Posts Categorised: Garden

Versatile Homeware for Indoors and Outdoors

Indoor outdoor seating comfy fun kids bean bag

This is a post that brings the outdoor in and vice versa. I decided to put together this post for several reasons. One because we have pretty up and down weather here in the UK which means it’s useful to think about versatility when thinking about purchasing home and garden furniture items and two.

I’ve been looking closely at some cool things for our own home as I’m finally sorting out our own garden and want the patio area to feel like an extension of our home, if you know what I mean ? So a little inspiration for us all ?

To kick off with is this Icon Bean Bag Armchair from Bean Bag Bazaar which is water resistant and handle so you can move it around easily. I went for the teal colour. It’s been a big hit and perfect for us as we have started making the garden much more comfortable and fun to be in this year. This particular design comes in three other colours. You can pop it in front of the tv inside, maybe in a toy room or bedroom – or anywhere really. So definitely a good idea. I recommend having a little look at their website as they have lots to see.

Really there are so many options these days and I love the thought of saving a bit of money where you can. So here are some other options.

indoor outdoor homeware outside furniture lighting ideas inspiration
1. Retro Sound Speaker – SunnyLife 2 & 3.  Salad Servers & Bamboo Bowl  – Navigate 4. Bunting Lighting – John Lewis 5. Set of 2 Planters – Habitat 6. Candle – SunnyLife 7 & 8 Wicker Side Tables & Tile Floor Mat  – Amara

All of these items can be used inside and out. There really is anything you can possibly imagine these days ( how old do I sound ? ). The speaker is from Sunnylife, which is a really cool outdoorsy type of store.

Bamboo is brilliant being eco friendly. I try and buy it in many forms these days – we’ve even used as some fencing in our garden recently and also bought party plates that we have re-used several times. This bowl from Navigate would be good for kids and adults. Nice colour too.

Finding lighting for outdoors isn’t hard but looking for something to dress an area is not as easy. The bunting here has lights through running through the string. Definitely could be used in the home too. Kids bedroom ?

I really like this planter from Habitat, it actually comes as a pair. One larger, one smaller. Really unique and colourful. I’d have this in the kitchen I think if not outside.

Candles are a nice idea for the evening, especially if scented. This one is Coconut and Amber. Creates an atmosphere wherever you put them ?

Amara have a really good selection of items. Particularly love their outdoor rugs that you could bring in. The Wicker Set of Tables are very cool and versatile.

Indoor outdoor Shelving Ladder Storage Pots Ideas Tips Gardening

The one thing that hadn’t automatically sprung to mind, but actually makes total sense is flexible storage. You see ladder shelving used a lot these days indoors and a rustic outdoor version doubles up superbly especially in a cottage or for use in a utility area ?

I might have to do another of these as I’ve come across many items and having definitely caught the gardening bug recently, I never thought ten years ago I’d be curled up on the sofa on a Friday night waiting for Monty Don to appear on the telly. I’ve learned loads – if you’ve enjoyed this then you may well find my next post interesting. It will also be my first Youtube entry if you’d like to subscribe.

I’d love any tips you have or ideas for indoor and outdoor living. Leave me a comment below.

The Beanbag was gifted from Bean Bag Bazaar.

Interview with BBC 1’s The Instant Gardener Presenter Danny Clarke

If you’ve watched BBC1’s The Instant Gardener, you’ll have seen some amazing transformations made by Danny Clarke and the team. Bringing unloved outdoor spaces back to life and making the owners really happy. I love it. So, who better to answer some gardening questions at this important time of year than Danny himself ?

Instant Gardener BBC1 Danny Clarke

How did you get in to gardening and then television presenting ?

Although I had a passion for gardening, my career in horticulture started by accident. Unfortunately a sales company I ran for many years hit upon hard times. A friend of mine had a landlady who was looking for a gardener to help in her plot one day a week and asked if I was interested in working for her. After meeting Jo I was bowled over by her larger than life character and took on the job while still being involved with my sales business. Jo who had a passion for gardens and gardening had extensive knowledge. She was a great teacher and I absorbed as much as I could. What Jo didn’t know about plants could be put on the back of a postage stamp.

Over a period of time I got approached by people to maintain their gardens and soon I made the decision to concentrate on horticulture and kicked the sales business permanently into the long grass. It was a no brainer really as now I was doing something I truly loved.

