Getting Started With Indoor Gardening

bring the outdoors in

Winter can be a long, dreary, grey time of year when your garden seems to be a complete non event. Besides planning ahead for a gorgeous winter garden, you can turn those green fingers to another pursuit… indoor gardening.

Herb-as-decor

Indoor gardening provides multiple benefits:

  • organic fruit and vegetables direct from plant to plan
  •  welcome greenery when all outside is grey
  • air cleansing – as we discussed here

 

It’s a fascinating hobby and it doesn’t take much space. If you grow your own produce, it can also pay for itself! It’s also perfect for people with not much indoor or outdoor gardening space as it doesn’t need to take a lot of room.

Here are some typical indoor gardening spaces:

  • windowsills
  • near glass doors and windows
  • kitchen counters or on top of cabinets
  • bookshelves
  • decorative shelving units
  • tables

In fact anywhere there’s a bit of space and enough light is probably good for growing something… just be sure that the floor underneath is protected from any water spills and overflows!

Here are some tips to help you have a successful indoor garden:

Make sure there is enough light. In the winter months, especially in northern climates like ours, even a window may not provide enough light exposure and your plants may not thrive.

Lighting;

The good news is that gardening supply stores have special grow lights that supplement the available natural light. These lights provide exactly the right kind of light for plant growth. Be sure to check that you purchase the correct type of grow light for the plants you’re growing. Compact flourescent lights are also a good option and they’re more energy efficient than the High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps. They can be used for most plants.

Most grow lights come with instructions on placing the light so that it is the correct distance from the plant. You’ll need to run the light for roughtly 14 – 16 hours per day for optimum plant growth. Less than this and you’ll find the plant won’t flower or produce fruit.

You can see when the plant is not getting enough light because the color will be off. Greens will be a little yellow. You’ll also notice that it is growing lanky and thin as opposed to nice healthy bushy growth.

Here’s a video that discusses the various grow lights:

Temperature control.

In most instances 18 degrees Celcius to 24 degrees Celcius is the optimum temperature for plant growth.

Humidity control.
Most plants require a reasonably humid climate. In winter with the heating on, even when it’s rainy, the air can dry out. If you notice that the plants leaves are turning brown on the tips, it could be that the indoor climate is too dry. This is an easy fix. Simply put a dish of water close to the plants. Grouping plants also helps preserve the humidity.
In our next article, we’ll discuss the various growing mediums you can use for your indoor garden.

A Year Well Spent!

Tanglebank customers

Looking back at 2016, our 20th Anniversary, it was a year well spent and we’re excited about 2017!

We are grateful to all our wonderful customers and friends who’ve made this such a wonderful year.  It’s been busy!  We’ve had even more events and workshops than ever!  Each one has been received with enthusiasm and everyone who attended had fun and went home with wonderful memories – and often their own unique handmade items!

Here are just a few images from our recent Ladies Soiree:

Ladies Soiree 2016Ladies Soiree 2016

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Butter Chicken BurgerLadies Soiree 2016

 

 

 

 

Ladies Soiree 2016

 

And here’s one from our Wreath Workshop:

christmas-wreath-workshop

 

 

 

We also had lots of fun events for the whole family, including kids.

Santa’s Pancake Breakfast and Elves Workshop was a blast!  

santas-pancake-breakfast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As was the Fairy Garden Workshop!

Miniature Gardens Fairy Gardens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had so much fun this year that we’re going to have an even busier year of events in 2017, so stay tuned!

container-workshop

 

We wish you a wonderful New Year – may 2017 bring you great joy!  We look forward to seeing you soon.

Recipe: Butter Chicken Burger

Recipe: Butter Chicken Burger

Here’s another fabulous recipe from our Ladies Soiree!

Recipe: Butter Chicken Burger

A great idea for a quick dinner during this hectic season and a delicious change from the everyday!

