12 December 2017

A cultural organisation based in Peebles, Scottish Borders

Tweeddale Society logoPanoramic view of Peebles

Plants associated with Christmas

 & the stories behind them


Colin Crosbie



Colin CrosbiePlants 1

Christmas plants represent a large part of the celebration of Christmas. They carry a deep symbolism because the Christian celebration was superimposed on ancient pagan rituals linked to the celebration of the Winter Solstice, 21-22 December in the northern hemisphere. Dating back centuries before Christ, different cultures brought evergreen trees, plants and leaves into their homes, possibly to celebrate the return of life at the beginning of winter’s decline.

Many plants used during ancient rituals have naturally found their place in modern celebrations.

Colin will give us a fascinating account of the pagan origins of some of our Christmas plants, why we use them and how to look after them.

Plants 2Plants 3

Colin Crosbie, a former Curator of RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey, is now a horticultural consultant, ‘passionate plantsman and tree-hugger’, tour guide and author. Originally from Kirkcudbright, he trained at the West of Scotland Agricultural College and was head gardener at Royal Lodge, the former private residence of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. He now lives at Dalswinton near Dumfries.