The number of garden birds like sparrows, robins and blackbirds is declining each year in most countries because of habitat loss. In the UK, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and other environmental organisations are encouraging home owners to make their gardens ‘bird-friendly’ to help increase the bird population. We have 10 ways to make your garden bird-friendly this summer and to help stop the decline in the number of birds in your area?

Even if you do not have a garden, you can still create a small area for wild birds on your balcony or terrace and there are special bird feeders on the market that can be fixed on windows and windowsills that are particularly ideal for elderly people.

It is fun to create a haven for wild birds and it is a great project if you have children and are wondering how to fill their school holidays! Making your garden bird-friendly will teach them a valuable lesson about caring for the environment and nature and will definitely give them a great new interest as they spot the different species of birds enjoying time in your garden. (https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/advice/gardening-for-wildlife/creating-a-wildlife-friendly-garden/)

Here are 10 of the many things you can do in your garden:-

 

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A natural area provides valuable nutrition

Create a natural corner at the bottom of your garden. Let the grass and weeds grow naturally there and plant some wild plant seeds. Although this area will contrast sharply with the rest of your tidy garden, it will be perfect for the birds! It is best to choose a part of the garden that is well away from where your children play or where you enjoy al fresco meals as these activities could disturb the birds.

Packets containing a mixtures of wild plant seeds can be bought in most garden centres and these are ideal as the variety of plants that will grow are particularly rich in berries, nectar and seeds and these are all really nutritious for the birds. As well as attracting wild birds to your garden they will attract butterflies, bees and dragonflies too – what a bonus!

 

Plant thick climbing plants as the birds will like to be able to hide among the foliage. Don’t be tempted to have any trees cut down as they are valuable for wildlife and will attract woodpeckers and owls. Fruit trees are ideal for wild birds too as they will enjoy pecking the fruit – so make sure you pick what you need first!  Shrubs with berries are a valuable source of food for wild birds too.

 

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Sunflowers not only add colour to a dull corner, they are good for wild birds too

Plant some bright yellow sunflowers as these usually attract bees, caterpillars and other insects. Sunflower seeds are important for birds to eat. Asters and cornflowers are not only pretty in the garden, they also provide a good supply of seeds for wild birds too. Honeysuckle not only looks and smells gorgeous in the garden, the birds will enjoy the nectar too.

 

Don’t ‘dead head’ all your flowers as soon as they have finished blooming, as these seed pods are much appreciated by the wild birds and are very nutritious for them.

 

Don’t get rid of all your garden rubbish! Dead leaves can be swept up, but put them in a pile in the natural corner of your garden along with any decaying wood as these will soon become rich in insects and will provide food for the birds.

 

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This must be the top way to make your garden bird-friendly!        

Install a bird table, but make sure it is well away from where you sit in the garden as the birds could be put off by your presence. If you have cats, make sure the bird table is high enough for them not to reach. Effective deterrents to use for cats include planting prickly plants like holly around the base of the bird table stand or encasing the bottom part of the stand in plastic to make it slippery – large plastic water bottles can be easily adapted for this and are perfect.                                                                                                                            (https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/advice/how-you-can-help-birds/feeding-birds/all-about-bird-tables/making-a-bird-table/) 

 

 

Wild birds need food, water and shelter in your garden to find it attractive. Pick up a bird bath in the summer sales, eBay, Gumtree or similar. Ensure that it is always full of fresh water as birds love to clean they wings as well as drink. Ideally, place the bird bath in a place where it will catch rainwater. It will need a regular clean and the best way to do this is to wash it in nine parts cool water, one part white vinegar as this will get rid of limescale. You may need to give the bowl a gently scrub and then rinse it in clean water, before replacing it in the garden.

 

Install a small fountain in your garden. It isn’t only people that enjoy the sound of running water, birds are really attracted by the sound too – especially migratory species.

 

Make or buy a nesting box and fix it somewhere cats cannot reach. It is a good idea to do this well before springtime so that your local birds will know where it is located.  (https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/actions/how-build-nesting-box-birds)

 

Don’t use any pesticides in your garden as insects are an important source of food for the birds as well as frogs, bats and even dragonflies. You will enjoy a garden much richer in wildlife, but interestingly, the insects will still be kept well under control – the natural way!

 

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Enjoy wild birds in your garden all year round

Within a short time you will soon enjoy seeing more wild birds in your garden and may well spot Blue Tits, Great Tits, Chaffinches, Goldfinches and even Wrens.

If you do decide to build a bird table to feed the birds, it is important to keep it well supplied all year round, as the birds will view it as a safe refuge, where they can always find food. Seeing many more wild birds in your garden is definitely a win-win situation as the birds will enjoy visiting your garden and you will feel as though you are definitely doing your part for the local environment…. .

