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  1. The Origin of Christmas and its Customs

    A 4th century depiction of the birth of Jesus featuring an ass and an ox. There is no evidence documenting animals at Jesus birth, so it is likely they were added at a later date.  Picture credit:  Giovanni Dall'Orto (2007). Christmas brings to mind an array of customs, but it is not immediately obvious where they all come from. The...
  2. What’s On This Christmas for Gardeners

    As Christmas and gardens go together so well, Christmas is a great opportunity to drag your love ones out to your favourite places! Here are Primrose’s picks for the top garden events  in the United Kingdom this Christmas. 10-11 Return of the Reindeer - The Victorian Villa Holmwood House sees the return of Santa and his reindeer, and little ones...
  3. New Trends in Christmas Plants

    There have been a number of new trends in Christmas plants, where gardeners have sought to brighten up their gardens and homes with new exotic varieties. Our traditional roster of Christmas plants consists primarily of evergreens that can subsist in Northern Europe’s cold winters. These plants - coloured green, red and white - are often shrubs with berries. Now, plants brought...
  4. Traditional Christmas Plants

    As to why the current roster of Christmas plants - holly, ivy, rosemary etc - exists is often unclear. Many of the plants' hypothesised pagan origins aren’t well documented and it appears our current roster of Christmas plants are, in fact, a Victorian invention. What we do know is that our pagan ancestors were highly in tune with their environment...