Monday, December 10, 2012

Tree Shopping and Decoration Preview

Re-enactment photo.  It was REALLY pouring
On Saturday I went to the garden center to look at the wreaths and garlands and to pick out my tree.  It was pouring rain but I was well prepared with the proper shoes, coat and umbrella.
I walked around in the rain and examined every tree looking for the perfectly "imperfect" tree.  I picked one--a little crooked and thin in places--flagged down the Tree Dude who grabbed a "Sold" ticket and wrote my name on it.  I went to the checkout to pay for the tree and met Tree Dude back my car to load it up.  I drove home, put on my gardening gloves and dragged the tree into the house. 
Why are trees always so much bigger when you get them into the house? 
I had to cut almost a foot off of it!
I put in it in the stand, filled it with water, cut away the netting to release its branches
and went to take off the tags. 
I have the Reagens tree and I just cut a foot off it!  It's a very full, nearly perfect tree.
I wonder which tree the Reagens got?
* * * * *

Last year when I was looking for the perfect woodland themed decorations for my weeping spruce, I found these pricey--I guess you Brits or Aussies would call it spendy--grapevine orb lights.  In my defense, I only needed one strand and I think they were a much more reaonable $36.
Anyway, I realized the error of my ways when I got to see them in person.

So this year, I found these grapevine spheres on Amazon.
I'm sure they have them at craft stores everywhere as well.
These were less than $5 a bag.

All you have to do is put the lights on your tree and pop the spheres over the lights
wherever you want them on the tree.  So much cheaper.
Here's a few other things I'm putting on the tree.

I bought two Boston ferns at Home Depot around Halloween.  $5 each.
I did a few cutting samples and the fronds stay green for about
three to four weeks before they start looking funky.

I wrapped the ends in floral wire so they'll curve into little hooks.

I also trimmed what was left of my Limelight hydrangea
and gave them a few highlights with gold spray paint.
As you can see, I'm doing very nature inspired decorations.
It'll probably be Saturday before I can take good pictures of the final tree.
I'm sure the Reagens will be very happy with how I decorated their tree!


  1. Your fern decorations are beyond charming, how clever! Did you have to make the Reagen tree quirky to fit your aesthetic?

  2. OH NO! that did not really happen! Can you only imagine the looks on the Reagan's faces when they took the bag off theirs! You always have the best stories.

    I totally forgot that I was going to look for a weeping spruce this year. I adored yours but I go to a scrappy side of the road stand for our tree...doubt they would have weeping spruces.

    Can't wait to see your tree all're being very creative. Love the hydrangea look. Take Care!

  3. And that is why I make one of my children guard the tree I am debating at the farm. I station them all around like little soldiers (I only have 2, so my army is small) and move them like chess pieces until the perfect tree is decided on.
    Only it doesn't seem so manipulative and cunning in real life.
    And it saves someone else from getting my tree accidentally. :)

  4. seriously - I can barely contain my excitement at seeing your tree again this year.


  5. Your tree is much anticipated this year. I tied to knock off your last years tree, however I trimmed right through the strings of lights (foolishly placed on the tree first) and sizzled my way through a pair of clippers and a breaker.

    The Reagans are likely looking at a sparse little tree wondering why they always look so much smaller when you get them home.

  6. Even tho I was sipping a glass of wine when I read your post, I know it wasn't the "wine effects"...your story is priceless. And you were so utterly kind and gentlemanly with Suzanne over at "The Gardener's Cottage". May the holidays bring you a multitude of blessings!

  7. Well, at least it was a beautiful and full tree! I'm sure it will look lovely, as nature-inspired is always a good choice.


  8. that is hysterical. if they only knew what a mediocre home their tree wound up in. as a side note, i think i'm gonna copy everything you do b/c you've put so much thought into the whole thing. i have ferns and hydrangeas coming out of my ears. so hurry up and do the tree so i can copy.

  9. Oh how funny! I wonder if the Reagens went home with your tree, or if they got someone else's tree, and then someone else received your tree? Maybe your tree is still at the garden center!

    Looking forward to seeing the Reagens' -- I mean, your -- tree once it's decorated! I love the gold-painted hydrangeas. Very pretty.

  10. I'm taking notes, Steve! Love the hydrangeas with the hints of gold. They will look so pretty when illuminated. Can't wait for the big reveal :)

  11. Steve, that is going to be a beautiful and original tree, just like everything else you do. I can't wait to see the finished product! By the way, we say "spendy" here in Minnesota too. Only in a Fargo accent.

  12. Poor Reagans.....LOL! Hope they did YOUR tree proper.

  13. I can always count on you to have the most original tree, Steve. Your grapevine lights are a cool idea, and I imagine that they look beautiful in a darkened room — and make great shadows on the walls!

  14. I'm glad I wasn't drinking anything when I read this, or I'd have snorted it out my nose. I love the grapevine orbs and can't wait to see the finished tree. (I wonder if the Reagens have a blog? I'd love to read their Christmas tree post.)

  15. I agree with Scot.
    I kept checking all day yesterday to see if you posted your tree yet.
    You always come up with an unexpected but beautiful tree.
    (I seriously need to get a life)
    But I couldn't help myself. I had to see if you had finished it yet.
    I hope the Reagen's have a sense of humor and loved your crooked tree.
    I haven't put a tree up in years but I'm always tempted to buy that last one that's all smooshed in on one side that is inevitably leaning against the side of the grocery store building.

  16. I guess the Reagen tree was meant to be yours Steve! I love the grapevine spheres...what a cool touch for a rustic/woodsy tree. Awaiting your reveal...

