Eco-friendly alternatives to Christmas trees

Not your usual display: take inspiration from the trees at Wisley

To grow, transport for miles, and then dispose of our trees does seem slightly ludicrous, when there are far less wasteful and more exciting options to consider.

John Carrick runs The Romantic Garden Nursery in Norfolk. His beautifully laid out nursery with superlative specimens is guaranteed to get even non-gardeners salivating. Interestingly, he had just sent off some fine half standard white Camellia sasanqua (covered with white flowers) and some big bay cones to Sandringham to be decorated indoors in a festive fashion.

When John was a lad, he had a 400-year-old yew tree in the garden and they would just lop off a branch or two and push it upright into a container. A bit of strategic trimming and pruning followed and a fine-looking tree was born to be adorned with baubles (to supplement natural berries). The berries are highly poisonous so I would avoid them if you have young children around.

If you do not have an ancient yew, a container-grown bushy yew popped into a large pot would be a perfect alternative – especially if you can find room for another yew in the garden afterwards.

Read the full story here.


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About jensera

Jennifer Harrington is a Toronto-based illustrator, writer and graphic designer. She illustrated the best-selling children’s book series 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' which includes the titles 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' 'The Night Before a Canadian Christmas' and 'Canadian Jingle Bells.' She is also the owner of JSH Graphics, a boutique graphic design agency that specializes in print and web advertising. With her latest project, Eco Books 4 Kids, Jennifer has partnered with illustrator Michael Arnott to create a series of ecologically-themed ebooks for children. Her next book, 'Spirit Bear,' is due for release in the Summer of 2013. Jennifer offers two different school presentations for her 'Moose in a Maple Tree' collection, an illustration demonstration and a Christmas concert series, which can be booked at She will be taking bookings for school readings of 'Spirit Bear' beginning in October 2013.

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