Sweetpea & Willow – 10 Year Anniversary …

Sweetpea & Willow Lansdown 3 seater sofa in Azure velvet from £3290, Eicholtz Asscher nickel coffee table £1495 (4)

Today I want to share with you,  some rather gorgeous pieces of furniture. I’ll start with this one because, as I think I’ve said it before – my favourite colour is turquoise or in this case ‘ Azure ‘.  It looks so inviting in this room and it might just be be because those seat cushions are extra deep for comfort.

The Landsdowne Modular Sofa and all the other pieces on this post are from Sweetpea & Willow who are actually celebrating their 10th Anniversary this year. You may well know of them already – they have a huge showroom in London as well as an online store. They are a name that I am familiar with for good quality, high end french furniture and home and garden accessories and I love their ” Handmade in London ” section.

I have noticed that they evolve along with the trends and colour palettes of each year but always know their own style and do it really well.

Sweetpea & Willow Vintage Rose Berkley collection armchair ú1495, antique mercury glass lamp ú195, Eicholtz connor side table ú1195 (7)

Vibrant pink and gold. I’m sold. The Vintage Rose Berkley armchair here with its deep buttons and fixed studs is dreamy. It’s designed and made by Sweetpea & Willow with responsibly sourced hardwood frames. It comes in different fabrics and sizes from the armchair all the way up to a 4 seater.  Really, really like this and am now wondering how I can make it appear in my living room sometime soon. Hmm. Funnily enough I have been looking for a new standing lamp and this one is great for reading.

 

Sweetpea & Willow Bancroft 3 seater sofa in silver from ú2980, Bancroft armchair in silver from ú1580, Bancroft footstool in silver from ú685Sweetpea & Willow Bancroft armchair in silver from ú1580 (2)More neural tones for a tranquil space, with these pieces from Sweetpea & Willow and some splashes of dramatic hues. My eyes are drawn straight in to that lovely glass Eichholtz tray.

Sweetpea & Willow St Jorges Bed in Platinum fromú2265 (kingsize) (4)

I’m not sure that I would ever leave this St Jorge Bed. I think if choosing a fabric I would have it made up in the cotton but you can also get it made in silk ( wow ) linens and velvets ( double wow ). A bed is usually the centre piece for a bedroom and something we don’t change regularly so – it’s important to have one that you love getting in to. After all we spend about 26 years of our life sleeping, apparently.

Sweetpea
  1. Jonathan Charles Artanis Four Shelves Unit. 2. Columbo Desk Lamp. 3 Double Jeu Opiat Cushion  4. Gold Good Vibes Only Picture 5. Gold Top Pineapple Jar 6. Barbara Bronze Chair 7. True Grace Black Lili Candle 8. Golden Base Viola Vase 9. Alexandra Side Table 10. Eichholtz Mirror Cheyenne

Here is my wishlist on some current Sweetpea & Willow items. As you can see – I’m all about the gold at the moment. It adds warmth to a room but is super glamorous too. I’ve always been a huge fan of tropical prints and interiors and glad to see they have a selection of luscious pineapple products including the jar .. but do check out their book ends too. I will definitely be buying the ‘ Good Vibes Only ‘ picture.. I think it says it all for a happy home.

How do you like Sweetpea & Willow’s style ? I recommend checking their garden ranges out too …

 … and are you with me on the Wishlist ? Leave me a comment under this post or tweet me @lucylovesyablog …

Lucy x

This is a collaboration with Sweetpea & Willow. All opinions are my own.

Palms Trees, A Sri Lankan Monkfish Curry Recipe and Coconuts.

The Elephant Stamp Napkins

After the last curry recipe here on my blog, I figured another one might go down as well. You all seemed to like it and the feedback I received was ace.

Thankfully my clever Dad was very happy to oblige and came up with a recipe for a Sri Lankan style curry and let me tell you – it is good. I ate it all and then scraped the plate clean at the end.

I also thought it would be a great opportunity to try out my lovely new napkins and matching cushions. They’re really tropical and match the curry theme perfectly, don’t you think ?

