From Our Family, 
To Yours, 
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Hidden Ponds

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Christmas Trees
Yucca Filamentosa
Live, cut or completely out of the stand!

Nothing says Merry Christmas on the Isle of Palms quite like a yucca bedecked with sanddollars.  While chatting with a customer the other day, he shared with me that their tradition was to look out in the garden and decide what needed to be added that year and use that for the Christmas tree. This year it would be the yucca!  While many of us would like a more traditional tree, there are still many options available for a living Christmas tree that will thrive in our area after the celebration.  Even if you aren't ready to give up the traditional tree in the house, consider adding a living tree to your screen porch or your outdoor living space.  Decorating with natural elements, white lights and red ribbons create a serene moment amongst the tinsel and glitter of our holidays.


Hollies make wonderful living Christmas trees. There are many varieties that grow in a conical shape and their branches are nice and stiff for holding ornaments.  Varieties such as Nellie Stevens, Robin and Fosters would all make a festive holiday tree, consider the berries a bonus - natures own decorations.   

Deodora Cedar
Leyland Cypress and Carolina Sapphires naturally grow in the shape of a Christmas tree and are a wonderful addition to the landscape. Consider using it this year inside and for years to come you can have a tree to decorate outside.


Deodora Cedars are a nice mix of stiff branches and needles. While they are rather 'Suessian' in appearance they would show off your ornaments nicely and give you a great specimen for your landscape.


Of course, there are smaller options available for table tops or for accent pieces.  A conical rosemary or lemon cypress both offer a unique scent and look fabulous when decorated with a simple bow or bird decoration.  What a perfect last minute gift!


After the decorations and lights have been removed follow a few easy steps for planting a lasting memory in your yard.  Move the tree outside in a shady, sheltered spot for a few days to allow hardening off and reacclimation to the outside.  Dig your hole twice as wide and only as deep as the root ball or pot, be sure to add some compost or good organic matter, back fill, water in, and add a good layer of mulch.  Watering once a week for a few weeks and then once a month should get your living tree off to a good start!

Our Feathered Friends
A little extra care, please

While passing by the dining room window, I caught site of several small birds trying to get water from the koi pond just yesterday.  I felt guilty, after all of the rain, we had to drain it down a bit and somehow, it was drained too far for the birds to easily reach the water.  I realized then how important it is this time of year to make sure the birds overwintering in our area have a little supplemental food, water and shelter.  I know how hard the cold is on our bodies, (think chapped lips) and just imagine foraging for our meals when most of the insects have become inactive and many of the seed and berry producing plants have gone dormant.



Cardinals, titmouse, chickadees, bluebirds, wrens and hummingbirds, yes hummingbirds are all some of the bird species you may see foraging this season.  Suet, and peanut butter offer a good protein alternative to the insects that are abundant in the warmer months and are favored by the wrens and chickadees.  Consider making your own suet, or simply smear a pinecone with peanut butter, roll it in bird seed and hang from a branch.  Black oil sunflower seeds, corn and peanuts are also enjoyed by our winter residents.  If you would like to play Santa for your feathered friends consider purchasing some meal worms to supplement their diet - Yum!  If you are fortunate enough to catch sight of a hummingbird, hang your feeder and fill it with a   mix of one part necter to 4 parts water.  It is easier to keep it clean and fresh in the winter, the colder temperatures don't promote fermentation, plan to clean about every two weeks.




A good water source is a sure way to attract those wonderful birds to the backyard.  A birdbath is the perfect way to provide that water.  Most birds prefer a shallow birdbath, if you happen to have a bath that is too deep you can easily make it more accomodating by adding a few pebbles to the bottom.  Be careful if freezing temperatures are predicted, a full bath may crack if allowed to freeze.


Dense shrubbery or even some left over fall debris is welcomed by the birds as a place to rest and take cover from predators.  Titmice will line their nest with hair or fur, consider hanging a nest depot, a refillable, hand made pottery jar found in our gift shop, to further entice the birds to your yard.  Start out with a few simple steps this year and you may decide to add some berry producing, bird attracting shrubs to your landscaping for the years to come.  The annual Audubon Christmas bird count is underway, follow the progress, see if your efforts entice more birds than normal to your backyard!



Let's Talk Spring
It will be here before you know it, we hope!

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is upon us!  While you are finishing up your last minute shopping and decorating remember we may just have that perfect last gift or unique decoration.  Our gift shop is filled with unique items along with orchids, airplants and stunning house plants for the friend that has everything.  Now that we have that marked off of the list - let's talk spring!


After the usual end of season brainstorming, we are busy preparing for spring.  Trees, shrubs and edibles have been moved around and we are under construction.  We are excited to be building a brand new shade structure to showcase all of the perennials, annuals and flowers that will be arriving once winter departs!  With our overflowing exuberance, we thought now would be a good time to help you make your plans for that fabulous garden or flower bed. 


Following are just a few suggestions to get you excited about the coming growing season:


* Dormant season pruning can be done through late February - remember always prune with a      purpose, not just for something to do!

* Late February is a good time to cut back ornamental grasses, enjoy the plumes until right

     before the new growth starts

* Do not prune camellias, gardenias, azaleas or other spring blooming shrubs until after they bloom

* Prepare empty flower beds by adding a good compost like Palmetto Supreme Organic Compost 

* Plant bareroot trees, shrubs, roses and vines

* Clean up garden debris to eliminate overwintering diseases and insects

* Sterilize your pots and containers, tools and anything else you use around your plants.

     Use one part household bleach to nine parts water, soak 15 minutes, rinse and let dry

* Seeds of most spring annuals, flowers and vegetables can be sown indoors in January

     Check out this awesome Vegetable Planting Calendar

Hidden Ponds Nursery
4863 Highway 17 N (next to SeeWee Outpost)
Awendaw, SC
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Longing for a peaceful, relaxing waterfall sound in your backyard?  If so, a rainchain could be the perfect addition.  Originating in Japan, rainchains collect rainwater, channelling it off of the house to the ground.  A downspout will drain water from the roof and gutters, but a rainchain will do the same while  it is more aesthetically pleasing.  Replacing a downspout with a rainchain near a window, porch or garden will reward you with a wonderful visual and acoustical experience.


Find them in our gift shop!