Dressing for festive cheer
By Paul Hervey-Brookes
Gardens can be plain during the festive season but can be made decorative without costing a fortune. Getting children involved will fill the holidays with fun and laughter.
Frost proof pots can be piled high with inexpensive baubles and placed outside your front door or either side of a path. Oranges can be decorated with ribbons and cloves and hung from branches of trees in the garden.
Buy a plain wreath and then take the children out to hunt for nuts, twigs and fir cones. These can then be either sprayed with gold or silver paint and glued onto the wreath. Add a string of fairy lights and a big red bow to finish off.
Let the children bake their own gingerbread men and then decorate a small inexpensive christmas tree with them and homemade stars and ribbons. Get them to make bunting and garlands from coloured paper and ribbons to decorate front doors and windows.
When all the leaves have dropped, add some baubles and lights to an outdoor tree for a festive look then gather round a fire pit with mulled wine with friends and admire your children's handiwork.
Planters can be dressed to give a simple yet beautiful addition to doorways, drives and terraces. If you already have existing planting scheme such as evergreens or stem structure add baubles and bows for a festive look and also to add colour to the garden.
For something more personalised gather up something like Bradstone's Scottish Cobbles and let the children decorate them for Christmas with paint, glitter Glue and messages to Santa. These can then be left out on porches or by the door for the festive period.
Place a Hurricane Lamp with a candle in the centre of a large pot ur urn with some stunning winter foliage to planters and place in groups by your door for a traditional look.
There are looks of ideas, bunches of white birch stems always give a tried and tested look as a winter decoration and makes a perennially popular garden feature for many garden designers. A Christmas tree outside, simply decorated with fir cones and gaily wrapped presents at its base will set the scene for Christmas cheer!
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