If you don’t know of them already – I’d like to share a bit of background info about The Elephant Stamp who I received my Safomasi tropical textiles from –   and then I will move on to the recipe and a tasty non alcoholic cocktail too.

Monkfish Curry

If you love homeware that has a story to tell then The Elephant Stamp online store will be right up your street.

They personally selects all of their homeware designs by global brands. The printed illustrations are inspired by places such as Devon, The Netherlands but then further afield in Kerala ( I have a feeling this is where my napkins and cushion print inspirations are taken from ) and they even have hand embroidered items from Women Artisans in Mexico. All very beautiful.

Elephant Stamp Cushion

The Elephant Stamp’s aim is to connect us to the maker of each piece and to understand the origin –  which also will helpfully enable them to carry on making their carefully, well made products for a long time to come … Which is good news for us all.

They sell some beautiful throws that I am sorely tempted by. Do check them out.

Sri Lankan Curry

Now on to the Sri Lankan Monkfish Curry recipe.

If you’d like to give it a go then here is what you will need. This should serve 4.

1 kilo Monkfish – diced, skinned and de – boned.

Turmeric powder.

1 red onion – thinly sliced.

2 tablespoons groundnut oil ( you could use sunflower oil instead )

3 medium sized tomatoes – well chopped.

1 teaspoon seasalt, 1 crushed garlic clove, 1 teaspoon grated root ginger, chilli flakes, ground cumin seeds, ground black pepper seeds, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 inch cinnamon stick, handful fresh curry leaves, 1 tablespoon of tamarind water ( you can find this online or in some supermarkets )

1 litre –  coconut milk.

1 lime.

Rice – enough for 4 people.

Coriander, extra lime pieces and 1 grated coconut to garnish.

NB: Keep the shell of your coconut for serving your cocktail  – you will need 6 ice cubes, coconut milk ( you will already have enough from the carton from the curry recipe )  and 3 mugs of fresh pineapple juice.

 

Monkfish Curry Recipe copy

Method

Marinate the monkfish in a light powdering of turmeric for 10 minutes and then set aside.

Heat the oil gradually and then add the onion and fry until soft. Add the tomatoes and fry together with the onion until well blended. Now add the salt, crushed garlic clove, grated root ginger, chilli flakes, ground cumin seeds, ground black pepper seeds and sugar. Also the add the cinnamon stick plus a handful of fresh curry leaves  and a level tablespoon of tamarind water. Stir well  before adding a full mug of coconut milk and stir well until all well mixed together.

Now introduce the marinated monkfish and cook gently for for only a few minutes until it is tender. Finally add the juice of one squeezed lime.

If you are cooking this to eat with rice – prepare and boil the rice ready to co – ordinate with the curry being ready to eat.

Monkfish Sri Lankan Curry

Plate up your meal and then dress with coriander, extra lime pieces and some grated coconut.

Pina Colada

All you need now is a refreshing drink to have with your curry – so blend the ice cubes or crush if you don’t have a blender with the coconut milk and pineapple juice  and serve in the left over coconut shells. Add some straws  – and you’re away !

Pina Colada Non Alcoholic

Hope you enjoy this recipe by my Dad, if you do try it out –  and love my new napkins and cushions from The Elephant Stamp as much as I do ?

Any questions or comments – leave me a comment under this post and I will get right back to you.

Have a good one.

Lucy x

The cushions and napkins were gifted to me by The Elephant Stamp. All opinions are my own.

 

#InspirationIsColour – Latest Gallery of Pictures

#InspirationIsColour 1

Left to right: @artistmeetsmother @jessrose1702 @fifi.and.florence @mcv96 @rachel_tattered_rose @oandystudio @thesilverfactory @hellopartyinsta @oldfashionedsus

This time choosing pictures to display here from the #InspirationIsColour gallery on Instagram was even harder.

I started a while ago thinking that it would be good to hook up with the colour lovers around the world, which has happened but I never thought there would be so many shades of different colours, each week. So many creative photographers out there, having fun with their Instagram accounts.

These posts will be made a bit more regular as I was looking through images since my last blog post and there were lots and lots, most definitely worthy of featuring here on my blog. In fact, I am honoured to.

