At a Belfast Garden Club meeting in November, the lovely co-owner of The Heirloom Garden of Maine, Diana George, gave a talk about the bane of my existence – flowers. We have flowers everywhere in our one acre garden in the spring and summer, and not a name I know. But that is not the point. The Heirloom Garden also crafts beautiful balsam holiday decorations, and I immediately latched onto Diana to work her magic on our Inn. When she finished installing the exquisite outdoor wreaths for the doors and garland for the balcony and lamp posts, Christmas magic, indeed, had arrived.
As you may know by now, I am a city girl; and in the city, one goes to a “Christmas Tree Lot” to select a tree which had been cut down two months previously, bound and gagged. Of course, we were always delighted if all the needles had not fallen off by Christmas eve. I asked Diana of Heirloom Gardens where the Christmas tree lots were; she looked quizzically at me and suggested I should try a Christmas tree farm instead.
Just three miles out of Belfast on Route 3 is located Fishers Christmas Tree Farm; this place has acres and acres of living and growing-in-the-ground Christmas trees – balsam, fraser fir, pine and others. A wonderful couple, Gary and Melba Fisher, run this farm; Melba told us to just walk around and select a tree. After a ten minute search, there it was – a perfect eight-foot fraser fir and all for a perfect $35! Mr. Fisher cut that beauty down with his power saw, we strapped it onto the top of the car and off we went! (The Fishers do not have a web site but their information can be found on the site maintained by the National Christmas Tree Association.)
Of course, I embellish this story a little for my pals down in Washington, DC who are slugging off to the Christmas tree lots for a $100 purchase. I tell them about the day in early December when Santiago and I trekked through the forests and cut down our own tree — well, sort of.
The Fisher fraser fir in the Living Room of the White House Inn