It’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas! This year will be nostalgic Christmas, with old fashioned family gatherings at home the way to go. November is the best time to start prepping your garden for the summer “bubble”. Our checklist below is the perfect tool for taking the stress out of family entertaining and shopping.
- Getting your space ready to entertain.
November’s great weather makes being outside a joy. Start with some spring cleaning like removing the cobwebs, clearing the gutters, blasting your paths and patios, cleaning the windows and trimming your hedges. A working bee at home can be fun for the kids too, especially if there are rewards involved, so making throw in some Christmas Credit Points that they can earn or make some things a race or game to get done.
Once you’ve cleaned, it’s time to spruce. Make different zones in your outdoor area just like you would inside. Create a cosy outdoor nook for lounging in with a two-seater sofa and coffee table, or a couple of laid-back wicker ‘song’ chairs. Outdoor dining needs to be relaxed and comfortable. The mid-century inspired Simja armchair is a classically designed piece of furniture with elegant, slim lines that don’t take up too much leg room, allowing you to fit comfortably at the table all Christmas lunch without that usual knee clash that can happen. If you have space, a place to do some yoga stretches or sit on the ground crossed legged with your mates telling tall stories is an asset you can set up easily with an outdoor mat and some floor cushions.
- Instant impact for outdoor space
There impact and there’s ambience…both make their presence felt but in different ways. The trend this year is to focus on enchantment. The subtle effect of quality candles and perfumed plants permeating the air can be incredibly alluring. In summer, it’s hard to not to succumb to gardenias. They have a captivating smell that evokes memories idyllic humid evenings with gentle wafting breezes…and are symbolic of love, harmony and grace. The addition of a small water feature trickling in the background will be enticement for people and wildlife alike.
For impact, we suggest avoiding the obvious bright overloads and instead use repetition for effect. Clusters of pots, collections of plants, groupings of hanging baskets, assortments of cushions and so on add that Bohemian styling which is so popular. Subtle patterning and natural textiles, tassels and woven baskets are the hot look right now, not the brassy brights!
- Live Christmas tree options + native alternate options
The Christmas tree is always a focus of your family room in December. Anticipation builds as finding and decorating the perfect tree begins. If you’re choosing a living tree, hold off bringing it inside till mid-December, and it will last in prime condition. For a touch of Australiana, go with a gum tree or flowering NSW Christmas bush to create your own authentic feel. The ornamental red flowering gums have a particularly festive feel, with scarlet new foliage and large showy blossoms, which often have a display right on cue for Christmas. For a more traditional look, try a pine, trimmed to shape and rich with that wonderful cedar scent. The trick to keeping your living Christmas tree thriving is to keep it in a brightly lit room, like a sunroom, but not in an air-conditioned environment. It should survive for 2 weeks indoor, but gradually bring it back out into the sun, don’t burn it suddenly by bringing it from the inside to full sun – stage your ‘come back’ with a semi shaded position, like a courtyard or under a shady tree, first.For a modern take on the Christmas Bauble, why not buy one of our Christmas themed moss or Kokedama Baubles. A gardenesque wreath and wrapping will complete the look.
- Book Christmas lunch or DINNER at our place.
Have you been to our revamped eating area? We’ve ramped up the relaxed vibe and cosied the café with comfortable seating and lounges. It’s gone eclectic and naturally, we’ve spaced everything out and capitalised on our outdoor spaces to make sure you can chillax. Coming in time for Christmas is an outdoor bar too. Join us for a bottomless luncheon in the garden, or a shared dinner for the locals starting service at 5pm. Lunch includes all the classics like seafood and turkey, and dinner – a new offering for us at Eden, will be relaxed fare including shared antipasto, Angus tagliata, lemon sorbet with berry coulis and coffee affogato.
5.Shop your teacher / friend gifts early - give a living gift
From kids to grandparents, teachers and coaches, Christmas Kringle’s and standby gifts, plants are perfect. Who needs more plastic junk after all? Grab a seed spouter for that hipster nephew so he can DIY mung beans, pop in a peace lily for the mother-in-law, and grab some hand lotion potted petunia from the teachers’ pet. Why not plan ahead and grow a herb basket ready to either have handy at the kitchen or use for secret Santa. Talking of ‘standby’ gifts, potted poinsettias are perfect – you can enjoy them till it’s time to give them away. And for kids, we have a huge range of kits, and gardening gizmos and games to entertain them – after all, we all want to encourage them to have ‘green time’ rather than ‘screen time’.
If markets are your thing, don’t forget to pop into our Artisan Market on the 8th November. It runs from 9:30am – 3:30pm. Everything is handmade and it’s a great chance to support the creatives in our community that have really struggled through COVID.
by Meredith Kirton