Edinburgh florist saves planet with re-usable Christmas trees

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By Oliver Farrimond

We all know that a dog is for life, not just for Christmas.

And the same now rings true for Christmas trees, after an enterprising Edinburgh florist made living trees available – for rent.

The move should prove a hit with eco-friendly shoppers during the hectic holiday season, as the trees can re-planted after use.

This means that customers at Va Va Bloom florist, in Blackhall, can use the same tree year after year by re-planting in their own gardens.

They also have the option of giving their tree back to the florist, safe in the knowledge it will be carefully tended to at the garden centre in time for next Christmas.

Louise Scott, executive florist at Va Va Bloom, said: “We had no idea they would be so popular, it’s great that people are starting to think about finding more environmentally-friendly options, even at Christmas time.

“I didn’t want to just buy hundreds of cut-down firs.

“It seemed wrong at a time when we are all being environmentally friendly and I don’t agree with it.

“I don’t think the public realises how long it actually takes for their Christmas tree to grow – it can take almost a decade to get them to five or six foot.

“It’s a much nicer idea that they can go on living in your garden, waiting for next year.”

Miss Scott, 22, added: “We deliver the tree to you and then all you have to do is go into your loft and get out your tinsel and fairy lights.

“In the new year, we pick up the trees and plant them in the garden here at the florist.”

‘Perfect’

More than half of the trees in stock have been sold in less than a week – perhaps because the florist is the only one in Edinburgh to offer a rental option to regular shoppers.

One of the shops first customers said that the trees were “perfect” for Christmas.

Mary Harper, from Stockbridge, said: “I’ve been thinking more about the environment recently and a tree in a pot which goes on living seemed perfect for Christmas.

“I don’t actually have a garden but I have a little boy and it was nice for him to decorate a real tree.”

The 32-year-old businesswoman added: “We are hoping that the council will let us plant it in a park when Christmas is over for everyone else to enjoy.”

Va Va Bloom’s reusable Christmas trees cost between £15 and £30 and, although there is a £5 delivery fee, renting the trees costs less.

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