Saturday, December 5, 2009

Decorating the Outdoors for Christmas

Christmas, a magical and spiritual holiday, takes place at the darkest time of the year making us want to add brightness to our surroundings. The anticipation of Christmas is almost as enjoyable as the Holiday itself. During the pre-Christmas Advent season, we do so many delightful things to prepare for the celebration. My parents never wavered in making Christmas a wonderful time for us, and many of the preparations that were repeated every year became our traditions I now share with my family. Decorating the outside of the house is one of the first things we do.

The weekend of the American Thanksgiving is my marker of the beginning of the Christmas season. It is the weekend I go to the garden centre to purchase the evergreen wreaths and boughs for the entrance doors and the outdoor planters. Except for the lighting, I limit the outdoor decorations to fresh evergreens and natural accents as much as possible.

Christmas,decorations,outdoor decorationsSheridan Nurseries,Christmas outdoor decorations

Sheridan Nurseries, the garden centre, has an outdoor area protected from the wind, rain and snow with heaters in strategic places. A welcoming pot of hot apple cider keeps the shoppers from becoming numb with cold. Sheridan’s choice of decorations is extensive and is always beautifully displayed. Their floral arrangers gladly help customers by creating outdoor or indoor arrangements ready for display.

Christmas outdoor decorations,Christmas wreath
I always buy ready-made wreaths, but I enjoy creating my own low-key arrangements for the planters. For the front, I found the largest wreath my door will allow. This year, my choice of wreath is one already decorated with cones and is made mainly of Fraser fir boughs with a few sprigs of bluish juniper, pine, and some cedar.
Two small cut fir trees are for the urns on the back patio.

Fir, pine boughs and pussy willow twigs fill the planters near our side door.

This year the earth was not yet frozen making the anchoring of arrangements in the planters and urns much easier than in previous years.

The side door is also welcoming with its small plain Fraser fir wreath that I will decorate with cones and some small faux red berries.

The last task is to add white lights to the globe cedars and square yew, the rooted living plants growing near the front door. White lights also light up the little fir trees in the urns on the back patio. This year we added timers to the lighting keeping in mind that many people in our neighbourhood walk late in the evening to enjoy the crisp fresh air and the seasonal lighting displays.

Now all that is needed is the dusting of real snow which we can expect naturally by Christmas time.

Christmas outdoor decorations,Christmas lights


  1. Your home looks beautiful with all the decorations! It certainly gives me inspiration to brave the cold and add some to creative and festive!

  2. I always look forward to reading your posts, especially when you feature your lovely home and landscaping. While some of our warmer southern temps don't allow a long "shelf" life for natural greens, I do try to use some in strategic places, as I truly love the beauty of nature at Christmas. Thanks for sharing your great photos and for giving us a peek at your beautiful handiwork!

  3. There is nothing like the organic beauty and fresh scent of fresh evergreens and you have showcased them beautifully! Living in Florida where the temperatures are much warmer, I miss the cold brisk air but your suggestions on how to decorate with natural greens will help create the feeling of Christmas. Your decorations are lovely as is your home!

  4. I love your beautiful decoration. Kindest regards yours Christiana

  5. beautiful pics and editorial - gave me some new ideas on hanging Christmas lights....may opt to put them in the pots and hedges as you show. Now, just got to get my ladder (well, actually get my husband to get the ladder) and venture out in the cold and do it. We actually had snow already here in New York (lightly but nevertheless)! Happy Holidays! best, tamara from

  6. Thank you so very much for all your comments. I appreciate them.

  7. Darling I stumbled upon your lovely blog and just wanted to let you know that you have a new I hope you had a wonderful time ringing in the New Year and that 2010 turns out to be the best year of your life, followed by many more.

    Love & Hugs

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