Brilliant ways to amp up your yard or porch for the holidays
Create outdoor chandeliers by wrapping lights around old wine-barrel hoops, then suspending them from the branches of
a large tree. Even easier: Rest one globe each atop two large planters flanking the front door. Hoops: From $49/3-hoop orb; etsy.com/shop/PurpleThumbNotions. Battery-powered LED copper-wire lights: $10 each (use 2/globe); amazon.com.
Keep a firepit glowing all season with copper-wire lights loosely draped over a pile of wooden logs. Use a battery-powered strand or conceal the extension cord around a less-traveled side of the firepit. (And, of course, remove the decoration when it’s time to start a real fire!) Cast-iron fire bowl: $350; dwr.com. Stargazer lights: $32/15 ft.; shopterrain.com.
Copper-wire lighting can turn a mild nuisance—tumbleweeds—into something magical. Place them along a garden pathway, hiding extension cords beneath nearby plants or fencing. If tumbleweeds (Russian thistles) aren’t piling up outside your door, you can buy them online. Tumbleweeds: From $20/12 in. wide; curiouscountrycreations.com. Stargazer lights: $32/15 ft.; shopterrain.com.
Show off the delicately twisted branches of a compact young tree such as ‘Twisty Baby’ black locust, corkscrew willow, or Harry Lauder’s walking stick (Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’) by wrapping it in lights. To cover this 4-foot-tall walking stick, we used eight 15-foot strands (for a more affordable approach, wrap just a few branches). Stargazer lights: $32/15 ft.; shopterrain.com.
Thomas J. Story
Illuminate your garden with a globe-light Christmas wreath. To give some of the bulbs a frosty look, as pictured, apply frosted-glass spray before you begin. Then tightly group a strand of lights to cover a section of a wire wreath frame, attaching the strands with zip ties on the back side. Add as many strands as you need to cover the wreath form; we used three strands of 25-count lights to cover a 12-inch frame. Plug your wreath into an extension cord. Lights: $12 strand; target.com. Ashland wire wreath frame: $3; michaels.com. Frosted-glass spray: $5; onlinefabricstore.net.
Each tiny teardrop terrarium decking this tree contains a cluster of battery-powered LED copper wire lights. Gently stuff a light string into the terrarium through the hole in the back, then use twine and small s-hooks to secure the mini lanterns to the branches. Conserve battery life by turning them off in the day, and turning them on as dusk falls. Terrarium, $9; amazon.com. LED copper wire lights, $10; amazon.com.
Gather a string of globe lights under cloches, allowing some of the lights to spill. Use them to create a trail of light through a planting bed, down a path, or among ornamental grasses, as pictured here. The lights connect to an extension cord, easily obscured by greenery and hidden in the dark. When the holidays pass, use the cloches to protect tender plants whenever frost is predicted. Cloches, from $24; homedecorators.com.