I have always had an interest in design whether it be gardens, interiors, fashion or architecture. So I enrolled at Hadlow Horticultural College and did a one year garden design course. This gave me the confidence to design and build gardens along with maintaining them.
The television gig came about as a result of my trading title which is The Black Gardener. I received a random email form 12Yard Productions who wanted a black gardener to present a gardening show ( The Instant Gardener ) which had already been commissioned by the BBC. Someone in their development department googled the name and hey presto my website appeared. I did the screen test which was successful and it all went from there.

Garden redesign Danny Clarke Instant Gardener BBC1

Which have been your favourite projects so far on The Instant Gardener ?

My favourite project on The Instant Gardener was for Shirley who lives in Manchester. She is a gamester who is mad for the Doctor Who tv series. It seemed pretty natural to design a themed garden based on the time lord. I cut three concentric rings into the lawn. We put slate chippings in the centre and middle strip which were contained with aluminium lawn edging to denote the universe. Random planting of round topiarised standard privet balls and small conical shaped yew trees into the area represented planets and rockets.

A wonky five sided arch made from fence posts constructed by AJ  the shows handyman was securely placed in the centre. This was the time portal that would cause Shirley to disappear into another dimension if ever she walked through it. Her shed was painted blue to mimic the Tardis. A narrow strip of the same colour was repeated on the decking by the rear patio doors which became the landing pad if ever the doctor should choose to visit. It was great to get the opportunity to show that gardens too can have humour.

At this time of year, what would you recommend we start preparing in the garden ?

The best time of year to prepare your garden for the coming year is in the winter. It’s a great time to take advantage of the dormancy. This is the season to repair fences, cut back plants that have finished, enrich your soil, prune perennials, weed, divide and plant bulbs. For me it’s the opportunity that shouldn’t be missed otherwise you may spend the spring playing catch up to get your space ship shape.

The Instant Gardener BBC1 Danny Clarke Interrview

What tips would you give to someone with a small garden to give the impression of space ?

When giving a small garden the illusion of space it’s important to think big. By this I mean try and put the largest plants and objects such as pots into the area. This way the boundaries will be blurred and your eyes will be concentrated on whats happening within the plot rather than taken to the edges. Buying one large plant can prove to be more cost effective than several smaller ones. And the same principle applies to pots.

Instant Gardener BBC1 Images Pond Redesign

Equally, how do you make a larger garden aesthetically pleasing ? 

My pet hate is to see narrow borders. Your garden as far as I’m concerned is about the plants. They shouldn’t be lining up like soldiers on duty along the border. They will look and grow at their best placed in the ground further into the garden. This will give your space a more aesthetically pleasing look and will free them from competition posed by a fence, wall or hedge which they will definitely thank you for.

If someone is looking to extend there living space through to the garden, how can they achieve this ?

A simple way to extend the living space into a garden is to repeat or mimic whatever is in your home to the outside. For example the flooring by the indoors can be of similar material to the patio. Repeat colours in your interior walls to a fence or shed. This will give your property a bit of joined up writing by extending the eye line and give the whole property the illusion of seeming larger than it really is. Another good idea is to place the same plants with identical pots in the home and garden.

Which plants and flowers do you recommend  for this time of year to add lots of colour ? 

March is such an optimistic time of year with the promise of what’s to come. A fab way to release those winter blues is to make sure you have plenty of colour in your garden at this time of year. Hellebores, Chaenomeles ( Quince ), Magnolia under planted with Primulas, Ophiopogon ( black grass ), Pulmonaria ( lungwort ) and Heuchera are particular favourites of mine.

For novice gardeners such as myself – which are low maintenance plants ? 

Most shrubs and ornamental grasses are low maintenance. However there are three in particular that will give you stunning season long colour that I would recommend. They are jasmine plants where you have winter and summer options. These only need the odd drink of water in dry spells.

Lavender will withstand the sunniest of areas and poor soil. The only maintenance needed here is a trim after flowering and a spot with good drainage as they don’t like their feet languishing in water.

I’m a massive fan of grasses and Stipa arundinacea is a particular fav of mine. As an evergreen it gives all year round colour turning from green in summer to a yellow and orange with red streaking in the winter months. In August it produces sprays of feathery flowers. If you’re in any doubt what to put next a plant a grass will often do as they provide great contrast to its neighbour.

Danny Clarke BBC1 Instant Gardener

What projects are you currently working on ? 