  17. Steve that is too funny! You are making the tree so beautiful with the natural elements. Love the twig globes!

    2012 Artists Series,
    Art by Karena

  18. Oh, I'm going to remember the fern frond trick. I always have Boston ferns. And I love the idea of spraying the hydrangeas. What kind of spray paint? I can't wait to see your tree. Oh don't you know the Reagens are a bit upset? I bet they are getting a free tree this year. Have a wonderful week. Bonnie

  19. Extra Extra! Missing!
    One Perfect Extra-Tall Christmas Tree.
    Answers to the name, "Reagen..."
    Last seen getting in the wrong car, driven home by an unsuspecting bloke named Steve.

    When found, please return to Tree Dude ASAP :P

    Love this story. Can't wait to see the tree-no matter whose it really is...happy Monday!

  20. I'm glad you've gotten into the spirit. I'm very excited to see the final results. So creative. Another winner I'm sure. Who will be the first to "Pin It" I wonder?

  21. That is too funny. I can't wait to see your tree. Your ideas are so creative and original, and of course I love the nature theme.

  22. I hope the proprietor picked out a fabulous tree for the Reagans so they wouldn't have minded! My tree is on order and will arrive tomorrow..I can't wait. It will be the first real tree we've had for a long time..over ten years at least.

  23. Steve,
    I visit your blog occassionally and find it's informative and beautiful. I follow the Gardener's Cottage too and noticed your comment that you feel your blog is mediocre.
    You are so wrong!! Love the tree story; too funny: S from WA

  24. Love it. I hope that the Reagen's got your tree.

  25. I'm so laughing Steve, mystery of the bigger tree You do such an amazing job using natural things that I'm tempted to copy you a little by spraying a few of our hydrangea. I can't wait to see the final results.


  26. Aren't you lucky that the Reagens picked a very nice tree. Here's hoping that they feel the same about the tree that you chose. Your decorations sound wonderful (I have used Hydrangeas many times and they always look beautiful, painted or not). Looking forward to seeing the finished product.

  27. Thanks for making me smile this morning :)

  28. I was dying to write you a scathing comment and sign it "Mike Reagan", but am laughing too hard to think what to say!

    1. Webb,
      That would have been hysterical. I did that to Jane when she said her neighbor was paying to take down her trees. I still don't think she knows.

  29. I'm impressed that you have a tree let alone that you are decorating it! Ours is usually out on December 1 but this year has been a bit Grinchesque and the tree is still not happening. I need tree mojo!
    That woody ball idea may get me started!

  30. The ferns are such a cool unusual idea. Can't wait to see it.

  31. You crack me up. The re-enactment photo is a great idea. I love the way the tree decor is going. Those poor Reagans.

  32. I think the windfall theory is good to live by. If the Reagens were destined to have their tree they would have had it. Poor folks. I can see the evening scene now, "Freda, how could you have let this happen?". "Mike, don't start with me", and the fight is on. Ann

  33. I. Cant. Wait!!!!!!!!!! I KNOW this is going to be fantastic. Your creativity astounds! Miss chatting. Been nuts busy.

  34. I am sure the Regans are looking at the pathetic tree you picked and thinking WTF? Hee Haw.

  35. Oh yeah...I will keep the drum roll going until the reveal.....

  36. This must be the year of "The Gilded Hydrangea!!" I just "gilded"...spray painted 24 kt metallic gold fifty plus hydrangea blossoms..then since I was going for "rose/gold" sprayed them (tipped) with pink metallic glitter paint. Hope you enjoy yours as much as we're enjoying our tree!! franki

    1. Send me photos! Mine won't be that gilded. Mine are more "kissed."

  37. MYFAO here in Virginia. And glad we don't shop at the same stand.

    Love the fern idea that is a new one for me and at this stage there aren't that many new ones....

    I stand corrected. Your tree last year rocked my world.

    xo jane

  38. really, steve. how much longer can you suspend us?

  39. Delightful . . . I wonder if the Reagan's are happy . . . Maybe they have a blog . . . and have your tree! How funny that would be . . can't wait to see your final . . . such great ideas!

  40. Cant wait to see it.......shoot, the suspense is killing us!

  41. so wait a minute...after all THAT and you what all THAT means, you ended up with the Reagan's tree...and you are okay with it? Seriously, how is that even possible? Just kidding, sort know you've set the bar pretty high for the "perfectly imperfect tree" so it's just a bit surprising that the tree dude let you down and you're this weekend the big unveil??

  42. OK. It's been 4 days now, we're ready for the reveal!

  43. You gave me a good Christmas laugh and I have had very few of those this year. Thanks Steve! xo Dianne

  44. Ok, how did I miss this? Did I already comment on this and forgot? I don't know. Ok, so I will be commenter #51. I am always last at the party, considering I don't subscribe or whatever (I'm a rebel). No, I just check all my favorites when I feel like it - when I am in an urban cottage sort of mood.

    Anyway, I hope I don't miss the big tree reveal. No pressure. Your tree is always the best tree ever. ;D

    xo's Terri

  45. That is too funny! I'm sure the Reagan's will be pleased with their perfectly imperfect tree - oops... Can't wait to see your final product. Love the idea of just popping the spheres around the lights - so much better! Have to start thinking about mine!

  46. Ooh, can't wait to see the finished product! Gold hydrangeas? Very rustic chic.

    The poor Reagen's, I hope the mixup didn't ruin their Christmas!

  47. Steve!
    Next year you must come to Northampton and I'll take you to the place we get our trees. The amiable tree guy --Lyle-- will chop down the tree of your choice right before your very eyes and will put it onto his golf-cart-thingy and drive it to your car and lash it to the roof ... all for 35 bucks! I got a 10-foot perfectly imperfect beauty this year. Happy Holidays,