The countdown to Christmas is officially on and now is the perfect time to be thinking about ways to improve your outdoor space for the festive season. Although bigger renovations or extensive garden plans may be out of the question there are still plenty of things you can do to spruce up your outdoors. With the help of Goom Landscapes we reveal all our tips for getting your outdoor living areas ready for summer entertaining and that all important date – Christmas Day!
Clean patios and outdoor furniture
The first and most obvious step is to clean. Hardscape is pretty easy to sort with a good clean bringing most existing hardscape back to life.
Hiring or borrowing a water blaster to carefully clean up your tiles and concrete is a good idea but Goom cautions people to “be mindful of where the spray is going – no point in cleaning your horizontal surfaces at the expense of creating a mess all over your fences.”
Now is a good time to clean and oil your outdoor furniture. Powder coated aluminium can easily be washed with a soft cloth and general household detergent. For teak items that have faded to silver with age, use a Devon timber furniture cleaner to bring out its buttery colour. To really restore its colour you can also give your teak outdoor furniture a light sand (see our care video for teak outdoor furniture for tips and hints). Once you have cleaned or sanded your teak furniture, apply a care product such as the Devon protector.
Extension Outdoor Dining Tables
Any good entertainer knows that an outdoor dining table is a must for any celebrations this season. There’s nothing quite like being gathered outside around a dining table with family and friends at Christmas. If you’re short on space or don’t want your table to dominate, an extension table such as the Jati & Kebon Livorno Extension Dining Table is the perfect solution and means you will always be prepared for unexpected guests.
Likewise, extra chairs can be a lifesaver. Choose stacking chairs that can easily be stored when not in use. Outdoor beanbags like those from Coast or MM Linen are another great option as they are designed especially for the outdoors. They are great for the kids (and adults alike).
You can also make the most of spare chairs by choosing ones that look just as good inside as they do out. The Vincent Sheppard Gipsy Cocoon Chair is a great example of this and can double as statement chair inside when not needed outdoors.
Protection from the elements
Wind, sun and rain are all important factors when designing outdoor spaces and can make or break your outdoor living areas. With Christmas being so close there may not be time to build a pergola but a quality outdoor umbrella can be just as effective. The Jardinico Caractere 401 Umbrella offers protection from the elements and comes with a wind resistance rating of up to 104km/ph.
Prepare your garden for hot weather
Summertime (particularly in Christchurch) means strong, hot winds that can suck the life out of your plants so it’s a good idea to start preparing now. “Make sure young trees are staked and check your irrigation is timed for the best time of the day for maximum effect. Early hours of the morning are best to prep your plants for a hot day – NOT the middle of the day when half of it evaporates and the rest gets blown away” says Goom. Goom recommends taking a step back to make sure “it’s actually watering where you need it to i.e. garden beds rather than footpaths and driveways.”
Potted colour is always a quick fix for any garden at any time of the year. “You can adjust your colour scheme to fit your seasonal theme and it’s pretty instant gratification when you’re using annuals” says Goom. For a real festive touch Goom suggests “a living Christmas tree – potted or planted in the garden.”
Plan ahead for next year
If your garden looks more like a barren wasteland than an oasis of blooms then there probably isn’t time for a massive overhaul but Goom reminds us “not to feel bad – most people do the same.” They advise planning ahead for next year and thinking of your long term goals, “look around now and see what you like that’s flowering and make a plan to plant now ready for best results in Christmas 2019!”. In the case of bigger items like swimming pools the best time of year to make a move is actually in the winter to make sure it’s ready for you to dive into for the summer.
Lastly no summer dinner party is complete without beautiful serveware and table linen to decorate the table. The new Edit by Seneca range of ceramics offers lots of options with three distinct styles to choose from.
For a look that will work year round, layer with texture by pairing different materials together such as the Bianca Lorenne felted wool trivets with the wooden Edit by Seneca Round Chopping Board. And for that all important festive touch you can add Christmas themed tea towels and placemats.