 

 

 

If you live in a flat and the only outdoor space you have is a balcony – no problem! Following the Covid pandemic and the need for private space, balconies are now being given plenty of attention – and rightly so! Balconies can be easily transformed into lovely outdoor spaces for relaxing and entertaining and with some clever thinking, you will be able to display indoor plants too that will help create the right relaxing ambiance- and without taking up too much space.

Why not use some great balcony garden ideas to give you a gorgeous new outdoor space- one that you would never know is right in the middle of town!

Choose your colour scheme

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colourful balconies are appealing

A colour scheme for your balcony will make it look very chic and this can be developed with chairs and cushions, rugs, flowerpots and even your choice of flowers! Grey is a really popular colour this year and can look particularly smart for your balcony- especially if you opt for plants with green and grey foliage or ones with only white flowers.

Soft natural shades look really good with plenty of wood and rattan for chairs and even plant pot covers. Blue is another popular colour this year and work very well on balconies with a nautical theme.

Floor first!

You may be happy with the tiled floor your balcony has as it is quick and easy to sweep and mop, but why not soften the look by adding a colourful striped rug or practical rattan runner? Wooden decking works well on balconies, especially decking tiles, as these are easier to fit. Wooden flooring, either hardwood or a laminate, will transform the space and can be in natural wood colour or painted blue or grey.

Some people cover their balcony floor with astro turf grass to develop the idea of a ‘mini garden paradise’.

Add some furniture & decorations

 

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Transform your balcony into a restful oasis

The choice is yours! Would you like a chic iron café table and chairs for impromptu coffee with a friend and al fresco meals, or a soft sofa for relaxing moments with a small table for placing glasses of wine or your favourite book? If you are still working from home, you can opt for a stylish wooden table and office style chair for work plus a comfy armchair for restful times!

If space is limited, a traditional wooden bench looks good – and very inviting when decorated with scatter cushions and a throw. Several large floor cushions or wicker stools are other fun ideas and if your balcony is really small, folding chairs and a table give you extra versatility. You will also find other great ideas on on https://www.digsdigs.com/45-cool-small-balcony-design-ideas/ 

A wall clock is always a useful addition and a barometer or wind chimes are fun to hang on the balcony. A small bird table fastened to the railing is another option. Ornaments can be used to emphasise the theme of your balcony such as a rustic country style or smart nautical. If you have a larger balcony, a stone garden statue can look good, surrounded by plants.

Clever ways to decorate with plants

Indoor plants are the ideal way to create your own leafy oasis! Choose your plants carefully- depending on the amount of sunlight you get on your balcony. It is also worth remembering that many of the plants will need to live indoors during the winter months. If your balcony is not going to be ideal for indoor plants, a collection of artificial plants will look equally good – especially if they are mixed with some good tempered flowers such as geraniums! Another fun choice for really sunny balconies is to grow a citrus tree such as a lemon or miniature orange tree. If you would prefer to add some shade to your balcony, a clever way is by using artificial bamboo plants.

Colourful annuals such as petunias can be purchased cheaply from garden centres and supermarkets and will certainly help transform your balcony. If you would like to grow some vegetables, you can grow them successfully in grow bags, long narrow plant troughs or a couple of large flowerpots.

If your balcony is large enough, you can build a raised flowerbed along the length of the balcony at the front – this definitely makes gardening easy! You can used recycled wood from old crates to make the container and then the wood can be stained or painted in your chosen colour.. To save money on soil- as it will take a large quantity to fill It-, carefully fill the bottom third with plastic boxes or empty bottles and top with soil before planting with flowers or herbs.

Be creative with your plant display!

Because there is limited floor space on a balcony and priority must be given to furniture, here are some clever ways to enjoy plants and flowers in a limited space:

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Tiered shelving is a great space saver and perfect for plants and vegetable growing

Several conical woven planters grouped on a bare wall can look dramatic when filled with leafy ferns and spider plants. Alternatively, a few colourful pots on ropes, hung at the same height just in front of a bare wall completely transforms it! Metal plant pot covers are trending this year and can look really smart – especially if they are filled with flowering plants or those with colourful foliage.

A really eye-catching design is to attach a long piece of driftwood high on a bare wall – high enough that you can suspend a line of matching macramé hanging baskets at regular intervals. Alternatively, three or four, matching planks of wood, that have been stained or painted, will give a completely new look to a bare wall and an interesting collection of planters can be attached to the wood at different heights. This is a great way to grow your own herbs and you can tie a large luggage label with a description of the herb to each planter. Another option is to fix a piece of trellis fencing to the wall and hang assorted planters at different heights.

