DIY Valentines Date Printable – Free download

Every year the question comes up: “What are we going to do for Valentine’s Day?” Maybe you’re the type to plan far in advance or you’re that couple who suddenly realizes that it’s Valentine’s Day TOMORROW and you have no plans. Restaurants get booked out, babysitters can be expensive and, well, maybe you just don’t feel like going out. Your Valentine’s Day can still be great by having a special Valentine’s date night meal at home or packing a little surprise picnic basket. Use the free Valentines date printable available below to add a special touch to your day!

Simply print out this valentines date printable for your own DIY date at home

Simply print out the files and fill them in. You will need two A4 pages to print it all. Use a variety of colours if you’d like to add some more colour to the spread.

Click Here To Download

Valentines Date Printable Menu:

There’s nothing wrong with simply taking your normal meal and packing it up as a picnic in your garden or eating it at your table, but if you’d like some other picnic ideas have a look at the the ones below.

Simply print out this valentines date printable for your own DIY date at home

Starters: Crackers and cheese, mini frittatas, crudités with hummus

Mains: Grilled chicken salad, sushi, quiche and salad, stuffed lettuce wraps

Dessert: Chocolate dipped strawberries, fruit salad, chocolate mousse, mini cheesecakes or even a good cup of coffee with these valentines cookies.

Compliment cards

Included in the pack is a set of seven compliment cards. Too often we don’t tell our loved loves how we feel about them or what we enjoy doing with them. Valentine’s Day (along with any other day) is the perfect opportunity to let them know what you think.

Simply print out this valentines date printable for your own DIY date at home

Valentines Date Printable Card:

Use the simple card to add in your own personalized message for your date.

Valentines Date Printable Wrapper:

Use the wrapper included to help make a box of chocolates, bottle of wine or other small addition fit in with the rest of your date.

Simply print out this valentines date printable for your own DIY date at home

Do you enjoy Valentine’s Day? What is your favourite Valentine’s Day memory?

Happy Valentine’s!

For more creative inspiration, follow my Instagram at @Puresweetjoy or visit me at Pure Sweet Joy.

Trendy DIY Bowl: turn an ordinary bowl into a statement piece

I have for a few years now done trend posts on all things natural – and this year it’s no different. In fact, I believe this trend is really only getting stronger and with collective consciousness finally reaching a point where we understand that mother nature is a bit peeved with us, it really just makes sense. Natural can mean many different things: wood, natural fibers, leaves – as things are in nature.

But I am not going to show you beautiful images of bringing the natural trend into your home. For that, you can look at this post and this post on the wood-trend specifically. I’d like to show you a trendy DIY bowl – a project that’s been in the making since my engagement a decade-and-a-half ago.

The bowl was a gift 15 years ago, and with being abroad for the first 7 years of married life and having all of our belongings in storage, the bowl was one of those items that I wasn’t completely convinced about by the time we set up house back in South Africa. But because of the sentimental value and the fact that it is a rather large bowl that may well at some point prove useful, I kept it.

And finally it dawned on what I should do with it – PAINT! I can’t believe that it took me so long to come up with this very straight-forward solution – but that just shows you that creativity eludes us all sometimes.

I used painter’s tape to mask off the top third of the bowl, protecting the wood with a few layers of paper.

I then took my trusty Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®  and using a brush, I covered the lower 2/3’s with paint. The advantage to using Annie Sloan is of course that you don’t have to prime or prep – which is ideal if you want a no-fuss paint solution.

After removing the tape, I saw that the line wasn’t quite as straight as I had hoped – the bowl’s slanted sides threw me off it seems. So I added another layer of thinned paint over the first, creating a 2-tone effect. I did this free-hand and ended up creating a very soft and almost wavy border.

trendy DIY bowl

Now this bowl is a centerpiece on my dining room table. It is regularly being mistaken for a designer-original, which of course it is: I’m a designer and it’s an original! But apart from that, it’s beautiful, made from natural materials and has a trendy twist. I totally love it!

Happy making!

