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Urban Gardens: How to Create Green Indoor Spaces, Even in a City Flat?

Monday, June 1st, 2015

Gardening is increasingly growing in popularity, and city dwellers are increasingly looking for their own green spaces. Being in nature is proven to reduce stress levels and raise mood, and having plants and flowers indoors has been shown to have a positive effect on well-being. While there are plenty of parks and woodlands in and around London and other UK cities, many people long to bring the freshness of the outdoors into their homes and there are lots of ways to do this. If you can’t afford a much sought-after allotment, it’s still possible to have indoor greenery and flowers to brighten a city home. Here are some ideas to bring the outdoors in and create green spaces even in a high rise flat.

Window boxes. Window boxes are the perfect way to create a mini urban garden – whether to create a beautiful floral look or herbs to use in cooking. Line your window box with black plastic liner to protect the box, and fill with potting mix rather than potting soil which is too heavy for a window box. The idea plants for window boxes are those that are fairly hardy and don’t mind changes in light and sunlight. Low maintenance plants are also ideal for those with busy lives and little time to spend tending to them. Salvias, ivy (which will create beautiful trailing leaves over the box) and succulents are all great choices.

Flowers are wonderful additions to window boxes – adding colour to your home and attracting butterflies and bees. Popular blooms are pansies, daffodils (for spring), cyclamen, heather and geraniums. Ornamental cabbages in shades of purple, white and green are also beautiful choices.

Herbs such as parsley, basil, rosemary and mint can be grown in window boxes or indoor containers and mean a constant supply of fresh herbs for your cooking. But bear in mind that different herbs have different needs and some are more difficult to grown than others: for example, basil needs lots of light so probably isn’t suitable for a shady spot.

Terrariums. Terrariums are glass containers of varying sizes that create unique atmospheres for growing plants. The glass allows heat and light and creates a humid environment with its own water cycle. Terrariums are the perfect way to create a miniature garden indoors and with the current trend for gardening, these are very trendy at the moment. As well as for the home, they can be the perfect way to add greenery to an office space or even a restaurant or hotel. Restaurant flowers can perfectly complement plants and terrariums to bring nature, colour and texture to create atmosphere and interest for guests.

There are plenty of places to buy ready-made terrariums, or ‘kits’ containing all the elements including the plants. They vary in size from tiny vessels featuring a single air plant to larger versions such as fish bowls, so are perfect for any space. Alternatively, there is the DIY option. Small vessels like jam jars or light bulbs mean you can create tiny terrariums perfect for small apartments or even for the office.

Ideal terrarium plants are those that love shade and humidity like ferns, starfish plants, moss, variegata, aquamarine and air plants. For dryer terrariums choose succulents or cactuses which are very low maintenance. The plants you choose to use will determine the base (for example sand, stones, charcoal or soil) as well as the type of vessel used, so be sure to do plenty of research before making your own.

Low-maintenance houseplants. Houseplants are the go-to option for those looking to add greenery into their homes or office. Having the signs of nature indoors lift mood and improves well-being as well as improving the look of an indoor space. There are plenty of low maintenance options for those with very busy lives and not-so green fingers too! Spider plants are a staple for offices and very undemanding. They don’t require much light and are very adaptable to different temperatures.

Succulents are very popular at the moment and are perfect for creating anything from window box displays, table centrepieces, added to outdoor pots on the balcony or porch or sitting in small pots in the window sill or kitchen table. Types of succulent include the green, round leaved jade plant; the colourful and rosette-shaped echeveria and the aloe plant.

Other low-maintenance plants include the snake plant which requires very little light (very good for offices!), the spiky leaved dracaena, ivy and bromeliad which produces a red flower. Large house plants like the dracaena can be used to create a true indoor garden look when you have these mini ‘trees’ to add greenery to the home. Offices can also be brightened by corporate flowers and plants.

Hanging gardens. There are lots of hanging plants to buy – from delicate little glasses to house air plants, to baskets for plants such as Boston ferns which freshen the air and add beautiful colour and texture. Up-cycle household waste and make planters out of wine bottles, jam jars, light bulbs – or even a birdcage! Hanging indoor plants are ideal for humid bathrooms (and add freshness and contrast to white bathroom decors) and the kitchen – adding a delightful rustic look.

Trailing plants like ivy are perfect for hanging planters, as is the beautiful senecio rowleyanus. Otherwise known as the string-of-pearls, this succulent prefers shade and will create cascading beads of greenery to brighten any home. Especially in summer, these plants add brightness and freshness to indoor settings, improving air quality and making a more natural, calming space.

For balconies and porches, or even outside your front door, hanging baskets of beautiful flowers are another option to create an urban garden. Fuschias, geraniums, pansies and begonias are great choices – creating colourful displays that will brighten any urban home. They will attract butterflies and bees and are a wonderful way to greet guests when they arrive, as well as brightening urban spaces.

