Christmas trees have popped up in local parks as Hammersmith garden design and construction firm Shoots and Leaves puts down roots again.
Every year, the Trussley Road firm takes over Hammersmith’s Little Brook Green (near Tesco) and Fulham’s Bishop’s Park (near the cafe) to sell its popular Nordmann Fir Christmas trees. Both sites are rented from Hammersmith & Fulham Council, and the revenue is used to run and maintain the parks.
But best of all, the company has again teamed up with scores of local schools to offer a £5 donation to schools for every tree sold. This year, local schools benefitting from the tree-mendous scheme include Addison, St Stephens, Sir John Betts and Brackenbury.
“We are the only real local supplier operating in the borough year round,” says Shoots and Leaves founder Hew Stevenson. “So it’s only right that we try and return something to the area.”
The 44-year-old father of two actually plotted his Hammersmith Christmas tree business 17 years ago before starting out in landscaping. “I ran into a guy while I was young and off backpacking, and he told me his wholesale Christmas tree business allowed him to work six months a year and travel six months a year,” Hew admits. “That sounded great, so it became my goal to do the same.”
While the six month-long breaks are still alluding him, Hew’s landscaping business keeps him busy with Shoots and Leaves gaining nominations for a stack of H&F Council Brilliant Business Awards over the past few years, as well as a Royal Horticultural Society medal at the prestigious Hampton Court Flower Show in 2012 for its ‘Butterfly Jungles Transition’ display calling attention to the decline of the world’s butterfly population.
When it comes to December, Hew starts to make a big noise about the quality of his trees. And he should know as he personally travels to the farms every year to inspect the quality of the trees, pick them and negotiate a price. “The Nordmanns make the best Christmas trees as they are long-lasting and keep their needles,” Hew says.
Once you pick your tree you can choose to take it away or have it delivered for £5, often on the same day, with morning and afternoon slots available. Since Shoots and Leaves has a third local Christmas tree site in Acton Park this year, it means that Hew’s team can have your tree delivered and installed in no time. “We know the borough and most of our trees are sold locally,” Hew adds, “which means that no one can beat us on price, delivery times and customer service.”