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Great Christmas Themes & Ideas at Home & Office

Posted by Angelica on December - 6 - 2011

Christmas Quote

Wish you all A Merry Christmas,
May the Joys of the season
Fill your heart with goodwill and cheer.
May the chimes of Christmas glory
Add up more shine and spread
Smiles across the miles,
To-day & In the New Year.
~Rosie Cash

 

It’s December again and Christmas is just around the corner. If you’re still confused about this year’s Christmas theme, here’s a list of Christmas ideas on settings and decoration to help you guide and prepare for a great holiday seasons. The most important thing to remember is to have fun doing and enjoy your preparation work. J Merry Christmas Everyone!

 

Christmas Celebration at Home


  • Neighborhood Christmas house deco – set up a small neighborhood committee who would like to participate and have a fun competition to decorate each houses and see who’s best. You can choose to lay down a few rules and evaluation points like the most attractive, the most organized, the most nature friendly or so on. The idea is really to get everyone start mingling and getting into the Christmas spirit together.

    outdoor Christmas deco outdoor Christmas deco

     

  • Decorating a home based on color themes – Choosing a color theme can go a long way. It helps you get the ball rolling with inspirational ideas based on the color you’ve chosen. Try Blue & White for a white Christmas feel, or the classic Gold & Red, or even something modern and chic like Green and Orange or Fluorescent Pink & Silver. Once you get started on the color, you’ll be surprised at how many things in the house that starts changing accordingly to the color theme 😉

    orange Christmas tree

     

  • Bake cookies/cakes – Home make the cookies & cakes by Yourself instead of buying and get everyone at home involved. It’s a great way to get the family connected including the boys. For ideas on Christmas cookies and cakes recipe, visit Joyofbaking.com/Christmas

    Christmas cookiesChristmas cookies

     

  • Christmas caroling – caroling for Christmas never gets old. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide of ‘How to Organize a Christmas Caroling. Plan early to decide on timing of sessions (between Thanksgiving & Christmas), pick dates & songs list, identify your top carolers and make sure they’re there at all the session, plan your route, encourage and invite more people to participate along the way, dress up in your Santa, Elf, Santarina, or Victorian costume, and just enjoy yourself. Optional: bring eggnogs!
    Christmas caroling


  • Christmas deco ideas – work around with lots of lights, wreath & ornaments, snowflakes, confetti’s, stockings, candles, ribbons, gingerbread houses, candy canes, mistletoes & pines or Christmas cards.
    Christmas deco idea


  • Give – Think of the poor and disable and how would they celebrate Christmas? This is a great month for giving and getting the blessings from doing so. Give away clothes, food and any other things not in use or simply give out money for charity.
    Christmas charity giving


  • Organize kids Christmas party – The children are usually most excited about Christmas and it’s a great idea to organize Christmas parties for them. Get come of the older kids to give some creative ideas on Christmas crafts, games, stuffing of stockings, snacks or food and get them to help in organizing this fun and excited event. Your kids will love you for this and don’t be surprised that you might have a great time too planning and joining this event.
    kids Christmas party


Christmas Celebration in the Office


  • Cubicle decorating competition – everyone in the office has their cubicle and what better way there is to get into the mood and spirit of Christmas than decorating your own cubicles. The idea is really not to get the most expensive gifts for the winners but rather to get everyone involved in this event.
    office Christmas cubicle office Christmas cubicle


  • Homemade cookie baking and tasting competition – get staffs to participate in this competition to get a chance of having some Christmas treats in the office. You’ll be surprised that many staffs would want to join in this event as many of them will be preparing their own cookies at home and this would just be some additional fun. After judging, and price giving ceremony, everyone gets to enjoy the cookies! You might also decide to throw in a potluck along.
    Christmas in office


  • White Elephant Gift Exchange – If you work in a big office with many people, this game is great to get everyone involved. The rules are really simple. You determine a budget for all the participants to buy a gift anonymously bring all the gifts on that day and everyone sits in a circle. One by one then, you each person gets to either pick and un-wrap their gift from the gift bundle or steals it from the person before. This is also a great game for ice breaking among big group of people in the office!
    Christmas gift exchange in office


