December 10, 2008

A Sustainable Tabletop Christmas Tree

It's cute and it's quaint and I can plant it in the garden or a container after Christmas. My little tabletop tree may not be the best decorated, but it will live on after the season is gone.

As empty-nesters, my husband and I always face the yearly dilemma of whether or not to get a large Christmas tree to decorate. We live in North Carolina, which is one of the largest producers of live Christmas trees. The large trees are really beautiful, but we decided to downsize this year.

We downsized to a tree-shaped rosemary!

I already had miniature decorations for the little rosemary tree, so I used what I had on hand. The ornaments happen to be Monet's Garden Bijou Spheres that were hand-decorated on blown glass in Germany. The "eggs" were made in Poland. All of my miniature ornaments came from Smith and Hawken, but that was a few years ago. While I would have preferred to use natural ornaments instead, these are what I had on hand and will use them for many years to come. Perhaps they can be recycled in some way if ever necessary. The little butterfly that is clipped to the top of the tree was handmade and given to me as a gift from a past Christmas.

I didn't purchase anything this year other than the little rosemary tree for under $15 at Trader Joe's®. My little rosemary was already pruned, but it's easy to do, so you can also make your own tree shape... and roast potatoes with the clippings!
  1. To add more height to the little rosemary tree, I put it in a compote bowl.
  2. Left the rosemary in the plastic pot, but cut down the rim with scissors.
  3. Covered the plastic pot, filling the bowl with potting "moss" that is actually recycled paper shreds.
  4. Used a wire-edge, bendable gold ribbon (recycled from gift wrappings) to make the tree skirt.
Since the bowl holds water, I don't have to worry about overwatering the rosemary. The "moss" will be fine if it gets wet.

My little rosemary tree is green in more ways than one! It will go out in my garden and provide fresh rosemary for cooking for years to come. It is deer and rabbit resistant, too. Oh yes, and the little rosemary tree is very fragrant!

Happy Holidays!

Photo and story by Freda Cameron
Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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