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HOMES & GARDENS / GARDENING Rudolph’s busy, but


meet his friends As we all know, the weeks leading up to Christmas are extremely busy ones for Father Christmas, his elves, and Rudolph with the team of reindeers. After all, there would be many disappointed children if Santa’s sleigh didn’t get off the ground. So where can you see some of these delightful creatures during the festive season?


GIFTS & GARLANDS


Deck the halls and prepare your home for festive fun. This blue pine garland (above) from Berries and Baubles, £20, plus p&p, will look beautiful around your door. There are also a selection of Christmas wreaths, with prices starting from £60. Visit www.berriesandbaubles.co.uk Looking for a gift for a gardener? How about this kitchen herb gift set (below), which includes herb scissors, seeds and plant labels, £11.99, plus p&p, from www.perfectplants.co.uk This Flower Power biscuit tin (left), £30, plus p&p, from www.biscuiteers. com, is also guaranteed to please.


The Reindeer Grotto at Capralama Farm in Bethersden, near Ashford, is home to a herd of 100 reindeer. There’s a 150ft grotto with animated festive scenes where Father Christmas is waiting to greet the children in his log cabin, along with other attractions including a children’s play area and an animal corner with pigs, goats, llamas, wallabies, rabbits and donkeys. • The Reindeer Grotto is open right up to Christmas Eve from 10am to 4pm. For more information, visit www.reindeercentre.co.uk


Or how about arriving in style to visit the reindeer at Kingscote Station in West Sussex? The Bluebell Railway is running Reindeer Specials on the 6th, 12th, 13th, 19th, 20th and 23rd December, departing from East Grinstead and stopping at Kingscote for about 30 minutes to visit the reindeer and their sleigh with a chance for photos. At Horsted Keynes children can visit Father Christmas in his cabin and receive a gift. • Visit www.bluebell-railway.co.uk/bluebell/ events/ for price details. To book by phone, call 01825 720800.


And there are more reindeer fl ying into Drusillas’ Winter Wonderland in East Sussex throughout December. Children can not only meet Santa but also Mrs Christmas and the elves. There’s a light show, illuminations, reindeer and so much more. • Visit www.drusillas.co.uk for more information or call 01323 874100.


4 THINGS TO DO IN THE GARDEN THIS MONTH


1. Spray some freshly cut holly or foliage with silver or gold paint and use to make, or incorporate into, table decorations, garlands and tree decorations. 2. Take advantage of low sun levels and misty mornings for stunning garden photography –


you can even use your shots for Christmas cards. 3. Try not to walk on your frost- laden lawn as doing so can ‘burn’ the grass and the yellow patches will stay until spring. 4. You can still plant trees and shrubs but avoid days when the ground is frozen.


The INDEX magazine www.indexmagazine.co.uk


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