A peek inside Prue Leith’s garden

Ever wanted to nose around the gardens of the stars? Have you wondered what Sting’s back garden looked like? Or wished you could peep into Richard Branson’s Or poke around in Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall’s veggie patch? Well, the good news is that ‘The Secret Gardeners’ by Victoria Summerley does just that. And more good news – […]

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Upcycling shipping containers into garden offices – is it do-able?

I was reading an article in this month’s Reloved magazine about container homes and boy has that put a cat amongst the kitchens in our household. Let me explain… Until now, my husband had been planning to build a wooden shed in our garden to serve as a workshop. He’s an artist and photographer, so […]

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5 Tips for building a shed in your garden

A shed can be used for a multitude of things, which is why people like to build them in their gardens. Aside from the functionality and the extra space it provides, a shed also adds value to your property. Depending on the size, building a shed may take quite some time (and some serious construction […]

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The Secret Gardens of East Anglia

Today I wanted to bring you some impressive photos of little-known East Anglian gardens. As a novice gardener (an someone who has no idea what to do with their empty plot) I’ve been flicking through lots of gardening books recently. I was thoroughly inspired by the newly released ‘Secret Gardens of East Anglia’ book so […]

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Making progress in the garden & a new place to relax

Remember I said that we’ve put our house DIYing efforts on hold during August (apart from decorating our guest room, of course) so that we could enjoy the summer? Well, it turns out that the extra time we had gained by not filling, sanding or painting allowed us to do a little work on the […]

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You know the drill – Top DIY projects to improve your home

If you’re a DIY enthusiast and have become more confident (and competent!) when it comes to tackling jobs around the home it could be a good time to up your game and put your skills – and your tools – to the test. Here are some DIY projects that you might want to consider for […]

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Simple garden spruces to start planning for Autumn

Having a gorgeous garden is a huge blessing. During the summer months, you can often feel completely humbled by being able to sit out in the sunshine and enjoy the peace. But the beauty of having a garden doesn’t just end with your summer fun. There are lots that you can be doing to your […]

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Guest post: The 21st Century garden

I love having a garden – not that I’ve done much with it yet – but at least the potential is there. In my previous home, the garden became an extra room of the house, with a patio ‘dining room’ and a kitchen garden veggie plot. So, for me, a well-maintained garden is an essential […]

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How to re-purpose your shed for the 21st Century

Do you have an old shed in your garden? A tumble-down workshop, brick outbuilding or old garage perhaps? And what do you use it for? If you’re stashing clutter and storing tools, you could be approaching this valuable extra space all wrong. At least, that’s what I’ve heard…This week I read a news article on […]

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Organising an outdoor summer party on a budget

Outdoor summer parties are often easier to host than indoor parties, and the casual atmosphere of entertaining al fresco means you can get away with being a lot less fancy than you might strive for with an indoor dinner party. I’m hoping to bring my garden up to scratch in time for some entertaining this […]

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Pieday Friday – How to dine al fresco this summer

Finally, summer is here and the evenings are warm enough to enjoy your meals outside in the fresh air. Whether you’re a BBQ queen, or prefer to simply take your dinner plate out from the kitchen, there’s nothing like sitting down with family and friends outside, and enjoying your food together (aside from the insects, […]

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My home renovation project: Tips for choosing a patio door

Hi folks, the lovey summery weather has got me thinking about my outdoors and in particular, I’m considering changing my kitchen door to a glazed patio door. Has anyone else done this? Leave me a comment if so and let me know if you think it’s a good idea. Having looked into it, there seem to […]

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Long-term improvements to beautify your garden

We all want beautiful gardens, don’t we? It’s so lovely to take a walk in our garden during the summer and smell the freshly bloomed plants that we started growing. And surely sitting back and relaxing in a deck chair, soaking up in  sun in our tranquil space has got to be the ultimate garden goal. […]

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Learn to love your garden again

Out of all the places in our home, the garden is probably the most easily forgotten area, especially during the colder months. Sure, we might hire a gardener or we might drag ourselves out there in order to get some work done, but it’s easy to forget about the garden and, sooner or later, it’ll […]

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10 Low-maintenance flowers to grow in your garden (that you can’t kill!)

