Tips for buying Christmas trees and lights
Ask any garden retailer and they will tell you that there is a growing trend in outdoor Christmas lights in the UK. Wyevale Garden Centres is one retailer who has been prompted to strengthen their outdoor lighting and garden decorations to meet this demand. Previously an American tradition, lighting up our gardens as well as our Christmas trees has become increasingly popular in our own neighbourhoods.
Although many of us have had our own quirky take on the outdoor lightshow, Wyevale Garden Centres now observe a demand for more natural-looking installations over all singing-dancing novelty pyrotechnics. Apparently folks, polar bears are out of favour this year as native wicker and acrylic animals – foxes, rabbits, deer – reclaim their place in British gardens.
Wyevale has a wide range of Christmas lighting on offer including icicle lights in cool white (£49.99) pine cone wreath deer head (£29.99) and Normandy fir trees with 600 dual LED lights (£399.00.) They also have outdoor LED crystal trees (£3,699).
For a really family effect you can get an outdoor LED Crystal archway at £3,999 and a variety of acrylic animals such as an LED rabbit (16.99) or reindeer (149.99).
Fresh Christmas trees
David Mitchell, plant buyer at Wyevale Garden Centres gives some good advice on choosing a fresh Christmas tree:
“Choose a tree that isn’t pre-wrapped in netting so you can really see the shape and the branches won’t permanently be stuck upright. Plus if trees are left in the net, air is not able to circulate, the tree warms up and a micro-climate forms. This leads to the tree beginning to decompose and needles will drop at a much quicker rate.
“The colour of the needles should be a dark green rather than pale and washed out, and needles should feel waxy to the touch and not dry. Try stroking the tree and seeing if the needles come off.
“Foliage should be evenly proportioned – not be very dense at the bottom and sparse at the top or have gaping holes. Make sure you look around the whole tree for these. The shape of the tree is important too, the leader (the long tall part of the tree, right at the top) should be perfectly straight.
“Keep the tree away from draughts and direct heat and ideally use LED lights, which emit less heat. Check the variety for needle-drop, too. Nordmann firs are known to retain their needles for longer.
“Christmas trees are cut at broadly the same time in the fields in late October/November and the sooner they are bought and taken home, the sooner customers can start to care for them properly, as this shortens the time between harvest and receiving care.
“Waiting until the last minute to purchase means that the trees have been in a stored location for a prolonged period out of water and receiving no care which may result in them not lasting as long. Caring for trees with the steps above could allow them to last for about 8 weeks.”
To find your nearest Wyevale Garden centre and to see their range of gifts online log onto: http://www.wyevalegardencentres.co.uk/