Is the thought of putting up a giant Christmas tree daunting? Are there more tasks in the day than hours? Are you and the family traveling for the holidays after spending the last months distancing? If any of these are true, then the thought of a Christmas tree and whole-home decorations for whatever winter holiday celebration works for you might be more than you want to handle. I love Christmas trees and all sorts of holiday decorations, but oh, the work!
It is a trend to reduce the size, kind and amount of decorating down for the holidays. There are many reasons to avoid a big fuss, including allergies, cats climbing trees, dogs chowing down on garland or candles, the mess of falling leaves or needles, and space issues due to downsizing homes.
There are many ways to bring holiday decorations and a Christmas tree into the home without the usual time consumption and back-breaking work. Some firms can be contracted to set up any decoration desired, including a tree. Online merchants who will deliver a fully decorated tree to your door and, of course, the time-honored way: bribe a few neighborhood teenagers to complete the task for you. However, my favorite method to escape the hoopla of setting up a large, time-consuming Christmas tree is to use a tabletop tree.
Tabletop trees add a festive touch to any room; they are adorable. They can serve as the family Christmas tree or a decorative touch to any room. Just about any potted green plant in any shape will do. Many nurseries and garden centers sell plants produced, shaped and sometimes decorated for the purpose. Other sources of tabletop decorations include painted branches, cut greenery or flowers, and artificial shapes made of creative items like tomato cages crafted into Christmas Gnomes.
Choose a tabletop tree with the ultimate plant location in mind. If you plan to keep the tree as a house plant, try a Norfolk Island Pine, a bonsai tree of any species, a small palm, or colorful croton. Care for your tabletop tree as you would any other house plant.
Tabletop trees intended for planting after the holidays are also a good choice. A size under 3 feet works for most locations though other sizes may fit the intended space. The real trick is to choose a species that will compliment your existing landscape. Good choices include rosemary, Leyland cypress, junipers, native plant choices include native hollies, red cedar or Christmas berry.
Here are a few tips for caring for tabletop trees. Choose a location inside which has a bright light but not full sun. Place the tree so the air vents, whether air conditioning or heat, do not blow on the tree. Use small ornaments and a few lights to prevent damage to the tree. If the plan is to plant outside after the holidays, wait as long as possible to bring the tree into the house. Keep it watered but not wet while inside, and plant outside as soon as possible after the holiday season.
However you choose to celebrate the holidays, bring some greenery inside and decorate for a festive atmosphere.
Carol Cloud Bailey is a landscape counselor and horticulturist. Send questions to [email protected] or visit www.yard-doc.com for more information.