A Mar-velous Holiday

If anyone’s home is going to be perfectly decorated for the holidays, it will Mar Jennings’s Rosebrook Gardens. The lifestyle expert, award-winning TV host of Life on Mar’s: The Home Makeover Show, author of two books on home and garden and Realtor (marjennings.com) often uses his own renovated, decorated and landscaped Westport property to teach others. Come holiday season, Jennings dazzles his clients, audience and lucky neighbors with its magical transformation.

Mar Jennings

“Festive, creative holiday decor has always meant more than a tree in my family,” he says. “We show the holiday spirit with exterior home decor that always goes beyond a simple door wreath. For decades Rosebrook Gardens’ planters, fences, arbors, pergola, window boxes and trellises all become festive as locations to design and celebrate the holidays. These designs are complemented with white lights and garland, and, of course, I incorporate my classic gas lantern. This is how I celebrate the season and my passion for my life and home.”

Jennings on how to decorate outdoor spaces with natural elements

With so many visitors over the holidays, it’s best to get their attention at the door. Planters are refreshed for the season with local greens and holiday garland and twinkle lights become a must. No bright colors, rather organic tones become the natural choice.


When the planter beauty is over, here comes winter interest. This is where I can have fun with the unexpected, like these homes. And because of its great location near the front door, it’s always noticeable to all who visit.


I have never seen a lantern post I was not obsessed with decorating for the holidays. Because of their locations, mostly visible to the street, this holiday decor must be cohesive with your front door. Following the garland theme, I match the lighting, garland and vine as an extension of festive style.


Even my arbor becomes an unexpected opportunity to create beauty. Garland tied with wire and a custom holiday wreath are integrated with style and grace. It’s an unexpected location for a festive look yet always relevant to any holiday decor.


“Never use red or green ribbon. Think outside the box. Burlap, silver or gold always rock the holiday season.”

“Always try to use fresh clippings from the garden for that extra personal touch. Magnolia branches, hemlock and boxwood clippings add value to both the garden and the holiday decor season.”

“Install any festive decor just after Thanksgiving and remove it by February 1. No one wants to see a spent holiday door wreath in February or March.”

If you haven’t snagged an invite to Rosebrook Gardens, here’s your sneak peek at its peak for the holidays: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5fw3tnf4po. Head to his website to see it during the summer (at the 2021 Garden Tour).

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