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“We three trees…”

How many trees make a Christmas festival, I wonder?


Normally, we would have one (fake) tree indoors in the sitting room/lounge where presents are set out the night before Christmas.

We might decorate another tree outside with lights, attracting the attention of passers-by and reminding everyone, days or perhaps weeks in advance of 25th December, that the festive season is approaching.

But three trees… Isn’t that a bit excessive?

Most years we have one, made of plastic – Cupressus yuckissimus. It’s quite hideous and best left in its box, as it has been this year. Then there’s a very small one, Cupressus heliopolitanus, dark green with a few flashes of gold and pretty decorations that I found in a stationery shop in Heliopolis a few years ago. It adds a touch of quiet glamour to our seasonal preparations, if glamour can ever be “quiet“. It never grows any larger, never loses a needle, never needs watering, etc. etc. The perfect companion to Christmas, in fact.


This year the garden joined in the festive mood and donated not one, but two trees to our Christmas preps…

What generosity, what seasonal bounty!

One is the kumquat (genus: Fortunella), filled just now with delectable little orange fruit that shine like miniature lanterns among deep green foliage:

The other is entirely serendipitous and fell at my feet, so-to-speak, in time to join in the festivities.

As he was trimming the hedge last week the garden assistant also had to lop off the top of a conifer (identity uncertain, but possibly Cupressus sempervirens). This left us with a much shorter tree (obviously!) and a promising cutting that looked just like a mini-Christmas tree of the sort we might buy here in Egypt.

Unwilling to miss the opportunity, I potted it up in a rough container, rifled through the drawers in the store room to locate tinsel and baubles, and turned a clipping into a Christmas tree in the space of half an hour.

Of course it’s on the small side, and doesn’t exactly tower over us – this is no 6 foot tree with masses of lights and miles of tinsel – but then we have that in the garden, in a manner of speaking.

In any case, now the children have grown up and flown the nest, we don’t really need a large tree; neither do we really need three of them. But we are nonetheless grateful for nature’s gifts.


<a href="">Bounty</a>

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