As our attention naturally shifts towards indoor holiday décor at this time of year, we shouldn’t forget to invest in some Christmas garden decorations to ensure our outdoor spaces are also given the festive treatment. Instead of simply stringing a few old lights from a dusty box, make the outside of your home – whether a back garden, front garden or even a balcony – as jolly as the inside.
‘There is nothing better than decorating your space, particularly if guests are visiting for Christmas and you want some sparkle inside and out,’ Claire Wilks, design team member at Garden Trading, tells House Beautiful UK. ‘No matter the size of your space – whether you have a petite balcony, a lovely patio set up, or a spacious formal garden – there is scope to create a festive scene.’
Christmas garden decorations are key to getting into the spirit of the festive season, and choosing the right decorations will help to illuminate your outside space. On that note, grab a mince pie and take a look at how you can spruce up your garden this Christmas…
Extend the festive cheer to your outdoor space with a show-stopping tree. From understated to extravagant, pretty outdoor Christmas trees are the ultimate way to light up your lawn — and make yours the very best display on the street.
There’s a lot to consider when choosing an outdoor tree. Do you want an artificial tree to reuse every year or would you prefer a real one? Is it strong enough to withstand winter weather? Where will it be placed?
While a traditional spruce or fern tree are among the most popular options, artificial outdoor blossom trees (they won’t need watering) also make pretty spectacular displays. The same goes for twig trees, starburst trees and modern cone trees with multicoloured lights.
‘Evergreen ferns like the classic Norway Spruce are notoriously versatile, plus they’re a real statement piece, with a lush green colour that complements your other plants. Placing one in your garden means you can enjoy the festive fragrance all year long,’ says Monty George, co-founder of Furniturebox. ‘For those of us who are looking to give our gardens a seasonal sparkle, embracing natural winter foliage is a great way to get started.’
Christmas garden decoration tip… Turn your outdoor Christmas tree into a haven for wildlife by hanging fat balls, bags of seeds and dried fruit for them to enjoy when food is scarce. Take inspiration from Countryfile‘s guest presenter Hannah Jackson
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Spend some time making your garden glow with outdoor Christmas lights. From wrapping tree branches with lights to placing stake solar lights in the ground, the options are endless when it comes to illuminating your garden.
Stuck for ideas? String a cluster of lights along the roof of the house, hang icicle lights around the front or back door (or even a shed or summerhouse), and wrap tree trunks with fairy lights for just the right amount of sparkle.
‘Come winter, the key to maximising an outdoor space is atmospheric lighting,’ says Abi Wilson, Celebrations Buying Manager at Habitat. ‘Even on cool crisp evenings, a well-lit garden becomes warm and inviting for a catch-up with friends or loved ones. A layered, floor to rooftop approach works best: think lanterns down low, decorative designs atop tables and string bulbs around the house and trees.’
Christmas garden decoration tip… Fill oversized lanterns with flameless candles for an impressive entrance.
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Winter weather may be upon us, but a fire pit will make all the difference. While it seems natural to hunker down indoors when the temperatures tumble, a crackling fire (and a cosy throw) can extend the enjoyment of your garden.
If you didn’t manage to snap up a fire pit this summer, some of the best ones to consider include large steel chimineas (which also allow you to cook up a wood-fired feast), a steel fire pit, and round clay fire pits; ideal for smaller spaces.
‘Christmas is all about spending time with your loved ones, sitting by the fire and roasting chestnuts,’ says Jonny Brierley, CEO at Moda Furnishings. ‘Bring the living room outdoors by gathering around the fire pit. Firelight creates a more intimate setting, allowing your guests to relax and unwind.’
Christmas garden decoration tip… Jonny tells us: ‘To bring your senses into the festive spirit, try throwing some cinnamon sticks on to a charcoal fire pit for an authentic Christmas aroma.’
There is something quite magical about outdoor Christmas decorations, especially as rows of houses begin to hang door wreaths, string garlands and switch on twinkling figurines for passersby to enjoy.
‘Decorating a garden for Christmas can feel like a tough chore, especially as the weather is cold, icy and not many people want to be outside. But creating a beautiful scene in your garden can add that extra level of aesthetic to create Christmas cheer,’ says Samantha Elliott, founder of Arca Lifestyle.
Not sure what to choose? If you want to create a child-friendly space in your back garden, consider fun light-up reindeers or animal figurines. For something more traditional, and ideal for a front garden, keep it clean and sophisticated with a fresh door wreath and potted tree. For a balcony, string a garland along the top railing and tie on a wreath or swag, even better if it’s pre-lit, as it’ll twinkle in the night. You can decorate a shed or summerhouse in the same way.
Christmas garden decoration tip… If you don’t have an outdoor Christmas tree, hang baubles from sturdy shrubs or tree branches for a fuss-free festive look.
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It’s a really good idea to add seasonal colours such as red and white to your garden during Christmas, and flowers such as Hellebore (Christmas rose) is a great choice. Pastel pink and white in colour, they produce big leaves that will fill space and generally last between late winter and early spring.
Another white flower to consider is Clematis Jingle Bells; these flowers have a bold white colour and typically flower from December to January. Clematis Jingle Bells will need some pruning to keep the size down as they can grow up to five metres high.
However, nothing says Christmas quite like Holly (Ilex aquifolium); a hardy evergreen shrub which will produce plentiful red berries and add lots of rich, gorgeous colour to your outdoor space. You can also take cuttings to use for wreaths, swags and more. Buy from Thompson & Morgan or Crocus.
Good alternatives to Holly are Cotoneaster horizontalis or Pyracantha, both of which are ideal for adding a pop of colour to the garden.
Christmas garden decoration tip… Don’t forget to decorate your window boxes and outdoor plant pots. You could fill window boxes with tiny Christmas trees and add lights, or even decorate the rim of planters and containers on the patio with garlands.
Now that your garden has been sprinkled with festive cheer, it’s time to create a cosy (and warm) place to sit. If you’re lucky enough to have a pergola, decorate the wooden beams with twinkling lights for a magical touch or tie some hanging decorations. If you have a bench 0r garden sofa, layer with cushions and throws, or you could simply create a seating area centred around a roaring fire. For balconies, (depending on the size), buy a small bench and add comfy seat cushions, or layer up with thick floor cushions and outdoor bean bags.
Samantha adds: ‘Finally, you want to enjoy your decor efforts as much as possible so make sure you have some space to embrace it outside — if possible create some shelter over a patio or corner where you can add some comfy chairs, blankets, and even an outdoor heater. This means you can really enjoy your decorating efforts over a nice glass of mulled wine!’
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