‘Tis the season for myriad fun and festivities! From Thanksgiving to Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year, plus a few obscure holidays in between (National Nacho Day, anyone?) there’s a lot to celebrate.
If you’re planning to host relatives, friends, or the random Caroler this year, wouldn’t you love to welcome them to your home with a warm and inviting seasonal atmosphere?
Whether you’re looking for a quick fix or a long-term change, try these ideas for adding some fall and winter holiday flair to your outdoor space.
Sure, you can go with the traditional red-and-green blinking variety, but there’s quite a bit more than can bring beauty and holiday warmth to your space – adding enjoyment that will last a lot longer than a few weeks, too.
Good landscape lighting is the foundation of good curb appeal. You wouldn’t be able to _see_ your curb appeal for much of the fall and winter season without it! Before you decorate, consider installing four-season landscape lighting that will serve you well all year.
Techniques like house washing can bathe your home in a welcoming glow, and pathway lighting can pull visitors in and make walking during evening hours safer.
The types of lighting you choose can add a special holiday sparkle. The cozy glow of lanterns on a porch or patio, for example, can be used for seasonal appeal and even decked out with a bit of garland. String lights in neutral colors like white or gold will serve your holidays well, in addition to creating a cozy atmosphere for summer get-togethers.
Even the fixtures you choose can be part of your curb appeal during daylight hours. Big, bold lanterns, whimsical garden lamps, unique wall scones, can all add to your home’s architecture even while the sun is out.
Pots And Window Boxes
Just because the summer blooms have faded, that doesn’t mean you need to get rid of your planters and pots. Small pots, large planters, baskets, and window boxes in every variety from round to square, squat to tall, ceramic, metal, and wood, can all be used to add a holiday touch and improve curb appeal.
Cold-hardy plants like winter cabbage and winterberry holly look fantastic in pots, adding both color and texture. Feeling daring? Try a unique vegetable like Brussels sprouts! They actually taste better after they’ve been exposed to a bit of cold weather, and they look pretty fantastic while they’re growing, too.
Other décor can be added to pots and planters, too. Collect and paint fallen branches from trees to create charming holiday arrangements, an activity that doubles as a family art project, and ranks high on the naturalistic scale. Branches from a red or yellow dogwood bring their own color, height and visual appeal.
For baskets and window boxes, mix gourds, pinecones, and dried corn for autumn holidays, and switch to winter whites, hollies, berries and evergreens for cold-weather holidays. When the seasons change, it’s easy to plant your favorite blooms for continued enjoyment and curb appeal.
Get creative with lighting – string lights and spotlights work well here – and you can bring a whole lot of welcoming seasonal beauty to spaces large and small.
Tall Grasses And Seasonal Foliage
One of the best things you can do for your landscape for the holidays – and year round – is think in terms of four seasons. Instead of merely decorating for the holidays, decorate for life. That means choosing plants and shrubs, hardscapes and water features, artwork and other elements to bring something beautiful – and different – throughout each month of the year.
Tall grasses are an excellent choice for fall and winter because they can continue to add soothing neutral tones to your landscape in addition to height, texture and motion all winter long. They make snowstorms extra special, too, as their stems and fronds collect snowflakes and sway in the breeze.
Intersperse your garden with seasonal gems like Sumac and Fothergilla for showy autumn displays, or Witch Hazel for dazzling winter interest. Red and Yellow Twig Dogwood are also delightful four season plants, with their colorful branches adding a pop to your landscape that shines through the whitest of winters.
There are plenty of plantings that evolve throughout the year to bring something special to your landscape through the seasons. And if you combine them with the right lighting, you can turn your home into a holiday wonderland with the swap of a green, red or blue lightbulb in place of your everyday white. Or simply keep them white to highlight your bold berries and branches for a magical fairytale look.
Accessories & Décor
While it’s fun to deck your yard out with a forest of inflatables and enough colored lights to dazzle the neighborhood, curb appeal is probably not your goal. So if you want something a bit more subdued and festive, go for simple accessories and décor.
Small touches like a door mat or seasonal wreath (made from clippings and branches from your landscape, of course!) can go a long way to creating a welcoming environment.
Garden art – from the whimsical to the elegant – adds visual interest and can become a focal point to draw your visitors in. Once again, you don’t need anything showy. A tall urn, an artful bench, a unique statue or birdbath, can all be added for visual appeal, whether they are holiday-themed or simply a favorite piece that resonates with you.
Water features are a great addition, too. Bubblers, urns and basalt columns, to name a few, add movement, sound and visual beauty. Yes, you can keep them running all winter and watch as the water freezes over to create some incredible ice sculptures.
And remember your lighting! Highlight artwork and water features at night to make the most of them so you and your guests will enjoy them no matter the time of day or season.
Have any of these ideas inspired you to add holiday touches to your landscape? Or perhaps you’re wondering if a redesign – to add four season plantings and create truly stunning curb appeal – would suit you better. If so, book a consultation with us and let’s talk about how we can make your space stand out. Make your home the place to be for the holidays and welcome guests with all the beauty that Mother Nature and a bit of creative design have to offer!