Thursday, 26 December 2013

Outdoor holiday lighting - Christmas Light Displays

There is nothing as enjoyable as hanging up intricate Christmas lights in your yard and watching them light up the cold winter night. You can walk or drive through your neighborhood just to see what everyone else has put up for their outdoor decorations. This can give you some basic ideas on what you would like to personally do for your home. After all, Christmas comes only once a year so it will definitely be the best part of the holiday season. To give your own burst of creativity, there are some basic design ideas you can try for your outdoor holiday lighting. Browse through the list as it will jump start your imagination!

Ø  Big/Small Christmas light bulbs – If you would like to go all out and do things the big way, you can hang some jumbo light bulbs or string together small but impressive bunches of small lights. Giant bulbs stand over 16 inches high and can be used to light up driveways, walkways or lawn stakes. Small bulbs may not make much of a statement of their own. But when used in masses, they can be installed atop bedding plants in the landscape.

Ø  Angel Lights – God’s messengers are of course Angels and what better way to light up your home than installing a few Angels at strategic spots in the garden. They can also be used to illuminate Nativity scenes outdoors, which present a nice touch to the holiday spirit.

Ø  Spinning Tops – A decade or so earlier, kids used to receive spinning tops as Christmas gifts. It’s so hard to believe that everything has changed in all these years. But you can still bring back the days of old but using a lighted top as a lawn ornament. This is one way to enjoy the kid in you.

Ø  Cute Teddy Bears – Teddy bears and the holidays are like chocolates and coffee. They are used as traditional gifts for children but they truly exemplify their persona when used with Christmas light displays. You can add a family of bears like a Daddy bear, Mommy bear and Baby bear.

Ø  The Nutcracker – The Tin Soldier is another holiday gift staple like the teddy bear. You can use the Nutcracker balled characters or just the main character as a centrepiece for the yard complemented by lighting.

Ø  Gingerbread Man, Gingerbread House – The lovable gingerbread man is also a popular item all year round. Besides being a favorite holiday dessert, you can use it like a bulb ensemble for your outdoors with the addition of the gingerbread house.
Ø  Santa's Helper – The elves with their lantern and shiny outline are perfect decorative items to illuminate the way to your home on any windy, stormy night during the holiday season. So who needs Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer for the job?
Ø  Deck Out the Deck – A famous injunction that lights up the Christmas spirit in anyone would be "Deck the halls with boughs of holly”. This proverbially means that people need to pay attention to decorating their decks with beautiful Christmas lights. Apart from providing an accessible, sturdy base for outdoor decorations, deck light displays which features a "Happy Holidays" welcome and some flowers with intricate lights will give a whole new meaning to the season.  
o   Decorating Arches – Add some additional décor to your outdoor space if you have arches to welcome guests. You would have finished decorating the tree, rooms in the house and also the yard, but will add a wonderful final touch by lighting up the arch situated in the driveway. Wooden fences and pergolas can be brought to life by using Christmas light displays. And you can use flower garlands for vinyl fences which make it look more amendable.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Winter Garden delights

The snow, cold temperatures and gusty winter winds can put a full stop to your gardening endeavors. However the landscape unfolds a beautiful scene outdoors with a snow filled yard or garden. You can add beauty to your winter landscape with these gardening delights mentioned below.
Wonderland of Snow and Plants – Take containers and fill them with dried perennials, colorful twigs and evergreen sprigs, to create a focal point in your very own winter wonderland. The container can be filled with two thirds of sand to support the plants during winter. Collect dried branches, coneflowers and perennial stems by walking through your garden. Even evergreens like ornamental grass provide a striking centrepiece for your garden. You can plant them into your containers and the garden will be ready for the cold months. Watering is also not necessary.

Berry Beautiful – A treat for the eyes and senses can be none other than natural jewels from your garden which are of course berries of various types and colors. They are a delight to us and to the wildlife outside. Some shrubs and trees produce fruits that are consumed as soon as they ripen like sweet cherries. Other plants that produce persistent and long lasting berries include dogwood, viburnums and highbush cranberries. Berries may not be the first choice as a food source for the wildlife but when other forage is scarce, they may rely on it for survival through the winter months.

Feathered Friends – Even when the cold increases, songbirds forage around the landscape looking for food to survive. You can enjoy their antics, help them get food and make their life easier by installing a bird feeder in your landscape. For many birds that visit feeders, black oil sunflower seeds are their very best choice for winter sustenance. However make sure you avoid mixing a high percentage of oats and millets with the seeds.

Pretty Pedestals – Birdbaths are not maintained in the cold months as not many homeowners have heaters to melt the water. You can transform the look of your birdbath by creating it as a wintertime focal point in your landscape. This can be done by installing massive red ornaments and evergreen bows to make it come to life.

Evergreen Foliages of Joy – The belles of your winter landscape that can be added in your garden are trees and shrubs with evergreen foliage. Add valuable texture and color to your garden by planting evergreen ivy trees with their leathery leaves and shrubs of white pine with their soft needles.

Window into Winter – Nothing beats outdoor scenery like a pleasing winter scene outside your window. A standout in the landscape includes colorful twigs like red twig dogwood with its sparkling red bark and texture rich evergreen branches. Stop by your local florist if they are not readily available.

Standing Tall and Proud - An element of your garden that adds interest and delight to your winter landscape are tall plants like vines and perennial flowers. They may have lost their color and can no longer scramble up the garden towers but they are a source of food and shelter for the wildlife. These upright elements can be allowed to stand in the garden throughout the winter.

Let there be Light – Snow and light always makes a winning combination every time. Exterior lighting is always enjoyed during shortened winter days. Twinkling lights provide a contrasting effect by illuminating shrubs, trees, twigs and container gardens.

Watch out for Signs of Spring – After experiencing bone chilling temperatures and a sombre looking gray and brown landscape, spring is definitely a welcome sight. Stroll through your garden to watch out for signs of spring. To celebrate the arrival of a new season, you can spot growth of grape hyacinths and crocus as they poke through the snow. There are also many other signs of spring to watch out for in your landscape.