Published : 16 September 2015
You've just had the call, haven't you? From family or friends, telling you that everybody has decided that Christmas will be at your place this year! You're overjoyed - and then you look out the window at the garden! But don't panic, with these handy tips you will be enjoying a sensational lunch setting on the big day!
Time to Green up your lawn
If you have one! If you don't, you can skip this step altogether! But if you do, and it's looking a bit the worse for wear, it's time to get busy as a lovely lawn provides the perfect green backdrop to a beautiful garden. Start with a good mow and tidy up the edges - preferably in the early morning or late afternoon so you’re not outside in the heat and humidity in the middle of the day.
If the grass looks a little brown, use a hose-on fertiliser for a quick boost and green up. Continue giving the grass a good watering as often as you can between now and Christmas morning. This will make a big difference. If your lawn has disappeared, cover the area with some form of mulch, such as bark or gravel.
What a load of rubbish
Those piles of gardening stuff, such as old plastic pots and bamboo stakes, that you dumped out there at the end of last summer need to go! If you really think you will use them one day, stick them in the shed. If not, off to the dump you go!
If you have kids, there are probably old toys and bikes laying around, or a swing that nobody uses any more. If they are still in good condition, it’s the perfect time to pass them on to someone who will appreciate them - or take them to the tip.
Clean up paving, peeling paint or faded woodwork, re-stain the deck and clean the barbecue and outdoor furniture. Plastic furniture usually comes up well with a bit of a wipe or scrub down. Timber furniture can be quickly cleaned and refreshed with furniture wipes, which you can get at the hardware store. For an instant lift, buy some new outdoor cushions.
Tidy up your plants
Dead plants or overgrown foliage don't exactly spell festive cheer so get busy with the secateurs and snip off every dead leaf and flower you see, and anything that’s been badly heat affected. If a plant is looking really shocking, pull it out. Cut back annuals or perennials that have finished flowering as they may come good and re-flower.
Nothing brightens up a garden quicker than potted colour and these days there's heaps of choice at competitive prices. Petunias, asters, daisies and marigolds are great choices for sunny spots, while impatiens or begonias love the shade.
Hanging baskets look great, too, and you can buy these ready-planted if you wish. Go for size and colour and position them either side of your front or back door to really make a statement.
Now's the time to spread mulch everywhere! Mulch keeps moisture in and weeds out, and creates a finished look. Sugar cane, lucerne, bark chip and tea tree mulch are all great choices.
Grow green gifts
Gardeners and plant lovers love presents they can plant so, if you start now, you could grow some lovely green gifts in time for Christmas. One idea is to make up herb pots, using advanced herbs, large decorative containers and good quality potting mix.