All posts filed under: Home and Garden

Bring some zing into your borders with euphorbia

These beautiful and useful foliage plants add structure and texture to the garden. Their exotic-looking foliage creates a lush tropical feel to planting and many varieties have bright acid green flowers in spring and early summer that add a bit of zing to a border and beautifully compliment purples and blues. There are many varieties to choose from, whether for height or ground cover, sun or shade. Here’s my pick of the best. E. characias wulfenii This is probably the most popular euphorbia. Its stems of bluish green leaves (up to 1.5m high) provide year round rounded structure to the garden and look great with silvers and purples. From March it comes alive with with blowsy lime green flowers that perfectly complement blue and purple plants such as Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ or alliums. It will tolerate some shade but prefers a sunny spot and is pretty drought tolerant once established – perfect for a gravel or Mediterranean garden. E. characias ‘Humpty Dumpty’ is a more compact version of wulfenii – growing to around 50cm. Good …

Grow your own fresh herbs

There’s nothing nicer – or healthier – than cooking with fresh herbs picked from your own garden. Most are easy to grow and look fab, whether in borders, containers or raised beds. Mediterranean varieties prefer sun and free-draining soil – add coarse grit and organic matter to clay soil. Others, such as coriander, mint and parsley are happy in some shade, with plenty of moisture. Here’s some to try: Mint. Great in herbal teas and summer drinks, with roast lamb or in Middle Eastern dishes, mint is a great herb to have in a pot outside the door – it can be invasive in a border. As well as spearmint and peppermint, there are masses of different varieties to try including large woolly leaved apple mint, lemon mint, pineapple mint, and chocolate mint – nice in puddings! It Iikes rich moist soil and can tolerate shade. Keep picking it to encourage growth and divide it when it’s outgrown the container. Thyme An incredibly attractive and useful herb, this is a fab choice for a pot …

June Magazines Out Today!

I am delighted to say that our June magazines are back in print and being distributed today.  It is lovely to get back to some kind of normal.  If you don’t receive your copy through your door, your an always read them right here.  Each magazine (SE21, SE22 & SE23) is available to read as a flipzine.  Please do free free to share them with your friends and family. This month Jill Orr who set up Buy Them A Coffee gives us the background to her wonderful initiative helping the staff at Kings.  Suzanne James is back with a wonderful recipe for scones, perfect for Afternoon Tea.  Janine Winlaw tells us about growing our own fresh herbs, that is definitely one I will be reading. Local photographer Julia Hamilton took to the streets to photograph our High Street Heroes; do take a look and no doubt you will recognise some of our wonderful shopkeepers. Link Age Southwark have just achieved a top quality standard award.  Fantastic news after how they have adapted their services to …

Interior Shot

Look Before You Leap

Last year I was contacted by a client who, with the best of intentions, passion and energy and, believing he had everything sorted, threw himself into his property’s refurbishment. His builder was given full responsibility for the day to day project management. After just 2 weeks into the project, the cry for help came in. Engaging an interior designer at this late stage is not uncommon but, is fraught with problems. The client may not know the interior designer’s work and approach, the existing design may lack professional aesthetic and practical input, and the space for conflict and/or compromise is wide. The purpose of any refurbishment is to fulfil a human need. Having early professional input is critical in the design and delivery of an outcome that successfully satisfies that need. The project contained perfectly suitable technical information for any builder to follow. What was lacking is what turns a house into a fully functional and comfortable home. Lighting would have failed to meet the required outcomes for ambient, accent or task needs. Electrical sockets were …

Your May gardening to do list

  Now that we’re spending more time in our homes, those of us lucky enough to have one are appreciating our garden more than ever. Here’s how to keep yours at its best at this time of year.   Pruning … Prune early flowering shrubs like weigela, ribes, philadelphus and deciduous magnolias. Cut back flowered growth to strong young shoots lower down the plant and around a quarter of older stems. And cut back flowered shoots of choisya for the chance of a second flush. Prune back Clematis montana and armandii, as well as honeysuckle and other vigorous climbers Lightly prune evergreen topiary and hedges with pruning shears. Cut back flowering stems and yellowing foliage on spring bulbs (around six weeks after flowering). Until then, keep watering and feeding bulbs to prepare them for next year. ( Growing bulbs like tulips in a pot is a good way of avoiding having to look at the foliage as it dies back as you can move it away.) Tidying… Keep on top of weeds – pulling out dandelions while they’re …