How to paint an old carpet in trendy blue and yellow

Sometimes, you just have to go with a crazy idea and see how it works out! I have had this wool dhurrie in my kids’ playroom for 4 years, and for 4 years, it’s been bothering me. We got it as a gift to sweeten the deal on another rug that we bought in Rajasthan a few years ago – but the colours have faded and the olive, brick and mustard really didn’t go anywhere in my house. So I took the plunge and decided to update it. Let me show you how to paint an old carpet!

DIY painted carpet

You can tell by the paint splashes that it’s been in the playroom for a while!

DIY painted carpet

I tested my palette on paper first, just to make sure that I was happy with the combination. At first, I wanted to throw in some turquoise as well, but in the end, decided against it. Sometimes what looks great in the pot, is not as great on paper! Besides, blue and yellow is a very trendy combination this year, so I reckoned I couldn’t go wrong.

DIY painted carpet

TO PAINT A CARPET, YOU WILL NEED

  • An old cotton or wool rug (this technique is for a woven rug, not a cut- or twist-pile rug)
  • Paint in the colour of your choice (I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® in French Linen with Original, Napoleonic Blue and English Yellow on top)
  • Small bucket and wooden spoon for mixing
  • Foam rollers and pans
  • Blue painter’s tape (available from your nearest hardware store)
  • Measuring tape
  • Annie Sloan Clear Chalk Paint® Wax
  • Soft cloth

DIY painted carpet

(If you don’t want to change the background colour of your rug, skip to step 3).

Dilute the base colour by pouring equal parts water and paint into a small bucket and thoroughly mixing with a wooden spoon. The first coat tends to soak into the carpet quite a bit, so dilute enough paint with water to cover the entire area. A 210 x 308cm rug used 1.5 litres of paint mixed with 1.5 litres of water.

DIY painted carpet

Cover the rug with the base coat, using a sponge roller. If you need to mix more paint, make sure that you mix it to the exact same ratio to ensure that you have a consistent colour on the rug.

DIY painted carpet

Measure the total length of the rug and divide it by the number of bands you want to create. I made 14 equal horizontal bands of 22cm on the rug. Use the blue painter’s tape and a ruler or tape measure to create the bands, making sure that everything is straight.

DIY painted carpet

Now, create a random geometric pattern by applying the tape diagonally between the bands, making parallelograms, trapezoids and triangles.

DIY painted carpet

Apply the paint to the shapes that you had created, taking care not to go over the tape. Remember that you still want to have a hand-finished look, so don’t worry if there is a little bit of bleeding.

DIY painted carpet

Leave the paint to dry overnight, and then remove the tape. Finish off the carpet by applying a coat of Annie Sloan Clear Chalk Paint® Wax which will improve its durability.

DIY painted carpet

DIY painted carpet

DIY painted carpet

Now that I’ve done it, I can’t believe it took me so long! I hope that I’ve inspired you to update some of your old rugs as well. If you are still a bit skeptical, test it on a small rug or doormat first.

DIY painted carpet

Happy rug-painting!

These gorgeous process shots were taken by Ed O’Riley – thanks Ed!

 

365 Days in the Garden – Bugs, water restrictions and foraging horses

So while I was having the time of my life over the Christmas holidays, galavanting all around the country with my family, a herd of horses was having the time of their lives on the farm on Christmas morning, galavanting through my vegetable garden.

This is of course not the first time that something like this happened – you might remember that I started this 365-day journey because a herd of cows had a picnic at my expense. In their defense, the gate to their enclosure was left open and thankfully they are much more light-footed than their heavyset bovine friends so there wasn’t much structural damage to the pathways and beds.

garden update

None the less, there was nothing left aside from a possessed patty pan with wild rocket growing in its shade, a rather aggressive tiger marrow and one lost onion. Turns out horses don’t really care for squash. The eating of it, not the doing of it.

