Price Points: House plant stands

House plant stands | H is for Home

I’m sure I’ve said on here before that I think plants really bring an extra dimension to an interior. There are so many ways of introducing them into your home; strings of pearls in a macramé hanging basket, mini-cacti in odd, vintage cups & mugs. A growing trend is statement foliage in plant stands.

The three I’ve chosen are all up there in the plant fashion stakes. Copper is a metal and colour that’s everywhere in interiors mags and homeware shops at the moment. Olive green is a really in vogue colour – but we would say that though, wouldn’t we? Probably the hottest home trend that’s come around again since it’s 1970s heyday is furniture made of rattan, cane, wicker and bamboo.

  1. Copper wrought iron and cement footed planter: £21.59, Maisons du Monde
  2. AM.PM. Florian ceramic planter: £89, La Redoute
  3. Donna plant stand: £158 – £178, Anthropologie

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    Copper wrought iron and cement footed planter
    Copper wrought iron and cement footed planter
    £21.59
    AM.PM. Florian ceramic planter
    AM.PM. Florian ceramic planter
    £89
    Donna plant stand
    Donna plant stand
    £158 - £178
    Copper wrought iron and cement footed planter
    Copper wrought iron and cement footed planter
    £21.59
    AM.PM. Florian ceramic planter
    AM.PM. Florian ceramic planter
    £89
    Donna plant stand
    Donna plant stand
    £158 - £178
    Copper wrought iron and cement footed planter
    Copper wrought iron and cement footed planter
    £21.59
    AM.PM. Florian ceramic planter
    AM.PM. Florian ceramic planter
    £89
    Donna plant stand
    Donna plant stand
    £158 - £178

Price Points: Water butts

Three various water butts | H is for Home

We’ve had no end of rain, rain, rain so far this year. But, before you know it, it will soon be summer and hosepipe bans will be in place in some parts of the country.

Conversely with making hay while the sun shines, collect water while it rains! These water butts are much more aesthetically pleasing than the olive green barrels that are the usual. I especially like the design of the Pure raindrop which as an integral watering can.

  1. Original Organics Moroccan beehive water butt – 150 litres: £80.99, Garden Street
  2. 210L RainBowl vase water butt – mango orange: £238.49, Water Butts Direct
  3. Pure raindrop water butt: £249.99, Crocus

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Pure raindrop water butt
Pure raindrop water butt
£249.99
210L RainBowl vase water butt – mango orange
210L RainBowl vase water butt – mango orange
£238.49
Original Organics Moroccan beehive water butt 150 litres
Original Organics Moroccan beehive water butt 150 litres
£80.99
Pure raindrop water butt
Pure raindrop water butt
£249.99
210L RainBowl vase water butt – mango orange
210L RainBowl vase water butt – mango orange
£238.49
Original Organics Moroccan beehive water butt 150 litres
Original Organics Moroccan beehive water butt 150 litres
£80.99
Pure raindrop water butt
Pure raindrop water butt
£249.99
210L RainBowl vase water butt – mango orange
210L RainBowl vase water butt – mango orange
£238.49
Original Organics Moroccan beehive water butt 150 litres
Original Organics Moroccan beehive water butt 150 litres
£80.99

Beautify your Palm Springs property for a quick sale with these healthy desert plants

Garden containing healthy desert plants
If California is known for anything, it’s for being home to the Hollywood film industry as well as the largest number of health-conscious consumers. In fact, diets have been named after the state! If you’re in the process of sprucing up your home for a quick sale and the garden leaves a lot to be desired, why not kill two birds with one stone and give your property instant curb appeal by adding beautiful, low-maintenance edible desert plants known to promote better health?

Not only is California known to be the epitome of a health-conscious community, they’re also big on sustainable living. You’ll probably find more thrift stores and recycling centres per capita in California than in any other state. Yes, California is the most populous state however, if you factor in proportions of recycling activities per 100 people, California leads the nation by a long shot. Create an eco-friendly garden by growing plants that require little or no irrigation. Get tips from mygardeningnetwork.com about planting and caring for edible, desert plants.

