The Garden Enthusiast - Backyard Nature Station Update December 2014 

Table of Contents 
  Christmas on Main Specials
  Flash Sales
What’s New in the Store? 
Classes & Events 
  Second Annual Silent Auction Happenings 
Old Town Tucker Update/Happenings 

Community Events and Spirit
  Soil Samples 
  Opportunities in the Garden for December 
  Bird of the Month: White-throated Sparrow 
  Audubon Field Trips 

Fellow Backyard Nature Lovers, 

Happy Holidays! It’s the best time of the year; Christmas on Main is almost here! Join us from 5 - 9PM on Saturday, December 6th for a evening that’s both merry and bright. Enjoy shopping our newest holiday arrivals while you mingle with your friends! 
Plus we’ll have these holiday specials just for you on that night: 
• Droll Yankee Flippers $129.99 
• Squirrel Buster Classics $49.99                                                                                                                                              
• Squirrel Buster Plus $89.99 
• 15% Off Christmas Ornaments 
• T-shirts $15 
• 15% off Weather gadgets and clocks 
• Lady Loppers $49.99 
• Puzzles Buy 1 get one 1/2 off 
• Table fountains 29.99 
 50% off Pamela Crawford Planters 
• 15% off ALL fairy garden items 
• 15% off heated birdbaths 
 & MORE!! 

The holidays are here (Christmas is so close!) and we’re spreading some cheer! Stay tuned as we unveil flash sales on social media. We’ll help you cross off your list with must-have gifts for all of your loved ones. Remember to follow us on Facebook! 

Every time you make a purchase between now and December 24th, you can enter into a drawing for a gift basket. We’ll pick the winner of the gift basket at 3pm on the 24th. 
We’ll close at 3PM on December 24th and will be closed on Christmas Day, December 26th, 31st, and January 1st. 

    Thanks to each of you who supported Tucker both on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. We appreciate you! 

Children’s Garden 

Thank you to the Boutwell family for sharing their bamboo with us. Andrew helped my husband and I cut down over 30 pieces which are now drying in the garden. The plan is to turn these into a beautiful wind chime. 

What’s New in the Store? 

We have a great selection of gifts for the entire family as well as unusual hostess gifts, stocking stuffers, and more. 

Birding: Jim Jackson birdhouses, All Weather Bird Feeders, birdhouses and feeders, heated birdbaths, bat houses, whole peanut wreaths, suet ball feeders, Window Alerts (to help prevent birds from flying into your windows), and new squirrel deterrents: Squirrel Stopper Universal Baffle (comes in two halves so it fits around any existing post system up to 2” in diameter and uses patented spring technology so baffle moves up and down and side to side when a squirrel tries to climb it), and patented Squirrel Proof Spring devices. 

Garden Art: lots of new wind chimes, yard art balancers, staked garden art, lanterns 

Kids: books, stocking stuffers 

Miscellaneous: Christmas ornaments, 2015 calendars, puzzles, candles, chocolate covered sunflower seeds, t-shirts, sweatshirts, CDs, thermometers and rain gauges, Flip Notes (note pad & pen for your purse or pocket), Jason Hutchenson's candles and soaps are back in stock, stocking stuffers 

   "May the forest be with you" Sweatshirts now in stock!! 

Classes & Events 
      February 7th- 21st, 2015 Second Annual The Garden Enthusiast – Backyard Nature Station Silent Auction
In 2015 we will once again hold a silent auction which will benefit the Tucker Butterfly Garden’s (TBG) native plant garden extension. We are working with members of the TBG to make this auction especially exciting. Plans are unfolding including having a well-known Atlanta artist create a painting while she is at the store which will become one of the auction items. More in next month’s newsletter as plans are firmed up including unveiling some of the auction items. 

Old Town Tucker Update/Happenings 
 Saturday December 6th Christmas on Main 5 – 9PM 

Come join us as we have our annual Christmas tree lighting and other activities including: 
• The Tucker Historical Society will again offer free ornament making for the children in our classroom 
• Santa Claus at Las Colinas 
• The Masonic Lodge will have hot chocolate, spiced apple cider and s’mores 
• The Thursday Farmers Market will be on Main Street 
• Entertainment from local choirs, a band, Main Street Theater, and more… 
The street will close down at 4PM for this event. 

Special recognition goes to the Tucker Cruisers for supplying the Christmas tree that we all enjoy in the park every year. This is the 5th year they have donated the tree. Big thanks to Cofer Brothers for putting up all the wreaths on the street and the lights on the tree. Finally, thanks to everyone who helped decorate it including members of the Old Town Tucker Merchant’s Association (OTTMA), Tucker Civic Association (TCA), Tucker Masonic Lodge No. 42, and people from our community! 

