Sunday, 17 November 2013

A Visual History of Christmas Trees

History of the Christmas Tree

Offering TOP QUALITY Tabletop Water Fountains! Our Prices are Unmatched!

If you’re looking for the VERY BEST in indoor tabletop water fountains, then you’ve definitely come to the right place. We’re here getting the word out on our blog about our great selection of fountains which combine TOP build quality with pricing that simply can’t be matched on the internet!

At Sheila Shrubs Garden Centre, we specialize in choosing water fountains that add a natural beauty and serene feeling to your home, which offers you the ability to relax while hanging around in the house! In addition to the benefits of living in a more stress-free home atmosphere, these fountains also act as natural humidifiers for the home! They also act as a highly effective sound barrier against ambient home noises in the home or office!

Not quite ready to purchase a fountain? We also sell kettles and steamers that are specifically designed to add humidity to your home! These are a fantastic cost-effective and old-fashioned way to increase the indoor air moisture so that you and your family can breathe easier!

Ready to view our great selection? Simply head over to our website!

Visit us Today! -

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

How To Cook In An Outdoor Fire Pit


By Sally Hansley Odum, eHow Contributor

Along with the soothing ambiance of nature, nothing adds to the pleasure of being outside like grilling food--thanks to the aroma, warmth and aesthetic appeal of a cozy fire. With a little practice, you can cook on your outdoor fire pit just as easily as any grill or stove. You can use coals or wood in the fire pit, allowing you to choose your flavor through the various types of woods available.

Difficulty: Moderately Easy


Things You'll Need
  • Grill grate
  • Skewers
  • Seasonings
  • Aluminum foil, burlap or banana tree leaves
  • Wood logs (seasoned dried hardwood burns hotter and longer)
  • Charcoal
  • Kindling (dried twigs, slender pieces of wood)
  • Tinder (Newspaper or dried leaves)
  • Matches
  • Charcoal lighter fluid
  • Food
  • Cooking and eating utensils
  • Fire poker
  • Grill tongs

  1. Build your fire with either wood logs or charcoal. If using wood, consider starting the fire in a barrel first, or somewhere away from the fire pit. Arrange the logs loosely in a pile so the oxygen will circulate freely--this makes the fire burn better. Use a starter aid, such as kindling or tinder. Light one end of the kindling or tinder with a match, then place it under the logs. Continue this process until the logs start burning well. Once the flames die down and the red-hot embers start to fall off the logs, use a shovel to carefully transfer the embers to your fire pit. This is what you will cook over--the embers, not the flames. Cooking over embers prevents you from charring the food and ruining it in an open flame. Cook on the embers while you wait for the rest of the logs to burn down, and keep a steady supply of embers coming by adding fresh wood.
    If it's too much trouble to create the fire somewhere else and move the embers, light the wood logs within the fire pit. Start your fire an hour or two ahead of the actual time you want to cook so the embers will be ready. Follow the same process given above to light the fire. Don't put the grate on or start cooking until the flames have died down and you have nothing left but red-hot, glowing embers. (The embers are actually hotter than the flames.)
    If you plan to use charcoal, use a quick-start brand of charcoal. Or, if you're using regular charcoal, sprinkle charcoal lighter fluid onto the coals. Mound the coals in the center of the fire pit. Light the mound at the top and on the sides with a long match so it will burn evenly. The coals are ready for cooking when they turn whitish on top.
    Every once in a while, use a fire poker to move the coals or embers around to get more oxygen circulating. The oxygen will intensify the heat.

  2. Place the grill grate on top of the fire pit to grill your food. There are two methods for grilling:
    For the direct heat method, grill directly over the hot coals or embers. Cook food on the grill grate just as you would on your regular barbecue grill. From hamburgers, hot dogs and steaks to pork chops or sausages, this is the easiest cooking method. Steaks should take 20 minutes, or less, to grill, depending on your tastes. Hamburgers take around 20 minutes, or less.
    For indirect heat grilling, cook away from the hot coals or embers. Arrange the food on the grate where it is a little off to the side of the main hot spot. The circulating air is still pretty hot, and your food will cook more slowly. This method is often used for whole chickens or other small fowl, corn on the cob, baked potatoes and other vegetables. A whole chicken sliced in half will take about an hour to cook over indirect heat. Cook 30 minutes breast side down, turn and cook 30 more minutes breast side up. Corn-on-the-cob wrapped in tin foil will take about 20 minutes over indirect heat; turn the corn frequently to keep it from burning. A baked potato wrapped in tin foil will take about 45 minutes; prick it with a fork to see if it's done.

  3. Cook in a fire pit with skewers. Soak wooden skewers 30 minutes in water before loading with food. Metal skewers should be cleaned and lightly oiled. Place the loaded skewers on a grill grate over medium-hot embers or coals.
    Roast hot dogs, sausages, small vegetable pieces, beef or pork kabobs, seafood morsels, marshmallows and a variety of other small items on skewers. Small vegetables pieces and shrimp cook within a few minutes. Chunks of beef and pork may take 15 minutes, or longer. Hot dogs and sausages take about ten minutes.
    If you want to cook with skewers like you would around a campfire, simply load marshmallows or hot dogs onto the ends of the skewers. Hold the skewers directly over the embers and the food will cook within a few minutes.

