When shoppers get close to Vincent Park mall’s Christmas tree, their eyes widen in amazement because it is made of almost 1000 succulents.
The 3.5m tree was created by wedding florist Sarah May Law who stripped the mall’s Christmas tree frame of its fairy lights before “planting” it with water-wise succulents and studding it with indigenous filler plants like plectranthus, aloe and spekboom.
Law, 34, said she was commissioned by centre management to replicate a tree according to a Pinterest image.
“The brief was to use 800 succulents, but I used close to 1000,” said Law, whose husband Jason, an indigenous landscaper, helped construct the living tree.
While the Laws provided 200 of the water-wise plants in lime green, pink and purple hues from their own home nursery in Chintsa East, the rest were sourced from nurseries all over the city. “I really tried to support everyone and also bought some from the Own Haven NPO. It’s great that the centre supports local rather than using plastic decorations from China.”
The Laws took last year’s tree home, removed the twinkly lights and wrapped the metal frame with chicken mesh cocos fibre and straw. “We planted a test patch and after a week it was still looking good so we brought the tree back to the centre and put the plants in.” The exquisite tree, with its crowning aloe, was turning heads.
“The end result is beyond anything I could have expected and people say it is the most beautiful tree they’ve ever seen,” said Law, who will ensure the tree is hydrated over the festive season.
“We use a ladder and a knapsack watering system and water it from the top. The water flows down and hydrates everything and I will replace the filler flowers regularly until mid-January.”
When the time comes to dismantle it, Law will donate most of the succulents to Own Haven NPO, which will rehabilitate and re-sell them.