All posts tagged: home

10 of the best May flowering plants

  Gardens can often lack colour in late spring/early summer when there’s lots of foliage but not enough flowers. Here’s my pick of plants to fill the gap. 1. Aquilegia vulgaris var. stellata ‘Black Barlow’ With delicate flowers on long stems, this dark plum variety is equally at home in cottage garden schemes or more contemporary settings with grasses and euphorbias. Aquilegias are short lived but self-seed easily creating a naturalistic feel and are happiest in moist soil in sun or dappled shade. 2. Iris ‘Jane Phillips’ Whether rich velvety purples or this delicate pale blue variety, bearded iris are a spectacular sight in May – and their grey/ blue strappy leaves add texture too. Plant them with the upper part of the rhizome on the soil surface in the sun so they can bake. Another option is the more delicate clump forming Iris sibiricas such as mid blue ‘Silver Edge’, which has narrower leaves and likes more moisture. 3. Papaver orientale ‘Patty’s Plum’ The paper-thin petals of this gorgeous pinky purple perennial poppy are …

Homemade lemon table decorations

Freshen your Lunch or dinner table this May with these unique Lemon table decorations. They can be used as place settings, or grouped as a centrepiece. You will need A bag of lemons Flowers, I used Orange Roses, Alstroemaria, and a selection from the garden. Secateurs and a sharp kitchen knife Craft tags Step1 – cut off the bottom of your lemon, so it sits flat. Then cut the top of, about ¼ so you have a nice little flower holder Step 2 – cut your rose leaving about 3-4 inches of stem, and place in the middle of the lemon. Hold the stalk firmly when pushing into the lemon so as not to break it. Step 3 – work around the centre rose with your assorted flowers and foliage – to make a miniature posy. Step 4 – write your guests names on the craft tags, and tie to the stem of the rose. Step 5 – place on your table, make sure you use a plate or saucer so as not to stain …

Interior Design advice from Bradley Viljoen: Picture Hanging

I find I am often called in by clients to give advice on how best to display pictures they have accumulated over the years. Some paintings have already found a place in the home but others, whether acquired through inheritance, or bought in a short-lived moment of excitement, have been left sleeping in dusty lofts or hidden corners awaiting their moment to shine. When buying pictures my philosophy is always to buy what you love. Placing pictures, however, is a skill, as too is the job of picture hanging. Common mistakes are hanging artwork too high so one must crane one’s neck to see it or having too many similar sized pictures. I am always minded by my client’s own design aesthetic, be it a love of symmetry or asymmetry, formal or relaxed, full or spartan. Whatever your preference, here are my 8 top tips to create an interesting scheme: Mounting – the cheapest and most uninteresting pictures can be made exceptional by a variety of well-chosen frames (think Gesso, distressed, hand-painted, lacquered, or gilt …

Easter Egg and Flower Tree

Impress your friends and family this Easter with these adorable chocolate egg and flower trees. Use as place settings or as a centrepiece… they won’t last long as the tree is entirely edible! You will need: White marzipan Cooking chocolate – I used dark, but milk or white would also work Mini eggs – I used traditional Cadburys Sugar flowers Pink tissue paper A small glass vase or votive Edible glitter to finish Step 1 – break your cooking chocolate into small pieces, place in a Tupperware container and melt in the microwave. Step 2 – tear a piece of your tissue paper and place in your vase or votive Step 3 – mould your marzipan into a ball and place on the top of the vase. Step 4 – using the melted chocolate as glue, work around the marzipan ball with the eggs and flowers to create your tree. Step 5 – finish with a dusting of edible glitter. You have created a total unique pretty Egg tree. Hide them so they don’t get …

Garden Talk: In praise of cherry blossom

There’s nothing prettier than pink cherry blossom against a clear blue sky – a sign winter is behind us and spring is here. Most cherries flower from March to May and there’s a type of blossom to suit all tastes from delicate, single blooms to blousy doubles, in whites and the palest pinks to bright candy floss pink. Cherries are a great choice of tree for London gardens as many varieties don’t get too big and the foliage colours beautifully in autumn giving another season of interest. Here are 10 of the best: Pale pink Prunus ‘Pink Shell’ A small, elegant tree with spreading branches and delicate single, pale pink flowers – a lovely contrast to the light green leaves. This is one of the prettiest cherries and widely available. 4m. Prunus ‘Kojo-no-mai’ A compact cherry tree/shrub – with delicate very pale pink flowers and wonderful autumn foliage. Ideal for containers. 2.5m Prunus ‘Accolade’ A graceful spreading tree with a cloud of large pastel pink semi-double flowers in April/May. It also has smooth reddish brown bark and …