Real Tips for Christmas Trees

We are now officially in the holiday season!! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I love this time of year! I have been busy with family and and decorating for Christmas with my 5 year old who is so excited she can’t even contain herself!

It all started Wednesday night, when my daughter was hit with her first stomach bug. Of all times, the day before Thanksgiving. But, we weathered the storm, and thank goodness 5 year olds bounce back better than someone my age– we had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and we even made it down to my parents house the next day for yet another dinner and to celebrate my mother’s birthday!

However, the days caught up with her, and she still wasn’t 100 percent. Saturday, she was left very tired and with an “unsettled” tummy. You could tell in her eyes that we needed to take a break. All she wanted to do was “put up the Christmas tree”.

Now, the week before, I did put up my artificial pencil tree in my living room and we decorated another small artificial tree for the empty room upstairs. But, she wanted to get the “Real” Christmas tree. The one with all the presents underneath!

That, we decided, would be a REAL tree. We put that one in our finished basement. My husband and I decided last year that we wanted to start a tradition by going down to the little tree stand a few minutes from our house and purchasing a real tree.

Now, this was new to me. The last time I had a real tree was ions ago when I was a little girl and my dad would go cut one from the woods on our property. They didn’t do that long. Soon after, they purchased an artificial tree and that was that!

I was nervous, however, that it was too early for a REAL tree. So, I sought advice and researched the subject. We even asked the friendly Christmas tree farm man at the tree stand. Here is some friendly advice for anyone looking into getting a real Christmas tree for the first time:

Is after Thanksgiving too early to purchase a tree?

No! But only if you pick the right kind of tree.

Here are a list of trees that can be considered as your Christmas tree:

  • Fir trees— Douglas, Balsam, etc. are the best. The most common type of tree you will find at roadside stands and farms. They will not drop their needles quickly if you water them.

Our Christmas Tree is a Balsam Fir.

  • Cedar — I read that this is one of the best types of trees as well to have as a Christmas tree. They last forever.
  • Cypress — Another great tree that is said to last a long time!

How often do you water the tree?

Daily! Avoided needles dropping by watering your tree daily! You may have to scrap the cap of sap off the end if you notice the tree is not taking in water. The cut part of the tree is prone to the “pitch” capping over. Be watchful.

Don’t get a pine tree. Ever. 

Pine trees don’t keep their needles long at all. Unfortunately, they start falling off after a week!

Well, I hope this little guide helps. If you have any other information, please pass along! I am always looking to broaden my knowledge of horticulture in general!


Twinkling tree and Christmas village courtesy of my daughter!

Great Garden Reads

Andddd we are back up and running! I had a little computer situation– yea, almost had to buy another one if it weren’t for my husband who knows how to play around with them and get them working again! Thank goodness all is well (for now), and I can get back to blogging!

In between the computer issues and being sicker than I have been in YEARS– I got walloped this time– I had to sit back and rest as much as I could. If you know me, I am a reader– books, magazines, anything. But I LOVE magazines. Do you ever find yourself gravitating towards the magazine aisle of any grocery store, drug store, or book store? Yep, that’s me, too! I subscribe to them as well as buy them in the stores.

My tastes have changed over the years. I went from Seventeen magazine as a teenager to every fitness magazine under the sun for a while, and then there was Rolling Stone magazine, several outdoor magazines, The New Yorker…  and now garden magazines!

Garden and Decor magazines can be great inspiration. Please do not be intimidated by the absolutely gorgeous homes and gardens these periodicals display. The intent of any magazine is to give you ideas for your own home and garden, not to make you feel bad because you don’t have a 100+ acre spread with guest house and sprawling gardens. I personally love the photography and articles in a lot of these periodicals.

BUT, I will admit I am picky. I like high quality, worth-my-money reads. Because we all know magazines can be expensive. Some of the ones I like are almost 10 bucks a pop!


Here is a pile of magazines and a book that I am loving right now!

Here are a few magazines (and a book) that I think are fantastic reads:

Gardenista– this book was published in October, and a very easy, yet informative read on making your backyard a getaway. They not only show you examples of great garden ideas, but also point out great garden tools/gear, give you a directory to good landscapers/designers, and much more. This should be something on your Christmas list!

American Magazines:

  • Garden Design — (Not pictured!! My copy was hiding on me!!) Fantastic publication. This was the first magazine I actually subscribed to immediately when I really started getting into gardening. Photography is amazing, and they give you an in depth look on designing your garden to the way that fits your home and life.
  • Fine Gardening- This magazine is, in my opinion, the best gardening periodical in America. It is so informative– picks out plants that are best for your region of the country, and they go in depth with a lot of different aspects of gardening that you do not normal see.
  • Elle Decor — This is not exactly a garden magazine, but for interior design. However, I like this magazine’s idea of using different flowers and plants in your living space. And it will do a feature every now and then on a great garden. Besides, I love design and I am constantly changing my little house around!

British Magazines:

By far, British gardening magazines are my favorite. Europeans take their gardening seriously, and it shows in the pages of some great periodicals. Gardening is a way of life for them, rather than just a novel hobby. The articles you read about can be everything from making your own butter to scything (yes, scything!). Here are a few titles to check out some time:

  • Gardens Illustrated — if you want a magazine worth your money, you will not be disappointed with this one. Great photography, great plant and flower pics, great features. Must read.
  • Country Living-– The British edition of this magazine is wonderful. It is full of some of the best feature writing on classic country living. The gardening features are informative and I could read this over and over!
  • Elle Decoration — British version of Elle Decor and another great read on inspiring design and gardening. I love that I can get two of my favorite subjects in one read!
  • House and Garden — Love this magazine for its great spreads on fantastic gardens, along with interior design. Another magazine that I get two subjects in one!


What are some of your favorite reads?

A Natural Pause November 6 2016

The past few weeks have been very productive around here! Painting, yard work and buttoning up the little things before the snow starts flying next week! This weekend was a treat, because I took a break from doing any major house work and got outside while the weather was nice! A quick trip down to my parents house, along with the usual hike around the woods always makes me happy! Those of you who follow me on Instagram have already seen this photo, but I couldn’t help myself– I had to post it as a “Natural Pause” because I was pretty happy with how it turned out! Enjoy!