Trevallan Lifestyle Centre

November 8, 2017

Real Living Christmas Trees

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!

Thy leaves are so unchanging;

Not only green when summer’s here,

But also when ’tis cold and drear.


Christmas Trees are the best and worst tradition. I don’t know about you but for years I spent hours agonizing over where every single bauble should go, what colour scheme to do, tinsel or no tinsel. Then after I’d finished I’d stand back, take stock and cry because after so many painful hours it still didn’t look like a department store tree. Now days I just let the kids go wild with it. If it doesn’t look perfect I can just think ‘oh well, the kids had a ball doing it’.

While watching the kids decorate the tree I began to wonder why we even have Christmas trees and why they are always depicted as Evergreens or Conifers. The answer is in the song.

Evergreens or as we know them conifers are green all the time – thy leaves are so unchanging. Christmas in the northern hemisphere occurs during the bleakest days of the year so evergreens present a vibrant contrast to the natural world outside – Not only green when summer’s here, But also when ’tis cold and drear.

Because of this, people throughout history have regarded them as special symbols of eternal life or rebirth.

I found many theories of why we decorate our trees at Christmas time. My favourite was that the tree was decorated with apples (to represent the forbidden fruit) and wafers (to represent the Eucharist and redemption).

So I may not be able to decorate the tree perfectly but how do I choose the perfect Christmas tree?

Christmas trees are different for everyone.

Conifers are everyone’s first choice when it comes live Christmas trees and there are so many different types and sizes to choose from there is sure to be one to suit everyone. If you want a different type of live Christmas tree here’s a few hints.

Magnolia Little Gem Christmas at Trevallan

Magnolia Little Gem

My ultimate live Christmas tree would be Magnolia ‘Little Gem’. This beautiful magnolia is evergreen; looks brilliant in a pot, can be bought inside for a short period of time but will thrive on a patio or in the ground in sun or shade. Has lush dark green foliage with a bronzed underside of the leaf. Its branches are strong enough to hold a bauble and its flowers are a beautiful cream colour and enormous.

There are so many great native Christmas trees.

Syzyigums would be my first go to as a great native Christmas tree. Trevallan’s large Syzyigums (around 8m high) are in full bloom at the moment and it looks like they are covered in little fairy lights and the ground under them is covered in snow (the fallen flowers).

Syzyigum ‘Cascade’ would be a nice smaller growing Christmas tree. This beautiful native grows to about 4 meters high and has a lovely weeping habit. Its dark lush green foliage is offset by its brilliant pink new growth and pink pom pom flowers, which the honey eaters love, followed by pink edible berries, for the berry eating birds. It can easily be grown in a pot or the ground. 

If a smaller tree is required Acmena smithii ‘Allyns Magic’ is a fantastic native. Perfect for pots and loves full sun or part shade. It is always a dark lush green with bright red new growth. You can even trim it to a conical shape to better represent a Christmas tree!

If you are after something a little different than I have two native trees that are going to make even the die hard plastic tree lovers wanting to change over!

Casuarina glauca ‘Green Wave’ by Mallee Design

First up is the Casuarina glauca ‘Greenwave’. This hardy evergreen shrub forms a natural ball shape with long thin branches that would make you think it’s a conifer. It holds it shape without the need to trim and looks amazing in pots or the garden. It only grows to about 2m high and loves the full sun.


Adenanthos ‘Silver Silk’

Adenanthos have taken the southern market by storm and we are finally catching up. These beautiful soft silvery foliage plants love the full sun and dry conditions. They do get a small redish flower on them in spring. Silver Silk only gets to about 1.2m high so its perfect for a large pot.




With all real Christmas trees water well. The most common cause of death is under watering because we don’t want to wet our floors or the presents! Maybe buy an extra-large saucer or a planter to sit your tree in (a pot that doesn’t have a hole and is meant to retain water). Don’t keep your tree inside for months and when you finally do take it back outside move it into the sun slowly. Put it in a shady spot for a week or two, then to a part shady spot then out to full sun. Once it’s back outside give it a good fertilise with organic link slow release organic fertiliser and a liquid fertilise fortnightly with Plant care until it is acclimatised to the outside conditions. Don’t forget a good long soak would be appreciated by your tree, just to say thank you!

This year why not buy a REAL Christmas tree. Just remember chose a plant that will bring you and your family years of joy and let the kids do the decorating while you sit back and enjoy a candy cane …. In your Christmas cocktail!

February 27, 2017

Making Offices Green

Beautify the Inside     

Over the years there has been so much research into not only how being outdoors improves your life but how being surrounded by green living plants inside improves your life, health, brain functioning and even your bank balance.  (check out Plant Life Balance website for more details)

Plants aren’t a luxury they are a necessity outside and in.