Not quite as green fingered as you would like to be? Creating a fantastic garden is as much about experience and experimenting with plants, as it is about skill and in-depth plant knowledge. I’ve teamed up with Rattan Direct to bring you this list of 10 easy to grow and easy-to-care-for plants, so you can […]

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The easiest fruit & veg to grow at home + some recipes to use them in

Whilst the idea of growing your own vegetables sounds fun and is a great money-saving idea, many people think they just wouldn’t have enough time to tend to their veggie patch. Sure, it can mean spending a lot of time in the garden, but don’t give up – when the sun is shining and the breeze keeping you cool, there’s […]

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Book review: The Thoughtful Gardener by Jinny Blom + Win a copy!

I’ve been reading about gardening this month, and it’s all down to the newly released book The Thoughtful Gardener. If you too have an empty garden (or an overgrown one, for that matter) this book is the perfect starting point to get you into the garden this spring. It’s packed full of inspirational ideas and plenty of photos of […]

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Garden rooms – why are they so popular?

After visiting the Ideal Home Show and Grand Designs Live back in the Spring, I found myself coveting a garden room. Why? Because the amazing designs of garden ‘pods’, chill out spaces, offices and outdoor rooms were the only things that really held my attention while I visited these design exhibition. Sure I came away […]

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Garden inspiration – Beach hut sheds

I’m spotting them everywhere. In gardens, on Pinterest and even at Latitude festival. Yes, painted sheds are ‘all the rage’ these days and it’s a trend that is certainly here to stay. No longer do sheds have to be a boring brown or blend-in-with-the-bushes green, especially now that there are so many garden paint colours […]

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Glamping inspiration – My dream bell tent

If you have to go camping, it might as well be in one of these. I hereby admit that I am a bell tent fan. I feel like I’ve been spotting them everywhere I go and it’s only making me covet them more and more. Yes, glamping is certainly a holiday I can get on-board […]

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Urban or rustic – what’s your garden style?

It’s that time of year again. Whether it’s the weather, having more time during longer days, or the summer break you’ve booked off work. Whatever the reason, July and August seem to be the months of the year that we spend the most amount of time in our gardens. So today I’m sharing a quick garden quiz to help you […]

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Guest post: Creating a cheap & simple eco pond – No matter what size your garden

Ponds are a fantastic addition to any garden, whether you’re looking to add a beautiful and relaxing focal point or to attract pond dwelling wildlife such as amphibians or insects, or a combination of both. While I have only a little knowledge of garden water features, thankfully the lovely experts at Swell know all about […]

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Guest post DIY Project – Make your own personalised wedding bouquet

One of the key things that a bride-to-be should consider for her wedding (besides her wedding dress of course!) is the wedding bouquet. Any bride would want to be sure to choose the most amazing, beautiful and unique flower bouquet on her wedding day, but simply choosing beautiful blooms is sometimes not enough. Some flowers have different […]

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Thrifty tips to give your home ‘Kerb Appeal’

When renovating or updating our homes, many of us tend to focus mainly on the interiors. Interior design is very important, as your home needs to be welcoming, homely and suited to you. One aspect of the home that is often overlooked however, is the part that people see every single day, whether they’re invited […]

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Tend your garden in Spring to create a healthier, low-cost Summer

It’s a common misconception that fruit can only be grown in ‘warmer’ climates. Okay for some fruits this is true but there are so many fruits that you can actually grow yourself in your own garden, even in the British weather! With Spring finally upon us, now is the perfect time to start thinking about […]

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Weekend DIY project – Welly boot plant pots

Everybody knows wellington boots are an amazing accessory for any wet day, but unfortunately we tend to find ourselves only wearing them a handful of times throughout the year. As a result of this, especially with the little ones, the next time you go to pop them on they’re too small. Well, if you find […]

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Top 5 easy to grow vegetables for your home veggie patch

The attraction of growing your own vegetables appeals to many people. Whether you’re a trendy hipster with a passion for subsistence living or you have a family allotment that the kids enjoy, there is a gardener in all of us.  Just starting out? Don’t worry – you don’t need to be a green-thumbed garden wizard to grow these […]

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Spruce up your garden in time for Easter

Believe it or not, winter is almost over! It’s nearly time for those lighter evenings and sunny mornings and I actually cannot wait. This does mean that the long awaited (by children mainly) Easter holidays are creeping up on us, and we can almost hear the cry of ‘I’m bored’ in the background. There are […]

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Pieday Friday – Warming oxtail soup recipe

This week the weather started to feel decidedly autumnal. We’ve had a couple of very cold mornings – I can’t quite say frosty… yet! – and the leaves have been dropping in the garden. I’ve been craving more hot meals and, in particular, soups at lunchtime. We cooked up a tasty chicken soup last week using the […]

