Christmas tips

NMAC11-3133-1''Forest Ranger Becky Mayo, surrounded by Christmas Trees at Sherwood Pines on Monday
NMAC11-3133-1''Forest Ranger Becky Mayo, surrounded by Christmas Trees at Sherwood Pines on Monday

IT’S that time of the year again when we are thinking about Christmas.

I get a lot of questions around this time of the year about Christmas trees.

Here are a few tips when buying a tree:

l Nordmann Fir have ideal needles that don’t drop as much as the traditional Christmas tree Picea Abies, which is still a lovely tree but the needles will drop if you do not look after it, especially if you have it near a radiator.

l Always buy a Christmas tree from a reputable buyer, garden centre or plants nursery or a professional Christmas tree grower.

Never buy from the side of the road. From my experience and from what people have told me, the trees have never lasted.

l Give the tree a shake and you will be able to tell if the tree is fresh because if the needles start to drop off you know it has been cut some time ago, so my advice is not to buy it.

If the needles do not drop you know you have a lovely fresh Christmas tree. You’re tree should last over the Christmas period.

l Cut two inches off the bottom of the tree. The tree will take water up better when doing this.

l During its time indoors, the tree will need up to one pint of water each day depending on the size of the container.

You can also stand the tree on a drip tray which can be concealed along with the pot with a covering of crepe paper. Keep it away from intense heat such as a radiator.

STILL FLOWERING

As I write this article, I’m looking outside my window at my garden. Amazingly, still flowering is the tender perennial verbena bonariensis with lovely purple flowers.

It’s been in bloom since July. When it eventually stops flowering I will cut the stems back to ground level and cover the crown of the plant with straw to protect it over winter.

As I am walking to work I notice English Marigolds are still in flower. Eucalyptus which were hit hard by the terrible winter we had are looking healthy again.

And do you remember how badly cordylines were hit? I visited eight gardens to give my advice on what to do with the be-draggled looking cordylines in spring.

Some were a lost cause, but I am glad to say a lot of cordylines have re-sprouted from the base.

If we get a really bad winter again, I’d suggest you cover the whole plant in fleece and insulate with straw to protect it as much you can.

I was talking to a gentleman from Scotland the other week about gardening and we got talking about trees and their beauty and the old trees with all their history and the age they can live too.

He then told me there is a yew tree in Scotland which is believed to be 5,000 years old – it is believed to be the oldest tree in Britain.

I have researched what the bonny wee lad told me and he is correct. What history, just unbelievable. I wish I could see the tree for myself. I would be in awe of the old timer of the tree world.

CHRISTMAS OPEN DAY

Please come and buy some wreaths at the Christmas open day were are having at Priory View Day Centre in Marton Road on Thursday, December 15, from 11am to 3pm.

There will be cakes stalls, plant stalls, a tombola, cards made by our students. The cafe will be open to the public from 1pm to 3pm.

Please support Priory View and Sewerby Outreach by buying our wreaths. They are £6 for round wreaths and £7.50 for heart shaped wreaths.

For more information contact Paul Robinson at Priory View on 602477.