Imagine being able to pick fresh lemons, limes and oranges right from your patio! Read more »
Cutting overgrown grasses by more than an inch or two at a time can create unhealthy brown and bald spots in your lawn – or ev... Read more »
Kids are eager gardeners. They love to experiment with colorful flowers, have an adventurous sense of design, and getting dirt... Read more »
Our Shear Ease® Grass Shears include a patented mechanism that prevents the blades from jamming or sticking when you’re trimmin... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Hedge Shears, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear techno... Read more »
Our Easy-Pour Watering Can offers both capacity and control. The 2.6-gallon volume holds a generous amount of water that is eas... Read more »
Put your crafting skills to work and create a beautiful and unique fascinator that reflects your personal style. Read more »
“Painting” with tissue paper is not only fun but beautiful! Read more »
Mosaic tile frames are a beautiful way to display photos. Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with a Squeeze Punch that makes every embellishment up to 2X easier to pun... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Detail Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that p... Read more »
A colorful, roomy bag is just the thing you need to carry all your belongings for a day at the beach. Read more »
Keep the kids busy on a road trip with their own art bag full of inspiration and the essentials. Read more »
This easy pillowcase dress looks adorable with pretty fabrics. Plus, it is super simple to put together, even if you have not... Read more »
Only our Stitcher Scissors provide precision and control that meet the needs of the most demanding sewers and quilters. Micro-T... Read more »
Our Seamstress Scissors are the perfect all-purpose scissors for anyone who cuts fabric frequently. The smooth action of these... Read more »
Choose our Dressmaker Shears for long, smooth cuts through multiple layers of medium to heavy fabrics. Extra-long blades maximi... Read more »
Looking for a sure cure for bored kids - make sparkly sea creatures! Read more »
Open-ended activities like this Busy Book can keep kids occupied in the back seat of a car AND spark fun family conversations! Read more »
It doesn’t take much to turn an everyday snack into something a little extra special. It is great to see how quickly you can a... Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
The beautiful mood lighting of lanterns at outdoor gatherings is fabulous, so why not craft up a set to use this summer. Read more »
Treat your children to their own special tent hideaway, then stand back and watch as the fun and adventures begin! Read more »
Make a thoughtful gift for someone this summer! Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Great for beginners, the unique design of this tool makes cutting perfect shapes from fabric a breeze — since you’re not managi... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
For those of us trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle, this time of year poses yet another green dilemma. One of the most common reasons for buying an artificial tree is their longevity. Although artificial trees do get credit for their re-usability, an important factor in environmental stewardship, eventually they are discarded where they remain in a landfill forever more.
I certainly respect there are circumstances where artificial trees are more appropriate for certain users. Moreover, if you already have one, discarding it prematurely is not environmentally responsible either. However, when the opportunity presents itself, think twice before opting for artificial Christmas trees as the greener option, because they’re not.
Part of what makes artificial trees so sturdy are the components used in their construction. PVC plastics are made from petroleum by products, heavy metals are used to stabilize the plastics and the metal branches are mined from the earth. In California, warning labels are even required on artificial trees to alert users of the potential risk of hazardous materials…including lead. And the idea of buying local and supporting area businesses doesn’t apply to artificial trees. Most are made in China, shipped across the Pacific and then travel many more miles to reach their final destination.
If you haven’t figured out by now, contrary to a common misconception, live trees are a better environmental choice. At any moment, there are approximately half a billion trees growing for future harvest that otherwise would not be there. While growing, they’re absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, stabilizing soil and providing habitats for wildlife.
As trees are harvested, new trees are planted to take their place. And unlike artificial trees, real trees can often be purchased from local farms. After they have served their purpose they can be utilized as a mini-habitat for wildlife or hauled off and shredded for compost.
But the best option is a live Christmas tree you can plant in your yard. Over the last several years, the popularity of living Christmas trees has
been on the rise. But many of these trees don’t survive the holiday season. Knowing how to choose, plant, and care for a live Christmas tree will make for a happier holiday, and a valuable addition to your landscape.
When purchasing your tree, select a variety known to grow well in your area. Consider the mature height and width of the tree and know where you will plant it in your landscape. Particularly in areas where the ground freezes, consider preparing the planting hole in advance of freezing weather.
Once home, your tree needs to stay outside, in a protected area, until a few days before Christmas. Water the tree immediately and make sure the soil is kept moist, but not wet. It also needs to be sheltered from high winds and full sun. The objective is to acclimate your tree to warmer temperatures over a period of three to four days.
Avoid the temptation to bring your tree indoors too early. In fact, the less time indoors the better. One or two days before Christmas is best, but no more than a week! And be sure to move your tree back outdoors as soon as possible after Christmas. However, don’t immediately plant it. The tree will need to readjust to outdoor conditions in a protected area for several days.
Plant this tree as you would any other, following sound planting practices. The hole should be at least twice as wide as the root ball, but no deeper, even slightly higher is better. Contrary to conventional information it is not advisable to amend your planting hole with organic matter. Rather, backfill with the original, well-pulverized soil.
Finally, be sure to water and mulch your tree to retain moisture. Continue to monitor soil moisture. Winter conditions can be very dry, and your plants and trees need water now as well, especially newly planted ones.
So if you’ve made the choice to go with a live tree instead of an artificial one, the proper care and planning, before and after the holidays, will help ensure your tree survives for years to come. Just not in the landfill!