I have discovered that the new addition to our mini-orchard, the white pear, has something ominous happening on its leaves. According to my trusty gardening bible, this is pear scab and can be treated by removing the infected leaves and seeing if it’s contained, and spraying with a mixture of 5:1 water to milk and a dash of dish soap. If not, then I’ll have resort to some sort of anti-fungal spray.

The corn – the literally one cob that was not eaten – was also a spectacular failure. I can only imagine how disappointed the horses must have been with them!! I am fairly certain that this is due to the soil not being nutrient-deficient – I didn’t actually plant this corn, it is a left-over of a previous year’s crop and the soil has been depleted. Time to plant some legumes there instead to increase the nitrogen in the soil for next season!

garden update

The patty pan has sprung from a single seed but seems to be thriving madly in spite of all the odds against it. We have cut it down twice already and still it seems to know now bounds. The beautiful tiger marrow seems to have the same idea but it’s going up in the air with excited curling leaves and stems, like a little girl’s top and center ponytail. And from underneath all these curling and twisting stems, popped a bunch of zinnias – so beautiful! I arranged them in a pot with some hydrangea and am totally in love with it.

garden update

So aside from the crazy squashes, my veggies are looking pretty grim, and our incredible water shortages are not helping much. But I started from scratch again, fixing up the broken raised beds, planting new seeds in them and in the seedling trays and mulching to keep things cool.

garden update

On the upside, the apple tree and pomegranate have started bearing fruit that is as yet untouched by bugs. And the beautiful squash flowers play host to an army of ants – at this stage, I have no idea whether that is good or bad.

I also have loads of peaches – all stung – and loads of guavas – all stung. And I discovered last night that the same bug to the tiger marrows as well. Too bad, cause they’re really pretty! I am going to try Efekto’s Oleum to see if I can get rid of the bugs at least. I don’t think they make a product for keeping horses at bay!

So all in all, this is NOT A GREAT START. But, I shall prevail! While I still don’t want to use chemical pesticides in the garden, I am going to have to do something.

garden update

The rest of the garden is looking absolutely lovely and I so enjoy my morning cup of coffee under the giant oak trees before the heat of the day starts to build. From there, I am planning my comeback… and how to keep livestock out of my garden.

Happy gardening!

This post is sponsored by Efekto.

6 things that are going to be trending for your table this year

It’s always been a guilty pleasure of mine come every January to bury myself in trend forecasts for the year. I am one of the few people around that actually enjoy change, hence new trends excite me. However, the secret with trends are to incorporate them in a subtle manner. That is where we often go wrong. Incorporating new trends on your tabletop is a great way to give your house a breath of fresh air and it’s definitely easier on the wallet. Let’s look at the 6 things that are going to be trending for your table this year.

Shades of Green

table + cloth table trends
Table runners and napkins available in Delicious Monster fabric at Table + Cloth

Master Pantone has spoken and I am thrilled! I have always been a big fan of green and all hues of it. The best part of green is that it can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Lighter shades of green are great for informal table settings while the darker green shades are the epitome of style. If you are not a fan of green, there are plenty of gorgeous jewel tones that will add a dash of sparkle to your table setting!

This gorgeous Delicious Monster fabric from Lula Fabrics is not only spot on in terms of colour, but also as tropical plant prints continue to flourish.

Mixed Metals

table + cloth table trends

Let’s all admit to overdoing it on the copper front last year. Don’t despair – metals are still in but more muted finishes like bronze is a lot more classic. If you are stuck with loads of copper candlesticks combine it with other metals. An even more creative combination would be to combine metal with rougher materials like these gorgeous concrete holders from Notation Design. Unexpected pairings are bound to be very popular.

 Desert Chic

table + cloth table trends

The desert trend certainly goes well with the darker green and warmer terracotta colours so it makes sense that it would be hot right now. Layer your table with cloths collected from your travels and add these lovely terracotta planters as table accessories. When it’s not used on the table, accessorize the rest of the home with it.

Choose Wisely

table + cloth table trends

When and where you can, choose handmade. We are all gravitating towards a more curated + handcrafted lifestyle. Choosing quality over quantity should be the goal for 2017. These hand-made salad spoons and oval wooden platters are authentic and perfect for the table top.

