All posts filed under: Home and Garden

Garden Talk: Grow your own herbs

There’s nothing nicer – or healthier – than cooking with fresh herbs picked from your own garden. Most are easy to grow and look fab, whether in borders or containers and raised beds. Mediterranean varieties prefer sun and free-draining soil – add coarse grit and organic matter to clay soil. Others, such as coriander, mint and parsley prefer some shade and plenty of moisture. Here’s my pick of the best: Mint Mint can be invasive in a border, so it’s best grown in a pot. It Iikes rich moist soil and can tolerate shade. Keep picking it to encourage growth and divide it when it’s outgrown the container. Varieties include Lemon Mint, Apple Mint and Chocolate Mint – nice in puddings! Uses: Great in teas and summer drinks, with roast lamb or in Middle Eastern dishes such as couscous – I love mint sprinkled over feta and salmon before roasting. Sage Sage has lovely silvery leaves, but needs a good prune in early spring to stop it getting leggy. There are varieties with different leaf …

Step Inside Dulwich: Splash the Colour this Spring

At long last the first signs of spring have arrived, the dormant flora and fauna is bursting into new life bringing a splash of colour back into our lives. The Dulwich area has suddenly transformed itself into a vibrant, idyllic residential Arcadia. One can almost feel the anticipation in the air, creating the opportunity to cast off the heavy claddings of winter for the lighter more radiant colour’s of spring and summer. Springtime signals the chance for new beginnings: for cleaning, refreshing and rejuvenating home and garden; to cast-off the drab, dull and boring replacing it with the new and exciting. Where better to start than redecorating a favourite room, entrance hall or stairway? The latest colour trend predictions released from the world’s leading authority, Pantone® suggest that a colour palette of muted, earthy tones will be finding their way into our homes and will include these top ten colour hues for the Spring and Summer of 2017. Just imagine the refreshing effect of transforming your room from the ubiquitous Magnolia – covered walls with a splash of colour on a feature wall …

Forest Hill Garden Group

The Forest Hill Garden Group will be opening six gardens on Sunday 21 May (1-6pm) as part of the National Gardens Scheme (NGS) with a share to St Christopher’s. They are all within walking distance of each other – or a yellow ballooned taxi is available for a donation! Hilltop 28 Horniman Drive 27 Horniman Drive 53 Ringmore Rise 7 Canonbie Road, The Coach House 3 The Hermitage 25 Westwood Park. These six gardens in Forest Hill are all very different and make for a wonderful afternoon out. Situated on one of the highest points in south east London these gardens afford breathtaking views across London and the Downs, offering a real treat to the senses – art, sculpture, delicious homemade cakes and refreshment, music from a talented duo, and many plants for sale. There are too many hidden gems to list but delights include a walled courtyard garden, a city sanctuary garden built on three levels with rose and jasmine draped arches, a jewel garden and topiary; a sculptor’s garden packed with plants, sculptures and ceramics …

The Beautiful Houses of Dulwich

I love Dulwich; to my mind it is one of the most beautiful areas of London. I think it is the captivating combination of serene calmness, quiet sophistication and the cerebral atmosphere of a university town, accentuated with its fine schools, art gallery, local amenities and community life. The neighbourhood offers locals and visitors alike an eclectic mix of the most stunning properties in South London from the grand Georgian mansions, the palatial Victorian and Edwardian houses, the pre- and post-war homes, to the lovely hidden cottages tucked away down secluded alleyways. One cannot fail to be impressed by the distinctiveness and diversity of the elegant properties that make up the unique residential district around Dulwich. The other evening I was strolling around the village just as twilight fell. The homes lining the streets suddenly proffered a passer-by a quick, tantalising glimpse through the warm glow of tungsten lit windows into the private worlds of their occupants. As I peeped through the glazed windowpanes into the concealed private lives behind these enclosed walls, my curiosity …

Garden Talk: Your gardening to-do list

  Things are getting busy in the garden – here’s what to do this month. Fertilise and mulch * After weeding, sprinkle soil with an organic fertilser, such as chicken pellets or fish, blood and bone and lightly fork around trees and shrubs. Give roses a special rose feed or a balanced fertiliser. * Cover bare soil with a 5cm layer of organic matter such as well rotten manure to stop it losing water as weather warms up, watering first if it’s dry. A mulch suppresses weeds and looks smart too. Move and plant * If there’s a shrub that’s outgrown its spot, now’s the time move it. Take as large a root ball as you can, drag it over to its new home on a plastic sheet, add well rotted compost to the hole, water it well and it should take off. *This is the last chance to plant bare root trees, roses and shrubs as those little hair roots need to be making their way into the soil by now. * Plant new …