Garden inspiration mood boards

April sure is a funny month isn't it?  There's been highs and lows of temperatures and let's hope they're back on the rise again soon.  But a glimpse of sun, or rather a lot unusually as was the case, and it doesn't take much to convince us that it's here to stay, and we're going to have the hottest summer ever (again).  

Only for our hopes to be dashed when overnight the temperatures plummet to single figures. But that's the 'joy' of the English weather, and it doesn't stop us enjoying our gardens does it?  With the early glimpse of sun, I don't expect I'm the only one making plans to enjoy my garden. There's quite a bit of work to do before I can pull the sun loungers out though, but for now, let's get some garden inspiration from these mood boards which use items from Wayfair's Outdoor range

Knowing me and colour, you'll not be surprised to see my first three boards contain bright colours, but even I don't do full on colour all of the time, so I've also included a couple of calmer boards too, and all of the boards contain items I love and think you will too.

1 brights + stripes - items from Wayfair

That pink chair!  I'm a fan of this style of chair and have seen it increasingly this year - my fear though is that it'll be much harder to store than the traditional deck chair shown below.  I've a suspicion that it won't be too long before I've found a way around my dilemma - did I mention that I've scheduled in a clear out of the shed for next weekend?

2 modern traditions  - items from Wayfair

A drinks trolley is also on my wish list. I know I said I wasn't sure if I was keen or not, but I've talked myself round and MOH is keen too.  And, that means when he makes drinks, he'll be out of my way as he'll have his own drinks making space.  I know that in reality, he'll use this space and the space he previously used, but the fine will be to make me more cocktails, so I think that's a win!

For me, summer isn't summer without a barbecue, a picnic or an ice lolly or too.  Adding these all together really do bring fab times, which of course is a classic whichever way you look at it.

3 fab times - items from Wayfair

I told you that the first three boards were colourful, but I hope you'll agree full of summer fun.  There's times - and gardens - that call for something altogether calmer, and dare I say it, more elegant. The metal tree seat is an absolute classic, but sadly wouldn't work in my garden, we'd be sitting with at least one foot in the flowerbeds.  

4 english garden - items from Wayfair

I'm much more likely to have zinc planters, in fact I'm always on the look out for zinc planters and I'm convinced I'll find some in the junk shops of Norfolk. I keep looking, and with no joy yet, so maybe I'll given in soon and treat myself.

My final board is a nod to how our gardens can calm us, how they can be places to sit and watch the world go by. Whether that's watching the wildlife go about its business, watching the temperatures (hopefully) soar, or to relax watching the dancing flicker of a flame late into the evening.

5 calming elements - items from Wayfair

So there you have five different mood boards providing garden inspiration, which inspires you?

* This is a collaborative post, but all views are my own.


A welcome basket for guests this Christmas

I don't know about you but when we go and stay with friends or relatives it can go one of two ways. I can be uber organised and remember to pack everything I need to take, or more than likely I'll be rushing around at the last minute randomly throwing things into my bag. Then it's hit and miss as to whether or not I actually throw the things I need into my bag or not...

And I'd like to think I'm not alone, although I expect my guests are slightly more prepared than I ever am.

So when Wayfair challenged me to put together a welcome basket for my guests this Christmas then stepping up to my role as host I used my mid-range self as a basis for what to include in my basket, but first I needed to choose a basket.

After plenty of deliberation I opted for this fabric basket in petrol by Zeller. Our spare bedroom is a mix of pale blues, mid aqua and neutral calming colours, but I thought adding a pop of blue would make a nice change - and it does.
a welcome basket for guests from wayfair

You'll know by now that I'm not much of one for sticking to rules, so I'm using a side table as a bedside table and I love the strong shape it gives.  The brilliant white top show off the colours of my basket and of its contents.

A simple side table as a bedside table complete with a zeller basket from wayfair full of goodies for my guests
The unfinished legs give it a modern and effortlessly stylish look and feel, and it's also available on the Wayfair site.

So what's in my basket?

  • Slippers! We've wooden floors throughout our house and if you're not used to that, then it can be cold underfoot, and they are the most often loaned item to guests.
  • A small patchwork quilt because there's nothing worse than being cold in someone else's house is there?  It's only a small quilt, and there's another larger one on the open shelf unit, so I'm not trying to freeze my guests out!  
  • Some reading material and quite a selection at that. There's the magazines from this year's Ideal Home Show at Christmas and from Grand Designs Live earlier in the year.  Plus some classics - I've included The Da Vinci Code and Flowers in the Attic - sometimes having an old favourite to dip in and out of is welcoming isn't it?  I've also included a tongue-in-cheek book entitled "House Rules" not quite what you might think, but it's full of tips for running a smoothly oiled home - I think I could do with reading it again!
  • An eye mask as it has been said our bedroom is on the light side...
  • Some essential toiletries including cotton wool buds, cotton wool pads, make-up remover and my favourite thing to forget a contact lens case.
What's in my zeller basket from wayfair

On the side table I've also added a delicate glass jar with some brightly coloured alstroemerias, also known as Lily of the Incas or the Peruvian Lily, and a small fabric tray for jewellery and valuables. It's one I made a short while back and the colours match the new basket well.  It's a small thing, but whenever I stay away from home I'm always keen to know where my jewellery is, and that it's together, so if we needed to leave in a hurry I can easily pick it up in one go. I'm hoping that I'll never need to know that, but when I do it's reassuring.

A posy of flowers, bedside lamp and a tray to put trinkets in

The final item that's an essential when guests stay is some fluffy towels, and this year I've gone for some of these funky and festive stag towels. Aren't they great?

Festive towels ready for my guests

So what have I forgotten?  What would you include in a welcome basket for your guests?  Leave a comment and let me know, as my once confident-that-I'd-included-everything-self is no beginning to wonder what I've missed!


* This is a sponsored post with Wayfair but all views and opinions are my own.