Patterns Galore

table + cloth table trends
Table runners and napkins available in Delicious Monster fabric at Table + Cloth

There is no time like the present to mix patterns and colours – it’s allowed and it’s fun! Try it!

Clever Styling

Sustainability and practicality is key to a better 2017. At Table + Cloth, I am quite pedantic when sourcing table accessories because I believe that it should be used elsewhere in the house when not used on the table. Let’s be all about reusing and repurposing our decor accessories.

I hope this New Year holds plenty of laughter + happiness around the table with friends and family. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just needs to be thoughtful and cozy.

Contact us at info@tableandcloth.co.za if you have a special occasion to celebrate and need us to style your tablescape!

Follow @tableandcloth_za on Instagram for the latest tablescapes, inspiration and trends. Or visit us at Table + Cloth.

Trends 2017: The resurrection of ancient terracotta

Terracotta or baked earth (clay) is one of those things that we fall in and out of love with as time goes by. When I was a child, terracotta floor tiles were all the rage, but for the last 10 years my mom loathed her once-fashionable floor coverings. I am hoping you’re reading this Mom, because you can start to love them again!

Terracotta is one of the oldest building and decorative materials known to man. Clay was fashioned into cooking, water vessels and artifacts before being fired to make it super durable. Now, this orange-brown material is back with a contemporary twist, ticking the trending natural box.

Use the earthy colour to add warmth to a space or to add a beautiful, natural texture to walls, floors or objects.

terracotta

Petrol and Porcelain

Terracotta accents add beautiful depth and earthiness to the lighter pinkish hues and metallics that we’ve been seeing last year. So you can easily ground your pink and copper interior with touches of terracotta.

terracotta

Schoener Wonen

Traditional terracotta floor tiles also come in a variety of shapes, like this hexagonal tile. Perfect for high traffic areas like kitchens, patios, entrance halls and passage ways.

terracotta

Decor Pad

Even lighting is getting the clay-treatment, whether as a powder-coated metallic or actual clay pendants.

terracotta

Remodelista

terracotta

Shoppable

terracotta

Specimen

And don’t dismiss the humble terracotta pot! Make a beautiful display of different-sized pots and plants for an impressive green wall.

terracotta

EU Ama Fotografia

And these little beauties will add gorgeous colour and texture to any console or coffee table.

terracotta

Living Things

Here’s a bit of terracotta retail therapy!

target terracotta shopping page

  1. Planter 10″ White
  2. Cereal Bowl White Stripe – Threshold™
  3. Surya TABLE LAMP
  4. Glass Jar Candle – Honeyed Tobacco Leaf (8 oz) – Vineyard Hill Naturals by Paddywax
  5. Macrame Throw Pillow – Threshold™
  6. Singular Arm Chair Terracotta – Zuo
  7. Striped Fabric Bin Small Coral – Pillowfort™
  8. Bracegirdle Patio Rug – Beige / Terracotta – Safavieh

All products from Target – they ship directly to South Africa! For some more amazing products and ideas, visit the this beautiful Terracotta Design page.

In our next 2017 Trend post, we’re going to be looking at how to easily bring blue and yellow into your interior with a brave DIY.

Happy Decorating!

feature image source

 

No Glue DIY Notebook

Even though so many things are going digital and paperless, there is still something so good about making a written list or being able to quickly jot down some notes. Whether you’re busy planning how to meet your goals for the new year, your family’s meal plan or just needing to write things down before they get lost in the blur of everything you need to do, we’ve got the easiest little DIY notebook for you. This is also a great way to bring a little of the pretty trends predicted 2017 into your every day, such as greenery.

Make gorgeous bound DIY notebooks using materials that you already have at home.

You don’t need any fancy punches, book binding glue or nifty gadgets, so here goes.

Make gorgeous bound DIY notebooks using materials that you already have at home.

