Holiday Season Recipes

gingerbread cookie recipe

It’s such a Foodie time of year!  Time to gather in the kitchen with loved ones while you bake, experiment with fun appetizers and create all the tastes and fragrances of Christmas!

To help inspire you, here are some of our all time favorite recipes!  Have fun and don’t forget to send us photos of what you create!  We’d love to share them on our Facebook page!

Pecan Chocolate Squares:

pecan chocolate squares

Old Fashioned Pumpkin Cookies:

Old fashioned soft pumpkin cookies

Pumpkin Spice Roll Up Cake:

pumpkin spice roll up cake at Brambles Bistro

Gingerbread Cookie Recipe:

gingerbread cookie recipe

Sugar Cookie Recipe:

sugar cookies

Warm Spinach Salad Parmesan Cup

Warm Spinach Salad, Parmesan Cup

Chorizo, Pear, Cranberry Phyllo Cup

Chorizo, Pear & Cranberry Phyllo Cup

Spiced Apple, Goat’s Cheese & Pomegrante Crostini

spiced apple goats cheese pomegrante

Welcoming Birds in Winter

As the weather gets cooler, don’t forget about welcoming birds in Winter.

feed birds in WinterIf you’ve been attracting birds into your garden all year, you will need to continue to look after them during the Winter months.  Birds get used to finding food at your house, and, if the food suddenly dries up at the same time that the natural supply is becoming scarce, the birds may suffer.

Here are a few tips on how to maintain bird feeders during the winter so that you can support those little feathered friends when they most need it.


Remember to cater to the type of bird that regularly frequents your garden. 

Some smaller birds don’t need your feeder to have a perch. They can cling onto a mesh feeder.  These include Chicadees, Sparrows, Nuthatches and Finches.




Woodpeckers, Flickers and Finches can also hang from feeders






doveGround Feeders:
Juncos, Siskin and Doves like to feed on the ground.

Put out the right food:

Clingers tend to like seeds. Hangers like suet and seed. Ground Feeders like seed.

Protect the food and protect the birds:

There are other creatures that also like the same food that the birds feed on – for example, squirrels. And there some birds that like the birds that feed on the seed, such as hawks and falcons.  There are some animals that like to feed on the birds as well – cats!

To minimize the risk of stolen food or preyed upon birds, you can use seed that squirrels and other seed eaters don’t like, such as safflower seeds.  To minimize ground feeders being attacked by predators is a little more complicated. It’s perhaps best to situate the feeders in areas close to the house or under shelters where larger predators won’t easily spot the feeding birds.

Clean out your bird house:

Clean out your bird house so that it’s ready for this years nesters.  Once it’s empty, you can sterilize it using a diluted bleach and water wash. Be sure not to clean a bird house with bare hands – use gloves to avoid picking up any nasty parasites that might be lingering.

Remember the Water:

Birds need to drink in Winter just as much as during Summer.  If you already leave water out for them, it’s important to check that it’s not frozen as it gets colder. This might mean replacing the water regularly with warm water, or if you wish, you can buy bird bath heaters to prevent freezing.

Here’s more reading on this topic:

What should you put out to feed birds during the winter?


How to Make An Evergreen Wreath

Christmas Wreath Christmas Wreath and Garland

There’s nothing as welcoming at this time of year as a beautiful evergreen wreath at your front door.

Making an evergreen wreath can be a little tricky, so we’ve included a video here that shows you the step-by-step process.  We will also be holding a workshop where you’ll be able to do it yourself with our guidance.

Attending a workshop is often a really fun way to spend time with new and old friends creating something beautiful!

Christmas GreenHere’s a list of the supplies you will need to make a wreath.

If you attend the workshop, these are all included. 

If you choose to do it at home, we have all the supplies you’ll need!




  1. Wreath frame
  2. Evergreens (we have quite a variety!) The type of evergreen will depend on what’s locally available and what you like.  They can include different types of fir, boxwood, laurel or other resilient greens.
  3. Florist wire
  4. Garden shears
  5. Decorations such as berries, ribbons, pine cones etc

Here’s a video showing you how to put it all together:

Don’t forget to sign up for our Wreath Workshop! Details here.  If you run out of time, or crafts aren’t your thing, we have gorgeous ready made evergreen wreaths for sale!

