Unfortunately we are still living in an age of mass consumerism, where landfill and single use plastic are top of our conscientious minds. Over the festive period it is estimated that we in the UK generate 30% more waste than usual. Tons of wrapping paper and glittery Christmas cards will end up in landfill, around one in ten Christmas gifts are unwanted and will end up discarded. And even those thoughtful gifts that are treasured – how many are packaged in unnecessary amounts of plastic packaging?
Not good eh?
So, the theme of this years Church Park Flowers Pop Up Christmas Shop is natural, green and recyclable.
All Christmas wreaths are being made with British sourced sustainable moss and foliage – most of it local. The wreaths will be completely compostable with no plastic used.
Table, centrepiece and tree decorations are all natural and recyclable and new for this year will be recyclable Christmas wrapping paper.
Apparently last year we used enough Christmas wrapping paper to get us to the moon! (220,000 miles worth) with over 85% of it unrecyclable by local councils. The Church Park Flowers Pop Up Christmas Shop will be stocking a variety of recyclable gift wrapping and presentation ideas to make your gifts this year stand out in style whilst being kind to the environment.
To follow through on this green and recyclable theme I’ve decided to republish last years Christmas Pop Up Shop blog post. I thought it was a good one – so why waste it!!?
Sir Elton John knows how to write a good song. There was a poll aired recently on TV rating his best songs. I must admit I didn’t watch it or know which one won but if you ask me I would go for “Don’t let the sun go down on me”. The live duet with George Michael on Live Aid in 1985 brings me out in goosebumps every time.
But I digress. I chose these lyrics as my opening quote as they sum up two subjects that are monopolising my life at the moment.
It’s a leap of faith, it’s a band of hope
So once again I’m taking the plunge into high street retailing. The Church Park Flowers pop up shop is back. Now in its third year, an empty unit in Butcher Row, Barnstaple becomes my home for four weeks. I never know what is going to be available, I only get 2 weeks notice of an agreement between myself and the council to have a temporary licence to sell natural Christmas goods to the masses of North Devon. I guess being my third year means it’s not such a leap of faith as it has been. But that little voice of doubt always sits on my shoulder whispering; will people find me, will people buy my wreaths and decorations for their homes, is it the right decision. (Actually now fourth year!!)
Put my positive hat on and it’s a different story. Butchers Row is a great place to be. Full of independent businesses. Some new this year, others been there for yonks. It’s a very friendly place to be. I love being somewhere I can meet the public. Working mostly from home in a workshop in the garden can be pretty lonely at at times - so an opportunity where people can pop in just for a chat - and hopefully spend some money - is very welcome in the winter months.
And of course it’s Christmas. I love Christmas. My little pop up shop is a tiny slice of a natural rustic Christmas. Twinkling lights and (unlit) candles. Pretty sparkly ribbons galore. And the scent - well where do I start: pine, eucalyptus, cimamon, orange slices. It’s potpourri on a massive scale!
Circle of Life
The best seller of this pop up enterprise? The natural Christmas wreath. It's circular shape represents eternity, for it has no beginning and no end. From a christian religious perspective, it represents an unending circle of life. The evergreen, most frequently used in making wreathes, symbolizes growth and everlasting life. Holly, ivy, spruce are all good winter growing evergreens. Add some eucalyptus and rosemary for scent and you have a pure “green” wreath. Fresh for the festive season, all British grown, but of course fully biodegradable afterwards. See, the circle of life manifests itself again!
A selection of wreaths in different sizes and styles will be available to buy at the Butcher Row shop. Or order something bespoke.
Want to make your own? Then the shop is the place to come to buy all your materials: copper rings, moss, foliage, reel wire, cones, dried citrus fruits, ribbons and plenty more beside. All the sundries and natural supplies you need to make your home truly Christmassy
So it may be a small temporary space but again in the words of Sir Elton John:
“There's more to be seen than can ever be seen. More to do than can ever be done”