It’s that time of year when we’ll all soon be catching up with family and friends. We plan menus and clean, then decorate the house and do other chores. By the time we remember that the garden needs attention, there’s often no energy or enthusiasm left. But not to worry – here are a few tips on how to easily refresh your outdoor spaces and help it make its own contribution to the festive season.
How to create festive entrances or use garden trimmings to decorate indoors . . .
Direct the focus: If you live where gardens stay green at this time of year, all you need do is some quick housekeeping. Whip out the rake, broom or blower and bag ’n bin the debris. What you’re aiming to do is create a clean backdrop against which you can make your festive moment. Entrances, patios and courtyards are good spots for what comes next given they are usually high traffic zones or often highly visible from the house. This is where you want to cluster pots filled with some festive cheer. Clipped evergreens in containers are quickly transformed with baubles or lights. For example, if you’re lucky enough to have two of the new coprosma, Pacific Sunset™, set them to flank the front door and dress up the rim of their pots with glorious bow-tied tartan ribbons.
A white Christmas: If your neck of the woods is looking more like a greeting card – deciduous trees dusted with frost or snow – then your job is in some ways easier. Take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back for giving the garden a good clip and rake-up a few weeks back. Now you can embrace its bleak beauty and appreciate its bones – the bare branched magnolia tree in the front lawn, the clipped low hedge running alongside the front path. Buy an armful of white LED festive lights to wrap painstakingly into that soon-to-be fairy-lit tree; and wedge another armful into that low hedge to cast a magical glow of welcome towards the front door.
Take the garden indoors: Whether you like the classic evergreen and holly look (like hanging a wreath on the front door or smothering the mantelpiece with seasonal good cheer) or you prefer the more loose and natural theme, it’s the same move. Our urge to bring Mother Nature indoors to help us mark cultural rituals is ancient and lovely. So instead of hopping down to the florist to buy boughs of greenery ($$!), why not head out into the garden with the clippers? Look for dried seed heads, interesting berries, red dogwood branches, pods and cones. You’ll also want some foliage and this can be as traditional as holly or something as vibrant and linear as cordyline Festival Burgundy. It’s then all about having some fun with whatever you’ve gathered. Bunches of dried flowers and foliage look fantastic hanging suspended over the festive table. Fix bare branches into over-sized glass jars and drape with more lights. Lay a snaking swag of green down the center of the table dotted with baubles and tinsel. Do whatever… it’s fun and it’s all about getting ready to celebrate!
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