I am currently working on a garden design and build project near Croydon. It’s been very enjoyable and provided me with work over the winter months. They wanted me to take my cue from their neighbours outside space which has been done to a good standard. So you might say it’s next doors plot that gave me inspiration for the build. The hardlandscaping is almost complete and the plan is to undertake the planting at the end of April. I’m also going to be involved in some more telly very soon for the This Morning show where I makeover a garden for an unsuspecting mum for Mothers Day.

Can you offer advice for anyone wanting to go down the horticulture route ? 

Horticulture for me isn’t a job but a way of life. I love it with a passion. And my advice to anyone coming into it is to make sure you have a real joy for the industry. Particularly as it’s unlikely to make you a millionaire. But then again who knows and cares.

A big thanks to Danny for answering my questions and offering up some great garden inspiration. You can find out more about Danny on his website.

Do you have any extra Spring gardening tips ? Leave me a comment below. Always good to hear from you.

Create an Urban Jungle with these Tropical Houseplants

Over the last few years I’ve become increasingly obsessed with plants. You only have to read my last post about planters for evidence.

Well, I was pretty well over the moon when Urban Jungle opened it’s second centre, even nearer to me, because it’s such a clever venture full of exotic plants and colourful homeware – and omg the food is pretty delicious. I think it’s also so important to give a big shout out for local businesses that are offering something totally unique and felt a post was in order plus I am going to talk through some recommendations for tropical houseplant buying thanks to Nick, one of their team who passed on some wisdom :)

There are so many options if you’re choosing a plant and they all have slightly different needs. Although surprisingly low maintenance considering they’re not in their original habitat. The one above is a Snake plant  ( Latin name Sanseveria ) Super easy to care for as it’s from the succulent family. Only needs watering once or twice a month. It’s great for the home especially bedrooms as it’s an air purifier.

spider plants  There are different types including these ( left and right ) which are very cool because you can plait them. Okay that’s just my weird reason but they are pretty quirky aren’t they ?

With mine, I water it every few months and it’s happy with that.

Fiddle leaf fig plant

This plant is known as the Fiddle Leaf Fig or Ficus. It originates from tropic rainforests of Western Africa.

It needs decent light but not overly bright and not to be moved around as it doesn’t like change. The leaves at the bottom sometimes die off so you need to remove them and they do grow back. Don’t over water the plant – keep the top soil moist.

Natal Lily plant orange petals

Natal Lily Plant aka Clivia Miniata. I took this one home this time. How could I not ? It’s a South African woodland plant that grows the most amazing orange flowers. It has a flowering rest period around Autumn when it needs to have a cooler environment other than that it prefers a warmer temperature. The leaves are also really pretty and they don’t die off. Again don’t over water – let it become 50% dry before watering again.

Sago palm plant

Top left is the Sago Palm or Cycas Revoluta. This is one of my favourites because it’s base resembles a pineapple. These are excellent for conservatories. They can get huge so be warned ;)

From Japan, they can live inside or out and are slow growing.

Bottom right is a Corn Plant – Draceana Massangeana Fragrans originally from Madagascar  – you can’t see the trunk of it in this photo but it looks like a little tree. It’s a very popular houseplant because it’s so it doesn’t ask much and perfect for the beginner. You can put it anywhere in the home. It does grow larger so be aware of that. It’s a great foliage plant.

Rhipsalis plant cacti

I adore the Mistletoe Cacti ( Rhipsalis ) it is really versatile as it works in a hanging basket or in a pot and just does it’s thing ! Doesn’t need much watering and when you do add some water at the bottom in a little plate so it takes what it needs. Ideally put it in a bright room but not direct sunlight.

lipstick plant aeschynathus mona lisa plant hanging

Another lovely hanging plant is the Mona Lisa – in Latin: Aeschynathus. Also known as Lipstick Plant. They love warn temperatures and humidity. Ideal for bathrooms and I guess a kitchen. I would pop this on a shelf. Another plant that likes some water in a plate under the pot.

houseplants easy

I can vouch for the Pothos plant as we have one in our living room and it’s a great feature with it’s shiny, marbled leaves. Very low maintenance and really hardy, it’s perfect for a busy home. I water the pothos about once a week and keep the top inch moist. In the Summer apparently a little but of plant feed is helpful.

