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Growing good health: Terra Viva


There’s plenty to love about growing your own fruit and vegetables. Terra Viva’s Peter Worsp tells Metropol about the holistic health benefits of this rewarding pastime.

 

MIND MATTERS
The mental health benefits of gardening in general have been well documented in studies; ranging from early-onset dementia to hyperactive children. The studies pinpoint the calming influence of the outdoors, the physical handling of the soil itself, and the satisfaction of growing your own food.

VERY VITAMIN-Y
The benefits of vitamins are well-known, especially the efficacy of vitamin C in citrus, so that old lemon tree that still produces so vigorously may well hold the key to dealing with next winter’s colds. For all age groups vegetables are high in vitamins A and C, antioxidants, minerals, and fibre to protect against cancer and heart disease. We’re all conscious of what goes into and onto our food these days so growing your own gives certainty about sprays etc.

CURIOUS KIDDIES
Persuading children to eat anything that’s remotely green and healthy is an uphill battle. However, in case we didn’t know it (!), children have mysterious thought processes and it’s been shown that they’ll happily eat something they’ve grown themselves. So start with simple easy plants like lettuce, radishes, and strawberries (the only fruit that has its seeds on the outside) and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

HEALTHY WALLET
Growing vegetables gives you a healthy body and mind, a great sense of satisfaction – and a healthy pocket! That convenient back garden vege patch can save you big bucks, especially at this ‘in between’ season of the year.

QUICK TIPS:

  1. Herbs are quick, easy, ultra-useful, and happy in pots if space is limited.
  2. Tomatoes are still the leading summer vegetable with great flavour, good health benefits, and such a multi-purpose kitchen staple. Heat, consistent watering, and feeding are the keys to success.
  3. Love fresh fruit but short of space? Any fruits or vegetables with good colour are classic health providers, including beetroot, blueberries, tomatoes, and red capsicums, and all can be grown in pots.
  4. Soil preparation is the key to growth so dig down to a spade’s depth and mix in blood and bone, a dusting of lime and sheep pellets to provide loose and fertile earthworm-attracting soil.

 

Raising the toddlers of the plant world


Also known as “vegetable confetti”, microgreens are the quickest food crop urban gardeners can grow – often as simply as in a container on your kitchen windowsill.

 

Not to be confused with sprouts – germinated seeds that are eaten root, seed and shoot – microgreens are the seedlings of leafy herbs and plants that are harvested less than a month after germination.

The stem, seed leaves and first set of true leaves are all edible.

Common microgreen varieties include amaranth, basil, beets, broccoli, cabbage, celery, chard, chervil, coriander, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, parsley, peas, radish, rocket, spinach, and sorrel.

Growing microgreens only requires good light – a well-lit kitchen bench, sunny windowsill or balcony – a suitable shallow container, water and a growing medium.

MIGHTY MICROGREENS:

• Microgreens are a nutrient- dense food that contain digestible vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, and are packed with flavour, colour, texture and living enzymes
• Some studies have shown microgreens contain considerably higher concentrations of vitamins and carotenoids than their mature plant counterparts
• Many varieties will regrow and produce several harvests

HOW TO GROW:

  1. Line seed tray with moistened paper. Fill tray with moist growing medium, e.g soil or burlap, about 2 to 3cm deep
  2. Sprinkle seeds over mix, press in lightly
  3. Water by misting with a spray bottle
  4. Place on a drainage tray in warm spot
  5. Water every day as needed, but avoid overwatering!
  6. Cover seeds with clear lid or plastic bag with holes snipped for airflow to encourage germination
  7. Harvest after the first two true leaves emerge from the cotyledon by snipping off at soil level

Outdoor options


Al fresco season feels upon us, or almost, which means it may too be time to update your outdoor entertaining areas. Whether that’s a patio, deck or poolside space – here’s Metropol’s pick for items to consider.

 

Posh perches
Outdoor seating is essential if you plan to while away the days and evenings in your outdoor sanctuary. From elegant outdoor lounge sets, to dining arrangements or comfy and casual bean bags – furnish your exterior entertaining with weatherproof, long lasting materials.

In the shade
A sun umbrella can transform your space from a sauna to a shady haven, while adding a stylish silhouette – and of course protection from UV rays. Choose long lasting fabrics and strong frames and bases which can withstand those nor’westers.

Table talk
An outdoor table is an obvious place to congregate to enjoy meals, beverages and each other’s company. Choose a modern square shape or more traditional round in timber, concrete, glass or resin. Pair with casual bench seats or more formal individual chairs.

