Lulu’s Review of 2016

Now that Santa’s been and we are almost in 2017, it’s time to have a quick look back at what’s been happening in 2016. What was your favourite thing in 2016? Here are a few of my top picks, from best books and products to best places I visited…

Review of 2016

Having fun outdoors was the most important part of 2016!

Garden of the Year

The winner of this accolade simply has to be Jupiter Artland this year. We had a wonderful day there this summer with the very talented photographer Julie Howden who took some lovely photos of me and Tilda. It’s such a fun place to hang out. Our favourite is the land-forms by Charles Jencks which we ran around for hours! It’s packed full of amazing sculptures and bits to explore.

Jupiter Artland

Hide and seek is the best fun at Jupiter Artland

Event of the Year

The winner of this award is the Fairy Trail at the Woodland Experience in Balfron. It was such good fun we went there twice and I am already planning on going back again when they re-open next Spring. There are LOTS of fairy doors to find, a wishing chair, worry tree and LOTS more.

Fairy Trail Fun

Fairy Trail Fun

Product of the Year

This was a hard choice and we have reviewed lots of amazing things this year. My pick is not cheap but it’s worth the money as it’s such great quality, very practical and we will use it for years. It’s the Twigz wheelbarrow! It’s so sturdy that it makes wheeling Tilda about super easy!

The Twigz wheelbarrow

The Twigz wheelbarrow is great quality

Craft Project of the Year

We LOVE a craft project at Vialii Towers so we had plenty to consider for this award. My choice is this super cute glittery acorn.

Glittery acorns - gorgeous!

Glittery acorns – gorgeous!

Top Tip of the Year

We are always looking for cheap and easy ways to have fun outdoors. We had lots of fun playing noughts and crosses with some twigs and pebbles on an old tree stump.Free fun is the best!

Free fun! 

Free fun!

Book of the Year

Our final award, for the best book, goes to the The Children’s Garden. A brilliant book packed with loads of great ideas to do outdoors throughout the seasons.

My book of the year

My book of the year

So that’s my review of 2016. I hope you had as much fun as me. Here’s to getting outdoors and having a ball in 2017!

Happy New Year from me, Tilda and all at Vialii.

Lulu xx

Real or Fake Christmas Trees?

We’re getting ready to rock around the Christmas tree but if you haven’t already bought yours, are you wondering whether to go for a real or fake Christmas tree? Do you know just how environmentally friendly a real tree actually is and how it compares to a fake one? We have all the facts plus how to get rid of your real tree in an environmentally friendly way. Read on…

Sisters with real tree

The Facts

An artificial tree is normally made from plastic which comes from oil which makes up for two thirds of its carbon footprint. A further quarter of its environmental impact comes from the industrial emissions when it is being manufactured.

A 2m artificial tree has a carbon footprint equivalent of 40kg of greenhouse gas emissions. This is TWICE the level of a real tree which is disposed of in landfill. However if you choose a more environmentally friendly way of disposing of your tree such as burning it then a fake tree has TEN times more emissions. In other words, if you have an artificial tree you would need to re-use if for at least ten years before it became as good an option as a real tree.

Real christmas tree facts

The way in which you dispose of your real tree is the most important factor. If you burn your tree on your bonfire, plant it or get it chipped it reduces its greenhouse emissions by up to 80%!

Benefits of an artificial tree:

Benefits of a real tree:

Christmas baubles

For us at Vialii Towers, real always wins. And we have a wonderful option for disposal thanks to our friends at KB Trees & Hedges. Kirk will collect your tree if you live in Stirling, Bridge of Allan or Dunblane for £10 and take it away and have it chipped. The chippings will then be used to make paths at local allotments. What could be better? If you are interested in this service then click here.

If you need tips on what variety of real Christmas tree suits you best then read my blog all about it.

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and many happy times around your Christmas tree, whatever kind you have.


Lulu & Tilda xx