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Get your gardening on


What’s flourishing in the gardening world in 2020? From supersized houseplants to 80s flower inspiration, we give you the rundown on some of the coolest gardening developments expected to blossom over the coming year.

Super-sized species

2020 – the year of the houseplant? It’s no surprise that these indoor beauties are top of the list, but this year sees super-sized greenery take centre stage in many homes.

Forget the small decorative plants and modest, lonely aloe vera – it’s all about bigger, bolder species. Increase the health benefits of greenery by making a statement with showstopping varieties like the giant-leafed alocasia, the deep green monstera and the fiddle-leaf fig.

Don’t totally discount your miniature favourites, though – horticulturists predict 6-9cm plants will remain popular.


Grow-your-own

Your garden should always be a place of peace and purpose.

With environmental welfare at the forefront of many minds, what better way to take advantage of your outdoor space than sustainably sourcing your own fruit and veges?

Herbs, beans and peas are still high on the agenda this year, alongside highly nutritious microgreens, chillies, legumes and soybeans.

Sit back and reap the rich rewards of a fruitful vege garden; like fresh organic food and a reduced weekly grocery spend – not to mention the satisfaction that comes with it.

Add a creative touch to your food with edible flowers, flavour a cocktail with homegrown herbs or berries, or whip up a fresh vegetable salad, all with the fruits (literally!) of your labour.


Bug-friendly backyards

The new decade is all about being kind to wildlife thanks to growing concern over the catastrophic decline in insects and the overall impact of this on the environment.

In 2020, overgrown gardens teeming with wildlife take the top spot over neatly manicured lawns, as gardeners ditch pesticides and promote pollination.

Dubbed ‘rewilding’, the trend has sparked interest in outdoor spaces with a more natural aesthetic, which incorporate eco-friendly gardening concepts such as bee hotels, wildlife ponds, log piles, pollen-rich plants and compost heaps.

Plastic-free gardening is also a hot topic; consider using compostable plant pots made from rice husk and sustainable wood and bamboo fibres over wasteful black plastic ones.


80s flower power

The wild and beautiful blooms of the 80s are having a well-deserved revival with nemesias and diascias front of the line.

Not only do these pretty flowers offer a compact size, long flowering period and sweet scent that attracts bees and butterflies, they’re also incredibly flexible supporting plants that can be grown at the edge of any basket, bed or pot.

Expect to see a wider range of these beauties as new breeding programmes produce sensational colour schemes such as ‘berries and cream’.


 

Oh my… autumn


Guys, you don’t have to go through a massive makeover movie montage to change up your look. In fact, it could be as simple as putting on a nice shirt. Cutler & Co Menswear Store Liam Strachan has some recommendations for all your autumn essentials.

Love me or leaf me: You won’t find more autumn appropriate attire than the Cutler & Co. Leaf Print shirt. With the signature Cutler detailing of the shirt that everyone knows and loves – it’s the new bold design that takes centre stage for this one.

Camel chic: Name a more comfortable knit jumper… we’ll wait. Comfort is key but colour is cool, especially when it’s camel. The DStrezzed Knit Jumper in camel is a must-have this transitional season.

Oopsy daisy: Clap back at anyone who says flowers are feminine with the DStrezzed Daisy Print shirt. This bold black background makes the perfect base for the complementary blue and orange daisies.

Check out this season’s best sellers online or in store.

Culinary Downsizing


We’re all about embracing our inner foodies and even more so when it comes to entertaining after all, this is your opportunity to show off your inner Nigella.

 

But who wants to try balancing a plate of pasta while mixing and mingling, right?

Pint-sized portions are the name of the culinary game when it comes to cocktail-hour convenience, after all, it’s called finger food for a reason!

The ability for the edibles to safely sit at the end of a toothpick makes for a smear-free, quick and easy eat for your next event.

We wouldn’t recommend downsizing without giving you a few options to try out. We check out the latest and greatest in bite-sized entertaining.

