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Make Christmas Easy: Browse Our Hand Selected Themes That Make Decorating a Breeze!

If you're ready for top gift-giving ideas for friends and family this year, why not make it easy and browse by theme? In this article, we share the top picks from our seven seasonal themes this year. 

1. Christmas Eve

The magic and anticipation of Christmas Eve light up Red's Home & Garden in the “night-before-Christmas” category. Ornaments, hand towels, figurines, and stockings are the hallmarks of this popular category.   Stock up on various sizes of posable elves! Position them on fireplace mantels, library shelves or kitchen spice racks and add a dash of seasonal whimsy to any flat surface with these adorable figures that have a rich Christmas history. If you're looking for tree ornaments, consider red pine cones that add a festive punch of color and texture to any real or artificial fir tree.

2. Gnome for the Holidays

There really is no place like gnome for the holidays! All things gnomes dominate this beloved Christmas store category, including free-standing gnomes and Santa gnomes and hats.   Perhaps you need a 30-inch standing gnome for your entryway? How about a set of reclining gnomes that can brighten up any flat surface, from stair treads to TV consoles and mantelpieces?

3. Have a Beary Christmas

Rustic is the name of the game when it comes to having a very beary Christmas. Pine cone, sledge and ski lodge ornaments are just some of the goodies you can expect when you browse this winter wonderland category.   Small or large wood and metal sled candleholders are a great way to add whimsy and spirit to any dining or coffee table. Add festive votives to the candleholders to imbue your living space with festive spirit, color and warmth. Resin pine cones are another great way to bring the outdoors indoors. Choose from 9-, 11- and 13.5-inch free-standing options. 

4. Holiday Homestead

All the comforts of home and life on the farm inform the Holiday Homestead category. Browse ornaments, kitchen towels, prints and crates, and find the pieces that lift your seasonal spirits.    Bright red cardinals, the state birds of North Carolina, make naturally stunning Christmas tree ornaments. Choose from a cardinal on a branch or with a wreath ornament. If you love adorable farm animals, put a furry baby goat ornament or a doorstop Christmas donkey in your shopping cart.

5. Juniper Grove

The Juniper Grove Christmas theme pays homage to the great outdoors with this line of tree- and animal-adorned products. In addition, many of the ornaments and decorations feature natural materials.   Choose from various sizes of a cement planter with pines, an earthy and robust way to display your tree or poinsettia. If you seek a touch of whimsy for your tree, go for an animal in a birch bark tree ornament. Choose from an owl, raccoon or squirrel.

6. Merry & Bright

Red, white and green products dominate this Christmas theme that allows you to instantly add vibrant color and shine to your home or office.  Add a cheery 30-inch Santa portrait to your home's entryway and include Saint Nick in your family and friends' events. If you're interested in adding more subtle dashes of color, buy some cedar or berry sprays for your mantelpiece or front door. 

7. Snow Much Fun

Let it snow outside and inside your home! Browse this popular theme to find the winter wonders that bring energy and joy to your festive season. Toss an 18-inch Let It Snow pillow on the couch and stay comfortable when it's time for the post-Christmas dinner nap, or add a snowman with skis ornament to your tree for color and humor. Have these delightful Christmas themes given you a festive feeling? Visit Red's Home & Garden and stock up on Christmas gifts in Wilkesboro. 

Pansies or Violas? Key Differences & Planting Advice

Flowers that are tolerant of cold weather are not that plentiful, but luckily both pansies and violas offer a range of colors when the weather cools down. They can even be mixed and matched in a garden to create a wider spread of color across your early-blooming flower bed. The two flowers look so much alike that many people mistake one for the other. Some even think they are the same flower.

Pansy Flowers Are Violas... of a Kind

It's understandable why some people would think the two flowers are the same because pansy plants are scientifically known as Viola wittrockiana. They are a species of the viola family, but not the same as the plants commonly labeled violas at flower nurseries. Pansy varieties started as a cross between the common viola and the wild viola. There are a few notable differences.

Identifying Pansies vs Violas

Both flowers have five petals, but the telltale difference between species is the orientation of the flowers. The pansy flower has four petals pointing up, with one that typically dips down toward the ground like the flower has a little pout. Violas, by contrast, have two petals that stretch up and three that stretch down, giving it a little more horizontal balance in its visual presentation. There are also differences in the colors available. Lastly, pansy flowers run between six and 12 inches tall. That makes them significantly taller than most viola varieties.

Planting & Care Instructions

Since the two plants are cousins, they have very similar care and watering needs. Pansies tend to be a little more cold tolerant and will even bloom during winter in some locations. Violas are also very tolerant of the cold compared to most flowers, but not quite as much as the average pansy. This is because of the pansy's relationship to the hearty wild viola. Depending on the type you choose to plant, you may need either coarse or normal soil, so check the instructions and make sure you pick plants with similar soil needs if you are mixing and matching. Here are a few other basic care requirements:
  • Both flowers need soil that drains well, making raised beds or containers ideal
  • They can thrive in sun when the weather is cool, but prefer sites that provide full, direct morning sun, yet shield them from intense afternoon rays
  • Both die off as the spring turns to summer heat, so shade during the hot part of the day extends their blooming times
  • Plant them at least six inches apart, but no more than ten, to avoid empty patches in the bed
  • Put violas in front when mixing flowers to make sure they are visible next to their taller cousins
Plant either flower for the first time after the danger of snowfall has passed when there are no longer hard freezes at night. They will bloom as long as the temperature stays cool.

Popular Varieties of Pansies

There are so many types of pansies to choose from that it is not possible to list them all, but there are a few common series they are organized into with telltale traits. Violas come in a wide range of varieties including tri-color options, but do not have the same set of definitive series lines.
  • Delta series pansy flowers have many presentation styles and 32 colors, making them the broadest category
  • Majestic giants come in as extra-large flowers, over four inches across, with most types presenting with a dark center blotch and only a couple of solid colors to choose from
You will find the popular and novel colors when they are seasonally available, so it is a good idea to check out your options when you know replanting is due soon. You may find something new that you want to add to your beds. Learn more about what you will find in stock at Red's Home & Garden when you visit and then plan your supply run to take advantage of the current planting season.
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