This weekend we took our annual trip to Spithandle Nursery in Sussex to choose our Christmas tree. This experience offers so much more then just popping around to B&Q.. the drive alone into the beautiful countryside of West Sussex is a joy in itself; the family Spithandle experience truly is a special way to kick off Christmas and I can guarantee that if you do it just once you will never be satisfied to pull into a lay by and buy a tree again.
The owners, who live in the adjoining house have been there for over 30 years and been growing trees for sale for 22 years. They are all extremely welcoming and helpful and as we arrived we were met by one of their daughters, Anna, who also lives on site. Anna offered the kids a ride on Scotty the pony whilst her children played happily nearby..
The Norwegian spruces yield the most scent, this for me is the great advantage of a real tree so I steered the kids in this direction. Eventually after much deliberation we made our selection and Andy, Anna’s husband assisted by swiftly felling it for us before we carried it back into the glasshouse to pay.
Inside the glasshouse a selection of pre-cut trees were on offer in addition to handmade wreaths, mistletoe and crafts. We were totally sold when a Christmas tree stand and base (a Spithandle invention) was demonstrated to us. The base comprised a strategically placed washing up bowl with holes specially cut for a stand to be placed over; enabling us to keep the tree well watered hoping to delay the inevitable needle drop!
Also inside the large glasshouse free hot drinks are served and the kids had a go at the lucky dip in return for a donation to the RNLI. Handmade crafts for sale are displayed and chalkboards offer a host of enticing activities and interesting information. The atmosphere is welcoming and I love the Christmassy aromas of the trees, wood burning stove, mulled spices and homemade offerings that really lift the senses and exude a feeling of warmth.
The Spithandle Nursery can be found half way down Spithandle Lane, north of Shoreham in Ashurst, West Sussex. More precise directions can be found on their Facebook page: Spithandle Nursery