Try making a geometric concrete planter!

Concrete and geometric shapes are bang on trend at the moment and we love them! Bring the industrial feel of concrete and the soft fresh look of flowers into your home with this simple DIY planter - it's easier than you think! Get your hands dirty and have a go, why not?! These also make great cost effective and stylish pressies for your friends and family. 

What you will need

  • Plastic mixing bowl
  • Quick set cement - we got ours from Homebase
  • Empty yoghurt pot
  • Fine sandpaper 
  • Masking tape
  • Tester pot of paint in your choice of colour - we've used Jelly Bean from Wilkos
  • Paint brush

What to do

  1. Grease the bowl with cooking oil
  2. Mix up the cement following the instructions on the packet, making sure it's smooth and lump free
  3. Put the bowl on a level surface and pour in just enough cement to cover the bottom of the mixing bowl
  4. Place the yoghurt pot in the centre to create a hole for planting and fill the gap around the sides with the remaining cement
  5. Leave the cement to set overnight
  6. Once dry, remove the plastic bowl and pull out the yoghurt pot
  7. Then sand off any rough edges
  8. Using masking tape create a geometric shape of triangles
  9. Paint the unmasked areas and leave to dry
  10. Once dry, gently peel off the tape
  11. Now you're ready to add the plant of your choice to the hole to create a beautiful table centrepiece for both inside and out, or a lovely gift!
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Make these beautiful tile place mats!

These pretty place mats are perfect for adding a Moroccan feel to your summer BBQ, plus they're easy to wipe and hardy - so are great for outdoor dining. Choose from a range of colours and styles to create unique and funky styles that will make your garden parties pop!

What you need 

To make one place mat :

  • 4 tiles of your choice
  • Hand saw
  • Pencil
  • MDF board - you can find this in Homebase
  • Sandpaper
  • Strong glue
  • White spray paint - this can be found at Hobbycraft

What to do

  1. Lay the tiles on top of the MDF and draw around them to get the correct size of the place mat
  2. Cut the wood to size using the saw
  3. Sand lightly to remove any rough edges
  4. Spray paint the MDF white and leave to dry
  5. Spread a generous layer of glue onto the board, then lay the tiles down on top and push firmly
  6. Leave to dry with something heavy on top to ensure they stick 
  7. Then enjoy your hardy and funky new place mats! 
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Upcycle a pallet into rustic rope shelves!

Upcycling is a great way to take something old and give it a new purpose! We love recycling and reusing and this rustic rope shelf craft project is perfect for your garden or your home. Add an instant rustic feel to your outdoor living area and arrange potted flowers on the shelves, or enjoy your new upcycled pallet shelves inside and display any trinkets or houseplants! 

What you will need

  • Hand saw
  • A pallet 
  • Drill
  • Sandpaper
  • Thick jute twine - you can find this at Hobbycraft
  • Clear outdoor varnish - we got ours at Wilkos
  • Varnish brush - try this one from Wilkos

What to do

  1. Saw the wooden slats of the pallet to your desired size of the shelves - you can have as many tiers of shelves as you like, we made ours with two
  2. Drill two holes in each end of both the shelves, making sure they're big enough to thread the twine through
  3. Gently sand the shelves to get rid of any rough splinters of wood
  4. Apply the varnish to the wood and leave to dry as per the instructions on the varnish
  5. Cut 4 equal pieces of twine to the desired length, keep in mind that you will need enough twine to hang above the first tier of the shelf and then between the first and second tier of shelving. 
  6. Thread the twine through each hole of your bottom shelf and tie a knot into the ends to secure the shelf
  7. Then decide where you'd like the top shelf to sit and a tie a knot in each piece of twine, at equal heights, for the shelf to sit on
  8. Thread the twine through the top shelf so it is in place
  9. Gather all 4 pieces of twine together and tie one big knot at the top to secure the shelves
  10. Now you're ready to hang your rustic rope shelves in place and decorate with planters or anything else you fancy! 
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Decorate your garden with a floral bottle garland

Create this beautiful yet so simple floral bottle garland as a pretty decoration for your garden party or to add the finishing touch to a calming corner - plus, this is a fantastic cheap and easy wedding decoration that can be used inside or outside, and they will look great and smell amazing too!

