Winter Blues? Go Green With Indoor Gardens.

I think I most definitely suffer from anxiety and probably bouts of depression from time to time. As you grow older you become more sensitive to your body and how you feel mentally I think. Of course before you diagnose yourself with any of these illnesses you must first make sure that you have not in fact just surrounded yourself by arseholes. Arseholes will make you feel terrible so bear that in mind.


Keeping my mental health in tact, or as near as I can to that is always a struggle for me and this is probably why I am drawn towards gardening so much. Creating life and sustaining it really does make me feel better, inside and out. Whether it’s getting mucky in the garden creating new features (see my old blogs about making a green space out of *literally* a car park), or planting seeds on a windowsill and watching them go through germination and sprouting I just get a massive kick out of the whole process. Key issue though however – the massive black hole that is November through to April/May. My garden looks like a sludgy feral dump currently with twigs loitering in every corner and decomposing leaves recarpeting the ground. Vile. All the indoor plants are snoring as I type – they shan’t be considering making any effort whatsoever to grow for at least another three months. Like the divas that they are. Life just basically fucking sucks on the greenery front at the mo.


This is what has driven me to find my hit elsewhere. When nothing goes right, go left. That’s what I say. If the sun won’t come out then I will fool the bastard plants into thinking it was here all along. Cue introduction to my new experiments in playing plant God. The indoor garden systems! 


Firstly we have the Ikea Krydda or Växer system.  It comes in a 1 or 2 tier option. And you put it together kind of like a pick and mix. Pick and mix.  Sour, chewy sweetie goodness. God I want pick and mix. Anyways, you put it together yourself which I in fact am already not a fan of before I start. Lets face it, every single one of us have on more than one occasion gone to Ikea to buy some essentials (and about 75 quid of other surprise purchases along the way) only to get home and realise you didn’t buy ALL the component bits. This set has disaster written all over it on that front. I did actually go to Ikea to buy this set but gave up half way through loading my trolley as even the staff were unsure about everything I would need to purchase. Also – not the prettiest thing frankly. You also need to have a separate propagator for it so it’s quite labour intensive-not that I mind that but just so you know. From what I can fathom a set up for this will be around about the £100 mark. 


Leading on from this we have the Ikea Bittergurka. I don’t know what the Gurkas did to get this  piece named after them but I’m sure Joanna Lumley is not thrilled about it. I love this. I have purchased it and been using it for a few weeks now and it really works. It is dead simple to set up only involving one screw – which you can fit with a butter knife. Not that I did that of course. But I did. Fuck it. I leave it on 24/7 and it gives the kitchen a nice warm glow to it. I feel like this helps me with the crappy feelings I get when I look out the window to darkness every day.  You literally just sit your plants in it ( in my case shop bought coriander, rosemary and basil), and you top it up with water every so often and that’s it. My herbs are noticeably growing every day and I am hacking away delightedly at them at basically every meal time. I may also be inventing a few mealtimes as an excuse to get in there and forage. It wouldn’t be fair to measure it against the Krydda because the Bittergurka doesn’t propagate and isn’t a hydroponic system, but on ease of use and overall impact however I far prefer it. Also it looks fit, and was only £35 all in.


Moving on from this I realised that I didn’t have a means to propagate and I do really want to be able to bring seeds on all year long.  I had decided against donating the amount of worktop space that the Krydda would take up so went on the prowl for another option. This is when God, God herself came down from heaven and spoke unto me. She said Paul, Paul go unto the Red Cross shop in Chorlton and verily I did my children. On entering I did find awaiting my eager clutch a Miracle Grow Aerogarden in immaculate state.  The angels descended, but I had to ask them to shut the fuck up because I couldn’t hear the woman at the counter. Turns out she was asking if I had a loyalty card. Who knew the Red Cross did them!? Anyways, got it home and it was über easy to set it up. I had to order seed pods for it and fertiliser which cost a tenner for 6. Literally you plug it in, add water, two caps of fertiliser goodness and pop the pods in. Then you switch it on and leave it until it tells you to do something else such as give it more water or food. It’s not a pretty thing and the amount of light it gives out may have your neighbours questioning exactly what kind of hydroponics you’ve got going on in your house, but I’ve got it set up in the kitchen and I’m literally giddy with excitement about seeing the wee seeds start to show their little green arms. My plan will be to get my seeds going in the Aerogarden, which I may move to the utility room when the days get longer, and then transfer them to the Bittergurka. There are more palatable looking Aerogardens on the market now and they come in at around about the £120 mark and my one has space for up to 5 plants at a time.