To add vibrant colour to a small piece of wall, suspend two flower-filled hanging baskets at different heights.

If you have a window sill on your balcony, this is another ideal spot for growing an assortment of herbs in small matching pots. If you have really limited space, look out for tiered shelving that you can fill with plants. If you only have a spare corner, look out for a corner tiered unit as this works really well.

Add colourful plants to the balcony railings…

Invest in some plastic railing planters that will sit on the railing or some window boxes with large hooks that will fit snugly over the railing. The ideal flowering plants for these are colourful trailing petunias and scarlet geraniums.

If you would like to add privacy to your outdoor space, consider hanging lightweight rattan blinds from the ceiling above the railing or a series of hanging pots at the same height – with each filled with a leafy fern or training plant.

… And some lights

 

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Pretty lights are perfect for lazy evenings

If you are planning to relax on your balcony in the evening, you will need some soft lighting. Tea lights placed on every flowerpot or several candle lanterns will create a golden cosy ambiance. A string of fairy lights look pretty too or a large table lamp.

No matter how small your balcony is, you can transform it into an attractive outdoor room which you will love for quiet moments and your friends will enjoy visiting too! If you are fearful that you will not be able to enjoy your new retreat because of winged insects, we have a clever idea to solve this problem too! Hang very fine netting for the entire width of your balcony from the ceiling above the railing, down to the railing and secure it tightly. Not only will you not be bothered by any insects, no birds can mess your balcony or leaves get blown onto it – leaving you just to relax and enjoy your new oasis with a long cool summery drink and a good book….

Bonsai trees are growing in popularity. They first appeared 1,500 years in Ancient China where they were called ‘Penjing Trees’. The miniature trees were exchanged as gifts among the rich. Five hundred years later, Buddhist monks took the idea to Japan. The Japanese developed the art of cultivating and caring for Bonsai. Today the hobby is growing. People all over the world, are fascinated by the idea of owning such a beautiful type of tree and are discovering the magic of the miniature world of Bonsai trees.

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The miniature world of Bonsai comprises of evergreen, deciduous and flowering trees

Bonsai is both the art and science of growing beautiful miniature trees and shrubs in ornamental pots. Bonsai trees come in many different varieties, some suitable for indoors and others outdoors like the Juniper Bonsai. There are evergreen and deciduous varieties and even flowering Bonsai. Some species such as the Ficus group are relatively easy to care for, whilst others are notoriously challenging.

Many plant enthusiasts are apprehensive about caring for a Bonsai tree, but it is not too complicated to master but can be time-consuming because the process involves nurturing the tree and keeping it in its miniature size while also making it as aesthetically appealing as possible by shaping it. There are fundamentals to master too, as the size and shape of the pot the tree is planted in, the level of humidity and temperature can each make a big difference.

Why are Bonsai trees so expensive?

All Bonsai trees are more expensive than other plants. Their larger price tickets reflect their rarity, the age of the Bonsai and how much expert care has been needed to nurture it  – and of course, there are transportation costs on top of this. If the Bonsai tree has been nursery grown, it is often not ready to sell until it is 6- 7 years old and many are much older and will have taken many hours of care by experts.

 

Older trees are more expensive because they look so spectacular with their gnarled and twisted trunks. At the top end of the price range are Yamadori Bonsai. These trees are ones that naturally grow in miniature in the wild, but are incredibly rare to find. The most expensive of all is the Japanese Pine – often up to 800 years in age and priced at over one million dollars. As well as buying the Bonsai, you will need to buy an array of miniature gardening tools and fertilisers.

 

Where can you display a Bonsai

 

In the last ten years, Bonsai trees have become popular around the world. Spot the Bonsai in hotel and company receptions and also on office desks. If you buy an outdoor variety, it can become a stunning focal point of your garden.

 

What care does a Bonsai need?

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Each Bonsai has so much character and history

Caring for a Bonsai can take years to master which is why many people find it so challenging and rewarding. The Bonsai will need regular watering and pruning as well as certain light conditions, levels of humidity and nutrition. Unexpected pests and disease can present problems too.

Taking care of a bonsai tree is different from attending to the needs of just about any other type of plant.  Bonsai owners are disciplined, well- organised and patient. Dedication to the idea of creating a beautiful miniature tree is key!

Are there certain Bonsai suitable for beginners?

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It is fun to create the perfect shape for your Bonsai

The best Bonsai for beginners is Ficus. This attractive indoor evergreen Bonsai has a thick knotted trunk and dark glossy leaves. Ficus is a tolerant and resilient Bonsai and can grow in spaces with low humidity. The Ficus is easy to shape and will forgive you if you forget to water it!

