Sunday, December 12, 2010

Would You Buy a Christmas Tree Online?

I have been involved in selling Christmas trees for close to twenty years, AND I never imagined the possibility of purchasing one online. Yes ONLINE. And the generation before mine thought things changed quickly, my head is spinning. I just came across this Ad a several minutes ago. I started writing immediately but was interrupted by the happiest, and largest gang of tree shoppers I have encountered thus far. Three families, who each year go for breakfast then tree shopping together, all with big smiles and good cheer. I wish I had a prize for them "Happiest Shoppers Ever!"

Anyway back to my "Would you buy a Christmas Tree Online" quandary. The tree arrives by mail in a handy 60" x 9" x9" sized box. If a monster tree is your thing, this will not be your tree shopping answer. But, what if your happy with a nice modest tree? It seems wrong, but wait, I ship and receive daylilies bare root and they are quite fine after their time in a box. It is possible you could get a fresher tree than going to a box store tree lot for instance. Many people do not realize the typical Christmas tree is cut, wrapped, shipped, and stored before it hits the lot. It is an industry practice to start cutting Oct/Nov to get all those trees processed and out to the consumer. If the tree was cut boxed and shipped same day, then sent with a overnight to 2-3 day delivery it starts to be an interesting idea.
Personally I like knowing the providence of my tree. I have seen some very sad trees come out of the October/Nov mass cut- store-ship scenario. It's not that this doesn't work, surprisingly it works well enough. In my Christmas tree experiences there are always some unsold trees, and one year the company I worked for had to wait till Spring to dispose of them. They having been stored outside were absolutely fresh when we got to them , 4-5 months after they had been cut.

Where things really can go wrong is in the shipping /storing as well as the weather during cutting, and where they are from. Cut your trees in a hard cold snap, big needle drop later. Have your cut trees too wet, or too frozen in storage big problems. Store in big piles, is that wrong, oh yeah, think compost pile. It goes on and on. I will not sell anything but fresh cut trees. It's one of those things that to me technically should be fine, and often is, but if you really want to know your tree is going to be fresh always buy a fresh cut tree. Support your local retailer, and farmer, and it's win win for everyone.

I always buy local trees, we are blessed in our area to be free of needle cast diseases that can effect cut trees coming from off the Island.I have been to the farms I buy my trees from. I also know what the weather was when the trees I buy were cut. I can avoid taking trees cut in severe weather. All the warm rainy weather going on right now is perfect Christmas tree cutting weather. Remember our "feels like minus 16" weather in November my trees were not cut then. A little knowledge goes a long way. I buy in small quantities, sometimes my trees were cut only hours ago, more often a few days ago but thats a very good turn around, and to be applauded not concerned about.

So what are your thoughts tree in a box, it's interesting, but not for me. I like to pick out a tree, and drag it home. End of season, if someone would come put it in a box when I am done with it that would get my attention.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

Holiday Hours

We are open later for Christmas Tree Sales, here are our Holiday hours.

Monday 10-5
Tuesday 10-5
Wednesday 10-7
Thursday 10-7
Saturday 9-5
Sunday 10-4

Happy Holidays

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Trees Arrive today

The Christmas Trees arrive today

Urban Oasis is proud to offer fresh cut local Christmas Trees from Wintergreen Christmas Tree Farm in Mill Bay.
We went out to the farm last year to check out the trees, and they are all gorgeous trees.
The trees are lovingly cared for, using a modern approach tempered with old fashioned know how.
They are all grown from seedlings, which makes a big difference in obtaining a straight trunk.

These seedlings have been very carefully selected from favorite trees growing on the property.

How could a tree not be a "Happy Tree", being grown amongst generations of family, and this view.

We met the family dog, and had a good tromp through the property.

Wintergreen Tree Farm,

locally owned and family operated on

Vancouver Island,

harvests a variety of beautifully shaped

Christmas trees.

They harvest a variety of high quality Christmas trees with healthy,

dense foliage... Full of the fresh scent of Christmas!

  • Douglas Fir, Grand Fir, Noble, Pine
  • Range of sizes from tabletop (3 feet) to 9 feet
  • Extra large trees available for those special occassions
  • All trees are freshly cut for delivery
  • Tree baling optional
  • Family owned and operated since 1972, their trees are grown and handled with care.
    • Share the Christmas spirit!

Christmas Tree Varieties

All available in sizes averaging from 3 feet to 9 feet

We have Extra Large trees available for your Christmas Gala, banquet or busy foyer!

