Bring Some Holiday Cheer to Your Landscape!
Ready for the holidays? We certainly are!
True, things may not be totally “back to normal” this holiday season, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get into the spirit! From putting up holiday decorations to putting together some “winter-ready” outdoor living spaces, here are a few tips from Bosch’s to help make your outdoor spaces fun, festive, and safe this year!
Display Some Winter-Friendly Plants
You might not think about it much, but there are actually a ton of beautiful, hardy plants that can handle the harsh cold and minimal sunlight of Michigan winters with relative ease.
Potted evergreens, like Japanese yew or Colorado blue spruce, can give any porch or patio a classic Christmas look—with or without being dressed up with bells, lights, or ribbons. Ditto for decorative winter grasses or colorful dogwoods. There are even some perennials that flower during the winter season, including hellebores (“Christmas rose”), winter jasmine, and winter irises.
Of course, if you’re worried about whether a certain plant will flower (or even survive) outdoors, you have a lot more options when it comes to indoor plants that will still look great through a front window.
Put in a Fire Pit
With indoor gatherings still considered a high risk this December, it can be hugely beneficial to have an outdoor hangout space that can remain cozy (or at least tolerable!) in relatively chilly weather.
Now, considering the short notice, your only short-term option for this upcoming winter might be to buy or borrow a portable fire pit. But if you want an outdoor gathering space that will truly last for years, look beautiful, put out a ton of heat, and add value to your home, call Bosch’s and have us build you your own permanent fire pit!
A great fire pit can become the center of your outdoor living space not only during the holidays, but all year round. Our pros will make sure the install is safe, beautiful, and up to code. We can even put in some sitting walls around the perimeter for easy built-in seating!
Let There Be Light!
Christmas lights are, with good reason, a very popular way to literally brighten the holidays. And some people really do love to go all-out on their displays! If you’re the kind of person who likes to put up thousands of lights in every color of the rainbow, covering every part of your house, we won’t stop you.
However, you definitely don’t need to spend hours setting up lights everywhere. Creative, limited use of lights can really help accentuate a landscape feature you’re particularly proud of, or help “guide” a viewer’s eye up the main walkway or to the front door.
Just a few strings of lights around a doorframe, porch pillar, front yard tree, or shrubs can really help the natural beauty of your home and landscape stand out. Or you could place lights around a fire pit, deck, or fountain, or drape strings like icicles. Use your imagination! While a “classic” approach can certainly be appealing, sometimes using lights in unusual or unexpected ways can look great, too.
Just make sure that any lights you use outside the home are rated for outdoor use. Using indoor lights outside runs the risk of electrical fire. If you aren’t sure about your lights, check the tag on the cord; Christmas lights safe for outdoor use should be marked by a “UL” tag in red (or with red text on silver). If you can’t find a tag, don’t take the risk.
De-Ice (the Environmentally Friendly Way)
This maybe doesn’t quite count as “holiday decorating,” but trust us: one surefire way to ruin Christmas is with a trip to the ER after a nasty fall. So in addition to making your home look inviting, you should also make it safe to access!
Remember that not all de-icing salts are created equal. While standard sodium chloride “rock salt” is the cheapest and most plentiful option, it can also be toxic to grass and plants, hazardous to pets and other animals, and even cause indirect damage to concrete and metal—especially concrete that’s less than six months old.
For icy and bitterly cold Michigan winters, we typically recommend either magnesium chloride (safer for plants and animals than sodium without sacrificing performance) or an acetate (calcium magnesium acetate or potassium acetate). The acetates are the best overall choice, but are a bit more expensive.
Let Bosch’s Be Your Guide
While there’s still a lot that an intrepid DIYer can do to liven up their landscape for the holidays, there’s no shame in calling in the professionals to help design, build, plant, and maintain beautiful landscaping and hardscaping features that will add beauty and useability to your space all year long.
We’re already starting to get requests for spring projects, so don’t wait to give us a call if you want your home or business to be the envy of the neighborhood by the time Christmas 2021 rolls around! Give us a call at (616) 399-6861, or contact us online to request your free estimate.