What you will need

  • 1m length of twine - all good garden centres will sell twine or you can get some from Wilkos
  • 6 clear mini bottles - we've used ones from Pipii
  • Thin wire
  • Seasonal flowers of your choice

What to do

  1. Lay the twine out flat on the ground and attach the bottles at an equal distance apart using the wire, making sure they're secure
  2. Hang your garland up on a fence using nails or hooks to secure the twine at either end 
  3. Tip a small amount of water into each bottle
  4. Arrange your flowers into each bottle and enjoy!
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Create a beautiful herb infused candle!

Bring the outside in using fresh herbs and flowers in this soothing homemade candle. This quick and easy craft idea will take you no time at all and soon you'll be able to sit back and enjoy the sense of calm from your brand new candle - these are also perfect homemade gifts for family and friends, especially if you're on a budget!

What you will need

  • White candle, chopped into small pieces
  • Heat-resistant glass bowl
  • 5 drops of Rosemary pure essential oil - we used one from Holland and Barrett
  • Sprigs of rosemary, sage and thyme
  • Flowers from the garden
  • Clip top spice jar - ours is from Lakeland
  • Pre-waxed wick assemblies for soya wax - you can get these from Hobbycraft

What to do

  1. Heat a saucepan of water until simmering
  2. Put the candle pieces in a glass bowl, then place the bowl over the saucepan. Keep stirring until the candle has melted, then stir in the rosemary oil
  3. Arrange the herb springs and flowers in the glass jar
  4. Add the wick, ensuring that it is in a central position
  5. Pour in the melted wax and leave to set
Candle.jpg

Top tip!

  • You can also melt the candle pieces in the microwave, simply heat for 3-4 minutes but make sure you check it at regular intervals
  • Plus, why not try other scented candles using different essential oils? Try Lavender to soothe, Ginger to energise you or Pine for a fresh outside smell in your home. Find more inspiration for your soothing smellies here 

Make a plant pot lighthouse!

Add a touch of coastal style to your garden with this clever and simple craft project. This cute plant pot lighthouse will brighten up your garden both at day and night, so start crafting! 

What you need

  • 3 terracotta pots in different sizes - we've used 25cm, 15cm and 11cm all from Homebase
  • Tester pots of paint - we've used Birch White, Retro Ochre and Storm Cloud from Wilkos
  • Strong adhesive
  • Solar light marker - we got this from Wilkos too
  • Black permanent marker

What to do

  1. Clean the pots with a cloth to remove any dirt or debris
  2. Give each pot a base coat of white paint so the terracotta is completely covered, and leave to dry
  3. Once dry, paint each of your pots in your chosen colours - leaving the rim painted white
  4. Give each pot two coats of paint and leave to dry
  5. Add a layer of adhesive around the inside of the medium pot and stack on top of the large pot.
  6. Then put adhesive on the inside of the small pot and stack on top of the medium pot. Leave the adhesive to dry as per the product instructions.
  7. Saw off the plastic stake end of the solar light and affix the solar light to the top of the smallest pot using the adhesive. 
  8. Draw a square on each pot using the permanent marker and colour in to create the windows. 
  9. Wait for it to get dark and watch your lighthouse light up!
Lighthouse.jpg

Create a rustic chalkboard sign

Follow this simple step-by-step guide to create your very own rustic chalkboard sign, perfect for garden parties this summer and weddings too!

What you will need

  • Log slice, these can be found at Hobbycraft or other craft stores
  • Chalkboard paint, we've used one from Wilkos
  • A paintbrush
  • Different coloured chalks

What to do

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This is such a simple and quick make! You'll be done in no time...

1. Paint onto one side of the log slice

 

2. Paint until the log slice is completely covered and put your feet up with a cup of tea whilst you wait for it to dry! You can even have a look at the latest Modern Gardens magazine for free

3. Write on your message! 

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4. Put out in your garden and enjoy!  

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Watch the chalkboard sign video tutorial here for more detail! 

Top tip!

Wipe your chalkboard clean with a damp cloth and re-use again and again! Why not use yours to direct guests to the drinks area, what's on the menu or even point people in the direction of the loo! 

10 ideas we loved at Chelsea Flower Show 2018

Our columnist, Selina Lake, and author and stylist shares her inspirations from this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018 with 10 easy ideas and on-trend style tips you can copy and incorporate into your own garden.

