Seen at the Chelsea’17 Flower Show

Just seen at the Chelsea’17 Flower Show.

Colourful cutting flowers.

 

My favourite find was the discovery of the Seedlip garden and the hidden gin bar on-top of the hill – total bliss…

 

Lovely oversize traditional terracotta planters with olive trees, so chic.

 

Interesting insect homes, encouraging wildlife into your garden.

 

Camouflage your bins.

 

Mediterranean colours and planting.

 

Greenhouse envy!

 

Colourful trendy succulents and cacti.

 

A life-size horse sculpture made from horseshoes.

 

Inspiring Artisan gardens.

 

Inspiring Artisan gardens.

 

The show-grounds.

 

Succulents are still on trend.

 

Heritage brand, Wedgwood, launching a contemporary planter range with a nod to their famous ‘Jasper’ collection.

 

The totally striking floral fountain in the Mediterranean themed garden by the M&S.

A selfie through the selfie window of the M&S flower stand.

 

iPhone photos and feature: Theoda Solms Iles

Chelsea Flower Show 2017 – Show gardens

Here are a few of this years favourite Show Gardens from the Chelsea Flower Show 2017.

 

Silk Road garden, Chengdu, China. Designed by Laurie Chetwood & Patrick Collins

Silk Road garden, Chengdu, China. Designed by Laurie Chetwood & Patrick Collins

Silk Road garden, Chengdu, China. Designed by Laurie Chetwood & Patrick Collins

 

Linklaters garden for Maggie’s. Designed by Darren Hawkes

Linklaters garden for Maggie's. Designed by Darren Hawkes

 

Breaking Ground. Designed by Andrew Wilson & Gavin McWilliam

Breaking Ground. Designed by Andrew Wilson & Gavin McWilliam

 

Morgan Stanley garden. Designed by Chris Beardshaw.

Morgan Stanley garden. Designed by Chris Beardshaw.

 

500 Years of Covent Garden The Sir Milton Foundation garden in partnership with Capo. Designed by Lee Bestall.

500 Years of Covent Garden The Sir Milton Foundation garden in partnership with Capo. Designed by Lee Bestall.

 

RHS Greenings Grey Britain garden. Designed by Nigel Dunnett.

RHS Greenings Grey Britain garden. Designed by Nigel Dunnett.

RHS Greenings Grey Britain garden. Designed by Nigel Dunnett.

RHS Greenings Grey Britain garden. Designed by Nigel Dunnett.

 

Royal Bank of Canada. Designed by Charlotte Bank.

Royal Bank of Canada. Designed by Charlotte Bank.

 

BBC Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens: Anneka Rice Colour Cutting garden. Designed by Sarah Raven.

BBC Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens: Anneka Rice Colour Cutting garden. Designed by Sarah Raven.

BBC Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens: Anneka Rice Colour Cutting garden. Designed by Sarah Raven.

 

BBC Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens: Chris Evans Taste Garden. Designed by Jon Wheatley

BBC Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens: Chris Evans Taste Garden. Designed by Jon Wheatley

 

BBC Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens: Jeremy Vine Texture garden. Designed by Matt Keightley.

BBC Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens: Jeremy Vine Texture garden. Designed by Matt Keightley.

 

BBC Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens: Zoe Ball Listening garden. Designed by James Alexander-Sinclair.

BBC Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens: Zoe Ball Listening garden. Designed by James Alexander-Sinclair.

 

BBC Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens: Jo Whiley Scent Garden. Designed by Tamara Bridge & Kate Savill.

BBC Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens: Jo Whiley Scent Garden. Designed by Tamara Bridge & Kate Savill.

 

Breast Cancer Now garden. Through the Microscope. Designed by Ruth Willmott.

Breast Cancer Now garden. Through the Microscope. Designed by Ruth Willmott.

Inland Homes: Beneath a Mexican Sky. Designed by Manoj Malde.

Inland Homes: Beneath a Mexican Sky. Designed by Manoj Malde.

 

 

 
iPhone photos and feature by Theoda Solms Iles

Easter Flowers & Chocolates

Easter is my favourite time of year. The abundance of chocolate and colourful flowers might have something to do with it.

Get creative with spring flowers and bulbs and plant a flower arrangement for the Easter weekend. Below is just such an arrangement I made using a wide mouthed urn. The cut flowers are drinking from water filled jars that’s hidden by moss and planted primulas. I added bulb plants like hyacinths for fragrances and that spring feeling. Blossom branches adds texture and a bit of drama. If you don’t have an urn, a shallow bowl or tray will work too.

Spring urn flowers for Easter

Spring urn flowers for Easter

After playing around with this flower garden, I think it’s ok to over indulge in some Easter chocolate. I could not resist adding the very new Gin & Elderflower tipple into the mix.

