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Monday, December 19, 2016


Today, December 19th, is a holiday! Everyone in the know, which is surely you, dear reader, is aware of what this date signifies. According to a number of sources, today is called Look for An Evergreen Day! Both Holiday Insights and Melinda Meyers state that December 19th is National Look for an Evergreen Day. Meyers advises her readers not to "worry if (they) already have (their) holiday tree; (and to) take advantage of this unique holiday (by going) outside and (looking) at the evergreens in (their) neighborhood."

This past Wednesday, I had an evergreen Christmas tree placed in my rooftop garden (located on a rooftop in NYC) and it is indicated by the number three seen in the image atop this entry. The image may look familiar to you as I included it in an entry here on Blogger that I published this past Saturday. However, the photograph included in that entry did not have numbers superimposed over it, rather, I featured the same image that can be seen directly below.

In any event, an evergreen known as a Horstmann Blue Atlas Cedar AKA Cedrus atlantica 'Horstmann' can also be seen in this image. This tree variety is indicated by the number two that has been superimposed over the first photograph atop this blog entry. The 'Horstmann' was given to me as a Christmas gift by my gardening partner-in-crime, Juan V.

Home Guides has this to say re the 'Hortsmann': "With its tufts of needles along graceful branches, Atlas cedars (Cedrus atlantica) make a bold addition to the garden. Atlas cedars come in many forms, including some with silvery-blue foliage rather than the standard green. These silvery trees, known as blue Atlas cedars, have a striking appearance and make a good choice for moonlit gardens. Despite their slow growth, mature Atlas cedars can reach heights of more than 60 feet. If you want the beauty of an Atlas cedar without giving up too much garden space, look for a dwarf variety such as the 'Horstmann' dwarf blue Atlas cedar.

"The foliage of the dwarf Atlas cedar grows as clusters of needles. The clusters line the branches, giving the tree a fuzzy appearance. The blue Atlas cedar's silvery-blue needles are similar to the color of a blue spruce. The tree grows in a pyramidal shape and has an open, airy appearance. The dwarf blue Atlas cedar is a coniferous tree, meaning it will retain its foliage year-round. The tree does not produce flowers, but does develop small cones.

"Although called a dwarf variety, the "Horstmann" Atlas cedar is not a tiny tree -- it is simply much smaller than the species standard. The dwarf blue Atlas cedar will reach 10 feet tall at maturity and has a spread of 5 to 6 feet. Like other Atlas cedars, this tree is slow-growing and nursery stock can take 10 years to reach their full height. In general, the dwarf blue Atlas cedar will put on 6 to 8 inches of growth per year. The tree can be pruned to control its size."

I am a bit worried re this evergreen being able to survive my  garden's conditions due to Home Guides stating, "dwarf blue Atlas cedar grows best in the ground, rather than a container. These deep roots also make the tree drought-tolerant once it is established. The soil should be rich in organic matter and well-drained. Heavy soils will limit root growth and increase the chance of root rot."

And as you know, dear reader, I have a container garden, but my conditions are sunny, a factor that the 'Hortsmann' appreciates, so I do have reason to believe this little evergreen will survive here.

Be that as it may, the tree variety indicated by the number four is a type of evergreen known by the name of Japanese Larch (Larix Kaempferi), has been in my garden for several years. This evergreen variety is also featured in a number of posts here on Blogger.

The tree indicated by the number one (far left in image) is a Canadian Palm Tree. Admittedly it is too far off-camera for you to admire any of it's unique features, however, I will be featuring it with detailed photo-ops in tomorrows segment of my Tuesday's Truths series.

As for the area marked with the number five, it is awaiting me to place a wreath or garland! Weather permitting, I hope to have this done by this Wednesday (the twenty-first). Meanwhile, as of this posting, I have not placed a variety of evergreen tree within my home as I have in bygone years (see below):

And I'm still on the fence as to whether I will do this for the 2016 Christmas season, however I do have evergreen inside my home, albeit in the form of my Advent wreath. I've featured images of it within Blogger entries for the Fourth, the Third, the Second, as well as the First Sunday of 2016's Advent.

Moreover — in my kitchen — I have a small branch of evergreen decorated with a yellow submarine (seen in the following picture):

Additionally, I have evergreen foliage and evergreen trunk parts in my main living area. These tree parts have been used in the rendering of a newcomer reindeer (seen below),

as well as returning reindeer guests (seen on the bottom shelf in following picture).

The top shelf features an array of evergreen figurine representatives. Many of these "top shelvers" come from More & More Antiques, a shop on Manhattan's Upper Westside that is currently selling my fauna-flora-insect-themed postcards.

All of these postcards feature images from the iBook as well as the ePub version of Cam's book, Words In Our Beak Volume One.

But I have digressed in terms of content directly related to Look for an Evergreen Day! According to Keepin Calendar, "Fresh or fake is a common argument when choosing a tree." They go on to state that, "People have good reasons for their personal preferences, which are sometimes rooted in the childhood memories of Christmas traditions. If you're on the fresh side of the discussion, Dec. 19 is the day to look for your fresh evergreen if you haven't put up your tree yet."

Re Look for an Evergreen Day, Keepin Calendar also states this: "A Christmas tree is a decorated tree, usually an evergreen conifer such as pine or fir, traditionally associated with the celebration of Christmas. An artificial Christmas tree is an object made to resemble such a tree, usually made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

"The tree was traditionally decorated with edibles such as apples, nuts or dates. In the 18th century, it began to be illuminated by candles, which with electrification could also be replaced by Christmas lights. Today, there is a wide variety of traditional ornaments, such as garland, tinsel, and candy canes. An angel or star may be placed at the top of the tree, to represent the host of angels or the Star of Bethlehem from the Nativity.

"The custom of the Christmas tree developed in early modern Germany with predecessors that can be traced to the 16th and possibly the 15th century. It acquired popularity beyond Germany during the second half of the 19th century.[1] The Christmas tree has also been known as the 'Yule-tree', especially in discussions of its folkloristic origins.

"The first decorated tree on record was at Riga in Latvia, in 1510. In the early 16th century, Martin Luther is said to have decorated a small Christmas Tree with candles, to show his children how the stars twinkled through the dark night.

"In the 16th century, Christmas markets in Germany provided everything from gifts, food and more practical things. At these fairs, bakers made shaped gingerbreads and wax ornaments for people to buy as souvenirs and take home to hang on their Christmas Trees.

"In 1846, Queen Victoria and her German Prince, Albert, were illustrated in the Illustrated London News. They were standing with their children around a Christmas Tree.

"During this time, decorations were still homemade. Young Ladies spent hours at Christmas Crafts, quilling snowflakes and stars, sewing little pouches for secret gifts and paper baskets with sugared almonds in them. Small bead decorations, fine drawn out silver tinsel came from Germany together with beautiful Angels to sit at the top of the tree. Candles were often placed into wooden hoops for safety."

And I'll leave it there, dear reader, for as I've pointed out there many evergreen trees and many figurine depicting them,

that can make a great way to honor Look for an Evergreen Day. However you choose to do this, I'm certain you will agree, when it comes to evergreens: O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, how LOVELY are your branches!


The non-hardcover version (or versions)  of Volume One within the Words In Our Beak book series that are mentioned in this entry may only remain available for a limited time, but hardcover versions of Volume One, Two and Three can now be found wherever books are sold. Please click here to go to my blog post that provides details as to where you can get these books.


Additionally, I have rendered some images from these books into other formats and they are available via Fine Art America (FAA). Some of my other photographs (Black & White Collection, Kaleidoscopic Images and the famous Mandarin duck who visited NYC) can also be found on my FAA pages.

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