Celebrations And Holidays, Christmas, Decoration, Indoor

Your choice of tree is one of the most important decisions you will make at Christmas, It will be the centrepiece of your home for the festive season so getting the right one is important. This guide will help you choose the perfect tree for you and your home.

Artificial or Real?

A real tree is a traditional choice for many, but they may not be practical for all homes and lifestyles. A good quality artificial tree is a good alternative to a real tree in some homes. When making this choice consider:  

Real trees: 

  • Traditional smell and look 
  • Use less plastic 
  • Are grown in environmentally friendly ways 
  • Can be recycled after use 
  • Drop needles so may not be suitable for small children and pets
  • Can carry allergens
  • Can be difficult to transport

You can shop our full range of real Christmas trees here

Artificial trees

  • Reusable – saving money in the long term 
  • Easy to assemble and store 
  • No dropped needles
  • Carry no allergens
  • Take up space
  • Made of plastic
  • Can become damaged if not stored correctly 

You can shop our full range of artificial Christmas trees here

Environmental impact

Artificial Christmas trees are often seen as the environmentally-friendly option. However, this is not always the case. Most artificial trees are made of plastic, not all of them can be recycled and most will end up in a landfill. You can find trees made from recycled plastic, and if you maintain the tree well it may last for years, which will have a net benefit.  Real trees can be easily recycled and provide a boost to local ecology when grown. They can also be grown in soil that is unsuitable for other crops and for each acre, provide enough oxygen for 18 people every day. Each tree will also absorb around 1 tonne of carbon in its life. 

Species of Christmas Tree

Like all plants, there are a few species of Christmas tree. Each one brings something different and plays a different role in your home

Nordmann Fir

The most popular Christmas tree. Has a pyramid shape made of defined layers of straight twig-like branches. The glossy dark needles have a thick, waxy coating which makes them softer to the touch; better for households with children or pets. These trees don’t shed needles as often as other varieties, making them a great lower-maintenance option.

View Our Range Of Nordman Fir Trees

Norway Spruce

More commonly used in eastern Europe, the Norway spruce has a rounder shape with a pointed top. The foliage is a bit thicker and the branches point at a slight upward angle which makes them better for decorating with heavier decorations.  The short green needles can be spiky, so it may not be the best option for families with young children or pets. They may also shed more if your home is particularly warm.

View Our Full Range Of Norway Spruce Trees

 

Other Considerations

Before buying a Christmas tree, there are other things you should consider:

  • Allergens: according to Haymax, one-third of the UK population suffers from an increase in itchy skin and cold-like symptoms, known as “Christmas Tree Syndrome”. If someone in your household is allergic to Christmas trees, an artificial tree could be a better option.
  • Size: make sure to measure the height of the room of the tree is going to be based in before you buy, and factor in the size of the tree stand to make sure it fits!
  • Fire safety: if you choose a real Christmas tree, keep it away from direct contact with a heat source, such as a fireplace or heat vent. If you are using fairy lights, make sure to switch them off when you are not at home or buy lights with a timer so they are off when you are asleep. 
  • Buy online: sometimes buying your tree online is the best opinion. If you don’t live near or have access to a farm and want a good quality tree delivered to your door within 24 hours then it might be perfect for you. We have an extensive range of real Christmas trees this year, all cut and wrapped in order, to ensure they reach you in the best quality.

Alice at PrimroseAlice works in the Primrose copywriting team. She spends her days here writing gardening product descriptions and cracking blog posts.

Outside work, Alice is writing a fiction novel and runs her own blog. She also enjoys travel, good food, and tarot reading.

See all of Alice’s posts.

 

Alice, Celebrations And Holidays, Christmas, Decoration

Decorating your house for Christmas is a great way of getting into that festive feeling. Wreaths, garlands, and swags have long been part of our traditions for adding a natural touch of magic to your home. However, when shopping, many people get confused between the three items and aren’t sure what exactly they are. So Primrose has created a handy guide on the differences between wreaths, garlands, and swags.

difference between a wreath a garden and a swag

Wreaths

wreath

A wreath is an arrangement of leaves, flowers, or other foliage and accessories fastened in a ring. They are used for decoration and sometimes laying on a grave. Christmas wreaths are typically made with pine branches that replica those of a Christmas tree, along with pine cones, berries, birds, or ribbons.