#InspirationIsColour 2

Left to right @abookishbaker @pixieconceptstore @silverpebble2 @idontcrampmystyle @zoepower @potterandbloom @natasha_nuttall @lottie_storey @hannahberridgeceramics

As I always say to my daughters, art is a subjective thing – and that is why I love Instagram so much. We all have a different take on colour, art and style.

I especially love to see people showcasing their own handy work in photos – what  do you enjoy the most ? Of course, if you follow me – @lucylovesyablog on instagram you will know that I am pretty partial to sharing a colourful home and a brightly painted beach hut also.

#InspirationIsColour 3

Left to right: @rachelandhercoffee @anna.moraissoares @stylophileuk @_amanda_design @capetowngirl12 @miafleur_home @rebeccadesnos @jennamichellepink @mollyandtheprincess

All of the accounts featured are well worth checking out.  What’s interesting is that I know now who the photographer is of an #InspirationIsColour photo before I even click on it – which shows how unique we all are !

Do add your pictures on Instagram if you fancy it. It’s a great way of finding each other on there and I hope I can add one of your pics to a gallery here on Lucy Loves Ya soon.

Have a good one.

Lucy x

How to Make a Colourful Terrarium

Terranium

It has been a manic weekend. A good one none the less. More on that at the end of this post … :)

As it has been half term this week just gone, we spent a bit of time making things. Now the girls are that bit older – things like play doh and colouring in don’t really cut the mustard so much.

So, I thought it was about time, as they are always admiring the succulent collection in our home, that they made their own terrariums. We have some glass sweetie bowls left over from the wedding a few years ago so these are perfect   – just needed the contents for the inside.

I’ve written a little tutorial because it was really fun and thought it might be useful if anyone is thinking of making one for themselves. It’s really easy and at the end of it you have something colourful and easy to look after. Honestly, if I can keep these plants alive – anyone can !

Adding Stones

You will need:

A glass terrarium or something that resembles one. Even a large used jam jar will do the trick.

Some medium sized stones from the garden or wherever you can find them. Depends on the size of the glass container – if it’s small then smaller stones.

We have also used 1 bag of colourful ( of course ! ) aquarium gravel  – you can use this or plain if preferred.

1 bag of suitable terrarium soil – we used one with added charcoal to keep it fresh  – I found some online.

1 bag of terrarium moss.

Several plants ( that will depend on how many you need ) They will need to be suitable for your type of terrarium. Check on this before buying.

Fun bits to decorate the plants. Whatever you fancy !  ( Optional ).

Tongs if you have a slim glass terrarium – to add your decoration at the end.

Some succulent scissors to keep the plants looking fabulous for the future.

All of this should make you at least two terrariums, dependant on the sizes.

 

Adding Stones Terranium Stones

First – add the bigger stones to the base of the terrarium. Then add in the gravel and mix it up together. As these are coloured I wanted that to be a feature so we added quite a lot but less is fine if preferred.

The ratio can either be same stones as soil or 1/3 stones and 2/3 soil.

Then put in the soil and make holes for the plants that you will put in next.

Potting the Succulent Plant in

Make sure you make enough room to plant them and then pop them in to the soil. Ensure  you look after the roots while removing them from their plastic pots and don’t pull them away from the plant by mistake.

Adding Moss to Terrarium

Once they are in – pat the soil all around so it is firmly in place and then grab some moss and pull it apart before applying it all around the plants. Pat it in. so that it is below them.

Lego Friends!Succulents

Add your decoration. We chose some of lego friends and some kitsch birds to complete them.

Birds in a Terranium

They only need watering about once a week, so very low maintenance. A sprite of water a few times a week will keep them looking lovely and healthy too.

If you would like to add any tips to this DIY or want to just say hi – do leave me a comment under this post or tweet @lucylovesyablog – I would love to hear from you.

As I was saying at the beginning of the post – It has been these last few days  – we popped to Manchester to see our   Daddio hard at work and watch Coldplay at Etihad Stadium. You can see the colour inspired pics from the set pics over on my Instagram page.

Have a good day.

Lucy x

What is the use of a book without pictures or conversations ?

Alice in Wonderland!

