Triple Temptation: Festoon lights

Seletti Bella Vista Outdoor light, £85 Heals // Auva string lights (50 lights) £29.98 B&Q // Pink festoon lights, £85 Out there interiors

Last year I wrote a post about festoon lighting and listed some sources available at the time. You can still read that post here and see for yourself if they are still available, but the trend is going nowhere and thankfully the strings of globe lights with a soft glow perfect for pretty outdoor illumination are getting more widely available. I’ve spotted 3 in the last couple of weeks and thought I’d share them in case anyone is still looking for them. Do let me know if you have spotted any too! (The B&Q set looks like great value.)


Pots of Winter Colour

This morning I thought I’d share a little project I decided to get around to 5 years in to living in our house, although it’s more specifically a garden project.

Every year, there’s so much effort put into dressing up the summer garden with pots of colour and things can get quite drab and lifeless come the winter months, so I decided to make a winter pot. It wouldn’t make much sense (I don’t think) to do this on the scale you might do with summer colour, as you won’t be in the garden to enjoy the end results, and for that reason this pot was made for my front door step. Now it brightens every morning up for me as I leave the house and smartens up the entrance for visitors.

I headed to my local B&Q for the plants for this project and actually picked a couple up in the bargain department looking slightly below par. Once any dead leaves are picked off and they’ve had a good soak, they’re right as rain.

I chose 2 cyclamens (the flowers above, one pink and one white) one ornamental winter cabbage and some ivy. Look for a mix of plants with toning colours – my theme here was the fabulous shades of pinks, purple and silvery foliage. Also look for a variety of heights of plant to give interest. One of my Cyclamens was taller than the other and the trailing ivy helps with this, but you could also choose a mini-conifer or evergreen bush for height, depending on how big your pot is.

You’ll also need a pot ( – I recycled one which held some pretty sad looking geraniums after this years terrible summer) and some compost to fill it with if your pot is new.

After that it’s really easy….

Fill the pot with compost, or if it’s being reused, remove enough soil so that when the plants are placed into the pot, their soil is level with about an inch below the rim of your pot.

Remove the plants from their pots and arrange them, switching them around and trying different positions until you like the effect. It always looks better when they’re quite tightly packed in together.

Now add the rest of your compost. Make sure you really stuff it down the sides of the pot with your fingers, around the edges and in-between the plants so there are no air pockets which the roots of the plants won’t like.

Then give it a thorough soaking with your watering can and enjoy.

Cyclamens don’t like damp, so water thoroughly if it hasn’t rained in a week or so but don’t over-water – you need good drainage from the bottom of the pot so they don’t get waterlogged. They will keep flowering all the way through the winter if you remove the dead flowers every few days. I also purchased the hanging basket shown above from B&Q to add to the effect 🙂

So will you be making any additions to your garden this year or brightening up the front step?


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