Tuesday, December 8, 2015

An Australian Christmas Tree

Ever since we got here I've been thinking about what I could use to make a Christmas tree. I didn't want to just buy a normal tree with normal ornaments. This year is all about DIFFERENT and I wanted our tree to reflect that. I wanted to be resourceful and creative and simple.

The first thing I asked myself was, "what do I have an abundance of?" I also thought there was no reason the tree couldn't be made of living plants since it will be summertime during Christmas. Then I could enjoy the plants for even longer.

Okay, maybe it was just an excuse to buy more plants without feeling guilty about it.

On the other side of our house is a large stack of bricks. It's just leftover from building the house and is being kept just in case the need arises. I hauled them over to the patio and built a pyramid shape. I started on it sometime in October. After I felt I had a good shape, I went to buy the plants. I wanted to be sure I bought enough, but only as many as I needed.

Can I just say this was quite the workout hauling 
72 bricks from the opposite side of the house? 

I needed something that would grow in the part-shade conditions of the patio, but could also handle some direct sunlight. Having something that resembled the fine greenery of a pine tree was also on my wish list. And blossoms. If it wasn't asking too much I wanted something that would create it's own ornaments! Oh, and could we have it be a plant unique to Australia? I know, I'm rather demanding.

I found the perfect plant! It's called Creeping Boobiala. Not very Christmasy! I actually prefer the botanical name, myoporum parvifolium. It sounds better when you sing, "O Myoporum Parvifolium, how lovely are they branches." An Australian native, it has fine needle-like leaves and small delicate star-shaped white blossoms. STAR shaped! And it can handle the sun or the shade! Could there be anything more perfect?! I bought them just before our trip to Perth and kept them in the back of the house until after we got back. I wanted the tree to be a surprise for the family.

I was so excited to put it all together. I even had solar powered lights so I didn't need to plug them in, and they come on automatically at night. I had sent Allen to Costco to buy a long roll of ribbon to wrap around the pots to cover the black plastic and to secure them to the bricks. It can get VERY windy here sometimes.

And I couldn't resist adding a showy succulent tree-topper. 

Of course, I took advantage of the back side as well. These are portulaca plants. 
They are also very hardy and drought tolerant. I use them a lot at our house in Orem. 

It's beautiful! Not sure if everyone else was as thrilled as I was, but it sure lifted my Christmas spirits.

And then I was hooked. More trees to come...

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