air plant

You may have seen Air Plants ( Tillandsia ) on Pinterest being used in all sorts of random ways as it doesn’t need soil so sometimes people hang them from shelves or attach to mirrors. They look great tucked in to sand with succulents. They just need a little bit of mist spray and they’re good to go.

urban jungle tropical plants

 

boden blue bag

I hope my tips are helpful. It’s such a joy to visit Urban Jungle and I wanted to share it with you. It is situated just outside of Beccles and they are also based in Costessey near Norwich. There are loads and loads of outdoor plants too. I feel like I’m on holiday there with the palm trees and giant Cacti to greet you.

boden boots

Sitting amongst the greenery and vibrant colours to eat your meals makes each table feel like you have lots of privacy and the music is alway nice and chilled.

urban jungle suffolk

Do you have any favourite places to visit locally ? Let me know …

Lucy x

All clothing very kindly c / o BodenPrinted Jumper, Renee Shoulder Bag, Black Boho Boots, Soho Skinny Jeans.

 

Inspire Me – with Love Your Garden’s Katie Rushworth

kite rushworh gardener presenter tv gardening tips advice

If you are a fan of ITV’s Love Your Garden like me ( many happy tears have been shed watching the transformations ) then I’m guessing you will be inspired by my chat with resident presenter and garden designer on the show – Katie Rushworth.

Wanting some advice on what to plant this Autumn or how to prepare for next year ?

Look no further …

Which are your own personal favourite colourful Summer flowers and plants ?

Oh gosh this is so hard, I love so many and all for different reasons. It’s like asking someone what their favourite song is. Today I am loving my Nepeta govaniana is has a lovely natural look and delicate lemon flowers. I’m also excited to see my Molinia ‘Transparent’ sending up its wonderful flower spikes, and I have a new love for the shrub Styrax japonicus – it is just so damn pretty !!

You’ve created some amazing spaces with the Love Your Garden team  – which has been the most challenging so far ?

They are all difficult in some way or another, every garden has its foibles – the thing that can make an easy or a tough build is really the weather. Trying to do any hard landscaping in the rain is almost impossible and the site turning into a mud bath isn’t helpful. Luckily we don’t have too many off these to overcome but when we do it’s a race to the finish line and we’re always exhausted.

Which flowers and plants combined would make the perfect British colourful Summer Garden ?

That’s a tough one too as it totally depends on your taste. You could have something harmonious with pale pinks, blues and purples – or something vibrant and dynamic using purple orange and red. I often encourage people to buy what they love and not forget the importance of attractive foliage, it’s around for much longer than the flowers of a plant. A good mix of shrubs, perennials and one or two colourful annuals should give you a diverse pretty border with form and a long period of interest.

What are the best plants to encourage bees and other wildlife in to your garden ?

Cotoneaster horizontalis and Ivy are excellent for pollinators as are Lavender, Monarda, Verbena bonariensis, Foxgloves, Echinops, Buddleja, Scabious, Crab apples and Eryngium.

mediterranean plants design garden

If someone wanted to create a Mediterranean or Moroccan look with our unpredictable UK weather  – could it work and which plants would you recommend ? 

Yes it could absolutely work – Things like Olives tress, Canna lillies, Astelias, Callistemon, Actinidia,  Passiflora caerulea and various palms would create just that look. In the north of the UK however some exotics will not like the cold so always check the label to see how frost hardy the variety is that you choose. Plants that won’t tolerate frost can be moved into a green house or conservatory over the Winter if you have one.

garden design flowers pretty

How would you describe your garden ? 

A bit of a hotchpotch if honest, I just stick stuff in when I have the time and it kind of has to look after itself. It’s full of plants and flowers and generally looks pretty but I don’t really have the time to dedicate to it at the moment – if I’m not away filming with work I’m at home being a mum as well as running my business so I’m pretty ruthless with it; if something doesn’t perform well it gets whipped out and replaced.

katie rushworth garden chairs pretty english

Is your home inspired by the outdoors?

Absolutely ! I love anything that has a link to the natural world. I think bringing the garden into your home and the home into the garden is a boundary that should be blurred – when the two are connected whether by plants, materials, patterns or colours it leads to a more cohesive, holistic and I find a more creative environment.

flowers plants advice pretty colours mediterranean

Where does a complete gardening novice begin? It seems overwhelming ! 