When it comes to taking the girls to see Disney films  – it’s always hard to decide who is the most looking forward to it but when you’re talking anything to do with Alice in Wonderland – It’s me … we all need a bit of escapism sometimes !

I won’t spoil it for those of you who are still planning on seeing it soon but it’s really good for sure. A good mix of the original story and also the extra mind expanding ideas by the visionary producer including Tim Burton and the director – James Bobin. The acting as you would expect is so very good. I especially love Helena Bonham Carter’s version of The Queen of Hearts.

What I love about the story, is that it makes you question reality whether you’re a child or a grown up kid and whether you should take anything in this crazy life too seriously.

On the back of seeing it, I was inspired to pick out some pretty things for the home that remind me of Alice in Wonderland and are way too darling not to share here on my blog. Any excuse, of course.

1. Obviously, first you need the book, right ? The old style print on these give them that ‘ collectable ‘ feeling. Found at John Lewis. 2. When I think of Alice in Wonderland, I imagine the little Door Mouse propped up on a cute little toadstool. If you like this – it’s from Dotcomgiftshop. 3. I’m a total fan of Mrs Moore and her bone china Alice themed tea sets. Liberty London stock them – one of my favourite characters on this one – Cheshire Cat. 4. This cupcake kit isn’t glitter shy with lots of red hearts much like the Queen. – from Planet Bake. 5. So, you have 2 in 1 here – a rabbit ( or hare )  and an egg ( the scene with the egg in the film made us all laugh )  – lots of colourful egg cups at Quail Ceramics. 6. It just wouldn’t be cricket ( or croquet ) without flamingoes. My girls collect snowglobes – this one is so cool and from the lovely White Mint online shop. 7. How do you like this glass cake stand ? A centre piece for a tea party … by LSA International. 8. Polka dot napkins – pop them on your lap or wear in your top pocket like the Mad Hatter. Love the shade of yellow. By Not on the Highstreet. 9. A strawberry doorknob also by Not on The Highstreet. I don’t think this one talks though … 10. Some macarons to pop on the the cake stand. Yes please ! These can be ordered and delivered to you by Genuine Cakes.

Alice in Wonderland 2!

This might seem like an eclectic collection of items… but we are talking Alice in Wonderland here. The more mixed up the better !

1. Time is of the essence in Through The Looking Glass. I thought Sacha Baron Cohen was excellent as ‘ Time ‘ in the film. He literally has great timing. Inspired by this, I chose a retro style wall clock by Newgate Clocks in a pastel green. Like it ? 2. Yep, I couldn’t resist this teapot by Wedgwood. It’s so apt for the Wonderland theme and the design of the teapot sitting on top of the teacup. Now knowing the work that goes in to each piece, after my visit to their factory last week – I can’t appreciate this enough. Amara stock it on their website. 3. Some ‘ Soldier ‘  playing cards by Robert Frederick at Selfridges. 4. Absolutely in love with this Alice in Wonderland Birchwood tray from Liberty London – the colours, the illustration – everything ! Do you like it too ? 5. Had to share this London Skyline Chessboard Set which is at Regency Chess. It’s really cool but also very reminiscent of the story. Really enjoyed how they worked this in, in the latest film – especially in our 3D glasses. 6. A vintage style mirror – need I say more ? An Ikea number.. 7. Some dessert forks that I reckon would go very well with the teapot shown earlier, also from Wedgwood – perfect for a quirky garden party.. 8. Could this be the golden key that fits the tiny door ? What a sweet mug. It is by Gary Birks and sold by Amara. 9. I think I have written about KoKo Kids before – they stock lots of cool, unique stuff – this post wouldn’t be complete without butterflies. The lampshade is paper and handmade. 10. There was a very pretty scene in the film this weekend, with lots of blossom everywhere. If and when you see it – you will know what I mean. Made me want to get some cherry blossom plants for our garden as there’s nothing better in Spring than when the branches turn pink. Check out Trees Direct.

Hope you like my little selection of finds. I also hope you enjoy the film too… let me know if you do see it. Leave me a comment under this post or tweet me @lucylovesyablog. I also have a dedicated Alice in Wonderland board on Pinterest .. now that’s dedication ! Pop over and have a look if you fancy.

