Hello again!

There is always something that signals the start of the Christmas season to each of us at the garden center. For some it’s our Open House that ran the past couple of weekends at the stores. Our greenhouse staff really get into the seasonal mood when their first deliveries of poinsettias arrive from Eric, our supplier. For Traci in our warehouse it’s early summer when our Christmas products arrive, and she is busy processing the orders and pricing. Our buyers are actually away at market now for next year's Christmas season.

For the nursery staff and me it’s when the fresh cut trees arrive. Just like our Christmas Shop indoors that has been transformed into a winter wonderland, our perennial and nursery plant areas are transformed into our Fresh Cut Greenery Shop and our Christmas Tree Forest. This week we are focusing on fresh cut evergreen trees. There’s nothing like the aroma of a fresh cut tree for decorating. From the moment the semi truck arrives and the doors are opened, the area is filled with the aroma of a mountain side. Now I can think of Christmas!!

This week so far we’ve received trees from New Mexico - Concolor or White Fir trees. Our friend Robert who resides in Cimarron, New Mexico obtains permission to selectively harvest naturally grown trees in the forest to assist in forest management. By doing proper forest management, the risk of fire is reduced, allowing for fewer, but healthier trees to remain. The Concolor tree retains its needles as well as any tree we offer. Cut just a few days ago, they are as fresh as you’ll get. Grown at elevation, the trees have received plenty of cold temperatures to insure needle set. Because the trees are naturally grown without grooming, they are more open and offer a rustic, natural look in your home.

The Cartners from the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina have been growing high quality Fraser Fir Christmas trees for wholesale and ‘choose and cut’ local customers since being founded in 1959 by Sam and Margaret Cartner. The farm is now managed by Sam Sr. and his three sons, David, Jim, and Sam Jr. We appreciate their vision: Sam Cartner’s vision, since 1959, has always been to ‘grow a tree to decorate.’ You’ll recognize the Cartner Blue Ridge Fraser Fir by the long natural branches that give our trees a lacy and elegant look. We do not put our trees through a ‘pencil sharpener.’ We invite you to experience the Cartner difference with a Christmas that is ‘Individually Hand-Pruned to Decorate’.

From the Pacific Northwest, the balance of our trees also arrived this week. Stately, elegant Noble and Nordman Fir trees are very full in branches and growth habit. Both have a naturally symmetrical shape, with well-spaced, sturdy branches that are perfect for displaying ornaments.

I’m sure you have something that signals the start of the season for you. Maybe it’s the scent of your favorite holiday food or maybe it's the lights decorating houses and landscapes in your neighborhood. Whatever it is, I hope you enjoy the start of the Christmas season.

Your friend in the garden,

Marty Johnson
Owner - Johnson's Garden Center

P.S. Visit Lucy, Johnson's trolley at Union Station Thursday night starting at 5:30 PM for Merry & Bright, the new Union Station Lighting Event!