Pine Tree
Noble Fir
Grand Fir
Douglas Fir

Urban Oasis

Christmas tree price list

#1 Douglas fir 6’-7 ½’ $39.99

#2 Douglas fir 5’-7 ½’ $34.99

#1 Douglas fir 7 ½’-9’ $49.99

#3 Asst species 4’-6’ $29.99

Asst table top 3’ $19.99

#1 Grand fir 6’-7 ½’ $49.99

#2 Grand fir 5-7 ½’ $39.99

#1 Scotch pine 6’-8’ $39.99

Noble fir 6’-7 ½’ $59.99

Small Noble $39.99

Making Reindeer

Here is our first Reindeer...ta-da...opps the antlers are on backwards.

Look at out front yard in November, this was the coldest November day on record.

We closed the store and stayed home in the cozy garage making Reindeer.

First I traced the template of our Reindeer onto a sheet of plywood,...

then my crafty elf cut out the pieces, with his flash new jigsaw.

Look at that Elf go.

Now he is painting the deer,with what was determined by a group of man shoppers at the paint store to be a deer color.

I trust my Elf to chose deer colored paint, he is very cute in his Santa hat too.

Look how he just loves being documented in my Making Reindeer Post, he's a "Keeper Elf".

Here are the Reindeer set for a test run, we left off some of the antlers just in case.

They all survived last nights 60km winds beautifully!

Oh Elf, two more Reindeer, and 6 sets of antlers please.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Prospect Lake Soccer Christmas Tree Sale

Urban Oasis is hosting a Christmas Tree Sale fundraiser for Prospect Lake Soccer, $5 from, each Christmas tree sold by Prospect Lake Soccer goes back to the club. If you would like to support PSL then order your tree from them this year.

We are offering beautiful fresh cut local trees from Wintergreen Tree Farms in Mill Bay. The 5-7" sheared Douglas firs are a good deal at $39.99 plus hst.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Fair Trade Mexico

My pictures are not doing these pieces justice. They are all handmade and the detail is exquisite.

Some fun new things

I could not resist these crows. Forget people watching try crow watching sometime. Anyway these wrought iron crows make me chuckle.
The Travelocity gnome, everyone knows someone who needs this. Another could not resist purchase for the store.
I have brought in some truly beautiful rain chains from Ravenwood metalworks. We have 3 styles on sale through May as an extension of the Homeshow Specials. You must see these if your considering rainchains. They are lighter than the cast iron and will not rust. They come in 53 styles and range in character from sophisticated to whimsical.

upcoming projects

The rock wall is still a work in progress, the face is filling in nicely. The Lewisia came through winter and is looking amazing.
The top of the wall has been planted with nerine bulbs, and the start of my Daylily demonstration garden. I should have over 80 named cultivars by June. Many will be cutting edge breeding from the US, including a number of 2010 introductions.
Does this look like a pond yet? Look for a spectacular waterfall, and a lovely pool sometime this summer.
Sadly our little goat shed, and my dreams of chickens are gone. The sheds roof and back corner were rotting and unsafe. Repairing these defects, replacing some posts, and the roof led to stripping down the building, which led to....a Greenhouse plan!
Here is where we took out the rotting back wall. Where there once was rot and sag, will be windows and a back door.
Instead of a fence, and chickens, we have a potting bench for customer use, and a greenhouse for me. Now thats some daylily dreaming in the making.
These 1400 or so daylily seedlings started life in my garage. I will have over 3000 unique daylily seedlings by summers end. I guess the "daylily farm" is next years project.

New pottery is in !

I love these new pots, they come in great colors, and the saucer is built in.

These are a great too. They are completely biodegradable and last as long as plastic. They are made from the waste chaff when rice is processed. The natural glues in the rice hold the pots together and the added color is safe.These are just way too cool.
Our Malay pots are a best value item, they come in 6 beautiful colors, and an incredible price point. The set of 4 is on sale thru May just $49.99 or purchase seperately starting at just $6.99.

Yes!, we have the face pots again this year. Have some fun with these. They have been a very popular gift.

Settling in for first Spring

It's been a lot of work, but things are coming together nicely. We are excited entering into our first Spring in our new location.
We have lots of perennials in stock, and more bedding coming in all the time. It's still a little chilly.
The plant of the month this month is the Pearl bush. When it buds out the unopened blooms look like a string of pearls.
The demo beds are in full of tulips. I am very pleased with the result of last years planting and how well they stood up to howling wind storms. I expected them to be flattened but they remained as cheery as ever.
We tidied up our little side entrance with Urban Oasis letters my Mom painted, and a new tippy pot display.
Happy Spring, come check out our progress, and don't forget if you need gardening advice we pride ourselves in great one on one service.