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  Patsy Bell Hobson
Freelance Writer
Growing Smarter
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50 & Better
November 2005
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  November 2005
50 & Better
Gardening Forever
By Patsy Bell Hobson

No Spring nor Summer Beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one Autumnal face. - John Donn

Hale Thanksgiving

In 1827, Mrs. Sarah Josepha Hale began lobbying several Presidents for the in statement of Thanksgiving as a national holiday, but her lobbying was unsuccessful until 1863 when Abraham Lincoln finally made it a national holiday with his 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation.

Widowed in 1822,with five children to support, Hale published her first book of poems, The Genius of Oblivion. Her first novel, Northwood, established her career as a writer in 1827. That same year, she began her most remembered literary position - that of editress.
Hale served as editor of Ladies' Magazine from 1827-1836 and Godey's Lady's Book from 1837-1877. She continued to write poetry, novels, and children's literature, while serving as a major editorial force for the next fifty years. Hale used her editorial clout at Godey's to campaign for Thanksgiving as a national holiday until Lincoln made it official in 1863.

Squirrel Bate

At this time of thanksgiving and in response to all the folks who are wondering about holiday gifts for gardeners, Iíd like to mention some of the things that have made my life a little easier and more joyful this year.

Better Than TV: SquirrelStop.

You canít have a big family gathering for the holidays without providing a little entertainment. SquirrelStop protects your hanging bird feeder from squirrels and it is fun to watch. When a squirrel climbs on the feeder, the increased weight spins the feeder for 20 seconds and causes the squirrel to jump off. Squirrels learn to leave your feeder alone - and birds dine undisturbed. SquirrelStop keeps squirrels out of the feeder and the Scarecrow keeps wondering pests and pets away from my garden.
The Scarecrow motion activated sprinkler instantly releases a short, startling burst of water when it detects animals. The sudden water, movement and noise scare animals away. Jules has given up chasing animals out of the garden for the more effective Scarecrow. Made by the same folks as the SquirrelStop, both safe and humane animal control products are worth a look.

Visit Contech - Intelligent Animal Control Products for fun and harmless, environmentally friendly pest control products for indoors and out. Order online or locate a store near you at or call 1-800-767-8658.

Contech also makes a Mini Scarecrow for indoors with a motion sensor that activates a warning sound and a brief, harmless spray of compressed air to keep your pet away. The Mini Scarecrow safely and hilariously protects potted plants from indoor pets.

Iím thinking the Mini Scarecrow would also be good to keep the cat off the kitchen table and it may just keep sleepwalking Jules away from the Thanksgiving leftovers. Would it be worth staying awake all night just to watch the look on Julesí face when he reaches for the refrigerator door? I know CPR.

Saving Face on Vacation

When I threw a hand full of All Terrain sample products into my suitcase, I intended to bring them home and test the samples in my own back yard. My Vancouver vacation was extended and I found myself site seeing for hours everyday. Unprepared for an extended stay, I had no sunscreen or moisturizer. Except the All Terrain product samples. The remedy rubs for feet and face allowed me more outdoor time in the cool but sunny climate. My tired feet and sun-exposed face quickly absorbed the healing, all-natural products. Iím glad I didnít have my usual cosmetic-counter products and had to use the All Terrain samples. They were more soothing. Relief was instant.

Skin Saver Lotion moisturizes and nourishes the face and body after being outdoors. Recovery Rub relieves pain from sore muscles and joints, including arthritis. It quickly provides cool, deep penetrating relief. Check out the products designed for gardeners at You can order online or by phone.

All Terrain products are designed for the ďpassionate high-performance user.Ē Speaking as a gardener, the environmentally friendly, all-natural ingredient products are good for everybody. While you may never see me hang gliding or mountain climbing, All Terrain will always be in my suitcase. At this age, anything that can help me comfortably go and do more is a travel necessity.

Fall For Color

Track the fall color changes across the nation at the USDA Forest Service web page: Color change and leaf fall are chiefly dependent upon the increasing length of night. As days grow shorter, and the longer nights grow cooler the leaves turn color.

When choosing trees for home landscaping, keep fall color in mind. Leaf color depends on the tree species. Oaks turn red, brown, or russet; hickories, golden bronze; aspen and yellow poplar, golden yellow; dogwood, purplish red; and sourwood, crimson. Maples vary according to species - red maple turns brilliant scarlet; sugar maple, orange-red; and black maple, glowing yellow.

As you prepare gardens for winter, cover all exposed ground.  A scattering of leaf mulch will prevent erosion and help over- winter perennials. Run over the fallen leaves with the lawn mower to chop them up. Chopped leaves make free and nutrient- rich mulch for your gardens.

In a season of Thanksgiving, I am grateful to the friends and readers who have taken the time to e-mail and share their gardening memories.

Patsy Bell Hobson is a writer, speaker and a Master Gardener emeritus in Liberty, MO. Send e-mail to


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