All posts filed under: Home and Garden

Garden Talk: And so to bed

It’s chilly out there, the lawn’s looking muddy and the borders tatty, but a bit of tidying now will make the garden look neat over the Christmas period and get you one step ahead for spring… Cut back… …but don’t be too tidy. Some perennials such as sedum have attractive seed heads that look great covered in frost or dew. Ornamental grasses also add winter structure as do dried out hydrangea heads – both can be pruned in spring. Cut back perennials that are looking tatty and brown such as peonies and Verbena bonariensis to around to 5cm from ground level. (Leave more tender plants such as penstemon until April or May after the frosts.) Wisteria can be pruned now and give roses a light trim, removing long or damaged shoots. Now they’re dormant, apples, pears, currants and autumn fruiting raspberries can also be pruned from now on. Likewise, trim off any dead, diseased or rubbing branches from shrubs and trees. Acers and birch are particularly suited to pruning now, before the sap starts to flow. …

Five top tips for the perfect fragranced door or table wreath

by Jessica Walker – home-made Before getting started, take a few moments to think about your scheme. Decide on your foliage, decorations and ribbon. I have used scented pinecone to add fragrance. You will need: A wreath base, available from florists and craft shops A spool of wire, and stick wire, as above A pair of secateurs or sharp scissors Moss Evergreen foliage – a selection. Available from florists, but also have a look around your garden. Fir cones – mine have been scented, with cinnamon, orange, cedar and myrrh to add a unique touch. and are available from Two cones, at Scotch Meats West Dulwich. Ribbon – optional Pillar candles – optional Step 1 Your masterpiece, like all formidable constructions will need to be structurally sound. Do not rush this stage. Arrange your moss around your wreath base. Then take the spool of wire and attach the end to the base. Wind the wire around the moss firmly to secure it to the base. Work around for a nice even circle. Step 2 Cut your …

Garden Talk: The Best Evergreen Climbers

Evergreen climbers are one of the most useful plants in city gardens. Covering fences in green foliage, they blur boundaries and create a lush backdrop for planting throughout the year. There are lots to choose from, all offering something different: foliage, flowers, berries, colour and scent. Here are my favourites.  Luscious leaves  Trachelospermum jasminoides With neat glossy foliage and sweet smelling flowers, this tops the list. It copes with shade but in sun will reward you with a mass of tiny white summer flowers that smell of the Mediterranean. I also like the ‘Variegatum’ variety with white splashed leaves, or for something different try the yellow flowered ‘Star of Toscana’. Trachelospermum takes a while to establish but will eventually coat your fence in dense foliage, which just needs a light prune after flowering to keep in check. Pileostegia viburnoides Evergreen, self-clinging and shade tolerant, this is a useful new find of mine. It has long glossy green leaves and sprays of white flowers in late summer, early autumn. It’s slow growing but is a stunning …

Midcentury Modern at Dulwich College

60 top midcentury dealers and 25 hot contemporary designers will come together at the celebrated Midcentury Modern show at Dulwich College on Sunday 19th November. ‘TOP 50 Interiors shop’ STELLA magazine “Design Addicts will have a heart attack” Grand Designs. If you don’t just wear vintage, you live vintage, you will LOVE this celebrated interiors show. And there’s modern mixed in too. Make a date in your diary to see 60 of Europe’s finest vintage dealers and 25 hot, modern designers. Best of the best with prices from £10 to £10,000. With an array of furniture, vintage and contemporary textiles, travel posters, cool ceramics, glassware, incredible wallpaper, lighting, stunning jewellery, industrial and original artwork there really is something for everyone. If Eames, Jacobsen, Nelson, Bertoia, Wegner, Charley Harper and the Days inspire you then this is the place to be. Enjoy it all in a unique Brutalist setting. Make a day of it with The Horniman Museum, Dulwich Picture Gallery and Bel Air park and House in spitting distance. Ample parking, refreshments, buggy park and …

Garden Talk: Get ahead with spring bulbs

It may seem a way off, but autumn is the time to plant your spring bulbs – you’ll really appreciate those splashes of colour after the grey winter months. Bulbs look great in drifts under deciduous trees and bushes or at the front of borders, but work well in containers too. Here are a few to try. Crocuses One of the first flowers to emerge in February, they create a pretty wash of purple or yellow naturalised in the lawn and are lovely clustered under magnolia trees or crammed into pots. Soft purple C. tommasinianus ‘Barr’s Purple’ with its golden orange stamens is a winner while C. vernus ‘Pickwick’ is more robust and bigger (12-15cm), so good for impact on a dull winter’s day. Sarah Raven’s favourite C.minimus ‘Spring Beauty’ is a stunner and great in pots on the windowsill where you can admire the striking dark purple stripe on the outer petal. Most need well drained soil and sun. Narcissi Daffodils are a must for cheerful spring colour and lovely scent, and there’s a …