Holidays: Designing the Perfect Christmas Tree

Story and photos by Lindsey Chester

Cary, NC – Back in September, I dropped by Garden Supply Company. And what to my wonderous eyes should appear? Not eight tiny reindeer (but close) – eight amazingly decorated Christmas trees! Here’s a post to help you get that designer Christmas tree look for your house.

Designer Christmas Starts Early

Garden Supply creates a magical Holiday Wonderland every year with themed Christmas trees, wreaths, wall and mantel decor and plenty of swags and decorative items to make every Cary home special. This year, between 12 and 15 specially themed trees will be bursting with novelty ornaments to inspire customers.

Brittany Leggett, Garden Supply’s merchandise manager and Assistant Buyer, told me she and store owner Deborah Ramsey shopped the Atlanta market last January to purchase what is coming into the store this season.

Christmas Tree Trends for 2012

Each year Brittany and Deborah head to market right after they have finished selling the past season’s holiday stock. The knowledge guides them towards the next successful season’s purchases.

Brittany highlighted some new items they are incorporating into their Holiday 2012 offerings.

Tree Topper Arms

When Brittany designs the store trees, she wants them packed with bigger accessories. This year she has a new tool to help make her props really pop.

Tree Topper Arms are like metal fake branches that she can zip tie onto her artificial tree trunks. These can then hold heavy ornaments including hurricane lamps and large decorative pieces. They help give the tree a truly 3D appearance where large items literally pop out from the tree.

extenders used to hold larger props in decorated trees

Trees with a Theme

Each tree is planned around a central theme and this year these include: Tinsel Town, Candyland,  Bright Lights Woodlands, Cobalt Out Shades Of Grey,  Vintage and what’s known as “Ken’s tree” that is planned all white with giant red pointsettias.

I stopped in while Brittany was creating Candyland and have already spotted several ornaments that will be on my “must haves” list. I’m a sucker for any cookie or candy -type decor during the holidays.

How To Put a Designer Tree Together

  • Start with an artificial, pre-lit tree. Plug in to test the lights before you begin.
  • Add floral and floral-like picks and stems first. These are attached to the branches themselves. Place these in layers in little groups spaced evenly throughout the tree.
  • Next add in your big prop pieces (using those arms that I described earlier) to give your tree a truly 3D dimension and designer appeal. These should shoot out at angles and be spaced throughout.
  • Add in your second lighting element. Here, Brittany showed me additional lit branches and ornaments that can be plugged into your cords running in the tree itself, or with extensions placed strategically. If your tree has white lights, for instance, a nice accent would be something that lights up in red or blue.
  • Then lastly add in all your smaller ornaments to fill in all the spaces in between.

In Garden Supply, the trees go up first just as Halloween is getting underway. The balance of the Holiday decor will hold off until after October- then its Christmas all over the store.

Sense of Whimsy

The store is known for their sense of whimsy, and this year is no different. Popular colors will include cobalt blue and red with lime green combinations. Customers also know they can come back year after year to purchase a new “Mark Roberts”  or “Patience Brewster” ornament to add to their collection.

Last year, the team saw that customers liked owls and birds, I saw plenty of each on my visit.

Something area college fans expect are items themed to NC State, UNC and Duke. Snowmen and Santas will be another popular staple.

Friends of mine look for fishing ornaments, along with special hand blown glass pieces. The store always has a huge array of floral picks and branches that  Brittany tucks into her tress to fill out the branches and add color.

Garden Supply is known of course for their high quality garden supplies, plants and landscaping services, but during the holidays, expect to be delighted when you walk into the main building. The Holidays start early for Garden Supply and they work hard to inspire our imagination.


Holiday content on CaryCitizen is sponsored in part by Garden Supply Company on Old Apex Road in Cary.