We are now in December and people are starting to think about their Christmas tree – well, it started far earlier for me…

In August and September, I visited the best Christmas tree plantations in Scotland, inspecting and tagging the best Christmas trees for our customers – and at about 10,000 trees that is no mean feat! 30 years ago, we all had Norway Spruces and I bet everyone more than a certain age will remember the continual hoovering of the needles – and the fact you not only found needles from the tree in February, you could still smell the scent from the hoover!

In Scotland nowadays we generally have Nordman Fir or Fraser Firs in our houses, both of these are non-needle drop trees, and are increasingly popular. Nordman Fir is a wide tree, pine scented, with a bit of space between the branches - ideal for decorating! When selecting them I try and choose the most symmetrical. Fraser Fir is America’s traditional tree (now grown in Scotland) - it is slightly more compact and is bizarrely lemon scented! If you buy a tree without seeing it out of its netting, then don’t expect too much! A good garden centre will always let you choose from a selection of trees, offer to cut off the bottom for you (in the way you would with a bunch of flowers), net it and most likely carry it to your car – and even deliver it free of charge! Furthermore, check if the tree is Scottish grown (Christmas trees are certainly something we don’t need to import) safe in the knowledge for every tree cut in Scotland three more are planted and they will not have travelled too far!

Remember you will be looking at your tree for nearly a month – so take a bit of time when buying it, I certainly did and you won’t be having to walk miles around a tree plantation in the wet to do so!

Happy gardening everyone!


As there is not an awful lot going on in the garden for the next few weeks I thought we could look at lovely indoor plants! Indoor cyclamen gives a great splash of colour indoors in the winter time and has a wonderful scent. As the flowers die off you should deadhead by removing the flower head and stem to encourage new growth. It also likes to be watered from the bottom, so place the plant in a tray or saucer - but make sure not to water too much! Occassional drying out of the compost is less harmful than overwatering! They also like a coolish room, so avoid placing them next to heat sources!