28 Jun 2012

Outdoor Party Ideas

Outdoor Parties
The Queen's Jubilee, Sunday 3rd June 2012, was a great excuse for a day off but also I was amazed at how wonderful all our neighbours are. People I've only ever seen get into their cars and whizz off only to get a passing smile. There we were sat side by side sharing some rather delectable feasts with each other and cheering each other in the races. Although the weather wasn't fab we still managed a right royal affair.
The Street Party
Street parties are best held in the road, hence the name although you can go in driveways or parks for more room. We had to gain permission from the council to get the road closed and a few planning meetings with the neighbours to get the party underway. Some of the neighbours made their own invites to invite other friends. They were all very generous making jugs of Pimms and offering delicious food to share.
The Dad's race was very competitive. It's not over until all the chairs were broken!
My little muchkin was so proud of her golden jewels cupcakes.
Here's my creation. It looks a mess and yes it is supposed to be red, white and blue on top and not green but hey the proof of the pudding is in the tasting and woohoo I came second. I made a vanilla sponge with blue and red swirls and layered it with vanilla butter cream. One judge tasted it and said, "Wow!" The other cried, " If I have any more I'm, going to be sick!" So a good score all round really.
How about this gorgeous three layer sponge, filled with cream and strawberry and blueberry jam. Find out how to make it here.
Simply amazing, a fun, whimsical cake with lots of hard work put in. See more from Louise Makes Cakes.
How did they get the blue sponge such an amazing colour, stunning.
Garden Parties
I would love love love to do a garden party for my daughter, i'm sure she would love any of these wonderful pics of inspiration, which can also be found in my Pinterest boards under kids parties.

                                                                 
This pink fairy garden party is adorable, look at those paper pom poms!!
{Photos from scissors paper cake via Party Perfect.}
Or how about artificial grass placemats?
Photo credit: Heartsong Photography Studio via http://www.poshtotevents.com
How about paint a bird box activity?
Someone make me this, pleasssse!!!
It's all so gorgeous, just got to work out the invites and get the garden overhauled!


24 Mar 2012

Growing Sweet Peas


How To Grow Sweet Peas In A Wigwam Plant Pot

Sweet Peas

I have got a lovely little sweet pea support basket that doubles as a climber. It should work a treat. I have been wanting to grow sweet peas for a while but tripping over large canes and pots (as I used to have), put me off, then I saw this and thought it was very cute as well as practical. Sweet peas are annuals so won't come back year after year unless they are prevented from setting seed. These are a beautiful scented variety, Heirloom Bicolour Mixed (Grandiflora) and I think they will look really good on the patio table to become a wonderful centepiece full of glorious sweet pea flowers. If they grow up past the top of the wigwam I'll just layer the flowers round or transplant some of the plants to another container.

Sweet peas are so easy to grow, just start from seed in coir pellets, sow three seeds per pellet pot. Germination usually takes about 21 days depending on the temperature which should be about 20.c, once the sweet pea seedlings are about 3cm tall, pot up in larger pots and cover with multi-purpose compost. I started the sweet pea seedlings off in November and January under glass and then potted out in March, so what are you waiting for? If you haven't done this I'm sure you can cheat and buy some sweet pea plants from the garden centre. I love Haskins, mostly because the plants are not diseased and the cafe make the most amazing paninis.

19 Mar 2012

Spring Round-Up at Haskins: New Garden Furniture


Spring Round-up at Haskins: Garden Furniture

As Spring is just round the corner I felt it was time to get in the mood by window shopping for a vast array of garden furniture that I have no room for and that I probably can't afford. So I went with my shopaholic partner in crime/friend for our weekly jaunt at Haskins. We looked, we drooled, we had coffee and cake, what else is there to do when the kids are at school?


I have to apologise at my really dodgy camera skills, but this table and these chairs are sooo lovely. My dream set up would be this and a massive barbeque with lots of friends.

All weather wicker love seat













































My favourite, this is soooo comfy and would look fab on my deck. We were loving the Cobble Cove throws and cushions and couldn't decide whether to go for the blue or purple.






I could live in this alone, just enclose myself in here with champers and a good book!



They also had some very cute seaside items, being a coastal chick I am always loving the nautical themes and really like the shabby chic frames and cute cushions. Oh well off on another school run .....







17 Mar 2012

A Thai Fairyland: Nong Nooch Gardens


Nong Nooch Gardens, Pattaya, superb Botanical garden design in Thailand,houses the worlds LARGEST palm collection, the largest variety of Orchids in Thailand and other tropical flora and fauna. It's also a theme park but don't let that put you off, these gardens are some of the most immaculate I have ever seen.











The Butterfly Garden uses deep red against fresh lime green to guide you through the rolling slopes of the gardens.


The contrasting coloured hedging and the bold cones and spheres add interest.


The French garden involves intricately carved geometric shapes and coloured box hedging.Inspired by numerous trips to Europe set against a backdrop of cultural temples. I do find it intriguing why Stonehenge would feature in this garden but hey, it's stunning nonetheless.

The Botanical Collection include:



The umbrella garden. Vibrant colours of the umbrellas are intermingled with giant ants.

A prickly selection of cacti.


The Grove Garden is full of topiary trees and whimsical fairytale features that really are make believe.


Floating flower beds and intricate flower displays, how do they manage to maintain it?


Beautiful selection of orchids, I love them hanging in their little pots, a new pic to add to my vertical gardening board on pinterest I think?


I wondered where all the flowerpots went, only joking I'm really so so jealous that someone not only had the forethought to do this but to actually create it is beyond impossible, WOW!!!!


Incredible hues from The Bromeliads Garden.


The Silver Garden or some say The Blue Garden, you say potato I say potata, haha maybe not the same thing but I would defo have some kind of fit over seeing these incredible palms and cyads.

Visits to the Nong Nooch Gardens, tickets are approx $15 per person and the park is open 8am -7pm which also includes shows.


After making it all the way to The Chelsea Flower Show 2011 in the UK, from the RHS,they won a gold medal for their 'Reflections of Asia' display. I feel very inspired to introduce a little more exoticism to my otherwise dreary English garden.

5 Mar 2012

Mother's Day: 10 Best Flower Bouquets

Some people think Valentine's and Mother's Day are overrated but hey who doesn't like a gift?

1. Mother's Day White Jug John Lewis.com

Roses, Ranunculus, Freesias and eucalyptus, who could say no. You can also re-use the jug again. I just love the free Cath Kidston mug that comes with it.

2. Interflora.co.uk, Featuring cerise carnations, cerise germini, 1 large-headed pink rose, green spray chrysanthemums and foliage presented in a clear glass vase with a lilac sisal collar. Plus free vase.



3. Featuring a twin stem Phalaenopsis Orchid, a 120g box of luxury chocolates and a 75cl bottle of Sparkling Rosé presented in a pink, woven gift basket and finished with ribbon. Also Interflora.
4. For those who don't really do flowers, how about this gorgeous weeping willow from Marks and Spencer

5. Very cute balloon and luxury champagne truffles come with this bouquet in a bag, from Next.
6. Try this mini vineyard from Not on the high street. It comes with a red and white grape vine - bonus!
7. Lovely windowbox from Plantabox, made from apple crates. You can also personalise it on the online order site.
8. I'm quite liking this one, it's a bit different, from Flowerbox.


9. Oh someone get me these please! I would just walk around with them all day, from The Real Flower Company, these Yves Piaget roses are divine, oh and are £115 and comes in it's own hatbox.

10. Are these the most expensive orchids? £250 for six orchids from Quintessentially Flowers.


Which ones would you like to recieve?