How to Get Your Seattle Garden Ready for the Holidays this December

The holidays are here! If you’ve been keeping up with your winter prep — see our earlier posts — you’ve earned yourself a quiet month in the garden. Celebrate by using that extra time to turn your home into a winter wonderland. Here are some festive tips to make the depths of winter a little less dark:

Put up holiday lights

Nothing recasts a gloomy yard of hibernating plants like the warm glow of holiday lights. Wrap trees and small hedges with strings of lights to cast them in a new light — literally.

However, be careful not to overload limited outdoor plugs with too many strands of lights. This can cause electrical issues and blown fuses. One easy solution: use LED lights instead. They’re increasingly common and use a fraction of the energy that traditional lights do. They also last longer, so you won’t spend hours untangling strands trying to replace burned-out bulbs.

Another important piece of advice, make sure the lights you’re using are meant for the outdoors. This will prevent shorts and other electrical disasters when encountering moisture, a near certainty in Seattle weather. Ask at the hardware store or look online for waterproof boxes to protect the plugs on outdoor lights.

Plants aren’t the only things worth illuminating! Clips can make it easy to string lights along roof gutters, and ground-level lighting can make walkways and patios pop. Give Pacifica Landscapes a call at 206-551-9872 to learn more about lighting your garden year-round. We can even install mini spotlights to show off your favorite plants!

Incorporate natural decorations into your home

Another way to make the holidays feel more alive is to bring your garden inside. Consider trimming evergreen trees for indoor and outdoor decorations. Using wire you can fashion boughs into a wreath or simply let them stand alone as a fresh, Pacific Northwest-style decoration.

Once separated from trees, branches can dry out quickly. To keep them fresh, prepare them for display by soaking the ends in water for a day or so. Split the ends a few inches from the bottom to increase water uptake and hydration. Store them in a cool place for as long as possible before display. If you want to keep your clippings growing for ongoing decoration, look into propagation. (Here’s a guide from Oregon State University.) With the right ingredients, your clippings will spring right up!

Be sure not to overharvest your evergreen trees or plants for clippings. Never remove more than a third of the volume in one go.

Plan for brighter days

December is a great month to take a step back and consider what you want to do with your garden in the new year when things start to grow again. Order the seeds you need (or ask for them as a present!) and come up with a planting schedule. Stay on top of your maintenance, removing broken branches or other debris, and ensure any wrapped plants stay secure. Make sure snow doesn’t crush any fragile plants.

If you want help planning out your garden or any improvements to your yard in the new year, give us a call at 206-551-9872!