Wednesday, 03 December 2014
Real Christmas trees are available form a range of suppliers now. At Vialii Towers we much prefer them to artificial ones. Some people may argue that an artificial tree is better for the environment as you can use it for many years, but there is still a huge impact on the environment by making it in the first place, shipping from across the world and then disposing of it eventually. Plus a real tree smells wonderful and can be bought from local producers and even charities. We tell you which varieties of Christmas trees to consider, what to look for when you are buying and how to best look after them.
The vast majority of real Christmas trees sold have their roots cut off. To lessen the environmental impact we’d therefore recommend buying from a supplier who plants more trees to replace those they cut. Trees with roots are sometimes available but they can only be housed inside for a short period of time before they come out of the dormant phase. That means they’d need a slow and gradual return back to the cold if subsequently planting outside.
If you are buying a real tree, what variety should you go for? The answer depends upon the space you have, how worried you are about needle loss and how important a scent is. Here are a few of the most common Christmas trees you will find for sale and some of their key features:
It has lovely deep green foliage with slightly blue tinge underneath. It normally has nice symmetry and shape and is less likely to drop its needles. No wonder it is by far the nation’s most popular.
Lovely scent but can be very prone to losing needles. Best to hold off on buying until nearer Christmas if this is your choice.
An ideal choice for smaller spaces due to a more compact pyramid shape. Needles tend to be less prickly and so more family friendly. Has a gentle citrus scent.
Has low needle loss, good branch firmness, lovely scent and soft needles. Down side is that it can be hard to find.
A sturdy option and the only native tree you’ll find on sale. Good needle retention and highly scented.
Slender straight tree with yellow-green tinged needles. Needle retention is generally ok.
A good quality, freshly cut tree can last up to 6 weeks if well looked after:
Christmas trees are not the only plants that can bring a bit of festive cheer to your home. Here are some suggestions for unusual and elegant plant based decorations to make or buy:
As lovely as traditional holly wreaths are, you can give them a more contemporary twist by including scented plants such as lavender or thyme.
Another modern take on a wreath is to use magnolia leaves. These give a very elegant finish.
How about this novel use for Brussel sprouts? We’ve also seen these cases planted up with living succulents or filled with brightly wrapped chocolates. From £10.
A stunning but simple table decoration can be made by placing holly leaves and berries in clean jars, adding water and topping with a floating candle. Just remember to keep away from children and pets and never leave unattended.
Terrariums are bang on trend this year and we’ll be hanging a seasonal bauble shaped one on our tree. These can come with airplants or with scented spices and dried fruit such as orange, apple and cinnamon sticks. From £9.99.
Hopefully that has given you some inspiration to start thinking about Christmas trees and decorations for this year.
Merry Christmas from all at Vialii