I know the holiday season is here when the greenery bunches, garlands and wreaths we’ve ordered begin to appear – not to mention fragrant Fraser fir Christmas trees. I was looking forward to two of the boxes in particular this year – the ones the huge sugar pine cones were packed in, just 30 to a box because they’re so big.
Take a look in any craft magazine or on Pinterest and you’ll find plenty of decorating being done with these Northwest beauties! There hasn’t been much time for us to play with these big pinecones, but I was able to add a bit of ribbon and some greenery to a couple before it got too busy. A beautiful collection of these impressive cones in a large basket, with a bit of reindeer moss tucked between and curls of ribbon for more color, would be festive too.
There’s a definite progression of the holiday season that I’ve noticed over the many years in this business, and, for no other reason than I’ve observed this phenomenon, here it is:
First the Christmas trees, outdoor garlands, and wreaths arrive, bringing the scent of the Carolina mountains to Birmingham. The trees are the stars of the show for a couple of weeks, and the buzz of tree drills and saws fill the air.
Families arrive to find their perfect tree among the 700 that are drilled for our tree stands and given a fresh cut before they’re moved out for sale. Bows for wreaths and other outdoor decorations are debated and chosen, and mailbox decorations are ordered.
Slowly but surely the outdoor decisions are made, trees are delivered, and festive decorations for inside and outdoors are complete. Now the emphasis shifts to the greenhouse, a magical place during Christmas, full of pretty flowering plants and more, and we begin the party season. Containers fill the back design area, waiting to be transformed into beautiful arrangements ready on just the right date. Finally, closest to Christmas, teacher’s gifts and gifts for family are arranged, to be picked up just before the end of school or prior to leaving town.
In fact, this year we had to make more room for finished pieces in front of the design area. Our new area has worked out well, since now it’s easier for everyone to see many of the finished centerpieces, pots, and special orders, and it gives people ideas for their own gifts or containers.
There’s another new addition this year too. Tacca, our garden shop cat, is experiencing her first holiday season and is she enjoying it! She’s taken to sitting in our Christmas display, right in the line of sight of all the children, who come in to pet her while they look at Santa and his elves. This year Molly created our wonderful grinch too.
While Fraser fir scents fill the outside nursery, the greenhouse is truly a feast for the senses too, filled with colorful flowers and lights.
Here you’ll find orchids, amaryllis, jasmine, stephonotis, hydrangeas, rieger begonias and more, including the usual poinsettias. There’s really nothing like a true greenhouse, devoted almost entirely to plants of the season. Box stores with their fluorescent lights and a few holiday plants simply can’t compare. I hope you’ll come visit and see why.