All posts filed under: Home and Garden

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 …

Emmanuel Wildlife Garden

Emmanuel Wildlife Garden in Chalford Road has run into trouble with its restoration work. Two key members of Norwood wildlife team are ill and team leader John Cotter would like new volunteers willing to give up their Saturday afternoons, not just the last Wednesday afternoon of each month. He said: “We have replanted three outlying beds which are now in full flower and giving a lot of pleasure but the main area is only half planted. Besides help we need more plants, wild foxglove would be specially welcome”. Current work is making use of the wood from the dozen trees felled or dug out when they returned to restore the garden created 13 years. ago. The heavier timber is to be made into a gate and an arbour. An orchard of wild fruit trees to feed the birds has been partly restored: there is now a crab apple, wild cherry and wild plum. It is planned to add a wild pear and a bird cherry in the autumn. The team is funding the work in …

Chocolate Strawberry and Cream Centre Piece

It’s that time of year – the sound of tennis balls, the smell of fresh cut grass and the irresistible English strawberry dipped in fresh cream. Spoil your friends and family this month with this indulgent centrepiece. You will need… Strawberries and a pot of double cream Cherries Dark chocolate and a knob of butter Marzipan Fresh mint Kitchen foil and toothpicks An oasis wreath base A dinner plate and a decorative bowl. Sugar flowers and cake sprinkles to decorate Step 1 prepare your base. Cover the oasis with kitchen foil, making it food safe. Now roll out your marzipan and place onto the foil. Step 2 Place your base onto the dinner plate, and pop your bowl in the centre of you base. Pour the cream into the bowl. Step 3 Melt the chocolate and butter in a bon Marie, or a bowl standing in gently boiling water. Be careful not to scold yourself. Do not leave the melting chocolate unattended. Step 4 Dip the strawberries into the chocolate holding them by the stem. …