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Crabtree and Evelyn: Gardener’s Collection

 

As a gardener my hands are rough, cracked and permanently covered in mud. I’ve ALWAYS got dirt under my shellac (what a nightmare), and they’re as flaky as Mary Berry’s special recipe flaky pastry. Gross. So after a good old session of picking the powdery mildew leaves off my courgettes, I like to sit down with a cup of tea and give my hands a good old going over. And that’s where Crabtree and Evelyn’s Gardener’s Collection* comes in.

I cover my hands in the beautiful Crabtree and Evelyn Gardener’s Hand Scrub to really get rid of all the dirt and grime. (I even sometimes use an actual nail brush #oldschool) Combined with water, the pumice in it is super gentle and doesn’t feel like you’re taking off a layer of skin with the dirt, like some exfoliators do.

Then to finish off, a good old squirt of the Crabtree and Evelyn Gardener’s Body Lotion soothes and softens the hands. After a session in the garden, my Grandpa and I will regularly go through this routine together. And despite his initial concern that it would compromise his masculinity, the fragrance is so delicate and unisex, that he didn’t complain once.

The subtle fragrance of garden herbs and the soothing honey extract makes Crabtree and Evelyn’s Gardener’s Collection the only products perfect for your post-weeding pamper.

*These items were complimentary for the purpose of review. See disclaimer for full details.

 

 

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Photo Diary: My Best Friend’s Farm Wedding

My beautiful best friend got married recently, on her farm, in a true country-wedding style.

We drank champagne on hay bails, I had gysophila in my hair, and the married couple left on a tractor! It couldn’t have been more perfect for Hannah, who’s lived on a farm since she was born. My favourite touch was the wellies filled with wildflowers that lined the marquee, and for the wedding breakfast we even ate a ploughmans.

I’ve shared some photos below because I couldn’t resist you seeing what a gorgeous day it was.

 

 

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Why YOU should try gardening

Whether it’s seeds, sunflowers or slugs (actually not slugs), I bloody love gardening. From potting on my cosmos to weeding the vegetable patch, the more I get out in the garden, the happier I am. I realise, however, that this isn’t the most usual of hobbies for a 26 year old woman. But ever since I can remember, I’ve just loved being in the garden. When I was at uni, I spent my student loan on a clematis and trellis – TRUE STORY.

I remember going on holiday to Spain one year and every street had a waterfall of geraniums trickling down the front of the orange walls. It was so overwhelmingly stunning, that I decided to create it at home. In Reading. Lol.

I persuaded my mum to pay £4.99 postage for ‘100 FREE bright orange bulb selection’ (her least favourite colour) and she gave me a small patch of the front garden. A couple of months later and the patch was transformed into a meditarreanean Spanish vision! Orange gladioli stood tall and proud, while delicate nemesias blew gently in the wind.

Since then, I’ve never stopped growing. (my plants that is, otherwise I’d be very tall…)

Here are five reasons why YOU should get out there and give it a go.

You get to eat your own fruit and veg

There is nothing nicer than sitting down to dinner knowing that you grew 90% of the produce on your plate. That courgette wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for you! And pesticides? Pssssh, forget them mate. Can your courgette BE any more organic?

You spend more time outside

We are the indoor generation. Sat in front of a screen 24/7, sending emails to strangers and then waiting for replies from strangers. You go home, switch on the TV, watch TV, go to bed, look at phone, scroll on phone, go to sleep. Is this life? Gardening forces me to get outside! And in my opinion, those lovely sunny evenings are wasted if you’re sat indoors.

It’s therapeutic

We all know gardening is relaxing. Wafting about looking at waterlilies, listening to the woodpecker ‘peck, peck pecking’ away at the silver beech, picking a wild strawberry from beneath the sweet peas, popping it in your mouth and then BLOODY HELL, SLUG! All jokes aside though, I find it good for the soul to have a little wander in the garden now and then. You know those apps that force you to stop, breathe and meditate? The garden does that for me. It’s like my mindfulness.

It’s satisfying

I challenge you to find another living human being who isn’t a tincy bit excited that a seed they planted from an apple has grown into a tiny shoot. How difficult is it to plonk a seed in some soil? And then two weeks later, bam: new life, ahhhhh! I am Mother Nature.

Gardens are beautiful

Why do you think we spent 45 minutes putting our make-up on every day? Cause we want to look nice. Why do you think I spend 45 minutes potting on stocks every day? Cause I want the garden to look nice. Does anyone NOT enjoy a beautiful garden?* I don’t understand how you can’t!? Even if you have NO interest in gardening and don’t know ANY plant names. So what?! They’re so lovely to visit and it gives me pleasure seeing other people enjoying them.