Game goals
What are our spaces, if not for having fun? Spice up your exterior area with some outdoor games like giant connect four, Jenga, pétanque or Scandinavian favourite, Kubb. Start a scoreboard and let the games – and competition – begin.


 

Extend your shelf life


Styled well, shelves can be a catalogue of beloved life knick-knacks on show for all, but done with less consideration can appear as a clustered after thought. Rather than being s(h)elfish we thought we would share our top tips to styling your shelves.

 

Book smart:
This may seem obvious, considering bookshelves are not new on the home décor scene, but experiment with the configuration of your books, stack them vertically, horizontally or in an L-shape. You can even try colour coding the spines, or displaying a particularly special title front on.

Texture and accents:
Add contrasting textures like glass and ceramics, plants, and metallics to bring some eclecticism to your shelves. Rearrange items and try different combinations – layer items, arrange in odd numbers, and with greenery creeping between shelves.

More is more:
A shelf serves the function of display and storage. Interior designer and blogger Chris Carroll says to avoid only displaying three or four items like your home is an art gallery. Instead, give your shelves personality by creating a visual story.

Quality over quantity
While too much negative space is not a positive, too much clutter is also not the goal. Instead, balance the space and interest by only incorporating items you truly love – whether that’s treasured family heirlooms, your favourite book titles, or a coveted vase.


 

Coffee table styling pro tips


So, you’ve bought a beautiful new coffee table. Now, how to adorn this focal point to suit your home? Metropol compiles some tips to help.

 

ALL ABOUT BALANCE
Too many knickknacks look cluttered, but too many large items looks heavy. The solution? Balance the small with the large.

THE HIGH AND THE LOW
Likewise, mix up your height scale. Variation gets attention, whereas equal levels can go unnoticed.

SWAP WITH THE SEASONS
Mix up key components to suit what’s happening outside. Spring? Consider some fresh blooms. Winter? Time to light a comforting candle.

SYMMETRY…OR NOT
Consider aligning objects in an even grid, or adversely, choose an asymmetrical grouping of three to balance your coffee table books, candlesticks, or ornaments.


 

Spring into gardening


Spring is a season of regeneration in the garden, but just like most things in life, new growth doesn’t come from nowhere. Here are Metropol’s tips for growing a luscious garden by the time the season hits its peak.

 

 

CLEAR IT UP
Remove all the debris like leaves, sticks and whatever else has gathered over winter. Then, get weeding! Make sure you get rid of the roots to rid your garden of weeds once and for all. It can also be time to cull any old plants, make like Marie Kondo and remove those which no longer serve.

SORT OUT YOUR SOIL
Just like your skin, soil can get dried out and dull over winter – so early spring is time to moisturise that dirt. Start early so beds are ready for planting once temperatures increase. Begin by adding organic material like compost or manure in an even layer, a good rule of thumb is 40L of organic matter per 2sqm of garden space, worked in thoroughly. This aerates and improves organic matter, nutrient content, and microbial activity.

SOWING THE SEED
In Canterbury and the lower South Island, where our temperatures can take their time to rise, don’t risk your seeds by planting them too early. Instead, consider seeing your favourite summer plants indoors with seed trays. Some gardening gurus recommend waiting until Labour weekend to make the call on whether your summer seedings should go in the outdoor soil.

LOVE THY LAWN
Showing your lawn some love now could make all the difference to whether you are enjoying some soft, full and green grass this summer. The secret? Fertilising well and often will lower the PH of the soil, which should promote the growth of your lawn – and not those pesky weeds.

 

ON THE TOOLS
Make sure you’ve got the right tools at hand to help you get your garden into shape, and that they’re sharp and in good working order. Some essentials include:
• A good pair of gloves to protect your hands from dirt, thorns, and splinters
• Some sharp secateurs which will cut, not crush, stems
• Loppers to prune harder to reach areas or thicker branches
• A garden fork to turn and dig soil
• A hand trowel for replanting
smaller plants
• A short-handled square shovel for digging holes, moving dirt, and edging


 

The Influencers: Antonia Riordan


Compliance Partners Occupational Health Nurse

Spring is almost here, so time for a health spring clean for yourself or your workplace. If you’ve deferred some wellness practices in pursuit of staying in and warm over winter, here’s nine simple strategies for a healthier spring you.

Remember this? 30 minutes a day, five days a week, add in two days of muscle-strengthening activities and you have an exercise routine. Simple! How’s the diet? Practice five plus a day, include whole grains, some lean meat and low-fat dairy or vegetarian/vegan alternatives. There complete.