Have a fab day.

Lucy x

A Whimsical Day with Wedgwood and Amara

World of Wedgewood

There are days out and then there are DAYS OUT. Sorry for shouting but I am still quite excited post – visit.

When Amara dropped me an email asking if I would like to join them and a little group of fellow bloggers and spend an afternoon in Stoke on Trent at World of Wedgwood to celebrate 250 years of their company  – it was an immediate yes. I have been a fan of Wedgwood for as long as I can remember. I found lots of vintage Wedgwood for our wedding a few years back always  drool ( not literally, but almost … ) over their ranges online and in stores. They’re just so beautiful.

I love spending time with the Amara team too because they’re always such fun and they treat bloggers so well.

So, after a 4.30 am wake up start, I set off to meet them all at Euston with an onward journey to Stoke on Trent.

Painting a plate

First on our itinerary once we’d arrived was to be shown around the factory. World of Wedgwood do this as a regular thing. I asked how many times a day they do the tour and I was told around 4, so it shows how popular they are. We watched ‘ Bruce ‘ paint an intricate bowl.

Dye on plates

On the way round we also learned that the kilns are hotter than lava. I imagine that is all of them but especially when they are on their second firing with glaze. They spend about 9.5 hours in the kiln and as you can see here, a red dye is applied by hand.

You might be surprised to know that some of their one off pieces made in the factory are worth tens of thousands. We were offered one to hold but I was only brave enough to stroke it lovingly. Imagine if you dropped it ?

The technique used for lithograph is when they apply a raising paste and then on top of that –  22 carat gold which looks like a brown colour but is actually gold dust. Each one takes a bout a week to decorate and usually goes through the kiln 7 times.

Decorating Wedgewood

All of the specialist artists and decorators were concentrating intensely on their work and it was honestly amazing to witness. I said to one guy that he must have the steadiest hand in the world.

This vase with a Jasper body was impressive. I think it must be quite therapeutic sitting and painting them. Jasper is essentially stoneware but called clay. So I am told.

Some of the machines used ( by a man called Neil ) still use parts from over 100 years ago, maybe more. One in particular has a wooden wheel that up until the 80s was spun by hand all day – the lady who did this was called Elsie. What a star ! Her arms must have been made of steel.

Teapots

If you own any Wedgwood then if you check the base you will see it is stamped like most china. But the more stamps you have, the more prestigious it is. Get checking ….. :)

I could literally talk to you for hours about this because I am fascinated but I don’t want to tell you everything in case you visit  – plus there’s more to the visit to show…

Huge Vase

Next we were taken to the museum where we found out about the humble beginnings of Josiah Wedgwood and his history. He was an exceptional man by all accounts who had strong drive. If he hadn’t have had issues with his right leg after contracting smallpox as a child,  which resulted in him having to recuperate – he may not have had time to come up with all of his ideas for designs. He got other potters to make them and also pioneered new ways of making pottery. He was really interested in a scientific approach to his work.

Bowl

His style became very distinctive and it all took off from there. By the sounds of it – he and his working partner Thomas Bentley were very good friends who were very focused on their company and turning it in to a huge success. Which they did.

Josiah married his 3rd cousin, Sarah – and they had many children. Not all of them survived. Though their daughter Susannah married a man called Robert Darwin and they had a baby  – Charles Darwin. You might possibly have heard his name before ? ;)

I felt like a kid in a sweet shop in the museum  – the huge vase above is circa 1863 – 64 and probably made especially for a exhibitor. It is painted by Emile Lessore. Inspired by by a series of paintings originally commissioned by Louis XIV of France.

Alicw in Wonderland

You know what i’ts like when you try and photograph things behind glass – you generally just get a pic of yourself holding a camera … but I did love these Fairyland Lustre Vase Bone China Vases just too much to not post here on my blog. Produced in the 1920’s and based on exotic fairytales.