*soz to all you hay-fever sufferers out there…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Forest London plant giveaway!

 

Ahhh this is the moment you’ve been waiting for! My Forest London plant giveaway.

I’ve teamed up with the lovely guys at Forest to give you the chance to win this beautiful Calathea, gorgeous white pot, and Chinese Money Plant tote bag. The whole lot is worth £70!

The full details of how to enter are on my instagram story, but I’ve popped them below too!

 

How to enter

  1. Follow me and Forest London on instagram
  2. Repost my giveaway insta story to your insta story (saved on my highlights).
  3. Tag me and three friends (if you don’t tag me I won’t know you’ve entered!)

The giveaway will close at midnight Wednesday 18th April and is open to UK residents only!

Good luck!

 

 

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The Coolest Plant Shop in London: Forest

You regular blog readers will know that I am the keenest of keeno 26 year old gardeners. Bloody love getting ma hands muddy and sowing baby seeds. But what do you do when you live on the 5th floor of a city centre block of flats with not a tree in sight? That’s right, you buy houseplants.

Houseplants are COOL. (Thank you, God, for bringing them back into our lives) I actually have more plants than friends. And I am always on the lookout to buy more (maybe a taaaad obsessed).

Forest is by far the coolest houseplant shop I’ve ever been in. Discreet from the outside, a secret garden on the inside: Rat Tail Cacti hang from the ceiling, String of Pearls catch the light, and crassulas tickle your ankles as you walk through the urban jungle.

Alongside the plants, there’s the most beautiful selection of pots, terrariums, vases and books (‘Prick‘ being my fave). If you’re like me, you won’t leave without buying at least a tiny succulent.

So I bought a huge cactus, yay! He’s called Spike and he stands proudly in my boyfriend’s fireplace. I wasn’t allowed to buy a plant for me, apparently I have too many and now I know why they called the shop ‘Forest‘…

Outfit details

Dr Denim Debbie coat £220*

Dr Denim Charlie scarf (similar) £50

Alfie Douglas bag £185

*features press samples, see disclaimer

 

 

 

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Pork Crackling and Apple Sauce at The Pig, Brockenhurst

It’s hard not to feel autumnal as you walk up the gravel track among the firs and the conifers, pine cones scattered over the dewy lawn. Despite me getting overexcited at a sign for the ‘Kitchen Garden’, it is FREEZING, and the smell of a woodburning fire entices us indoors, enveloping us in warmth.

The Pig in Brockenhurst is a small hotel with a focus on food. Nearly everything on the menu is grown on site or foraged-for nearby, so whether it comes from the forest or the coast, you know it’s as fresh as possible.

The interior is traditional with an informal twist. Boars’ heads frame the walls and colourful crystal glasses are lined up on antique dressers, but the menus tied up in garden string and napkin rings made from newspaper make for a ‘homemade’ feel. The sun-filled conservatory with bright, mis-matching floor tiles covered in potted plants is reminiscent of my Grandpa’s potting shed, though probably a bit more elegant.

But the real reason behind The Pig’s popularity, is the food. Their 25 mile menu (the idea being that most of the produce comes from within a 25 mile radius) boasts lamb and pork from Romsey, fresh Lymington crab and tomatoes from the Isle of Wight. All the herbs and most of the veg come straight from the Kitchen Garden, hence one section of the menu being called ‘Mostly Picked This Morning’. Try the curried cauliflower and Brocks Eggs – you won’t be disappointed – and whatever you do, don’t leave The Pig without trying some pork, or at least some crackling and apple sauce! The ‘Tomahawk’ pork chop is so flavoursome and you can mop up the sauce with a chunk of warm bread and Garden Herb-Infused Oil.

The Pig manages to combine simple, natural ingredients with an elegant, quirky touch that leaves your tastebuds tingling for hours. If, like me, you dream of roasting parsnips and boiling beetroot fresh from your vegetable patch, head to The Pig for inspiration. And while you’re at it, grab an armchair in front of the fire, and order yourself some ‘Piggy Bits’ (how do you expect me to dream about my Kitchen Garden, when I haven’t even tried  the pea and ham hummus yet?!).

 

 

 

Outfit details:

ZARA checked dress – £29.99

ACCESSORIZE black wool beret – £12

PRIMARK black wooden heel boots – £20 (similar ones from Office if you click this link!) 

 

 

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I have a confession…

It’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you for years but I haven’t had the courage to do it until today. I’ve been repressing it for ages, but now I feel so confident in who I am, what I do and what I like, I’m finally ready to tell you my biggest secret. I try to keep my blog as a safe space so please don’t judge me, but instead respect that I am writing this with a newfound courage that I hope doesn’t backfire. I haven’t wanted to admit it, but the fact is…

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