There are some other contenders out there also such as the Seed Pantry Grow Pod at £65 which hosts two plants. I think the thing to think is, how much time can I donate to this and how pretty do I want my kit to be. I wanted the best of both worlds with an ability to grow a variety of things at the same time. I totally recommend getting one of the above though if you suffer from the winter blues, it will give you a bit of a lift and contribute towards tastier dinner times too!

Working With New Garden Structure; The Pergola Is Up.

So in my last blog we made the decision to give the fake grass a wide birth and went for the more back braking option of lifting a relatively large driveway in order to make room for some of the real deal.  The week after that the pergola began to be built, and we got our first glimpse of what this space could end up feeling like.

It’s now been two weeks since the structure has been in place and I’m starting to get a feel for the space that it has created.  It seems odd to say, but I’m finding having this new structure to be a little bit like when you get a new house and are not quite sure where to hang your pictures. Things I thought I was sure about, I am now second guessing.  I’ve decided to give myself another few weeks to get used to the space before committing to any further moves with the over all plan. 

The dining area I am more or less happy with, although I do have a rectangular dining table to bring to the space later this week, which will work far better with the shape of the area and give us the room we need for family visiting etc.


The central space is currently a muddle, perhaps even a dumping area.  This is basically because we are in two minds as to what direction to take it in. I’m seeing a living wall along the rear end of it that will host our salad leaves, herbs and spices followed by white stones and a water feature creating a sort of zen area. The other half sees a massive hot tub.  We’ll have to see how this one pans out!

Laughingly referred to as the ‘gin terrace’, this space gets the last of the evening sun and so I want to have quite a cozy area for that certain time of the evening.  You may be spotting a trend with the furniture by now.  I’m a bit bamboo crazy.  On this set, which I got for the bargainous price of £20.00, I plan to stain the bamboo the same shade as the pergola and recover the seats in some kind of, yet to be discovered, jungle fabric.  Watch this space on that one!


The grass seems to have settled in well.  We are on to our third week with it and there are no significant areas to panic about that I can see.  It seems to be draining away just fine when we have heavy rain, so that’s a relief.

In terms of planting so far all I have done is to purchase a phormium ‘gold sword'(10 years old and only £16.00 second hand!), and bring my Chinese windmill plant, and eucalyptus round from the front garden. Otherwise, I am living with the space and holding fire with committing to where new greenery, and planters should go.  It’s likely that the plants you see in tubs currently, apart from the twisted hazel and central one yet to be clad in metal will be removed to another area.

Coming from the car park that we had when this project began It’s difficult to imagine that this is the same space. I hope that by mid summer this same picture will be framed by the giant frond leaves of banana trees, and the vibrancy of that fence will be broken up by some of the vigorous climbers that I am cultivating in the polytunnel at the moment.


What do you think then? Hot tub or zen garden?  Yes or no to bamboo furniture? Yes or no in general?  I love being able to check in from time to time with these blogs and get your opinions. Next time I check in with you, I’ll be looking specifically at creating the right planting in those massive raised beds that I created.

To Grass Or Not To Grass, That Is The Tarmac.

