As the days get shorter, nothing boosts the spirits like getting ready for the holiday season! Whether you’re planning a party, decorating your house or getting your garden in shape for winter, here are a few ideas to inspire you.
8 ideas to get your home ready for the holiday season
Plant forced hyacinth bulbs in pots indoors now for gorgeous scented flowers at Christmas. Look for ‘prepared’ bulbs, which will have been given special cold treatments to encourage them to flower early.
Make ghostly gourds for Halloween. Choose gourds such as butternut squash that have interesting shapes. Paint the skins white, then draw on some scary creepy faces! And when you’ve finished using your gourds as decorations, they’re delicious to eat.
When you’re out for a walk, take a bag with you and collect fallen pinecones. With a dusting of silver or gold spray paint, you can turn them into beautiful Christmas tree ornaments or incorporate them into wreaths. Or glue on some felt ears and pipe cleaner tails and turn them into cute wee mice or hedgehogs.
Decorate your own home-made cards with leaf prints. Choose leaves with strong shapes and prominent veins. Press them to flat between two sheets of paper weighted down with a heavy book and leave for a couple of days. Then paint the backs of the leaves with the colour of your choice and press them onto a card to make beautiful leaf prints.
Plant up pots to give you colour right through winter and into spring. To make a ‘lasagna’ planter, plant layers of different bulbs in one pot. Put tulips in the lowest layer and cover with a layer of compost, then add a layer of daffodil bulbs and more compost. Top with winter bedding plants such as violas or cyclamens to give colour in winter before the bulbs start to flower in spring.
Turn your garden into your very own light show. Drape tree branches in twinkling fairy lights so that you can admire their shape as the nights draw in.
When you’re cutting back the garden to tidy it up for the winter, save some of the most interesting dried seedheads like teasels and poppies for gorgeous dried flower arrangements. Dried lavender heads make a lovely scented addition to Christmas wreaths.
Remember to look after your garden wildlife in the holiday season. Set up a bird table and feeders to keep birds fed through the cold winter months, and make a bug house by tying bundles of twigs or bamboo canes together. Hang your bughouse on a sheltered, south-facing wall to protect it from the worst of the winter weather.
Whatever you’re planning for the holiday season, you’ll find plenty of inspiration for in our centre. Come and visit us for great ideas on parties, decorations, gifts and much more.