MumsOver the next few months, even people who do not have much in the line of a “green thumb” will start buying or receiving plants. Brightly colored mums in foil-wrapped pots can be the perfect host gift, and those of us who prefer not to use cut flowers will often try something different, like a potted orchid, for a dining table centerpiece.

Even plants with dramatic or different kinds of leaves become presents.

From about the end of September, right on through the New Year, people give and get more houseplants than they do during the other nine months.

Learn the “tricks of the trade!”

Bowl of stir-fry vegetablesWinter is a great time to vegetable garden.

The weather is working with you; cooler temps; vegetables maturing in cool weather will be high quality; expect fewer pests (weeds, insects and diseases); you’ll be using less water; saving money on grocery bills; and you’ll be receiving accolades from those sampling your produce.

If you plant cabbage, did you know cabbage is an inexpensive food that is easy to grow, tolerates cold weather, and keeps well. Cabbage is also loaded with fiber, which helps to keep you healthy.

Here’s a great recipe to create a cabbage-based vegetable stir-fry.

Mondale Pine

Mondale Pine

Living Christmas trees can provide the best of both worlds.

Cutting down a tree, keeping it for a short time, then throwing it in the trash, feels like a waste.

Once, I would decorate my Ficus benjamina (weeping fig) for December, and have a big houseplant the rest of the year.

But now I am a traditionalist; it must be an evergreen for the holidays, and I prefer keeping a tree alive.

Like every other living thing, however, a living Christmas tree requires care.

Angela O’Callaghan explains what to look for and how to care for a living Christmas Tree!

Pretty pink roseNo matter what the climate — extremes of temperature, precipitation, and sunshine — people want roses blooming in their yards.

There are about 100 species, and thousands of cultivars, of this flower.

Even in the parched Mojave Desert, they can be desirable additions to the garden.

The public is invited to view the entries of the “We Never Promised You a Rose Garden, But We Got One” Rose Show from 1 – 4 p.m. at Cooperative Extension’s Lifelong Learning Center located at 8050 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, Nev.

Pear tree in Botanical Gardens.

Pear tree located at the Outdoor Education Center’s Botanical Gardens.

Figs, nectarines, peaches, apricots, pears, apples, strawberries, cantaloupe, grapes and blackberries are just a few of the fruits you can grow at home.

The fruit varieties may be different than what you’re used to but the results can still be spectacular.

Let Angela O’Callaghan, social horticulturist, explain what plant attributes to look for when planning your home orchard.

Homeowners and other interested parties are welcome to attend the Gardening in Small Places workshop.