Chester Inn

Decking the Halls

It’s hard to believe another year has flown by, but here we are. With turkey leftovers in the fridge, it’s time to turn our attention to decorating Chester inside and out in a holiday style that befits this grand old house. Each year, the act of hanging wreaths and roping and adorning the entrances has such a feeling of tradition … and makes us think about past generations who were preparing Chester for the holidays in the mid-1800s.

We don’t normally adorn our gardening tools with wreaths, but they make a wonderful staging place for our preparations! As an arboretum property, we have lots of natural materials at our fingertips to create some beautiful things.

We just picked our bay laurel and wove gorgeous and fragrant wreaths that will last all winter long (and provide some wonderful seasoning for stews in this cold weather!). Chester is home to a majestic stand of English boxwood, which is sought after by the florist industry this time of year. You might not know that this greenery is rather rare; it only grows an inch or two a hear. A floral wholesaler comes each year and prunes the stands for us in exchange for the trimmings.

The nine-foot Frasier Fir is also staged in the garage, and will soon grace the living room. As a newly certified member of the National Wildlife Federation, we’re excited to send in a photo once our tree is decorated! With over 35 natural nests collected from as close as our backyard and as far as Africa, and 150 bird ornaments, we’re willing to bet you’ve never seen a Christmas tree like this one.

Chester is open, the fires are roaring, and we’re in the holiday spirit. Come and enjoy a toasty and warm stay with us!


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  • Daria & Mike Boles

    in December 18th, 2013 @ 04:40

    Thank you Jean and Craig for being such gracious hosts! It was such a very relaxing visit to Chester with the fires burning in the fireplaces, beautiful music in the background and the Christmas decorations sparkling – a real traditional Virginia Christmas evening. We absolutely fell in love with the great southern charm and comfort of your home/ bed and breakfast. Not to mention the delicious dinner and wine! They were a special treat! We can’t wait to see you again!