 

The Chinese Elm is another good choice as it is an attractive semi-evergreen with numerous small leaves that can be placed outside in the warmer months and can survive a frost. This Bonsai does need regular pruning, but it is easy to create and maintain an attractive shape. If you would like a deciduous Bonsai, a Japanese Red Maple or Cherry Bonsai are both good choices for beginners. For further inspiration about which Bonsai trees are best for beginners, log onto:

https://www.bonsaitreegardener.net/bonsai-trees/best-beginners

 

How can I have a Bonsai without all the effort?

 

Bonsai are always fascinating

Does having a Bonsai tree appeal? Do you feel that realistically you not have the ideal growing conditions or the time to dedicate to nurturing one? The perfect answer is to cheat a little! An artificial Bonsai trees is impossible to tell them from a real Bonsai! Why not enjoy discovering the miniature world of the Bonsai tree without a single fallen leaf?

 

 

 

First impressions really count! Your company, restaurant or hotel reception is the first place visitors see and it is important that it conveys the right message to them. Your reception should be attractive and welcoming and importantly, reflect your company’s unique character. The reception area should also project a feeling of professionalism and efficiency as well as trustworthiness. If you are planning a makeover for your reception area, think about the style that will suit you best. Our ideas tell you how to create the perfect reception area.

Extending a warm welcome

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How to create the perfect reception area – add a large indoor plant!

A welcoming reception area is important when you have a doctor’s surgery or dental practice and want to put your visitors at ease. This type of character for a reception works well for hotels too and any business where people matter and you want to establish a good relationship with them.

Choose warm, muted colours as these are more relaxing than stark and clinical white. Furniture should be comfortable too. If you choose fabric covered seating, make sure that the fabric is stain resistant so that it will be easy to keep them looking good. Add some relaxing touches such as paintings on the walls, lamps and plenty of  large leafy indoor plants.

A relaxing character

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A relaxing and calming design

Stylish reception areas with smart furniture, no clutter and the emphasis on natural materials are a popular style for beauty salons and spas. This style exudes serenity and zen and also works well for companies as it can prove both relaxing and inspirational. Soft muted colours such as cream, browns and greens all work well and are enhanced by soft  lighting. Mellow wooden furniture in a minimalistic style is ideal and large abstract wall paintings that mirror the colours of nature will also accentuate this style. Bring the outdoors inside with some extra large indoor plants or a dramatic wall display of numerous trailing plants. If you do not feel particularly ‘green fingered’, you can invest in some quality faux plants as the carefree alternative.

Exude luxury                                     

 

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use luxurious floral displays

If your company specialises in prestigious goods or your hotel or restaurant is appealing to those with plenty of money, your reception area needs to be very stylish and reassuring to your customers that are the elite and are going to get truly excellent service throughout.

Your style should be carefully chosen pieces of beautifully made, quality furniture such as a leather Chesterfield with some unusual accents in polished metal such as occasional tables or wall lights. Add drama to the area with bold colours and large painting. Mirror these in a large arrangement of beautiful fresh flowers.

Be dynamic in your style

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Your reception can have fun appeal too!

If your company style is fast moving, enthusiastic and trendy, this is a fun style to mirror in your reception area. Showcase your company’s colours with a feature wall in the main colour with either your logo or inspiring slogan. Seating and accessories should be in any other company colour. Furniture styles should be smart and in practical styles. Plenty of natural daylight is perfect, but if not, excellent lighting will prove practical and energising.

Changing the look of your reception area can be relatively easy and the three main points to focus on are to maximise on space, use colour effectively to help create your chosen style and thirdly, to ensure that your chosen lighting is of the right style and in the right location. Your bright new reception area is definitely the best way to define your company’s character – along with a warm personal welcome to everyone who steps through the door.

For further inspiration, take a look at –

http://www.smbceo.com/2016/11/29/how-to-choose-the-right-furniture-for-your-office-reception-area/

 

 

 

After the long months of winter and lockdown, everyone is wanting to get out in the garden once again! Gardens have never been so important as they are now and an attractive garden can add real value to your property. Your garden can be like an outdoor living room, giving your family extra space. There are some major garden projects to consider, such as installing a decked area or a garden office. Home working is likely to be an option for many months to come! Having your garden professionally landscaped is not as expensive as you think and is a great way to achieve the garden of your dreams!  Here are some great ways to improve your garden yourself – without denting your wallet!

 

Cut the grass and prune all the trees & bushes

 

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Be as creative as you like!

The first step in creating a lovely garden for the summer is to get it in shape!  Cut the lawn and trim the edges. If the lawn is looking in poor condition, plenty of lawn nutrients will make a real difference.

Prune all your hedges, bushes and trees – you will be surprised how much they have grown since last autumn and they will be much more manageable! 

