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Saturday, July 24, 2021

Festive alfresco

An Australian Christmas almost always calls for outdoor entertaining. Matt Leacy from Landart Landscapes shares his top tips for preparing your outdoor space for the festive season.

Festoon lighting

  • If you want your house aglow with lights at Christmas time, make sure that power cords and sources are discreetly covered and integrated into your outdoor space.
  • Consider how you can use existing structures or plants, such as pergolas and topiary trees, to hang festive fairy lights or festoon lighting.
  • When adding festive lighting to your garden, also consider subtle options. For example, rope lighting around inside garden edges and fairy lights in bushes.

Garden inspiration

  • Take your cues for table settings and Christmas décor from your garden design. If you have structured box hedges, run a row of smaller box hedge plants in pots up the middle of your table. Weave in some small copper-threaded battery-operated lighting between them, and choose some festive pots (or spray-paint cheap terracotta pots), and you’ll achieve a coordinated yet festive look.
  • Gum leaves can also look great draped down indoor and outdoor stair balustrades, tied off with beautiful festive ribbon. Anything that is lush and green from your garden can be used on mass to create a beautiful display.

Seasonal plantings

  • Look to plants and live greenery that won’t wilt and fade. Succulents can be used on stones with water, potted, and floating in vases or in wreaths to great effect. And with the right frame, you can also use them to create a stunning live Christmas tree.
  • If you’re looking to replant your garden when the full heat of summer has passed, consider buying some of your plants early and use them in table décor and indoors over the Christmas season.
  • Consider planting herbs that you know will be in high rotation on summer cocktail and food menus. Layer rosemary, thyme, basil, coloured lettuce and other summer staples like coriander for a decorative and practical patch.

Sun protection

  • If you don’t already have an outdoor shade structure, consider investing in one. It will pay dividends year-round, offering protection from the sun throughout summer and then rain and wind during the cooler months.

Pool essentials

  • The key thing to get right first and foremost is the pool’s pH level – it should always sit somewhere between 7.2 and 7.8. You can monitor levels using a store-bought testing kit.
  • Check that your pool’s filtration system is in good nick, remove leaves from the water’s surface and the skimmer box.

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