With the sunniest May on record, Spring/Summer 2020 has provided a temperate distraction from the problems of the wider world. You may have had a little extra free time recently - a green space of any size can be a great place to spend it.
It's widely accepted that gardening is the perfect antidote for everyday stresses. The simplicity of the task is calming, with your creations providing instant reward. At Really Well Made we're keen gardeners, with a home and a showroom stuffed full of plants. Through the years we have experienced varying levels of success, but for the most part green shoots turn into a forest, given sun and water. We'll take you through a few of our favourite products and explain how they can help you create your own oasis.
We've all done it - A trip to the shops to buy a miniature bunches of herbs wrapped in plastic. Why not buy a 'living herb' pot, add some additional compost, a sunny window sill and it will triple in size! It really is as simple as that.
When you have an established herb garden you'll be able to pick fresh herbs at a whim. Not only is it much better for the environment, it's free as well! For a random arrangement of pots or for little nooks we recommend the HAY Enamel Herb Pot, if you have a narrow window to fill, the Design House Stockholm Botanic Box would be ideal.
If you have a glut of herbs you'll also need to use them up - Here's a simple recipe below. We promise once you've made this you will never go back to shop-bought pesto again! Double or triple the amounts as required.
1 clove of garlic (crushed)
40g fresh basil
50g pine nuts
50g Parmesan cheese (finely grated)
3-4 tablespoons Extra Virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Put the basil leaves and pine nuts in a food processor or pestle and mortar. Blend it or pummel it until it is roughly chopped.
Add the grated Parmesan and crushed garlic. Blend or pummel again and ensure it is mixed through.
Slowly add the olive oil a tablespoon at a time whilst the blender is on a mix setting, this emulsifies the oil making the pesto more creamy. If you are using a pestle and mortar, it might help to have someone else add the oil as you stir it through. Taste and add some salt and pepper to taste. The salt will help preserve the pesto as well.
Serve stirred through some pasta, dollop it on some Jersey Royal potatoes or serve it as an accompaniment to meat or fish. It will keep in an airtight container (like these Japanese Glass Jars) for 1-2 weeks in the fridge.
If you want to pack a few plants into a small space it can help to use different height planters to create a tiered arrangement. Not only will it look great but generally speaking plants love being close to other plants, the moisture evaporating from the collective soil makes it more humid, creating a little eco-system. If you have desert environment plants like cacti keep them apart, as they won't like these type of conditions. Menu's Wire Pots are perfect for creating a tier, available in three heights allows you to create elaborate stepped formations.
Design House Stockholm has also created the Botanic Stand - an elevated planter which is in the same style as their Botanic Box. If you have limited light you can use this planter to raise plants above any placed on the floor, and ensure they all get their daily sunshine! This is also particularly handy if your windows don't reach the floor and you don't have a sill to place plants on.
After all this hard work you're going to need to clean up! In our honest opinion most gardening can be done without tools, your hands are the most dexterous equipment you'll ever find. The downside of course is dirt under the fingernails, but we do have a tool for this. Our friend Geoffrey Fisher makes us Gardener's Nail Brushes with his hands, for your hands. They are crafted from sustainably coppiced English Ash, pure hog bristles and finished with a natural lemongrass oil to make them look nice and smell great. There will probably be some compost on the ground as well. This handy Potting Brush and Pan comes with a galvanised steel pan and a leather loop so it can be hung from a hook.
If you see your green-fingered pursuits continuing or you know someone who is already an avid gardener, our Marimekko Tiiliskivi (Brick) range could be the perfect partner. Made from thick upholstery cotton, the Tiiliskivi Gardening Apron and matching Gardening Bag are built to last. The fabric is off-white and features a dark green line pattern in the ratio of a brick.
One more essential for every garden big or small, is a watering can. We offer a simple option from HAY or a beautifully crafted stainless steel one from Menu. Made from a hard wearing outdoor plastic (in Light Grey or Terracotta) the Watering Can by HAY holds 2 litres of water and features an ergonomic shape for holding and pouring with ease. The Well Watering Can by Menu is not only a functional tool but a piece of sculpture too. A long spout ensures accurate pouring whilst a stainless steel construction means it will look beautiful forever!