Wreaths can trace their origins back to Ancient Rome, where Romans used to hang a wreath on their doors to symbolise victory after a win in battle. Some people believe that the circular shape of the wreath represents eternity and the circle of life. For Christians, the Christmas wreath can represent Jesus’s suffering. The wreath represents the thorns he wore on the cross, while the tiny berries represent blood and the evergreen branches represent eternal life. 

At Primrose, we sell wreaths in a variety of styles, including this Artificial Pine Christmas Wreath enhanced with sparkly frosting and model turtle doves, to this Classic Red Bow Real Christmas Wreath with pine cones and glossy red berries.

You can shop our full selection of Christmas wreaths here

Garlands

difference between a wreath and a garland

A garland is an arrangement of flowers, leaves, and other accessories. It can be hung as a decoration, or worn around the head. Christmas garlands are usually made with Christmas tree-style pine branches and can contain other items such as berries, pine cones, and model birds. The most common place to find them is hung over the fireplace, but they can also be hung from the ceiling close to the wall, or outside. 

Originally, garlands also had Christian symbolism; they were circular in shape and used to represent the infinite love of Jesus. At Primrose, we sell a range of Christmas garlands, from this natural-looking Wintry Pine Garland with Trimmings and Snowflakes to this contemporary Sleigh and Ski Christmas Garland.

What is the difference between a wreath and a garland?

The difference between a wreath and a garland is the shape. A garland is a long string that is usually draped along a wall or over an object. It can be hung in a circular shape, but it is flexible and free-flowing. A wreath is rigid and fixed into a ring position and is usually hung from a door.

You can shop our full selection of Christmas garlands here

Swags

swag

A swag is similar to a garland. But while a garland is of a similar width throughout, a swag has a tapered end or ends, with a thicker area at the top or in the middle.

Swags can vary in shape. Some, like our Frosted Christmas Swag, are garlands that are weighted in the middle and taper towards the ends. These are great for draping over a fireplace, mantelpiece, or mirror to add an instant traditional Christmas feel. There are also shorter teardrop swags that are hung vertically, and are wider at the top and taper down to the end. 

You can shop our full selection of Christmas swags here

How are you decorating your home this Christmas? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Celebrations And Holidays, Christmas, Scott

Eco-friendly christmas

‘Tis the season to be wasteful. Or so it can seem, with millions of rolls of gift wrap thrown away every year. But change is upon us all and it begins with people like you. The little changes you make inspire us at Primrose to do better; did you know that we’ve started introducing more eco-friendly and recyclable packaging solutions, beginning with our new houseplant range? Growing awareness and some great television from David Attenborough has made us all realise a need to do better. We all need to reduce, reuse and recycle wherever we can and the Christmas season is no exception to that. Simple changes can help reduce Christmas waste and our guide below will give you all you need to start. 

Re-gift (wrap)

reduce reuse recycle

We tend to buy gift wrap throughout the year for every birthday that comes up. And what happens? We end up with scraps of leftovers that don’t quite make it around the oddly shaped vase we’ve bought for the newlyweds. Don’t throw those scraps away – save them! And any gifts you receive yourself, be sure to save the paper. Collect it all together and by the time Christmas rolls around you’ll have a collection of gift wrap that can be reused in a variety of ways. You can either wrap an entire gift or add decorative strips to plain paper. Gift bags are also perfect for holding onto as they rarely get spoilt and can be used again and again. 

Make it special

There are plenty of eco-friendly alternatives to standard paper gift wrap; material wraps are a great way of creating something special. Wrapping up a gift in a beautiful material such as linen, gives it an extra special touch and the wrapping becomes a gift in of itself! It’s also something that can be used again and again. Be sure to source material that’s 100% natural and plastic-free where possible. An alternative to this is using materials you already have – you can easily add a Christmassy flare to any gift by wrapping it in a Christmas tablecloth, teatowel – even a Christmas stocking could double up as the perfect wrap for a wine bottle! 