  • Christmas theme best dressed day – announce a day nearing Christmas for everyone to come to office in their Christmas costumes. Not only you have an opportunity to dress down for a day, but some might even get creative doing this. Imagine Santa, Sexy Santarina, Rudolf or Mary in the Manger coming in to office.
    Christmas costumes


  • Christmas tree decoration/ ornament making competition – it’s easy to have a Christmas tree in the office but imagine how much fun it can get to have the employees involved in decorating the tree. Organize something like each staff needs to make an ornament and hang in on the tree with the names and signature attached to it. It becomes more meaningful when each employee sees that they have put in effort decorating their office Christmas tree. J
    handcrafted Christmas ornament

Garden of roses – Part II

Posted by Angelica on August - 2 - 2011

Tips for growing & caring for your rose plant

Quote of the day
“We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon-instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today.”

So you’ve contemplated that the rose plant in the nursery looked remarkably beautiful and decided to get one for your backyard. What next?

If you’ve always wanted to wake up to a balcony of roses in the morning, here’s an article of a step-by-step guide on how to grow & care for your rose plant. Rose plants are like babies. It would take a special person to grow this special flower.

 

Beautifull white rose in a pot

 

Planting the Roses

Before choosing a spot to place your rose, make sure sunlight is readily available as the rose plant would need good sun exposure. If you plan to re-plant the rose tree from a poly-bag to the ground or bigger pot, soak it in a pail of water for about 2-8hours to soften the soil.

General rule of rose plants are that they have large roots & it’s essential to provide a deep pot/ hole for root growth. Soil is encouraged to be added with organic matters/ black soil to get a texture which will be easy water absorption. Roses need lots of water & ventilation, and proper fertilization.

Fertilization starts 2-3 months upon planting. Roses will bloom better if you use NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium) ratios of about 1:2:1 that is more Phosphorous than nitrogen or potassium. Too much Nitrogen will lead to the plant preferring leaf growth to flower growth. A good rule for fertilization is bi-weekly/ once every 2 weeks for optimal results. Bear in mind that too much fertilization can kill any plant.

You could use mulch such as shredded wood, stones, coconut husk, sawdust, or hay. Mulching is essential for the plant to prevent water loss, discourage weed growth & avoid soil erosion. It also adds beauty to the garden.

 

Planting the rose

Watering Roses

For tropical hot weather where the temperature is around 30° Celsius, it’s essential to water your rose plants every day.

If it rains, heavily, you can skip watering for the day. On a day that rains less, it’s good if you just mist the leaves & flowers. If the sun shines hotter than usual, you might want to water it twice a day i.e. morning & evening.

If your rose plant has mulch, you would not need to water it too much as the mulch will retain the plants hydration for a longer time. Roses in pots will generally need more watering than those on the ground. It is not advisable to keep a plant at the bottom of the pot to retain water as the water on the dish can cause rotting of the roots. Try avoiding watering into the blooms as the water would remain stagnant in the flower buds and cause it to rot.

Use judgment when watering plants, hotter weather would need more water and colder weather less. Too much water will cause rotting of roots, & too less will cause infertility & dry out the plant.

 

Pruning for Rose Plants

The rose plants need pruning done as soon as the first batch of blooming comes to an end. The benefits of pruning includes promoting growth & bloom, to enhance light & air absorption, to remove dead or damaged stems, & shaping the plant.You would need to cut all branches and leave only about 6-10 healthy branches. You would need gloves to protect your hands from the thorns, a good quality bypass pruner. The right place to cut is above the bud.

