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A festival of trees: Belle Grove decorates for Christmas

Master gardener Rose Fairman decorates a tree inside the Belle Grove Plantation mansion. This year’s house tours theme is “O Tannenbaum – A Festival of Trees.” Guided tours are offered from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Photo courtesy Belle Grove

For the 2016 holiday season, Belle Grove Plantation has set up decorated trees in each room of the historic manor house for “O Tannenbaum – A Festival of Trees.”

According to a news release, in addition to the 12-foot tree centerpiece in the parlor, area Garden Clubs adorned each room with Christmas trees. More than 30 trees will be available for viewing during holiday tours starting today through Dec. 30.

Kristen Laise, executive director at Belle Grove, said they have been decorating for Christmas and holding these tours for more than 40 years.

Starting today, guided house tours will be offered from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday with tours beginning at a quarter past each hour, with the last tour beginning at 3:15 p.m. From 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays, visitors can take self-guided tours and the Manor House will be lit by candlelight with live music. After tours, guests can enjoy spiced tea and homemade cookies by the fire in the winter kitchen.

The Manor House decorations include garlands and potted trees from the Little Garden Club of Winchester on the front porch, and  decorated boxwood trees with rustic finishing touches in the front hall by the Glen Burnie Garden Club. The parlor has a 12-foot Norway Spruce Christmas tree donated by John and Judith Tole of Evergreen Christmas Tree Farm in Woodville. The master bedroom is adorned with gowns and Christmas trees with gems by the Colonial Garden Club. The nursery features a tree of its own with decorations by the Middletown Garden Club.

The Warren County Garden Club placed trees and decorations with vintage photographs in the library, and the Shenandoah Garden Club decorated the tree in the sitting room with lemons and limes.  The Winchester/Clarke County Garden Club decorated the tree in the office with crystals, and the Massanutten Garden Club decorated the dining room tree with a golden Christmas theme. The Hawthorne Garden Club decorated the kitchen with apples and cinnamon, and other rooms are filled with winter forest trees and creative natural decorations by the Northern Shenandoah Valley Master Gardeners.

Laise said over 600 people usually visit Belle Grove in December to check out the holiday decorations.

Contact staff writer Kaley Toy at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or ktoy@nvdaily.com