Get creative

eco-friendly gift wrap

You can avoid buying gift wrap by using readily available items. A newspaper may seem an unsightly idea but actually, a text-heavy monochrome print combined with a colourful ribbon or string can look wonderful under the tree. And just because you go simple on the gift wrap doesn’t mean you can’t splash out on the extras. Using printer paper to wrap smaller items, and decorating it with some natural flourishes like some holly or a sprig from your Christmas tree can look both traditional and thoughtful. You could even take a trip to your local art store, buy some stamps and get the kids involved with decorating some plain paper with some stylish patterns.

Shop sustainably  

If you want to do your bit for reducing waste but haven’t got the time for the ideas outlined above, then the best thing you can do is shop as ethically as possible. That means buying gift wrap that is plastic-free and fully recyclable. Simple brown craft paper is a cheap and recyclable product that’s eco-friendly and easy to dress up. You could even go the extra mile and shop from companies which support natural causes. The RSPB or the World Wildlife Fund are excellent charities to start with. 

Are you planning to get ahead with your Christmas wrapping this year? Why not tag us in an Instagram post showing us your eco-friendly ideas for gift wrapping! We may even feature you on the Primrose feed.

Scott at Primrose

Scott is a copywriter currently making content for the Primrose site and blog. When at his desk he’s thinking of new ways to describe a garden bench. Away from his desk he’s either looking at photos of dogs or worrying about the environment. He does nothing else, just those two things.

See all of Scott’s posts.

Celebrations And Holidays, Christmas, Decoration, Gary, Lighting

One of the best parts about the run-up to Christmas is decorating the house and garden.  Nothing beats the festive feeling you get from a dressed-up space, and the rights lights can really add some atmosphere. We have put together a guide for choosing the right outdoor and indoor Christmas lights for you. 

Shop our full range of Christmas Lights Here 

Before buying there are a few things to consider that will affect both where you put your lights, and if they are actually suitable for your space. 

Suitability for the garden

Always remember to check the product carefully before buying, especially if you are decorating the outside of your house. Whilst most of our lights are suitable for indoor and outdoor use, indoor-only lights are not built to withstand wet and cold conditions, and some of the bulbs in outdoor only lights are not always safety tested for use on indoor furnishings. 

Power 

Your lights power source is also an important consideration when creating a lighting display. :

Mains powered  The most reliable lights in winter, they allow you more control over when your lights are on. You may need to consider buying protection for your leads and cables to avoid exposing any electrics to the winter weather

Battery-powered These lights are a great option for smaller gardens, balconies or areas that cannot easily be connected to mains power. Just remember to keep a good store of the correct batteries to keep the display lit.

Light Types 

Using a combination of different lights in your display is the best way to keep things interesting. We sell a variety of different light types:

String 

These lights are the most common and versatile. You can wrap them around a tree or use them to border windows or guttering. String lights come in multiple variations: 

Straight line

lights are the most popular choice because of their versatility. The basic forms of these lights are great for decorating trees or fences whilst the more decorative  look great day or night. 

Icicle

Lights follow the same basic design of other string lights, but instead, the lights hang. These lights often look like hanging lightbulbs, but we also offer some more inventive options. These lights are great for hanging across fences or from porches and trees. 

 

Silhouettes & statues 

Add a statement piece to your display with a lighting arrangement that is hard to miss. These lights make a perfect centrepiece, or a great starting point to build a display around.  

Projectors

Create a vibrant backdrop to your display by using a projector to create moving or static images on any flat surface. Kids will love watching these projectors and they are perfect for blank spaces that are unsuitable for lights or other decorations. 

Stake 

The main feature of a stake light is the pointed end that lets you drive it into your lawn, borders or plant pots. The freestanding lights are great for lining pathways or adding colour accents to smaller spaces like balconies or courtyards. 

Storage 

It’s fun to plan a Christmas display and create something wonderful, but once Christmas is over, and the display comes down, what do you do with all your lights and decorations? We are familiar with the annual journey into the attic or back of the cupboard to fetch out a box of tangled wires and tinsel. Avoid hours of untangling and replacing light bulbs by putting your decorations in a handy storage bag

Shop the Christmas range now and tag us in your Christmas light creations on Instagram @primrose.co.uk   

 

Gary at PrimroseGary works in the Primrose product loading team, writing product descriptions and other copy. With seven years as a professional chef under his belt, he can usually be found experimenting in the kitchen or sat reading a book.

See all of Gary’s posts.