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Carolina Wrens will nest just about anywhere...even in our empty watering can!

Carolina Wrens, though territorial about their range, are not picky about where they nest. Old boots, propane tanks, watering cans, mailboxes and pots…these are just some of the man made abodes that wrens have claimed as their “home sweet home”. Using everything from small sticks, moss and roots, to snakeskin, plastic bags, hair and paper, Wrens are resourceful home builders!

Wrens built this cozy nest in our marketing director, Caroline's, grandma's newspaper box!

The mating pair, which stays together for life, spend their time foraging for sturdy materials for the curved outer walls, and finish the inside up with softer nesting materials. Wrens may also build many mock nests throughout their territory, which are commonly called “cock’s nests”, choosing their favorite home for the nesting season once they are actually ready to mate. These domed nests are never used more than once and usually take about three days to construct. Once finished, the pair mate and the female lays a clutch of between three and seven small eggs that are cream colored with small brown speckles. To watch them in action, check out this great YouTube video of a pair of Carolina Wrens adding to their nest! Building a Carolina Wren Nest.

Our wrens chose the stylish pot on our office's front porch to nest in. They must not be bothered by the constant activity here since they've already laid eggs!

For a hilarious and heartwarming story with great pictures documenting the baby wrens, check out this website on the wren’s unusual nesting locations, and read about Karen Ouimet’s indoor wren experience!

Fill Your Home with the Fragrance of Herbs!

As the holidays quickly approach, we’ve started thinking about some of our favorite aromatic herbs that will help bring your home to life this season. It’s time to toss out those artificially scented candles and store bought fragrances and go all natural instead!

Hyssop

Hyssop has a long been popular for its warm anise fragrance. Used originally by the Ancient Greeks to cleanse their homes and temples of evil spirits and misfortune, Hyssop’s rich sweet smell continues to permeate homes across the world. A terrific medicinal herb as well, Hyssop has proven in modern medical trials that it may act as an herbal deterrent to symptoms of HIV. A member of the Mint family, Hyssop makes a wonderful addition to any wreath or centerpiece for an all natural perfume as inviting as the smell of holiday cooking!

Patchouli

Another cousin from the Mint family, Patchouli has been a friendly favorite well before Woodstock! Patchouli’s leaves are chocked full of  its warm, earthy aroma and its essential oils are used by many as an herbal perfume. When warmed, these oils emit a stronger fragrance. Try dabbing a little on a cooled sixty watt light bulb, and once turned on, the smell of Patchouli will begin to heat and waft throughout your home! Patchouli oil also makes a great skin conditioner to help keep your skin soft and supple against abrasive winter winds. Try introducing this sweet scent of the Sixties to your family this holiday season by mixing it in with wreaths or centerpieces!

Sage

You may be familiar with tried and true Sage varieties that make great culinary companions like Garden Sage, but for gorgeous centerpieces and fragrant house plants, try planting Purple Sage! Slightly less aromatic than Garden Sage, Purple Sage makes up in beauty what it may lack in scent. With alternating green and purple leaves that grow more vibrant as cooler weather sets in, Purple Sage will make a terrific addition to any wreath or holiday decoration. The dusty purple contrasts nicely with Magnolia leaves, Evergreens and Hyssop and the faint scent of camphor will remind you of a home cooked meal.

Mint

For a more traditional holiday smell, celebrate the season with Mint! Used in many holiday drinks, Mint is an extremely fragrant herb that conjures memories of candy canes and visions of sugar plums.  Whether added to hot chocolate, utilized in a savory centerpiece or just grown in a decorative pot or container, Mint makes a great holiday scent. The menthol in Mint’s essential oils will bring a cool, fresh breath to your home during those stuffy winter months. Try a modern twist on an old favorite herb and give the spicy Cuban Mojito Mint or lemon-scented Citrus Kitchen Mint a try!

Lemon Verbena

Lemon Verbena blends pleasantly with the Mentholated smell of Mint to really make your home smell cool and clean! Terrific in teas Lemon Verbena has a strong lemon scent that will remind you of Summer, all Winter long. Whether used in holiday decorations, family meals or just grown on a sunny window sill, Lemon Verbena will be a delight all season long. For a blend of citrus perfumes, try creating a tea or arrangement with Lemon Verbena and Citrus Kitchen Mint. Let sunny Lemon Verbena chase away the Winter blues!