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.
- Phyllostachys Bissetii (Bamboo)
- Musa basjoo (Japanese banana)
- Canna indica (Indian shot)
- Colocasia esculenta ‘Black Magic’ (Taro or Elephant ear)
- Agapanthus Africanus
- Hedychium Densiflorum (Ginger lily)
- Dicksonia Antarctica (New Zealand tree fern)
This chilled garden belongs to BBC radio and TV presenter, Jo Whiley. You’d expect something this relaxed and comfortable from the Glastonbury Festival veteran.
It’s a perfect candidate for Through the Keyhole – there are so many clues. Bales of hay for that Worthy Farm vibe? Check! Superstar DJ disco ball? Check! Fire bowl for sitting around playing or listening to music and toasting marshmallows? Check, check, check!
Strings of outdoor festoon lights and lanterns complete the easygoing ambience and, according to a recent article in House Beautiful, they’re very on-trend for this summer.
- 20 warm white LED connectible festoon lights
- 300mm silver disco mirror ball
- Hot lips cushion
- Black cage battery wax candle lantern, 20cm
- Outdoor battery flickering candle lantern
- Barley straw bale
- Metal double sun lounger
- Original recycled Kadai Fire Bowl®
What a glorious place to spend a warm summer’s evening! Gently rocking back and forth with a cold beer or glass of wine, taking in the view and watching the sun go down.
This rustic porch (and indeed the cottage to which it belongs) ticks lots of boxes for us in terms of materials and décor.
We like the combination of natural wood and stone in a building structure – and the introduction of cane, rattan and weathered metal works perfectly with it.
The look is carried through the various connecting spaces – flowers, textiles and furs softening the harder edges.
If you’re equally taken by the idea of spending some time here – well you can! The cottage is situated in Cornwall and available to rent for holidays (dogs allowed too).
Hopefully we’ll be lighting that fire and rocking in those chairs one day soon!
- Franco Albini rattan rocking chairs
- Franco Albini glass-topped rattan table
- Tree branch tea light holders – set of three
- Large terracotta plant pot
- Storm lamp
- Natural woven straw seat cushions
We’ve had a couple of really lovely sunny days in the past week and we’ve been making the most of them. We’ve tidied up our back garden and planted the first few bulbs and seeds on the allotment.
This sociable patio space is just the type of thing we like. It’s not huge, but the white-painted fence and decking as well as the split level areas makes it appear much larger than it actually is. The patio is cleverly ‘zoned’ with separate places for eating and lounging. The collection of mirrors bounce light around and, along with the artwork, bring the inside out.
- Wrought iron garden set
- Striped cushion cover
- Brass flamingo sculptures
- Circular mosaic mirror
- Frosted high ball glasses
- Poly-rattan garden furniture set
This week’s Home Tone is terracotta. We’re sticking with the natural material for our images – whether it be floor tiles, brickwork or pots. This is our favourite use of the colour, particularly when it’s aged or weathered. The baked clay of terracotta comes in various shades from light & chalky to dark orange, but they all tend to have a warm, natural feel. It works really well with creams and greens – and other natural materials such as sea grass and cane – and pale woods such as light oak or beech.
Have you been watching Winterwatch this week? We tune in, of course, for all the wonderful wildlife. But we love the presenters and their rapport with each other. The way Chris Packham tries to shoehorn in as many titles of punk singles into his dialogue as he can – hilarious!
I always admire the clothes they wear as well – lots of lovely outdoor wear. Chris and Michaela have both been wearing some mighty fine down jackets over the past few years and I’ve been coveting one. Not one in boring black – something bright green like theirs’ or perhaps a vibrant purple.
The one from Uniqlo is a lovely colour, but it doesn’t look terribly warm or waterproof and it doesn’t have an all important hood. The top of the range North Face example looks really robust, but the fabric is a bit too shiny for me. The mid-range Rab has a great colour and looks warm & waterproof. I also like the fact that it appears to give you a shape – the Michelin Man look isn’t a good one!
- WOMEN ultra light down jacket: £59.90, Uniqlo
- Rab women’s ascent jacket: £140, GOoutdoors
- The North Face women’s hooded Elysium jacket: £220.99, OutdoorKit