WedgewoodTables Wedgewood

After a superb afternoon lunch with delicate sandwiches, cakes and a choice of teas served in quaint cups and saucers ( I had their Moroccan Mint ) and with much chatter, we were let loose in the craft areas to either do some potting ( many jokes about the film Ghost ensued ) or paint a plate with a template.

colour shades Colourful plates

 

More plates!I opted for the latter and luckily for you, we didn’t take them home on the day hence no photo. I say luckily because everyone else’s were really pretty but I chose to colour a unicorn and was so distracted by all the colourful plates and prints around that I managed to achieve a very below par mythical creature. I don’t have to show you it and you don’t have to humour me … Win, win ! It was really great fun and the staff on hand were really lovely. In fact, everyone I met at World of Wedgwood were really friendly. Eve the cab driver from the station.

Designers Wedgewood

I loved these pop art style prints on the wall in the pottery painting room of some of the Wedgwood designers. Really eye catching. It also shows how Wedgwood has evolved over the years and although still a very classic brand – they have moved with the times in many ways.

They have collaborated with so many different designers over the years. Vera Wang being a more recent one and my personal contemporary favourite.

Flowers

They also joined forces with Royal Doulton and glassware company Waterford Crystal to become one big company some time ago which makes sense as they are all iconic British brands that sit perfectly together.

Of course – we had to stop off in the Factory Shop before getting our trains home. I might have bought myself a little cheeky treat. Some Royal Doulton tapas bowls which no doubt will pop up here on the blog at some point soon.

A massive thank you to the Amara IBAs for inviting me and letting me explore my inner geek a little more  – and to World of Wedgwood for a great day. If you are reading this at home and are tempted to visit them – do. It’s a really interesting and creative place with incredibly surrounding scenery.

I’d also like to point you in the direction of the other bloggers from the day – Flat Fifteen, Fairytale Pretty Picture, The Only Girl in the House, Interior Style Hunter, French for Pineapple, Don’t Cramp My Style Blog, British Style UK and Yasmin Chopin. All great blogs – check them out.

Are you a Wedgwood fan too ? Or do you have a favourite when to comes to ceramics ? Do share. Leave me a moment under the post or tweet @lucylovesyablog …

Have a good one and thanks for reading.

Lucy x

What’s in a Name ?

Promenade

Last week, when the skies were really blue around here, I was walking along Southwold Promenade, enjoying the fresh sea air. When it’s sunny and you’re not rushing to your car, all wrapped up –  it’s funny how much more you notice around you. Colours, names of things and all of the inspiration at your finger tips.

Beach Huts 1

As you may know already, I am a bit of a beach hut geek. Well , a lot of one, really. I wrote about the coast near us last year and I have turned our own garden room in to a beach hut themed place to relax. I just find them so adorable to look at – and the sky is the limit when it comes to choosing contrasting colours and cool names. Anything goes !

As much as the owner probably loves the colours that they choose, it also seems that they decorate them for the pleasure of visitors to the seaside and I love that.

Beach Huts 2

Lots of people were out refreshing the paintwork on their beach huts. I stopped and had a chat with one man as his beach hut plaque was quite intriguing. It had cute little jelly shoes attached to it – it’s the one on the right in the middle, above  – aptly names ” Jellies “.

He said that the shoes had belonged to his little grand daughter the summer before and instead of throwing them away – they thought it would be nice to have them as a keepsake. I thought that was really lovely.

Beach Huts 3

It got me wondering the reasoning behind each of the huts. Some are probably for fun and others with a more personal meaning. The yellow one here called ” Drama Queen ” really made me laugh. Not only the name but the dramatic colour. So tongue in cheek.

I also spole to another man painting his beach hut ( gawd, I really do sound like a crazy lady don’t I ? I do love a chat with folk in Southwold ) and he said the prices vary from around fifty thousand up to one hundred and sixty thousand to own one. Gulp.

But, hey, you can always hire one for the day which would be a nice family day out.

Beach Huts 5

Look at all of these beautiful colour palettes. That soft shade of pink and the mint green. The pastels sit comfortably with the bold colours. Which one would you pick out of these ? ” Companionable ” is the perfect word for a coastal neighbour. That red is fearless !