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A DIY barbecue makeover

Yay for summer and whoop for BBQ season! It’s finally time to drag out the barbecue, scrub down the grill and fire up the coals. Or so I thought… It turns out that my barbecue required a makeover, and quick!Last year we invested in a kettle barbecue. Ok, it wasn’t pricey because we picked it […]

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How does your garden grow? Veggie patch & outdoor fun

Oh what a lovely weekend this is proving to be. The weather has been glorious and yesterday I spent the whole day in the garden with my husband. We listened to the radio as we tended to our plants and had a thorough weeding session to bring the veggie patch back up to scratch, followed by […]

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How does your garden grow? Strawberries

On the last day of April I wrote about my mini greenhouse makeover and today I wanted to share with you the progress of our plants. You may remember that we used an old piece of industrial venting that we found in a skip to make a DIY strawberry planter. We lined it with cardboard, filled […]

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How does your garden grow? Beside the seaside

Sunshine, bumble bees and watering cans. Yes, I spent all of last weekend in the garden, tending my veggie patch and chilling out with my husband. But I wasn’t relaxing all weekend, oh no. We were working hard and it took all weekend to complete our project, but boy was it worth it!I took delivery […]

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How does your garden grow? My greenhouse makeover

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been taking on the challenge to give my garden a bit of makeover. The weather is finally lovely enough to encourage me outside and I’ve had the urge to start digging, weeding and planting ready for summer. A trip to the garden centre for couple of bags of […]

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How does your garden grow? Winter progress… or not.

I suck at growing beetroot. And carrots don’t like to be planted in December. These are the things that I learnt from my veggie patch this Winter. In fact, I failed at growing potatoes too so I think we can all agree that I should stick to summer crops and leave the hardy veg growing to […]

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Pieday Friday ~ Chicken & garden vegetable pasta

Earlier this month I mentioned how quickly the courgettes in our new veggie patch were growing and that we’ve been eating them continually for a couple of weeks now. Last week’s recipe was for roasted courgettes and this week I’ve decided to include them in a chicken pasta dish. So put your favourite pasta on […]

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How does your garden grow? Cooking courgettes

I have been amazed by just how fast courgettes grow. One day there’s just an inkling of a flower and the next day there’s a full-grown courgette! Within a week, it’ll be a marrow – yikes! So we’ve been cooking with the courgettes that we’ve grown ourselves in our new veggie patch and I wanted to […]

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A quick garden update ~ Homemade salad dressing

Although I usually like to eat my salads plain or with a tiny side splodge of mayo, I’ve been converted to salad dressings since making my own. It was my husband who first suggested making a dressing, mainly because he really likes balsamic vinegar and olive oil and to be honest he was probably getting […]

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How does your garden grow? Doorway to a secret garden

We’ve been working on our garden all summer: we’ve put up a fence and painted it, moved my caravan workshop, laid a patio, built raised beds for a veggie patch, installed a greenhouse and planted a herb garden. And now, I want to enclose the garden and make it into the extra ‘outdoor room’ I’d […]

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How does your garden grow? Finished veggie patch

I now declare this veggie patch… open! It’s planted up with runner beans, peas, squash, cucumber, tomatoes, peppers, chillis, lettuce and herbs, plus a gooseberry bush and blackberry plant in the side border and fruit trees in the corner of the garden. At the moment it looks really neat and tidy – the way I’d […]

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How does your garden grow? My greenhouse

Last week, I mentioned that we’d finished off the raised beds for the veggie patch and were in the process of completing the gravel path. The side border hadn’t been finished off so I today wanted to share some photos of the side raised bed ‘before and after’ and let you know that I’ve finally planted some herbs […]

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How does your garden grow? Raised beds

Earlier in the week I shared photos of the paths we’d been digging around the veggie patch and told you how we intended to create raised beds around the remaining mounds of soil that we’d taken out of the path. I know this might not be the obvious way round to create raised beds but […]

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How does your garden grow? Up the garden path…

After finishing our patio terrace, it seemed appropriate that the next area of the garden that we should work on was the veggie patch. The steps down from the patio went nowhere, so the next step (excuse the pun) was to dig out a path around the raised beds that we wanted to install. Oddly […]

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How does your garden grow? My new dining room…

Last week I showed you some plans for the garden and how we needed to move the caravan into a new position to make the design work. Well, the eagle-eyed of you will have spotted a patio area on those plans and that’s exactly what we’ve done – oh boy, was it a lot of […]

