A Christmas totara


Like many New Zealand homes, we have an artificial Christmas tree stashed away in its box, ready to be unfurled for the festive season. However, I resisted getting it out this year, in part because we don't have a lot of space in our erstwhile 'holiday house' [see previous post] for anything beyond the daily necessities. And in part because I don't really like artificial Christmas trees.

But then I had an epiphany. On a recent visit to our local nursery, I had noted that they had generous-sized totara at a very reasonable $11.25 each. So down I went this morning to the nursery, and picked up my totara. I repotted it in plenty of compost, two slow-release fertiliser tablets and a generous dose of water, then placed in its tub on the deck, ready for my daughter's arrival back from kindy in the afternoon.

On her return, she set to work decorating the totara, delicately navigating its spiky branches (which it makes, she explained to me, to stop animals like our lamby eating it).

And ta daa! We now have a beautiful outdoor Christmas tree, which, in the new year will be planted among the other totara on our land [see: Undoing environmental history (with a spade)]. I suspect many more will join it in years to come.

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