Category Archives: garden design

Dreaming of sunshine…

Huge apologies for the radio silence. It’s literally been months. Well I have had my third little bundle of joy. He arrived safe and sound in May and has been eating his way through day and night ever since. He is a robust little monkey and adored by the whole family. But I won’t waffle on about my beautiful little baby boy too much, promise. Suffice to say the house is a tip, every job is half finished, the garden is a jungle and I have just about learned not to get anxious as a result! It won’t last forever is what I keep telling myself.

So as I seem to spend most of my time of late in a sleep-deprived, fairly hallucinogenic state I do a lot of daydreaming. Pretty much all my poor baby brain can deal with right now. And what I am dreaming about is sunshine… yes lots of sunshine. What is going on with this so-called summer of ours?! I am not impressed. And as I am cultivating a jungle outside at the moment, I am also dreaming of beautiful outside spaces. So here are some gorgeous pics to help you mentally escape the greyness currently gracing our British skies. Blah to grey is all I can say! Enjoy. (All images from pinterest)

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Extending the essence of ‘home’ outside

In a vain attempt to eek out the last of the great British summer, today I am celebrating the good old outdoors. In particular any space that is an extension of your ‘home’. This can be large or small. It doesn’t really matter.

It’s truly amazing what you can create with a little imagination and not a lot of money. In my garden at home we have created various ‘rooms’ within the garden. Decking has been made from reclaimed scaffold boards as has a vast long table with benches where my whole extended family can sit and eat al fresco quite happily under the pergola covered in climbing vine… I’ve managed to bring a little chunk of the mediterranean into my East Sussex garden. Flower pots are fashioned from old tins and dotted around the garden are flamingos, gnomes (every garden should have one), and a variety of random ‘sculptures’. It is the perfect oasis where I can sit and listen to the birds while contemplating everything or nothing at all. The only thing it lacks is a pool!

The greatest extravagance in the garden is the Tolix chairs… I couldn’t resist. But you really don’t have to spend a lot of money at all. Disused crates make great stools if painted. You can run up some cushions very quickly and easily from scraps of fabric you have laying around. Pallets are brilliant for a number of things. You can add legs and transform them into tables or you can suspend them from the wall or a fence and hang pots with hanging plants in them to fashion a vertical garden in a small space suggesting additional depth and height. Mirrors are great too for creating the illusion of more space. Just prop them against a brick wall or fence. They will bounce light around beautifully. And even tree stumps can be painted and used as stools.

Take a trip to your local tip too. You’d be amazed at what people throw away. I found a gorgeous set of four metal chairs that I sprayed in bright colours and then reupholstered in a waxed fabric. Hey presto! Outdoor chairs. And all for £10!

Involve the kids too. I will be the first to admit that in certain parts of my home I get a bit precious, but in the garden anything goes and the kids love that. They can paint and make to their hearts’ content and it all goes on display. I see outside space as somewhere that can be magical and a little bit whimsical, so indulge yourself and go for it!

Vintage tins make great vases. And collecting strawberries from your own garden is a true treat.
Vintage tins make great vases. And collecting strawberries from your own garden is a true treat.
It can be as simple as painting a wall a bright saturated colour. (pinterest)
It can be as simple as painting a wall a bright saturated colour. (pinterest)
Create a wall of plants using simple tins that can be painted or left plain. The effect is striking. (pinterest)
Create a wall of plants using simple tins that can be painted or left plain. The effect is striking. (pinterest)
A tolix chair really does look beautiful outside.
A tolix chair really does look beautiful outside.
Bold tiling helps define a specific space. And these chairs are to die for...
Bold tiling helps define a specific space. And these chairs are to die for…
Add colour and pattern to cosy up an outside space. (http://thesocietyinc.com.au)
Add colour and pattern to cosy up an outside space. (http://thesocietyinc.com.au)
A page from my scrapbook.
A page from my scrapbook.
If budget allows create a room in your garden to hide away in. Always good for the soul! (pinterest)
If budget allows create a room in your garden to hide away in. Always good for the soul! (pinterest)
A page from my scrapbook.
A page from my scrapbook.
Just love.
Just love.
A page from my scrapbook.
A page from my scrapbook.
Stencilling can add a bold flash of colour.
Stencilling can add a bold flash of colour.
A space doesn't have to be big to create a little magic. Carter Smith's lower Manhattan rooftop terrace. (moodboard.typepad.com)
A space doesn’t have to be big to create a little magic. Carter Smith’s lower Manhattan rooftop terrace. (moodboard.typepad.com)
And although it pains me to say it, you don't need to throw colour at everything! (minlillaveranda.blogspot.com)
And although it pains me to say it, you don’t need to throw colour at everything! (minlillaveranda.blogspot.com)
And if you want to blow the budget! (pinterest)
And if you want to blow the budget! (pinterest)
One day! (pinterest)
One day! (pinterest)
Elle Deco certainly has it sussed!
Elle Decor certainly has it sussed!