All posts filed under: Home and Garden

Homemade Citrus Centrepiece

  In the mid summer heat, flowers can wilt and die quickly. Try this vibrant citrus centrepiece; it will last for days, even if the temperatures soar… You will need…. A selection of citrus fruit. I used Lemons, limes, small oranges, kumquats and physalis. An oasis wreath Greenery, I used Bay leaves Toothpicks A kitchen knife and secateurs Ribbon- optional Step 1 Cut your greenery into aprox 4-inch sprigs Step 2 Working around your wreath; place the sprigs into the oasis to make an even base. Step 3 Using your toothpicks place the fruit decoratively into the base   Step 4 Cut 2 of the lemons into slices and wedges, and place in your wreath.   Step 5 Optional – I added ribbon for a more festive look – perfect for a party! Pour yourself a chilled glass of Vino Verde and admire your heat resilient masterpiece!

12 ways to leave your garden

Going away? Here’s your pre-holiday to do list. Give your perennials a good cut back. Tired hardy geraniums can be sheared right back – they’ll produce new growth and may flower again for you on your return. The same goes for plants like nepeta and Alchemilla mollis. Deadhead roses before you go away so they’ll put energy into new growth and more flowers, rather than seeds. Don’t be afraid to cut back hard to thick stems and strong buds – it’ll encourage stronger new shoots. Cut off the spent flowering spikes of salvia or penstemon – these may come again. Lightly trim lavender removing old flower spikes with a pair of hand shears. Take a few cm off the tips of leafy growth to encourage side shoots and keep the plants bushy. Trim back taller perennials that have flopped onto the grass or are smothering other plants – or stake them securely so they’ll cope with any windy days while you’re away. Water. This is particularly important given the hot weather we’ve had. Drench your …

Interior Design advice from Bradley Viljoen: Bathroom Basics

Have you walked into a bathroom with washbag and towel, desperately looking for a spare surface, or hook upon which to hang discarded clothes? I know I have. I have also banged my head countless times on those glass shelves placed precariously over a washbasin. A bathroom can be one of the trickiest spaces to design. For a room that has an ostensibly simple purpose, the considerations and compromises can be enormous. Our temptation is to rush to style the room but, before doing so, we must first consider the basic requirements that need to be met to achieve a design that is both practical and comfortable. These basics may seem obvious but, from experience, are often overlooked. Toilets must flush well. I don’t think I need to expand on this point but so often they do not, and it is intensely annoying. Towel rails, preferably heated, need to be large enough to accommodate the maximum number of towels likely to be in use. Damp towels hanging over doors or steaming on radiators is never …

Homemade onion, chilli, herb and garlic tree

It’s BBQ time, and we will all need onions, garlic chilli and herbs to flavour and scent our sizzling feasts… oh and quite possibly a brolly! Sit this unique tree in your kitchen to add colour and flavour to this month. You will need… A selection of small onions. I used red and brown. Garlic Chillies, I used red and green to add colour Rosemary, bay and olive sprigs A pot of choice Kitchen foil Marzipan Step 1 Stuff your pot with foil. Step 2 Mould your marzipan into a cone shape, creating a food safe base. Place onto your pot Step 3 Using the toothpicks arrange your onions and garlic around the tree evenly. I used a chopping board to help plunge the toothpick into the harder onions and garlic. Step 4 Now add the chillies Step 5 Finish your tree with sprigs of herbs Place in your kitchen and fire up the BBQ, Happy sizzling! This article first appeared in the July 2018 issue of SE22 magazine. SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave

Fab Foliage

Plants with variegated foliage have grown on me. Some are nicer than others – I generally prefer the ones with white/creamy coloured markings to the more yellow pigments. But just a few dotted around create bright golden or silvery accents, adding drama and contrast and lightening up shady corners. Here’s my pick: Shrubs Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Silver Queen’ Good for: Evergreen structure This stylish shrub has small greyish green and cream leaves with contrasting black stems. It gets big but is easy to clip to shape – and the foliage is great for flower arranging. Likes sun or part shade. Cornus alba ‘Elegantissima’ Good for: Winter interest Cornus (dogwoods) are grown for their red stems revealed in winter when the leaves fall, but this variety also has elegant pale green and white leaves that shimmer in the sun. It works best in full sun, planted somewhere visible during the winter. Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ Good for: Scented winter flowers This classy rounded shrub has glossy green leaves with fine golden margins and clusters of deliciously scented pink …