Deck the halls
WE’VE been spotting Christmas decorations in the windows around town for a couple of weeks now.
But when the huge countdown to Christmas tree appears in the supermarket foyer, you know things are about to go crazy.
People have been filling their homes with greenery for centuries – a reminder that nature is still alive even at the bleakest time of year.
Christmas trees have been a quintessential part of the festive season since Victorian times when they were made fashionable by Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert. Some of the first decorations were real flame wax candles, ornaments and small gifts.
Tree species such as spruce and pine are the typical options for real trees nowadays. Our own fake tree is a family heirloom – it is looking a bit threadbare but I’ve never liked the idea of a tree being chopped down just for Christmas.
Plenty of my friends go for potted trees, which can benefit the planet, too. Emi Murphy, trees campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: “Buying a potted tree with roots lets you grow it outside and use it again year after year, reducing its environmental impact and costing you less. A living tree will also carry on absorbing carbon from the atmosphere for years to come.”
If you would like some living greenery this year, here are a few plants that are ideal for adding some Christmas spirit both inside and outside your home.
WHEN it comes to winter colour, Holly definitely wears the crown. It’s spiky, so if you’re worried about children or pets you could take some cuttings to use as decorations instead of moving a whole potted shrub indoors.
IVY can be found in all shades of green and even yellow.
A dark green variety can make a beautiful addition to a Christmas display.
Grow it in a small pot or take some cuttings if you have a larger plant outside.
IF you’re feeling creative, bay shrubs can be pruned into stunning formal shapes over time. You can also use the leaves (fresh or dried) in cooking – including your Christmas Day gravy.
LARGE indoor plants such as yucca trees are perfect for bringing nature into your life and it is fun to make them look festive.
Try your local florist for some plant-friendly decorations, or make your own.
...with boughs of Holly