1. Mr Meat-yagi: Give your next event a (karate) kick with cocktail meatballs. By adding a dipping sauce that’s sweet, smoking or salty – this appetiser will fight its way into the heart of your guests. Sauce on, sauce off: either way is enjoyable.

2. Mamma Mia: We all know a lover of lasagne. The creamy cheese combined with the hearty meat sauce is enough to make anyone’s mouth water. Bring the classic from plate to platter and watch as everyone’s eyes light up when it’s brought around the room in bite-sized portions.

3. Ex-skewers me: Meat on a stick… what’s not to love? Insert various other foods in between each bite-sized meat piece and we have a winner. Eat them separately or altogether in one mouthful – it’s up to you.

4. Mini morsels: The world really is your oyster when it comes to bite-sized portions after all, just about anything can be shrunk. So get clever, get creative and try something random like baby burgers, pint-sized pancakes or itty-bitty ice creams.

PRO TIP: Fancy toothpicks with decorated ends are a must when it comes to bite-sized party favour utensils; just because you’re downsizing doesn’t mean you’re downgrading!


 

Up your gardening game


As summer fades, garden sheds resound with activity as tools are sharpened, wheelbarrow tyres are pumped, yard carts are laden with gardening implements, seed packets are sorted and gardening gloves are inspected for holes. The dewy mornings and sunny days of autumn make for idyllic weather to connect with the soil and get the garden into the best shape it can be for winter and beyond. We check out how to up your gardening game this season.

 

Firstly, a bit of maintenance and tidying up is required, so bring out the secateurs for a spot of pruning.

Prune away dead or broken branches on woody shrubs and trees but don’t get carried away and prune everything in sight.

Leave plants with seeds and berries to bring interest and colour to the garden, but also for birds and insects to feast on throughout winter.

Mulching helps maintain soil moisture and protects roots over winter, not to mention prevents weeds from poking up where they’re not wanted!

Add 5-8cm of mulch to garden beds while taking care not to pile it against the base of plants.

Start a compost pile of fallen leaves. Over time the leaves decompose into leaf mould – a compost which is a rich source of nutrients.

Flower gardens require the removal of diseased foliage from perennials and shrubs.

Mark where perennials that go dormant through winter are so that they’re easily located in spring.

Now is also the time to plant spring bulbs before the soil gets too cold. To prevent weeds going to seed and overtaking the garden in spring, a thorough weed removal is also timely.

For edible gardens remove anything that has gone to seed, shows signs of disease or has died.

Ensure all roots are removed too. Plant vegetable seedlings of cauliflower, broccoli, beetroot and winter lettuce; as well as herbs like chives, parsley and rosemary.

Note where tomatoes and potatoes grew in order to rotate planting locations next season.

If you’re leaving the vegetable patch bare over winter, take this opportunity to add nutrients to the soil by planting green crops, such as lupin or mustard seed.

This is also the ideal time to plant whatever else delights the gardener’s eye – be it perennials, trees, shrubs, roses, climbers or fruit trees.

To increase the number of feathered friends visiting your autumn garden, entice them with regular feeding to see them through the cold months ahead when food can be scarce.

Attracting birdlife into the garden also encourages them to snack on pesky garden pests such as caterpillars and snails.

A win-win for both birds and the gardener!

British horticulturist, garden designer, craftswoman, photographer, writer and artist, Gertrude Jekyll, may well have had autumn in mind when she made this observation: A garden is a grand teacher.

It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.


 

Tying the knot in 2020


You’ve got your something old? Something borrowed? Something blue? Well if you’re still running around trying to find your something new – we’ve got you covered. Who says the rhyme must only apply to what the bride is wearing down the aisle? We investigate the upcoming trends of tying the knot in 2020.

 


  1. Green thumb: Being sustainable is trending and Mother Nature would give that a big seal of approval.

    Reduce your wedding’s carbon footprint by purchasing a pre-loved wedding dress, adopting an heirloom ring, avoiding bottled water or even refraining from printing out hundreds of paper invitations (opt for online).

    If you’re feeling bold, why not try a zero-waste event… it might just give your guests the push they need to try it at their own wedding.