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1.    All about the black Iris – flower of the show

Irises were a popular choice amongst the Show Garden designers at this year’s event and I was particularly drawn to this Black Iris used by Designer Matt Keightley in his Feel Good Garden for the RHS stand. It’s called Black Tie Affair and I’ve already ordered a few plants from irisofsissinghurst.com for my own garden - I love the modern pop of black against the green foliage. https://www.rhs.org.uk

 

 

 

 
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2. Wicker Garden Lighting

La Famille used a mix of wicker decorative objects and woven cages turned into light shades, handmade by Guy Lambourne, to design and decorate their botanical installation for the show tunnel. Get the look by blending oversized filament bulb pendants with natural wicker or rattan light shades in a garden room or conservatory.

 

 

 

 
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3. Breezeblock Living Wall

An affordable and brilliant way to recycle building materials, Tom Massey designer of The Lemon Tree Trust show garden created these living walls to show ideas for growing herbs in all available space. http://www.tommassey.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Painterly Inspiration

The romantic M&G Garden by designer Sarah Price was inspired by Monet’s paintings of his Giverny garden. I loved her painterly style of planting and the tiny dots of red and pink from the poppies against the backdrop of the textured dusky pink/peach walls made from rammed earth. If you have a favourite painting or fabric design you love try finding plants in similar tones featured in the art work, choose varieties which suit your garden conditions and plant out a new boarder or large planter inspired by the art. http://sarahpricelandscapes.com

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5. Shelf Display

Gabriel Ash design and make beautiful greenhouses, their show stand was jam- packed with gorgeous styling ideas, including these lovely shelves made from recycled scaffold planks. Use different size aged terracotta pots to make your own garden display. www.gabrielash.com

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6. Log Vases

A sweet styling idea for the base of a floral arch by Writtle University College. Create your own log vases by hollowing out a log using a circular drill bit on a drill, then use a chisel and hammer to remove the remaining wood. You will need to make enough space for a water tight vessel to be placed inside unseen, fill the vessel with water and use it to hold your freshly picked garden flowers.

 

 

 

 
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7. Fragrant Rose Arch

This Paul Himalayan musk rambling rose on the Gold Medal winning David Austin Rose stand had the most exquisite fragrance - it really was a pure joy to ‘stop and smell the roses’. The stand in the Pavilion demonstrated how to train their roses to climb and add height to your garden. You can reinvigorate a dull wall or fence and turn it into one of the best assets in your garden by planting a climber or rambler rose. www.davidaustinroses.co.uk/

 

 

 
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8. Cosy Nook

The Welcome to Yorkshire Show Garden by Mark Gregory included this shaded seating area under an awning attached to his dry stone walled structure. Find a spot in your garden, perhaps under a tree or at the side of your shed, where you could position two chairs and a small table, a perfect spot to enjoy a cup of Yorkshire tea perhaps? www.landformconsultants.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

9. Making Gardening Easy

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If you’re like me and look for ways to make simple garden tasks easier then this new power-assisted EasyPrune from Bosch is for you. I was lucky to get to try it out and would highly recommend these secateurs as they’re perfect for everyday pruning tasks. The power only kicks in when resistance is sensed, saving your hands from becoming excessively tired when cutting branches up to 25mm in diameter. Definitely my must-have gadget at the show!

 

 

 

 
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10. Full on Floral

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show simply wouldn’t be Chelsea without a full on hit of beautiful blooming flowers, and the St Germain’s Truck Bar in the Artisan Food Market area certainly delivered the floral hit this year with a beautiful installation created by florist June in March (juneinmarch.com). Get the look in your garden by planting a mass of pretty modern cottage garden perennials such as pink peonies, blue delphiniums, common foxgloves, lupins and hydrangeas.

 

 

 

 
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PS. I was thrilled to see my book, Garden Style, on sale at the RHS stand behind their beautiful Feel Good Garden and was delighted to be asked to do an impromptu book signing! I will be at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show on Friday 6th July hosting Garden Styling talks and Demos and another booking signing, hope to see you there. Selina x

https://www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/rhs-hampton-court-palace-flower-show/Talks-and-Events/Talks-Events-timetables

* All photography by Selina Lake

Turn your shed into a room

Modern shed transformations are the new must-have in the garden! Now everyone wants a shed where peace & quiet reigns. It’s the answer to lack of space in our homes, providing a place to work on craft projects or read the latest page turner (glass of wine optional).

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