I always celebrate this season with a tree, of sorts. I can’t imagine not taking advantage of the occasion for a little creative display, and the opportunity to haul things from outdoors inside for a couple of weeks.

I do take liberty with the definition of “tree,” where’s the fun in the expected? In 2009 fresh from a trip to San Francisco, where we fell hard for giant tree ferns, our tree was a potted Dicksonia antarctica. By the time it went outside there were only a few happy fronds left (the indoor humidity was lacking), but it recovered quickly and lives on to this day.
2009

If you’re wondering about that little guy with the big eyes (in front of the tree fern) that’s Tanuki, My husband brought him back from Japan. “The legendary tanuki is reputed to be mischievous and jolly, a master of disguise and shapeshifting, but somewhat gullible and absentminded. It is also a common theme in Japanese art, especially statuary.” (source)

In 2010 I was feeling a little minimalist. Our tree consisted simply of branches (heavy with lichens) stuck in vase.
2010

By 2011 I’d fallen hard for Blue Atlas Cedar and jumped at the chance to buy some cut branches. They were hung with long, dangling, ornaments and went in a vase. I also pulled out the vintage aluminum tree and decorated it as well. I’d bounced back from the minimalist leaning in 2010.
2011

2012 was a big experiment. I wanted the sparkle of the aluminum tree but the smell of eucalyptus. Odd, but it worked.
2012

The Blue Atlas Cedar crush had finally been fulfilled in 2013 and my oddly shaped little tree came inside for the holiday. Cones scavenged from a neighbors tree inspired the mantle garland.
2013

Now it’s 2014 and this year’s tree consists of foraged branches attached to a tomato cage. Cut leucadendron stems are natural ornaments.
2014

What does the future hold? Well I can guarantee that someday I’m going to have an agave “tree”…
agave at Manito