What you need:

  • Pretty printed card stock for your DIY notebook cover, a printed image or recycled cards or boxes. Scrapbooking paper works well!
  • Blank or lined pages for inside, I used 10 A4 pages per book
  • Thin twine or thick cotton
  • Large needle
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Bulldog clips or paperclips
  • Swivel knife, craft knife or pointed scissors. If you don’t have these, you can just use your needle.

What to do:

Start by folding just one piece of paper in half. This fold will act as a guide for your final fold and will become your inner most page. I found it easier to leave the cover and the rest of the inside pages unfolded until the end. It can be tricky to match up the folds perfectly in a stack of folded paper, so this makes it easier.

Stack all your pages together, with the cover at the bottom of the pile, facing out. Secure with clips. Along the fold of the inner page, mark out 5 holes. The two edge wholes should be away from the edge of the paper. For the 21cm fold of an A4 page, I placed my holes at 2.5, 6.5, 10.5, 14.5 and 18.5cm.

Make gorgeous DIY notebooks using materials that you already have at home.

Use a swivel knife, the end of your sharp pointed scissors or your needle to make the holes where you’ve marked them. They only need to be big enough for the needle and thin twine to fit through.

Start at the top of the book and thread the twine down through the first hole. Leave enough twine hanging out the top end for it to fold back through the notebook and act like a bookmark. Next, thread up through the second hole, down through the third etc until you reach the bottom hole. Turn around and thread the opposite way through each hole.

Make gorgeous DIY notebooks using materials that you already have at home.

Once you reach the starting end again, cut the twine long enough to match the original extra bookmark piece. Next, tie a knot as close to the notebook as possible.

Make gorgeous DIY notebooks using materials that you already have at home.

All that’s left to do, is fold the inside pages and cover. You may find it easier to first fold the cover outwards, as this makes a nice neat fold, before folding it back over the rest of the pages.

Make gorgeous bound DIY notebooks using materials that you already have at home.

Add any decorations that you’d like to your DIY notebook and get going with your lists, doodles and memories.

What do you most like to use a notebook for?

Happy Creating!

For more creative inspiration, follow my Instagram at @Puresweetjoy or visit me at Pure Sweet Joy.

2017 trends: Authenticity, Optimism & Futurism

The new year has arrived with what feels like some unexpectedness. I am so relaxed after an amazing holiday that I can’t quite believe 3 weeks are over and that everything is starting again. But the intention of new beginnings synonymous with the 1 January is somehow a lot stronger this year, maybe because the world was so ready to say goodbye to 2016.

Something that was very clear from everyone I spoke with during the holidays – family over Christmas and stangers-turned-friends while traveling – was that, overwhelmingly, 2016 was a crappy year. Last year wasn’t awful for me, but now looking back, it was a year that held many challenges: how to balance work and a new baby; how to build and expand my business; adapting to 3 boisterous boys in the house and trying to make enough time to spend with my husband.

Before I jump into the trends for 2017, let me explain the influences. As implausible as it seems, whatever happens on the world socio-economic and political stage influences the scatter cushion you will buy for your sofa. Strange, I know!

design trends 2017

Have a look at this amazing interactive infographic from Shutterstock’s blog on the creative trends for 2017. It explains everything in pretty pictures – which is of course exactly what you’d expect from them!

There are macro trends, and micro trends. Macro trends are like the themes, the umbrella concepts, where micro-trends make up the details within that theme. As an example: the Kyoto Protocal has pushed governments to make commitments toward reducing their carbon footprint. So we have been in a macro trend toward living more sustainably and naturally for the last decade or so, and within that then comes micro trends to support it: the preference for natural materials, reduced carbon footprint in manufacturing and transportation of goods, small craft markets and pop-up shops with hand-made artisinal goods, leafy botanical prints.

With that in mind, there are 3 very strong macro trends on the design stage this year: Authenticity, Optimism and Futurism. And these 3 are more closely linked that may meet the eye at first.

