All posts filed under: Home and Garden

Step Inside Dulwich: Decorating Ideas for a Teenager’s Bedroom

There comes a time in every growing family when a sibling utters the request: “I want a room of my own”, their shorthand for: “I want to create a space that reflects my own personality and values, unrestrained by those of my parents”. When this happens the daunting question is do you give them free rein to do as they wish or negotiate a reasonable compromise that retains some degree of decorum? Remember your own adolescence. It’s likely your parents consented to certain freedoms where they no longer governed your decisions. Allowing teenagers the freedom to create their own space can encourage them to develop independent thought, express their emerging attitudes, interests, hobbies and habits to express their individuality and accept responsibility for taking care of themselves. My advice is to encourage their involvement in the designing of the room, ask them to create their own mood board of what they would like, a visual statement of their individuality and values – To help them suggest they use these basic elements to structure their thoughts …

Garden Talk: Get into grasses

Ornamental grasses are at their best now. Their faded buttery seedheads look wonderful swaying amongst late summer perennials, purple asters, pink anemones, and yellow helenium. Most like sun and free draining soil (though some are fine in shade) and look amazing in big drifts. But they also work well dotted around smaller gardens linking plants and adding a naturalism, movement and texture to planting. They don’t need feeding or watering when established and add autumn and winter interest. Here are some to try: Miscanthus Miscanthus sinensis ‘Ferner Osten’ is a popular variety of this striking statement grass with arching leaves and a fountain of burgundy pink flowers in August. Great for late season interest with its coppery autumn leaves. (1.6 m). Starlight is a smaller version. Miscanthus sinensis ‘Kleine Silberspinne’ is more compact at 1.2m with burgundy plumes fading to a shimmery silver, so nice where it catches the winter light. It looking great with Anemone x hybrida ‘September Charm.’ Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’. A delicate variety that rarely flowers but is grown for the …

Summer Festival at Community Market Garden

Sydenham Garden charity is holding its annual summer festival in its community market garden. It is being held on the De Frene Road site (between 35 and 37 De Frene Road, Sydenham, London, SE26 4AB) on Saturday 19th August 12-5 pm. As well as live music from local bands there will be workshops. These include crafts, childrens activities (den building, magical clay faces on trees, creating bubbles and nature crowns), garden sustainability and bee keeping talks, hula hoop taster, pizza spinning and more. The majority of the workshops are free, those that are charged for are all under £5 and there in a small charge on the door. All money raised is for Sydenham Garden which supports people recovering from mental and physical ill-health in Lewisham and surrounding London boroughs. As well as on the door tickets can also be bought in advance here.

Step Inside Dulwich: The Front Door, the External Focal Point of the Home…

Have you noticed that some houses’ simply have much more curb appeal than other properties? This is not only assessed on the grandeur or splendor of the building, more often than not on the character or style the property presents to the outside world. Attractive landscaping and planting, good fencing and gates, structural features, exterior lighting, all contribute to creating that special curb appeal. But the front door is often underrated in its importance. It is the focal point of the house, the welcoming face and entry portal into the family home. The front door suffers more wear and tear than any interior door in the house, it has to perform multiple functions; keeping out hostile weather conditions, providing security, informing location, the access for postal and delivery services, the calling system for visitors and the primary entry and exit point for our furniture and belongings. The front door can create that first good impression, with regular maintenance it can last for decades but with wear and tear it can become damaged or decayed and …

Garden Talk: Heavenly hydrangea

Hydrangeas are gorgeous shrubs – their great mounds of delicate yet showy flowers often take on pinky hues into autumn and can be dried for winter use too. There are masses of varieties, colours and sizes to choose from. Here’s my pick: Hydrangea Macrophylla H.macrophylla go pink in alkaline and blue in acidic soil. To guarantee colour – go for white. There are two types, mophead, with large, globular heads and lacecap with flattened heads of tiny flowers surrounded by sterile florets. They’re happiest in part shade but can take sun – and like to be kept hydrated. Macrophylla ‘Madame Emile Mouillere’ A flamboyant white mophead becoming pink tinged into autumn– great for lighting up a partly shady border. Macrophylla ‘Westfalen’ A compact cultivar with bright green leaves and large rich purple mophead blooms. Good for smaller gardens. Macrophylla ‘Veitchii’ A small, elegant and hardy lacecap hydrangea with white sterile florets, that turn pink as they age. Macrophylla ‘Rotchwanz’ A more unusual lacecap with deep pink to wine-colored starry flowers and dark green leaves flushed …