So I thought I’d just give you a quick update on where we are up to with the mid century inspired garden.  It’s been a long couple of months trying to get the tectonic plates into place that will allow us to get to the final stages but over the course of the next 72 hours we will finally have our pergola installed and a lawn.  The latter of these two has probably caused us the greatest consternation as my partner was fully subscribed to the concept of astro turf whereas I mostly wasn’t. 

 The day we moved in.  That concrete car crash you can see behind you is what we laughingly referred to as our garden at the time.
The day we moved in.  That concrete car crash you can see behind you is what we laughingly referred to as our garden at the time.

The background to this is that the plot was originally a carpark (if you haven’t been following the blog you can see all the original images of the space in earlier entries).  The main question was how do you lift and dispose of asphalt and what do you then do with what this exposes? The simplest solution was to buy fake grass and almost treat it like a big rug that we lay over the problem.  For me however I’d know that it was still there underneath it all and that would jar with me.

So off I merrily went to get quotes to remove the asphalt and have it disposed of, assuming that this would involve several men, digger machines and skips.  Little did I know that actually the entire process could in theory be done with just a pickaxe and crowbar.  This realisation dawned on me when the first gentleman that came to quote gently tapped on the asphalt to test it and a clump just popped up and clean off.  One quote for £460.00 later, a quick trip to the local DIY store and £20.00 lighter I was merrily hacking away at my driveway like a demented lunatic. 

 Not an easy job, but surely worth the effort right?
Not an easy job, but surely worth the effort right?

I’d say in total it took me about 8 hours to lift and remove 25 square metres of the stuff.  Add to this the cost of the sandy loam, which is a preparatory soil mix that you lay before turf, and the turf itself, the total cost of the lawn will come in at £181.60.  Of course there will then be upkeep to consider, which you don’t have with fake grass but then I feel there is a deep value in using authentic materials and honest design resolution which I don’t feel I would have achieved using the other route. At any rate, we’re already quids in as the fake stuff was likely to cost in the region of £700.00 before fitting.  We may treat ourselves to an automatic grass cutter with the savings!

 I've added some bamboo and twisted willow to the kitchen terrace to create some structure and define the area.  Also to make it feel like less of a stage!  We are quite looked over by neighbours currently.
I’ve added some bamboo and twisted willow to the kitchen terrace to create some structure and define the area.  Also to make it feel like less of a stage!  We are quite looked over by neighbours currently.


My last blog focused on sourcing appropriate, well priced containers and some of the pieces I pointed towards are on there way to me as I type.  One thing did occur to me however when revisiting the garden design and that was that I didn’t want to end up with a container heavy area, but do need space for the gunnera, banana trees and other giant species to spread their roots. For this reason I decided to be resourceful which is code for make things for free. 

 I've gone bamboo bonkers with the patio furniture featuring it in each of the seating areas.
I’ve gone bamboo bonkers with the patio furniture featuring it in each of the seating areas.


One of the benefits of having a mid sized van is that you can stop off whenever you see some good wood in a skip and recently I lucked out with a collection of roof joists. Creating raised beds out of them along the perimeters of the plot will allow me to train some of that fabulous evergreen Clematis over the fencing and hopefully soften the blow of our boundaries, but will also give me that much needed planting space for some of the larger specimens whilst keeping the over all design relatively clean.  These beds are yet to be stained to tie in with those of the kitchen terrace.

 I think this raised bed will be home to the banana trees.
I think this raised bed will be home to the banana trees.
 Made from reclaimed timber, this bed literally cost £2.00 and I think will be used to home the gunnera.  As they like it boggy I have lined it with thick plastic.
Made from reclaimed timber, this bed literally cost £2.00 and I think will be used to home the gunnera.  As they like it boggy I have lined it with thick plastic.

I have moved the poly tunnel also as it was literally in darkness for most of the day as well as being constantly hit by wind coming down the side of the house.  In it’s new position I rarely even hear the rustle of plastic, and It gets the benefit of early morning sunlight right through to about 3pm. Ultimately my aim is to replace this structure with an Eco Dome – ideally one that I build myself, however that’s a WHOLE other set of blogs!  At £55.00 delivered, this 4 metre by 2 metre giant will do just fine in the meantime!

