Gardeners prepare for holiday gift program

Want to put a personal spin on your gift-giving this holiday season? The Lycoming County Master Gardeners may have a workshop for you.

A make-it-and-take-it class called “Garden Gifts for Christmas” will be held at noon on Saturday in the Chapel Room of the Lysock Complex, 542 County Farm Road. It originally was planned for earlier in the month but the date has since changed.

Sharon Miller, a Master Gardener who said she has been gardening for “many, many years,” will lead the class, which is free and open to everyone. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

“It’s a way to get some new ideas” for gift-giving, she said. “It may be for themselves or for others.”

She will teach the group how to make seed tapes and simmering potpourri. Seed tapes are a handy gift for people who like to plant vegetables.

It involves “putting seeds on paper at the right distance apart, which makes sowing easier in the spring,” Miller said.

Simmering potpourri is an alternative to scented candles. Unlike wax, though, “when you’re finished with the potpourri, it can be composted,” she said.

Miller enjoys watch the plants in her garden grow, bloom and produce. She often uses “what I grew to make something for myself, my friends or family — such as flowers for fresh bouquets, dried flowers for craft projects and many types of canned goods.”

“It adds a personal touch to the gift you are giving for that special person, family member or loved one.”

She also will discuss other garden-related gift ideas that can be made instead of purchased, such as garden light globes, kissing balls and garden spheres.

Making the seed tapes and potpourri is not difficult, she said. The two items “are very easy and something anyone can do. No special tools required.”

A $10 fee will cover the cost of materials and supplies. Anyone who wants to attend should call the Penn State Cooperative Extension Office at 570-433-3040 or go online to http://extension.psu.edu/lycoming/events and click on the event. Registration is due by 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

Earlier in the day another program is scheduled. “The Characteristics and Care of Holiday Plants” will be held from 10 a.m. to noon.

Attendees can learn the differences between Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter cactus and explore the traits and care of poinsettia, amaryllis, kolanchoe and cyclamen for winter color through plants.

Registration also is due by 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

Next month, another make-and-take workshop will be held, with the final product being a holiday centerpiece with fresh-cut greens.

Attendees first will learn how to choose the perfect greens to make a custom centerpiece; types of pine cones and greens and why some are great to use and some are not.

Five types of greens, decorative berries, pine cones, containers and all the finishing touches will be provided.

Participants should bring their own clippers and gloves, and a $10 fee will be charged per person to cover the cost of the supplies

The centerpiece class will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on Dec. 2 in the Chapel Room at the Lysock View Complex.

Seating is limited to 10 people.

To reserve a seat, call the Extension office.

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