2011 Lambeth Business Awards

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Last night at the awards dinner Lambeth Council chose us as South London’s Best Business for Customer Service.

Lambeth Business Awards 2010

Lambeth Business Awards 2011

Injecting Colour into the Modern Wedding!

Monday, July 19th, 2010

injecting-colour

One very exciting part of a wedding for the bride, is the chance to choose and wear a beautiful and extravagant dress, that you will wear only once in your life. As we all know, the traditional and most popular colours for dresses is either white or ivory. However, today a little splash of colour is definitely not out of the question.

Colour has become quite a trend over the past few seasons. Designs and fabrics are straying away from the usual dress. The lengths of dresses are really starting to vary, fabrics are becoming lighter, and adding a bit of colour is almost becoming a must.

Chiffon is one of the most popular fabrics this season. It is really something different in comparison the some of the stiff fabrics that have been used in the past.

Knee-length dresses are becoming a norm, especially since weddings take place in just about any setting these days. Can you imagine wearing a long flowing wedding dress on the beach? A shorter dress definitely allows for more freedom of movement.

If you opt for a shorter and lighter dress, you might have to re-consider the type of bouquet you choose. A large bouquet will really draw attention away from a small flowy, knee-length dress. A simple, small bouquet, will suit this type of dress better. Todich Floral Design can help you pick out exactly the right bridal bouquet. There are many sample bouquets available on the web-site, so you can get some idea of what you would like.

If you decide to stick to tradition in terms of the colour of your dress, colour can still be added in other ways. A brightly coloured pair of shoes, or other small details on the dress. These colours can help inspire the tones of the wedding decorations and the flowers for the bridal bouquet. Accessories can also be colourful – like earrings and bracelets worn by the bride.

Let Todich Floral Design help you inject some colour into your upcoming wedding!

Silver and Gold Well-Deserved at the Chelsea Flower Show

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

silver-and-gold

So the Chelsea Flower show has passed, and who went home a winner? Well, the results are quite surprising, there was quite a contrast between silver and gold. The difference was in size; first place was taken by a tiny garden that had more greenery than flowers, while second place went to a large and colourful garden. Both gardens had one thing in common, their message.

The first garden was designed with the help of indigenous women from Cameroon. Marking the first occasion that indigenous women have come to the show to help design a display. The display was called the Green & Blacks Rainforest Garden, and it is a bit small and very overgrown. The centrepiece of this garden was a mongolulu (leaf house). But this little garden carried a large and important message; it was an attempt to make people aware of the destruction of rainforests.

The Indigenous people of Cameroon live and feed off of the rainforest, which has been deteriorating due to logging and mining. Along with the beautiful tropical plants, a mining helmet, gun and chainsaw were displayed, as reminder that their way of life is being destroyed.

An entire community designed the second display, which is the largest to date at Chelsea. The Eden Project Places of Change took up the area of three regular gardens. Prisoners and the homeless worked together to create this display (they were featured in a previous blog). And it is wonderful to see that they have done so well! The rough aspects of the display are meant to symbolize the difficult journey of life, while the doors scattered across the garden represent hope and the future.

Decoration and design can seem like a daunting task. But sometimes inspiration can be right in front of your nose! For these award-winning gardeners, all it took was an issue close to their hearts. If you are preparing for an important event in the near future, try to make the theme of the event something that you truly care about. Todich Floral Design can help you realize your ideas, with a team of experts to help.

From the Streets and Prison to the Chelsea Flower Show

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

prison-and-chelsea-flower-show

 

One of the biggest gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show this year, will put together by quit an unusual group of horticulturists.

The Eden Project will be bringing homeless people and prisoners together to create a display. The flowers will be contributed by the prisoners from the Growing for Life project at the Occombe farm in Devon.

One of the homeless men involved in the project, says that he enjoys having an empty canvas of dirt to work with. He finds a certain magic in creating a burst of colour out of almost nothing.

This is the second year that the Eden Project has been involved in the show, with last year’s garden winning the silver medal.

This year’s plot will be twice the size of those normally featured, and will display nearly 10, 000 plants. Nearly 400 homeless people and 100 prisoners are involved in the project.

The most unique aspect of this display will be the 10ft-high man, who will have medicinal plants covering his body. Different plants will be located, on the parts of the body they are used to treat. Wild flowers and totem pole sculpture are also to be included in the display.

The unique aspects of this display are meant to show how important plants and flowers are in our lives. Gardening and working with plants can have a very important therapeutic effect on those who work with them, especially for those experiencing difficulties in their lives.

The simple of gesture of giving flowers can mean a lot more than we might imagine, they can heal both from the inside and the outside. They are not just a treat for the eyes, but a reminder that we care for others and care for nature. Flowers24hours.co.uk has a number of beautiful bouquets you can send to your loved ones. The Carousel, Mellow Yellow Roses, and the Shooting Star are just some of the beautiful featured bouquets we have to offer.

