Getting your garden ready for Christmas

Getting your garden ready for Christmas
    Ok, the secret's out – there really isn't much longer to wait until Christmas descends upon us all. With the first doors of the advent calendar now open, it's only a matter of time before the tree goes up, the decorations come out and your home is turned into an all-guns-blazing winter wonderland.

However, one area of your property that often gets overlooked when it comes to getting a share of Christmas cheer is the garden. So, what can you do to sprinkle a little festive spirit over your outdoor space?

Plant a holly bush

Perhaps with the exception of the Christmas tree, the holly bush is the most festive plants – and they are relatively simple to care for.

Holly is best planted throughout Autumn [style quirk?], so if you want to do this, then you should get on with it sooner rather than later! 

Pick a spot that will get plenty of sunlight, as this is when the plant will thrive. Acidic soil is best, although holly is quite resilient, so this isn't a must. However, it's important to try to keep it away from any underground pipes, as the roots will spread wide and are strong – so could cause long-term damage if they are too close to structures.

Of course, don't expect to be taking sprigs and making wreaths from your bust this year – holly is a slow-growing plant, but one that will give you many years of joy. Look after it and you'll have a festive centrepiece in your garden for a long time!

Christmas garden lights

The dark nights lend themselves perfectly to a bit of festive illumination, and incorporating some Christmas lighting into your garden is a great way to embrace the spirit of this time of year.

Arbors and pergolas are easy to dress up with a string of simple lights and add a great ambient effect to your outdoor space.

Alternatively – and if you're feeling a bit more ambitious – you could try wrapping the lighting around a tree. When doing this, it's important to space the lights out evenly if you can, and it might help if the lights are on when you are winding them up the branches to see how the finished article will look. Additionally, it's always good to test them first – if they're faulty, you could end up with a festive headache!

If you want to add a bit of lighting to some of your bushes as well, the best approach here is to use netting that you can throw over the shrubbery.

Turn your shed into a grotto

If you have kids, they'll love this. If you don't, then consider it a guilty pleasure.

Granted, a toolshed isn't the safest place for little ones, so make sure that if you decide to go down this route, you take the time to place all of the potentially harmful objects out of the reach of little hands.

Nevertheless, transforming your shed into a festive grotto gives you an excuse to go all out as far as Christmas decorations are concerned. Tinsel, lighting (if your shed has mains access), and baubles aplenty is the right way to go here, finishing it all off with a North Pole signpost for good measure.

Got any other festive ideas for your garden? Tweet us your suggestions to @mowdirect.

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