HAVE you thought about a real Christmas tree this year? With the current lockdown situation and the possibility that it might extend into December, I’ve already ordered mine online from a Sussex company.

It’s going to be delivered on December 1. There seems to be lots of companies doing the same thing this year, so maybe take a look if you are planning on a real tree. I did deliberate over a Fraser fir as opposed to my usual Nordman tree.

To be honest, it is not one I had really heard of before. The name drew my attention as my middle name is Fraser. It is a slow-growing tree with a 7ft tree being as much as ten years old. Their branches tend to be angled upwards which can give the tree a slightly, more slender appearance and also means that the branches are strong when it comes to hanging decorations from them.

It has a conical shape but tends not to be quite as symmetrical as the Nordman. Its needles are soft and flat, tightly spaced and often with a silvery or whitish tinge on the underside.

By far and away the biggest reason that the Nordman Fir is so popular is because it’s great at retaining its needles. This is easily the number one non-drop Christmas tree; even when it starts to dry out the Nordman will hold on to its needles relentlessly.

That aside, it is a great choice for ensuring a symmetrical “pyramid” shape. It has firm, strong branches and soft needles, not spiky for you or your children, plus more allergy-friendly foliage.

So, you guessed it, I went for the nation’s favourite, a Nordman Fir again which will look wonderful in our dining room once decorated with its baubles and lights. I shall be sorting out all my decorations over the next couple of weeks ready to put up next month.

Apart from one or two chilly mornings, the weather has been surprisingly mild. The greenhouse heater has kicked in a few mornings too to ensure plants do not get too cold in there. I am quite surprised at the amount of new growth on hedges and shrubs for this time of year.

The ivy at the side of the house was cut back several weeks ago and already has far more new growth than I would have expected. It is all going to need another trim again in the new year. All my bulbs and winter flowering bedding plants are now in, a few in the ground but mainly in containers, and the area outside the kitchen French windows will be a blaze of colour throughout the spring.

Read more of Geoff’s garden at www.driftwoodbysea.co.uk