    You wouldn’t dump rubbish onto your guests as they’re sitting down at your wedding, so don’t forgot about one of the most important guests there – Mother Nature.


2. Party of two (or a few): Who says extravagant weddings are essential to a lifetime of happy marriage (the rom-coms don’t count)?

Forking out the big dollars for people who were even umming and ahhing coming to the event may seem silly, but it happens.

That’s why limiting your nearest and dearest to 40 – or even less – is starting to become a regular occurrence. Less people means the budget per guest is higher, this leaves room for personal and even elaborate touches – this is one trend that is all about quality over quantity!

If you’re worried about not enough people seeing the ceremony, they can see it all online when you post about it (we’re sure you will!).


3. Help yourself: One of the great things about a wedding, as a guest, is the open bar.

Anyone who tells you otherwise is just trying to be polite.

Most of us know the process of going up to a bar, ordering a drink and walking away.

Make this part of the night a fun experience for everyone by including a self-serve refreshments area.

Wall mounted dispensers, punch bowls, a jampacked bar of pour-over drinks accompanied by some garnishes to top off the drinks; we’re yet to hear a negative.

No need to think of signature cocktails because every guest will be able to create one of their own.

Although it may pay to have one of the staff helping to occasionally cast an eye over the set-up… just in case Uncle Jim starts to drink enough for himself… and five others.


 

Bold Moves


The new decade is well and truly here, and it’s time to dial up the boldness with colours that are loud and proud. We’ve sought out the top three most glorious colours trends reigning supreme in 2020.

 

 

 

Classic Blue
Meet Pantone’s Colour of 2020 – Classic Blue.

A solid, dependable hue, classic blue needs no introduction other than to say it’s a welcome shade to start the new decade off nicely.

So, how to wear?

Well, those new to blue should start by incorporating the shade via pops of colour – a neckerchief, sunglasses and handbag, perhaps – or try a monochrome moment by pairing with their existing white or black closet staples.

Biking Red
Forever a fiery hue that exudes confidence and powerful feminine energy, red shines bright against any skin tone.

This year the fashion world will enjoy ‘biking red’, a deep, warm ruby shade with hints of purple and brown – the perfect addition to your existing autumn colour palette.

Workwear inspiration: how about high-waisted trousers cinched with a belt and paired with a creamy blouse and heels…

Saffron Yellow
Always a reliable spring shade, yellow manages to hold its place on the catwalks for another year (we’re certainly not complaining!)

Elevate any otherwise plain ensemble (and your mood!) with accessories in this sunshine shade, or go all out by wearing saffron yellow from head-to-toe – a jumpsuit or midi dress might just be your answer.

As always, if you’re stuck for inspiration… let the runways be your guide.


 

Time shine


Ever want to look like you’re in a hair care commercial? We’ve pulled together some of our hottest tips for hair that is both smooth and shiny.

 

 

 

OPT FOR OILS:
a little goes a long way with argon oil, so be sure to only use two to five drops!

Start by warming the oil up – to do this simply rub your hands together after placing the drops on your palms.

Finally, run your hands through damp, freshly-washed hair and massage the oil into your scalp.

Apply two to three times a week to ensure silky smooth hair.

A FINE SHINE:
for our readers with finer hair this is the tip for you.

The answer is three words and some beautiful alliteration: boar bristle brushes.

It’s hard to deny the effectiveness of a hair tip that has been around since the 1800s and is so easy to implement… just use it like a normal brush.

OH MY OMEGA:
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids help towards hair health (which will contribute to its silkiness and shine).

Load up on fish such as mackerel or sardines.

If you’re not a big fan of seafood, there’s other ways to get your omega fix – fish oil capsules are a great alternative.


 

Hair today, gone tomorrow


Laser hair removal is a pretty smooth way to sail hair-free through summer.

 

 

Who doesn’t wish for silky smooth skin every single day without having to worry about regrowth ever again?

Technology and science have come a long way and the process is generally a fast, safe, painless and permanent one – and definitely not as scary as its light-zapping title suggests.

