WEST OCEAN CITY – The fun and camaraderie associated with getting ready to celebrate the winter holidays is one of the few things that approach the pleasure of the actual celebrations. Planning the way you want your home to look, decorating and looking at others’ decorations, and shopping all the while is equal parts preparation and celebration.
Taking the trouble for Christmas, getting things done right and when possible on your own tends to heighten everyone’s experience.
“It’s gratifying to work on something yourself and see the result,” said Debra Rogers, one of the owners of Village Greens. “Half the fun is decorating.”
While that tends to be Rogers attitude full time – her shop specializes in helping people design and maintain their gardens – its especially true of the holiday season. Getting the right tree, decorating it well and making it last, adding the right wreath to the front door and the proper accents around the living spaces helps elevate peoples’ attitudes, especially as the days shorten.
Village Greens arranges to import their Christmas trees from Lansing, N.C., in the Appalachian Mountains so there’s not too much of a climate shock. Making sure the tree stays as fresh as possible is the key to having it last indoors into January, so taking a lot of care up front makes maintenance both easier and more effective.
To keep the trees at their freshest Rogers said they slice a bit off the bottom as soon as the trees arrive to make sure the trees are able to get the maximum amount of water. Then, rather than leave them in the lot, she and her staff keep the trees in water until they’re sold, taking another freshening cut from the bottom only when the tree is about to be loaded or delivered.
While the tree is the centerpiece of many in-hole holiday displays, there are all sorts of festive options for minor accenting or full-scale decorating at Village Greens. Rogers has both live and life-like greenery both available for sale and order from pre-decorated fresh wreaths and evergreen ropes to their longer lasting realistic counterparts.
For smaller touches, Village Greens has an extensive selection of evergreen swags and fall and winter themed accents and wreath picks for candles or centerpieces that can be used to make everyday home accents festive.
This year, Village Greens has added things to put on the trees as well, special etched glass ornaments and other tree decorations take center stage in the shop’s interior.
As far as things to put under the tree Rogers has made a particular effort to have gifts for every gardener’s age and enthusiasm level. For example, Village Greens recently began carrying children’s gardening kits so parents and grandparents who have enthusiastic assistants can help kids learn to use and care for their own implements.
Rogers said they’ve also recently begun offering gift certificates which not only make great gifts for anyone who gardens, but people who might need a little help gardening as well. She said one of the more novel uses for the gift certificates is as a wedding present so newlyweds can get, for example, landscaping work done on their new home.