By: Linda Petite, Head Gardener

Nature’s finest decorations are just outside your door. Take a stroll around your garden and be inspired by the possibilities of fragrant conifers, coloured stems, berries, seed heads, cones, moss, and even flowers. Add some of your favourite baubles, lights, and ribbons to give it your personal touch.

The first recorded reference to the Christmas tree dates back to the 16th century. In Strasbourg, Germany, people decorated fir trees with coloured paper, fruits, and sweets.

In the 19th century Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, brought a tree to England. Within two years every home in England had a decorated Christmas tree for the holidays. Trees were elegantly decorated with glass ornaments, silver tinsel, and small candles.

To this day, a decorated tree engages our sense of sight, touch, and smell and brings feelings of joy to all ages.

A holiday wreath hanging on the door is a symbol of welcome to guests. The word ‘wreath’ comes from the old English word ‘writhen’ which means twist or writhe, relating to its circular form.

Evergreen branches represent eternal life, ivy is considered to have healing powers, and holly is considered to bring you luck.

Traditional Holly has great significance to Christians. The pointed leaves signify Jesus’ crown of thorns while the red berries represent his blood.

We also welcome you into the Gardens at HCP to enjoy nature’s winter offerings. Come take a stroll through the Gardens at HCP and enjoy the winter landscape. The Doris Page Winter Garden showcases the potential for winter gardening in this climate. We are open daily 10-4 until December 20 and admission this month is a donation to the food bank.

Happy Holidays to All!