This move toward AUTHENTICITY and all things nature has been with us for more than a decade now, and it’s growing stronger every year. Materials in their authentic form, unpolished, unbleached, unfinished, handmade and natural. A micro-trend that falls under this trend is African design: that yearning to go back to roots and beginnings, when things were uncomplicated and real. But we do live in a greatly advanced society, one where technology and science play a massive role. And this is where the second trend comes in: FUTURISM.

READ MY POST ON WHY ALTERNATIVE AFRICAN DESIGN IS GOING TO BE BIG IN 2017.

The reality is that the future is NOW. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has developed to such an extent that the sci-fi movies we watched as kids are here, and the predictions are that AI will be integrated into everything around us, connecting all systems and making everything “smart” by 2018. source

So the future is not filled with weird space-suits and Jetson’s interiors (unless that’s your thing of course!). It’s much less intimidating and spacey than we first thought. But we will be seeing a lot smarter use of materials and combining that with technology to serve us better. Yes, there will be a lot of metallics – but there always are. More multi-functional items and paired-down minimalism to simplify our lives.

Everyone’s ready to make a fresh start this year. With the global political turmoil of 2016 it seems that there is a general feeling of OPTIMISM and excitement for what this new year will bring. This is evident is the trending green, yellow and blue for the year. Last year you may remember that Pantone announced, for the first time ever, 2 colours for the year: Rose Quartz and Serenity. The uncertainty in the choice of 2 colours, and the call to calm and tranquility with those 2 specifically, was a symbol of the dis-ease and discomfort in global consciousness.

With those 3 trends then, my commitment this year is to remain AUTHENTIC and to remain OPTIMISTIC about the FUTURE. I think that’s a pretty decent new year’s resolution, don’t you?

I look forward to sharing the micro-trends with you in the coming weeks so make sure you subscribe to stay up to date.

May you be authentic and optimistic about our future in 2017!

 

365 days in the garden – an update!

I thought it best to give an update just before we leave for our Christmas holiday, because I have no idea what my garden is going to look like when we get back next year! Luckily, I have Titus to keep an eye on things while we’re away, but it’s mainly going to be harvesting and watering.

Veggies

365 days in the garden

I have run our of bricks and will need to get some more before we can complete the pathways. But it is really starting to look awesome and I am looking forward to getting a book and sitting down in the garden with my feet up. That will have to wait till autumn though – we are starting to hit mid to high 30’s daily now.

365 days in the garden

The patty pan is massive, and we have a harvest of about 6 decent-sized ones weekly although they are being stung by something that leaves a small orange to red mark on the flesh. I am glad that I decided take the beetroot out of that bed because I had no idea that one patty pan plant can get so big – it would’ve shadowed everything else! I found this strange powdery residue on the leaves, and turns out it’s powdery mildew which I quickly treated with a milk spray of 40% milk and 60% water. Let’s hope that takes care of that!

365 days in the garden

I also found a Tiger Moth or Speckled Footman. They’re really pretty, but I’m not sure if they could do harm to the veggies. I am pretty sure that they’re larvae could be quite destructive though, so I will need to do some more research on that.

365 days in the garden

The cucumber is coming along nicely, and so is the watercress and a beetroot or two.

There are also a few onions surfacing, which is great! According to my calendar, I’ll be able to harvest mustard, parsley and cucumber by the time we get back, and should see a few more flowers as well.

365 days in the garden

And to my big surprise, I have beautiful corn as well! I didn’t plant any this year, but it seems that the cattle-incident last year didn’t get all the corn and some were left to germinate again. Nice!

Fruit Trees

My baby got a white pear tree as a blessing gift, and I am thrilled to say that it looks like its doing very well! Next summer I look forward to digging into some delicious pears.

Our plums are also plenty and ripening. The peaches on the other hand have been stung to death and are starting to drop. No surprises there, it happens every year. I have tried organic methods, not-so-organic things, home-made things… but the fruit flies in this valley seem to be immune to everything. I shall try again next year.

Greenhouse

I’ve sadly lost a lot of seedlings in the greenhouse, mainly due to over-watering. I turned the water on one night and then forgot to switch it off again. I think I drowned the baby plants ;-(

365 days in the garden

But the strawberries seem to be quite happy in spite of the flood! I added a bit of Shake and Grow and am keeping a close eye on them.

