So all the Christmas Parties are at your place this year? Get your garden and outdoor living areas looking their best with our top tips. It’s never too early to start!
Tidy up your plants
As soon as you can take a wander around the yard and trim anything that looks ‘yuk’. Give everything a good dead head (remove dead flowers etc). If a plant looks really bad, pull it out.
Get rid of dying annuals and check out your pots. If you have empty pots or pots with dead plants – empty all soil out of your pots into your garden, store empty pots neatly out of sight. If something looks unhealthy but you want to keep it, move it out of eyesight.
Green up your lawn
The lawn is the most important part of many Christmas parties. With backyard cricket or even boules being nearly every families favourite burn off that Christmas lunch tradition.
Start by giving it a good mow and tidy up the edges. Usually in summer lawns should be mown at least once a week with the catcher on.
If it’s looking a bit brownish, give it a fertilise with Searles Robust Lawn Booster every week for a quick boost and green up.
The last thing you want your guests doing on Christmas Day is the bindi dance. Spray your lawn with Searles Lawn Weeder at least two weeks before your party so all the weeds like bindi have had a chance to die.
Try to mow the day before your party so the lawns look fresh and neat.
Get rid of rubbish
Who hasn’t got a few got piles of stuff in their backyards? Old plastic pots, bamboo stakes, the kids’ (who are now teenagers) baby swing that’s been dumped in the corner, the bike that needs to be fixed. Now is the time to really walk around the yard and make some hard decisions – keep and store neatly, dump or give away.
Getting rid of all the stuff in your yard automatically makes it feel and look clean.
Now is the time to gurney the paving, re-stain the deck and clean the barbeque. Don’t forget the furniture – plastic furniture usually comes up well with a bit of elbow grease and a good cleaner. Timber furniture can be quickly cleaned and refreshed with furniture wipes.
For an instant lift, buy some new outdoor cushions and a bright tablecloth.
Mulch covers up a multitude of sins and empty spaces always seem full after mulching. Sugar cane, pine bark chip and tea tree mulch are all great choices and they are great for the soil. Mulching also helps keeps plants moist, which is very helpful in summer.
For your garden, unless you’ve been planning this for months, there really isn’t any time to be planting seedlings. You are going to have to go for advanced seedlings or potted colour. There is so much choice at this time of year. Visit your local garden centre to see what they have in flower. Many will have Christmas potted colour like red and white Petunias planted together. Look for lots of buds rather than fully opened flowers, as they will open up closer to the big day.
To enliven dull spots in your garden or around your entertainment area use pots. There are so many flowering and scented plants to choose from at this time of year – gardenias, hydrangeas, geraniums, grevilleas, kangaroo paws or even agapanthus are all looking amazing at the moment and do very well in sunny spots.
You can buy ready-planted hanging baskets or pots that are already overflowing with flowers. It’s worth spending that little bit extra and buying a couple. Pots and hanging baskets look great clustered together. Sometimes it’s better to have a group of three or five pots than to have five pots singularly spaced apart.
Try using a colour theme to really make a statement. Either use all same coloured pots or chose similar coloured flowers like all reds and whites.
A day or two before your party, do a last-minute clean-up (trim dead flowers, edges, mow) and sweep everything. Make sure all the plants are watered. The last thing you want to be doing on Christmas morning is running around watering wilting plants before guests arrive.
And don’t forget to fill the gas bottle if you’re barbecuing. There’s nothing worse than the gas running out when the lunch’s only half-cooked.
And finally, remember to have a great day enjoying the company of family and friends.
My family owns Trevallan Lifestyle Centre (TLC) an About the Garden Local Garden Expert. Trevallan’s motto is “give your life some TLC” and that’s what I do every day – help people put the TLC (Tender, loving care) back into their life. I love talking to people about stress FREE gardening and often talk at local gardening clubs, women’s groups and social clubs. I write a gardening column for the local paper and gardening magazines (including About the Garden). I also love sourcing beautiful things for the home and body. I try to source things for their beauty and functionality but sometimes decor items have to be a little bit fun too! Enjoy the journey with me and visit my blog trevallan.com.