Paint all the fencing

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Painting fences is a great way to improve your garden

Painting all the fencing definitely makes the biggest single improvement to your garden because the fencing will suddenly look like new again and add act as a natural backdrop, emphasising the colours and textures of the various plants and bushes. 

If you use a wood staining preservative, it will definitely prolong the life of the fencing. Repair the garden gate and oil the hinges and then apply a couple of coats of wood stain to make it look smart! If you have a wooden bench or garden chairs, they will benefit from similar treatment!

Create an al fresco dining area

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summer means barbie weather!

Eating outdoors make an ordinary meal taste like a banquet! Is there somewhere you can easily transform into an outdoor sitting area? You will find that it will quickly become a popular place to relax with a good book. If you have an area of concrete next to the garage wall, this can be quickly adapted by painting the garage wall, adding some wall planters and decorating the area with fairy lights for the evenings.

Alternatively you can  create a sitting area. First, clear the area of weeds,  before covering it with the special plastic matting you can buy. Stack the matting down before covering it with shingle. Large terracotta pots filled with colourful flowers will give the area a real Mediterranean feel – even if the weather doesn’t! Solar lanterns around the edge of the area look lovely too and create a lovely ambiance in the evening.

 

Bring color to your garden.

 

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Terracotta pots add interest

It is fashionable to choose a colour scheme for your garden which can be highlighted by flowers as well as your garden furniture. The garden centres are full of colourful annuals right now and these are a quick and cheap way to bring instant colour to your garden. Different shades of lilac and white look very pretty and can be accentuated with a hanging basket suspended from a tree branch.

Creating a focal point with an array of terracotta pots in different sizes and shapes works well too. You can fill the pots with a variety of flowers in your chosen colour scheme or else an interesting collection of plants with leaves in different  shades of green and with textured foliage. The terracotta pots are perfect for a collection of herbs too.

 

Create a vegetable patch.

Home grown veggie taste good!

Vegetable growing increased in popularity during lockdown and

!will continue to do so as more and more people have found that it is a fun way to get a supply of organic vegetables. Once again, having a vegetable patch can add real value to your home. If you have a large empty flowerbed, why not consider converting it into a veggie patch? It is amazing how many vegetables you can grow in a relatively small area. To save space, butternut squash and courgettes both grown really well in a large terracotta pot and happily will trail over the lawn or concrete.

If you just have a small area, why not change it into a herb garden? There is something special about picking your own fresh herbs for your cooking.

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/herbs/hgen/plant-herb-garden.htm

Build a rockery

This is the perfect solution if your soil is not good quality or you want to add interest to your garden. You can build a rockery in just a few straight forward stages and incorporate some interesting chunks of stone. Adding peat in the crevices between the stones will give nourishment to your new Alpine plants.

https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-build-rock-gardens-2132674

 

At each stage of your renovation plan, it is a good idea to assess how much maintenance work will be required and wherever possible, opt for easy-care plants and vegetables. If you really do not have too much time at all, an increasing number of people are choosing to have just grass with a variety of large terracotta planters and those who are not ‘green fingered’ at all, will never admit it, but they are planting artificial plants in the planters – and the effect is simply stunning!

2021 is definitely the year of the indoor plant!  They are are really popular this year for the home, office, reception area and restaurant. Indoor plants are big news – especially those with large lush or variegated leaves.They will be the focal point to any room and  can be used to liven up a dull corner. Indoor plants add structure, colour and character to a room as well as a lovely natural feeling. Equally as important as selecting a lovely houseplant, is choosing the best pots for your indoor plants..

The right pot can really transform a plant and accentuate its natural beauty. Choosing the best pots for your indoor plants takes time as there are some important points to consider.

Size matters!

Before choosing a decorative pot for your plant, it is important to ensure that the plant is in the correctly-sized flower pot that will fit inside the decorative pot.

Best pots for in door plants

House plants are usually in a plastic or terracotta flowerpot

The average plant needs to be re-potted every year. Slower growing plants like cacti, can be re-potted every two- three years.

If the plant is in pot that is too small, it will not grow well, as it will be root-bound. If the plant is in an over-large pot, there is a risk of it developing root rot if the soil is remains too damp for the plant.

When choosing a replacement flower pot, the average recommended increase in size is 7.5 – 10 cm (3- 4 inches) and this is ideal for most indoor plants.. For cacti, which grow far more slowly, an increase in size of 2.5 – 5 cm ( 1- 2 inches) is ideal. Most people pot their plant in a plain terracotta or plastic plant pot, with drainage holes and then place this pot into a larger decorative pot. (https://www.thesill.com/blogs/care-miscellaneous/plant-care-repotting)

Choosing the best material for your plant pots

The most popular type of pots are glazed ceramic. Plain coloured and shiny, matt or textured – your choice! There are numerous patterned, striped and decorated available, but plain or minimalist is the preferred style for 2021.

