You may have boxes and bins of interior holiday decorations organized, labeled and ready to deploy this holiday season. These decorations and your own careful planning can turn your home into a festive holiday wonderland.

But what about the exterior of your home? Tackling outdoor landscaping won’t look like such a challenge (or a chore) with this list of 10 masterful holiday landscaping tips!

1. Divide and conquer holiday decorating in layers.

Wherever you choose to start your decorating (bottom, middle, top), the holiday decorations you select should be appropriate and balanced with what is above and below them.

For example, with sufficient pre-season planning, you can incorporate seasonal greenery to take care of your lowest level – around your home’s foundation and along walkways and garden beds – naturally.

Festive leafy greens, radishes, pork and beans stonecrop, coastal gem, Tasmanian tiger and other winter-friendly colorful plants can add timely “pop” to your holiday landscape along with a few well-placed potted poinsettias.

2. Make your own fragrant wreaths.

Here in California, we are lucky to enjoy an abundance of native pine species.

Whether you have access to natural pine for the picking or you head down to your local greenhouse to select your supplies, this handy tutorial will walk you through the steps to weaving fresh greens, berries and other festive accents into your own fragrant holiday wreath!

3. Plant a living holiday tree.

The hands-down best way to plan ahead for future holiday landscaping needs is to plant your own living holiday tree. Happily, this is an idea that can also work for any size space, since, like homes today, potted holiday trees come in all shapes and sizes!

If you do decide to do this, however, be sure that you select a tree this year that still has the root ball attached and intact. If you want to install your holiday tree indoors this year and move it outside in the new year, choosing a smaller tree will minimize relocation stress on the root system.

4. Incorporate natural garlands interwoven with holly berries.

This can be a two-part project: this year, repurpose living pine garlands and weave in some holly berries for bright splashes of color throughout. These are great to hang around your doorways and from eaves.

With some strategic planting, you can add California holly bushes to your existing landscaping for a naturally festive presentation starting this time next year.

5. Create a living wall complete with holiday touches.

Living walls are transforming residential and commercial spaces around the nation in an ever-evolving effort to add more green to increasingly urbanized surroundings. Living walls also offer the added benefits of keeping the air you breathe cleaner and fresher and making use out of formerly dead space. Living walls also add extra natural insulation for more energy efficient heating and cooling. Best of all, a living wall can block out some of the ambient noise that makes nearby noise less intrusive.

Starting a living wall in time for the holidays doesn’t have to be a big project! In fact, any wall with a bit of existing structure for climbing ivy or rosebushes to gain a foothold can work. Alternately, you can start by adding hanging boxes in sections, each featuring its own bit of festive greenery.

6. Make strategic use of potted plants.

Perhaps you are sifting through this list of holiday landscaping tips thinking that you already love your landscaping just the way it is and you don’t want to add or change anything. If this describes you, this is the section you want to hone in on! With some strategic use of potted plants, you can transform your exterior home space naturally without interfering with your existing landscape design.

Winter lilies and poinsettia plants are two traditional holiday plants that are typically available in abundance during the holiday season. Many organizations also offer plants for sale on a donation or fixed-fee basis to help support their non-profit work, which is a great way to support a charity you love while livening up your home space at the same time!

7. Considering renting your holiday greenery and decorations.

By renting greenery such as living Christmas trees and poinsettias, you can boost your home’s holiday curb appeal without contributing to the excess of discarded greenery littering curbs after the holidays conclude.

It can feel so good knowing that the living holiday greenery you are renting will be put to good use in other areas in need of trees and plants after the holidays are over! You may even want to advertise what you are doing with placards on your lawn to encourage neighbors to pitch in and donate their gently used holiday plants and trees to a good cause.

8. Choose one central theme as your holiday landscaping focal point.

Whether it is a beautifully decorated living holiday tree, a series of fresh pine garlands and wreaths, a fun traditional lawn display that you use every year or something else, choosing one central theme and building the remainder of your landscape around it will greatly simplify the time and expense of holiday decorating!

9. Keep it simple with lighting.

You can’t go wrong when approaching lawn lighting as if you are an art gallery manager placing lights for strategic impact. Simple white lights in perfect positions – for example, one single electric candle in each window – give your home timeless, classic lighting appeal without stressing either your budget or your holiday preparation workload.

10. Be safe when installing holiday landscaping!

It is easy to skimp on safety when time is of the essence. But a word from our family to yours – please don’t! Be sure your circuits are rated to handle the lighting load. Take extra care if you decide to use real candles indoors or outdoors. And if your decorations plans require climbing ladders, consider calling a pro to lend a hand!