Preparing Your Garden For Spring

It has to be said that after a pretty disappointing Summer, September and October proved to be surprisingly mild, which meant there were further opportunities to sit in and enjoy our gardens. But with November we have the first frosts and temperatures that are only in single figures, and are dropping to freezing in the evening, it is safe to say that our gardens are going to see less use over the next couple of months. And this means now is the time to prepare our garden for the Spring by packing up the remnants of our Summer garden, and planning for the new features that will take their place come March/April.

Pack Away

The first thing to do is to pack away the things in your garden that can be wrecked and ruined by the cold weather. Garden furniture needs to be packed away, particular parasols, covered in protective plastic and stored in garden sheds. Ceramic planters can crack when the weather turns colder, so these need to be cleaned, with dead plants composted and the planters stored away ready for next year. Children’s garden toys will also be better stored away, although things like goalposts may still be used through the winter months, after all the Premier and football leagues currently play all through Winter, so these can be left, especially if they are weather proof Samba style goals.

Protecting Perennial Plants

Some plants are perennials, meaning that they come back year after year. These plants need protecting as they go into hibernation, particularly as you want them to come back next year.

Cut them back when the weather starts to turn colder and then mulch the soil to provide a protective covering. This should ensure the perennial plants come back stronger and healthier in the New Year.

Thinking ahead to Next Spring

Whilst everyone else is looking towards Christmas, it is actually the perfect time to invest in items like garden furniture and garden gazebos. Many of these items have big discounts during late Autumn and Winter, which means you can get something that could be practical in your Spring garden, or could completely change the look of it, at a very big discount.

Most garden gazebos will come packed well and are easy to store during the Winter months, but could also be used as a smoking shelter if you decide to have a party on New Year’s Eve and don’t want smoking in your home.

Another item that you can store for warmer days but can be picked up as a bargain now is a barbecue.  When Summer comes the price of these rise dramatically, particularly if we have a heatwave, but in Winter you can pick barbecues up so much cheaper and can simply store them in your shed or outhouse.

Despite the fact that it is now cold and is bound to get even colder, now is the time to look at your garden, see what you need to pack away, and then be forward thinking in your plans for 2018. When you are sitting in the Spring sunshine, admiring the perennials that have returned and enjoying the comfort of your new garden furniture, you will be glad you did.

How to transform your child’s room into a princess paradise

Every princess needs a palace, but sometimes they have to just settle for a bedroom. But if your child does have a princess complex, is obsessed with all things Disney, and will frankly wear any shade as long as it is pink, then you might just need to turn that staid bedroom into something resembling a princess paradise. This can be done with a few choice accessories, some savvy furniture ideas and a little bit of imagination.

 

The Bed

A white bedstead works well for a princess bedroom, especially if you are able to use your DIY skills to erect some sort of canopy above the bed that could be topped with a crown or tiara. If (like me as a child) you have two princesses who have to share a room, the good news is that many online companies have a great selection of children’s bunk beds that offer more than just practical design. With white frames, carved headboards and pretty shaped spindles, these beds show that bunk beds do not have to scrimp on the pretty!

A little DIY

The furniture you already have can be revitalised with a touch of paint and some clever stencils. Painting a wardrobe white, and then adding a magic mirror stencil could be a really lovely and special touch, whilst stencils can also be used to create a feature wall, or a princess style border. The great thing is that stencils can be really easy to apply, and they don’t break the bank either.

 

Colour Schemes

Pink is obviously the first colour that comes to mind when it comes to creating an environment fit for a princess, but it doesn’t have to be the only choice. The smash hit film ‘Frozen’ showed that not all princesses wear Pink, making a glamorous icy shade of blue a great choice for an slightly older princess. Belle style yellow can also make a wonderfully sunny run, great for princesses who already have minds of their own.

Accessories

This is where you can really enjoy yourself and let your inner interior designer take over. A  chandelier is the perfect shimmering form of light for a princess bedroom, and makes a perfect statement piece to add to any room. Soft and fluffy cushions, mixed with a few jewelled and sequined ones look lovely scattered on a bed. Anything that screams opulence works well, with velvet being another great fabric to tie in with your design. You can still pick up 1970s style velour bedroom chairs quite cheaply in antique and junk shops and these look great in a princess bedroom. The great news is that, once again, many of the accessories that will work well can be picked up quite cheaply in places like Primark and Wilkinsons. You could also add a few of the ubicquitous Unicorn accessories that seem to be everywhere this Autumn.

With a little bit of work, a small injection of cash and a whole lot of imagination, you can create a room that your princess will be proud to call a Kingdom.

 

Making Additional Storage Space In Your Loft

When it comes to our homes, it seems that the one thing we can never have enough of is storage space. As our families grow, we need more and more space to store our belongings, our clothes, toys and all the other things that we seem to just accumulate. We resort to more cupboard space, under bed storage, we even put things in sheds and garages and hope for the best. And yet many of us ignore a storage solution that is literally right over our heads – our loft space.

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The loft space is something that many of us just ignore, and yet it can be the perfect storage solution. It is almost the whole of your upstairs space, and can be made into a light and airy space with the addition of roof windows from Solstro.  Lofts are a great place to store seasonal items, things like Christmas trees and decorations that you only need to use once a year, but are then a problem to store for the other 11 months. They can also be useful for storing old toys that you don’t want to part with but are no longer played with.

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There are a few more things to consider if you plan to use your loft for storage. In older houses (like my Victorian terrace for instance), the loft space can be dusty and lofts are not designed to take much weight, so a board out is a good investment, making the space cleaner and safe for walking in.The floor can be strengthened by installing loft panels, which is a relatively simple job, you can find a good how to guide from Wickes by clicking here. A good loft ladder can also be a worth while investment, a pull up and down style that can be  attached to your loft hatch and then stored in the loft when it is not needed.

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If you are struggling for space in your home, moving some of your current clutter into your loft space could be just the solution you’ve been looking for.