November has been a strange old month so far. Christmas adverts being released (John Lewis – Christmas 2015), magazines turning their attention to Christmas gift ideas and this month I am having to think about getting ready for Summer 2016.

I find it extremely challenging being both ‘in the now’ and also being focussed on the ‘future’, but with challenge undoubtedly comes exhilaration and motivation. This is the busy part of business that makes me glad that I run my own company.

Thinking about Christmas

This month many magazines started hitting the shops full of great ideas for Christmas and for gifts.

Town & Country Winter 2015 edition is no exception. I was pleased to have picked up their newest copy and see my advert featured.

Town & Country Winter 2015

Town & Country Winter 2015

Town & Country Advertisement

Town & Country Advertisement

This edition is full of exciting articles, ideas for gifts and also mentions the great work of The Landmark Trust. There is a small feature which mentions Belmont in Lyme Regis, as featured in the C4 programme, Restoring Britain’s Landmarks.

We are so looking forward to investigating and staying in some of their exciting buildings in the near future.

Getting ready for Summer 2016

Also this month, while dealing with arrival of Christmas, I was lucky enough to hear good news on two new opportunities.

Firstly, having had my application accepted by RHS to have a trade stand on Eastern Avenue, I will now be making my debut at this years Chelsea Flower Show (24th – 28th May 2016).

Secondly, after such a successful time at GROW London last year – my application to trade again (24th – 26th June 2016) has been accepted, so I get to make another visit to this wonderful contemporary garden fair.

In the meantime, busy sourcing new fabric, having my outdoor range of cushions updated, new images photographed and my website adapted too. I am amazed at the amount of things to do, however, must take heed of the wise words below:

“In the midst of a busy life don’t forget to live.”
Marty Rubin

 


Leucadendron cushion

Leucadendron cushion featured in TEG

Both sides

Showing both sides of the Leucadendron cushion

Leucadendron cushion featured in October’s edition of The English Garden

So pleased to see under News & Events in October’s  The English Garden Magazine mention of my cushions under the title ‘The art of comfort’

Leucadendron argenteum, also know as Silver Tree is an endangered species in the family of Proteacaeae and is a protected tree in South Africa. The reverse of this cushion features the Felicia amelloides, also known as the Blue Daisy and is a South African perennial.

From the indoor range this 100% cotton drill cushion with duck feather filled pad adds comfort and colour to any interior.

 


Gazania cushion

Oranges & Reds article

different image on each side gives two looks from one cushion

different image on each side gives two looks from one cushion

July’s edition of Wealden Times features Gazania cushion

Happy to see Wealden Times pick up on my Gazania cushion to showcase in their article ‘Oranges & Reds’. The vibrancy of this cushion will certainly liven up any interior and add a wonderful splash of colour.

Gazania, from the family of flowering plants in the family Asteracaea, native to South Africa. They produce large, daisy like flowers in brilliant shades of yellow and orange.

Gazania cushion in 100% cotton drill with a luxurious duck feather filled pad.


Osteospermum cushion featured in July's House & Garden

Osteospermum cushion from the outdoor range

Supersize Osteospermum cushion

Osteospermum cushion

Showing both sides of Osteospermum cushion

 

Osteospermum cushion featured in July’s House & Garden

While flicking through the magazine it was great to see my Osteospermum cushions featured in July’s edition of House & Garden

From my outdoor range this cushion is available in both standard size (42x42cm) or as a unique supersize cushions (85x85cm). Manufactured in a weather resistant fabric with a hollow fibre pad.

Osteospermum, also known as the African Daisy, South African Daisy or Cape Daisy is a genus of the flowering plants belonging to the Asteraceae family.


Cushions featured in The English Garden July 2015, in an article on our courtyard garden at home.

cushions appear in July 2015

Our courtyard garden featured in July 2015

Courtyard and cushions featured in magazine.

Summer of 2014 we were approached, purely by chance, by Nicola Stocken to photograph our courtyard at home.

Nicola was spending the day with my partner Nic Howard, from We Love Plants Limited looking at some of the gardens he has previously designed, booking in time to photograph them for various articles and magazines. By chance he mentioned our courtyard and Nicola’s interest was stirred. They came straight over to have a look.  The result of that was this fabulous 5 page feature which includes great images of my indoor and outdoor cushion range.

All my cushions use the exceptional images from South African photographer Susie Leblond and each side has a different image, giving you two looks from one cushion.


As from 1st of June – summer is officially here. This date heralded the meteorological start of summer and hopefully the weather will take heed of this. Exhibitions, country shows, open gardens, fetes and festivals will keep us all busy during the summer months.

Whichever event you might be attending this summer, let me give you some ideas that we are involved in.