Diamonds and Flowers at the Chelsea Flower Show

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

diamonds-and-flowers

 The Chelsea Flower Show is just around the corner and anticipation is high for the beautiful flower displays that are being designed at this moment.
When it comes to the most expensive David Domoney  is going to be showing a display that is worth a mere £10m. The display is to be called The Ace of Diamonds, and the display is to be littered with precious stones from some of the top jewellers on Bond Street.
“I always endeavour to introduce something a little bit more entertaining and this is something really special. It’s high-end and extreme but with a strong horticultural message. This garden will be worth more than the rest of the show put together – worth more than this year and last year combined even,” stated Domoney.
Of course security will be high, something like what we would see for a royal visit! The diamonds will be delivered to the show by helicopter. What a spectacle!
The biggest garden ever to be shown was the Eden Project, but the value of the garden is at the highest ever seen by the show.
When it comes to smaller events like weddings, corporate or cultural, Todich Floral Design can help you out with your design ideas. We are prepared for just about any innovative floral design and we can make just about any idea to life. Of course, a scattering of diamonds might be a little over the top! But that is definitely something worth checking out at this years show!

The Snapdragon Tougher Than Ever

Monday, November 30th, 2009

The Snap Dragon is a flower that often escapes our thoughts, but with the development of breeding, this little beauty is becoming hardier by the year. Hybrids of this flower are less susceptible to heat, tough against the cold, sturdy and available in a new palette of colors.

No matter what the climate is like in your area, the spadragon can make itself at home at some time in the year. Usually, it is a gardener’s favourite complement for the pansy during autumn. Where winter is a bit colder they are planted at the end of winter or the beginning of spring, filling gardens with color through summer.

The botanical term for this bloom is Antirrhinum majus. Breeding of this plant has taken enormous steps forward, making it a tough little addition to the garden.

The Sonnet and Liberty variety are especially favoured, in the garden they grow to a nice height from 24 to 30 inches. This means that they do not need structural support, both in the garden or in a flower arrangment, making them nearly hassle-free.

The snapdragon is also available in dwarf varieties, with the Tahiti and the Montego being especially praiseworthy types. The Montego is a bit more sturdy in nature, and unlike the Tahiti it does not have a tendency to fall over. These flowers are bit smaller reaching a height of only 12 inches.

If you are looking for something a bit off the beaten path, the rare coloring of the “Twinny” offers something more unique. This is a double flowered version of the snapdragon, its peachy color gives off an air of nostalgia to any garden or arrangement.

The hybridization of a the Spanish Antirrhinum hispanicum and A. molle lead to the introduction of trailing snapdragons, opening new doors and looking for new solutions from designers. This development also lead to creating a more heat-tolerant version of the flower.

Those who are planting this flower at this time of year are taking a bit of a gamble, but it is still possible that this flower is in bloom in many places, meaning that it is still a possible option for flower arrangements.

There is something whimsical and lighthearted about the snapdragon, it can soften the harder edges of any arrangement. With specialized breeding there is quite a palette of colors to choose from. Using this flower as a part of your next design idea can add an element of originality, as well as take you back to childhood years to the time when many of us would gently press together the head of the flower, to see the ‘dragon’ open its jaws.

Creating a Gold Medal Garden in Two Weeks!

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

The Gold Medal Garden at Tatton

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to create a gold medal garden in two weeks, look no further.

Philip Dugdale and Alan Burns, have recently won the gold medal for the Best Visionary garden 2009 and have been kind enough to share some of the pictures of development with us!

Recent graduates of Leeds Metropolitan University, these two young landscape architects have surpassed any expectations held of them. The garden took two years of planning, 6 months of non-stop work (including growing all the plants themselves), 3000 flags of ethically sourced Indian Sandstone, 283 wire cages (gabions), 17 tonnes of stone, 3 tonnes of steel and a collective weight loss of 3 stone between the duo!

They describe their concept as, “Fusing together the infinite possibilities of landscape architecture with restrictive urban landscapes to create sustainable design solutions that are unique to their surroundings”. And unique they are! Tatton is the show that aims to “break the mould of garden design and show innovation and foresight”, which is taken entirely literally in the case of this magnificent cubed garden.

“Some of the plants are 30-50 years old – the gunnera came from a plant more than 100 years old,” Alan explained. “The judges couldn’t believe we weren’t gardeners. We have an eye for what works, including in nature.”

Philip, of Marton Moss, labels himself as a new generation “Mosser”, and concedes he’s influenced by the local coastal, urban and rural sprawl of the area, and concludes: “Now more than ever we need to have more ecological sustainability within our surroundings – and that’s key to the Cubed ethos.”

The garden will be on display in Liverpool at the Kirsty Doyle Store from the 25th of August.

Protecting the ground with permeable membrane