Beach Huts 6

“Dolly Grey ” always makes me smile. It’s so pretty. Adore the soft grey with blue tones. I would like to colour match it and maybe use it for a bathroom. The red, blue and white for Noah’s Ark is very regal. Actually, what a great place to visit to find some interesting wall ideas for homes. I will bear that in mind for when I’m qualified in interior design.

Beach Huts 7

So, so many variants on blue – obviously a popular colour. Had to finish on Auntie Bong Bong’s name sign. Possibly the sweetest one of the day.

As you can see, I was very dedicated that day in taking photos for the blog. Andy walked along side me, slowly eating an ice cream.  He’s very understanding. Ha !

IMG_4665

If you had a beach hut –  what would you call it and what colour would you paint it ? Which one out of these tickles your fancy ?  Let me know by leaving your comment under this post. Maybe we can get a whole imaginary row between us :) …

Personally I think I’d paint mine in pastel rainbow colours and call it ” Betsey and Mae ”  – fingers crossed for one day, you never know.

Have a good day.

Lucy x

Japanese Garden Inspiration

Bridge

Taking the botanical theme to the extreme this week.

Must have plants on the brain anyway, because the flower shows season is kicking in soon. Here’s my third and final post – about The Japanese Garden in St Mawgan Village, near Newquay.

Flowers Japanese

I can’t recommend visiting here enough if you are in this area of Cornwall. It’s tucked away and felt like a bit of a secret. I am sure it has hoards of visitors so we were very lucky indeed to be there when it was just our family. We walked around for ages finding new areas and plants.

PlantsFlowers

I’ve always been attracted to this style of garden. I love the peacefulness  and areas for for reflection. I think it’s important not only for adults but definitely for kids too. We all need some time out of our busy lives and having water, rocks and plants close by – all natural -is  so very balancing and calming.

Japanese Garden

Having spoken to my knowledgable friend, Pim, about creating your own Japanese inspired garden, he told me that it is all about scale and representing a reduced landscape. For example – large rocks become distant mountains and raked gravel in a waterless garden represents the sea / river etc. A ground cover conifer would be a distant woodland.

Tea Garden Path

A Tea Garden has classic elements, such as stepping stones, lanterns or a basin is to create a peaceful frame mind before a tea ceremony.

Green Bridge

It’s a great idea for more compact gardens, I think – adding character with the different elements. In a more spacious outdoor area – wouldn’t it be dreamy to have a bridge ? Not so great if you have kiddies though but many ways to create your own personalised version.

Buddha

Don’t you love the idea of a garden that really encourages you to relax and feel at peace ? A wonderful way to switch off and do some meditation even.

Visiting this place has solidified my desire for some similar plants and maybe even a water feature of some kind. According to Pim, most of these plants grow okay in the UK so that’s a good start.

It’s in the plans for 2016 so no doubt I will be blogging some pictures soon as we work won the garden. Of course, there has to be colourful elements added too. Would you expect anything else ? ;)

I already have some DIY ideas, Can’t wait to share !

Succulents

Hope you enjoyed our little visit to the Japanese Garden ?  There’s also a Bonsai Nursery that sells these fab succulents in a glass container ( yes, I know it’s my second mention of them this week ! ) fabulous trees, Buddhas, wind chimes and kits for kids.

Have a good one. Hope you’ve enjoyed all 3 of my posts this week.

Lucy x

Mediterranean Biome at The Eden Project

Palm Trees

So here is part two of the three posts this week. As I said, too many photos for just the one and they are themed differently.

This is the Mediterranean Biome area at The Eden Project – in the right dome.

It was a lot cooler in here but again, full of interesting information and plants

FlowersColour ExplosionThe sea of different shaded poppies were awe inspiring in Californian grassland.

TulipsThe Spring tulips were standing proudly too. All so well looked after. I wish I could achieve this look in the garden. It’s certainly inspiration for the future.

Huge Plants!

I think my favourite thing were the massive, sprouting aloe vera plants. Aloe vera is excellent for when you have a little burn – cutting a bit off the plant and rubbing the juice on the wound really relieves  it.

Med Garden

Jar FLowersThere was storytelling going on in there and they were also preparing for a wedding that afternoon. What a great place to get married ?

