Christmas garden decorations – how to be festive and wildlife-friendly

Christmas garden decorations. Do you love them, or do you worry about light pollution?

Decorating your garden at Christmas is a trend that has crept over from the US. When we went to Virginia in 2005, we were literally dazzled by the number of houses wreathed in festive lights.

But, at that time, outdoor Christmas decorations in the UK meant a wreath on your front door.

Garden Christmas decorations

In 2005, we only knew one family who had rather wickedly installed a giant illuminated Father Christmas and sleigh, complete with reindeers, on their roof in leafy Dulwich. It appalled their neighbours, much to our friends’ delight.

Now fully illuminated houses rival each other in many British streets. And people argue about whether this is a Good Thing or whether it is causing light pollution. Artificial light in gardens can disrupt wildlife by interfering with sleeping/waking patterns or affecting the way they navigate around.

I recently went to the Abbey Physic Community Garden in Faversham, a wildlife-friendly therapeutic garden . They’d hung baubles on their leafless fruit trees, and from their pergola. It was so festive and easy – but it doesn’t disrupt wildlife at all.

With today’s glass windows, doors and extensions, you can see the garden all year round. Even in our Georgian house, I love to look out the window several times an hour. So here are some wildlife-friendly ideas for your Christmas garden decorations:

Add a wreath to your pergola or your back door

Don’t stop at one Christmas wreath. Hang a wreath on your back door, on a pergola or on a shed door. You only see your front door wreath when you come into the house. Like all Christmas garden decorations, a wreath in the garden can be enjoyed every time you look out the window.

Christmas garden decorations

This heart wreath was hanging on a trellis in the Abbey Physic Garden.

2) Hang your pergola with baubles

Christmas garden decorations

Red baubles hang from the roof of the pergola at the Abbey Physic Garden, Faversham

Another great idea from the Abbey Physic Garden. Buy a bulk pack of baubles all in one colour – you can get 100 red baubles from Amazon for £11.95. (That’s an affiliate link so if you buy, I may get a small fee, but it doesn’t affect the price you pay.)

3. Hang baubles on leafless trees

Christmas baubles on a fruit tree

Red Christmas baubles on a leafless fruit tree.

The Abbey Physic Garden also used the same red baubles on their leafless fruit trees. Choose just one colour for your Christmas garden decorations. I thought the red baubles everywhere looked particularly effective. I don’t think it would have looked as good if the baubles had been multi-coloured. I’m going to try white baubles on my silver birch trees.

4) Conifers in containers as Christmas garden decorations

Conifers in pots as garden Christmas decorations
Christmas conifers outside in pots
Christmas tree in a galvanised bucket
Christmas conifers in pots
Conifers in containers for Christmas
Conifers in containers

 5) Create a festive ‘tablescape’ outside the window

Garden writer and author Francine Raymond creates wonderfully stylish scenes in every corner of her house and garden. Her garden table is just outside full-length glass doors, so she sees it every day. There is always a charmingly-arranged display on it.

Winter garden 'tablescape'

Shimmering dried honesty and a miniature Christmas tree combine with succulents and sculpture on Francine’s ‘tablescape’.

Foraged tree clippings for an outdoor flower arrangement

An outdoor ‘tablescape’ by Charlotte Molesworth – this mix of pussy willow and other twigs from the garden is combined with pieces of foraged wood.

Conifer foliage arranged for Christmas

Or hang just a few baubles on an outside table decoration – I love this combination of conifer foliage and silver in a white garden bucket.

Even if you don’t have many evergreens in your garden, ask a friend if you can snip some greenery off the back of their trees. Rootle around in your borders – or other people’s. Small branches often drop off in winter storms. I’ve found most of my twigs for decorating under my trees, so I haven’t had to clip them. Although winter is a good time for pruning, anyway!

Francine is holding a Christmas Shopping Day in Whitstable today (December 4th). Go to 19 Joy Lane, Whitstable to buy tasty treats, stocking fillers, hand-made and artisan presents.

Francine Raymond Christmas shopping day

Do share any outdoor decorating ideas you have on the Middlesized Garden Facebook page – I’d love to see them.

The post Christmas garden decorations – how to be festive and wildlife-friendly appeared first on The Middle-Sized Garden.

from The Middle-Sized Garden


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