Chia flowerscredit

Chia

One of the most popular health food ingredients on the market today is chia seeds. Health conscious people do everything from putting them in smoothies, sprinkling them on salads to adding them to home-made bread. The plant that produces the seeds – Salvia hispanica – belongs to the herb family. It requires a lot of direct sunlight, something the Coachella Desert has plenty of! Chia seeds are extremely high in the Omega complex of fatty acids, vitamin B1 and niacin. Chia plants produce beautiful blue flowers that will enhance your landscaping and grow well in rock gardens.

Agave tequilana and cactus plantscredit

Agave

Have you heard of the sweetening power of agave nectar? Not only is agave a natural sweetener much healthier than sugar, but the plant is high in fibre, necessary for healthy digestion. Did you know that agave is also used to distil tequila? Is it any wonder that many Central & South American homes sport this ground-covering succulent on their lawns and gardens?

Prickly pear cactus

Prickly pear

Prickly pear, or Opuntia to give it its proper name, is a hardy cactus native to South America. Not only is it an attractive, sculptural plant, its pads and fruit are edible. It’s very low in fat and calories and high in magnesium and vitamin C. The deep-growing roots of the prickly pear helps prevent soil erosion.

Aloe vera plant

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is famously used as a natural remedy for soothing sunburn and as a moisturising ingredient in beauty products. It’s also claimed that the extracted juice helps support good gastrointestinal health.

Creating a lovely garden with healthy desert plants, you’re sure to increase curb appeal instantly, especially to those looking to move westward for a more beneficial lifestyle. Add value to your property and get healthy in the process!

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Get their look: Tropical look courtyard garden

Tropical look courtyard gardencredit

This tropical look courtyard garden is something we could happily live with. Our garden is a of a similar size and is laid with granite setts. We’re never going to have manicured lawns and large, cascading perennial borders. However, it does lend itself to this kind of look – an intimate, welcoming space. Perfect to accommodate relatively small scale beds, some containers & pots, a seating area and perhaps a barbecue.

The garden pictured above is located in a built up part of London – arguably the warmest area of the country. Tropical plants such as bananas and palm trees are easily grown in the capital. Up here in the rainy, frost-prone North they need a little more care & attention.

We love big, showy, architectural plants; they’re contrarily suited to small-scale gardens. Our garden is quite sheltered, but damp & shady in parts too – and often very cold in the winter. Some plants do well… others not so keen.

When we first moved to our current house 15 years ago, we planted a black bamboo in the ground and it’s flourishing – reaching heights of about 20 feet! Other tropical (or tropical-looking) plants that we’ve managed to successfully nurture in our decidedly temperate back garden include Fatsia Japonica, Rheum palmatum and Gunnera manicata.

  1. Phyllostachys Bissetii (Bamboo)
  2. Musa basjoo (Japanese banana)
  3. Canna indica (Indian shot)
  4. Colocasia esculenta ‘Black Magic’ (Taro or Elephant ear)
  5. Agapanthus Africanus
  6. Hedychium Densiflorum (Ginger lily)
  7. Dicksonia Antarctica (New Zealand tree fern)

Get their look: Tropical look courtyard garden | H is for Home

4 new gardening trends to try in 2017

4 new gardening trends to try in 2017

Many recent studies indicate that time spent in and amongst nature plays an instrumental role in reducing stress and improving general health & well-being. Fortunately, due to modern advancements, it’s not necessary to go into the woods to spend time with nature. You can do so in the comfort of your own home, office or garden.

No longer are we limited by climate, rainfall, space, and soil conditions when it comes to growing plants. The advancement in modern techniques and technology enables virtually any available space to be transformed into a plant haven. Here are four new gardening trends to consider.

Vegetable seedlings

  1. Growing herbs & vegetables indoors

Indoor gardening techniques and equipment have improved in leaps and bounds over recent years. People are often choosing (or being forced) to live in smaller spaces without large gardens, whilst at the same time the demand for local and organic food has increased tremendously. Hence, many are opting to grow their own herbs, salads and other vegetables such as pak choi and chillies indoors. You can also grow your own herbal plants for infused teas, soaps or medicinal treatments. A windowsill is a perfect site for all this. You might also have a small balcony area that you can dedicate to these plants; or, failing that, grow plants under lights or use aquaponic systems.

