Can you Guess the Flowers?

There is nothing like the look and scent of fresh flowers in your home. They are just wonderful for creating an ambiance, for bringing a touch of Spring, or a look of your garden inside your home, and they add an affordable attractiveness and elegance to any setting. Whether this is in the form of freshly cut blooms grown in your own garden, or shop bought bunches and bouquets, flowers add prettiness, colour and stunning fragrance to any room they grace.

But, when it comes to flowers, how many types of flowers can you actually name? I’m guessing that you will not have any trouble with roses, tulips and daffodils, you can probably also spot something very iconic like a Calla Lily, but what about other varieties? Can you spot a Chrysanthemum from a Petunia, or a Begonia from a Carnation? If you have flowers growing in your garden, it is crucial that you know and recognise them in order that you give them the right conditions to grow – the right soil, the amount of sunlight they prefer, all this is important to get the most from your shrubs.

Rattan Direct have recently put together a brilliant little quiz which tests your knowledge of plants and flowers and looks at how many you can actually recognise. The quiz is designed to find out whether you , in their words, ‘…need to swat up some more on your blooms, or whether you are already a bloomin’ expert gardener!’

You can find the quiz here and give yourself a fun test. You may just discover that you are a new Alan Titchmarsh or Charlie Dimmock, or, like me, you may need to brush up your knowledge to ensure you are getting the best from your garden and growing the most beautiful blooms.


Final Garden tips now Summer is here.

Now that summer is finally here, my garden project is almost completed. This year was the year that my garden had an overhaul, down to the fact that Joe had grown out of his playhouse and most of his garden toys, so these could be disposed of (given to a neighbour with young grandchildren in actual fact), and that has given us more room for planters, flower beds and (Joe’s new obsession) goalposts. You can read all about the previous changes here, but now that we are firmly ensconced in a thoroughly British Summer I can share the final stages of garden development.

The Lawn

We have a rather large lawn, hence it’s use as a mini football stadium, but it has looked tired in places, and due to a large number of trees at the back of the house, we do get strange patches of plants that pop up due to seed dispersal by birds.  This summer we have added some new sections of grass, and have also landscaped the garden using lawn edging. Lawn edging, such as that offered by The Plastic People, keeps lawns looking neat and tidy, and can also be used to separate grass areas from borders, giving your garden clear definition.

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A paddling Pool (yes really)

Every single year we buy a new paddling pool. Because, without fail, we leave our current one outside and allow it to fill with rain water, insects and mildew, and are then forced to throw it away. This year I would love to invest in a new, larger pool so that I could also get in it, providing those hot days com back of course. Argos and Wilkinsons are a couple of places that have a good stock of pools, and Home and BM bargains are also worth a look too.



Keeping on top of the plants

We’ve been so pleased that many of the plants that we planted in Spring have grown and are making the garden a brighter place, but we are now waiting for some of the plants that were due to sprout in June. One of these was our strawberry plant, which was due in June. I’m currently writing this from my hotel balcony in Portugal, so I’m really hoping that when I get home, there will be at least a few lovely strawberries to enjoy.If not…well…it will be time to hit the fruit farm again!


Creating a living space in your garden

It has to be said that I have seen a lot of Santa since November began. I have already visited three grotto’s, with another visit to come on Sunday. And while the quality of Santa impersonation can be variable to say the least, the Log Cabins which have doubled as grotto’s and workshops have been pretty impressive, feeling warm, cosy and very festive.


But why should Santa have all the fun when it comes to log Cabins? If you have a larger garden, these buildings are actually a great way to add more living space to your home by utilising the outside area.  They can be as small or as large as you want, varying in use so that they can be anything from a children’s playhouse to a home office, or a beautiful garden room that can be enjoyed all year around. If you look at Green House Stores, you will see that these days Log Cabins in the UK can be just as tough and durable as their Scandinavian counterparts, as they are now made with Nordic Spruce rather than timber framing used in the past.

Palmako Hanna Log Cabin

Where Log Cabins really differ from a general shed or outhouse is in the security and comfort. Even in chilly Winter, the fact that the cabins are constructed using double glazing, proper tongue and groove floors and roofing mean that this will feel more like a room in a house, rather than something sitting in your garden. In addition, the high-security latches and locks mean that the cabin can be locked up securely when it is not in use.

Palmako Florence Log Cabin

There are so many styles that range from those traditional cabins you see in Switzerland and the Alps, to very modern designs that look like they were dreamed up on that Kevin McCloud programme. You can quite literally build a dream cabin in your own garden. Just watch that Santa doesn’t spot it when he’s doing his rounds and doesn’t decide to move in!

Palmako Etta Log Cabin