Thursday, 21 August 2014

A child's garden - Ideas from RHS Tatton

planted up child's toy Whilst at the flower show at Tatton Park I saw a lot of ideas for children's gardens to make them colourful and fun so here is a round up of what I saw. 
Firstly, using old play equipment to plant things in like this mini tractor with nasturtiums. Maybe when Little Bird's old Cosy Coupe has weathered another winter we will use it to plant flowers in as a quirky display in the springtime.quirky garden ideas for children A bit of Narnia here with an old wardrobe decorated, some fairy lights and there were rows of white plant pots. Got me thinking about creating a theme to the garden next year. LB's preschool had a Frozen themed area of their huge garden and it was really cute and used lots of sparkly Christmas decorations. 
Or maybe a little village for the small folk or paint up some old bricks to liven a dull area up. We always seem to have stacks of bricks down the side of the house so being arty with them would used them up, maybe to line a plant bed with. girl scarecrow Junk and scarecrows, this is my style.aeroplane feature wall colourful sensory garden
One of my favourite garden was the children's sensory garden with plenty of colourful planters and flowers mixed with vegetables. I love the outdoor xylophone although I know that they cost a LOT of money! The plants that they used were ones which encourage the senses such as grasses like Carex, herbs such as Rosemary and of course wonderful smelling Lavender. Yummy things to eat were included such as tomatoes, strawberries and carrots. The designer was Janet Leigh and there are some really good ideas for schools and especially special schools could look to when designing outside spaces. 
sensory garden The garden won Silver Gilt and it's no surprise why. So imaginative. I love the sensory panels on the wall that you can see above, I think it would be easy to make a homemade version of these. The perspex is a super idea too. Little Bird loves looking through coloured perspex paddles so would enjoy these. We might have a go at spray painting coloured circles onto the pathway too. 
sensory garden at RHS Tatton 2014 Then onto the Eric Carle garden **squeal** at the colourful cuteness of this one. Love the plant pots that could easily be copied at home - spray painted white and then paint big circles onto it. Check out the sweet stepping stones although they look pretty creative - above my skills.The Hungry Caterpillar garden Eric Carle garden Alice in Wonderland stepping stones Woollen spiders webs - I could do this. More painted paving stones, this time in an Alice in Wonderland theme. I'd like a little sandy patch too in the garden and could make little camels I'm sure. LB could help paint them.cobweb made with wool Every garden needs a hobbit house. I would absolute love a hobbit garden, if I were rich I'd have one of those fancy ones made like this.Hobbit hole Jolly plastic bottle fishes but they need cane toppers to make them safe. plastic bottle fish colourful rosettes One of my favourites was the Stig of the Dump garden complete with Stig den decorated with broken wheels, rusty garden tools, pieces of hosepipe and old Wellington boots. I could hide in there with my morning cup of coffee. using junk in the garden for decoration Stig of the Dump den in the gardenBack with Maneskjur for How Does Your Garden Grow?


Friday, 15 August 2014

RHS Tatton- Part 1

We decided to visit the RHS Tatton Flower Show having not been since 2011! How time flies.The day was an absolute scorcher and of course I took so many photographs so I will need to break them up over 2 or 3 posts. Little Bird came along and we had one of the best ever days with him - perfectly happy and smiley despite the heat and the crowds. We walked his little socks off and took shade for a while in the grand floral marquee looking at the wonderful displays. 
pink rose

floral pavillion
The flowers in here are immense and we were surrounded by the heady scent of roses and crowds of perennials that made the air so intoxicating. I wanted to buy so many flowers but we are having a clear out in the garden this autumn, so maybe next year. It was very tempting though especially when I saw all the gorgeous hydrangeas which I adore. Spires of Hollyhocks, buckets of bulbs for next year, pretty seed packets and prize blooms. Many of the displays by the plant nurseries had won RHS medals. 
pink frothy flower
peachy flower
Blackmore and Langdons begonias
floral displays RHS Tatton
wire baskets for the garden
Back outside and a look around some of the traders - so hard to not spend! They really do have some beautiful wares for the garden. I did buy some seeds as they were in such a pretty packet  that are on my Instagram feed. I also bought a sun catcher for Little Bird that is hung from the washing line casting glints of light across the decking area. We would love this cow in our garden, he'd be a lot of fun. Not for sale although the compost lady told me that many had been asking - lots of wealthy people at these shows!
large cow for the garden

posh expensive greenhouse

through the greenhouse window
Posh greenhouses that I covet. Fancy show gardens. It really was so hot though and a lot of the plants were suffering. It made me sad to see the trees they had planted around the site wilting - give me that hose! 
modern sophisticated show garden

Blue decking
There were some fun bedding plant displays that are normally my least favourite part of the show but these were pretty good. The BZZZ was made of something foamy that made a bzzz sound in the wind - very clever. Got so much more to show you, I was snapping away all day and even made a little video, something I am enjoying doing lately although Windows Movie Maker has had me more than a little cross at times.  So until the next installment I'll leave you with the video that was the bane of my life for a while ;)
Bedding plant displays RHS Tatton

Bedding plant displays RHS Tatton

                   Back with Manneskjur for How Does Your Garden Grow?


Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Dyfi Furnace

Dyfi Furnace, Wales
Travelling through Wales, just through Machynlleth we found a wonderful old building harking back to industrial Wales called Dyfi Furnace. There's a free carpark opposite and it was perfect as a stopping place to stretch our legs especially our two dogs. 
Dyfi Furnace water wheel
The furnace has been here since 1755 and its purpose was to smelt iron ore. 
In later years it was a timber mill and the water wheel you can see was the restored mill's wheel. The building itself is not open to explore but it does make a nice little treasure to stop at look at for a while.
Dyfi Furnace waterfall
 The waterfall literally thunders down, part of the river Einion and I had such a tight grip of Little Bird. I was quite glad to get back to the car for as picturesque as it was, some of the edges made me feel quite queasy!
Dyfi Furnace
Keep that lead tight! There's my girl keeping an eye on me as she always does. 
A beautiful place if a little precarious with a young child. 
Dyfi Furnace

5 Bathroom Cleaning Cheats to Make Your Life Easier

Cleaning by Shutterstock
Homeowners are always on the lookout for inspirational ideas that can help improve the appearance of their homes. Something as simple as doing a deep clean can make a huge difference and this especially applies to bathrooms. But let's face it, the prospect of spending a morning cleaning the bathroom is far from appealing, which is why our latest guest post runs through some useful cleaning tips that give brilliant results with minimal effort.

A 100% Natural Limescale Remover
Over time, limescale deposits makes surfaces look dull and worn out, and the problem only gets worse if you live in a hard water area. Removing limescale is one of those jobs that we always postpone. However, there is an eco-friendly, inexpensive, and incredibly effective way of tackling limescale deposits. All you need to do is cut a lemon in half, scrub the affected areas with it, and cover them with a cloth soaked in vinegar (ACV or plain white vinegar). After a few hours, the natural acidity of lemon juice and vinegar will break down the limescale deposits, making them look your taps as shiny as new.

That Pesky Soap Scum
Soap scum will inevitably stain shower doors and tiles, covering them in unsightly white marks. If the scum has been building up for a while, you will need a heavy duty solution to remove it, and by heavy duty we mean baking soda and white vinegar. Mix a cup of baking soda with two cups of vinegar. Once the fizzing has stopped, apply the mix to your shower doors and let it sit for half an hour. After that, wipe the mix off using a window scrubber and warm water, and voila: squeaky clean shower doors!

Ventilation Units
Bathroom fans or extractors do a great job keeping condensation away, but unfortunately they tend to be left behind when it comes to cleaning, perhaps because they are in difficult-to-access locations. If ventilation units are not regularly cleaned, they can become blocked with dust and other nasties, which will be blown all over the bathroom every time the fan is turned on. Doesn't sound too appealing, does it? If you can remove the fan cover, do so and place it in a container with warm water and soap. If the cover can't be removed, use a small vacuum brush or a paintbrush soaked in a soapy solution.

Shiny Mirrors
So you think that you've done a great job cleaning the bathroom mirror. What about those streaks? They always drive us insane and make the job incredibly frustrating – nothing seems to work! A fantastic way around this is to draw on the magic effect of rubbing alcohol. Just pour a few drops on a clean micro-fibre cloth, wipe down, and you're done!

Cleaning Grout
Tile grout is a porous material, which means that it will keep absorbing dirt no matter how many times you clean it. We’ve all dipped an old toothbrush in bleach and scrubbed along the tile joints to remove those ugly black deposits. It’s not uncommon to end up re-grouted the bathroom tiles twice a year – but a far more convenient option could be to swap to bathroom cladding over tiles. There are plenty of specialist retails, such as UK-based DBS Bathrooms, stocking hygienic wall and ceiling cladding to eliminate the nightmare of grouting maintenance.

Cladding doesn't need grouting and is really easy just to wipe clean. It can also help reduce condensation while being 100% waterproof, and more importantly, is one of the most hygienic solutions that we've ever come across. Well worth the investment!
Armed with this advice, you’ve got a wealth of new approaches to tackle your bathroom with – with much more effective results. Do you have any secret cleaning tips you use over harsh store-bought cleaners? Drop a comment below!

**Guest post by DBS Bathrooms**