Natural materials are always popular and pot covers made from woven grasses, bamboo, wicker and wood are all classic favourites.

Metal plant pots are also popular and silver, copper and brass are all trending – especially either with a silk or textured finish. Steel is fast becoming a popular new material for plant pots.Choosing the best pots for your house plants has never been easier!

What about colour?

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Colourful plant pots add character

Colour is an important consideration when choosing the  best pots for your houseplants.The most popular colours for plant pots are soft neutral shades that enhance the foliage of the houseplant. Contemporary styled pots can look chic. Opt for matt white and matt grey with a silver or gold band. Matt is always a popular finish and ‘organic shades such as dove greys,soft browns and greens.

Simply styled pots in bold colours such as red, blue and purple, should be used sparingly to highlight a colour in a room – too much and the colour becomes overpowering. Pots with Bohemian patterns in natural shades add character. Coffee and cream patterns look good in most rooms. watch out for the trending design – pot covers made to look like marble. These look really stylish look against large, dark foliage. Pots that are brightly patterned are fun for windowsills. The plant inside needs to have plain green leaves, otherwise the pot will be overpowering.

Is shape important?

Whilst round plant pots have long been the classical favourite, there are some really attractive oval and square plant pots to choose.

Floresy the best containers for houseplants

Hanging baskets are great if you lack floor space

Collections of small square plant pots in a neutral shade are the perfect way to display a selection of plants chosen for their varied foliage, colour and shape. These containers are ideal for an interesting selection of cacti too.

What floor space is limited – be creative!  Contemporary styled wall planters that look great grouped on the wall with a selection of different plants including trailing ones. Some of the new styles include diamond shape planters in glass and steel. Clean, simple lines are best as they do not detract from the beauty of foliage of the plants.

Other fun types of pots for displaying indoor plants include hanging baskets and plant screens. Plant screens are eye-catching! Made in rattan, wood or metal, plant screens feature different planters attached at varying heights. The right combination of plants with different coloured and textured leaves plus a couple of trailing plants, cam look very effective.

If you feel that your houseplant could benefit from some height, there are various different plant stands and tripods to choose from in wood, metal and bamboo and many can be used with your own plant pot.

Check the drainage holes

When choosing the best pots for your houseplants check the drainage holes – especially if you are planting straight into the decorative plant pot.. Most plants need well-drained soil, so pots should drainage holes in the bottom. Cover these with a layer of small stones before adding the plant and its soil as the stones will help drainage, but you will need to place a drip tray underneath.

Many of the decorative flower pots have drainage holes. Beware! Even if you use an inner flower pot, water could escape through both pots and mark furniture. If you choose a decorative flower pot with a drainage hole, sometimes a rubber plug is provided. If not, it is worth investing in a drip tray/ saucer to place underneath. Choose one that suits in glazed ceramic, plastic or bamboo. The tray/ saucer should be the same shape and just marginally bigger than the bottom of the pot..One in the same colour will not detract from the design of the plant pot.

Remember that the red clay (terracotta) pots and their trays are porous. Never choose a terracotta drip tray to use indoors as water could still permeate through and mark the furniture underneath.

Choosing the best pot for your house plant is essential, because it can really make the difference between an ordinary plant and a spectacular one! If you opt to use faux plants, the correct sized container in a complementary colour and material is also important. To avoid detection, a clever trick is group your beautiful faux plants among real ones, all in similar pots – no one will ever know the difference!

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Indoor plants are fashionable – but which ones? How can indoor plants be effectively used in the office environment?

Indoor plants are big news this year and interior designers are using them to add character, interest and fresh air to spaces. Indoor plants of all kinds will enjoy great popularity this year – and the bigger the better! Trending indoor plants are large leafy ones to cheer up dull corners and include all types of trailing ones as part of this year’s ‘rustic’ theme that is being used in restaurants, reception areas and offices to add character. As well as all the old favourites, there are  many new plants available including some very exotic tropical ferns from Japan and New Zealand.

Many people working from home last year decided to buy indoor plants for the first time. As a result,  indoor plants have enjoyed a huge surge in popularity. As people return to their work spaces, many will be taking plants with them as they have discovered how they quickly transform a space. There are great psychological benefits to bringing nature indoors too and caring for a plant. (https://www.prevention.com/health/g27586276/benefits-of-indoor-plants/)

In 2021, plant pots are extra important. Plain neutral colours  are best as they complement foliage plants perfectly. Luxe metallic pots in textured silver, pewter and copper look good as do containers in natural materials such as hessian and wood.  Shape is all- important in 2021.  Square and oval shapes will dominate and either smooth or textured in natural tones. A layer of tiny white or natural-coloured stones, covering the soil continues to be ‘the’ look.

