LA HARPE — While there are plenty of businesses in Allen County for folks to shop for Christmas gifts, there are scant few in which to find a Christmas tree.
Unless, that is, you’re at TLC Garden Center in LaHarpe, where owner Savannah Flory has a wide assortment of trees of all sizes.
There are four main species of Christmas tree, Flory said: Scotch pine, white pine, Frasier fir and balsam fir.
“The Frasier seems to be the most popular but they all smell good,” Flory said. “I know a lot of people still like to find live trees for Christmas, and there really aren’t many places to find them any more.”
Some trees are small enough to fit on a table top; others are large enough to fill a room.
Flory noted that Christmas tree sales tend to pick up in the final two weeks before Christmas.
She offered one important tip for those who use real trees instead of their artificial counterparts.
Cut about an inch from the bottom of the trunk before putting it in water, Flory said. Wood is more absorbent with a fresh cut, she explained.
When customers shop for trees, Flory also has a number of other items to catch the eye.
“We’ll sell a lot of gift certificates for people who want to do something outside, but not until spring,” Flory said.
Other gift ideas include wind chimes (a new order recently arrived), Christmas decorations and holiday lawn ornaments. All are sprinkled around the TLC storeroom floor at 1007 U.S. 54 in LaHarpe.
While many florists focus on selling poinsettias during the holidays, Flory suggests another popular Christmas gift — a Christmas cactus.
Despite its name, there are no needles in a Christmas cactus, Flory said.
“And it’s really a plant you can take care of very easily,” she said. “You can almost ignore it. Most Christmas cactuses die because they’ve been over-watered.”
The plant derives its name because it blooms in December.
TLC is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, except for Thursdays, when Flory keeps her shop open until 6:30.
TLC can be reached at (620) 496-1234.
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