With school holidays just around the corner, now is a good opportunity to plan garden-related ways to enjoy these special family days together. Check out the schedule of children’s holiday activities at nearby garden centres. Even at home there are dozens of fun projects to do such as decorating and planting up flower pots, creating miniature succulent gardens, making a bird feeder, a scarecrow for the veggie patch, or weaving a stick tee pee for beans and cucumbers to twine up – all guaranteed to tempt the kids outdoors for an hour or two every day.

Try an indigenous tree, a yellowwood perhaps, in a container as a Christmas tree this year. They have beautiful glossy-leaves and in the New Year, can stay in its pot on the patio or be moved to the garden to grow to its full height. Use indoor plants to decorate your home for the holiday season and longer – pointsettias, anthuriums, begonias, chrysanthemums and miniature roses will all bring in fresh and festive touches of red and green. For fun edible décor, plant up hanging baskets with red cherry tomatoes or strawberries to cascade prettily at eye level.

If you’re off to enjoy a week or two in another part of the country, make time to drop into new garden centres. You’ll find interesting new plant displays and design ideas to try out when you’re back home. Check listings of accredited garden centres to see if there are any along your travel route from inland to the coast or wherever you’re lucky to be visiting. Locate a centre with a coffee shop and kids play area for a drive-wise trip break in the most restful of surroundings.

While en route, and at your destination, take note of how plants grow in the wild in different areas in the country. Sea roses in all shades of pink are flowering now along the south-western Cape coastal areas and will look just as good in up-country gardens too. There are dozens of different types and colours of vygies native to different parts of the country – look out for new, unusual, specimens in the local garden centres. You may even be able to buy a couple small enough to be stashed in the boot for the drive home.

For more information on bringing life to your garden, visit the Life is a Garden website or join the conversation on their Facebook page.