British Summer Time Festival

I think it’s fair to say we have a bit of a thing for the Royal Parks.

These incredible green spaces dotted around London make the city what it is – an awe-inspiring hotch-potch of big-city bustle and unparalleled relaxation.

Wherever you are in the Big Smoke, you’re never far from a Royal Park. Indeed there are eight of them spanning more than 5,000 acres – Bushy Park, Greenwich Park, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Richmond Park, St James’s Park, The Green Park and The Regent’s Park.

There are lots of reasons why the parks have become so important to the fabric of London. Alongside the beautiful horticulture, they’re home to some of the country’s most important statues and memorials. They’re also vital in cooling temperatures, reduce wind speeds and absorbing pollution.

At Pines & Needles our connection with the Royal Parks is strong. In actual fact, many become our storefront in December as our team of elves set up camp across the city to sell our wonderful wares, from lustrous Christmas trees, stands and wreaths to lights, decorations and garlands.

Of course well before the temperatures drop and Jack Frost sprinkles his magic, the Royal Parks play host to all manner of events.

One that looks completely unmissable is the British Summer Time party in Hyde Park between July 1 and July 10. Stars such as Take That and Florence and the Machine will take part in the open-air extravaganza, with comedy acts and other entertainment packed into the schedule.

The parks will have calmed down a little by the time you come and see us this Christmas to pick up your needle-perfect real fir tree, but when you do just take a moment to soak up the wonderful history of the environment you’re in.

And if you’re not sure which of our stores is nearest to you, just use the store finder on our website.

Wimbledon

Is there anything more quintessentially British than the Wimbledon Tennis Championships?

Our eyes will be fixed firmly on SW14 from June 27 to July 10 and naturally we’ll be root-ing for Andy Murray – we’ve got Scottish blood don’t ya know!

Forget the parched surfaces of the French Open or the hardcourts of Flushing Meadow, we love the lush green courts of the Wimbledon as it reminds us of the firs growing on our Scottish plantation.

Of course, while we soak up the action from around the courts, spare a thought for those who will be working at the All England Club this year. After all, they have to serve up something of a bounty to the 39,000 people who attend each day.

Cups of tea come top of the tree, closely followed by Pimm’s and those all important strawberries.

Here’s a list to show you just how much goes on behind the scenes:

  • 330,000 cups of tea and coffee
  • 230,000 bottles of water
  • 234,000 meals served
  • 320,000 glasses of Pimm’s
  • 110,000 sandwiches and baguettes
  • 25,000 scones
  • 110,000 pints of draught beer and lager
  • 16,000 portions of fish and chips
  • 44,000 litres of milk
  • 140,000 portions of English strawberries
  • 10,000 litres of dairy cream
  • 10,000 portions of frozen yoghurt
  • 29,000 bottles of champagne
  • 5,000 kilos of bananas (for players)
  • 86,000 ice cream portions
  • 30,000 stone baked pizzas

So who are you putting your money on? Few can look past the dominance of Novak Djokovic, who swept Murray aside in the French Open final recently.

Roger Federer is back on form after an injury lay-off and don’t ignore the likes of Stan Wawrinka and Marin Cilic who will hope to bring their A-game to London.

In the women’s draw there’ll be no Sharapova this year following her two-year doping ban, so few will bet against Serena Williams despite her recent stumbles. But let’s hope Britain’s Johanna Konta, Heather Watson and Laura Robson make a good fist of things.

Pines and Needles heads to Glee

We can’t fail to be happy when attending a show called Glee, the UK’s biggest garden and outdoor living trade event.

Having successfully unveiled our new wholesale offering at the NTA National Plant Show on June 21, we’re continuing the march to ensure everyone knows about our great products and unrivalled service.

Glee is a fabulous three days which showcases the very best on offer in the garden industry. There are some big names on the exhibitor list and we are delighted to be a part of such an inspirational event.

The people at Glee are happy too (as you would expect) and have featured us in the latest edition of their ‘Inspiration’ series.

This year marks an important step for Pines & Needles. We’ve acquired some high-profile corporate customers over the years, from the Natural History Museum to Wembley Stadium, but now we’re rolling out our wholesale service across the entire UK.

Naturally we would love to see you if you’re attending. You can talk to our team, look at our range of products up close and see just why The Independent voted us Britain’s Number One grower of real Christmas trees.

We’re here to take the hassle out of Christmas, offering everything from trees and wreaths to lights and decorations at a price that can’t be beaten.

Why should you choose Pines & Needles? Here’s why:

  • Quality Guarantee – we supply the best quality Christmas trees with a range of options from economy up to super premium
  • Price Promise – highly competitive prices beating any like-for-like written quote
  • Exceptional Service – distribution hubs in Scotland and London, plus dedicated account manager to suit any business need
  • Supporting Charities – we have a strong belief in giving back and work with charities including Action for Children
  • Sustainably Grown – we adhere to strict environmental practices throughout the entire process

There’s a lovely video which shows exactly why Glee’s on our horizon this year.

