Christmas houses: Festive power plants helping garden glow
CHRISTMAS trees are normally found in the living room.
But at one North Ferriby house, even garden plants have been used to embrace the festive spirit.
Owner Neil Ives has strung more than 1,000 lights through his outside bushes.
"I do it for the kids," he said. "I think it's brilliant when the kids leave school and come past."
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Mr Ives started decorating his house about 15 years ago.
"The first lights I bought cost me £10," said Mr Ives, 38.
"They were just flashing lights around the top of my house, then I bought some icicle lights to replace them."
The hobby really took off when he picked up a huge second-hand collection after seeing an advert.
"I paid £200 for a reindeer and a massive Santa from a bloke who was to old to put them up anymore," Mr Ives said.
"I just had the urge one year to decorate the house.
"I've always loved Christmas. I always like getting a real tree and I love to see the kids' faces.
"My mum and my girlfriend think I'm barmy."
Mr Ives, who is a coach driver based in Hull, starts decorating early.
He braved the cold November weather to get everything ready for December 1.
"I started putting them up in the middle of November," he said.
"I did it over the course of about two weeks."
The lights are on a timer to make sure they shine even when Mr Ives is not around.
They come on at 4pm and switch off at 10.30pm.
"I leave them on all night on Christmas Eve and all day on Christmas Day," he said.
The display also features an 8ft inflatable Santa and an inflatable Tigger, from Winnie the Pooh, dressed in a Christmas suit.
Mr Ives's house is in Plantation Drive and there are several others on the same street with lights displays. This year, he collaborated with a neighbour to make his decorations shine brighter than ever.
"I got together with my next door neighbour this year, because I wanted to do the icicle lights all the way across his gutter," he said.
"I think we've had a good result with them."
The lights for the bushes are new, efficient LEDs.
They are more expensive but last far longer.
"I spent about £100 on LEDs this year because they never go out," Mr Ives said.
"With normal lights it can be tough if a bulb goes because you have to find which one it was or replace them."
Although he is embracing new technology, Mr Ives is still most fond of the oldest lights he owns.
"My favourite is the reindeer and the Father Christmas," he said.
"They're the oldest ones I still use.
The old man who gave them to me said to look after them – and I always have done."