blooms near Thanksgiving, and that’s when I learned there are two types! The cactus needs the shorter days with less light to inspire the blooming period to begin. In my experience, they survive largely on neglect (That’s why we are Master Cactus Gardeners.) and a little water. I read extensively about how they should be watered every 10 days and thrive on humidity, so I guess Roger does a lot more behind-the-scenes care than I knew.

I have linked to a great description of how to propagate the Christmas cactus. I will have to wait until the early spring to do this because the plant should not be actively blooming. Jeremy likes to give “to do” advice, so my “to do” advice will be to look for a good sale on holiday gold or silver pots/buckets in January. Or stock up on gold or silver spray paint.   Also, look for the end-of-holiday Christmas cactus that needs some love.

I’m going to set a reminder on my calendar to try propagating the Christmas cactus in April. That’s going to be an adventure, and it will make a terrific personal gift next year. Maybe I’ll give a “baby” to Greg and Luci!Cactus 1

Countdown begins for Christmas 2014!

COuntdown CalToday the Yule Log begins our countdown to Christmas 2014.  With Christmas 2013 fresh in everyone’s memory, we begin our look forward to next Christmas.  We enter our next cycle of countdown ready to better the experience for all our loyal readers.  We are award-winning tree designers now, so the stakes are high!  We have made plans for this next year and are excited to share with all of you.  There is so much exciting Christmas news and adventures to share.

To help keep you up to date we have set a regular schedule for our blog posts and podcasts.  We will share a new post every Monday and Thursday as we countdown for 2014.  New podcasts will be uploaded on the 12th and the 24th of each month.  Stay tuned as we try to capture more Christmas spirit, attempt to start an app, plan a Christmas in July adventure, and return to the Festival of Trees.  Merry Christmas to all!!

Podcast #59- Hours to Go!

Happy XmasPodcast #59-  Click here to listen to our most recent podcast- Merry Christmas 2013!

Happy Christmas to all from the Yule Log 365!  Natalie & Jeremy wrap up 2013 with some thoughts about the year past, a visit to the Nationals Christmas Center, a new idea, and plans for a better 2014.  Listen in and hear all the details, including who doesn’t like White Christmas! Hoping everyone has a day of warm hearts tomorrow and throughout the season.  Merry Christmas!!

Podcast #56- 109 Days to Go!

christmas_RETURNSPodcast #56- Click here to listen to this week’s podcast- We’re Back (again)!

We’re back was what we said on our last podcast way back in June.  We took a long summer hiatus from our Christmas sharing, but don’t think we haven’t been busy with Christmas planning, thinking, and prepping.  THis week we get back in the swing of things and discuss the “fall” approach to the Christmas holiday. With just over 100 days remaining there is MUCH to share with everyone.  Don’t miss the announcement about our plans for this year’s Festival of Trees!

We share what we think you should KNOW about prepping and planning ahead for all your scheduled holiday events and happenings.  We discuss how best to PLAN for that Christmas budget and ways to continue to get some great finds for the holidays.  We encourage everyone with a plan for what to DO to take advantage of discounted school supplies and materials now to be ready for CHristmas.  Enjoy the discussion and apologies for the sound quality.  Turns out having all the studio windows open didn’t work so well.  Merry Christmas!

Podcast #49- 350 Days to Go!

Pod 49

Podcast #49–  Click here to listen to this week’s podcast- Here Comes Year #2!

Natalie and I kick off our podcasts counting down to Christmas 2013!  With Epiphany over, today truly can begin the focus on just Christmas 2013.  Today we share our plans for the Yule Log in this new year.  We also introduce our new structure for our podcasts.  Each time we hope to share something in three categories: KNOW, DO, and PLAN. This week we get to KNOW about Twelfth night and the Julian calendar Christmas.  We take time to DO proper storage and packing for Christmas 2012 and buy those needed items for 2013.  We close with a PLAN to add some events for the next year, to make careful notes for our plans, and to save for the holiday budget.  Thanks for joining us for Year #2!!