Find out what kind of soil you have and how much sun your garden gets; these two nuggets of information will save you time and effort when buying plants. For example, if you know you have lots of sun and free draining soil then Lavender will do brilliantly !

Could you offer a few crucial do’s and don’ts to keep the garden alive right through to Autumn ?

Autumn is a great time to plant new plants, and access the skeleton of your garden. Have a good tidy up, by cutting back, sweeping leaves and get rid of things that haven’t done so well. You can also divide herbaceous perennials at this time of year giving you lots of new plants for free. Lawns don’t enjoy being walked on a great deal in the cold and wet and any Spring flowering shrubs need to be left alone if you want them to flower the following year. ( if they need pruning do it immediately after they have flowered in the Spring ) And finally – plant tulips in pots LOTS of them ! When they are coming up in Spring move the pot so you can see it when you’re in the house – it will never fail to make you smile !

Katie rushworth gardening book advice tips gardening

You have written a book called ‘ Plants, Beds and Borders ’ how long did it take to put together ?

It took about between 9 and 12 months all together including photography and editing. It was hard work – but I’m really proud of it.

Thank you so much, Katie for the advice and tour around your own garden. I’m going to give the Autumnal tips a go this year.

You can find out more info on Katie’s book here.

I’d love to hear from my readers whether they are keen gardeners or novices like myself ? Leave me a comment with your thoughts under this post or just to say hi !

Lucy x

All images are copyright Katie Rushworth 2017.

15 Ideas for Making your Own Indoor Festival

Festival indoor interior home ideas colourful inspiration music
  1. Cacoon – Cacoon World 2. Chocolate Pizza  – Gournet Pizza Company 3. Bunting – Selfridges 4. Colourful tea light holders – Dotcomgiftshop 5. Heart Cushion – Sweetpea & Willow 6. Gold trunk table  – Graham and Green 7. Fondue Set – John Lewis 8. Dream Catcher – Meri Meri 9. Aztec Yellow Rug – John Lewis 10. Pom Pom bag – Bohemia Design 11. Festival Candle – Bath and Unwind 12. Stackable Glasses – John Lewis 13. Drink Dispenser – Clas Ohlsen 14. Cushion – Maison Du Monde 15. Cacti String Lights – Amara

If you’re choosing this year to enjoy the music festival season at home I have a little festi – colour inspiration post for you today.

Ironically although my husband works in music I am not often tempted to attend the festivals. Call me a little bit OCD if you like but the thought of relying on wet wipes to stay clean for a whole 4 days is not for me ! So instead I prefer to enjoy the highlights relaxing on the sofa. No doubt in years to come when the girls are a little older we will be donning the wellies and getting muddy with everyone else.

But in the meantime it doesn’t mean though that we don’t do the ‘festi feels’ and you can have some real fun doing up your living room or garden for the weekend or whole Summer. I’ve picked out some colourful items to make a house feel ready.

Think eclectic .. mixing it all up. Bold, brights and bohemian.

The Cacoon is great for inside and out the home. Although not an impulse buy kind of item – it would be a fabulous addition to the home. I love the orange colour but they do come in quite a few other shades.

Chocolate pizza or a fondue while on the sofa watching your favourite bands on tv. Yes please thank you.

Over the Summer holiday the girls and I will be making something inspired by this that we can’t wait to show you ..

What do you think of my picks ? Fancy a festival this weekend ?

Lucy x

An Inspiring Afternoon with Oka at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Chelsea Flower Show winner

Last week I had a truly lovely afternoon at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show courtesy of the team at Oka.

We started the day with a faux flower arranging lesson with their in house Interior Designer Hilary using Oka’s silk flowers at their flagship store on Fulham Road. It was really fun and I will be showing you the some of the skills I picked up soon here on the blog.

I’ve never been to RHS Chelsea Flower Show before and ironically even though I have worked in TV and know the ropes  – I still imagined it would be ‘ like off the telly ‘ which it kind of was but much, much bigger and spread out than expected.

The show gardens were so clever. The dedication that goes in to each and every one is admirable.

Being a fan of Japanese styles I loved this gold medal winning one above designed by Kazuyuki Ishihara called ‘ Goshi No Niwa Now wall, No War ‘. The way the glass house hides amongst the trees. Stunning.

Tom Raffield ChairTom Raffield lighting

It was really exciting to see Tom and Danielle Raffield showing their ‘ Gwenver Garden Room ‘. You may know that I interviewed Tom recently after their home was featured on Grand Designs. I seem to have learn a lot about steam bending wood recently and I think their house is just beautiful.

