5 Etsy Garden Must-Haves

Who doesn’t love Summer? With the longer days, warmer weather and hopeful attempts to eat alfresco. It also means I start thinking of my garden and getting it ready and pruned for summertime barbecues and frivolities.

I’ve been riffling through my favourite online haunt Etsy, and these are five of my must-have gardeny pieces.

ONE

Herb Garden Spoon Markers by Cabin Woods

There’s nothing quite like picking fresh herbs from your garden (or even your windowsill) to flavour your food. Even if I have a frozen pizza, I’ll add some fresh chillies, a handful basil and a drizzle of olive oil to it to fancy-pantsy it up, I’m that classy. Ahem.
Anyway, I think these spoons markers would look mega cute slotted in next to the said herb or make a fabulous gift.

The spoons are flattened and individually hand-stamped with THYME, BASIL, OREGANO, ROSEMARY, SAGE and PARSLEY (or you can personalise).

Designer and maker – the lovely Kinsey Hall at Cabin Woods, offers six spoons printed with herb names for £10.88 plus shipping which is £5.80 to the UK.

To visit the Cabin Woods spoon markers page on Etsy, click here.

TWO

English Oak Bird Seed Feeder by Layer Tree

I’ll admit it. I suffer from Ornithophobia, a fear of birds. Give me snakes, spiders, you name it I’m fine, but if something has flappy wings and in my personal space (pigeon, I’m looking at you) I freak out like a weirdo. Yet I can appreciate the beauty of birds, I love watching David Attenborough documentaries and seeing them at flight is just stunning. Perhaps there’s hope for me yet. This super-stylish bird seed feeder would make a great addition to any garden, and this beaut may even help me get over my irrational fear.

Based in Suffolk, LayerTree uses oak grown in the East of England (big-up), which is bent with steam using a single piece of wood and topped with a choice of four pretty colours.

The feeder is made by the talented Myles at Layer Tree and is £46.50 plus shipping at £4.45 in the UK.

To visit the Layer Tree bird feeder page on Etsy, click here.

THREE

Ceramic Planter by Art Craft Home

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I have dreamed, pretty much my entire adult life, of living in the Med and I can literally binge watch ‘A Place in the Sun’ all day long. It’s somewhere where you can really live outdoors and feel the benefits of doing so. I loved this planter as that’s exactly where it takes me – to a warm and sunny climate by the sea. Ahhh *happy-place*.

The planter is handmade using a durable stoneware clay and is fully glazed.

The ceramic planter is designed and crafted by Stephanie Corridori at Art Craft Home and is £19.69 plus shipping which is £34.30 to the UK.

To visit the Art Craft Home planter page on Etsy, click here.

FOUR

Wine Table by Hoffmaster Woodworks

If you know me, you’ll know I appreciate a chilled glass of wine. Take this into the summertime (where’s it acceptable to be daytime drinking) and I’m in heaven. This folding outdoor wine table would go with me EVERYWHERE and perfect for a garden soiree. Who doesn’t need this in their life?

The handmade wooden table is supported by an aircraft-grade aluminium spike which presses down into the earth whether you’re in the garden or on the beach. The tables are customisable – you can order a smaller hole for Champagne too!

This ingenues contraption is brought to you by Matthew Hoffmaster at Hoffmaster Woodworks and is £31.36 plus shipping which is £25.10 to the UK.

To visit the Hoffmaster Woodworks wine table page on Etsy, click here.

FIVE

Hammock Chair by Feet Up Hammocks

Just the thought of a hammock and I’m mentally on holiday, basking in the sun with a trashy novel. Getting out a hammock however usually involves me falling flat and facing-planting the floor. Lookin’ goooooood. This chair hammock might be the answer to my problems – it’s a hammock that’s a chair (insert: the Edvard Munch’s The Scream style emoji here).

This hammock chair is made using 100% Brazilian cotton and comes in a range of vibrant colours and patterns.

This hammock chair is by FeetUpHammocks and is £64.76, plus shipping which is £40.02 to the UK.

To visit the Feet Up Hammocks hammock chair page on Etsy, click here.

 

 

 

 

Spicy Potato Rolls

I have a ‘thing’ about potatoes, I could probably live of them for the rest of my life. Potatoes and wine. That said, I tend to have a lot of potatoes around, and I have the perfect solution for left-over mash – my Spicy Potato Rolls.

