Having wound our way up a – now enchanting – path, we reach the front door. Naturally, this wouldn’t be complete without a wreath – the traditional symbol of welcome on December doors. For extra brownie points, match this to the rest of your front garden’s planting. If you have hydrangea bushes in the garden, for instance, make sure to include the dried flower heads in the wreath too.
Wreaths aren’t your only option for dressing the front door though. Consider a small garland to hang, bough-like, over the top of the door frame. Likewise, if you have an open porch, wind its beams and posts with foliage and fairy lights too. In the country, this might be dried hops and twiggy rosehips, while in town, glossy green laurel, magnolia or bay leaves are all suitably smart alternatives to the usual evergreens.
If you have space around your door, one of our favourite decorating tricks – year round – is to cluster potted plants here. Inspired by East Sussex garden Great Dixter, it’s an easy way to make a big impact. This time of year, it could be a mix of small evergreen topiaries and hardy white cyclamen. Or, for more colour, winter-flowering hellebores and polyanthus. You could also, if you’re forcing bulbs inside for Christmas, bring them outside temporarily to celebrate Christmas Day itself with a joyful mix of scented blooms.
One last touch for the door: a small brass bell or two, hung from the handle, so every visitor is greeted by the gentlest of tinkling chimes.