The Green Scene: December
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My name is Mary Holm, host of Prairie Yard & Garden on Pioneer Public TV. I grew up on a farm near Strasburg, North Dakota which was on the prairie grasslands of south-central North Dakota.

On our farm, we were the perfect example of locally grown food before that even became a phrase or movement. We milked cows for milk and cream, plus raised beef cattle, hogs and chickens for meat and eggs. We had a huge garden near a well for irrigation, a huge potato patch in one field, a sweet corn and pumpkin patch in another field and another smaller garden next to the hay field. That garden was a perfect place to grab a melon, crack it over a fence post and enjoy a sweet treat between hay loads coming in to be unloaded. My fun time was spent walking or riding horses on the prairie, loving the beauty of those plants.

My college roommate was a horticulture major, so between the two of us, the dorm room window sill was covered in plants. I can’t remember a time that I have not loved plants and nature and now I’ve owned a greenhouse complex for over 20 years with my husband.

It’s December and 21 degrees outside. The ground is frozen and white is the color of the season, but we can still have gardening on our minds! The holiday season is fast approaching and we can use Mother Nature’s gifts to decorate. Our pots that looked so nice with blooming plants all summer can now look beautiful again. It is easy to gather red twig dogwood, birch, aspen and evergreen branches to decorate those pots. You can add some big hydrangea blooms, which can be spray painted red, copper or even left natural. Ornamental grasses can be clipped to add an airy look to the arrangement, pine cones can be gathered from under evergreen trees and branches from flowering crabs that have persistent fruits still hanging on can add color and texture.

Also, remember your gardening family members and friends when going shopping for gifts. I personally could use a new pruner, and that is always a good gift idea. Consider gardening tools and gloves, which every gardener can use. If you can’t think of any tool your favorite gardener needs, how about a gift certificate to the local garden center? That is a gift that will bring months of enjoyment in the new year ahead. With all the cloudy weather, a holiday flower or indoor green plant make great gifts to brighten the loooong winter months. Yes, the weather outside is frightful, but we can still think of gardening!