Top 5 Gardening Jobs for Spring

April 20th, 2015

Garden jobs for spring

The sun is finally shining, the temperature is getting warmer and you might already have spent a couple of nights dining al fresco on the patio.

If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, then you may have noticed it has spontaneously started sprouting flowers, shrubs, vines and green leaves in all directions. The daffodils have bloomed, the bluebells are out, tulips are at their best and the peonies are fit to burst. The lawn might also be getting out of hand and the dreaded weeds may already be choking some of your beloved plants.

Here are the top five gardening jobs to focus on this spring, to keep your garden in check.

1. Jet wash the patio and decking

A jet washer is a worthwhile investment, particularly if you want to minimise the use of chemicals in your garden.

Sweep the area to get rid of obvious debris first, then blast your patio with water to remove more stubborn dirt. Once you’ve been over every inch, use the pressure washer to blast the dirt you’ve lifted towards drains and lawn.

If you have any areas where water pools, use a stiff sweeping brush to direct water away. Don’t forget your front yard could benefit from a good clean too!

2. Fix up your lawn

For a thick, healthy lawn, now is the time to replace bald patches and s0w grass seeds.

Give it a helping hand with an organic lawn fertiliser and then mow the lawn when it’s dry. This will ensure it stays lush, green and pleasant to walk on in bare feet later in the summer.

3. Weeding

Probably the job we least want to do, but it’s the most important task for maintaining a healthy, attractive garden.

Get in there quickly this spring before weeds have a chance to flower and distribute their seeds across the garden, making your job even harder next year.

Make sure you dig out the whole weed rather than snapping the top off or you’ll find it grows back just a week or so later.

4. Dust off the garden furniture and the BBQ

Now is the time to get your table, chairs, parasol, BBQ and fire pit out. Give everything a good clean and check it’s still in useable condition.

You’ll want to be ready for impromptu barbecues from here on in, so you can make the most of any unseasonably warm spring evenings.

Take it further and get some outdoor fairy lights or citronella candles to make your evenings in the garden magical.

5. Get some flower baskets

Spring is a great time to start getting some colourful, hanging baskets for the empty hooks in your garden.

However, these days there are all sorts of unusual and stylish planters you can use to decorate your garden with flowers. Head over to the Multiyork blog for some pretty, creative, planter ideas that will give your garden a unique look.

These tips cover the basics to keep your garden healthy and ticking over well into summer as well as making it a useable and inviting outdoor space for entertaining and relaxing with family and friends.

If you’re looking to go the extra mile, remember that birds and little animals, like hedgehogs, will be feeding their young at the moment, so investing in some feed, bird boxes and other products to help wildlife thrive in your garden, not only makes your garden a lovely environment for you to enjoy, it can help our feathered friends too!

(Top image credit: S R Lee / Shutterstock)

***This is a guest post*** 

Space-saving garden tool storage cabinet

April 16th, 2015

Space saving cabinet

Not got a garage or garden shed, but need somewhere to store tools? No problem, opt one of these useful garden storage cabinets instead.

The Suntime cabinet has been cleverly designed to provide essential storage space for all your garden tools and equipment that can’t be left outside overnight. The vertical design helps it take up less space and you can add a padlock to make it even more secure.

There are four roomy shelves inside which can be adjusted to accommodate taller tools and the divider enables each half to be opened separately. It’s perfect for using outside on a patio, garden or allotment, but it could work equally well positioned in a garage if you wish.

The Suntime cabinet is available in a choice of two colours, from John Lewis.

Fresh design cuts: Graham and Green Spring Clean sale

April 13th, 2015

Fresh design top sale picks from Graham and Green

Ahoy there bargain hunters!

Head thee over to the esteemed Graham and Green today for your last chance to snap up a bargain in their Spring Clean sale. They’ve got a fab range of homeware and furniture bargains available, from tables and lamps to storage and china. You’ve got until midnight tonight (Monday 13th April) to take advantage. Go forth and buy!