Easter chocolate are not just for kids, right? See my selection of the best Easter chocolates with the grown-up’s in mind:

 

Easter Chocolate Aldi, Hotel Chocolat, Betty's, Warner Edwards Harrington Elderflower Gin

 

Now for the more colourful and fun-loving choices:

Easter Chocolate, Prestat, Waitrose, M&S, Sainsbury's

 

Shopping Credits:

Specially Selected Exquisite Easter Egg, £7.99, Aldi

Extra thick egg with choc  selection, £27, Hotel Chocolat

Medium milk chocolate spring flowers egg, £27.50, Betty’s

Warner Edwards Harrington Elderflower Gin, £33, Amazon

Hazelnut Chocolate Truffle in a Real Eggshell, £4.95,  Prestat

Fiona Cairns  cupcakes, from £1.25 each, Waitrose

Beau Bunny, £2.50, M&S
Hen House eggs, £15, M&S

Easter Bunny pack, £2.50, Sainsbury’s

 

Feature and Flower photos: Theoda Solms Iles

Mother’s day Flowers with Joanna Lumley

It is not everyday a mere mortal like myself gets to meet celeb-royalty, like Joanna Lumley. So forgive me if I’m kind of lost for word on this post. It’s kind of good to let the colourful flowers from M&S do the talking on this occasion.

Below is a video of Joanna Lumley introducing the event, speaking so beautifully with a soothing velvety voice, I could listen to her all evening long, check it out for yourself.

VIDEO – Joanna Lumley hosting M&S Mother’s Day flowers class

 

Joanna Lumley M&S flowers Mother's day Theoda stylist

 

 

Joanna Lumley M&S flowers Mother's day Theoda stylist

 

Joanna Lumley M&S flowers Mother's day Theoda stylist

Mother’s day shopping ideas

Joanna Lumley M&S flowers Mother's day Theoda stylist

 

Feature & photos: Theoda Solms Iles

 

Grey Walls, the reveal.

Repainting two of my living room walls, from pure white to charcoal grey, was just the boost my home and myself needed.  So, what have I learned from painting my walls?

1. I should have done it earlier when I had the idea about a year ago! I wait way too long before I do something in my own house. Part of that reason is that I get bored quite easily so I feel that I really need to be in love with the new look before I commit to it – but don’t we all feel like that?

2. I share my home with a husband (fortunately, he leaves all interior choices up to me!), a five-year old daughter (that has quite an opinion on ‘pretty things’) and a dog, better known as demolition-dog (a 16 month old very bold pup).

3. The interior choices I make, needs to be hardworking and wearing – no white floors, fluffy rugs or Kartell Ghost furniture for me, thank you very much!

As with many things in life, now that I’ve painted the living room walls, I wish I’d done it sooner. It has also become apparent how badly the rest of the house needs a re-paint, next job on the DIY list, so watch this space.

Charcoal Grey Living room walls painted in Valspar 'Wetbar R1E'

 

BELOW, The ‘Before’ Walls:

Although I’ve always liked the white walls with my aubergine velvet sofas and colourful gallery of paintings, I felt this room needed a change. There was only ever one wall colour in the running – charcoal grey, but finding the right tone of grey, took a lot longer. Until I came across the Valpar ‘Wetbar R1E’, charcoal grey paint.  This shade of grey matched the rest of the room perfectly. Other greys that I’ve considered, tended to show up either too mauvey-purple or too blue, but this tone worked perfectly in this room.

Top-Tip: It is so important to test your paint swatches in the room you are planning to paint. The colour might look perfect on the card or in the tin but appear totally different on the walls in the chosen room because of light reflections and the existing furniture and accessories.

Before; white walls

 

BELOW, The ‘After’ Walls:

Charcoal Grey Living room walls painted in Valspar 'Wetbar R1E'

 

Charcoal Grey Living room walls painted in Valspar 'Wetbar R1E'

 

Charcoal Grey Living room walls painted in Valspar 'Wetbar R1E'

 

SORTING THE COLLAGE, Below:

Vintage, Antique and special paintings

I knew that re-arranging the paintings would be quite a job. Before I painted, I filled in the holes and prepped the walls to get a good finish as I knew I needed to re-arrange my ‘gallery’. If there was ever a fire, apart from grabbing the living creatures in my house, some of these paintings would be the first on the list. Not because they are valuable, but priceless in terms of sentiment. Some are vintage finds from here and abroad, an antique one my parents gave to me, and a few lovingly painted by my sister Nelia. My favourite has to be beautiful big dahlia one in the middle that I got on holiday in France, I adore it so much.

