As an avid Christmas lover, the idea of choosing festive flowers and the tree of all trees fills me with joy. I remember running around the carpark-turned-tree-maze sizing them up, trying to find the biggest one to beg my parents to buy. All the while with a childish disregard of the fact that it wouldn’t fit in the house, let alone the front door. Or the car.
I was young back then but not much has changed.
Flora and fauna are one in the same. As with your festive flowers, your Christmas tree deserves to flourish. From picking the right shape to the right stand, here are the bits and bobs you need to be the envy of all the evergreens.
The delight of the right conifer
When you’re buying a Christmas tree you’ve got two thought processes; to drop or not to drop, and spiky versus soft. Such conundrums put the spruce and the fir head to head.
The Norway spruce
All you need to set the scented scene for Christmas is the smell of pinewood and mince pies. You’re in luck; the Norway spruce is at the forefront of fragrant firs!
Did you know that the Norway spruce is Europe’s most coveted Christmas tree thanks to Prince Albert? in 1841 he dressed this delightful evergreen in lights for his beloved Queen Victoria. The Norway spruce is a real beauty that doesn’t disappoint on looks and hosts fairy lights like no other. If you want to keep it right royal this Christmas, this is the tree for you.
I suppose Prince Albert didn’t need to worry about hoovering though. Norway spruces fall foul of some hefty amounts of early needle droppage. A real problem for carpet lovers. No one wants to get a needle through their new Christmas socks.
And you certainly don’t want your kids tree hugging for the first time, only to come out looking like a pinewood porcupine.
The Nordmann fir
On the other side of things, we have the Nordmann fir. Finnish botanist Alexander von Nordmann (hence the name) brought this tree over from the Caucasus mountains to compete with the popular Norway spruce.
And compete it does!
The Nordmann is climbing the Christmas wishlist with it’s non drop needle claim. Its softer spikes makes it child friendly too. Not that i’d encourage kids to hug this tree either.
You will have to sacrifice an extra couple of quid and find a fabulously festive candle to fill the forest fragrance void though.
The demand for needle rights
Okay, so you’ve chosen the nature of your tree, let’s make sure you know how to nurture it! There’ll be no unnecessary needle droppage in your household.
Ready it, steady it and saw the bottom
We know to snip the ends of all our festive flowers. And the Christmas tree is no exception! When you’re ready to take the green giant (or not so giant) out of the cold and into your home, saw a bit off the base (about an inch is perfect). This will allow the trunk to take up the water good and proper.
And just as every bunch of festive flowers needs the right vase, every tree needs the right stand. If your tree trunk’s a little too thick, don’t go sawing the bark off to wedge it in – the bark actually absorbs the most water. Instead it might be time for a stand upgrade.
Give your tree a very regular festive refill
Trees drink a lot. We’re talking up to 2 pints of water a day. That’s definitely more than your average bunch of festive flowers! Top up your tree’s tipple just like you do Grandma’s sherry glass and all will be well (and merry).
More festive away from the fireplace
Tempting as it is, your Christmas tree won’t thank you for the cosy spot by the fire. It’ll go that ‘i’ve just been on holiday in Barbados’ brown. And for a tree, that’s not a good look.
Festive flowers to finish
Now you know the secrets to the almighty evergreen, how about you pop the icing on the Christmas cake? We’ve got the flowers to compliment that little bit of forest you’ve brought into your front room.