Rethink your drink. Make it water and reduce sugary drinks and alcohol. Both are full of empty calories and over-consumption can lead to long term health-risk.

Getting enough sleep? Aim for seven hours a night and if you aren’t hitting the mark, set strategies to work towards it.

Quit smoking! Any time’s a good time. It’s not just your health but that of whānau and friends.

Stay covered in the sun and include a good SPF. No need to be dowdy, sun safe can be chic, as can having beautiful skin later in life.

Add dental hygiene to your spring clean. While we are brushing, flossing and probably gargling when was the last time you had a check-up? If it’s over a year, it’s time to book.

And remember, prevention is better than cure. Maintain your health checks, utilise health-screening services and as we are products of our genealogy, learn and share your family history.


 

What’s new in nails: Nails by Tomo


There’s a new resident in Fendalton Village, and she means business! Specifically, the
kind that involves nails – whether that be painting or care tips.

 

Eight months ago Tomoko Tsuji, owner of Nails by Tomo, set up a little station in Elegance Beauty Clinic.

And with the move came 23-years of professional experience and qualifications gained in Japan.

With Tomoko, it isn’t just about putting on a pretty polish and saying goodbye to the customers. She wants to provide a more personal touch

“I don’t want to just paint nails, I really want to help my customers with their nail care as well.

“Some of my customers have been nail biters their whole lives and I’ve helped them to change that.”

Like with most treatments, it’s not one quick fix or remedy. Tomoko says a large factor is your job and how you’re using your hands.

She aims to “make the customer happy by strengthening the nails and ensuring there’s less damage”.

But there also needs to be credit given where it’s due: Tomo paints beautifully intricate designs using high quality Japanese products.

To talk to Tomo, phone 022 194 6055 or check out her Facebook page.


 

Just the essentials: Kjole Style


Finding the perfect pair of jeans can leave one feeling a bit like Goldilocks; one’s too short, one’s too long. With their expanding jean range, handpicked to fit lots of different body shapes, Kjole Style can help you find a pair ‘that’s just right’. We caught up with Stephanie Suckling about two new styles in the range and a top that makes the perfect partner.

 

(NOT) JUST JEANS: These Dranella Pam fit jeans are a must-have! The tight fit gives definition to your legs – giving support in the front and push up in the back. Sizes 8 to 20 are available instore and online.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POPULAR PAIRING: The Denim hunter OT t-shirt is a great basic to complement any jean. It is a good fit, nice neckline and washes well. Who doesn’t love a basic white tee?

 

 

 

 

 

 

ON THE HUNT: Kjole is the exclusive NZ stockist of the brand Denim Hunter. The DHNew Finch Free Jean is a diverse fit for all shapes and the light blue wash is very flattering.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Statement Sofas


Whether you call it a couch, a sofa, or a settee, nice and neutral has long been the name of the style game when it comes to picking a stylish seat.

 

 

We get it – it is one of the largest pieces of furniture in the main room of the house, so it’s natural to approach this purchase with some trepidation. And neutral, by its very nature, goes with everything right? But then nobody remembers the wallflower…


Bold and bejewelled: We’ve been crushing on jewel tones for the past couple of seasons and sorry to all the commitment-phobes around; it seems this infatuation is here for the long haul. These richly saturated hues named after the corresponding gems, such as sapphire blue, ruby red, amethyst purple, citrine yellow and emerald green, are not going anywhere.


Size counts: In a large living room, a large sofa is a great option, but when your room is on the smaller end of the sizing scale, smaller may just be better. When you’re going for loud and proud, size becomes an even more important consideration. You want a couch that makes a statement for all the right reasons.


Crushing on textures: Velvet may have been a hallmark of the eighties, but the luxurious fabric is experiencing a renaissance and is well and truly at home in the modern day. We’ve developed a bit of a soft spot for its sumptuous style. But there are plenty of other textures that can make a statement, such as a hard-wearing waffle fabric, or a timeless worn leather.


Cutting shapes: Ok, so we’re talking the living room, rather than the D-floor here, but let’s be honest, it’s just as critical to look cool when those shapes are that of your new couch. There’s lots of interesting shapes on trend right now, from modern square shapes to curvier edging. Start with the vibe you’re wanting to create and go from there.


Natural instinct: Natural colours in various shades are coming through strong in 2020. But don’t go thinking you can’t make a statement in natural shades! Pastel blue, sage and coral pinks are all popular natural couch colours that still make a stylish statement. The best part? They’re all so easy to decorate around.