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How does your garden grow? My little vintage caravan

Last month I told you all about my plans for creating a gorgeous garden over the summer and so far we’ve managed to save a bit of money by thrifting a fence and doing a lot of digging to even out the undulating lawn. After finishing the construction of our new fence we could really […]

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How does your garden grow? Don’t fence me in…

No, actually do fence me in. That’s exactly what the next step is – adding a fence to the side of the garden. Even though it was great having some new-found privacy with the back fence, it looked a bit odd in the garden without any sides to the fence, so we started putting up a […]

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How does your garden grow? Green fingers…

Well, my garden makeover is ploughing on (excuse that pun) but this week I’ve done something that had left me in pain. Last week I shared my plans for making a big change to my garden over the Summer but now I can barely walk because my legs are so sore. Was it from digging? I hear your ask… […]

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How does your garden grow? Making a start…

At the weekend I told you all about my plans for growing a garden that ‘Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary’ would be proud of and this week I wanted to share the first step in making our garden into the ‘outdoor room’ that I’d love for it to become. Essentially, we are overlooked by two neighbours, […]

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Fairy, Fairy, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?

Welcome to my new series of blog posts all about my plans for my garden makeover! I know there are probably lots of historical and underlying meanings that you can read into this nursery rhyme but I am simply using it to set the tone for summer, because with the holidays comes the opportunity (both […]

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Colour-changing flowers…

Does anyone know anything about plants? Hydrangea bushes, in particular? It’s one of the few plants that was already living in our garden when we moved in two years ago and I really like it. I’ve been delighted with the sheer volume of flowers it produces each year and I love bringing them indoors for […]

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Glastonbury, glamping & Gardenbury

Glastonbury has dominated my life for the past month: I’ve been researching it, I’ve been writing about it (see my festival footwear, one-pot cooking and Glastonbury hair care articles!) and watching it. But I’ve not actually gone to it. No, I didn’t spend my whole holiday fund on tickets and I haven’t been getting sunburnt and muddy […]

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Our car has a little garage…

When you start going outdoors more during the summer, you start to notice things that need doing around the garden. This is certainly the case with me; I’ve been weeding all weekend and have started making plans for some nice new flower beds. Hubby and I have also recently been given a garage so we’ve […]

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Sunny weekend cocktails and my favourite recipe

  There’s nothing better when the sun is shining and you’re sat outside enjoying an alfresco dinner than sipping on a cocktail with your friends as the sun goes down. That is exactly what I got up to last weekend and I wanted to share my new favourite cocktail recipe with you so that you […]

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Pieday Friday recipes for bank holiday fun ~ it’s all about the barbecue!

Okay, I can’t fight it anymore. After almost a week of unbroken sunshine and with the bank holiday weekend and half-term fast approaching I can’t deny that barbecue season has well and truly arrived. We all knew it was only a matter of time before we started tidying up the patio and the shops knew it too: everywhere you […]

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Solving spring sniffles

With all this talk of getting the garden ready for summer and high SPF suncare on the blog earlier this week, I’ve turned my attention to another problem that affects many of us as soon as the sun comes out: allergies! Spring’s allergy season can bring random sniffles, itchy eyes and a blocked nose. I’m […]

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9 ways to get your garden ready for the summer

Now that Spring is in full swing, it won’t be long before we see the grey weather open up to sunnier climes. So, now is the perfect time to get your garden ready for another fingers crossed glorious summer, with these simple steps:

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Time for a spring clean – in the summer…

When the sun comes out, my thoughts turn to the outside of my house. I love my garden, but don’t really like getting dirty – so I’m more than happy to sit outside and watch while hubby gets to work digging over the borders! But while I was sitting outside recently, I spotted that my […]

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Big Night In ~ Enjoy Gardenbury festival

This weekend I’ve been enjoying watching all the bands and soaking up the atmosphere of Glastonbury. But I’m not forking out for a ticket, I’m not travelling 200 miles and I’m not hanging around in a muddy field. I’ve created my own mini-festival experience in the comfort of my own home – well… garden! Luckily enough most […]

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My new favourite flowers – back to black

I’ve recently spotted a trend emerging in the world of plants and I want a piece of it! I love the idea of black flowers, and although its pretty impossible to get a truly black flower, deep, dark, rich reds and purples that are one-tone away from black are pretty unbelievable when you see them […]

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