Anyone can decorate Christmas trees with traditional lights and ornaments but it takes a certain creative flair to dress up an outdoor tree at the Nature Coast Botanical Gardens.
In the past, the annual Holiday in the Gardens event has featured trees decorated with fake dollar bills by BB&T Bank, silk flowers by the Spring Hill Garden Club and quilted ornaments by local quilting groups.
Local residents and members of clubs, organizations and businesses will be at it again starting at 9 a.m. Saturday in the gardens, 1489 Parker Ave., Spring Hill, for the seventh annual event, hosted by the Spring Hill Garden Club.
The public is invited to celebrate the season with live music, food and drink, and uniquely decorated trees and wreaths designed by friends and neighbors.
"You can witness the holiday cheer in the faces of moms and dads, business colleagues, and kids of all ages as they decorate trees throughout the beautiful botanical gardens," said Doug Brainard, chairman of the event.
Christmas trees and wreaths will line the walkways in the gardens.
Members of the public will get to vote on their favorite tree through early January.
Other adventurous decorators in the past have included members of the Hernando Computer Club, who decorated a tree with CDs featuring holiday hats and elf slippers and Girl Scout Troop 007, who used pictures of their members to adorn their tree, said Shirley Jacques, publicist for the Spring Hill Garden Club.
Proceeds from this event help support the Nature Coast Botanical Gardens. The club is requesting a donation of $25 to reserve a tree for the event.
"We are always replacing old plants with new, buying new benches, upgrading structures and performing general maintenance, such as tree trimming, repair of the sprinkler system, and purchasing new tools," Jacques said.
To reserve a tree or to display a wreath and participate in the event, call (352) 688-4131 or (352) 683-9933 or visit the gardens between 9 a.m. to noon on Mondays, Wednesdays, or Saturdays.
For more info, visit www.naturecoastgardens.com.
Hernando Today correspondent Heather Francis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.