 The view from the southern perimeter.  Basically it just looks like a big mess currently doesn't it!
The view from the southern perimeter.  Basically it just looks like a big mess currently doesn’t it!


So what do you think? Can you see Improvements? It’s so difficult when you’re working on it day by day to stand back and notice change!  All your advice so far has been invaluable and has and will continue to influence the outcomes of the area so please do comment and get involved.

Finding & Creating Mid Century Influenced Planters

So I’m at that stage where I need to begin sourcing containers for the ridiculously large amount of seeds that I have been propagating and I’ve been astounded at how difficult it is to find reasonably priced, aesthetically pleasing planters that fit my remit.  Basically I want clean lines, with interesting textures at a price that won’t make eyes water.  

One thing that running a mid century furniture store has taught me is that a genuine outdoors planter that has survived the past 60+ years is as rare as a hens tooth. For this reason I’ll be blending new with old in our outside space. 

If you’re prepared to spend upwards of 400 quid per effing planter then I’ve got very good news for you; the UK market is awash with companies that are more than prepared to extort you of your cash. Literally the general price for large plastic pots is in the region of £450.00.  For plastic pots. Plastic. Pots.

Rant over. So I have been beavering away on the net trying to find an interesting array of pieces that will both add to the architecture of the outside space by varying in height, width and texture and also provide stimulation in the winter months when mostly everything organic effectively either looks dead or has had to be protected in the polytunnel (damn my intense desire to try and create a tropical garden in freezing Manchester).

One thing that I am passionate about is repurposing items when and where I can.  I grow all my veg in troughs made from free pallets. Recently I got my hands on an epic 1 metre square pallet box for free which made me very happy. My plan for it is to buy some interesting sheet metal and cover the piece in it.  This will be my first foray into cutting sheet metal so that should be interesting if not highly dangerous!

 I’ll most likely use Cortex to create this interesting array of shades that will grow as the garden does over the years.
I’ll most likely use Cortex to create this interesting array of shades that will grow as the garden does over the years.



Without further ado now, I introduce you to my top choices for mid century influenced planters, that are reasonably priced and not vile. If you click on the images, the wonder of modern technology will show you where you can source them.

I’m a bit in love with this bamboo influenced pot which for us will marry up our bamboo floor with the outdoors.  At any rate, it’s a reasonably priced aesthetically pleasing piece to my eyes.

Again, another interesting texture and nice clean lines that will draw the eye to the main feature whilst contributing to the architecture of the area.

For a splash of psychadelic realness how about these fun pots for the very underrated Homebase?  Could they be any cheaper!?

Lets be clear, if you can manage to get your hands on one of these puppies I will hate you.  I have spent several months traveling like a gypsy from store to store in vain hope. Come on Homebase – MAKE MORE!

Adding height to the arrangement, this metal planter is ideal for creating year round light in the garden and also with all that battered surface unlikely to be something that slugs will want to traverse.



Creeping slight up the price scale, but still affordable is the Palmo bowl. Ideal for acheiving that LA cool feel and such a fantastic colour.

There’s no escaping that larger will mean more expensive, but at under 150 quid, the Lince Dove Grey pot is excellent value for money and definitely a purchase I’m making.

The Daniel bowl is so reminiscent of that atomic era obsession with all things UFO shaped, and with it’s wide floor coverage it’s a piece that will add real depth to your arrangement.

So there we have it folks, these are my top contenders for planting vessels in the outdoor area.  I’d love to hear about your finds!




Creating the Right Structure for the Mid Century Inspired Garden

Spring is around the corner, or so I tell myself every day when I open the curtains and am greeted by yet more cold and drizzle.  I’ve been busy planting oodles of seeds from an array of sunflowers, gazanias and lobelia to the fodder for our newly erected poly tunnel.  Courgettes, 6 varieties of tomatoes, cucumbers, two types of peas, broad beans, cayenne, bell peppers, sweetcorn, coriander, spinach and rocket will start us off this year. 