Chelsea Floreer Show Gold

To really take in every single design you’d have to spend a couple of days there but I took as many photos as I could. Here is the ‘ The Silk Road Garden, Chengdu China by Laurie Chetwood and Patrick Collins ‘. Another gold winner..What are you thoughts on it ? I love its uniqueness.

Chelsea Flower Show Structure 2017

There were a lot of people studying this yet another gold winning garden named ‘ Breaking Ground ‘ designed by Andrew Wilson and Gavin McWilliams. I really like it. I’m pretty sure if my daughters had been there they woulds have wanted to climb it … not sure that would have gone down well !

Garden Inspiration Chelsea

This ‘ Poetry Loves Garden ‘ designed by Fiona Cadwallader won a silver really caught my eye. I’d love something like this in our garden at home.

Boat Garden RHS Chelsea

One from my neck of the woods. The ‘ IBTC Lowestoft Boatbuilder’s Garden by Gary Breeze. It won a gold and I’m not surprised. Are you ? So tranquil.

Green Garden Industrial Inspiration

I wish I’d managed to get a better photograph of this design but wanted to share it anyway. An industrial style space called ‘ Walkers Wharf ‘ by Graham Bodle using recycled woods and materials. For me it shows how you can make a calm area out of pretty much anything. It won a gold.

Mediterranean Garden Orange Tree

 

This orange tree was part of the ‘ Viking Cruise Garden of Inspiration ‘ by Sarah Eberle made me yearn for Spain. The mosaic and spiky arid loving plants. Sarah won a silver this year.

Colourful Flowers Pinks and PurpleBright colours flowers Gladioli Flowers ChelseaIdeas for garden inspiration

Then there were the flower exhibits. Wow. The colours.

It was a fantastic experience and I think I’m hooked now. Can’t wait for next year. Thank you Oka for a really inspiring time.

Which is your favourite ? Leave me a comment under this post  – would love to hear from you.

Lucy x

AirBnB and Pantone Create a Greenery Haven

pantone greenery airbnb door east london haven

As a blogger, I get invites to many different events and workshops and I feel very lucky. I don’t attend too many of them as it often takes a large chunk out of the day to attend, but when the opportunity to visit an Outside In House in London pops up. Yes please.

You may have heard about this amazing AirBnB and Pantone collaboration in Dingley Place, East London .. cool front door, hey ?  They have transformed this home in to a plant oasis and project venue based on Pantone’s Colour of The Year  – Greenery – for a family of four for overnight visits.

greenery pantone

I was pleasantly surprised to hear on my tour around the home that one night’s experience in this entire place, so close to the centre of London is only £200 per family. Even better is that every nightly fee is matched by Pantone with all proceeds going to charity.

greenery pantone greenery pantone

This setting of trees was just as you walk in the front door. Apparently it took them two days to convert the whole house, which is pretty impressive.

Maybe because we are a little closer to Spring than when Pantone first announced Greenery, I loved it even more. Such a refreshing and zingy colour and it really works on such a big scale.  The aroma of the herbs planted around the rooms was incredible.

greenery pantone

I’m pretty sure my girls would squeal with delight at the thought of staying indoors in a teepee adorned with fairy lights. This was downstairs below ground level along with the master bed and bathroom. I loved the lawn flooring and continuation of sweet and healing scented plants surrounding the beds.
greenery pantone

greenery pantoneSo serene and hidden away in such a busy and non stop city.

herbal tea pantone airbnb green house greenery pantone stay london design inspiration

screen printing greenery craft london teacher After a tour and a super healthy cup of herbal tea drink we sat down in the dining room / craft table with Walthamstow based, textile and surface designer Daniel Heath, and tried our luck at screen printing on wood surfaces.

pantone greeneryyellow green lemonsGreenery Pantone Airbnb home hotel stay london travel cacti succulents

Daniel showed us the process and then we looked around the conservatory for a plant that inspired us to have a go ourselves.

It was incredibly therapeutic to do and also great fun watching everyone’s stencilling turn in to a cool creation to take home.

Definitely a blogging afternoon to remember !

So, has Greenery grown on you yet if you didn’t love it at first ? Or maybe it was love at first sight ?

Leave me a comment under this post  – I’d love to hear from you.

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

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