Whether it is Halloween, autumn, Thanksgiving or Christmas, one of the fun aspects of the holiday season is decorating your landscape with holiday cheer. You can build your own decorations, make decorating into a family project, invite friends or neighbors to your decorating party, buy decor in all sizes and shapes or call in a professional to decorate your home. However you decide to dress up your property for the holidays, here are some tips to make your holiday landscape design successful.
- Plan it out in advance so you know where everything will go. Like everything else, a little extra work with preparation will save a lot of time and money later on.
- Start with a focal point — one eye-catching item or event – and place it where it will be best seen.
- Lead the eye up to the focal point with paths, strings of decor or a procession of more subtle decor. This can be done formally or informally.
- Keep safety-first in mind. Make sure all electrical circuits are grounded and protected — especially from moisture. Do not overload electric circuits. Also place your decor so it will not catch or trip anyone – especially near entryways. Consider children and pets as well as anyone with physical limitations when you design your decor. Avoid anything that could cause harm and remember to extend that consideration to passers-by if you are decorating your front yard and you live in a populated area. Leave a clear path to your front door.
- Make sure all your decor is safe for outdoor use. Most items are marked appropriately. We can get both rain and wind at this time of year and both will wreak havoc with any décor that is not designed for outdoor use and fastened securely into place.
- Think of your holiday design as a single painting and think out how all the pieces will fit into an overall design. Too much confusion can create a messy result. Areas of less décor will create a peaceful contrast to areas of activity. Use the natural design of your yard to guide the layout so you will have some of the ‘picture’ already suggested for you. Building on what you already have will also save you time and labor rather than trying to design your holiday decorations from scratch, or worse, having to fight the natural structures and the existing lay of the land. One example would be to use that tree in the garden as a large vertical for supporting a focal point, dangling lights or to anchor one side of a parade of decorations.
- If in doubt, keep it simple. The best impact can sometimes be when “less is more.” A single, really impressive item supported by effective surroundings can make a powerful and impressive statement.
- Use lighting. Much holiday decor is seen after dark and we have long hours of darkness at this time of the year. So use the dark to create your own mystical, magical holiday-land. Use colored lights, spot lights on the most important areas, strings of lights as outlines and even solar and low voltage for ambient lighting. Black lights will make whites and flourescent colors really pop. There are some highly decorative LED lights being produced today, too, that use low energy, are safe outdoors and can create colorful special effects.
Remember to stay within your budget with both time and money. The holidays can be stressful enough with friends and family visiting, cooking, cleaning, repairs and generally trying to get on with things when life pulls you in multiple directions. With the current recession finances are not always what we want, so don’t add to your anxiety by overextending yourself with too much decorating unless you can afford the time and money.
There are frugal ways to decorate, too. Look to your garden for dried materials to build your own decorations. There are many ways to dress up a bale of hay. Stuff some old clothes and seat a witch on a haystack. Use a bale of hay for a table to display pumpkins, squashes and gourds, or make it a base to build a display of colorful potted chrysanthemums or other holiday plants. You can also recycle old clothes into scarecrows or monsters. Or turn rags into flying ghosts by painting eyes on white pieces of cloth and dangling them from strings.
Use your imagination to create holiday décor for your garden. There are no limits to what can be recycled or adapted, especially if you mix and match with some lights and a few of the affordable decorations for sale at craft or design shops or at your favorite garden center.
Amazon Carousel Widget