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Don't let this be you this holiday season - plan ahead with a little help from Hooks & Lattice.

Jumpstart Holiday Shopping with Garden Gifts!

Don't let this be you this holiday season - plan ahead with a little help from Hooks & Lattice.

Don’t get down this holiday season – just plan ahead with a little help from Hooks & Lattice.

Put a fine point on holiday gift shopping this year with the help of Hooks and Lattice. If you have family and friends who love a good curb appeal project, you’ve come to the right place. Our customers often find that Christmas gift ideas for mom can just as easily work for dad. And a “green” offering is sure to up your popularity in that Secret Santa trade at work. So, without further ado, here’s the first of our Holiday Shopping Guides for 2014!

Fun & easy to assemble, this all-in-one DIY terrarium kit makes a great gift!

Fun & easy to assemble, this all-in-one DIY terrarium kit makes a great gift!

Small Gifts & “Stocking” Stuffers

Need a little something for a group gift trade, a new friend or stocking stuffing? Here’s a couple of holiday shopping ideas you can get behind – all priced reasonably at under $40.

  • Terrarium Kits

We love this round bubble terrarium that comes complete with a sand pack, decorative seashell and Agentea air plant. Priced at less than $25 before shipping and a real party-pleaser. No garden-knowhow necessary. Enjoyable for most any age!

  • DIY Garden Gift Basket

Any container gardener can use replacement liners for the upcoming season. So, why not use a coconut liner as a makeshift gift basket? Maybe even hang it in place of a loved one’s stocking this season! Start with one like this 12″ molded coco coir liner priced at under $10, and then fill it up. Any of our seed starting kits would make a great stuffer.

Holiday Gifts from $50-$100

If you’re budgeting a bit more for close family and friends, try out some of these items. We’ve got helpful Christmas gift ideas for her special spring project, or décor to spruce up the wintertime garden.

  • Radiant Redwood Flower Boxes
This elegant Victorian lantern casts a warm glow and complements any space.

This elegant Victorian lantern casts a warm glow and complements any space.

Our Pasadena Planter Box is simply exquisite with five size choices available at under $100. If the green thumb in your life has been dropping hints about a spring container gardening project, the Pasadena will get them off on the right foot. To make it really special, fill the box with garden tools, supplies and seeds. And for an organic-inspired finish that cuts down on wrapping paper waste, simply tie a colored raffia bow around the outside of the flower box.

  • Elegant Table Lanterns

Transform any tabletop, indoor or outdoor, with a gorgeous decorative lantern. We really like this Victoria-inspired style with its classic lines and impressive height. Plus, it can be utilized inside or outside, so your gift recipient can display it right away, no matter the climate. Great for holiday party centerpieces as well as general, year-round home décor. Check out our other table lantern styles here.

Take Christmas Shopping Online

Still want to browse? Don’t stop at these holiday gift suggestions! Hooks and Lattice has plenty more to offer. Please visit us throughout November and December and check out our online gift guide for even more fun, garden-inspired giving ideas! Also, follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay tuned throughout this 2014 holiday season.

Fresh Christmas trees are nice, but the hassles and fire dangers outweigh the positives. Focus on what matter this year - family time!

A Stress-Free Christmas with Artificial Trees

Fresh Christmas trees are nice, but the hassles and fire dangers outweigh the positives. Focus on what matter this year - family time!

Fresh Christmas trees are nice, but the hassles and fire dangers outweigh the positives. Focus on what matter this year – family time!

It may seem a long way off, but before you know it Christmas will be right around corner. And with everything that comes with the holidays, from the shopping and baking to the parties and festivities, wouldn’t it be great to cross something off your long to-do list? Take advantage of an artificial Christmas tree to spread the joy without adding more stress to the season.

Gone are the days of frigid trips to the tree lot to find the perfect tree, the stress of cutting the tree so it fits perfectly in its holder, and the need to constantly water, fertilize, and clean those pesky pine needles. Artificial trees cut the stress without sacrificing Christmas cheer or style, and they make it easy for you to enjoy the holiday season.

Choices, choices…

At Hooks and Lattice, we have a huge variety of the best artificial Christmas trees to meet your needs. With trees in styles ranging from the stately Virginia pine to the rugged mixed balsam pine and price points in every budget, there is a perfect tree for every home. Our trees range in height from 6.5 to 12 feet tall and have widths ranging from 51 to 110 inches. Shopping at Hooks and Lattice is like shopping at the tree lot from the comfort of your own couch and not having to worry about strapping the tree to the roof of the car to get it home.

Know your trees - the realism is all in the tips!

Know your trees – the realism is all in the tips!

