How to decorate a garden for the Festive Season

How to decorate a garden for the Festive Season

Outdoor festive decorations are key in creating a cheerful and festive ambiance during the holiday season. Whether you’re going all out, making your house and garden the envy of the street with elaborate light designs and displays, or you just want to welcome your guests with a simple hand-made wreath and some soft candle glow, we offer you suggestions on how to decorate a garden for Christmas to lift spirits and make warm memories during the beautiful summer evenings in Johannesburg.

A)      The Christmas Lights

  • They are the number one choice in Christmas decorations for a reason – no festive decoration is complete with them, whether you only choose to outline the front facing windows, to wrap columns or deck the entire patio with lights.
  • Mix light sources.In order to be captive of only the soft glow of twinkle lights, you will need to subdue your year-round exterior lighting. Consider changing year-round bulbs with lower wattage ones to let twinkle lights immerse the outdoor space in their soft glow.
  • Wrap hedges.It is best that you opt for net lights – they might be a tad more expensive than strand lights but they offer convenience and precision of installation which saves time and is worth the investment.
  • Dress up trees.Create a consistent stopping point along each of the trees, regardless of the difference in height. The twinkle lights should be wrapped at approximately the same height to create symmetry and give the composition balance.
  • Light walkways.Adorn small shrubs and / or trees around walkways with a few strands of lights as to not make them visible from the street but still serve as a sophisticated pointer to your guests.
  • Use lights on timers.Consider timer activation for a low-maintenance approach to exterior holiday lighting. An average-sized home will require between two and four 1500-watt plug-in modules to keep the exterior safely lit and perfectly timed. Options vary in style but most simply plug into an exterior outlet.
  • String lights and greenery.Wrap light strands around a column or post with Christmas greenery or a garland to hide the wires.
  • Put lights in baskets and jars.Reveal the inner glow of an ordinary basket with a 100-bulb string of small pearl lights. Place them inside coiled vine baskets, fill the baskets with clear plastic ornaments and top it with a 50-bulb strand of small white lights. Or, just put the light strands in mason jars and display them across the porch to make a stunning glowing garland.

B)     Plant a white garden

  • There is something magical about a white garden. It has a freshness and purity that is difficult to achieve with other colours.
  • White planting schemes look chic and elegant without being boring.
  • There is no risk of clashing colours or plants that don’t ‘go’. And this simplicity allows you to focus on more complex design ideas.
  • Form, shape, height and texture all play a big role in white gardens.
  • Among all the themed gardens, white gardens are arguably one of the most popular.
  • The deliberate use of green and white gives the garden a fresh look and creates a serene, romantic atmosphere.
  • A white garden is really easy to create, and it also works well in a variety of different gardening styles – whether formal or informal.
  • Practically speaking, the inclusion of white can really lift an otherwise shady or dark area in your garden – making it seem lighter and larger than it actually is.
  • White is also a great colour for nightscaping because it stands out more than any other colour, when the sun has gone down.
  • You can also use small delicate flowers, such as white cleome, or big, dramatic white flowers, such as lilies.
  • And lastly, white gardens give off a collection of wonderful fragrances because many white flowers boast a heady aroma in order to attract moths for pollination purposes.

C)     The Front Door Wreath

A unique wreath is the easiest way to stand out and impress your guests. There are plenty of options when it comes to colours, materials, ornaments and even placement. Find the right combination for you and make a statement.

  • Try different colours.
  • You can always go for the classics in front door Christmas decoration with the red and green colour scheme, enhanced by poinsettia plants and lights for the perfect dose of holiday cheer.
  • Another traditional option is the sophistication of red and silver ornaments among fresh greenery.
  • If you’re looking for a way to stand out, you can always go for pastels like white, yellow, and sea green or add a dash of unexpected colour such as ripe-orange or tangerine that will give your front door a fresh look.
  • White is a great contrast to dark or brightly coloured doors.
  • Step up the traditional Christmas red-and-green colour pattern with a modern twist. Add an accent to a green door with an all-red wreath or place white and blue on lighter doors or silver and gold on darker doors.
  • Experiment with materials. Experiment with unconventional materials such as paper, yarn, felt, and even cork. Give the classic wreath a modern spin with rolled-up cones of printed paper, or wine corks.
  • Play with shapes. You can make an unconventional alternative to the classic wreath with almost any object of the appropriate size – use a serving dish or ceiling medallion as the centerpiece of the holiday door, and step it up with bold details – add colourful ornaments and ribbons to make a statement.
  • Use natural objects. If ribbons and toy ornaments are not your thing, go “au natural” with pinecones, berries, seeds, and even apples and pumpkins instead!
  • Find the best plant for your wreath. Use fern for a really fresh take, pine is always elegant accentuated with golden bells and a matching bow. You can also make a fragrant wreath using rosemary – it will fill your home with a sweet scent and when the holidays are over, you can dry the herbs and use them later for cooking.
  • Use ornaments you already have. Use hot glue to make a wreath out of bells, tree ornaments, and present to give both contemporary and traditional homes an accent.
  • Place more than one wreath. More is better. Hang two wreaths side by side on gate doors, or arrange three vertically to cover the length of the front door.
  • Rethink wreaths. Wreaths can be used in a variety of ways, not just as front door decorations. Place a small evergreen wreath around the base of a small outdoor planter or lantern for a festive touch or turn a horizontal ornamented wreath into a chandelier – simply suspend it from the ceiling using ribbons.

D)   What to Recycle and Up-cycle

There are plenty of items you can recycle and up-cycle as Christmas decoration.

  • Fill old garden boots with twigs and lights, or candy canes.
  • Use jars – fill them with Christmas lights or make lanterns using greenery, berries, ribbons and of course candles.
  • Recycle paper. Make a wreath from old paperback pages shaped like ribbons or make ornaments and garlands from the junk mail that seems to appear from nowhere over the holidays.
  • Spell out merry wishes and names with old scrabble pieces and old keyboard keys arrange them on strands of ribbon or fabric with hot glue and then hang them up.
  • Make stockings from old blankets and jerseys.
  • Up-cycle old pillows – make a decorative pillow with basic supplies and stencils and place it on a chair or a bench to give your front garden a festive feel.
  • Decorate old planters – add seasonal greenery to old outdoor planters or fill them with decorative candy canes, glass ball ornaments or fresh-cut tree branches.

Any time of year, but especially the festive season, is a perfect time to practice your green recycling habits.  Make recycling during this festive season a new holiday tradition for your family.

Green Gift Giving & Shopping

  • Re-Usable Shopping Bags: Just like any time of year, utilize re-usable shopping bags to reduce the number of plastic bags that are thrown in the trash later. Give a gift of a re-usable shopping bag, they are now offered in all sorts of sizes and wonderful colours.
  • Gift card: Gift cards are a great way to minimize waste and drive down your transportation footprint by keeping business local.
  • Handmade Christmas gifts: Get creative (or help your kids get creative) with Christmas crafts and holiday baking. Homemade Christmas gifts like homemade biscuits, bread or Christmas ornaments and decorations made of materials around your home make meaningful and resourceful gifts.
  • Gift Tags: Make your own gift tags using recycled wrapping paper or last year’s Christmas cards.
  • Wrapping Accessories: Re-use ribbons, bows, gift bags, and boxes whenever you can. Reusing ribbon may seem like a small step, but if every family re-used just 2 metres of Christmas ribbon, it would save 38,000 miles of ribbon and tie a bow around the planet!

May your holiday season be blessed with peace, love and joy.

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