Thanks to Pugh’s Garden Village Radyr for giving us this tree in exchange for this review
We have two Christmas trees in our house. One is a six-foot artificial tree covered in brightly coloured decorations many of them made by my children and colourful lights. Decorating it together dressed in Christmas jumpers and with Christmas music blaring in the background it is one of our most-loved family traditions. Every year we each choose a new decoration to add to the cacophony of colour and celebration. We have snowmen and penguins; wooden nutcrackers and gingerbread men. It’s totally cheesy but I love it.
And then we have a real tree in the bay window of our front room. Ever since we moved into our ‘grown-up’ family home it was my dream to have a real tree in this window with lights twinkling away for passers-by to see. Last year was the first time we actually made that dream happen and I couldn’t wait to do the same this year.
This year our grown-up tree was kindly given to us by Pugh’s Garden Village in Radyr in exchange for this review. We bought a real tree ourselves from Pugh’s last year and were so impressed with how well it lasted so we were excited to collaborate with them this year.
It’s dressed with an array of coordinated silver and red decorations and twinkling silver lights (some of which we bought from Pugh’s last year and others we have collected over the years). My children still help to dress this tree – but they know it’s the ‘grown-up’ tree of the house and only certain decorations are allowed on it. Meanwhile my compromise is to let them decide what goes where and not to re-arrange it when they are not looking.
We picked the tree after our recent visit to see Father Christmas at Pugh’s The Magic of Christmas experience (you can read about that here).
Their Christmas shop is all kinds of wonderful with beautiful decorations and sparkling lights instantly giving the festive feeling.
And in the midst of all that is a whole area of Christmas trees looking for a good home. Prices vary on the variety of tree and size with Nordman Firs starting at £29.99 for a 4-5ft to £99.99 for a 8-10ft); Norway Spruces from £19.99 for 4-5ft to £29.99 for 7-8ft; and Fraser Firs at £49.99 for 6-7ft. All trees have colour-coded labels so you know what you are looking for and are selected from within the top 10% of the crop with regular new deliveries to the garden centre.
We chose a Fraser Fir (£49.99) which according to Pugh’s garden centre manager Nick shouldn’t shed its needles but also has that beautiful pine scent too.
My children picked out a tree that was tall – almost 7ft to be precise – and with full branches that make it look wonderfully wide too. Cardiff Daddy worried it would be too big for our house but as far as I’m concerned the bigger the better in hat bay window!
Nick put it through the netting machine for ease of transport and then sawed a hole into the bottom to help water absorption. We already have a tree base – bought from Pugh’s last year – but they have different styles on sale.
We’ve had the tree over a week now and it’s doing really well. It lost a few needles when we took off the netting but other than that it’s been relatively drop-free. You will need to water a real Christmas tree regularly – we do it every morning before school.
As I said the children put the decorations on and I think they did a great job of spacing out the decorations. While we were at Pugh’s I chose some new off-white baubles with green and red pictures on them (£1.49 each). I liked the vintage feel to them and they go well with our existing decorations.
Elsewhere on the tree we have painted metal stockings and Christmas trees; silver bells; and this blue heart with a picture of Father Christmas on it. This is one of my favourite decorations bought for me by my children a few years ago.
I loved the reaction of my children as we took the decorations out of their tins (I have a collection of Christmas tins which mostly previously contained biscuits or other festive treats). “I remember this from last year” they would say. Or “This is one of my favourites.” Putting the tree up together is one of my favourite Christmas traditions; creating special memories and all the festive feels