Effectively however I suspect that the attention I have been spending on the poly tunnel has in part been due to my ambivalence over getting the structure of our mid century inspired garden right. If you haven’t been following the blog, we are basically creating a garden out of what was a tarmac car park. However, after some further work on decking this past weekend, and in-depth discussions over time, I think I’ve cracked it finally.

It felt really to me like there was always some key aspect to my plans missing in the designs I was coming up with for our garden and I think this was reflected in the height that I was hoping to achieve though the planting that I aimed to have.  Standing back from the project with fresh eyes over the winter season it became clear that actually we have an opportunity to create quite a striking architectural feature along the rear end of the garden.  

This will have several different functions, firstly it will bring together the three distinct areas that have been created and guide you through the design in stages, but also it will provide that consistency to the look of the area as the seasons change and the bountiful summer gives way to the barren land that winter provides.  This structure aims to clearly define each area against the back wall almost as a distinct room, but then also from a distance speak a language that tips the cap in a very humble way towards the Huf Haus or the work of Miles van Der Rohe. 

At 10 metres in length by 3 in depth, it’s not going to be a diminutive structure, and adding to this that I plan to paint the entire thing black this is the kind of thing that will either make or break the design. EEEK!

Currently this is where the garden stands in terms of progress.  


The new decking that was laid over the weekend will be treated but remain pretty much the shade that it currently is.

  This area will have a hanging chair, like the one available in our online store currently and this bargainous set of garden furniture available now in Asda, U.K. for under £90.00 in the teal blue.

  The central area will have a 3 metre long waist height herb planter along the boundary wall with either white pebbles on the floor or potentially a tiled area.  In front of this the plan is to place a water feature of some description, but the court’s still out on that one!

 The aim within this area is to create a corridor between the dining area and the evening terrace that will be multi sensory with trickling water and heady herb scents.
The aim within this area is to create a corridor between the dining area and the evening terrace that will be multi sensory with trickling water and heady herb scents.


The dining area is all but complete now, although still requires the brickwork to be secured.  The bricks you see here are actually the ones I salvaged from the removal of our dining room wall.

 The current furniture is our stop gap stuff.  I fancy getting my hands on a large slab of marble for the final table.
The current furniture is our stop gap stuff.  I fancy getting my hands on a large slab of marble for the final table.


So what will this towering mega structure look like that effectively will house our social area, well similar in style and feel to this. 


Quite a minimalist pergola using a chunky enough timber that the over all sense is of strength but not so much as to over power the delicacy of the Wisteria and grape vine that will eventually meander their way across it.


The final design of this structure is in negotiation, however I aim for it to be in place ideally by April in order to also create the lawn area where you can currently see rubble and the poly tunnel (which will be repositioned to the side of the property). 

 I like the angles and feel of this structure over head.
I like the angles and feel of this structure over head.


Alongside the plans I have for this structure, I’m finding one other key area of tension and that’s sourcing aesthetically pleasing minimalist, reasonably priced, planters.  Big planters that can host my Gunnera Manicata, Banana Tree and Alocasia Calidora.  So far I have turned my attention elsewhere in order to source suitable vessels and this includes salvaging a pallet tub and a bed frame both of which I hope to clad in sheet metal. I’ll look further into my progress with these in future blogs.


As always your comments are very much welcomed.

The Fence Is Up! The Work Has Begun

Well it has been a long time coming, but finally last weekend we defined the boundaries of our garden area and were quite surprised to see that it was significantly larger than we had ever thought or prepared for.  In total in measures 70 square metres.


In an ideal world, this feather edged fencing would have been a breeze block wall rendered in a light duck egg blue, staggered to create shadows as the sun moves round.  In a ideal world I would be rich; I’m working on that – check out the stock we have for sale currently!