Planning Ahead for Color in Winter and Spring


Many people think of November as ‘dead’ time in the garden, but that’s not necessarily true.

There are plenty of things still to do on the milder West Coast, including planning for Winter and Spring color and interest.  It’s the time of year when you’ll need to be planting those Spring bulbs and wildflower seeds so that you can enjoy  flowers early next year.

winter garden choresIt’s also the time to get the garden cleaned up so that you can see where it really needs color and interest during the cold Winter months.

As we mentioned in our Ornamental Grass series, there are plenty of beautiful colder weather grasses that add interest, movement and texture.  These are staples in the garden, and while, on their own, they might look quite unobtrusive, planted in the right spots, they more than hold their own with more exotic choices.  They’re great for ‘fillers’ and they create a lovely foil for other plants both summer and winter.

It’s the perfect time to plant a pretty Fall / Winter Container.

fall color pansiesSome of the plants you could consider right now are the cooler weather annuals such as Winter Pansies, Violas, and Ornamental Cabbage.  Don’t forget that there are varieties of Ornamental Grasses that do very well in containers as well.

winter-containerIf you’re feeling festive, you could also create a container with a more seasonal decorative flair.  Cut evergreen branches and team them with interesting bare twigs, berries, cones, dried flowers and anything else you fancy.  Arranging these in an urn or other outdoors container at your front door will liven up your entrance and create a warm, welcoming atmosphere.

If you would like a little help in creating a lovely, colorful look in your garden this season, please feel free to come into Tanglebank and chat with our professional horticulturalists.

Great gift ideas in store now!

Yes, it’s that time of year again!  The time when the days are shorter and you literally have less time to get all your Christmas shopping, decorating, baking and preparing done than you did a month ago!

Who hates last minute Christmas shopping?  We all do!

Here are a few ideas to help you get it all done well in advance and have time left over for a delicious Pumpkin Spice Latte in Brambles Bistro!

Michel Design Works:

Michel design works

Michel Design Works has a wonderful range of personal and home soaps.  They’re luxurious, have delicious fragrances and make perfect gifts!  They’re also a great addition to the bathroom or kitchen during this special time of year!

IngeGlas Christmas Ornaments:


IngeGlas Christmas ornaments are imported from Germany.  These beautiful examples of find European style really add a whole new dimension to the Christmas Tree. They also make exquisite gifts!

Christian Ulbricht Pyramides and Nutcrackers:

Christian Ulbricht Nutcrackers

Christian Ulbricht Pyramides

Christian Ulbricht Pyramides are also European in origin and add that special something to your Christmas decor.  They’ll remind you of the stories of old Saint Niclaus and the Black Forest… and of course, the Nutcracker Ballet!

Honey BessWax Candles

honey beeswax candles


Fraser Fir by Thymes:

Thymes Frasier-Fir

More selections from Thymes:

Thymes at Tanglebank

Thymes Fraser Fir Thymes Gingerbread Thymes simmered cider

Home Decor and Jewellery from Twigz


When you purchase items from the Twigz line of jewellery and home decor ranges, you not only gain a gorgeous gift, but you also help African Moms look after their children better!

More home decor:


Modern Pastoral Home Decor:

Modern Pastoral

Beautiful Modern Pastoral items for your home or for someone special!

Gardening Tools and Gift Sets:



fairy garden book


Modern Pastoral


Notebooks, Leather Bound Journals, Pencil Sets and Exclusive Greeting Cards:


leather journalsh-pencilsetsh-stamps-setAnd of course, the children’s favorites from Maileg:


We have quite a variety of interesting, quirky, funny and entertaining books and activities in store for both adults and children!

We have many more great gift and home ideas in stock – both in the store and in the nursery!  Why not stop by and we’ll help you find something for everyone on your list!