However, it is vital to choose a well-trained, highly qualified professional that uses a medical-grade machine.

While the initial outlay maybe costlier than waxing, the savings in the longer term make it an affordable and far more lucrative beauty investment.

It also saves so much precious time!

No more maintenance. Another bonus is no ingrown hairs, or having to put up with regrowth in between waxes, just when you need it the least.

And as for the daily grind of shaving – need we say more?

A laser treatment is often over a series of 6-12 sessions, during the cyclic hair-growth phase, with breaks in between.

Some people notice a finer regrowth right from the beginning. Both men and women have seen the light and chosen a laser treatment to de-fuzz all sorts of body parts.

Laser uses a concentrated light beam which penetrates directly and deep into the hair follicle.

It is not to be confused with an IPL treatment, which uses a broad spectrum of light. The two procedures are very different.

The professionals will be happy to explain all the facts, debunk the myths, and recommend the best treatment for your skin and hair type.

Hairless summer days, here we come!


 

From bathroom to spa


With a little imagination, bathrooms and ensuites can elevate to spa-resort status. We look at how to create a spa holiday experience without leaving home.

 

 

  1. The fluffy towel treatment
    Invest in the softest, oversized white spa-towels and a basket of rolled-up flannels. A plush new bath mat, the kind to sink your toes into, is a must. White robes and slippers complete the pamper package.
  2. Plant purity
    Aloe vera, bamboo plants, orchids and peace lilies imitate exotic spa locations with the healing vibes of nature. Fresh, fragrant flowers will fill the smallest room of the house with their sultry scent.
  3. Peaceful hues
    Whites, soft neutrals and eggshell pastels are synonymous with serenity – and spa sanctuaries. Rather than bold and bright décor, choose shades that slow the pulse. If the bathroom is already black, just twist the theme to exotic.
  4. Under a waterfall
    Install a rain-head shower attachment for an under-a-waterfall feeling or a massaging showerhead for relaxing bliss. Let water be the beauty therapist.
  5. On display
    Fill glass bowls with bath bombs and pretty soaps, and adorn shelving with beauty products that look too lovely to use. Whisk away those much-less romantic everyday items to the top drawer. Streamlining equals stress less.
  6. Heaven scent
    Have a fragrant diffuser in a calming scent such as lotus flower or ylang ylang, or tie a bunch of lavender or lemon myrtle under the bath tap or shower head.
  7. Heat and light
    Add a dimmer switch to lights, or bathe by scented candlelight. Natural sunlight upon water is therapeutic daytime decadence. Warm the room beforehand to avoid noisy fan heaters spoiling the mood.
  8. Do not disturb
    Lastly, lock the door and switch your phone to the soothing sounds of a relaxing, lyric-free playlist.

 

Get your glow on


We’re heading into a new working year – it’s time to refresh, rejuvenate and replenish before we’re dragged back to the daily grind. How about a facial massage for a healthy glow? We explore the benefits.

 

Just like the rest of your body, facial muscles (all 43 of them!) require exercise to keep you looking toned, younger and healthier – and that’s why many beauty experts recommend incorporating regular facial massage into your daily skincare routine to maximise anti-aging benefits.

Facial massages primarily increase blood and oxygen flow to the face, which:

  1. Increases the production of collagen – your body’s own anti-aging ‘serum’.
  2. Allows the skin to work more efficiently, increasing the absorption of skincare products. Exfoliating before a facial massage increases this further. We recommend doing this before bed so the product can absorb overnight without any additional coverage (like makeup or sunscreen).
  3. Stimulates the lymph nodes, which flush out fluids and toxins that congest the skin and cause under-eye bags/dark circles.
  4. Relieves tension in the facial muscles, stopping wrinkles in their tracks. Focus gently on the soft lines around the mouth, eyes and eyebrows for maximum results.
  5. Can help to alleviate stress! According to a study in the journal Biomedical Research, facial massage activates the sympathetic nervous system, which reduces anxiety levels and uplifts mood.

TOP TIP: Always use upward circular motions – you want to work against gravity, so everything goes up!