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?…
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
Hope you love it as much as me!Available from Usborne Books and all good book sellers.
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 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.
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.
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!
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 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.
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.
For more information on the Foody go visit the lovely people over at LIFE.
Hugs & kisses,
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…
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.
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.
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.
4. Another example of bespoke timber seat being a great way to maximise space on a decked area. Perfect for entertaining.
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.
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.
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.
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