• Deck the halls

    by  • October 22, 2014 • 0 Comments


    Make a note: if you’re near Saltash in Cornwall between November 7th and 21st this year, do visit Cotehele, the Edgcumbe family’s ancestral home, to witness – and join in, if you wish – the making of the glorious 60-foot-long garland that is the centrepiece of the festive decorations in the Tudor hall each year.

    Each Christmas, the garland is handmade for the National Trust house by its gardeners, using flowers that have been grown, picked and dried on the estate.

    Thousands of flowers are needed to make the garland, says Head Gardener Dave Bouche: “Last year, we had 44,000 individual flowers in the garland and ideally, we like 30,000 but for some years, we have as few as 20,000; it’s entirely dependent on the weather; we need sunny days and low rainfall during the summer.”


    Dave and his team keep a close eye on the flowers they have selected to pick – they usually choose six different ones – and once open, the blooms are picked and taken to the loft, where they hang in bunches to dry from ropes slung from the rafters. Picking usually begins in May, but the threat of late frosts at the start of this year delayed the planting out of seedlings which, in turn, meant that picking began rather later than usual. However, “We were lucky with the warm and sunny summer,” Dave says. “This year we’ve grown and picked about 32,000 flowers and the drying has been really reliable. It will be very satisfying to look up at the colourful garland this winter and to remember what the summer was like.”

    Visit Cotehele (normal entry applies) from November 7th to 21st, 2014 to see the Christmas garland making. To see the finished garland in place in the Hall, visit between November 22nd and December 31st (closed, Christmas Day and Boxing Day).


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    Meaning and form

    by  • October 19, 2014 • 0 Comments


    Giving his thoughts and experiences of life in Britain three-dimensional form is the very particular talent of Taiwanese artist Chien-Way Chang, as this desirable silver pot, evocatively entitled Wounded soul in Healing Process, reveals.

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    On fine form

    by  • October 14, 2014 • 0 Comments




    When Iittala and Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec come together to create, you know the results are likely to be special. The simplicity of the appearance of these prettily coloured, diamond shaped Ruutu (meaning diamond or square in Finnish) vases belies a highly technical knowledge of design and production techniques. The job is then handed to us, the customer, to group them together into small installations as we feel best. There are

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    Autumn walks this way

    by  • October 10, 2014 • 0 Comments

    CopyrightHomesandGardensAutumnstory1 CopyrightHomesandGardensAutumnstory7CopyrightHomesandGardensAutumnstory6CopyrightHomesandGardensAutumnstory3CopyrightHomesandGardensAutumnstory5CopyrightHomesandGardensAutumnstory4CopyrightHomesandGardensAutumnstory2Maybe it’s because it’s Friday, or because the sun was shining through the lemon-and-raspberry-coloured leaves on the plane trees that line the walk to work this morning, or could it simply be that the beauty of these autumnal scenes (above), shot especially for Homes & Gardens, have made our hearts race?

    Whatever the reason, you simply must pull your boots on and make the most of our great outdoors this month. If you need a little push out of the door, here are 10 good reasons to get up and go:

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    Sylvan slumbers

    by  • October 3, 2014 • 0 Comments


    As autumn draws in, outdoorsy types will be lamenting the lost pleasures of nights under canvas surrounded by glorious nature. However, withdrawal symptoms can be alleviated by a scheme such as this.

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    November issue on sale now

    by  • October 2, 2014 • 0 Comments

    Nov cover

    This month we celebrate autumn, with a New Zealand garden full of the season’s colours, an architect-designed home that embraces deep hues and rich timbers, and decorating inspiration in the form of dramatic florals. Our recipes are a comforting menu of the best produce at this time of year, while room designs come from Paolo Moschino and Lulu Lytle, among a host of talented individuals.

    It’s available in stores, but you can also download a digital copy here.


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