We’re almost halfway to Christmas now and hoping for a beautiful sunny summer, spent in the garden and by the sea! We at The Olde Christmas Shoppe have compiled our favourite top garden tips for all of our gardening aficionados out there to help keep your garden thriving and full of colour this season – make the most of the good weather and keep it green with recycling tips, bee-friendly flowers and sustainable fruit trees this summer.
Summer Tip #1: ‘Bee’ friendly
We love the bees and the hard work they do to pollenate our flowers, so it’s always upsetting to see the news that bee populations are struggling; many species of pollinators are in decline in the UK, impacting our biodiversity as a whole. One thing that we can do to help out the bees and other struggling insects is to encourage the growth of native wildflowers in our gardens and local areas to combat the dwindling wild spaces in the world – varied wildflowers are vital feeding habitats for all kinds of insects, butterflies and bees, perfect for keeping our little striped ‘essential workers’ happy and pollinating!
Create a haven for the butterflies and the bees in your own garden, adding fragrance and rainbow colours to your space along the way. We recommend trying out these Beebombs from our friends at Hippy Things, “a mix of 18 British wildflower seeds, fine, sifted soil and locally sourced clay” that are tailor-made to keep the local bee population satisfied and healthy!
Summer Tip #2: Protect your fruit trees
Birds are often a welcome sight in your garden, but they can become a nuisance when they come to snack on the fruits of your labours (pun intended!) Stress no more, as we’ve found a fun and inventive top garden tip that should keep your fruit trees safe and beautify your garden at the same time…
Christmas tree baubles! Yes, indeed, your shiniest Christmas tree baubles and other reflective surfaces can be used in your garden to deter birds as they reflect the sunlight – just hang your reflective decorations from your fruit trees, secured with string or fishing wire for safety. Not only will your fruit be safe until harvesting time, but you’ll also have the best dressed fruit trees in town for sure! You can even buy outdoor specific baubles if you’re so inclined.
Summer Tip #3: For the bird-friendly garden
Want to encourage birds into your garden this summer, without sacrificing the fruits of your labours (literally)? You can always set up a dedicated bird feeding station in your garden to encourage interaction with wildlife – just make sure to consult with bird experts such as the RSPB to get tips on what to feed them and when. For example, most of our garden-variety birds are in need of a high-protein diet during the hot summer months and will surely enjoy an assortment of sunflower seeds, dried fruits and even a little bit of mild cheese!
You can also make your garden a haven for our feathered friends AND reduce your Christmas carbon footprint by getting in on the treecycling trend next year. Simply keep your real Christmas tree potted and watered beyond the festive period and move the undressed tree to your garden; replace those baubles with bird snacks and create a natural bird utopia right outside your window.
Claire from the Shoppe has been doing fantastic at treecycling this year – her own Christmas tree is still full of life and certainly drawing in the wildlife, while our shop tree is getting some R&R with the elves before hopefully returning to the window this autumn!
Summer Tip #4: LEDs are NOT just for Christmas!
Bust the fairy lights out of the attic and turn your garden into the No.1 hotspot for BBQing, partying and relaxing ’til long after the sun goes down! LED lights aren’t just for Christmas trees anymore – we’ve put together just a couple of our favourite summer lighting ideas here and would love to hear/see what you’ve come up with in your own garden, too.
Depending on what types of lights you have on hand, there are many different ways to jazz up your space this summer. To really brighten up any dark spots in your garden, try experimenting with large numbers of string lights in a cascading effect down your fences and walls. You can even use long string lights to create a canopy and define the central hang-out spaces in your garden, whether it be the patio, fire pit or even a hot tub for some lucky ducks!
You can also experiment with LED lighting on a smaller scale by putting small sets of lights into vases or funky mason jars to create bright and unique centrepieces for BBQs and garden parties. Be sure to try out different colours and shapes to see what works best for your garden, and keep tabs on social media for even more inspiration! We admittedly LOVED this idea on Pinterest which even comes with a handy how-to for these spectacular light balls – off to buy a hundred yards of chicken wire now! Check out our spectacular and extensive selection of lights here to find the perfect fit for your summer projects.
Happy sunbathing from all of us here at The Olde Christmas Shoppe – be sure to pop in for a slush this summer and say hello!