Cel­e­brate out­side

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - TRADES & SERVICES - Janita Singh

AUSSIE Christ­mas usu­ally means en­ter­tain­ing al­fresco.

Celebrity land­scaper, horticulturalist of Lan­dart Land­scapes and pres­i­dent of the LNA Master Land­scapes As­so­ci­a­tion, Matt Leacy, says home­own­ers should start spruc­ing up their out­door space now.

Start by adding fes­tive colours in your gar­den, he adds.

“Key colours are red and green. Banksias look re­ally fes­tive and gre­vil­lias, lilly pil­lies and bot­tle­brushes are beau­ti­ful na­tive op­tions,’’ Leacy says.

“There are loads of red and green herbs, fruits and veg­eta­bles that will look great out­doors and taste great on any Christ­mas ta­ble.

“Toma­toes, straw­ber­ries and limes are primed to fruit in sum­mer and make great ad­di­tions to fes­tive sal­ads, pas­tas and plat­ters.”

Leacy says pot­ting plants (in quirky/bright pots) is a fun way to move the dis­play.

Light­ing can also make a huge dif­fer­ence.

“Many Aussies don’t tap into the full po­ten­tial of their out­doors sim­ply be­cause some spa­ces don’t al­low enough light,’’ he says.

“An easy way to fix this is to drape or hang some fes­toon light­ing out­side – on sur­round­ing trees or be­tween your house and trees.”

Set the scene with ta­ble vases, top­i­ary or an out­door Christ­mas tree.

Make sure you have ad­e­quate shad­ing that cov­ers guests – and when it rains.

“If you don’t have a lot of nat­u­ral shade out­doors, there are a num­ber of man­made op­tions like get­ting large um­brel­las.

“If you want to en­ter­tain larger groups, look at more sub­stan­tial op­tions which may cost a bit more up­front, but have sus­tained use.

“Re­tractable awnings, canopies, ca­banas, per­go­las and out­door pavil­ions of­fer pro­tec­tion and add style and value to your home.” De­tails: Go to lan­dart.com.au

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