See Christmas in a new light this year and save a tree

See Christmas in a new light this year… and save a tree

A tree is an inextricable part of the Christmas ritual, from its selection and decoration, to the distribution of gifts underneath it – and the singing of carols in its reflected light. Pine is the traditional choice for a Christmas tree, but our growing environmental awareness is spurring the use of alternatives. While artificial trees don’t shed messy needles, they also don’t capture the atmosphere of Christmas – so we’ve taken a look at natural substitutes.


Take your space, style and budget into consideration, and involve the kids in the selection and decoration of the tree – it helps create that traditional Christmas atmosphere. Wrapped up and tied with a bow, a tree also makes the perfect gift for a loved one.

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Westringia fruticosa ‘Blue’
The Australian rosemary with its small leaves is popular with topiarists. Use one shaped like a small tree and decorate it with ribbons for the festive season. Afterwards, plant it in a sunny spot where the lilac flowers will add magic to your garden next summer.

Cupressus macrocarpa ‘Goldcrest Wilma’
This oblong-shaped cypress is the ideal Christmas tree for a small space such as a flat – or even on a table top. Decorate it with stars or small baubles and pot it out afterwards for a larger, outdoor Christmas tree.

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Syzygium paniculatum (Dwarf Eugenia)
The small evergreen Australian brush cherry is ideal for topiary, and can be beautifully decorated for Christmas.
Tie brightly coloured ribbons to the branches and intersperse them with open flowers for a stylish, instant Christmas tree. In your garden afterwards, the tree will reward you with edible summer berries year after year.

Decoration idea
Choose from a variety of materials to wrap your natural Chrismas tree or gift: Muslin or hessian will make an equally elegant statement.

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Alooe framesii
The blue-grey aloe with its star-shaped growth makes a truly striking Christmas ‘tree’. Hook ornaments of different colours and textures onto the plentiful, evenly spaced thorns on the leaves and then, afterwards, give this trendy Christmas statement pride of place in your garden.

Chondropetalum tectorum
This member of the estionacea family makes a surprisingly effective Christmas tree. Indigenous, hardy and waterwise, it’ll be at home almost anywhere in the country. Dec

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