What’s happening now summer is officially here?

I am so happy to be exhibiting this year at GROWLondon in Hampstead Heath. This event, now in its second year is a contemporary garden fair with around 100 carefully selected exhibitors offering the very best in modern gardening and outdoor living.

Opening times for this event are 11am-6pm from Friday 19th June until Sunday 21st June and can be found at Lower Fairground Site, Hampstead Heath.

If visiting, pop in and say hi – I can be found at Stand D13

On the same weekend, from 17th-20th June Botanical Cushions will also be exhibiting at House, part of the Spirit of Summer Fair in association with House and Garden

Thankfully, as I cannot be in two places at one time my partner has offered to showcase my cushions on his stand, We Love Plants, Garden Design by Nic Howard. He can found at House on Stand G18.

This is a great time for us because as soon as people feel that summer is officially here they start thinking about their gardens again and wanting to make the best use of them.

Also, it means with all the wonderful plants and flowers in bloom, I can get to capture new images for some more exciting indoor or outdoor cushions.

‘bring the beauty of the outside in, take the comfort of the inside out’


Now that spring is officially here (Meteorological spring started on 01 March 2015 until 31 May 2015, Astronomical spring started today, 20 March 2015 and runs until 21 June 2015) we can now start taking advantage of the longer days and better weather to enjoy the great outdoors.

Springtime treats to enjoy

We love wandering around the many gardens close to us at different times of the year to see the dramatic changes throughout the seasons. Favourites include RHS Garden Wisley home to some of the largest plant collections in the world. Enjoying the herbaceous perennials and shrubs of the expansive mixed borders, to the wonderful prairie-style planting of the Glasshouse borders. Minutes easily and enjoyably become hours, as we meander around this fabulous garden.

Another firm favourite is the Sussex Prairie Garden. This six acre garden consists of a series of interlocking arcs of large planted borders. The borders are planted in the shape of a spiralling nautilus shell, encouraging you to slowly wander around and through the mighty planting. The herbaceous perennials planted in loose large drifts need little maintenance and can happily withstand the wear and tear from people and their dogs.

Springtime treats for the nosey enthusiast

Public gardens are great to visit but nothing beats the opportunity to wander around a private garden. We love to take advantage of the many smaller and private gardens open as part of The National Gardens Scheme (NGS). The Yellow Book lists all the gardens that are open and is a must to help you arrange your first springtime treat.

The National Gardens Scheme opens thousands of gardens to raise money for nursing and caring charities. Since its foundation in 1927, the NGS has donated more than £42.5 million to its nominated beneficiaries and partners. Find out more about The National Gardens Scheme and which gardens near you are open by visiting their website www.ngs.org.uk 

However, whether it’s a grand public garden or a small private garden, the best bit has to be sitting amongst the fabulous surroundings enjoying a lovely cup of tea and a scrumptious piece of cake. Not just a springtime treat…


‘March’ on your garden this Spring with our easy March Gardening Tips.

“Britain can look forward to a scorching spring, with forecasters predicting hot, dry and sunny conditions until May”

With this good news in mind it’s time to start getting your garden ready to ensure that you can fully enjoy it when the weather hots up.

What are our top March Gardening Tips that you should be doing this Month?

  • Lift and divide clumps of perennials
  • Dig compost into borders to improve water retention
  • Clean and repair your garden tools
  • Mow the lawn on dry days
  • Open the greenhouse or conservatory doors and vents on warm days
  • Plant some summer flowering bulbs
  • Half hardy annuals such as ageratum, cosmea or gazania can be sown in the heated greenhouse or indoors

March Gardening Tips(Gazania from Indoor range of cushions)

 

What ever you choose to do – do something to allow you to sit/relax and entertain in the surroundings that you enjoy.

For more inspiration from our resident garden expert, take a look at Nic Howard’s website here: www.we-love-plants.co.uk


20th March 2015 may herald the start of Spring but it’s on the 29th March at 01.00am that we adjust our clocks by moving one hour forward to take advantage of the daylight saving. But why?

First we need to decide if we are moving them forward or just putting them back to where they were before we moved them back.  Some say that it all started during WW1 when clocks were put back to allow farmers earlier daylight hours for milking, some to increase the length of day as we enjoyed lighter nights due to tilt of the earth’s axis.  Some attribute it to Benjamin Franklin, who as American Envoy to France suggested the French rose earlier to economise on using candles and made the most of the natural daylight.

Whatever the reason, for me it simply signifies that summer is coming!!

Time to watch the garden re-invent itself, transform and tempt me out once again to enjoy its splendour.

Whatever the reason, don’t forget to ‘spring forward’ this year.