Simply, take your mash and add a splash of olive/rapeseed oil, a little lemon juice, and herbs and spices (I usually use whatever I have laying around – this time was cayenne pepper, parsley and ground nutmeg). Spread the potato evenly on puff pastry and roll up in a palmier style. Using a sharp knife slice the roll roughly 2cm or so wide. Brush with egg and bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes or until golden. Serve warm with a cup of chai for a perfect Indian afternoon tea.

Stories from Other Places

We all know that saying, never judge a book by it’s cover – well I’m guilty about that over this book. I saw a picture of this book on Penguin UK Books Instagram page and I decided there and then I had to read it. I have to admit, I’ve never read a collection of short stories, so I was intrigued to see how I’d feel about it. Would I think there’s something missing or unfulfilled? Would I feel a connection with characters over a brief space?

Stories from Other Places is written by Nicholas Shakespeare and comprises of eight short stories that all hail from different countries and eras. The book starts with a novella called Oddfellows, which is set around the Broken Hill massacre in Australia in 1915, a terrible event I’d never heard of before. The story centres around Rosalind a local girl and Gul an ice-cream seller and their friendship and which ends in tragedy for them both.

The second story, The White Hole of Bombay is a heart-wrenching tale set in post-independence India, beautifully written with enough compassion to draw you in and hold you. In all of the stories, Shakespeare brings to life characters and deals with complex emotions, and the stories, yet short will stay with me for a long time to come.

 

Baked Aubergine

Melt-in-your-mouth aubergine in my opinion is as good as it gets. Add to that a scrumptious tomato sauce topped with mozzarella and I’m in heaven. I ate this in abundance during a sailing trip to Greece, I’ve changed the original recipe slightly, just by adding by own little twist 🙂

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Baked Aubergine

One large aubergine (sliced in half lengthways)
One tin of chopped tomatoes
Mozzarella slices
Olive or Rapeseed oil
Two cloves garlic
One red chilli
Balsamic Vinegar
Sugar
Vodka (optional)
Oregano and Basil (fresh or dried)
Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 180°. Drizzle the aubergine with either olive oil or rapeseed oil and brush until fully covered, add a few score marks to the inside flesh and pop into the oven for around 35 minutes or until soft.

In the meantime, heat a little oil in a pan and add the chillies and garlic and stir for a minute. Then add the tomatoes and a small splash of vodka (I use Lime Smirnoff), two teaspoons of balsamic vinegar and half a teaspoon of sugar. Simmer gently for 30 minutes.
Finally add the herbs and salt to taste.

Once the aubergine is nice and soft, top the two slices with the tomato sauce and layer on a few slices of mozzarella. Add back into the oven and bake until the mozzarella is nice and golden. Add a few fresh herbs on top and serve with a fresh green salad or homemade fries.

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Elemis Pro-Collagen Cream and Cleansing Balm

I received a box of Elemis goodies from a friend and as I was new to the brand, I was super excited to try it out. As you may of realised if you’ve read my other skincare posts, I have a complete commitment-phobia and I easily flit from one brand to another to find the right one. Ladies and… probably just ladies – I think this could be a contender for Mr Right.

Pro-Collagen Marine Cream

I have tried a marine cream before from Transformulas and loved it, so I was eager to see how this one would compare. There’s a delicate and fresh fragrance and the texture is silky smooth. It’s light to the touch and that reflects once smothered on my face, it doesn’t feel heavy or greasy. The results are great too, my skin does feel firmer, yet plumper too (nothing to do with all the Easter eggs I ate).
This little pot of wonder is filled with:
Mimosa – which is extracted from the Acacia Decurrens tree and has anti-inflammatory, toning and astringent properties.
Padina Pavoica (the marine stuff) – It’s an algae from the Mediterranean with proven anti-ageing benefits. So basically, my new best friend.
Rose – for it’s calming properties.
Gingko Biloba –  which gives you free-radical protection.

Available from Elemis at £82 for 50ml.

Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm

I’ve never used a balm before and wasn’t entirely sure it’s supposed to bring to the table. It’s a super deep cleansing balm that can also be used as a mask, leaving skin nourished and renewed. I absolutely love the smell, it’s quite intense but that aromatherapy sort of scent really does it for me. It’s now always a definite treat whilst I’m soaking in the bath.

Ingredients include:
Starflower Oil (no, I’ve never heard of it either) – It has the highest natural source of gamma linolenic acid, which helps to maintain the skins metabolism.
Padina Pavoica – which we know all about.
Elderberry Oil – a natural sourse of antioxidants and contains high levels of Essential Fatty Acids, perfect for improving skins smoothness.

Available from Elemis at £40 for 105g.

For more Elemis Pro-Collagen products click here.