Serves 4
INGREDIENTS

1lb ground chicken
1 whole egg
1/4 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
2 garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 inch knob fresh ginger – grated
2 Tablespoons Japanese Garam Curry Masala BlenZ* mixed with 1TBSp water
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper

* Order by phone or email from Chef Pamela E.
Tour our website and take your tastebuds on a voyage of discovery!

PREPARATION:

Place the chicken in a large bowl.
Add the rest of the ingredients and combine well.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.

Divide the mixture into 4 and form into patties.

Pan fry or grill over medium high heat, turning once.
Use a meat thermometer to ensure internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit (10 – 12 minutes)

Serve topped with shredded lettuce and sliced tomato.  Add a dollop of hummus or chutney. Tzatziki works great too!

** Globally inspired Farm to Fork Culinary Adventures.

RECIPE: Chicken & Caramelized Onion Gruyere Bites

Chicken & Onion Gruyere Bites

A celebration treat that’s great to serve all year long!

Chicken & Onion Gruyere Bites

Bake the bites the day before your gathering, cool and refrigerate.  The next day, reheat at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.  After Christmas, substitute left over Turkey for Chicken.

INGREDIENTS:

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, poached, cooled and diced.
1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed overnight in the refrigerator
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Teaspoon Faux-Tisseriez Spice BlenZ*
2 Granny Smith apples cubed into 1/2 inch pieces
1 Teaspoon sugar
2 Tablespoons fresh chives minced
1/2 Teaspoon dried thyme or rosemary
1 large egg beaten
* Order by phone or email from Che Pamela E.  Tour our website and take your tastebuds on a voyage of discovery!

PREPARATION:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside
Remove puff pastry from the refrigerator
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
Add the onions and saute for approximately 20 minutes, stirring often until golden.
Remove from skillet and set aside in a bowl.
In the same skillet, add butter and saute the poached chicken with the Spice BlenZ for 5 minutes.
Add in the cubed apples and the sugar.
Stir together and cook for 7 minutes.
Remove from skillet and add to onions.

FILLING:
Add the cheese, dried herbs and chives to the onion mixture in the large bowl.
Season to taste with pepper.
Stir well to combine and then set aside.

PASTRY:
With a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the puff pastry into 2 inch squares and place them on the parchment lined baking sheet.
With a pastry brush, brush each square with some of the beaten egg.

ASSEMBLE:
Place approximately 1 Tablespoon of the filling onto the centre of each pastry square.

BAKE:
Bake in pre-heated oven for 30 – 40 minutes or until pastry is puffed and golden and filling is hot.
Remove from oven and cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes.
Remove carefully to a cooling rack and allow to rest another 5 minutes, then enjoy!

** Globally inspired Farm to Fork Culinary Adventures**

 

Gift Certificates Fit Everyone!

Tanglebank gift certificate

Sometimes it’s just a headache trying to figure out what everyone on your list would like for Christmas. 

Fortunately, Gift Certificates fit everyone’s taste and they’re available in various denominations to fit everyone’s budget!

Tanglebank gift certificateYou can buy these in any denomination you choose

and they are perfect for times when you simply don’t know which of the great gifts to choose! Come into the store and pick up a few for those last minute gifts today!

You’ll also find a host of other unique and beautiful gift ideas so be sure to spend a little time browsing!

Call 604.856.9339 for details.

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. 

Clingerchickadees:
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.

 

 

woodpecker

Hangers:
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:

http://fraservalley.wbu.com/content/show/49114

http://www.bhg.com/gardening/gardening-by-region/pacific-northwest/november-tips-the-pacific-northwest/#page=0

http://fraservalley.wbu.com/content/show/130971

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!

 

 

Supplies:

  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

winter-garden

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:

ingesm

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

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:

decor

Modern Pastoral Home Decor:

Modern Pastoral

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

Gardening Tools and Gift Sets:

gardening-tools

Books:

fairy garden book

Down-the-Garden-PathL

Modern Pastoral

 

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

notebooks-pocketnotebooks

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

maileg-rabbits

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!