1738 was a momentous year for the English picnic.

This was the year the London department store Fortnum & Mason invented the Scotch egg (you’ll never be stuck for a conversation opener again!).

Now, I am rather partial to a picnic it has to be said – although I would happily swap the Scotch eggs for a chilled bottle of wine if I had the choice. There really is nothing nicer on a sunny day than to choose somewhere scenic to go, invite a few friends, pack some delicious food and drink and head off for the afternoon.

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Have Fun Transforming Your Garden

8 April 2014

Fed up after months of gloom, frost and rain, our damson trees appear to be summing up the feeling of the garden as a whole with its glorious blossom seemingly rejoicing at the good weather (I feel a poem coming on…).

Seeing this has inspired me to give the garden some well deserved TLC.

Trouble is, my list keeps getting longer by the day as I think of more things that we need, sorry, my husband needs to do to breathe life back into the garden and give it a well deserved facelift (don’t we all?!).

But I do appreciate my husband isn’t getting any younger and I am concerned about who will do the cooking if he’s too busy in the garden. So I’ve scaled things down and come up with a list of top ideas for creating a new look, dream garden.

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Several Outdoor Patio Shading Options to Fit Your Budget

5 March 2014

Your patio can be a lot of fun especially when the weather gets nicer because it would be a great time to start cooking outdoors or host parties with your friends. Keep your guests and friends shaded from the summer sun if you plan on hosting a party outside. Even with a tight budget, you can still impress them with these outdoor patio shading options. You don’t have to go and buy elaborate, expensive materials to impress your guests.

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Top 10 Must Haves You’ll Need for Outdoor Entertaining

15 January 2014

Looking rather worse for wear, in need of a bit of rejuvenation, a little shabby around the edges….my garden and I have a lot in common at this time of year.

Of course, I’ve made the obligatory New Year’s resolutions that I am going to stick to this year:

start going to the gym (again)
no carbohydrates after 6pm (Cheryl Cole swears by this apparently)
no alcohol in January (failed already)
monthly date nights with my husband (optional)
to persevere with my New Year’s resolutions…..

And I thought this year why not make some New Year’s resolutions for my garden too. It could do with some cheering up, some TLC, a bit of life.

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So What Are You Going To Use Your Garden Storage For?

10 October 2013

My husband is well aware of the hazards of being in our garden having had the odd flowerpot or two lobbed at him by me over the years.

So when I read that, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, flowerpots are the second most dangerous thing in the garden after lawn mowers, it was good to get affirmation that I obviously wasn’t the only one using flowerpots as a means of persuasion.

However, on reading further, it transpired that being hit by low flying flowerpots isn’t actually the danger. The official reason is that they are one of the prime tripping hazards in a garden.

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Summerhouses: Girlie Haven vs Man Den

25 September 2013

Yes, I know. This is going to go down the stereotype route. But the trouble is my husband and I are unfortunately at odds over how we are going to do up our new summer house.

Are we to go with my idea of a girlie haven or his idea of a man den?

Now, of course, it is a given that my idea will take fruition but I have got to humour him for the time being.

For all us ladies, can you think of anything more heavenly than shutting the door behind you in your summerhouse hideaway, taking refuge in sumptuous surroundings and completely switching off from reality? It doesn’t have to take much.

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Use Your Garden All Year With a Log Cabin

20 September 2013

Karaoke machine, poker table, bar, sofas, soft lighting….

I’m not describing my night out with the girls last Saturday. No. All of this can be found at the bottom of my next door neighbour’s garden. Yes, he has had a log cabin built and the local hot spot is now by the back gate at number 12.

Midlife crisis does spring to mind (I’m anticipating a smoke machine and pole dancers next) but as long as I get an invite I’m not complaining – although perhaps the neighbours will once they’ve heard my rendition of Mama Mia…

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Alfresco Dining Caveman Style

10 August 2013

We invested in our first firepit barbecue at the beginning of the summer and I can safely say the inner caveman has definitely come to the surface in my husband over the last couple of months.

Not the throwing me over his shoulder or preference for walking around naked – that’s always been a given.

No, he’s resorted to the stereotype hunter gatherer and chief cooker of meat (well, soya actually – he’s a vegetarian caveman so slightly against type).

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Backyard Living – A Guide to Throwing the Best Outdoor Party

14 June 2013

Summer’s finally here! No wait, it’s gone again, no it’s here! It’s finally starting properly! Wait, no, that was just a sunny spell… okay how about now? No, too soon. My point is, summer is going to start any second now and when it does you want to be ready, and that means it’s time to get out in the garden and start soaking up the sun with a few close friends, relatives, acquaintances and anyone you know who’s going to bring beer.

So to make sure that your garden party goes off with a bang, here are a few essential hints.

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So What Type of Garden Furniture is Best For You?

5 June 2013

Now, who doesn’t love sitting in their garden on a hot, summer’s day? Long, lazy lunches in the sun, a spot of alfresco dining on a warm evening (I don’t remember what that’s like, I hear you cry!). Oh yea of little faith. Just sit tight and think positive….it’s that or hibernation!

With all these days of lazing in the sun ahead, what type of garden furniture should you choose? Wood, metal, rattan, plastic, stone? That is the question.

And that’s where I hope I can help.

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