Here are some of our favourite sale buys:

Top row, from left to right:

Unleash your creative spirit, or handle your essential paperwork, using the Odyssey writing desk, now £374.85 (was £595)

Celebrate the animal world, with a handcrafted paper mache polar bear mount, now £56.07 (was £89)

Create a centre piece in your living room with this hardwood carved Dahlia coffee table, now £157.50 (was £350)

Middle row, from left to right:

Prop up your books in style with these resign Bertie dog bookends, now £39.06 (was £59)

Make the most of the space in a small kitchen using these stackable glass storage jars. A set of four is now £31.47 (was £49.95)

Serve your favourite hot tipple in a protractor design espresso set, now £8.98 (was £19.95)

Bottom row, from left to right:

Store your spaghetti, biscuits or other foods in these quirky ceramic owl storage jars. They’re now priced from £20.16 to £23.31 (they were £32 -£37)

Stash away your favourite trinkets and treasures, in a little secrets wooden storage box, now £11.94 (was £18.95)

Light up your desk or bedside table with a colourful Aleena brass lamp, now £49.77 (was £79)

Natural charm: 10 linen accessories for your home

April 11th, 2015

10 best natural linen home accessories

When it comes to home accessories, there’s nothing quite like natural linen for adding an individual touch. Made from the fibres of the flax plant rather than the cotton plant, linen is rougher, more open weave and less uniform than cotton, giving it a more textural feel that’s perfect for soft furnishings. We pick out ten of the best accessories to add the linen look to your home.

1. Linen lavender heart, Jonny’s Sister

Personalised linen lavender heart by Jonny’s Sister

A simple lavender heart, personalised and filled with lavender from Provence. Handmade in England, these hearts are made from 100 per cent Irish linen, and have a cream gros grain ribbon hanging loop and a mother of pearl button. Made to order, £18 from Jonny’s Sister.

2. Ribbon-trimmed linen drum lampshade, Isobel Stanley Design

Linen lampshade by Isabel Stanley Designs

This contemporary linen lampshade is trimmed with grosgrain ribbon, and is available in a range of different colours. Comes on its own, or you can order a lamp base separately. £40 for shade only, from Isabel Stanley Design.

3. Linen roll top bar stool, Sweetpea and Willow

Linen roll top bar stool by Sweenpea and Willow

We’re really hankering after this beautiful stool. Upholstered in beige linen fabric and complete with elegant aged brass studding that continues round the back, it would look perfect in a kitchen or garden room. £263 from Sweetpea and Willow.

4. Linen cushion with grey leaf design, Nutmeg and Sage

Leaf design grey linen cushion by Nutmeg and Sage

A luxury linen cushion handmade with a wool felt leaf design and finished in crocheted linen yarn, perfect for natural colour themes. It comes complete with a luxury feather cushion pad, and is available in a range of sizes and colourways. £76, available from Swanky Maison.

5. Linen box cushion, Fermoie

Grey linen box cushion by Fermoie

A box cushion, perfect as a seating pad – this has three dimensional structure to make an upright chair more comfortable. also available as a ‘conventional’ cushion in different sizes. £96, available from Fermoie.

6. Rustic linen cushion covers, Nkuku

Rustic linen cushion cover from Nkuku

For a more affordable linen look, we like these rustic linen cushion covers in blue and natural stripes with a button front. In a range of sizes, they’d look great on garden furniture or in a conservatory. Prices start from £19.99, covers only, from Nkuku.

7. Tumble bed linen, LOAF

Tumble linen/cotton blend bedding

This bedding looks like linen, but as it’s a blend it’s easy care as well, making it the best of both worlds. There’s a subtle stripe that will complement most colour schemes, and the set includes fitted sheets, duvet covers and pillow cases that can all be purchased separately. Prices start from £15 from LOAF.

8. Taupe linen cushion, the French Bedroom Company

Taupe linen cushion from the French Bedroom Company

Handmade from 100% pre-washed Indian linen with a concealed zip in taupe, this cushion makes the perfect accessory for your French bed or sofa, and the rough-cut edging gives the smart linen a relaxed finish. Available in two sizes, prices start at £35 from the French Bedroom Company.

