vendredi 30 mars 2012

Easy gardening advice[CM_deco]-20120329--196219977@202666365-20120329181953

mardi 20 mars 2012

New Garden Furniture Truffaut

Dropped into Truffaut to check out the new garden furniture.  Here's some highlights:

Really beautiful marble mosaic table 145 Euros.  Large rectangular version available also.

'Mito' extending table  in metal. 1590 Euros in three colours - white, bronze or old iron.

'Syd' table in metal. 415 Euros.

Relaxing rocking chair for peaceful moments

I loved this huge recycled wooden teak table with metal legsand this sturdy bench.  Interesting planter detail on the bench but I'm not too sure about sitting on a bush at the table!  Maybe better with a 'standard' tree in it.  Bench 'Brighton' double 349 Euros.  Table seats up to 8 people.  Table 759 Euros.

Further detail of the table

Really unusual set in distressed, recycled, multicoloured wood from an old boat, with a grey metail frame.  I like this very much.  Table 219 Euros and chairs 99 Euros each.  Table seats up to four people.

Modern shiny table

Traditional teak table with very unusual inset detail where an extension to the table is inserted.  Very sturdy.  Truffaut claim that all the wood they use is FSC certified.  'Harmony' table 999 Euros.

Herringbone detail on teak 'Brighton' table 499 Euros.  Seats up to 6 people.

For those who prefer the dark lounge style for a verandah or covered lounge area in textured resin.  Armchair 99 Euros.  Sofa 199 Euros.

I hear from Maison France 5 that it is increasingly trendy to use garden furniture  inside and vice versa;  The garden really is becoming like the outside room with furniture that is worthy and not out of  place in your lounge.  Long gone are the days of white plastic bucket like chairs that crack and fester in the garden in winter and cause sweaty thighs and bottoms in the summer!  Even the plastic furniture is looking a bit more sturdy and stylish these days in a huge range of colours too.

dimanche 18 mars 2012

Plant a Jonquille (Daffodil) against cancer

Click here to connect by Facebook to plant and name a daffodil for the Institut Marie Curé.

Or go to the Palais Royale today, last day, to see the special daffodil display and support Cancer Research.

Thinking about Vegetables....

I'm not a great vegetable person.  Like eating them, not too successful, nor bold in growing them.  Very jealous of neigbour's potager next door, but then he's been in the business for nearly 60 years.  I keep telling myself 'I can learn, I can learn, anything is possible'.  Spring is the sort of New Year for gardeners, time when resolutions are made, promises to water, trim, make that tricky space look beautiful this year...and I find my gardening new year full of resolutions to 'grow my own' (veg that is).

To this end, last time I was in UK at WH Smith, I purchased an excellent, clearly illustrated and simply written book 'Grow Vegetables - Gardens, Patios, Roof Terraces, Allotments' by Alan Buckingham published by Dorling Kindersley.  I notice it has 4 and half stars on US Amazon, which is a good sign.

It is divided into sections:

1. The Perfect Plot
2.Vegetable Grower's Know-How
3. Cabbages and Leaf Vegetables
4. Root and Stem Vegetables
5. Peas and Beans
6. Salads
7. Fruiting Vegetables
8. Cucumbers and Squashes
9. Perennial Vegetables
10. Herbs
11. Vegetable Planner
12. Vegetable Doctor

I like this book for several reasons:-

* It has lovely photos, but they are not too 'arty' so it makes you think that it might be realisable that you too could grow some of those veg.

* It is really comprehensive and detailed and tells you everything in very simple english, without patronising.  This is why I like Delia Smith's cookbooks too after all these years....but I digress.

* It list loads of vegetables that you can grow and it makes me think I could do it too.

* It tells you step by step how to sow seeds or plants, routine care, harvesting, what can go wrong and then reccomended brands.  This is where we fell down last year with the courgettes.  We had our first ever and it was huge and kept growing.  Dear readers, the problem wasn't that we couldn't grow the darn thing but I wasn't sure when to harvest it, whether it was ready or not, we hesitated, not wanting it to go mouldy nor pick it before it was good to eat. I don't have this problem with tomatoes, we've been doing this for a while now and you can see with your own eyes what a ripe tomato looks like.  Anyway, this book tells you when to harvest so I have high hopes.

* It is pragmatic.  I quote " Space versus time: the history of vegetable gardening is littered with unkempt, overgrown plots started with the best of intentions, but abandoned when the time to maintain them can't be found.  There's no way of divorcing how much space your vegetable plot occupies from how much time you will have to spend on it.  To put it bluntly, the bigger your patch the more time it will take.  SO DON'T KID YOURSELF - be honest about how much time you can devote".
I like that, don't kid yourself.  Told you it was pragmatic!

* I also liked the advice about growing vegetables on a terrace or in pots.  Really helpful for balcony or small plot owners.

So, my conclusions, without kidding myself?  I will go for tomatoes again, they are so useful and money saving and I'm getting to know what to do, although my 'pinching out' technique is not perfect yet.  Spring Onions, Lettuce, perhaps Roquette and Chilli Peppers.  Not too much but something satisfying.  I'll be consulting this book regularly and, bien sür, my knowledgeable neigbour who knows even more than this book can mention....Watch this space!

jeudi 15 mars 2012

Living pictures or miniature living walls

Well here's an unusual idea for those who want a living wall inside but want something manageable and not too large.  It's a very different take on potted plants and for a small flat, it adds some greenery on the wall without taking any floor space away.  I'd imagine this would be a nice idea for a gift too, instead of a bunch of flowers.  The larger frames are fairly pricey but the smaller ones are about the price of a bouquet - the small red one is 27 Euros.  For sale in Truffaut.

There was also an upside down pot.  I couldn't see how it worked but I think I'd just be too scared that the plant would fall out onto the floor spilling soil everywhere to have one of these in my home, or that the water woudl drip down as the plant was watered,
although it is very unusual
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New Garden Furniture at Alinea

Pretty deckchairs in earth and orange tones at 32 Euros

1960's/50's inspired chair, not sure if it's comfortable but it looks very cool!

Basic 'bistro' set for the balcony in bright colours

Good value family sized teck table for meals with friends that last all afternoon.  Look after it and it should last for years.

Buff coloured elegant metal dining set

 I can imagine this combination for a pool party or an informal setting, lounging around with friends.  Sorry about the bad photo!