Cactus

If you follow me on instagram, you will know that I am a little partial to a cactus or two. My collection appears to be growing by the week. These were really impressive  – felt like we were back in Ibiza again. Happy days …

Shapes

It felt like a sensory wander that we didn’t want to end. Colour galore, giant spiky leaves, delicate flowers and mediterranean fruits.

If you’ve ever been tempted to visit – you must go. It’s a fabulous experience.

There is also The Core Building to have a look around. It is based on the structure of a sunflower. Of course, loads of areas to check out outside too.

Succulents

Then you can pop in to the shop on the way out. flower seeds, gardening tools and local foods. Oh … and some succulents. Yey !

Hopefully we can go back again soon as we have a pass that lasts a year – a good excuse to get there again in a different season and see what has changed.

Hope you have enjoyed this post ? Please do leave me a comment or tweet @lucylovesyablog.

The third one this week, was our trip to a hidden away Japanese garden. It was beautiful and has started us putting some ideas together for our own Asian inspired garden.

Don’t forget also, I update my instagram every day with new pics.

Thanks for reading.

Lucy x

 

The Eden Project – Rainforest Biome

Eden Project

As I mentioned in the last post, I conquered two ‘ fears ‘ when I was in Cornwall. One was surfing in the sea – the other is right here in this post.

Eden Project Flowers

I have actually made three different posts for this week all about the outdoor inspiration from our trip. Because it was impossible to make it just one. Not only did we visit the Eden Project but also a very beautiful Japanese Garden so you will see a bit of them all.

The Eden Project is somewhere that has been on our ‘ to do ‘ list for ages.  – I was going to work there  for Live 8 back in 2005 but couldn’t as I was pregnant with my lovely Mae. So, it has taken all this time to actually visit but I am so glad that we have now and as a family. It was a superb afternoon and really educational.I think we all need reminding how fragile our planet is and how important our rainforests are.

Having said that – don’t expect me to reel off the names of all the amazing plants in these photos. I was too busy feeling overwhelmed with love for the colours and shapes … and the heat.

Eden ProjectThis is where I conquered the second ‘ fear ‘ of  the week … heights !

I climbed what felt like a  very long way up ( 50m to be precise ) on some ‘ swingy ‘ steps with Mae to look down over all the plants. Not particularly okay with looking down, I did ‘ brave face ‘ and it was quite something to see the entire dome in its glory … and look at all the teeny weeny people, but I was very glad to get back down again and my legs wobbled for sometime afterwards. As you climb higher, the more humid it gets. Totally worth it though.

Looking Down

Being the largest indoor rainforest in the world it incorporates Tropical Islands, Southeast Asia, West Africa, Tropical South America it feels and smells like you are there. There are even some exotic birds in the trees, although you do spot the odd sparrow that has crept in too ( can you blame them ? ).

Water Grass

Sugar VanThere is a Malaysian Hut, rubber plants, rice plants growing in water ( the scent is quite strong ) a sugar truck and lots of educational stops for kids .. and adults !

FruitEverywhere we looked, there was something interesting to study. I believe these are Cacao trees from West Africa  – once crushed they become the basis for chocolate. You could also see bananas growing and pineapples amongst other fruit.

Rain Forest

Hanging PlantsThere are lots of warm, passionate colours as you’d expect. I believe this is for some to attract birds to pollenate. They all have their purpose. Isn’t nature an amazing thing ?

Green Leaves

StripesI loved the detail in the plants too. They almost looked hand painted and stitched ?

Leaves

These tropical leaves remind me of all the stationary and clothing prints around at the moment. I wonder if they realise they’re bang on trend in the fashion world ? :)

Red Plant

Rain Forest PlantsColourful PlantsAs you can see – lots and lots of inspiration for an exotic garden. Of course, these all thrive with warm climates but there are lots of plants to be found that would add the tropical, feeling indoors or out.

Waterfall

I will leave you with this huge waterfall which cooled us down for a bit while we drank some smoothies.

Next will be a post about the Mediterrranean Biome. Which, I hope you will love !

In the meantime, do leave me a comment if you recognise these plants and know the names or feel inspired for your garden ? I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading …

Lucy