  Sweet Dee's Bakeshop Happy Holidays means happy flavors at Sweet Dee's! Try our Chocolate Peppermint, Maple Bacon, Gingerbread or Chocolate Ancho Chile. Don't forget to get your holiday orders in early! Call 770-696-4461. 

Main Street School of the Arts in Tucker provides Art and Music Class gift certificates. Ask grandparents, aunts, and uncles to give the gift that keeps giving! Call Laurie Morrison at 770-938-7880 to learn more! 

  The crew at The Fountain on Main Street has been hard at work over the past month incorporating the Mayfield Ice Cream brand into the interior and storefront. The dining room now has more booths and tables and a new staff to expand the hours of operation into breakfast and dinner. Tara Haskoor, owner of Lilburn's Rise and Shine Cafe, joins the team to bring delicious bagels, French toast and other breakfast and lunch entrees to Main Street. Breakfast hours will begin at 6 a.m. starting in December. She has been a fixture at the Thursday markets so look to see many of her favorite offerings from the Tucker Market in The Fountain as well. 

   Massage Associates of Atlanta, LLC The GIFT that won't be Re-Gifted: One Hour Massage Gift Certificate For just $55 (reg. $70) Give them Health! 5165 Lavista Rd., Tucker/770.493.8181 

Thursdays through December 18th from 4 - 7 PM Tucker Farmers Market 
2333 Main Street in the Freemasons Square and Bank of America parking lot

Community Events and Spirit 

Wednesday December 10th Tucker Precinct Luncheon 
DeKalb County Police Department's Tucker Precinct will host their annual Precinct Christmas Luncheon. Tucker Civic Association will be supporting this event by donating food and decorations as well as providing volunteers to help set up, serve food and clean up. If you can help at the event, or can donate a side dish or dessert, please email Jonnie Johnston at [email protected] 

Gardening, etc. 

 Don’t feel guilty about buying a fresh tree – you’re not ruining a pristine forest. About 98% of all Christmas trees are grown on farms as sustainable crops. For every tree they harvest, Christmas tree growers plant one to three new seedlings the following spring to ensure a constant supply. Close to 350 million trees planted by farmers are growing now and will end up in homes across the country. So where do most of these trees come from? Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Washington. The first written record of a Christmas tree is from Latvia in 1510. It says the tree was decorated with artificial roses. In the 1800’s, German settlers brought the Christmas tradition to the United States. To check for freshness when buying your Christmas tree, gently grasp a branch and tug along its length. If the tree is fresh, very few needles will come off in your hand. Make sure you keep plenty of water in the tree stand. And, if you’re using fresh greenery out of your garden (or elsewhere) to decorate, spray them with an anti-desiccant to keep them fresh longer. 

 Soil Sample Bag 

We now have the Soil Sample bags available from the University of Georgia. If you’ve had a problem with healthy plants then now is a good time to test your soil and prepare for any amendments that are needed. 'Healthy' soil equates to happier plants with higher yields, better quality, more blooms, etc. There is a small cost involved but within a couple of weeks you’ll get recommendations back on how to improve your soil based on what you are growing in the area of the samples. Stop by and get yours today! 

Opportunities in the garden for December: 

• Remove faded Amaryllis blooms and stalks. Water only when dry. Poinsettias need more water – check them daily. Keep all of your holiday plants in a cool spot in your house to keep the flowers and leaves from dropping prematurely. Also, if you have potted plants with a foil wrapping around them, poke holes in the foil to allow them to drain so they don’t get root rot. 
• You can still plant spring-flowering bulbs. You can add winter color to the area by planting snapdragons or pansies. 
• Make sure all of your gas powered tools are put up for the season. If water gets in the gas tank, you may have difficulty starting it next spring. 
• If you have a fireplace instead of tossing the ashes you can spread them over your lawn 
 at a rate of 10lbs/1000sf every 6 months to provide potassium and phosphorous.
• We had a prolific year for acorns. Now is a great time to remove the seedlings that have popped up. 
• When we have frost predicted, protect your plants by watering them thoroughly. Use can also use sheets to cover plants but need to cover them all the way to the ground to trap in the heat. Insulate your outdoor faucets to keep them from freezing. 
• Plant bare root trees and woody vines now. 
• Continue to rake the leaves from your lawn to prevent dead spots in the spring. 
• Decorate your fairy garden for Christmas. 

            ( Left: small female hairy woodpecker, photo credits to Ed Kuzela - Right: a sole hooded warbler. photo credits to Sam Bruner ) 

 Bird feeders bring lots of colorful activity to your garden during the cold winter months. Putting out different types of seed and adding a suet feeder will bring a variety of birds to your feeders. Other ways to entice birds include leaving seedheads standing in your garden to invite finches and other seed-eaters; having plants with berries/fruits such as viburnum, beautyberry, evergreen hollies and crabapple; including evergreens in your landscape for weather protection, safety from predators (as well as for nesting opportunities in the spring and summer) and seeds in the cones (finches, titmice, goldfinches, and Dark-eyed Juncos). Don’t forget that roosting pockets can help protect our songbirds during the winter (Chickadees, wrens, House Finches).

