Saturday, 15 December 2012

Tradition of the Tree

Growing up, we never believed in fake Christmas trees. Never!

Instead it was always some plant retrievable from the garden and capable of spending three weeks indoors weighed down with baubles and fairy lights. Over the years an Albany Woolly Bush has lived and died for the cause, a Ficus Benjamina called into action and more recently the limb of an overgrown shrub that has rebelled against the confines of its allotted corner. If it is the whole tree called to bear the load it remains in its crumbling pot, lifted as one into the lounge room where we can provide it with the make over of its life. It is one when a solitary limb is used that the pot is packed with rocks, the majority of the tree remaining alive and well happily ensconced in the wilderness of the garden.

As Mum's garden is full of overgrown shrubs, we have the ability to be quite choosy and go so far as to put a permanent ban on at least one of the more perilous of Mum's suggestions. But each year, there is always some plant capable of surviving a prune and sacrificing a limb to the cause of Christmas.

Moving to London for two years, this tradition was so ingrained in me that I thought it traitorous to contemplate a fake tree, or even for that matter a real pine tree. What was the point of using a fake tree when a real one was so readily available and so much more beautiful, and in conjunction, what was the point of a real tree when you'd separated it from its root system and condemned it to death simply for being a small classic 'Christmas tree'.

In rebellion, I decided upon a different take on tradition. Holly is so often associated with the festive season and in London grows in abundance, over peoples' fences, at bus stop shelters and within the local park. Desirous of only a small tree, and applying the Australian ruling that anything hanging over your fence is fair game, I found a festive way to acquire my alternative Christmas 'tree'. What was more delightful was that for the first year I was able to find variegated holly whilst for the second year it was soft leaved holly attached to heavy bunches of bright red berries. Such a classic image.

Now coming back home to Australia I have my own little collection of memorable ornaments and nowhere to hang them. So I decided upon another Christmas tree: one of my own and one, if not traditional, at least native to the area. So I have a lemon-scented gum Christmas 'tree' this year and it smells divine!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...