Vic MacBournie Vic MacBournie

White lights and window boxes: A warm holiday welcome

Combining white lights with window boxes creates a warm welcome during the holidays and throughout the year.

Simple Christmas decor is natural choice for front garden

There are no guarantees in life, but if it’s a White Christmas you’re dreaming of, adding the right lights will help bring the magic to your landscape during the holiday season and throughout the year.

Forget those bright LED red and green lights. And those new electric-blue LEDs, just don’t work in naturalized gardens.

If you are looking for tasteful lighting that welcomes guests during the holiday season, warm white lights work like a charm, especially in window boxes and other containers. An added bonus is that the window boxes with white lights look as good in the middle of summer as they do in winter.

In fact, we have solar-powered fairy lights on trellises in the back yard all summer. The inexpensive lights provide a romantic glow to the entrance of our back garden and welcome visitors.

Window boxes decorated with Holiday decor complete with white lights add a warm welcome to the natural garden.

Our Mayne window boxes decorated with Holiday decor complete with white lights add a warm welcome to the natural garden.

We use the warm white lights across the front of our home to add a festive yet classic look.

It starts with our two Mayne Fairfield window boxes decorated with white lights and holiday decor. The window boxes are plastic, self-watering and very well made. We added the decorative brackets as well. These solidly-built, Mayne boxes are available in several sizes in both black and white.

The look continues with our indoor tree (also in white lights) in our large picture window. Finally, the front door includes a lighted wreath flanked by two small, yet simple Christmas trees with white lights. All three are controlled by battery-operated timers making them a convenient option for the entire holiday season.

The only addition is a set of three “presents” decorated with red ribbon and white lights.

The understated decor works well in a naturalized woodland garden.

This look can begin on the exterior of the home and be easily carried into the interior with understated decor.

A Christmas tree adorned with white lights welcome visitors.

Cedar boughs covered in white fairy lights, like this example from McGee and Co., provide a perfect transition from outdoors to the interior. The greenery can be used around a doorway or on a interior or exterior railing.

By removing the obvious holiday decorations, the lights are subtle enough to leave out all winter. Certainly, they can stay out over the winter when a dusting of snow adds a magical quality to the light.

Inside the home, a natural style can be used well past the Holiday season. These contemporary wicker trees, for example, could be decorated with white lights for the holidays, and left natural for the remainder of the year.

And for the fall season, this fun rug from Anthropologie is the perfect way to greet visitors.

These Mayne window boxes add a festive mood and a warm welcome to the front garden.

These Mayne window boxes add a festive mood and a warm welcome to the front garden.

Window boxes provide a classic Holiday look

One of my favourite combinations for Christmas – that lasts right through into spring – is our front Mayne Fairfield 3-ft window boxes filled with winter greens, holiday decorations and, of course, the small warm white lights.

A simple timer automatically turns the lights on and off after a chosen amount of time. The effect creates a classic holiday feeling both on the exterior of the home as well as inside the house looking out.

If window boxes are something you think you might be interested in, check out my earlier post on planting window boxes on a budget

A dusting of snow on the greenery turns the window boxes into magical wintery scenes.

Window boxes are a great addition to your home at any time of the year, but they really seem to come into their own around the holiday season where they can extend your Christmas decorating theme to a whole new level.

Small white lights in the Mayne Fairfield window boxes add a festive, but classic, look to the front garden.

Small white lights in the Mayne Fairfield window boxes add a festive, but classic, look to the front garden.

We use the small twinkle lights in both window boxes, but technology has made the possibilities endless. You could place one or a group of flickering candles in the window boxes that turn on and off automatically. Tuck a grouping of lighted Christmas balls into the window boxes as an elegant thriller almost like a birdsnest.

Front door and landing offers more decorating possibilities

Our white-light theme is extended across the front of our ranch-style home and welcomes visitors with a battery-operated wreath on the front door flanked by two simple Christmas trees that are also on their own timers.

If you really want to add an interesting touch to your front decor, consider turning your porch lights into gas lanterns with these LED lights bulbs that create the illusion of soft, flickering, gas flames.

The effect is simple with an understated elegance.

Red ribbons add a touch of colour to all the greenery and simple decoration.

A window into your woodland

Our full-size Christmas tree, also adorned with white lights, sits in the large picture window over looking the front garden and completing the holiday look.

The simple aesthetics may not be for everyone, but keeping holiday decorating to soft, warm white light helps unify the look and creates a tasteful, yet warm welcome to the woodland garden.


Light pollution and wildlife

Although most wildlife is tucked away for the winter in underground burrows, we should always remember that too much light can create severe problems for some wildlife. Lighting up your landscape can cause some animals and birds to change their natural movements and their feeding habits. For some, the lights may attract prey making it easier for predators, but at the same time creating an unfavourable situation for prey animals.

Extremely bright lights, such as spotlights and other high intensity lights are simply unnecessary in a natural garden. Try to keep this in mind when designing your outdoor holiday decorating plan.

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