I resolved in the end that it’s not the medium you use to create your boundaries, but what you then do to pull the look together.  Speaking of which, what the absolute hell was I going to do with an area 10 metres by 7?  The largest space I had contended with previously was postage stamp sized. Now I was dealing with a vast empty terrain to the back of the property, an allotment to the side and 48 square metre front garden also chucked into the mix.


My main plan has always been, as you know, to go all MCM on it’s ass. But after much taking of advice, deliberating cogitating and digesting, something didn’t sit well with this notion to me and I couldn’t put my finger on why. It did take a few months of mulling it over for me to put my finger on it. Finally it did click; all my research into this project pointed towards the same main themes in MCM gardens.  They were covered in clean lines, minimalism, stark – sometimes almost brutalist – features and a ‘less is more’ approach to planting.  

 Fabulous.  Not me, but fabulous.
Fabulous.  Not me, but fabulous.


This isn’t me.  This isn’t what goes on in my brain.  What goes on in my brain is a bit more like walking through a ticker tape calvalcade of pyschadelic clowns with one person in the corner screaming for everyone to ‘try and keep it down’.  You can share my dilemma, I’m sure.  So how do I match my greatest love with the scratch and sniff of crazy that I really am underneath it all.  Well, like all good ideas, the answer came to me in the shower.  Jungle.  Mid century jungle!

 This image formed part of my inspiration for our final theme.
This image formed part of my inspiration for our final theme.


Hurrah.  Everything has slotted into place.  Like one big unbelievable game of Tetris. So I have split the garden into quadrangles to make it easier to deal with. Below I have shared my very naïve drawing of where I am going with it all now.  


Essentially, there is a tropical area directly outside the french windows from the kitchen filled with the likes of Musa Yunnanensis, Voodoo lily sauromatum vernosus, Alocasia calidora, Gunnera manicatia and Tibouchina urvilleana – for that utterly nuts jungle feeling.  Interspersed in this area there will be a wicker hanging chair, and some kind of marble table.  The flooring will be purple slate chips which will absorb the heat that we have throughout the day and release it throughout the night back to the warmth loving foliage. I want to raise the plants out of the ground so will use repurposed concrete drainage pipes in a nod back to those fabulous atomic age curves.


Next time, I’ll be looking at options for greenhouses.  As always, your comments are invaluable to me and how I perceive this operation!

Mid Century Garden Update

Well here I am 4 months after my last blog about creating a mid century inspired garden, and by god has it been an uphill struggle.  It would be ace at this stage to be able to upload loads of pictures of my effortlessly cool, well landscaped and inspirational outside living space, but frankly I suspect I’m at least one year away from that.  So, instead I thought I would show you a before and after of the current situation out there!  


When we first purchased last October, the house had been a set of bedsits which had laid empty for some time so in terms of landscaping or established plant stock we were basically at page 1 of an empty book.

 The house was pretty much a scratch and sniff of bad DIY decisions and poor upkeep.
The house was pretty much a scratch and sniff of bad DIY decisions and poor upkeep.


The rear side of the house had a feral concrete garage with asbestos roof, and what would be a garden had been covered in asphalt to create a car park.  Nice!


Where do you start with this?   Well stage 1 was to create a space directly outside our new kitchen patio doors (so as to stop ourselves from falling out of the house every time we stepped out)

 We went for an 8m by 6m decked area with raised beds.
We went for an 8m by 6m decked area with raised beds.



Really this is still at stage one, it is yet to have a slanted timber roof attached from which I plan to hang a wicker chair.  This area works well for herb and tomato growing I have found. I think Id like to go several shades darker on the flooring here to get a better match to the bamboo floor in the kitchen. But it’s a good start I think.


