1000 plants bring Christ­mas home on new level

Daily Dispatch - - News - By BAR­BARA HOLLANDS

WHEN shop­pers get close to Vin­cent Park mall’s Christ­mas tree, their eyes widen in amaze­ment be­cause it is made of al­most 1 000 suc­cu­lents.

The 3.5m tree was cre­ated by wed­ding florist Sarah May Law who stripped the mall’s Christ­mas tree frame of its fairy lights be­fore “plant­ing” it with wa­ter-wise suc­cu­lents and stud­ding it with indige­nous filler plants like plec­tran­thus, aloe and spekboom.

Law, 34, said she was com­mis­sioned by cen­tre man­age­ment to repli­cate a tree ac­cord­ing to a Pin­ter­est im­age.

“The brief was to use 800 suc­cu­lents, but I used close to 1 000,” said Law, whose hus­band Ja­son, an indige­nous land­sca­per, helped con­struct the liv­ing tree.

While the Laws pro­vided 200 of the wa­ter-wise plants in lime green, pink and pur­ple hues from their own home nurs­ery in Chintsa East, the rest were sourced from nurs­eries all over the city. “I really tried to sup­port ev­ery­one and also bought some from the Own Haven NPO. It’s great that the cen­tre sup­ports lo­cal rather than us­ing plas­tic dec­o­ra­tions from China.”

The Laws took last year’s tree home, re­moved the twinkly lights and wrapped the metal frame with chicken mesh co­cos fi­bre and straw. “We planted a test patch and af­ter a week it was still look­ing good so we brought the tree back to the cen­tre and put the plants in.” The ex­quis­ite tree, with its crown­ing aloe, was turn­ing heads.

“The end re­sult is be­yond any­thing I could have ex­pected and peo­ple say it is the most beau­ti­ful tree they’ve ever seen,” said Law, who will en­sure the tree is hy­drated over the fes­tive sea­son.

“We use a lad­der and a knap­sack wa­ter­ing sys­tem and wa­ter it from the top. The wa­ter flows down and hy­drates ev­ery­thing and I will re­place the filler flow­ers reg­u­larly un­til mid-Jan­uary.”

When the time comes to dis­man­tle it, Law will do­nate most of the suc­cu­lents to Own Haven NPO, which will re­ha­bil­i­tate and re-sell them. —


WORK OF LOVE: Wed­ding florist Sarah May Law’s botan­i­cal Christ­mas tree at Vin­cent Park mall is made up of close to 1 000 suc­cu­lents and indige­nous plants

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