By Dianna Hrutfjord
It’s something in the air, the sound of the first snowfall, the excitement in your belly, the anticipation of Christmas and it all begins and centers around finding the perfect tree.
There is nothing like watching families pour out of cars and trucks at Christmas time, here to find just the right tree, which means something different for each family. One tradition, Paige tells me involves a family of four who seem to always show up on a rainy night looking for the biggest tree, one they can all help carry home. They always walk out together, hefting the big tree between them in the rain, dripping wet and spirits high for the walk home. We have families who want the biggest tree we have to offer and others who look for the saddest Charlie Brown tree they can save, the one no one else wants. Some come in for the holiday cheer and that indescribable feeling of Christmas at the nursery.
The Garden Spot is more than a quaint garden center in the middle of a bustling city, it is a cornerstone of our community, a place where people go to be cared for, to experience that feeling of coming home.
“We work all year to find the perfect farm, the perfect trees, to bring that magic to every family,” says Ginger, general manager. “And it is with the tree that it all begins. We do not waver. It’s very important we get it right.”
Some of our customers have been coming to The Garden Spot for over 20 years where we have watched tiny tots grow into teenagers. And now one of those children, Christina, a hard worker who used to make centerpieces with Nancy as a little girl will now be working days and nights trudging through the mud and snow hauling Christmas trees, giving them a fresh cut and tying them to the roof of a car. The history and the stories we gather are so precious to us. And it all started with Marcy Plattner more than 30 years ago.
Marcy knows all about selling Christmas trees. You could say it’s in her blood, something she learned from her mother and father who cut wild Douglas Fir from the edges of pasture lands on Lopez Island and sold them in the Seattle market. These were the original Christmas trees. Later Marcy and her brother Alex opened a pop up tree lot on the corner of James and Alabama (the original Garden Spot) where she worked days and he worked nights slinging Christmas trees. As she told me “This will be the first year in 50 years that someone in my family isn’t selling Christmas trees. This year we will be one of your customers at The Garden Spot, picking out the first tree we see.”
This year will be unlike any other Christmas at The Garden Spot. This year we’ll experience the changing of the guard, a new captain at the helm so to speak; this will be our first Christmas with new owner Paige, a vibrant, skilled and passionate gardener who is the perfect choice to lead the Garden Spot into a new era.
“I want to keep the traditions that we love alive,” says Paige, “There is nothing like walking into the nursery with all of the Christmas lights glittering and that smell of fresh greens to greet you. There is something really magical happening here.” This year is all about old traditions and fresh ideas. The holidays are a time for creativity, finding joy anywhere you can, and spending time with people you care about. We love the greenery, the trees, the lights, the ribbon on the wreath that ties us to memories of tradition, family gatherings, the pitter patter of little feet, and all of the Christmas’s past. And it all begins with finding the perfect tree.