Roses

20161211_154338

I really don’t know what to do with my roses anymore… I have treated them weekly with Rosecare 3, but they are still infested with mean little aphids. I have started to make up curses in my head, damning all aphids everywhere, but that doesn’t help either. Funnily enough, I have 3 rose bushes in close proximity to each other, and only 1 seems to be stricken. I ended up pruning it back and have continued with my weekly spraying. I’ll see what it looks like when I get back and then will have to implement some harsher strategies… like blasting it or something.

That’s it for now – I look forward to telling you about my garden journey again in the new year!

Happy Gardening!

germarie-signature-featherly

 

How to have a responsible and water-wise garden this summer

This summer more than ever, we have to implement water-wise garden strategies. South Africa has been hit with the worst drought in decades and the only way you are going to help your garden survive through the summer, is by being clever about it.

kirstenbosch-water-wise-garden
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens © Alice Notten

The most obvious way to have a water-wise garden, is to plant a water-wise garden. That means plants that are indigenous to your area and that have therefore already adapted to the adverse local conditions. A report from the South African Weather Service has shown that we have experienced fluctuations in rainfall for the last 60 years, so by now our regional plants have become accustomed to whatever nature does – or doesn’t! – throw at them. A typical indigenous garden in the Western Cape will include fynbos, aloe and all manner of succulents. In the north, grasses, acacia and curry bush. Southern coastal flora will be different from that growing in the Karoo, the highveld or the East Coast – that’s what happens when you have a massive and diverse country like ours! Just look around your local parks or natural gardens and you’ll see what works and what clearly doesn’t. You can also refer to this handy regional plants guide that can help you plan which plants will do better in your garden.

If however, like me, you didn’t have the foresight to plant an indigenous water-wise garden, it’s time to look at a few essential strategies that will ensure a successful summer garden:

1. Mulch, mulch and mulch some more!

water-wise gardening

The first and easiest thing to do, is that add a thick layer of mulch around your plants. Mulch could be anything that will cover the soil sufficiently to prevent it from getting too hot and from water evaporating. Leaves and bark work very well and will gradually break down towards winter to provide you with some nutrient-rich compost. Other options include pebbles, pine needles, straw, nut shells or fruit pips, and even newspaper.

2. Water bottle irrigation

water-wise gardening

Plant a water-filled plastic bottle upside down next to water-needy plants. The water will gradually filter into the soil and once the bottle is empty, you can just fill it up and plant it again.

3. Watering cycles

Water early in the morning, or early evening when it’s cooler and when there is less chance of evaporation. And make sure that you stick to your allowance otherwise you will pay dearly! Also be careful of over-watering: plants prefer a thorough watering less often instead of daily light watering.

4. Water retention products

water-wise gardening

Water retention products are amazing for keeping water in the soil for longer. Wonder Stockosorb Waterwise Crystals is an environmentally safe water crystal developed to be worked in around the root zone of plants. Stockosorb crystals convert to a gel-like sponge to absorb and store water, providing an reservoir available just where and when it is needed. Stockosorb Waterwise Crystals can be used for potted plants, flower beds, shrubs and trees, hanging baskets, lawns and vegetable gardens.

5. Compost and Soil Aeration

Compost improves the water-rentention capabilities of soil and encourages earthworm activity which aerates soil. Make sure you dig in compost at least once a year to keep your soil healthy.

6. Lawn Care

water-wise gardening

Aside from using Waterwise Crystals to improve water retention on your lawn, keeping the grass longer will further prevent evaporation and your grass from turning yellow. Set your mower’s blades higher and use the cuttings are mulch in flowerbeds.

By being water-wise you will be able to keep your water bills low and save your precious garden. I’d love to hear more water-wise gardening-tips from you so please leave them below in the comments!

germarie-signature-featherly

Disclaimer: this post is sponsored by the lovely people at Efekto and Wonder.

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