How to Create a Retro Kitchen

When we think of retro, our thoughts go back to days gone by and styles that went with that era. Therefore, if you are planning on creating a retro kitchen, all you need is a pin board of ideas that you like from the past. Mix and match vintage with 80’s chic or go bold … Continue reading “How to Create a Retro Kitchen”

When we think of retro, our thoughts go back to days gone by and styles that went with that era. Therefore, if you are planning on creating a retro kitchen, all you need is a pin board of ideas that you like from the past. Mix and match vintage with 80’s chic or go bold with the oranges and browns of the 70’s. Here we show you how to put together a retro kitchen style that you will love!


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Creating this style of kitchen is fun and inspirational, putting together difference retro gadgets and mixing them with colours and patterns of old. Think about the old drinks trolley that used to be popular in the 70s – well it probably wouldn’t surprise you that according to the Daily Telegraph, these are making a comeback! Reports have suggested that sales of these useful accessories are up by 220%, particularly as many of us are entertaining more at home.

So, what are the key areas to consider when creating a retro kitchen?


One of the key factors in a vintage inspired kitchen will be colours. Retro

How to Decorate Your Garden for the Holidays

euDecorating your garden with all kinds of festive decor for the holidays will add cheer to your home. You can decorate the outside of your home as festive as you do on the inside. You can make a big difference by decorating your garden with Christmas decorations and by restoring your tiles to compliment your efforts.

Tile your garden walls with riven cladding before the holidays begin so that your garden is neat and provides a good canvas for the decorations. You can hang the decorations from the cladding without damaging it. You can place hooks in the cladding’s crevices, then hang jingle bells or Christmas stockings. Place three to five of these along the wall in a uniform manner.

Place a Christmas tree next to the paved braai area to be enjoyed during any outdoor gatherings with family and friends. If you have many trees in your garden you can decorate them with different coloured wreaths or hanging ornaments on the branches. Add colourful lights to complete the Christmas tree. Some wreaths can be left outside throughout the year.

Place decorations on your lawn such

Cemetery Rose Collections

4rfOne of the spring activities which I notably enjoy doing is to seek out the older cemeteries in our area and seeing what manner of antique roses are growing wild there. These beautiful but forgotten rose beauties are not restricted to cemeteries alone but can occasionally be discovered in the yards of old abandoned houses as well as in unused vacant lots. The sad part of this is that these wonderful plants have been forsaken by their planter and the rest of society.

Preserving heritage roses found in the local graveyards can readily reveal hundreds of antique and old garden rose varieties and in some cases rare specimens that are difficult or near impossible to obtain. Emphasis is usually placed upon those roses which are retrieved from abandoned sites, homesteads, cemeteries or along roadsides throughout the nation.

The one training topic which I have found to be lacking is the availability of hands-on workshops which deal with the topics of pruning climbing roses and re-rooting them. Remember some of the tales you heard years ago on how so and so would place a small rose stem

Fun Holiday Garden Games for Kids

7uThe holidays are upon us so the children are home and need lots of attention. If you are not going away for the holiday, staying at home is not such a bad idea after all. There are great outdoor games and fun stuff to do for the kids whether you have a small of huge garden. With so many weeks stretching ahead, without having to spend any money, make sure they are having lots of fun at home.

Make sure they have fun and they are well entertained by organising new things to do every day to avoid them from getting bored. Keep them out of trouble and safe by letting them play in the garden on a smooth surface of a paved area or on the grass. Outdoor activities can be great fun for the whole family if it’s done together.

There are bound to be cloudy and rainy days amongst the sunny summer days therefore spending a fun day indoors can also be lots of fun. You could read a book or get a colouring book to colour in the pictures while you are

o’s and Don’ts of Planting Trees and Shrubs

ohIn this article I would like to discuss the do’s and don’ts of planting that specimen tree that will determine its survival for years to come.

When you consider the activity of planting a tree or bush, the first thing to think about is where to plant it. Some zoning and neighborhood associations have rules about the types of trees you can plant and where you can plant them. Also consider right-of-way and property lines. Watch the space to see how much sun it gets. That’ll be important when you select your tree. All the trees at the garden center have tags that specify things such as sun or shade requirements. They’ll also tell you the size of the mature tree so you know how far to plant from buildings, fences, landscaping or overhead wires. The tags also have information about the right growing zone for each tree. Your local garden center plants are selected for the climate in your area. The native trees are best.

While the steps below focus on planting trees, the basic instructions for selecting, placing and planting shrubs are the same.


