It’s THAT time of year again. The nights get longer, it gets colder and rains practically all the time, yup – it MUST be Christmas! Today I went out with my daughter to choose our tree. In typically seasonal weather – cold and torrential rain we set off for the Christmas Tree Farm a few miles away. Arriving at Santa Fir (www.santafir.com) we parked away from the muddiest part of the car park and went into the Bauble Barn (actually called The Gardenarium) for a look at the decorations. In this barn shop you can find all kinds of decorations for your home, inside and out.
The Bauble Barn (Gardenarium) Why we like REAL Christmas Trees!
Inside the barn we were met with an array of Christmas decorations to suit all tastes and purses! From the £400 fluffy life-size snowy white deer to the minimalist ‘stick’ tree and festive slogan aprons. None of these appealed to me, I like vintage glass baubles of the traditional type, but also interesting modern decorations such as the glass Robot Santa I bought this year and the delightful glass Goldfish decoration given to me by my friend.
Cute snowy festive scene with life-size deer figures. Odd looking ‘stick tree’
Two varieties of garden illuminations
Bah Humbug aprons! Table top snowy deer figure
A cheeky little chappy!
Outside again in the still pouring rain we trudged purposefully toward the Tree area where a veritable forest of cut Christmas Trees were standing, sorted according to height and variety.
The selection of the right tree is very important. It should be just the right size for the room in which it is to stand, the trunk should be straight and the branches should be evenly spaced up, down and around the full height of the tree trunk.. I find it amazing that so many people just grab ‘any old tree’ with little more than a cursory glance at it; or even worse, buy one already netted so you can’t even see what it looks like! A very helpful chap by the pay cabin offered us the use of umbrellas while we walked round the tree display area. In spite of the now torrential rain we walked round purposefully and spotted a couple of likely contenders but nothing that really stood out; until we rounded a corner and there it was – the perfect tree. Five feet tall, nice straight trunk with a good and even crown of long upright branches at the top and a well spaced not too bushy and not too spartan branches along the length of the trunk. A very nice (and very wet) young man swooped down and unscrewed it from its resting place for us and carted it off to the netting area while we paid at the cash cabin. Once paid for, a second soaking wet but equally cheerful and helpful young man (all that lovely fresh clean air on a Christmas Tree Farm obviously makes for a happy workforce) carried the tree to the car and tied it on to the roof rails for us – what amazing service! Bet most garden centres would abandon you to your fate once you’d paid!
A veritable forest of cut Christmas Trees Door decorations
Helpful young man ties our tree to the car
Once home, the tree was released from its netting and placed in a bucket of water in the garage to allow the branches to drop and for the rain to dry off before it comes into the house.
Waiting to find a place on the tree are my really cool Santa Robot tree decoration and the funky Goldfish bauble given to me by my friend.
Once home the tree was stored overnight in the garage to let the branches drop and drip dry and the following morning an inch or so was cut off the bottom of the trunk and the tree fixed in its stand and brought in to the house.
Tree awaiting decoration
After letting the tree settle in its new resting place for a few hours it was at last time for the best bit – decorating! Lights go on first and need to be laid evenly round the tree making use of the full height and depth of the tree. This year I bought new lights as the old set had finally reached the end of its life. The new set are LED’s and have a multi-function button on the plug so they can blink, flash, chase or stay static. Personally I like them to be static. The new set are white and twinkle like tiny stars, although I think that perhaps a second set is required for a more even spread. Next year I think!
Once the lights are settled time for baubles and other decorations – time for the goldfish, the robot santa and funky blue parrot!
Again, it is important to hang baubles around the tree making use of the full depth of branches and also making sure they are evenly spaced so as not to get one area too densely packed. Once the baubles are all hung and any other decorations added all that is left to do now is sit back and gaze at its loveliness….
The finished tree, all it needs now is some presents……