  4. Cook over your outdoor fire pit with a cast-iron frying pan, or stew pot with a lid. Cook fresh fish, Brunswick stew, steamed vegetables and more in your cast iron cookware. Place a frying pan with cooking oil on the grill grate directly over very hot embers or coals (it is mandatory that you use high, direct heat for pan or pot cooking on the fire pit--you can even have a few flames). Consider mounding the coals or embers up under the pan or pot to make sure it is as hot as it can get. Cooking times will vary depending upon the dish. Fry fish until golden brown on one side. Then turn and fry the other side until golden brown.
    Pan-sear scallops or vegetable slices in butter in less than 10 minutes.
    Brunswick stew made from scratch will take up to three hours. A fish stew will also take about three hours. These great stews need to simmer a long time to perfect their flavors.
    Broccoli takes 4-to-6 minutes to steam, green beans take 10-to-20 minutes, carrots 4-to-10 minutes and squash 3-to-8 minutes.

  5. Cook in your outdoor fire pit as if you were having a clam bake on the beach. Line the pit with stone, rock or brick. Loosely pile on your wood. Get the fire going well and let it reduce to red-hot embers. You want the stones so hot that water sizzles on them.
    Rake off the embers from the fire and cover the rocks with seaweed. Take your food and place it in cheesecloth squares (for a clambake this would be corn on the cob with silk removed but husks intact, whole fresh clams, live lobsters, peeled whole onions and baking-size potatoes). Create individual serving packets and tie them up at the corners. Put the food packets in wire baskets; lay the baskets on the steaming seaweed and cover with more seaweed. Then cover it all with a tarpaulin. It will take around two hours to cook. The rocks or stones hold enough heat to allow the seaweed to steam the food. This method of cooking is slow, but yields moist and flavorful food.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a dutch oven to cook in the fire pit over high, direct heat. Some barbecue pits come equipped with rotisserie attachments that allow you to rotisserie cook chickens, small pigs, turkeys or lamb. It takes a lot of wood to make sufficient embers to cook big meals. Make sure you have enough wood on hand to produce the embers you'll need.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Heated Bird Baths

Heated Bird Baths on

Available at Sheila Shrubs Garden Centre.  Click here!

Pedestal and Bowl - Heated

Outdoor Heated Kitty House

12" Heated Bird Bath with Metal Stand

Beautiful Bird Feeders

Click here to shop now!

Fly-Thru Heart Ruby Red

Classic Perch Ruby Red

Enchanted Squirrel Ruby Red

Enchanted Cat Ruby

Enchanted Cat Venetian Bronze

Enchanted Rabbit Ruby Red

Enchanted Rabbit Ruby Red

Enchanted Rabbit Venetian Bronze

Enchanted Bird Silver

Enchanted Bird Venetian Bronze

Great Camping Gift Ideas!

Check out our Pinterest board for great gift ideas for campers!  Click here!

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Bird Feeders - Great Gift Ideas for Bird Watchers & Gardeners!

Bird Feeders on

Available at Sheila Shrubs Garden Centre.  Click here!

Friday, 8 November 2013

Gift Ideas For Gardeners

Snail Watering Can

Spike Watering Can.  Also makes a great gift for dog lovers!

Grasshopper Watering Can

Visit Sheila Shrubs Garden Centre to see these and other great gifts for the gardeners on your list!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Wood-Burning Fire Pits & Grills

WoodEze 18'' Stainless Steel Fire Pit

WoodEze 18'' Stainless Steel Fire PitPerfect for smaller decks and patios!

Unbelievably Comfortable Hammocks

Outdoor Classics Single Mayan Hammock

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Christmas Decor

Are You Ready For Winter?

Monday, 4 November 2013

Benefits of Indoor Water Fountains

Indoor water fountains have many benefits.  In addition to the natural beauty they add to your home, they can also improve your health and wellbeing.

The flow of running water is one of the most relaxing and naturally calming sounds there is and having an indoor water fountain in your home is the perfect way to relieve stress, relax and unwind.

And did you know that the water is also responsible for filling the air in your home with negative ions?  Negative ions are known for having the ability to improve a person’s mood and even increase their energy levels! 

Heating and cooling in your home can cause the air to be dry, which in turn can cause itchy skin or dry eyes, and can also affect your throat and sinuses.  Indoor water fountains act as natural humidifiers keeping the air in your home moist and making you more comfortable.

In addition, indoor water fountains can act as a sound barrier against other noises in your home or office, giving you the calmness and serenity you need to relax, work peacefully or get a good night’s sleep. 

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Need Christmas Decor? Look no Further!

We Also Sell Sub-$100 Gifts!  Click Here!

HOLY WOW! It's that time of year again, and it’s time to start thinking about adding quality Christmas Décor to your home and property to invoke some holiday cheer!

Here at - we offer a wide selection of VERY nicely priced Christmas Decor that will surely fit the bill and make your home feel more festive! We offer Standard & Solar Lanterns, Music Fountains, and yes, even CHRISTMAS GNOMES!

In addition to decor, we're also serving up some of the very best in hand-selected gifts that are great for any occasion! So if you're unsure of what to purchase for your friends and family this year (whether it be holidays or birthdays), you should check out our selection for some great ideas!

We sell high-quality fountains, bird baths, and fire pits! They all look great, perform exceptionally and are being offered at sub-$100 pricing!

Ready to View our Selection? Simply Visit our Web store Today! *Choose the Seasonal Section!

Owl "Gord-O" Birdhouse

Songbird Essentials adds color & whimsy to any garden with our beautifully detailed wooden birdhouses that come ready to hang under the canopy of your trees. Hand-carved from albesia wood, a renewable resource, each birdhouse is hand painted with non-toxic paints and coated with polyurethane to protect them from the elements. By using all natural and nontoxic components Songbird Essentials has created a safe environment complete with clean-out for our feathered friends. We have included hangtags featuring our "green" source & product care.
Now available at Sheila Shrubs Garden Centre!