Four Major Benefits to Adding a Conservatory to Your Home

lopAs home is a place that we spend most of our leisure time, therefore making it a relaxing and enjoyable place is paramount. For those who have a garden and like to experience some of the pleasures of the outdoors whilst indoors, adding a conservatory or an orangery to your property is a great idea.

There are several specific benefits to having such an extension to your property; the first one is that it can actually add significant amount of value to your home. If you have the space for it and you have an enjoyable view to the exterior of your property, a conservatory is considered a highly desirable feature for many. This is especially true if your conservatory gets a lot of natural light.

It is true that the amount of value that your conservatory or orangery adds will all depend on the quality of design and build. There are many leading companies such as Ultraframe that are dedicated to supplying high quality frames and stunning finishes that will leave a strong positive impression on not only you, but anyone who decides to buy

Decorating Your Garden Romantic Ideas

pokIf you are a couple living together then a time may come when you are so comfortable together that you forget about romance. Well, keeping the love burning and the romance going is essential for any committed relationship. If you have a garden then you can make use of it by adding some romance and surprises for your loved one.

Have a garden picnic. Get some mason jars with wiring around them that allow them to hang. Place a candle in each jar and hang them from the trees in your garden. Place about six to ten of the candle-lit jars around the picnic blanket. Place a carpet under the blanket so that it is a bit more solid for your picnic basket and drinks. Get a few fairy lights and hang them in your garden tree. You’ll need to get a bit creative with this part. Print a few hearts, glue them on to cardboard and cut them out. Pierce a hole at the top of the heart and pull a string through it. Then hang these heart ornaments from the tree. This will

10 Reasons for Growing Your Own Vegetables

vbvVegetable gardening is making a comeback! If you’re looking for reasons to raise your own vegetables, here are a few you may or may not have considered.

1. You can grow your own more conveniently than going to the store. Done right, gardening is easier. A small garden bed of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and peppers and I have the freshest salad I can get anywhere and I didn’t have to fight traffic to do it.

2. It’s a hobby with a practical purpose. Though you could be golfing, playing baseball, hand gliding, skydiving, bungee jumping, camping, buying antiques, candle making, quilting, crocheting, ball room dancing, cooking, face painting, or oil painting, though some are quite practical, not one of them that is more practical than growing at least a part of a daily meal.

3. Using simple garden tools for gardening makes gardening economical. Although, you could also spend thousands of dollars for a couple hundred dollars’ worth of food, because you bought one of those expensive tillers because some advertisement convinced you needed it, you should spend a few dollars on good quality hand tools.and grow

Organic Vegetable Gardener’s 10 Commandments for the Sustainability

yuDeveloping a sustainable food supply is the goal of many people, and you don’t have to look any farther than your own backyard to find a place to get started. Although it may seem impossible to do all at once, by following these ten rules, you can have a safe reliable harvest.

Thou shalt eat what you grow and grow what you eat

Always plant what your family will actually eat and not what you think they should eat. Try growing new things every year, but if the family doesn’t like whatever is grown, either find recipes using the vegetable that they will like or stop growing it.

Thou shalt recycle house and yard wastes into compost and other useful things for the garden

Learn how to compost house and yard waste. Put a compost pile in your backyard and after every home cooked meal, put the peelings, egg shells, banana peels, coffee grounds, etc., as well as tree leaves, grass clippings, and weeds from the yard into the compost pile and let it rot together.

Thou shalt grow with heirloom seeds and save your own seeds

Buy only heirloom

What to Do If Plants Wake Up Too Early in the Winter

lolWe’re seeing a lot of this phenomenon this season with the abnormally warmer temperatures throughout much of the US. Trees and shrubs that normally stay dormant until late winter and early spring are waking now- in the early winter. While some swelling of buds is normal, seeing them swell and open is something else entirely. Here’s what you need know if your shrubs and trees are waking too early in the season.