The Real Look without the Real Hassles

There’s a stigma about artificial trees that they often look very obviously fake. Our trees are made from PVC and have molded tips to create a lifelike and full look. In fact, the trees are so strong you won’t have to worry about branches buckling under the weight of your heaviest ornament. Plus there’s lots of room under the tree for all the presents. And are you tired of untangling strands of lights each season to decorate the tree? Our selection includes a variety of pre-lit Christmas trees for sale, with either clear or multi-colored lights. That way, all you have to do is take the tree out of the box, plug it in, and decorate to your heart’s content to have a cozy and stress-free Christmas wonderland.

If this is what you envision for your Christmas decorations this year, shop trees online and start unpacking that train set!

Envision your Christmas decor, and shop our trees online. Then start unpacking that train set!

Artificial Christmas trees are a great way to bring the brightness of the season to your home without having to worry about the stress and maintenance of a real tree. With fake trees, you can travel and decorate as you wish, knowing that your tree will always look immaculate. Now that’s a true Christmas miracle!

Make your victory garden even more patriotic by lining beds with American flags.

American Victory Gardens – A Brief History of Food and Freedom

Starting a garden is a fitting way to show your patriotism this Fourth of July. That’s right, fresh grown veggies and fruits are the very reason Cobb Salads and apple pies are so American. And, it just so happens, planting food for freedom is part of our nation’s history.

Victory, Garden Style

During the first half of the twentieth century, as our nation was entangled in World Wars I and II, growing fruits, vegetables and herbs was actually a part of the war effort. These civilian contributions came to be known as Victory Gardens.

By producing food locally, communities were able to subsist on their own harvests while easing demand on the national food supply. Plots ranged from small raised bed gardening on urban rooftops, to large suburban yards and rural fields. According to The National WWII Museum archives, at the height of the Victory Garden during World War II, there were more than 20 million individual plots operating across the USA. Now that’s what we call patriotic produce!

Make your victory garden even more patriotic by lining beds with American flags.

Make your victory garden even more patriotic by lining beds with American flags.

Local Food Fuels Freedom

While container and vegetable gardening obviously did not win the war outright, communities banding together for the common good rightly demonstrates the American Way. While soldiers sacrificed to fight battles thousands of miles away, their families were at home helping to free up food supplies needed overseas while boosting civilian morale.

In peacetime, the same idea of better living and stronger communities rings true. Things have changed a lot since the Victory Gardens of WWII, but the lingering sentiment is just as relevant today. When we have access to our food source and understand its workings, Americans emerge empowered.

Present Day Victory Gardens

Today, nearly 70 years since the Second World War ended, the United States has undergone rapid changes in the way our food is produced, packaged and sold. While supply shortages are no longer a concern as a direct result of war, our country faces new struggles tied to sustenance. As evidenced by childhood and adolescent obesity rates that loom higher than ever (see: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), many Americans have gone astray when it comes to basic nutrition. When did we lose touch with what we put on our meal table?

Many claim the reason behind this quandary is simple: Limited knowledge of or connection to our food sources. Detachment leads to choices based on what is available and affordable, even if that means frozen and processed goods with little to no real nutrition. But what if we could change all that and put American communities back in touch with agriculture and the food they eat?

Several community-based and grassroots movements are aiming to do just that. The Victory Garden Initiative is one such effort, citing in their mission statement that, “When everyone is a farmer, we will have a socially and environmentally just food system.” Kind of like farming for freedom.

Food For Thought this 4th of July

Working to ensure there is fresh and wholesome meals on the table at breakfast, lunch and dinner is about as American as it gets. And on no day is this more apparent than July 4th. This summer, though, rather than relying fully on big box stores for mealtime ingredients, show your local farmers a little love. Or, better yet, grow your own!

To get started on a small scale, raised bed gardening in cedar or redwood is a great way to go. It works anywhere, from the back yard to a downtown rooftop. Also, check out some tips tied to the modern-day Victory Garden, courtesy of the aptly named PBS program.

Curb Appeal Tip: Flanking doors and pathways is a simple way to play up your home's architectural features.

Father’s Day Gifts with Curb Appeal

Father’s Day is just around the corner, and you know what that means – it’s time to get shopping! But it seems that men, and especially dads, are notoriously hard to shop for, which makes Father’s Day gifts hard to come by. Forget the necktie or barbeque ties, this year give dad a gift that will keep on giving by improving his home’s curb appeal. Here are three gift ideas for him to spruce up his front garden and curb appeal.

Your mailbox is just like your cover letter - it's the first impression your home makes!

Your mailbox is just like your cover letter – it’s the first impression your home makes!

