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J’AIME DECEMBER 2021

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C H R I S T M A S<br />

‘Tis the season<br />

CHOOSING THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS TREE IS NO EASY TASK, BUT BYRON LEWIS,<br />

FROM LICHFIELD GARDEN CENTRE, HAS SOME TOP TIPS FOR GETTING THE MOST<br />

OUT OF YOUR FESTIVE CENTREPIECE<br />

December is here already (where did the year go?!)<br />

and thoughts turn to Christmas - and Christmas<br />

trees in particular. These form the focal point of<br />

most living rooms, so here are a few tips if you are<br />

thinking of having a real Christmas tree this year.<br />

Choose your variety carefully; traditional Norway<br />

Spruce have a good shape and smell great, but they<br />

are really best suited to unheated rooms or outside<br />

porches, because central heating and warmth will<br />

cause their needles to drop.<br />

Nordmann Firs are by far the most popular tree<br />

today. These are soft to touch, easy to decorate<br />

(not too sharp!) and, best of all, have superb needle<br />

retention. They will still look good into the new year<br />

if looked after correctly. You may also see Fraser Firs<br />

offered at the garden centre. These also have good<br />

needle retention but are generally more compact,<br />

making them great for smaller rooms.<br />

Your tree will need a stand of some description,<br />

Attractive coloured metal stands with a reservoir are<br />

popular – the trunk of your tree will drop into the<br />

stand and can be bolted in position. Plastic buckets<br />

will do the same job, but you’ll need to add some<br />

weight either with stones or gravel and sand.<br />

If you buy a potted or pot-grown tree, these can be<br />

used year after year. Just remember if they are taken<br />

into a warm room for Christmas, they will need<br />

to get used to the outside temperatures again after<br />

Christmas. Put them in a garage or cold greenhouse<br />

for a few weeks.<br />

Last year the operation raised a record-breaking<br />

£60,000! See the St Giles Hospice website at<br />

www.stgileshospice.com for more details.<br />

Houseplants are always popular at Christmas,<br />

either as a treat for yourself or as gifts for friends<br />

and family. Favourites include cyclamen, azaleas,<br />

Christmas cactus and, of course, poinsettia.<br />

If you buy or receive a poinsettia, remember to<br />

always remove any wrapping as soon as possible.<br />

Poor air flow causes the lovely red bracts to fall.<br />

Poinsettia also like warm rooms, away from any cold<br />

draughts. A living room table is a good spot. Water<br />

every few days, and they should look good well into<br />

the New Year.<br />

Enjoy yourselves this Christmas!<br />

BYRON LEWIS, OF<br />

LICHFIELD GARDEN<br />

CENTRE<br />

Other key points:<br />

Your tree will need water – larger trees can take up<br />

to three pints a day, so remember to check your stand<br />

regularly. Keep trees away from heat as best you can;<br />

avoid right next to radiators or fires.<br />

After Christmas, think of the environment and<br />

recycle your Christmas tree. St Giles Hospice are<br />

running their popular ‘Treecycle’ campaign for <strong>2021</strong>;<br />

in return for a donation to the hospice, your tree will<br />

be collected and shredded for use as a garden mulch.<br />

30 www.jaimemagazine.com

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