Pruning Rose StemRose Stem


Step-by-step pruning

  1. De-weed the rose plants with your hand by removing unwanted grass or leaves 

  2. Start by removing dead/ unhealthy stems& 

  3. Cut off thin stems that seem like crowding the tree 

  4. Prune more in the centre to increase air & light ventilation 

  5. Cut surface should be white. If brownish, re-cut until white surface is reached 

  6. Make all cuts above a leaf bud that points towards the outside of the plant 

  7. Remove any branches that grow at the bottom as this would cause the plant to sag 

  8. Keep only healthy branches with dark green leave

 

Treating Common Rose Problems

Here are the most common diseases that will hit your rose plants and treatment methods

  1. Powdery Mildew/Black Spots/Rust – It’s a fungal problem which occurs during dry & humid season. It has distinctive symptoms of white spots on leaves and stems. Left untreated, the leaves will start dropping and soon cause the plant to die off. Early treatment is best.

    Treatment: To reduce this problem, water the plants (best during mornings) on the soil & less onto the leaves, to avoid residue build up or moisture retain. Air circulation & sanitation is important to prevent this problem and this can be attained by frequent pruning and cleaning up of leaves. Try spraying mixture of 1 tsp baking soda, ½ tsp oil, & 1 litre of water to treat and stop this problem. Another treatment solution involves dusting sulfur on the leaves affected as this would help to prevent spread. You could also use chemical fungicides (at a controlled level) to exterminate this fungal diseases.

     

    Rose LeafRoes LeafsGreen Rose Leaf

     

  2. Rose Mosaic – Is a virus induced problem (Rose Mosaic Virus/RMV) that affects you plant. A whitish or yellowish mosaic form, zig-zag patterns appear. This disease reduces the plants vitality and blooming but hardly ever kills the plant.

    Treatment: Sadly, this kind of infection doesn’t have any treatment. The only way to control this problem is by thorough checking before purchasing a new plant or if suspected to have an infected plant in the garden; it is advisable to remove the infected plant all together.



    Rose Mosaic

Garden of roses – Part I

Posted by Angelica on July - 25 - 2011

 

Quote of the day

“In real life, unlike in Shakespeare, the sweetness of the rose depends upon the name it bears. Things are not only what they are. They are, in very important respects, what they seem to be.”

 

Types of roses

 

Roses are most probably the prettiest flowers on earth. Commonly available in many places around the world, it comes in different sizes, colors & shapes.There are more than 11,000 species of roses available around the world. Below is a list of the most common types, distinguish them by specific characteristic such as clusters, stems, flowers, & fragrance.

 

Floribunda – A cross of hybrid teas & rosa multiflora. Flowers are medium sized & have many petals which makes the flowers look full. Flowers grow in clusters per stem and throughout the year.

 A cross of hybrid teas & rosa multiflora.

 

Hybrid teas – A cross between hybrid Perpetuals & Tea roses. These are the oldest cultivar rose & the most popular. This rose produces only one blossom at the end of the stem. These flowers are known to have variable fragrance.

 A cross between hybrid Perpetuals & Tea roses

 

Grandiflora – A cross between hybrid teas & floribunda. Bigger flowers than floribunda are clustered at the end of large stems. Have variable fragrance.

A cross between hybrid teas & floribunda

 

Miniature roses – also known as China Roses, these dwarf plants bloom tiny flowers but highly clustered and bloomed roses last a long time.

also known as China Roses

 

Shrub roses – Disease-resistance, grows in a variety of climates with a minimum of attention, little pruning required, blooms beautiful flowers, consistently over a very long season. These make great as borders and fencing.

Shrub roses

Climbing roses – Have long arching stems that follows a supporting structure. Flowers are abundant and clustered and are great as entrance trails, balcony or archway.

Climbing roses

 

Tree roses – These roses are made of hardy root stock grafted to a long stem that is, in turn, grafted to a rose bush at the top of the stem.

Tree roses

 

Ground cover roses – They mostly grow low to the ground and the newer hybrids bloom when there’s plenty sunlight available.

Ground cover roses

 

More about roses coming soon. Part 2 of this post is being prepared. Subscribe to RSS or E-mail to receive update notification.

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