There are many species of plants that have adapted to this crazy weather already. While some leafing out from the terminal buds on the tips of branches may result in freezing damage when winter inevitably sets back in, the plant is prepared. You may see the same kind of bud further down each stem that the plant has ready, in the event something like this happens. While the plant rarely gets to use these buds during normal years where winter cold is consistent, it’s ready for when winter tosses in a speedbump. The leafed out tip may suffer damage, but the reserve of buds behind it will take over when the season is

Basic Ideas for Landscaping Your Tiny Front Yard

deeOne of the most important aspects of landscape design, and this definitely applies to small spaces, is creating a front entrance that is inviting and curb appeal that is attractive and adds value to a home. Even if your front entrance is small, you can have a beautiful front entrance. Even if you have no front yard – your curb appeal can be maximized with careful planning and thought. You can easily use what small space you have to create a large impact on how the façade of your home feels and looks. An inviting and beautiful front to a home will increase neighborhood pride in ownership. It’ll add literal desirability to your home which adds value, important if you’re selling it. And most importantly, a small, beautiful front space will bring you home each day with a smile. Here are three simple tips on how to create maximum appeal with your small front yard and space.

    • Use vines! Vines are a small space’s best friend. In typical design, it’s easy to add impressive dimension by layering objects based on size, and this is especially

Maintenance Tips To Keep Your Aquaponics Working

adAquaponics involves rearing water-based animals like fish along with plants. It is a controlled environment that maximizes the use of nutrients and energy. This makes it possible to produce a lot of fish protein and vegetables in a small space using little water.

A beginner may be hesitant to set up the system fearing that his investment and effort may not give the expected yields. So, does aquaponics really work?

Well, this question is quite tricky but most if not all aquaponics produce optimal yield provided they are maintained properly. Subsequently, it is essential to have a clear idea of what goes on in an aquaponics system. Here is a quick look at what you can do to maintain the proper conditions of your aquaponics for it to work.

Feed your fish every day: Fish make an essential part of an aquaponics system. It is important to ensure they are fully nourished at all times. Ensure you feed them at least once every day, although two meals are highly recommended; one in the morning and the other before sun set. It is always great to be physically

Types of Flowers To Add Colour to Your Garden

kloFlowers can add colour to your garden and make it more inviting. It is something that most people want, but they are not too sure about the types of flowers to add to their garden. In certain cases, where water shortages are in place or people are too busy to maintain their gardens, it may be necessary to look for flowers that require little water.

Here are a few types of flowers to add to your garden.

Salvia. This is a lovely purple flower that has a lot of green leaves at the base. They are part of the sage family and require little water to survive. Be sure to cut them down every now and then to keep them under control and neat.

Coneflowers. These daisy-like flowers come in an array of colours such as pink, purple, orange, yellow, burgundy, red and white. You can plant one colour or multiple colours to enhance your garden. They can also survive with little water.

Coreopsis. These are daisy-like flowers but are glowing bright in colour and have distinctive shaped petals. They come in red, yellow, and bright pink.

How Trees Can Affect the Value of Your Home

huSo you have decided to sell your house, tidied away all the clutter, given all the rooms a fresh coat of neutral paint and the house has now been on the market for several weeks. But with plenty of viewings and favourable comments about your home you still haven’t had any offers and you really can’t understand why. Have you thought about looking at the condition of your garden?

More and more people now really value their gardens, see it as an extension of their home and enjoy the outdoor space it has to offer, so let’s have a look at the front garden first.

The front garden is the gateway to your home, the first thing a potential buyer sees and an impression will quickly be drawn in the first few seconds.

How does it look to you, do you have a large, overgrown and badly maintained hedge or a tree that has become too large, blocking out light and has branches that are overhanging into the street or the garden next door? Perhaps the front garden is fine so no problems there, so now take

How to Use Mirrors in the Garden to Add a Feeling of Light and Space

mWhy Use Mirrors In The Garden?

1. Frame a pretty view or plant

2. Create the illusion of a larger, brighter space

3. Borrow the light, especially useful in a basement area

4. Conceal and reveal, depending where you place your garden mirror

5. Match the mood, with coloured frames or styles

Garden mirrors can frame a view or create the illusion of a way into another garden.

They give the impression of a larger space and reflect more light into your garden.

You can easily disguise an ugly wall or transform an unsightly fence by reflecting your beautiful garden.

Using garden mirrors you can quickly add a touch of fun or even fantasy.

Choose a style to suit your garden or paint or stain to harmonise.

Even the smallest space can be enhanced with a garden mirror.Outdoor mirrors for gardens, either free standing or attached to a wall will reflect the light. A carefully placed mirror could double the interest of a small space.

Creating the illusion

It’s important to keep the element of surprise. So when you are positioning your garden mirror make sure your own reflection isn’t staring back at you. We recommend angling

Except Gardening Accessories, Which Factors Influence Your Garden

gyThe gardener should educate himself about gardening. Nature is always mysterious to mankind. It has great impact on the garden. A little idea of nature helps a lot in gardening. Some factors which play vital roles in gardening are soil, environment (including climate and weather), types of plants etc. These all are integral parts of nature. Apart from these, choice of plants, pots and containers along with other gardening tools have impact on a garden.

