All posts filed under: The Great Outdoors

Summer Photo Opportunities with the Kids

Cast a glance outside my window right now and you would struggle to believe me but summer has arrived, technically, and the days until school breaks up are well and truly numbered.  Summer holidays are a great time to explore with the kids and, hopefully, should provide some colourful backdrops when it comes to taking photos.  I tend to take a few similar shots each year, at the same location, to illustrate how much my children have grown.  It’s a fun thing to do and can result in some gorgeous photos, given the right location. Here are my top four summer photo opportunity locations: The beach On a bright, sunny day, few places can beat the beach for photography potential, particularly if it’s a candid shot you’re going for.  If you’re not fortunate enough to live by the sea, perhaps you have a beach holiday or even day trip planned?  A good camera is a must on a sunny day; click here for some great deals on Canons. Up a Hill If you won’t be …

Britain’s Most Beautiful Gardens

Britain is home to some of the most beautiful gardens – from The Alnwick Garden (including the Poison Garden) to the grounds of Kensington Palace. For this article, we’ve teamed up with Oldrids and Downtown, retailers of stunning conservatory furniture to get you in the mood for the sunny days in our own beloved gardens, to discover some of the most beautiful gardens in the country:  Kensington Palace Gardens  Whisk yourself off to the magical world of Neverland by visiting the incredible Kensington Palace Gardens, which was the key inspiration behind the famous children’s book series Peter Pan. As well as being home to our favourite royals, the palace is world renowned for its spectacular garden space. The Sunken Garden will make for an intimate experience and allow you to develop your peace of mind during your stroll.  The palace prides itself on its gardens, and keeps up with the historic traditions that were once in place. In the spring, tulips, pansies and wallflowers bloom, whilst during summer, you will see geraniums, cannas and begonias …

Gardening Minus the Green Fingers…

I am not a natural gardener.  Indeed, I kill things.  Unintentionally yet nevertheless determinedly and resolutely.  My mother’s day plant from my children withered and died within days; every herb I’ve ever owned and valiantly attempted to cultivate has darkened and dried up with alarming speed; even flowers wilt almost as soon as they enter the vicinity of my home.  When Sonny brought home a bean from school earlier this year, I was adamant that I would nurture this thing until it grew big and strong.  I watered it gently every single morning and found new and ingenious ways of propping it up until it grew strong enough to support its own height.  Alas, it never did, despite the chopsticks rammed with unfailing optimism into its soil.  Granted, it still looks green at the moment but it is collapsing in on itself and of no use to anyone.  Yep, I did it again. I should stick to cacti. So, how does one so completely useless at gardening maintain such a space?  Artificial grass is an …

Springtime Garden Use

Now that the snow has finally cleared and the weather seems rather milder (though I am currently staring out at a grey and wet landscape, it is indisputably less cold), thoughts turn to making the best use of the garden this spring.  I like to get the children outside as often as possible and find that they thrive in this environment so warm, dry weather is ideal for us all.  This spring, I would like to get a sensory garden going as well as encouraging the children to grow some fruits and vegetables.  I love the idea of them eating homegrown strawberries on bright summer mornings and have had my eye on this little kit from Waitrose for a while now. A relaxed outdoor seating area is something that is high on my wishlist this year; I envisage fabrics and drapes, large beanbags, a hammock, some kind of table to hold books and drinks.  I would love to spend whole days in the garden lounging and reading together, though I’m unsure whether Sonny would be …

3 Benefits of Gardening

Gardening can enhance many different aspects of life for different people; for some, it’s an opportunity to get some fresh air and exercise, others may use it as a social tool (allotments lend themselves to this aspect rather nicely).  In recent years, there has been a lot of talk about encouraging children to grow their own food to educate and promote healthy lifestyle choices; this also comes under the gardening bracket.  Here are three major benefits of gardening: Health benefits The physical health benefits of gardening have been publicised at length for a number of years now, and are just as relevant as ever, while the mental health benefits are lesser known. Gardening is proven to lower stress levels, which can aid sleep, reduce the effects of anxiety and depression and can even help lower the risk of dementia by 36%! Saving money Growing your own fruit, vegetables and herbs can save a lot of money and is also a healthier option as you know exactly what you’re eating.  Cooking from scratch is a great way of …