Sometimes though it’s a little hard to keep indoor plants thriving especially in our offices.

We are usually faced with problems such as – no natural light, air conditioning and inability to keep regular water to plants as too much water leads to water overflowing all over desks.

At Trevallan we are trying to come up with ways to make indoor plants easy but still really pretty!

Planters, terrariums, kokedamas, plants in bowls … anything that works!

There are plants better suited to indoors and sometimes it’s about giving up on our perfect plant to have an amazing plant that looks good all the time. So what if it’s common or not in the magazines … if it grows, looks fantastic and you love it, go with it!

Sometimes a really boring plant can be made to look amazing in the right container!

Some of The Ways Trevallan is bringing a a plant life balance to your workplace!


I have found that using planters (pots without holes) has been my saving grace.

I used to under water and ultimately kill my indoor plants as I was worried about water going all over my furniture.

Planters have no hole in the bottom. I just place my plant in the planter (I do not pot). I then can give my plant a really good drink without the hassle of worrying about water going everywhere as its contained in the planter.

If by chance I decide I don’t like that plant or want to swap my plants around I just remove the plant from the planter and swap them around. This way I am always keeping my décor the same (by keeping the same planter) but I can switch my plants.

It can take a while to get used to watering with a planter but once you get used to it you will wonder how you ever survived without them.



I love the meaning of Terrarium – a sealed transparent globe or similar container in which plants are grown! You cant get any more exact than that.

What a lovely idea to have a mini landscape sitting on our desks that only requires a small drink once every few months, in a closed terrarium or every few weeks, in an open terrarium.

I love staring at terrariums and seeing the mosses grow and the plants changing. The maintenance is minimal but therapeutic as its a delicate process.

Our Terrarium Workshops start in March


Plants in Bowls

This is like an open lid style of Terrarium. The plants are planted in glass jars or decorative bowls. Instead of the plant being inside the container as they would in a terrarium they actually come up out of the container.  There is no need to worry about water running everywhere as the containers are sealed. Water them as you would a terrarium (at least once a week).



Kokedama is a style of Japanese bonsai. It is made by binding the plants root ball with a unique soil mixture, moss and string.

Kokedamas are usually seen hanging from ceilings or specially made stands. I find for the office I like to put them in a bowl. This way I can just fill the bowl with some water and the plant can slowly soak up the moisture as it needs it. I have tried numerous indoor plants with Kokedamas and they all work really well. These plants can be a real talking point in your office.

Our Kokedama Workshops start in March


Plants in Crystals

The beauty and power of crystals has been long recognised with healers, shamans and priests using crystals for their unique and special properties. It is widely believed crystals vibrate at the same pitch as humans – such that the resonance between the stone and the human either combats the vibration of the illness or amplifies that of health!

There are thousands of different crystals on the planet.

Many crystals would be useful in the office especially ones that amplify harmony or resolve conflict or even attract sales!

Some people may think you are a little kooky if you start having crystal grids on your desk! So Trevallan has come up with an idea to have these crystals in your workspace without others even realising.

Crystal Planters.

We have planted plants into some crystals that we think would be beneficial to have in your office.

All you need to do is keep the moss wet and you should start to notice the difference straight away!

You could also place some of your crystals on top of your plants soil. This keeps them earthed and cleansed… it also looks really pretty!

For some ideas on what crystals are best for your office click here.


Want to improve your plant life balance or maybe someone else’s? The Trevallan Girls can help.

We can help you decide on the right plant and now we are offering local deliveries on a Friday so we can get it straight to your office.  




February 27, 2017

Crystals for the Office

The beauty and power of crystals has been long recognised with healers, shamans and priests using crystals for their unique and special properties. It is widely believed crystals vibrate at the same pitch as humans – such that the resonance between the stone and the human either combats the vibration of the illness or amplifies that of health!

There are thousands of different crystals on the planet.

Many crystals would be useful in the office especially ones that amplify harmony or resolve conflict or even attract sales!

These are just a few that I have found would be useful.





Amethyst can help protect your energy and office space from negativity.

It can help you find and access your truth, connect with your Higher Self, and then can help dissipate the fear that can go with sharing your wisdom.



Golden yellow Citrine is an abundance stone.

Its colour invokes happiness, joy and optimism.

A stone of success Citrine inspires wisdom, cleanses energy and reverses damaging behaviour.

Yellow links with the solar plexus chakra the centre for self-esteem, fearlessness and empowerment and self-confidence.

It is believed that it can draw good things to you – Powerfully energizes and attracts supportive friends and mentors


Rose Quartz

Rose Quartz arouses and opens the heart to all forms of love and compassion for self and others.

Powerfully energizes and attracts supportive friends and mentors.

