The holiday season has descended with all its madness and joy, favorite aunts and crazy uncles, planned events and surprise guests. There’s plenty to celebrate and even more to do. From meal plans to guest lists, gift wrapping and office parties, there’s hardly time to squeeze in a granola bar, let alone think about your landscape.
But if you’re expecting visitors – or maybe even if you’re not expecting them! – wouldn’t you love to welcome them to your home with all the warmth and cheer of the season? The good news is that whatever decisions you make now can offer you seasons and years of enjoyment.
So break out the vision board, or just fire up your imagination. It’s time to plan an outdoor space that has the gorgeous curb appeal you want with the practical functionality you need, so it’ll look great for the holidays, and keep looking great all year long. These are some ideas to get you started.
Make Copious Use Of Containers
There’s so much you can do with planters, pots and containers that it would be a real shame if you didn’t take advantage of their versatility.
For starters, containers themselves can be art pieces. Choose the colors, styles, sizes, shapes, and heights that best suit your space and personal aesthetic. And don’t be afraid to change them up as needed!
Bold reds or shiny silver and gold may make the perfect accompaniment for a holiday display, while cooler blues might better suit your winter style. Mix and match for an exciting focal point. Tall urns beside short pots, a single brightly colored planter amid more neutral tones, even a complement of geometric shapes can all be grouped together to make a visual impact.
Once you’ve chosen your containers, what you do with them matters! Plant some winter-hardy and holiday-ready classics, like evergreens or the always-gorgeous winterberry holly. Or diversify with some ornamental white winter cabbage and purple kale.
Want a truly holiday-worthy display? Focus on textures, like softly peeling bark, the elegance of fir, and the rugged shape of branches and twigs. Tie up a bunch of wispy white birch branches with a bit of delicate ribbon, or cluster some pine branches with a tall wisp of ornamental grass.
Add some string lights among the boughs, or place a spotlight at the base to highlight your work of art.
And don’t forget to place your containers in strategic locations. Line the porch, flank the front door, or place them into otherwise dormant gardens for a flash of color. Your guests will feel like they’re walking through a winter wonderland as they approach your home.
As an added bonus, you can repurpose your containers throughout the year, with seasonal blooms and unique décor. They make a fantastic mobile landscape, able to beautify and decorate any part of the yard you desire.
Pay Attention To Stone And Hardscapes
When the summer blooms have faded and even the brightly colored autumn leaves have fallen, you might be wondering what’s left. The answer is: plenty! And the foundation of it all is your hardscape.
A hardscape can be any non-living structure – a patio or walkway, porch, retaining wall, gazebo or trellis. With less foliage to obscure the view, these structures can take center stage in any holiday or winter landscape.
Natural stone adds a unique beauty to any space, so choose wisely, whether the classic and timeless look of a brick walkway, the elegance of limestone or the rugged and rustic charm of bluestone. Remember that guests will need a path to your front door – make it a beautiful one!
Other structures can add height, depth and texture to a stark winter landscape. Gazebos, pergolas, trellises and natural wood fencing can all be beautiful in their own right, and can serve as a focal point with string lighting, spotlights, hanging planters filled with greenery and seasonal décor, or twining vines.
Don’t be afraid to use these structures in your front yard as well as the back. Imagine a welcoming arbor or archway guiding guests down a path to your home. Picture glowing lanterns placed atop natural stone walls, creating a cozy atmosphere that works as well during the cold of winter as it does on a balmy summer evening.
If you really want to host a memorable party, light up a fire pit. If space allows, bring a portable one out in front of your home and welcome guests with the warm glow and woody scent of brightly cheerful flames. Or keep one burning on your back yard patio to create an extension of your home where guests can gather for a change of scenery and a festive holiday atmosphere.
Bring On The Ambiance
The festive décor, the striking holiday greenery, the impressive fires… these are all fantastic ways to create a beautiful holidayscape. But don’t overlook the more subtle, intrinsic elements of a welcoming space.
Lighting is one of the most foundational elements of a great landscape. No, not the strings of blinking red and green, but the pathway lighting, the spotlights that bathe the front of your house in a warm glow, the moonlighting high up in trees, the interplay between light and shadow that happens when a lighting element is placed to perfectly accent a uniquely shaped tree or shrub.
Lighting can create just about any effect you want, from dramatic to cheerful, cozy, serene, intimate, subtle, bold, and everything in between. It can guide your guests to your front door, direct their attention to a focal point or special decorative element, and create just the right emotional atmosphere for your gathering.
And while you’re setting the mood, consider tapping into yet another sensory element: sound. Whether you enjoy the notes of Christmas classics or prefer subtle instrumental tones, music is one of the most profound ways to make an emotional impact. Songs can remind of us cherished memories, bring us back to a certain special place and time, and invite visitors to slow down and appreciate their surroundings.
With an outdoor audio system you can treat your guests to the subtle auditory pleasures of the season. Low-profile speakers embedded in your garden can deliver those uplifting, celebratory sounds associated with the holidays, greeting guests from the moment they step out of their car.
As an added benefit, these speakers are designed to withstand wind, rain, heat and cold so you can continue using them throughout the year, switching up the tunes to suit any occasion and mood.
Winter holidays are almost here, but there’s still time to spruce up your landscape for the occasion. If you’re interested in creating better curb appeal, installing lighting or an audio system, or working on a long-term vision for the outdoor space of your dreams, contact us for a consultation. We look forward to helping you bring your indoor lifestyle outdoors and sharing all the joys of of the season with you.