Christmas – Behind the Scenes
Christmas may be a distant memory for the majority but here at GP it really is all year round. The 3rd of January kicks off one of the busiest weeks of the year when over 500 Christmas trees, installed over a 6 week period, require uplifted around the country eventually making their way back to the nursery. Meticulous planning is the key to a seamless operation managed by Stacy Talbot, Christmas Co-ordinator.
Reflecting on the 2017 season Stacy said, ‘When the Christmas installations get underway it’s a realisation of all the planning and hard work from the team throughout the year. It’s great to see everyone pulling together as a team at GP to get the trees out to our customers and even better to see the delight on customer’s faces and to know that we make a real difference. With the uplift process time scales are squeezed dramatically and naturally customers are all keen for their tree to be removed as soon as possible to get on with business of the day, so the pressure is on. The nursery becomes ‘packed’ with Christmas trees and we start all over again’
Back at the nursery there is ‘no room at the inn’ with Christmas trees spilling into the interior plant nursery as the process of dismantling and redecorating begins. Whilst the live Christmas trees are sent to our green recycling plant for processing, as customers preferences change over 80% of the trees now supplied are artificial and the dismantling and rework each year becomes more significant.
I took a look behind the scenes of the Christmas break down and at the amazing progress made by the team in such a short time.
Fiona and Carol, Nursery Assistants feel a great sense of achievement putting some order back into the Christmas bauble store.
Fiona commented ‘As late orders came in, bauble stocks began running low and as can be expected baubles began to get muddled in the last minute frenzy. Now we have everything segregated and labelled to make the process of rebuilding much easier. We still have all the garlands and wreaths to rework and then we just need to get back to building for next year!’
You would have thought that after decorating all these Christmas trees, decorating a tree at home might not be as much of a novelty as usual for the team but far from it. Whilst Carol always has a tree decorated with her sentimental baubles, she has now bought a second tree that she can decorated to perfection in the colour scheme of her choice which is Chocolate and Lime.
Meanwhile Cammy, Lewis and Bob currently have the enviable task of testing all the lights to ensure that they are fit for another year on the Christmas circuit. With over 14,000m of lights on the 7ft trees alone this may take some time but an essential part of ensuring a beautiful illumination for 2018.
There may still be another 47 weeks to go until Christmas but at GP Plantscape our Christmas targets are much earlier with orders for stock of Christmas trees, baubles and lights to be place before the end of March. As a result much testing, counting and checking are required in a short space of time before the rebuilding can begin and installations start in November.
So while the ‘Ho ho ho’ is suspended for the time being it’s ‘Hi ho, hi ho and off to work we go!’