Christmas is the one occasion where you have a goodly amount of time off to enjoy your home, garden and family, but you don’t want to be out in the garden slaving away while you have guests hanging out without you! So, now is the time to get out there over a weekend and get your garden Christmas-ready.
Cut back overgrown shrubs and weeds through the garden beds. Improve the soil of your garden by spreading compost and organic fertilisers that will give your plants all the food they need as well as help to retain soil moisture and improve soil health. Searles 5 in 1 is a great all-rounder and doesn’t have a strong odour like many other organic fertilisers.
Your garden beds will instantly make them look tidier and more respectable. A general rule of thumb is to keep mulch a good distance away from tree trunks to prevent collar rot while mulching to a depth of 50 – 75mm.
Along with improving the appearance of your garden, mulch helps to slow water seeping into the soil, retain that water in the soil for longer, which will break down and help feed your plants as well as helping to suppress any emerging weeds.
Clean up your hard surfaces, like paved entertaining areas, by pressure washing them down. If you use a chemical to shift any problem stains, make sure you soak your plants before and after to help dilute any chemicals which might have leached onto the leaves and into the soil.
Get onto cleaning the BBQ now too, is a good idea so when you come to cook up those Boxing Day sausages you’re not spending the whole morning scrubbing the grill before you can use it. Beer and newspaper are my go to cleaning agents – although it seems criminal to use good beer to clean a dirty BBQ!
Make it pretty
with feature piece
Adding in a feature to your garden such as a bird bath, a statement pot or a sculpture, can help draw people out into the garden and gives them a great spot to mingle and socialise. When picking a location, think about how the new element looks from inside the house as well as out in the space itself.
If you have Christmas Bush to hand, you can fill jugs and vases, or else pick whatever attractive greenery or branches are handy and add tinsel, or decorations or bunches of gumnuts and dried gum leaves (which the kids can paint silver.)
Solar powered strings of lights also look pretty and welcoming on shrubbery and trees for evening parties.
If you have a fresh Christmas tree make sure it’s supported well so it doesn’t fall over during the festivities and also gets a Christmas drink too! A pine fragrance spray can add to the effect as well.
Don’t be afraid to leave some things to the last minute…
My number one tip for getting the garden Christmas-ready is to leave one job unfinished – this allows you a great get-out clause if the in-laws or visiting kids get too much and you need some time out from the family festivities… “Excuse me for a second I just need to weed/ water/check the veggie patch!”
*With thanks to the Lifestyle channel for some initial inspiration!
5 William St Wingham