The perfect plant for beginners

Floresy new trending indoor plants

This dramatic plant is very good tempered and hard to kill!

Sansevieria or ‘Mother in Law’s Tongue’ has been a firm favourite for years as it is hardy and can withstand neglect!.

In recent years it has been also been named ‘Snake Plant’. Dramatic to look at with long variegated sword-like leaves, it

thrives well in a light office, in good light, but away from direct  sunlight. It is said to be an effective air purifier. This dramatic plant is

looks effective if several are planted in a row a long planter and placed against a bare wall.  This plant is the  ideal choice for spaces where plants are  easily forgotten!

Cultivate a fast growing plant

Ficus Altissima is an attractive leafy plant that is a trending indoor plant for 2021 as it easily grows so  quickly – often to two metres in height! This plant is much easier to care for than its more complicated cousin, the Fiddle Leaf Fig. Its leaves are large with silvered veins which adds to its interest factor. Philodendron is another good looking plant that grows quickly too and has vine-like leaves and the heart-shaped variety is perfect for an indoor hanging basket..

Check out the prophecy of a money tree!

The money tree (Pachisa aquatica) is fascinating as it has interwoven trunks and numerous leaves. This plant loves humidity, but regular misting will help. Surprisingly,  it only needs watering every ten days. Folklore says that the more leaves that a money tree produces, the more money its owner will have! To encourage it to grow quickly, plan to re-pot the plant every two years.

Add a hint of luxury to your desk

Velvet Calathea is predicted to be a trending plant in 2021. This good looking plant gets its name from the berry-coloured velvet-like underside to its leaves. On the top side, the leaves are two tone green with a central pattern in bright green that look like feathers. This is the ideal plant for a desk, as it thrives on indirect sunlight and not much water.

 

 

Choose a cactus- the trending plant for 2021!

Floresy New trends in indoor plants

Many people find cacti fascinating

Many people find cacti fascinating.  All the old favourites remain popular, but as well as these, there are some great new types on the scene this year. The larger and more dramatic the cactus – the better!. For an eye-catching plant choose the fishbone cactus. This cactus has long, flat irregularly shaped that look remarkably like fish bones! The great news is that this intriguing looking cactus is low maintenance. It is the perfect way to brighten up a dull corner.

The ‘Bunny Ear’ cactus has large succulent rounded leaves that , as its name suggests, look like the ears of rabbits. This cactus too is easy to care for and thrives in slightly sunnier places.  Introduce some fun with the monkey tail cactus. This cactus has long stems that are covered in fine white hairs that grow downwards. This cactus has bright red flowers and is perfect to put on a sunny shelf in the office.

The Mistletoe Cactus is a fun looking plant with long shaggy ‘hair’ made up of numerous succulent stems. If this cactus is happy where you have placed it, it produces white berries like mistletoe. As well as mini single pots containing a single cactus, a collection of identical pots each with a different cactus is a fun way to liven up a windowsill or the corner of a desk.

 

And the clever way to always enjoy beautiful plants

Be successful with your display of indoor plants – the clever way. Caring for them can sometimes be difficult. Choose some beautiful trending indoor plants for 2021- but faux plants for the clever solution. Place the faux plants in positions where they could easily thrive.  Faux plants are incredibly life-like. As a result, is impossible to tell the difference! Select types of faux indoor plants that are trending for 2021 and you will be making a style statement too. The only downside is that a faux money tree cannot predict the finances of its owner!

The ONS Labour Force Survey has found that 1.54 million people in the UK are now working from home – that’s 884,000 more than ten years ago and this figure will keep on growing. With modern technology at your fingertips, it has never been easier to work from home and more and more house buyers are looking for an office space in the properties they are viewing so that they can enjoy all the advantages this brings.

Choose the right spot!

When you are considering where to establish a home office, it is best to give this plenty of thought as you will be spending a great deal of time at your desk. You will have some basic needs that must be considered such as whether you will be holding meetings or conference calls from home. Will you need just a table for your laptop or more space for printers and storage facilities too. Whilst working in a cramped area tucked under the stairs may work for some people, for others, more space and a window with natural daylight is essential. What about the noise level in your chosen area? If a noisy environment does not bother you, that is good, but if you prefer peace and quiet, you may well have to make some adjustments – a simple one can be to remove the batteries from your doorbell!

Getting Organised is the Key to Success!

