De­sign cre­den­tials

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Af­ter a full hour’s gar­den­ing ac­tion, noth­ing is more im­por­tant than find­ing a comfy chair in which to sit and con­grat­u­late your­self.

Gar­den fur­ni­ture should re­quire as much con­sid­er­a­tion as any­thing you choose to place in­side your home, a fact beau­ti­fully demon­strated by this aca­cia wood set with its form and colouring rem­i­nis­cent of sa­fari sun­sets and cock­tails in the tree­tops.


Or, in­deed, some light. These Granny Chic pen­dant lamps tick every box, a beau­ti­ful rein­ter­pre­ta­tion of the stan­dard lamps of the 1940s. They can take pride of place on your pa­tio and pro­vide high-style light far into the night. Con­tardi Ca­lypso out­door lamps, £1,090, go­mod­

My 2020 started like so many oth­ers with great plans, cre­at­ing a gar­den at the Chelsea Flower Show be­ing one of them. Then, af­ter a spring trip to Mau­ri­tius with Mrs Frost, we ar­rived back to a coun­try with no toi­let roll or baked beans!

Like so many, we have spent more time at home in spring than ever be­fore. In a strange way I feel like I have re­gained a bal­ance to my life and I know more than ever how lucky I am to have out­side space. I have found my­self mus­ing, lost in a mo­ment watch­ing bees (there are about 250 dif­fer­ent types of bees in our coun­try that we are con­stantly putting at risk), birds bathing, plants emerg­ing like di­a­monds in the mud, our mead­ows com­ing to life (we have lost 97% of them in the last 50 years), and then clos­ing my eyes and soak­ing up every sound, with less cars to spoil it. Every mo­ment is so pre­cious.

“I could feel the anx­i­ety ebb away, be­ing taken to a place of calm”

Over 30 years ago, I was lucky enough to get a job with Ge­off Hamil­ton as his land­scape man­ager. Most of you more ma­ture gar­den­ers will re­mem­ber him well, but for those of you that don’t he was the an­chor­man for Gar­den­ers’ World back in the 80s and early 90s, and is still re­mem­bered fondly by many.

The man has been on my mind a lot lately, this gen­tle soul that cared about our frag­ile world. He talked about peat free gar­den­ing, grow­ing or­gan­i­cally and stop­ping de­stroy­ing the wider land­scape through the work he did with plant life, long be­fore this was trendy. The sad part of that is we are still hav­ing the same con­ver­sa­tions to­day. Look­ing back he re­ally in­flu­enced how I have led my life. In re­al­ity it was him that set my moral com­pass as far as gar­den­ing is con­cerned.

I’m well aware that not all peo­ple have ac­cess to what we have on our doorstep and some

Many cats love soak­ing up the sun­shine, seek­ing out the warm­est spots in the gar­den.

A cat’s in­de­pen­dent na­ture means it can spend a lot of time out­doors, mind­ing its own busi­ness. So, it’s im­por­tant to en­sure your cat doesn’t get de­hy­drated or sun­burnt. Over­ex­po­sure can lead to skin cancer.

Pro­vide plenty of shade from large plant pots, low shrubs, or make a sun­shade out of a cat hide or card­board box.

These help your mog­gie to es­cape the sun’s po­ten­tially harm­ful rays.

If your cat has white fur, try to keep it in­side between 10am and 3pm, when the sun is at its strong­est.

Speak to your vet about suit­able sun­screen for cats, to en­sure they don’t suf­fer from sun­burn.

Keep your cat cool in­side the house by us­ing fans to keep air cir­cu­lat­ing, but don’t point the fan di­rectly at your cat.

An­other handy tip is to freeze a bot­tle of wa­ter, wrap it in a towel or pil­low­case and place it some­where your cat naps reg­u­larly.

Make sure your cat can get away from the bot­tle if it chooses to, and that the bot­tle doesn’t leak.

There are some gar­den haz­ards for cats.

Lilies – all parts of the plant – are poi­sonous to them and many other plants – in­clud­ing house plants can be dan­ger­ous if eaten. There are sev­eral oth­ers as well in­clud­ing pop­pies and marigolds, chrysan­the­mums and amaryl­lis as well as sea­sonal plants like mistle­toe and poin­set­tia. N

ABOVE: Keep your cat safe in sum­mer

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