9. Cream linen lace doorstop, Melody Maison

Cream linen and lace doorstop from Melody Maison

For a subtle touch of linen, try this doorstop finished in cream linen, with a crocheted lace band around the middle and a cream tie at the top. Was £12.95 from Melody Maison, now reduced to £9.95.

10. Red stripe linen cushion, Coastal Home

Red stripe linen cushion from Coastal Home

A French linen cushion with a sack cloth weave and a classic nautical stripe in a deep red and light oatmeal running through the centre of each side, this cushion comes complete with a duck feather inner and is handmade in the UK. £32.95 from Coastal Home.

By Sara Walker

(Top image courtesy of: Mliberra/Shutterstock)

Five ideas for gallery wall art displays

April 9th, 2015

The gallery wall style approach to displaying photos, art, mirrors or other personal items continues to be popular in homes. Whether you’re opting for a unified and symmetric gallery approach, or an eclectic collection, here are five ideas for creating a gallery wall in your home.

1. Create impact with a single colour gallery wall

Green gallery wall art design

Image source

Create a single colour themed gallery wall, like this green one. The fresh green has a lovely impact used against white walls.

2. Go monotone with a stylish black and white gallery wall

Gallery wall layout idea

Opt for an elegant black and white gallery wall, like this one from the Lettered Cottage. Fill the frames with black and white art and photos, or add a splash of colour in a few pieces.

3. Match your gallery art to your wall colour 

Fresh design gallery wall ideas

Image source

For a unified look, match your choice of gallery wall art to the colour of your wall. It looks organised and refined.

4. Be eclectic and think outside the box / frame

Hang board games as art

Image source

A gallery wall can be created from anything that is meaningful to you. This board game wall, created by Gourley Girl & Guy, is so creative and fun!

5. Create a no-hang gallery wall effect

How to create a non-hanging gallery wall

Image source 

Unable to hang pictures on your wall? No problem! Dedicate an entire wall shelf to display your favourite photos or pictures. Mix different sizes and frames to create a layered effect.

For more ideas for hanging and displaying art, check out our Gallery Wall Display Ideas board on Pinterest.

Bedroom decor for couples: Gender neutral bedding

April 7th, 2015

For couples, it can sometimes be hard finding bedding that suits both people (hands up who’s partner has said no to anything remotely floral?), but if you look carefully there are some good options that should suit everyone. Here are some ideas for gender neutral bedlinen.

White Seersucker bedding

Fresh white bedding bedlinen duvet bedroom

White bedding is a great choice if you’re having difficulty agreeing on colour schemes and is the perfect base for a gender neutral decor scheme. This seersucker bedding proves that white certainly doesn’t have to be boring, as the weave and button details add texture and depth. Team it with other neutral accessories, such as a throw for the bed, lampshades or a piece of art for the wall.

Finley collection

Indigo blue masculine bedroom decor

The Finley collection mixes shades of indigo blue with soft grey and white. It’s suitably masculine without being overpowering and the look could be lightened by teaming it with silver or chrome lighting and accessories. The duvet cover set is currently priced from just £11.99, with coordinating curtains priced from £19.99.

Jigsaw Romantic Bird bedding

Grey bedroom bedding decor ideas

Grey is a good colour to use for gender neutral decor. Why not bring some shades of grey to your bedroom with this Jigsaw Romantic Bird set. The duvet is reversible, so you can mix and match between patterned and plain.

Blue Indi collection

Couples bedroom decor ideas

The Blue Indi collection of bedlinen and curtains from Dunelm Mill is fresh and stylish. The patterned stripes on crisp white provide just the right amount of colour without it being overpowering and you can team it with a matching bed cover if you wish.

Bath Stripe duvet cover

Gender neutral stripe bedding

If your other half isn’t averse to a little bit of colour, then this Bath Stripe duvet cover from Joules might suit. Reminiscent of vintage striped deck chairs, the jaunty design features a good mix of colours. For the super fussy, the fact that it’s reversible and plain on the other side might just swing it. Alternatively, you could tone down the small amount of, ahem, pink in it by teaming it with a mustard throw or blue cushions.

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