Create a Zen Inspired Tea Garden

Life can get a little bit crazy sometimes and we love the idea that you can escape into the garden for a bit of me time. So here’s how to bring a touch of Zen to your little corner of the world.

Running water has to be one of the most relaxing sounds and nothing brings a calming sense of tranquility into the garden quite like water feature.

We’ve used a Harmony Fountain from Northcote Pottery to bring a touch of the orient to our design and it’s the perfect statement piece to bring out mini Zen makeover to life.

And also some statement pots. We’re using Modstone pots in a polished concrete look – so nice neutral tones – to create a calm vibe and complement the fountain. And because the fountain is big you want big pots too really create impact. With these pots you get a concrete look without the weight so you can easily move them around.

This design is needed a Weeping Japanese Maple – they’re the perfect plant for a this look and this variety is an absolute stunner. Introducing – ‘Dissectum Crimson Wave’. It has a more upright layered form than some of the weeping maples and the foliage is just divine – delicate, fine and a gorgeous burgundy colour.

Having a cup of calming herbal tea is such a simple pleasure, so why not create a mini tea pot garden filled with herbal delights that you can grow and brew.

Our favourite tea herbs (all available from the Oasis Horticulture range):

1. Lemon verbena – smells divine in the garden and in the cup with zesty lemon scented foliage that can help to reduce inflammation, boost the immune system and calm the stomach.

2. Common mint – a mint tea can be used to relieve a nagging headache or treat the common cold

3. Spearmint – use a spearmint to reduce nausea and make your tummy feel good

4. Lemon Balm – brew a cup of lemon balm tea to help reduce anxiety.

So when life gets to you here’s the perfect place to escape to. Cheers!

FUNKY new capsicum varieties

Check out the new capsicum varieties on the menu this season, with real wow factor both in the patch and on the plate.

Capsicum Wings is in the spot light this season, with masses of decorative disc shaped fruit, with wing-like lobes that look a bit like
a UFO.

You can eat the fruit when it’s green or red and it has a delicious mild capsicum flavour.

Capsicum Candy Stripe is as pretty to look at as it is to eat.

With it’s candy striped fruit it’s a real statement in salads.

Capsicums are a rich source of vitamin C and they’re decorative both in the garden and on the plate, so get some in the ground now for a bumper summer and autumn harvest!

An indoor plant makeover

If a dull corner of your house is screaming out for a green, lush jungle look then keep watching. Chloe’s got some hot tips on how to give your indoors a plant makeover, with a bit of art-deco elegance.

Using some established plants and some mail-order plants from ‘Plants in a Box’ – Chloe creates a layered look. Select indoor plants in a whole range of different varieties, colours and shapes for added interest.

Did you know that adding just ONE indoor plant to a room can improve your air quality by up to 25%! Because plants work hard removing airborne toxins like paint fumes and air pollutants.

If you can pop your plants onto stands or into hangers to really amp up the layers of greenery.

The pots we’ve used are from Northcote Pottery including their;
Clio Cover Pots
Cement Lite Range Pots

Here’s a nifty little tip for
you to keep your plants leaves free of dust and shiny once a month all you need to do is give them a shower!

And once you’re finished your indoor plant makeover – just sit back, relax and enjoy your new green oasis. Isn’t it amazing what a touch of greenery and a splash of colour can really do to lift a
space!

How to create a water garden in a pot

Melissa shows you how simple and quick it is to pop together an easy care water garden in a pot.

Just grab a pot with no drainage holes, some loamy sand mix, some small pebbles and a mix of aquatic plants.

Pop in a small pond pump to move the water around to create some soothing water sounds in your garden. This will also keep mosquito larvae at bay. Or if you’ve got a deep enough pot, you can pop in a few cold water fish to gobble up any larvae too.

How to create a colourful shade loving garden

Shady and dappled light areas like this one can be tricky, so in this video Chloe shows you how to plant out a colourful shade garden in her simply shady garden makeover.

Make sure you look for plants that are suitable for shady conditions. And for added depth and dimensions use plants with different heights and stagger their plantings.

Plants Chloe used in this makeover are all from the PGA Nursery range – find them in the dark purple pots at Bunnings and your local nursery. Hydrangea ‘Diamond Rouge’ is an absolute stunner! The big showy blooms emerge white in early summer, then change to gorgeous shades of pink and red in autumn. It’s a compact and hardy little gem that will also grow in full sun.

Lorepetalum ‘Plum Gorgeous’ has statement deep purple foliage that will shine! And just wait for spring and autumn when it’s flushed with vibrant raspberry flowers. For some contrast and more foliage interest add some Brunnera ‘Silver Heart’ this stunner looks great all year round and produces clusters of cobalt blue flowers in early spring. Lamium ‘Snow n Frost’ – is a great low growing ground cover with dainty white flowers appear in late spring and continue right through until autumn.

Don’t forget to mulch the area well and pop in a serene statue like the Standing Princess from Northcote Pottery.

So with a pretty palette of plants and the right finishing touches you CAN bring some life and colour into a shady corner of your garden!

How to make a succulent Christmas Tree

Melissa’s got a simple, stylish idea for you that will take your Christmas decorating to a whole new level – here’s how to create a succulent Christmas tree that will be the talk of the table!

Start by creating a cone out of chicken wire and stuff it with damp sphagnum moss or you could use coconut coir. I’ve started by creating a cone or then weight a bowl or pot using pebbles. The pot Melissa’s using is from the Northcote Pottery Italian Terracotta range. Then using succulent cuttings of different shapes, sizes and colours – poke them into the moss through the chicken wire.

If you’ve got succulents with no stem – thread floristry wire through the ends. Keep adding succulents until the tree is covered – add in some Christmas baubles too for extra sparkle! And don’t forget to top it off with a star.