Hoppin’ around the Christmas tree

Floral designer brings Langley’s well-known critter to life

There’s a new bunny in town these days. An art installation named Juniper B. Bunny has joined the hordes of rabbits that the Village by the Sea is known for.

Tobey Nelson, an event planner and floral designer from South Whidbey, is responsible for the holiday season creation, which is part of an environmentally conscious project curated by Jesse Levesque and sponsored by the Langley Chamber of Commerce and Puget Sound Energy.

The project’s theme is fittingly titled “sustainability” and Nelson, along with four other artists, was tasked with decorating an eco-friendly Christmas tree in Langley.

This year, four Christmas trees were lit in Langley during a progressive lighting ceremony instead of the traditional one.

Melissa Koch and Gillian Theis drew attention to single-use plastics in their design with the use of food jar lids. Silvan Goette pulled inspiration from the natural world with the display of berries, herbs and mushrooms on his tree. And Sarah Santosa decorated her tree with gingerbread houses made out of cardboard boxes.

For her design, Nelson decided to make a seven-foot-tall bunny “eco-sculpture,” which stands beside a tree bearing tasty ornaments, from cranberry and pine cone garlands to carrots and rose hips.

“Any rabbit would put carrots on a Christmas tree,” Nelson said with a laugh.

The base of Juniper B. Bunny, she explained, is made of chicken wire and plywood.

For the rest of the rabbit, Nelson used juniper, pampas grass, usnea moss, sword fern, magnolia and willow.

Apart from the string lights, everything in her display is compostable, reusable and recyclable.

“My message was to have an eco-friendly holiday,” Nelson said.

“Use natural decorations, make sure your wrappings for your gifts are natural and compostable.”

The massive bunny is currently on display at Boy and Dog Park on First Street.

It is, of course, a nod to the multitude of rabbits that hop around Langley on a daily basis.

“I sort of thought we could use a cute thing,” Nelson said. “It’s been a dismal year for a lot of people.”

From feet to ears, Juniper B. Bunny stands at about seven feet tall. Photo by Kira Erickson/South Whidbey Record

From feet to ears, Juniper B. Bunny stands at about seven feet tall. Photo by Kira Erickson/South Whidbey Record