Gaylord Opryland highlights festive, plant decor in hotel with kick-off of ” A Country Christmas”

Living East Tennessee

With more than 50,000 species of plants inside of their hotel, the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center said their holiday decorations are a combination of intelligent engineering and beautiful agriculture. 

“If you’ve never been here, we have banana trees, papaya trees, and palm trees from six of the different continents,” Megan McDugald, director of horticulture, at the Gaylord Opryland said. 

The hotel however, isn’t just sticking to their usual plants this holiday season. 

For Christmas, the hotel features almost 15 different varieties of poinsettias, including red, white, burgundy, orange, speckled, and winter rose poinsettias, plus a 24-foot poinsettia Christmas tree; but that’s only for the inside of the hotel.  

“Outside, we’ll start putting up Christmas decorations in July,” McDugald said. “My team starts stringing lights, just like you would at home, but on a very large scale. They are wrapping each individual branch [with lights], and they’re also taking bird netting and wrapping the magnolia trees in the shape of a lollipop.” 

At the beginning of November, this team can see all of their hard work throughout the year, come to fruition, when the Gaylord Opryland launches their annual holiday festivities called, “A Country Christmas,” and features more than three million lights throughout the entire property. 

McDugald said seeing all of her hard work pay of is worth it, when she sees, “people’s faces as they walk through the door, the sense of awe, as they realize, what the hotel is about. The Christmas decor is absolutely beautiful,” she said. 

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