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December 2014

Christmas tree recycling: Why not lease your tree instead?

20 December 2014

christmas tree recycling Hiring a tree can avoid Christmas tree recycling waste

The horticultural and forestry world has been busy over recent years innovating around Christmas trees. It’s not just the introduction of new species of tree like the Scot’s pine or the Noble fir instead of the more traditional Norway spruce, it’s also the life cycle management of the trees. Driving past a business close to Genus headquarters on the A417 the other day, I realised that you can hire a Christmas tree for the festive period, enjoy it for the holiday, and then return it to the grower. This ultimate in Christmas tree recycling, is inspired by the new business concept designed to reduce waste called the “service leasing model”. Promoted by organisations such as WRAP (a UK organisation supporting the reduction of waste in business and manufacturing), this new business model is based on the concept of using rather than owning. It extends from using products such as clothes including the lease of jeans (see Mud Jeans based in the Netherlands), to home furniture, and even to the hire of light bulbs.  Brilliant! We just love this kind of new thinking.

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Gardeners Christmas pleasure: Christmas wreaths from "garden waste"

10 December 2014

Garden hedge clippings make a great base for a front door Christmas wreath Garden hedge clippings make a great base for a front door Christmas wreath

It was such a lovely weekend here in the Cotswolds.  Bright and crisply cold.  The Genus garden received a little bit of tidying up attention.  Whilst raking up the leaves I had a sudden inspiration that I should use some of the fir cones and acorn cups in the messy pile for something creative.  So, a couple of garden waste inspired Christmas wreaths were born!  I used some polystyrene packaging material to cut a “polo” shaped disc, onto which I used PVA glue to paste on all the cones and cups.  I’m going to use this wreath as a table centre (look below for a picture of the result).

Having caught the wreath making bug, I then rummaged around in the compost pile for clippings taken from the bottom of the weeping holly tree in the Genus woodland garden last week.  I rescued these (no kitchen waste on top of them yet luckily!!), and put together another wreath using a frame made out of a bent coat hanger which, with the addition of some cheap baubles bought in the corner shop, and held on with florists wire, made a really lovely present for a friend.

“Where’s there’s muck there’s brass” they say ….. but equally true perhaps "Where there’s garden waste there’s something beautiful waiting for a gardener's transforming hand"!

Fir cones and acorn cups hidden amongst the leaf litter can make a more unusual Christmas wreath Fir cones and acorn cups found hidden amongst the leaf litter can be used to make a more unusual Christmas wreath

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