The big day itself may be six months’ away but whether you want to book now or at the very last minute, we’re here to help every step of the way.

 

Pines and Needles Expands into the Wholesale Market

Our business has always been underpinned by two things – a great product and unrivalled customer service.

Even back when Sam and Josh were teenagers selling Christmas trees outside a London dry cleaners, it was these fundamentals which had customers coming back year after year.

Two decades on we’re taking all that dedication and experience to the  HTA National Plant Show at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire to launch Pines & Needles’s new wholesale offering.

It’s a hugely exciting point in our history. We’ve acquired some high-profile corporate customers over the years, from the Natural History Museum to Wembley Stadium, but now we’re rolling our service out across the UK.

Naturally we would love to see you if you’re attending. You can talk to our team, look at our range of products up close and see just why The Independent voted us Britain’s Number One grower of real Christmas trees.

We’re here to take the hassle out of Christmas, offering everything from trees and wreaths to lights and decorations at a price that can’t be beaten.

Why should you choose Pines & Needles? Here’s why:

  • Quality Guarantee – we supply the best quality Christmas trees with a range of options from economy up to super premium
  • Price Promise – highly competitive prices beating any like-for-like written quote
  • Exceptional Service – distribution hubs in Scotland and London, plus dedicated account manager to suit any business need
  • Supporting Charities – we have a strong belief in giving back and work with charities including Action for Children
  • Sustainably Grown – we adhere to strict environmental practices throughout the entire process

The big day itself may be six months’ away but whether you want to book now or at the very last minute, we’re here to help every step of the way.

Happy Birthday Queen!

Now, if our maths is correct it means that Her Majesty The Queen is actually celebrating her 180th birthday today (JUNE 11)!

I’m sure there are plenty of upsides to having two birthdays a year (one official, one the actual birth date) but being twice as old as you should be isn’t one of them.

Thankfully Her Majesty can make all the rules she likes seeing as she’s reigned supreme since her accession in 1952.

As is customary, today will be the regal procession that is Trooping the Colour – a glorious celebration which takes place at Horse Guards Parade just behind Whitehall.

It’s an opportunity for the Queen to inspect soldiers from the Household Division but also provides the chance for her loyal subjects (that’s you and me) to catch a glimpse of the Royal family as they make their way to and from Buckingham Palace.

For those of you intent on camping out along the Mall (intent quite literally!), today will offer the only ‘balcony moment’ of the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations, so it’s either a great pair of binoculars (LINK TO BINOCULAR REVIEWS PERHAPS) or an armchair seat for the BBC’s exhaustive coverage.

But just why does the Queen have two birthdays? Well, you have to go back nearly 300 years and to the reign of George II for the answer. As has been the case for millennia, the great British weather is responsible. George was born in November and felt the weather was far too cold for his annual birthday parade. Instead, he combined his birthday celebration with a spring military parade known as Trooping the Colour. And it’s a tradition that has lasted to this day.

So whatever you’re doing today, and whether you’re a monarchist or not, I think we can all raise a glass to someone who has led our great nation with distinction.

And at 180 she’s not looking bad at all.

We’re back

The countdown has begun!

Here at Pines & Needles we’re positively nutty about Christmas and although for many people it’s just one day of the year, for us it’s an entire year for just one day!

But we’ve missed you. Six months is a long time so we’re launching back onto social media with a celebratory bang.

Christmas is all in the planning – from the tree to the decorations, from the presents to the stuffing. After all, picking up your pressies from the Shell garage on Christmas Eve will only lead to Uncle Brian accidentally drinking Castrol GTX the next day.

Here at Pines and Needles our Christmas starts now. In fact, it started back in March. If you think that the average 6ft tree takes between five and seven years to grow there’s a huge amount of work to be done throughout the year at our plantation in Scotland to ensure each and every tree we sell is pine perfection.

We’re here to make your festivities even better than ever, giving you all the advice, tips, suggestions, insight and ideas you need to make it the perfect day.

Naturally we’ll make it worth your while – along with hilarious videos and brilliant interviews we will also be hosting stacks of amazing competitions. From a stunning handmade wreath to a tree for life, our team will keep you posted on all the exciting happenings at Pines and Needles.

Throughout the year we will introduce you to our team led by brothers Sam and Josh Lyle, unveil the yuletide themes you’ll want in your front room and explode a few myths about the big day itself.

We’ll also show you what we get up to, from taking the wraps off our new wholesale collections at The National Plant Show later this month to lifting the lid on what happens behind the scenes in Lapland.

Our experts will be picking out the perfect gifts AND how to wrap them, as well as reviewing the latest John Lewis advert, pointing you in the direction of the perfect mince pie and showing you some tricks on how to clear up the mess at the end of a good night.

So whether you’re an Ebeneezer Scrooge or a Whovillian (someone who loves Christmas) there’s something for everyone.

After all, who isn’t going to smile at pictures like this….

The year starts now. Thanks for being part of the Pines & Needles party.

 

Best wishes!