Sign-up now for the 115th Christmas Bird Count. This is a great family activity. Christmas bird counts take place in a pre-set area (“circle”) on one day between the dates of December 14th and January 5th. 
Find a circle near you and sign up to participate. 
2014-15 Atlanta Area Christmas Bird Counts
- Atlanta/Marietta: Sat., Dec. 14, 2014. Contact: Chrishanna Desrosiers 
- Peachtree City: Sun., Dec. 15, 2014. Contact: Brock Hutchins 770-486-3715 
- Roswell: Mon., Dec. 16, 2014. Contact: Don Ware 678-684-3932 
- Amicalola Falls: Sat., Jan. 4, 2015. Contact: Georgann Schmals, 404-245-7273 or Theresa Hartz, 678-936-0785 
- Intown: Sat., Jan. 3, 2015. Contact Joy Carter, 404-622-0605. 

Bird of the month: White-throated Sparrow 

• White-throated Sparrows are winter residents in Georgia. 
• These brown birds have distinct facial markings with a black eyestripe, a white crown and a yellow spot between the eyes. There are tan and white striped variations both with a gray belly. 
• These sparrows forage on the ground for seeds, insects, and berries and will also come to your feeders for black oil sunflower seeds and millet. 
• They build a cup shaped nest built with moss, twigs, grass and pine needles. The nest is usually concealed under shrubs or by leaves or dense vegetation. They don’t typically reuse their nests. 
• They usually have 1 brood per year made up of 4-6 tan pale blue, green or creamy white eggs speckled with reddish brown markings. The incubation period is 11 - 14 days and they fledge in 7 – 12 days. 
• White-throated Sparrows sing a song of Oh-sweet-canada-canada or Old-Sam-Peabody-Peabody. 
• The oldest known White-throated Sparrow lived to be at 9 years and 8 months old.  

Audubon Field Trips 


Saturday December 6th Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area 8AM 

Birding Focus: We will look for wintering and permanent residents. Habitats in Dawson Forest include old fields, wetlands, freshwater ponds, and mixed pine/hardwood forests. 

Saturday December 6th Piedmont Park 8AM 
Birding Focus: Wintering birds and permanent residents. All levels welcome. Excellent for beginning birders or those desiring gentle terrain. 

Wednesday December 10th Murphey Candler Park 8AM 
Birding Focus: Three main habitats (lake, wetlands, mixed woods) provide good species diversity. We'll look for winter visitors and residents, including waterfowl, shorebirds, and passerines. The site is also reliable for turtles. This walk is suitable for adults and children over 14 years of age. Please do not bring your dog. This site can be especially good for beginning birders. 

Saturday December 13th Panola Mountain 8AM 
Birding Focus: Winter residents of wetlands & forest, including sparrows, blackbirds, raptors, waterfowl, waders, and shorebirds. There will be a privet removal volunteer effort that day as well. Check the state park website for details. 

Wednesday December 17th Reynolds Nature Preserve 8AM 
Birding Focus: We will look for winter woodland birds such as woodpeckers, including Pileated Woodpeckers, and Barred Owls. The trail is very wide, flat, and is less than 2 miles round trip. It passes through mature deciduous forest and along several ponds. 

Saturday December 20th Hard Labor Creek State Park 3PM 
Birding Focus: Hard Labor Creek is the 2nd largest GA State Park. It boasts a variety of habitats and has a history of birds like Loggerhead Shrikes, American Kestrels, and a variety of waterfowl on Lake Rutledge. During this short walk, we'll look for winter residents, including woodland birds, waterfowl, and raptors. 

Saturday January 3rd Piedmont Park 8AM 
Birding Focus: Wintering birds and permanent residents. All levels welcome. Excellent for beginning birders or those desiring gentle terrain. 

Wednesday January 7th Cochran Shoals (CRNRA) 

8AM Birding Focus: Wintering and permanent residents, including waterfowl, raptors, sparrows, woodpeckers, and warblers. This walk is suitable for adults and children over 14 years of age. Please do not bring your dog. 

Friday January 9th Panola Mountain 10AM 
Birding Focus: Winter residents of wetlands & forest, including sparrows, blackbirds, raptors, waterfowl, waders, and shorebirds.

  From our family to yours, we wish you a special holiday season filled with love and peace!  

Hope to see you soon, 
Linda, Brittany, Jessica, Jeremy & Greyson 

The Garden Enthusiast - Backyard Nature Station 2316 D Main Street Tucker, GA 30084 
Hours: Monday – Saturday 10am – 6PM Sunday: Closed 
Contact us at 404-474-7072 or [email protected] – we love to get your feedback!

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