THE annual opening of the Tree Barn at Christmas Common tomorrow (Saturday) heralds Christmas time and
THE annual opening of the Tree Barn at Christmas Common tomorrow (Saturday) heralds Christmas time and the thought, planning and joy of celebrating.
The converted barn is a treasure trove of Christmas decorations in all its forms. It takes Jane Ingram eight months to research, buy and amass the mind-blowing collection of decorations, from all over Europe.
Jane has been delivering festive decorations to families far and wide for more than 14 years — teamed with the Christmas trees grown on the farm by her husband Andrew and sold at the Tree Barn. For the third time in a row the Ingrams have just the won the British Christmas Tree Growers Association’s annual competition — the prize being the privilege of providing the Christmas tree for No 10 Downing Street.
For the Tree Barn shop Jane designs and decorates each of the eight huge display trees in the main body of the barn. Each tree has a theme that Jane chooses and works on for days to ensure that all the baubles, tinsel, tree decorations, candles, ribbons and lights make a magnificent display.
This year is the year of the “gonk” with a red, white and felt-covered tree awash with gingham and interspersed with traditional German straw Christmas decorations. Winter flora is a new theme this year, with Jane combining frosty dried lavender, seed heads and grasses with purple sparkly baubles. The Partridge in a Pear Tree is a jewel-like collection of burgundy, peacock blue and rich golds.
Children will fall in love with the Tootie Fruitie Tree with its eye-popping colour and mad glass character decorations to match. This year Jane has managed to find a collection of retro feel items harking back to the Sixties in the gentle, faded shades of Christmas colours.
Other colour combinations of baubles, lights and decorations can be seen throughout the barn in luxurious gold and silver, copper with dark blue and pastel shades with white and silver. Tree lights of all shapes, sizes and colours are also available.
For those who like things big there are giant stockings in a variety of fabrics and huge shatterproof glass baubles in red, silver and gold. The Tree Barn also has stocking fillers, table decorations, tableware and gifts.
Another ingenious find for this year is a 15ft roll of heavy duty banqueting paper in two Christmas designs which would be perfect for entertaining, particularly for covering a buffet table. Match this with the festive paper napkins and fair trade paperchains for a different look.