The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

You still have time to make an Easter Tree!

Nemone's Easter tree

Nemone's Easter tree

Some years we skip having a Christmas tree but we always have a living Easter tree, since we were introduced to them a few years ago. An Easter tree is such a vibrant symbol of new life and hope for the forthcoming year.

An Easter tree can be made from anything. Wire coat hangers, twiddly twisted willow branches even a pieces of string slung across a wall. The main point is to create something where you can hang things that are special to you. In fact, until I discovered that you could have a living Easter tree – I’d spotted carved wooden ones in clients’ houses – the excuse was always,
“It’s for the children.”
I somehow sensed that this was not asolutely 100% true.

What to decorate it with? If it’s Easter it could be model eggs, chicken, chicks, Easter bunnies, photos or whatever the Easter celebration means to you. As far as Danny is concerned it’s Lindt’s Lindor chocs for every celebration. They actually make egg shaped ones at this time of year. Expensive, delicious and devoured in a gulp.

I couldn’t hang Lindor eggs in our tree. They’d either be guzzled in a second or cause such stress that a doctor would need to be on call 24/7.

A couple of weeks ago Nemone sent my some photos of her Easter tree, decorated by her children with eggs and some of our lavender birds. You can see the result above. I was touched and delighted that they used my birds. Aparently her children love making handmade decorations for their trees. She also has a metal one to be adorned.

So often, lateral thinking passes me by. I’d always thought of the lavender birds skulking in dark wardrobes protecting clothes from moths.

Nemone’s tree is decorated for every big occasion. Valentine’s, Christmas, Easter and so on. I bet that on Mothering Sunday it had a few new tributes. I really like this idea. A permanent tree celebrating every major event.

We make always make a living Easter tree at the cottage and pick our branches in leaf bud. These can be anything from beech to forsythia. Decorate them with whatever we have got to hand and sit back to enjoy the green growth. Natural, surprising and always heartening. You can use branches in full leaf but you’ll miss the gradual unfurling of leaves.

Ideally you need to start your living Easter tree about three weeks before the big event. We’re a bit late this year.

The traditional twigs to use are birch. If you start your tree late, it will still flourish but the grand crescendo will be a little later. Still a delight. And that’s what an Easter tree is all about. Watching spring emerge, slow yet strong.

The added value of making a living tree is that you will eventually have strong rooted cuttings if you want to replenish your hedging stocks.

Tomorrow I’m going to find branches for our Easter tree. If it looks as if it is holding back I’ll put it beside the warm woodstove to encourage its growth. I’m determined to have fresh spring growth in the cottage for Easter this year.

  Leave a reply


  1. too cute…and I suspect you’re right about the 100%!

  2. I did this last year – it is a grand idea!

  3. KateUK

    Easter tree coming along nicely- leaves unfurling.The permanent bough above the dining table is in full easter array, the bunnies are on the mantelpiece , the chicken is in her nest and the lindor eggs are handy in a bowl by the armchair….and the sun is OUT.

  4. brightspark

    You’re so right, Fiona, watching spring emerge is my oh so favourite time of year. We have a mulberry tree in front of the front door, and the leaves are just beginning to adorn the naked branches. This afternoon, while sitting outside with a cup of tea, a greenfinch came and sat in the branches, and stayed throughout our break. A magical time of year.

  5. Amalee Issa

    Fi & Danny,

    Another excellent post. And the Easter equivalent of the Jesse Tree is so topical.


  6. Kay Sexton

    Lovely idea. I might have to steal it …!

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