Outdoor Planters

Add structure and architectural elements to your father’s home with the help of garden planters. Planters come in all shapes, sizes, and materials, so choose wisely to find the planter to meet your dad’s style, environment, and plants. As a general rule of thumb, tall planters are best by an entryway or garage door, and longer planters work well to outline a space or run underneath a window. Composite, or PVC planters, are best for the low-maintenance dad because they provide the look and feel of wood without requiring upkeep for the long haul. With a few new planters, your dad’s front garden will look better than ever.

Decorative Mailboxes

Help your dad upgrade from the standard mailbox to something more eye-catching. Decorative mailboxes are an easy way to extend a home’s style all the way to the curb. This black aluminum mailbox is a classic option that will add a touch of sophistication to any home. For a more contemporary look, this vinyl double mailbox will tie in strong lines with sleek style. And for the dad who likes to garden, give him the mailbox with planter for the best of both worlds. And don’t worry about installation-decorative mailboxes are easy to install over a wood post. You can even give your dad the gift of construction and let him put it together himself!

Curb Appeal Tip: Flanking doors and pathways is a simple way to play up your home's architectural features.

Curb Appeal Tip: Flanking doors is a simple way to play up your home’s architectural features.

Plants

Help you dad establish the colors and style of his home with a fresh batch of plants. Adding plants and flowers to a yard can make a huge difference and breathe a sense of life into a home. When buying plants as a Father’s Day gift, consider the location of the garden and of the home, especially the amount of sun and shade available in the front garden. Choose plants that will thrive in their designated area. Pick plants that will match the style and color scheme of the house and that will look good and grow well together. And of course, don’t forget about your dad’s green thumb-be sure to choose plants he can keep up with and keep thriving.

Metal Lantern Centerpiece

How to Decorate Metal Lanterns

Metal Lantern Centerpiece

Create a unique centerpiece with a metal and glass lantern. These living table mats are cool too!

For first-timers and DIY veterans alike, deciding how to decorate lanterns is a fun and challenging part of the process. Some projects call for simplicity like the effortless feel of decorative candle lanterns, perhaps adorned with a ring of fresh garlands outside the enclosure. And for special occasions, transform metal lanterns into Christmas themed centerpieces or unforgettable wedding decoration ideas. With so many design concepts to choose from, here’s a few of our favorites to get you started:

Centerpiece Table Ideas

Spruce up everyday home decor with elegant table centerpiece ideas crafted using iron lanterns. On a dining room table, a kitchen island, or atop a patio set, indoor and outdoor lanterns add a touch of personal charm.

One classic option begins with our Victorian Table Lantern and your favorite pillar candle. Understated and elegant, this lantern provides the perfect display case for a gently flickering flame: A timeless accent that is sure to warm the ambiance at any dinner table. And it makes a great housewarming gift, too!

Lanterns for kitchen and tabletop display are also a wonderful opportunity to showcase your family’s personality. Fill with keepsakes like vacation souvenirs, children’s art projects, or a string of wildflower garlands to create an irresistible conversation piece.

Holiday Themed Lanterns

Give your Christmas, Passover or Thanksgiving table decor a boost using lanterns for decoration. For Christmas themed centerpieces, it’s as simple as choosing favorite yuletide materials: ornaments, garlands, holly berries, light strings, colored candles, and more. An enclosure like our Oxford Garden Lantern is ideal for combinations of bright reds and greens, all arranged to gleam through the lantern’s glass sides.

Incorporate lanterns into Thanksgiving table decor with festive autumn materials like dried fallen leaves, miniature pumpkins, and textured husks. Create your own favorite combinations and delight holiday guests with all the colors and shapes of the season.

Decorative Metal Lanterns

We added a candle, smooth stones, ribbon, and a seashell to create our beach-themed metal lantern.

Seaside & Beach Lantern

Start with simple bronze or black lanterns, fill with tokens of the sea or lakeshore, and, presto! You have a charming beach lantern that will warm any tabletop. Whether you live near the water or not, seaside themed lanterns are a breeze to create. Choose combinations of sand, seashells, pebbles and corals to construct a calming coastal theme. These can be collected in nature, or purchased at most any craft store.

Wedding Decoration Ideas

For a memorable wedding decoration, professional planners and DIY’ers alike are loving indoor and outdoor lanterns. An all-around charming look coupled with the endless opportunity to customize makes this an irresistible option for the big day! Cater to the bride and groom’s tastes by displaying glimpses of their life together within each lantern, like a folded map for the honeymoon destination, or a small photograph of the happy couple together. Or, keep it simple and classic with decorative candle lanterns and enclosures filled with brilliant floral arrangements.