You will need to have the right size of the work area so that you can feel comfortable whilst you work. You do need to have a dedicated desk as it becomes difficult to keep scooping up paperwork at the end of each day and you will need some storage space too. Position your desk so that you can take maximum advantage of natural daylight and the view from a window. Try out the space for comfort, are you sure that you have adequate light whatever the weather? It might well be advantageous to invest in a good quality anglepoise lamp that gives a good light wherever it is needed. Good lighting helps prevent eye strain and headaches. Once you have your office area laid out, spend some time dealing with any loose wire etc. to keep you safe. You need to ensure that they are not a trip hazard nor a distraction if you are trying to work fast! Better still, why not invest in some Bluetooth peripherals to make things easier?

Filing office organisation

Be Comfy!

There have been a number of studies that have found that if people are happy and comfortable in their workspace then their productivity increases, conversely if they are uncomfortable then they don’t work nearly as well! Working from home has a huge advantage that you can create the office space that suits you perfectly.

Ensure that you have a really comfortable chair that is the right height for you, if you do not, why not consider buying an ergonomic chair as this will ensure that you are sitting correctly and not damaging your spine. This is definitely an item of furniture not to scrimp on as a good chair really does make all the difference, ensuring your body is not aching at the end of the day.

Ensure your work area can be kept at a comfortable temperature all year through and that there is a source of fresh air too. A cup of coffee is an important part of every working day, are there facilities for making one that can be easily reached? Just because you are not in a work environment with regular safety checks, does not mean that health and safety should not be considered. It is important that you can leave your work desk easily to take a regular break from your PC screen.

Coffee cup including plant- Floresy

Consider Colour

The colour of your office can be as bright or calm as you like and it can also inspire you! True, your colour choice will have to be more conservative if you are holding meetings in your space, but if it is just you – the sky’s the limit! Choose the colour that suits you; a colour that fuels your creativity or helps you to feel serene and organised, the right colour is a very subjective choice! To enhance the colour of your office space, you can add some ambient lighting that will complement the ‘working light’ you have for your desk.

Personalise

Decorate the walls with an inspirational painting or other artwork and maybe add a favourite ornament to your desk or family photo. If space is short, you can always rotate these finishing touches to mirror the changing seasons. Think of fragrance too as the sense of smell is one of the strongest of our senses, so ensure that your work area smells fresh and appealing.

Add interest with some flowers or an attractive plant! Even if your office space does not benefit from natural light, don’t let that stop you as artificial plants or flowers an look like the real thing!

Importantly, your home office space is yours and it must feel good. Plan your office space like a well-designed aircraft cockpit with everything close at hand and easily accessible. Be flexible in your approach because as your work grows or changes so will your needs and these can be reflected in your workspace. Keep it fresh and appealing as it must inspire you and encourage you to be productive. Your new home office will mark the start of an exciting new chapter in your working from home life that will get bigger and better…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

Could a bespoke service be the best fit for your organisation?

Whilst mass-produced products may be cheaper or convenient, bespoke products are the best way to ensure that each piece that ends up in your business reflects your brand style, so as to create a harmonious concept.

But what is a bespoke service? It essentially means a custom made product designed just for you.

Having an item designed and made for you provides more flexibility when enhancing the style of the space concerned. It increases your trademark over the whole creative process and enables you to create spaces that may not have been there before, showing your aesthetic vision to the world.

With the right professional guidance, you can be certain that the style and materials are fit for purpose and that the finished piece meets your exacting requirements and budget, big or small. 

artificial lighting bespoke service

4 Benefits of Using a Bespoke Service

  1. Skys the limit:  With mass-produced items, you are always going to be constrained by colour and size and you’ll always feel deflated when you see,  what you thought was a standout look in a rival commercial venue.
  2.  Experts on hand:  Because you are working so closely with an artisan or workshop to get the exact product you desire, you have direct access to experienced and skilled tradesmen. 
  3. Quality not quantity: Working directly with a designer or an artist gives you the added layer of assurance that the bespoke item in question will be built to last – sustainability is key! This is often a concern with mass-production and the carbon footprint that comes with it. 
  4. Space solutions: One of the best things about a bespoke piece is that it will be built to ensure a perfect fit. This can solve the problem of awkward spaces that you want to fill. Even better, you’ll have a unique piece suited to your taste. Central interior tree design bespoke service

Is a Bespoke Service Right for Me? 

Working out whether a bespoke design is right for your business can be tricky to figure out and plan logistically. After all, this custom made product will essentially be built to last. Here are the questions that you should ask yourself to see if this is the right fit.

  • Is quality more important than price?
  • Do you want to stand out with your style choice?
  • Would you like to fill a specific space or dimension?
  • Do you want to ensure you are working with a highly specialised artisan?
  • Would you like an eye-catching feature?
  • Do you need an item that will last?

Why not consider commissioning a design that is as unique as your business?