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A Sustainable Surrey Christmas - Featured in Surrey Life Magazine

22 December 2019

At Mad Lilies, we love that everyone is getting behind a more sustainable way of living, and a more environmentally friendly way of using florals in their homes and celebrations. We are also passionate about championing local, independent businesses. That’s why, when Surrey Life magazine challenged us, and a selection of other Surrey creatives and producers, to create inspiration for a very sustainable Surrey Christmas – we jumped at the chance, with bells on!



It was a joy to work with such a talented group of independent Surrey businesses. As well as providing ideas and tips for Surrey Life magazine readers to have their own sustainable Christmas (more on that below), we also came together to create a styled Christmas shoot at Botley Hill. It was a wonderful showcase of what a sustainable Surrey Christmas can look like.


Sustainable Christmas Florals



“For me, flowers make Christmas. And I adore the way the shop looks, smells and comes alive with a gorgeous, magical feel during the festive season.” – a quote from our very own Ali. She pretty much summed up how every member of the Mad Lilies team feels. We all love floral Christmas decorations, and our Banstead store this time of year!



Despite flowers and foliage being the most natural and beautiful form of decoration – their styling hasn’t always gone together with environmentally friendly ways. At Mad Lilies, we are trying to change some of those traditions. We are reducing the amount of floral foam used in our table arrangements. Instead, we are using the more sustainable solution of chicken wire. Rolled up and pushed into a floral/plant container, it acts as a great framework to support your chosen stems.



When creating your own floral Christmas decorations, try to find locally sourced and seasonal foliage, berries, pinecones and flowers. We are very fortunate to have some wonderful woods and hedgerows in Surrey, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a supplier of quality florals near you. You could even forage your own.


Sustainable Table Decorations


Seasonal foliage and flowers, mixed with lush berries and the magnificent wintery scent of eucalyptus, creates a Christmas table display full of life. Using natural accents as decorations, like pinecones and fruit, gives the table further interest and texture. It creates a luxuriously abundant yet unstructured feel. This ‘naturally styled’ approach is one of our favourite ways to work. We love using it for Christmas or dinner party table styling, as well as wedding receptions.



Another way to create sustainable Christmas table styling is potted plants. Cyclamen, Hellebores and White Heathers are all in season this time of year. Cared for correctly they will last the whole season through, and you can plant them out in the garden once the celebrations are over. They are a lovely, sustainable gift idea too.



We have a fabulous selection of plants to choose from in our Banstead, Surrey store. Why not come by and select your own sustainable Christmas table decorations and gifts? Just make sure you pre-order anything specific, to avoid disappointment.


To add the finishing touch to your table styling, we also have a magical collection of Ester & Erik tapered candles in store and online. Their elegant height and stylish colours will add wow-factor and ambience to your Christmas feasts.


Other Ideas For A Sustainable Surrey Christmas


Here are just a few of the other sustainable ideas from our fellow independent Surrey businesses…



Emily Jones, from Two Many Cooks, suggested supporting local food and drink producers. We have some amazing farm shops in Surrey, and your local butcher will likely be a good choice for the Christmas Turkey. Emily also gave the idea of creating canapes with leftover food.


Max Battie, from Mix Masters Events, brought his idea of making homemade sloe gin, using locally sourced sloe berries. He also shared his recipe for a Surrey Gin Fizz, which we can’t wait to make ourselves! 



Lisa Tolley, from Lisa Tolley Art  (the fabulous artist behind our Banstead Village Life Tea Towel ), gave her ideas on getting creative and crafty for a more sustainable Christmas. She suggested using fabric remnants, or pages from old books, to wrap gifts.


It was really inspiring and fun to collaborate on this shoot. We love the incredible photos, by Hayley Bray, and the entire concept had so much heart. You can find the full article, and more tips on creating a sustainable Surrey Christmas, in this month’s edition of Surrey Life magazine.



Credits:  With thanks to...

Photography: Hayley Bray Photography

Styling: Clare Watson at Turmeric House

Props: Louisa Grace Interiors

Food: Two Many Cooks

Illustrations: Lisa Tolley at Lisa Tolley Art

Cocktails: Max Battie at Mix Masters Events

Venue:  The Barn at Botley Hill