Posts Categorised: Garden

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. So, here’s some tips on how to create an urban jungle with tropical houseplants.

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 jungle 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 ? We are lucky to have Urban Jungle close by Let me know …

Lucy x

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

 

Interview: Garden Expert 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 expert 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

If you’re choosing this year to enjoy the outdoor music season at home I have a little festi – colour inspiration post for you today with 15 Ideas for Making your own Indoor Festival..

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 ?

  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

Lucy x

An Inspiring Afternoon with Oka at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Chelsea Flower Show winner

Last week I had a truly lovely and inspiring afternoon with Oka at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

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

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 haven 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 ?

While I am on the topic of Airbnb, I must recommend my friend’s place in Margate. You can find out more over at Fashion for Lunch. It’s gorgeous and so colourful.

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

Lucy x