Swallow greenhousecredit

  1. Greenhouses

If you do have some outdoor space, it doesn’t need to be large or expansive in order to grow your own food. You can have a Swallow greenhouse installed in your backyard or flat roof terrace. These greenhouses are specifically manufactured to help grow delicate plants that require specific conditions. They are constructed of timber that is heat-treated up to 215ºC, protecting the construction from rotting. Hence, you can be assured of the durability of Swallow greenhouses as they’re built to handle cold and damp weather conditions with ease. If you’re considering installing a Swallow greenhouse in your backyard or other potentially suitable space, pay a visit to the site greenhousestores.co.uk.

Cacti and succulent house plants

  1. Jungle and desert-inspired interiors

A trend that has been gaining momentum recently is grouped collections of house plants. If you browse magazines and interiors websites, you’ll see that many home-owners are using house plants to decorate their homes – arranged in wonderful assemblages of various sizes and shapes. Many have broad, glossy, architectural leaves and others cascade down from shelves and hanging planters. This gives quite a jungle-inspired feel and they’re currently all the rage.

The same can be said of cacti and other succulents. Again, they’re arranged in concentrated collections for maximum impact. Various pot colours & sizes – and using alternative containers such as up-cycled tins can add further interest. When decorating your home, consider these bold and intriguing house plants – for both the natural air purification benefits and to make a real interiors statement.

Click Grow house planting kit

  1. Hi-tech gardening tools

There’s some great new technology on the market for the both the experienced and aspiring gardener.

There is a growing range of apps available for your smartphone or tablet. There are plant identifiers such as the RHS ‘Grow Your Own’ which tells you what fruit & veg you can grow; when to plant and harvest and what pests and diseases you may encounter. There are also a number of podcasts that you can download and watch to improve your gardening knowledge.

The Parrot Flower Power plant monitor is a little device that you stick into your plant’s pot (either indoors or out) and it monitors and analyses the growing conditions. It sends you alerts to your smartphone via an app to let you know if the plant needs more or less light, water, warmth or even if it needs to be re-potted!

If there are rooms in your house that get little natural sunlight, you may find it a challenge to grow plants successfully. This dilemma has now been solved. There are now planting kits that come with integrated LED lights to ensure that your plants get all the light they need.

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Price Points: Strawberry pots

Strawberry pots | H is for Home

Our summer fruit harvest has been pretty good this year. We have a few strawberry plants that have produced lots of fruit – and now, dozens of runners between them. We don’t want to just cut them back and waste them. Also, you shouldn’t just keep the same strawberry plants, growing on the same plot (or in the same soil) year after year, as they accumulate viruses – and crops diminish.

About three years is the optimum life for a strawberry plant apparently, so we’re going to propagate a few over the coming weeks. We had a look at what the venerable Monty Don had to say on how to go about it – and it’s incredibly easy. You can never have too many strawberry plants because you can never have too many strawberries!

Here’s a trio of different strawberry pots – from less than a tenner to over £50 – which we’ve found that would be perfect for our allotment and garden…

  1. Large 45-litre plastic herb / strawberry planter / grow bag: £7.95, Amazon
  2. Terracotta strawberry pots: £35.00, Etsy
  3. Terracotta strawberry planter: £64.99, Crocus

Take to the stage!

Top of trestle staging | H is for Home

We’ve recently been sent this wooden trestle staging by First Tunnels, a polytunnel and garden structure firm based in Barrowford – not that far from us, over the Lancashire border.

Wooden trestle staging | H is for Home

We’ve been in need of a potting station on our allotment, however, we thought we’d have a dry run and assemble it in the garden before taking it down there.

Bottom shelf of trestle staging | H is forHome

In fact, we needn’t have worried about a tricky construction. No tools, nails, screws or allen keys were required – job done in 30 seconds flat! The kit came in a single piece; all that was needed was for the folded, hinged legs to be stabilised with a metal pin on either end and the under-shelf slid under.

Detail showing hinge of trestle staging | H is for Home

The trestle staging is made of planed, tanalised pine – First Tunnels is FSC certified which means all the wood they use is responsibly sourced. It’s not just ideal for the allotment; it can be used in the garden, conservatory, potting shed, greenhouse, garage or boot room.

Detail from wooden trestle staging | H is for Home

It’s 6ft wide and the under-shelf is useful for storing tools, pots and watering cans whilst the top is the perfect height for sowing seeds and potting on. The structure is very sturdy – it can easily support heavy things such as tomato grow bags and bags of potting compost.

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