Knowing that I wanted the big one in the middle, I started to lay them out on a flat surface. Once happy with the configuration, I took a photo of the layout and started to replicate the layout on the wall. Starting with the big one in the middle and flanking it with two on wither side, completing the bottom row and working my way up. I didn’t measure the gaps as I don’t mind that the don’t all line up perfectly, as they all differ in shapes and size anyway. This might drive some people mad, so it’s up to you how perfect you want them. Measuring is a good idea if you do a collage creating a perfectly symmetrical pattern. In my case, as they differ so much, I just wanted them to look balanced and loosely symmetrical – and besides, I like a bit of imperfections!

By the way; if the idea of hanging pictures in a collage style seems a bit too daunting, fear not, Ikea have this super cool system where you buy a template called Matteby (£2.50) with four different collage options. All you do is stick this template on the wall, it shows you where to mark for the nails. Then hang your frames to this guideline template. As it’s by Ikea, they cleverly suggest which of their frames to use too, making it a perfect pairing – but I’m sure you can just improvise by using your own pictures – genius! Why have no one thought of this before?

 

Charcoal Grey Living room walls painted in Valspar 'Wetbar R1E'

 

Feature, Styling & Photos: Theoda Solms Iles

 

Festive Foliage Bough

Fancy something a bit different for your door this Christmas? Try a foliage bough instead. I prefer them as they are a bit more organic looking, unusual and very easy to make. Wreaths are so last year, darlings!

 

Foliage Bough Door Christmas decoration

 

Foliage Bough Door Christmas decoration

You would need:

Spruce or Fir branches (Holly and Eucalyptus optional to add interest)

Thin wire to tie stems together

Ribbon to decorate

A pretty decoration to add a personal touch (optional)

Battery operated wire fairly lights (optional)

Lay your spruce or fir branches flat on a table and layer shorter holly or eucalyptus stems on-top. Tie all of these stems and branches together with the thin wire. Add a pretty decoration or bauble by wiring it onto a branch as well. Use the ribbon to tie a big knot or bow at the top of the stems, hiding the wire in the process. Suspend your new Festive Foliage Bough from a nail in the door or the door-knocker, alternatively, mine I hung by extending the wire to the top of the door and securing it to the top edge of the door with a staple gun (as it’s the top of the door it will never be visible). Lastly, arrange your fine wire fairy lights between the foliage and hide the battery back to the back of the bough (taping it to the foliage). I pushed my battery back through the letter box on the door and taped it to the inside of the door, so that I can control the switch from the inside of the hall – pretty clever I thought!

Foliage Bough Door Christmas decoration

 

Foliage Bough Door Christmas decoration

 

Feature, photos styling: Theoda Solms Iles

 

 

Colourful Christmas

Fancy something different on your Christmas tree this year? Here’s a few alternative themes, still in keeping with the Christmas spirit just adding hits of colour and fun with exquisitely detailed tree decorations. I love the “Swan Lake” inspired tree below, styled up with satin ballet slippers and a frothy pink tutu.

These are shots I styled for Wyevale Garden Centres using their fabulous selection of baubles, decorations and Christmas trees.

 

Wyevale Garden Centres, Christmas tree in Swan lake theme baubles and decorations

Above & Below: Christmas look in “Swan Lake” theme from Wyevale Garden Centres.

Wyevale Garden Centres, Christmas tree in Swan lake theme baubles and decorations

 

Below: Christmas look in “Cosmic” theme from Wyevale Garden Centres.

Wyevale Garden Centres, Christmas baubles and decorations in Cosmic theme

 

Christmas look in “12 Days Of Christmas” theme from Wyevale Garden Centres.

Wyevale Garden Centres, Christmas baubles and decorations in 12 days Of Christmas theme

 

Stylist: Theoda Solms Iles

Photographer: Nato Welton

Art Director: Mark Forsyth

Stylist Assistant: Charlotte Page

for Wyevale Garden Centres

A Stylish White & Green Christmas

The countdown to Christmas has begun, so it’s time to set up your own show-stopping Christmas tree. Here are a few Christmas trees dressed with a selection of white, glass, silver and green decorations and baubles. I had great fun styling and setting up these shots for the Wyevale Garden Centre shoot, way back in May. We shot five different Christmas themes and below are some of my favourite shots from the day.

Wyevale garden centres real Christmas tree

 

Wyevale garden centres Christmas mini houses tea light holders

 

Wyevale garden centres Christmas tree, Frosted Mistletoe theme

 

Wyevale garden centres Christmas tree, Frosted Mistletoe theme, baubles on branch

 

Stylist: Theoda Solms Iles

Photographer: Nato Welton

Art Director: Mark Forsyth

Stylist Assistant: Charlotte Page

for Wyevale Garden Centres