Book Review: Usborne Garden Sticker & Colouring Book

As you know, I am an expert on all things gardening. And I am pretty good at sticking and colouring too so I was the natural choice to give my expert opinion on Usborne’s latest book, handily called “Garden Sticker & Colouring Book”. But did it reach my high expectations or did it crash into a sticky, scribbly mess?…

A brand new book from Usborne, but what did I think of it?...

A brand new book from Usborne, but what did I think of it?…

Well, if you are already a fan of Usborne books like me, you will know that they know how to make a good book and, to be honest, this one doesn’t disappoint. Here are some of my favourite things about the book:

It’s got loads of pages in it. 32 to be precise so it will last for AGES!

Wow, there are a LOT of stickers to choose from!

Wow, there are a LOT of stickers to choose from!

The stickers are brilliant quality. I have some sticker books where the stickers are hard to get off and rip easily. These ones are much better quality and have a nice glossy feel to them.

 Adding the bugs to their silhouettes was LOTS of fun

Adding the bugs to their silhouettes was LOTS of fun

There are lots of extra stickers in the book which you can stick on any page. I like that as it means I can be creative and also add stickers to the colouring pages too.

At the back of the book there are lots of bits to colour in which makes a nice change from just sticking. I love sticking but after a while it’s nice to do some colouring too. Plus I like that the flowers were proper flower shapes and not just a generic flower. There were foxgloves and echinacea and poppies and all sorts of pretty plants to colour.

Lots of pretty flowers to colour

Lots of pretty flowers to colour

There’s lots to learn in this book. It tells you the names of lots of bugs and birds, vegetables and some of the animals that come out at night (like Batty the Bat!)

They even have Primula vialii growing beside the pond in one of the pictures. This is the plant that our family business Vialii Garden Services is named after. Cool!

 Look, a Primula vialii which is what our company is named after!

Look, a Primula vialii which is what our company is named after!

The book costs £7.99 which I think is AMAZING value for a book which will give many, many hours of fun. I have spent loads of time colouring and sticking and there is still lots to do. So for those rainy days when you can’t get outdoors in the garden then what better than to snuggle down with this book.

It gets a big thumbs up from me!

It gets a big thumbs up from me!

Lulu’s Star Rating:
5stars

Hope you love it as much as me!Available from Usborne Books and all good book sellers.

Hugs& kisses

Lulu xx

Introducing the Foody…

We were sent a weird but wonderful new contraption through the post this weekend and I had lots of fun showing M&D how to build it (they needed an expert like me to keep them right). Read on to find out what it is and what we are going to be doing with it…

The Foody

What in the world could this bed? A space ship?
A cup holder? Read on to find out more….

 

The Foody is a vertical growing system designed to provide the perfect environment to grow herbs, salads and flowers.  It also only requires 10% of the water used in a traditional garden and can be used indoors or outdoors.

The Foody

It’s a funky hat, that’s what it is!

But Lulu, how does it work I hear you ask? Well, when you water the top pod the water slowly drains down to the reservoir in the bottom. Cleverly, there are six extra pots down there with wicks which can use this water too.

The Foody

Lookee here, there are pots at the bottom and the
rope acts a wick to sook up all the water from below

As it can also be used indoors (and it looks pretty cool too) it means you can be growing salads and herbs all the year round, even up here in chilly Scotland!

The Foody


I start to add the towers on to our reservoir. You can choose a
Foody 3, 4 or 5 which have different levels to suit you

And if you really want to, you can even add a pump so that the watering is done automatically (watering is one of my favourite parts though as I get to splash in the water and look for fruit and veg at the same time!)

The Foody

Wow, it’s getting tall now, I need a
little hand to reach up to add this pod!

The Foody is perfect when you have limited space and can be used in greenhouses, balconies, roof terraces, patios, you name it. And it cleverly rotates too so that you can make sure all sections get their share of the sun as required.

The Foody

You get some material to add to the bottom of each pod to stop
any soil being washed down through the drainage holes

And as you can see from the pics it is super easy to put together. We’ll be trialling a selection of fruit and veg in our Foody 5 (you can grow all sorts in them and I will be growing strawberries, tomatoes, radish and tomatoes to name just a few) over the coming months and will keep you posted of our results.

The Foody

Wow, our Foody 5 is waaaaay tall!

For more information on the Foody go visit the lovely people over at LIFE.

The Foody

Plus you get a free box for hours of fun!

Hugs & kisses,

Lulu xx

Take A Seat, Vialii Style

At Vialii, when we design your garden we think about EVERY last detail. From the garden structure, where the sunny parts are, what plants will work best, what time you have to maintain the garden, what style you like, we think about it all. And one of the most important elements is the garden seat. We don’t just chuck in a garden bench and hope for the best. Here are some of the ways we have incorporated a seat or two into the gardens we have designed…

Tree seat

Our bespoke seat under our cherry tree was a perfect spot for a drink on our wedding day

Whilst a nice garden bench or a well designed table and chairs can be a real asset to a garden, sometimes that just isn’t enough. Whether it’s clever solutions where additional seating is required or a strong design statement within the garden we have some great ideas to share.

1. This bespoke seating was a combination of rendered blockwork topped with hard wood. Planting has been incorporated to soften the look and provide a lovely aroma as you relax there.

Rendered seat with hardwood finish

A bespoke rendered seat with hardwood finish

2. Timber seating has been built between these colourful troughs to provide additional seating to the decked area when entertaining. The benches are long enough to lounge on so throw down some comfy cushions on a sunny day for a perfect spot to lie or have a seat in the sun.

In-built seating in a colourful deck

In-built seating in a colourful deck


3. A curving bench around an old tree is a perfect to maximise space and make a feature of nature’s finest offering. This meandering bench is both a wonderful focal point on the edge of the patio as well as a practical additional seat. 

Curving bench under a tree

Curving bench under a tree

4. Another example of bespoke timber seat being a great way to maximise space on a decked area. Perfect for entertaining.

Perfect place to relax

Perfect place to relax

5. If you prefer a more traditional look you can’t get much better than this dry-stane wall which incorporates seating. Perfect for a sunny corner of the garden. A wonderful use of natural materials and keeping some amazing skills alive.

Dry stone seating area

Dry stone seating area

6. Here we added some timber seating between some natural stone troughs, again adding some valuable additional seating to the dining patio. A simple but very effective solution.

Benches between natural stone troughs

Benches between natural stone troughs

7. Our last seat to show you is not one that we built but we did include it in one of our designs. In the design for Provost’s Park in Bridge of Allan, we included an ecclesiastical garden as a reminder that the site used to be the location of the old United Presbyterian Church. These pews were salvaged from one of the other churches in Bridge of Allan and are a wonderful memento of times gone by.

Old church pews given a new lease of life

Old church pews given a new lease of life

So if you want to rethink how you relax in your garden this summer, why not get in touch to discuss what would work best in your own garden.

Thanks for reading,

All at Vialii