Stage two was to create some kind of vegetable growing area, for which the location was determined by the patterns of the sun.  For this reason I have placed it to the right of the front door.  Again I have painted the planters blue black as part of a plan to keep the area as monochrome as possible in terms of structures.  Incidentally can you spot the repurposed bed base?  All the other planters were made out of disused crates.  Literally this area cost me just over £30 to make.

 The plan will be to surround this area with mid century inspired trellis.
The plan will be to surround this area with mid century inspired trellis.


Stage three was the removal of the garage, which we have put together into a snappy little video for you.  This was a bit of a landmark occasion for us and will now allow us to go ahead and put up the boundary fence.  In an ideal world I would like a skimmed wall to surround the area, but realistically this won’t be feasible and so we’ll be going for a 6ft feather edged fence possibly also painted blue back.


After the fence, I’ll be focusing on creating an outside dining space using the existing foundations of the garage area, which now looks like this.


It’s a long road, I’m just trying to focus on building capacity for those mid century lines and curves that I have in my minds eye.

Thoughts and opinions are always welcome!

Spring has Sprung; Mid Century Garden Design

So we are 6 months in to a house restoration and we’ve about finished the interior now which originally filled me with a great sense of relief and pride, but then sounded the alarm that there is another 1000 square meters of hell awaiting us on the other side of our patio and front doors.  It’s time for the ‘garden’.  I use inverted commas because what we currently have in place of a nice outdoor space, is extreme amounts of tarmac, followed by an asbestos roofed concrete garage and some very questionable grass at the front.  This ain’t gonna be easy.  Especially when you consider that I would like the whole finished product to have a mid century flavour to it.

The main issue that I have discovered is that there isn’t much out there in terms of well preserved mid century pieces, which I guess makes sense as more so than anything else of the era they would have been ravaged by the hands of time.  So this is one of those occasions where I have had to start looking towards modern reproductions, or pieces that have been influenced by mid century design.  I’d love to hear your thoughts though, and see what you have done – please comment!

Ideally I’d love to get a hold of one of these egg suspended chairs.  What could be cooler than bobbing around in the shade with a glass o’ red in this Franco Albini influenced rattan chair? 

Realistically they don’t come cheap when they are available, and also I’d feel bad having it outside where it would inevitably suffer from the elements.  So what’s about that I can use instead?  Well at £249.95, the Hanging Lot Chair isn’t the cheapest out there, but it’s certainly is very easy on the eye.  

In terms of other garden furniture I am a bit in love with these pieces from Charles Bentley

They come in a range of colours and look like they’re relatively well made. At just under £60 a chair, they’re not the cheapest out there, but perhaps it’s worthwhile investing in a good set that will brighten up your outside area even in the crappy winter months.

There is a lot of talk at the moment about restaurants in California resurrecting the mid century breeze blocks to decorate their interiors with.  I’d like to have some kind of architectural element to my area, and I really love the idea of recreating something along the lines of this timber screen just to define the vegetable growing area from the lawn.


Everyone loves a good fire to crowd round as the evening draws in.  The ideal?  That’s a no brainer clearly with the Malm fireplace winning hands down every time.  Sadly, I do not have thousands of pounds to dedicate to owning one, and if I did – I would not be leaving it around outside. I would take it to bed with me every night, and cuddle it to sleep.  So, instead at a far more cost effective £147 the Cone Chiminea from Made o’ Metal still offers that structured look and a centre piece to ground your garden furniture.


Decent planters are a really difficult thing to get a hold of, and I’m not really a massive fan of planting into the ground – I like to have as much control as I can over slug attacks!  For this reason I am going to go for a mixture of wooden raised beds alongside some accent planters for bursts of mixed media.  Clean, architectural lines were the order of the day back in the 1950’s and pieces such as the Fresco by Iota Garden offer just that.

They range from £9.99 to £129.99 and these pieces seem built to last.

As always, it would be great to hear what your thoughts are on creating a mid century themed outdoor space. I’ll be following up with a blog on what plants to go for next, so any advice is always welcomed!