• Soil

A good soil is the key to a healthy and beautiful garden. Soil of a garden is expected to be fertile. Before starting gardening, the type of the soil should be examined. A gardener should grow plants which are suitable for the soil of his garden. The quality of soil can be further improved by adding compost or manure in every year. In the case of flower and vegetable, soil quality is really important. Therefore compost must be added in such cases. If the soil pH is much acidic, some lime can be added into the soil to maintain a balanced pH level. Soil pH level should be kept

It Only Takes One Seed

kjPlant a seed – add dimension to your life. If you are an avid gardener then you know that with each new season the very act of taking a seed from package to plant is the key to a world that reveals the mysteries of an unseen power that exists right under our feet and yet is untapped because we are bombarded by issues, problems, world events and everyday life in general.

Many offer excuses for not planting a single seed whether it is a flower, herb, or veggie because they don’t have the room, time, or the ambition to farm for their livelihood. False fronts always deny the teller of inspiration that can alter lives and bring individuals closer together by understanding why we are here and what our mission in life is. If you don’t have an acre of land, then a flowerpot or even empty coffee can will do. Flowers may not be our forte but a fresh herb added to your famous pot roast recipe will bring you untold pleasure not only from words but from being privvy to others finding

Cultivate Cranberries

feReferred to by the Native Americans as ‘Sassamanesh’, ‘ibimi’ or ‘ataqua’, the cranberry derived its name from the German and Dutch settlers who noted the similarity of the flower structure to that of the crane, a bird they were familiar with from their native lands. As the new name for the fruit, crane-berry, was popularised by missionaries from the mid 1600s, the traditional uses of the plant were celebrated. Variously employed as a juice, fresh fruit, fabric dye, poultice for drawing out poison and medicinal plant, the most popular culinary use was as Pemmican, a preserved sweet meat made from crushed cranberry and deer meats.

Related to our native bilberry, the cranberry is a stoloniferous evergreen of enviably robust constitution, preferring acidic loam soils that retain moisture throughout the year. Contrary to popular belief, cranberries do not grow in water. They are grown on sandy bogs or marshes and because the little fruits float, some bogs are flooded when the berries are ready for harvesting.

Cultivating cranberries in the garden is remarkably straight forward, in the open sunny locations either in the ground or in containers,

Best Dwarf Shrubs for Planting In Every Gardening Landscape

oiIn concert with our latest article on Basic Landscape Bushes, we thought we’d highlight some of the best, basic landscape dwarf shrubs that suit most all landscapes. We understand that many people who are installing new gardens or fixing up and old one may not know a lot about what’s available and what they should choose for plant material, so highlighting the basic tried-and-true varieties could be useful. This is especially true for shrub choices.

Dwarf shrubs are necessary for basic landscape use, because they offer a transition between the more permanent shrubs that are larger and the perennial choices that tend to change more over time as plants die, fashions change, and landscape changes are necessary. Basic shrubs tend to stay the standard over time and their dwarf counterparts play that crucial intermediate role. Dwarf shrubs can also work in the landscape as small boundary line markers, anchor specimen beds, and can offer some screening use in smaller spaces as well as many other tasks.

Because of good breeding, many shrubs that are larger now come in dwarf cultivars so when choosing dwarf shrubs you’re

Common Orchid Plants Grown in the Home

ijThere are more than 25,000 different species making the orchid plant one of the most diverse in the plant family. Below are some of the common ones grown in a home environment

Phalaenopsis (fal-en-OP-sis)

This is probably the easiest orchid to grow for beginners and would be the most popular. This orchid is often referred to as a “Moth Orchid”. These can be grown under fluorescent lights; they can burn quickly if left in direct sunlight. Re-potting only needs to happen every 2-3 years. With showy colours of red, purple, white, yellow, pinks and spotted harlequins, this type of orchid is sure to please. A happy mature orchid can stay in bloom for most of the year.

Cattleya (CAT-lay-ah)

This is another good choice for those starting out growing orchids. They are a perfect selection for those who live a busy lifestyle and sometimes forget to water their plants. These produce lovely fragrant flowers that come in orange, purple, pink, red white and yellow. Re-potting only need to happen every 2-3 years. The Cattleya is used for corsages. This orchid loves the bright light. Give them full sunlight