Pink infuses your soul with unconditional love, opening your heart to receive the call to follow your dreams and fulfill your purpose.




Sodalite is a clearing stone.

Place next to a computer to help cleanse electromagnetic energy.

It helps keep communication clear and concise. It will help bring an end to disagreements and supports honest expression.

Inspires understanding of problems by promoting inner knowing and self-examination

The colour blue helps access and share truth through the feelings, increasing confidence, self-esteem and trust.


Clear Quartz Crystal

Clear Quartz Crystal is a stone of power.

It’s a MASTER HEALER that amplifies other stones and intentions.

Quartz amplifies the psychic expressions of hearing, seeing and inspirational speaking.

It can helps cleanse the auric field and bring peace and harmony.



Fluorite is a stone of mental order and clarity.

It is used to enhance mental clarity and reduce instability and disorder.

This brings a wiser, more balanced view of life and improves decision making.

These traits enable one to manifest ideas and bring plans to fruition.

Fluorite can remove confusion and mental “fog” to create order and harmony in life.


April 4, 2016


Trevallan's kokedamaKokedama is a style of Japanese bonsai made by taking a plant out of its pot and into a ball held together with a unique soil mixture, moss and string.

Trevallan’s Kokedamas can be hung outside in shade or part shade and some are perfectly suited to indoors.

Trevallan stocks native violets kokedamas, ficus pimula Kokedamas, Parlour Palm Kokedamas, Brazilian Walking Iris Kokedamas, Ficus Fiddle Leaf Kokedamas and Anthurium Kokedamas.

How to look after meTrevallan's kokedama Timber Stand

When the sphagnum moss feels dry to touch and the ball is light I soak them in a bucket of water for about ten minutes. If it’s really hot you may need to do this more than once a week. If it’s cold you may only have to do it once a fortnight.

Alternatively you can just water them with a hose or watering can like you do your other plants.

Trevallan's kokedamaWhere to put me

Some of Trevallan’s Kokedamas come with their own hanger. These can be hung outside in shade or part shade, maybe under a tree or on your patio. They look fantastic as a group.

Some Kokedamas are perfectly suited to indoors and can be hung from the ceiling or Trevallan’s handmade Timber Kokedama Stand.

If hanging your Kokedamas is a problem you can sit your Kokedama on a plate or in a bowl. The sphagnum moss will be wet most of the time so it is best to protect your furniture.

Trevallan's kokedama

Don’t be afraid to try something new.

Change is ok, not every plant needs to be potted!

April 26, 2015

An unconditional love

Spoilt for Choice at Trevallan for chrysanthemumsWhen I was quite young I watched a mum give the last two Tim Tams to her kids. At the time I thought the woman had gone completely mad – who gives perfectly good Tim Tams away?

Years later I came across this quote “A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.” As a mother myself I now understand the crazy lady giving away her Tim Tams (though giving away Tim Tams is still a little crazy)!

As mums or dads ourselves we sometimes forget that we are children too and our Perfect for full sun and potsmums will always be our mums!

Because we are always children in our mother’s eyes, they have the ability to drive us, as adults, quite insane at times.

Their insanity, so it seems, is not due to old age, it’s just their ability to never stop caring or loving us.

Love this beautiful winter flowering plantThis Mother’s Day look past your mum’s insane streak and don’t forget all the wonderful Tim Tams and pieces of pie she gave you and is probably still giving you!

Don’t just give her a pot of flowers, give her something that she really wants – time with you.

As a mother of young children my ideal Mother’s Day would probably be sleeping in a bed without sand, crumbs and/or tiny feet kicking me through the night, to enjoy my morning coffee without the need to be a climbing frame, not having the Terraria computer game theme song stuck in my head or answering a 1000 questions before 5am, oh and of course have a massage and go to the hair salon alone!

My mum on the other hand would probably appreciate a day of my kids shenanigans, sorry a day of quality time with my children and me. So this Mother’s Day the only answer is – the kids are spending the day at mum’s house, I’ll be supervising! Win, win!Lavender shades

Seriously though in today’s world it seems we are spoilt for choice in the present department. Years ago a pot of chrysanthemums was the only choice you had for Mother’s Day. This Mother’s Day Trevallan Lifestyle Centre is overflowing with living flowering gifts. Cyclamens, azaleas, pansies, orchids, kalanchoes, even flowering cactus and of course chrysanthemums, all are in bloom, look fantastic and are easy to care for – even brown thumb mums should enjoy!

With every present you give though, don’t forget to give a little of your time as well. Even though we are adults we are still our mum’s children. She just wants the best for us – so ignore the so called mothering insanity and give her a hug and kiss and let you know you love her. Because while a mother’s love is unconditional we as children need to reassure them that our love is unconditional too!

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