Festive gardening

The chocolate advent calendars are half eaten and it’s the first week of December! It’s the perfect time to spruce up the garden and spend some time enjoying the beauty of the outdoors. Whether it’s a simple get together with friends, or a joyous banquet with the whole family, here are a few smart tips and easy gardening ideas that are designed to produce edible and decorative props to be enjoyed over the coming months. These handy tips to enjoy your garden to its full potential during this season.

Reigning in the festive feel
Adding potted colour is the easiest way to get the festive spirit going. Jasmine or Gardenias will not only look great, but smell great too.

Add a feature
If your garden doesn’t have a focal point, now is the time to add one. Whether it is beautiful bench, water feature, bird bath, a statue or an arch; creating a point of interest in the garden is paramount to its success

Light it up
There are some great solar powered outdoor lights which can create any ambience you desire. From flashing tree lights, to subtle up-lighters; the sky is the limit with creating an area which can be utilised day and night.

Lush lawns
In most South African gardens the lawn is the dominant feature. Fill in the gaps, fertilise with 5.1.5 and water it in well. Top dress if necessary.

Clean up and fill up
Remove all dead leaves and foreign debris from the garden beds. If there are gaps fill up with annual colour or mulch with bark chips. Interplanting with herbs such as mint can also provide a fresh festive vibe as well as being a practical source of flavouring for the G & T.

Make the best of what you have
Make your wreaths for the front door from indigenous Olive branches and decorate. Use red fruits and vegetables to give your home the festive colour.

Bring in the birds
Birds have always played a part in my Christmas’s. Whether the robin on the Christmas cards or the trips to see the Eagle at the botanical gardens. It is a great time to attract more birds to your garden with feeders and water points as well as feeding stations with fruit and sugar water. (these make great gifts too)

Take a load off
After all the organising and fussing – sit back, relax and enjoy the holidays. Avoid being beaten inside by those summer rays by creating a shady haven in your garden, whether a large umbrella, a canopy or a pergola are ideal for making the most of your outdoor space

Most important tip
Always leave one job undone. This is vital; so that when the irritating in- law at the Christmas day lunch has you cornered, you can honestly say that you would love to chat, but you really do have to go and clean the water feature