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How to make the most of your outdoor space (even if it’s tiny)

Small garden? Me too. And yet we’re currently spending nearly all our time out there. I started this post with my feet in a homemade tent (complete with tea towel “curtains”) and ended it perched next to the open doors as darkness fell and the (solar-powered) lights strung in the apple tree started to glow. Use it wisely, and even the smallest outdoor space turns into an extra room in the home. Here’s how to make the most of yours……


Something (Pink) for the Weekend

I’m a little bit obsessed with this shoot. I love Sophia Coppola. I love the mood. I love this dress (the cover shoot was styled by Little Spree’s Sarah Clark. Why, yes, I do have a style crush on her…). I think it’s because I am feeling in the mood for pink.…

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Garden Party

I love this time of year. Everything is just so alive. It’s a time when I hate to be inside and yearn for a walk in the park surrounded by the lush green trees, an afternoon spent lying in a field or simply just sat outside drinking a cup of tea or glass of wine. If you’re lucky enough to have a garden – whether it’s large, small or London-sized postage stamp (that’s me folks), you’re bound to be spending quite a bit of time in it over the coming months (fingers crossed). Which means it’s time to get decorating……


End of summer resolutions

As far as I’m concerned, there is nothing to lament about the end of summer. I even embrace the faint melancholy. (I have been humming Abba’s ‘Our Last Summer’ as I research this post. The other weekend, I went to my dear friend Nina’s hen party (very civilised it was, too) and we watched Mamma Mia (a film I have already ‘fessed up to loving, so less of the sniggering at the back). Since then I have been unable to stop singing Abba tunes. I am the best of Abba – with far, far less vocal ability than Amanda Seyfried or Meryl Streep. Alas, I fear I am more Pierce Brosnan.) I love the last of summer sun, the autumnal nip (with promises of frosty nights, jumpers and cosy nights) in the air on crisp mornings which segue into still-warm days, the glut of seasonal vegetables (well, in my parents’ garden and the farmers’ markets, not in my teeny garden). I just love the turn of the seasons. When I was younger, we lived in California for three years: do you know that there is virtually nothing approaching a proper season there? Just hot and slightly less hot, with a…

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Everybody out!

At the merest glimmer of warmth and sun, my family head outside to eat al fresco. My husband is always keen to point the sheer joy of dining outside. It is the simplest of pleasures – yet it is true that food always tastes better when consumed outdoors; be that a sandwich on your lap or a candlelit garden supper.Be that a potter around my pocket handkerchief garden before work, coffee in hand, doing a spot of dead-heading; porridge and fruit at our (now woefully rusty and in desperate need of replacing) table at the weekend; nipping in and getting that last table outside your favourite cafe; lunch in my parents’ garden (where, appositely, C had her first ever taste of food). Glorious. In my dreams (one day, one day…) my garden dining facilities look something like this……

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Indian Summer: 5 of the best tipis for children

I love tipis (or teepees or wigwams), so much so that we slept in one on our wedding night. I particularly love this tipi pictured above, although admittedly I am neither creative, green-fingered or energetic enough to try and reconstruct one at home. But, it’s a great idea, no? If you had the space, the time and the know-how, then wouldn’t it be amazing to build one in your garden? Failing that, you could always go the easy route and buy one of these below. Some are for outside, some are for inside, but all are designed for children (although Hearthworks also make amazing ones for adults), and who other than me, loves a tipi more than a small child?…