Here are a few more details from the Chelsea Flower Show 2016.
Show Gardens at The Chelsea Flower Show 2016
The LG Smart Garden designed by Hay Joung Hwang
The M&G Garden designed by Cleve West
Husqvarna presents Support the Husqvarna Garden designed by Charlie Albone
The Brewin Dolphin Garden – Forever Freefolk designed by Rosie Hardy
The Telegraph Garden designed by Andy Sturgeon
The Winton Beauty of Mathematics Garden designed by Nick Bailey
The Royal Bank of Canada garden designed by Hugo Bugg
Vestra Wealth’s Garden of Mindful Living designed by Paul Martin
Cloudy Bay garden designed by Sam Ovens
The Harrods Eccentrics Garden designed by Diarmuid Gavin
The Chelsea Barracks Garden designed by Jo Thompson
The St John’s Hospice A Modern Apothecary designed by Jekka McVicar
L’Occitane garden designed by James Basson
RHS Greening Grey Britain for Health, Happiness and Horticulture designed by Ann-Marie Powell
God’s Own Country A Garden for Yorkshire designed by Matthew Wilson
The Morgan Stanley Garden for Great Ormond Street Hospital designed by Chris Beardshaw
feature & photos (iPhone) by Theoda Solms Iles
My Dining Room Furniture Makeover with Valspar paint
My dining room has been begging for a makeover. As in most houses, rooms evolve and so has this dining room. We bought the table about 9 years ago and I was adamant to get a big table plus additional extending leaves to make the table bigger when needed, well we used the extension leaves twice! Too much hassle if you ask me. I also have a problem with natural wood – I just don’t like brown, interesting if you work in interiors… Up until now, I’ve always covered the table-top either with a fancy oilcloth on regular days or with linens when we entertain. The chairs started off well, plain Ikea white ones that was perfect at the time, but as time passed, I would see lovely chairs along the way and wish they were mine. So one day the temptation was too big, these two dark wooden tapestry chairs shouted out from my local charity shop to be snapped up for £5 each and obviously I couldn’t resist! For ages they just stood around as they didn’t fit in anywhere and we had no space for them. I even put them on e-bay to sell, but with no buyers, they eventually ended up in the garage to be stored. Then one day Peter came back from the rubbish dump with two more chairs, or rather, chair frames. This was a clear sign that now is the time to start my dining room furniture makeover.
Below: The “before” furniture.
Below: Valspar colour swatches to match up with antique tapestry and vintage Sanderson fabric
Above: Choosing paint to match vintage fabrics, Valspar paints; ‘Sugar leaves’ R144E (sulphur) and ‘Mountain Ridge’ R282B (grey)
Choosing a paint range was easy, I’ve had my eye on the new Valspar range that B&Q stocks. I love the vast colour collection and cute colour cards, yes, I’m easily swayed by pretty colours! I knew that I wanted the table legs grey with a whitewashed top ( Table top: Valspar Interior Wood varnish, colour ‘Silver Fox’) but choosing the chair frame colours was a bit more tricky. Grey had to be in the mix, the sulphur yellow came naturally and I was desperate to include turquoise too. I narrowed it down to a deeper grey and a punchy sulphur yellow, the turquoise had to wait for now. I had a few old fabric cuttings that I could easily use to make simple seat pads for the two chair frames (foam glued onto mdf-board and stretching the fabric over, securing by stapling the fabric to the back). In the end, I decided to use a very special vintage Sanderson fabric that were the cute little curtains in the kitchen when we moved here 10 years ago. I always kept the curtain fabric in the hope of using it one day, and here they are, the perfect match with the other two embroidered seats. Now I love my new dining room furniture, the table with white washed top never needs to be covered again and the eclectic mix of chairs adds so much more personality to this room and of course the vintage Sanderson has a great story to tell.
Styling, feature & photos by Theoda Solms Iles
The next stop on my flower journey through South Africa brings me to my parents home. In my eyes, my mom is the master and oracle of all things floral! From fresh flowers to floral prints, designs and art – she knows and loves them all. Gerda Solms has the ability to arrange flowers in such an effortlessly way, she makes it look so easy as if everyone can do it. It might sound like I’m showing off with my mom, and I unashamedly am, because it is my mom, so do forgive me.
A green and autumnal foliage display gets a lift with fruit and red love-lies-bleeding.
Green foliage, fern, white lily, rose hip, white asters and trailing jasmin looks great in this urn on the side table.
Below is another corner that doesn’t get left out, here fragrant rose geranium, lavender, grey dusty miller, red love-lies-bleeding and a selection of exotic red plants from the bromelia family, dress this antique chest by the window.
Above: Love-lies-bleeding or amaranths. Selection of foliage, dusty miller, rose geranium, fern, lavender. Two red plants are types of the bromelia-family.
Here my mom and my little girl are picking the flowers for the above arrangement.
My Mom Gerda and Dad Theobald Solms.
Feature & photos by Theoda Solms Iles
All flower displays by Gerda Solms in her home at Bredasdorp, South Africa.
So there’s this small little place in the world that is the curve of my heart. Halfaampieskraal is the farm in South Africa where I grew up, spending very happy and carefree days with my 3 sisters and 1 brother. Before my dad retired, he farmed this little bit of golden land tucked away in the Overberg region, to be precise the Ruens. My very talented brother, Jan-Georg Solms, took over the farming just over 20 years ago and in this time also transformed some of the outbuildings into accommodation and an old barn serves as a venue for events. The manor house has changed just a bit and now acts as the leisure area for guests where they can curl up around the fire drinking local wines in winter or spend endless summer hours on the enormous stoep (veranda), admiring the view to the Riviersonderend mountains. Inside this house the interiors are quite dramatic. During my childhood this was also the case (we often joked that we grew up in a museum) but now my brother, Jan-Georg, has amplified this drama, (giving my parents a go in the ‘dramatic interiors’ stakes) adding lots of eclectic elements, gorgeous items collected from his world wide travels and heirloom pieces that all have a story to tell.
To cut a long and passionate story short, Jan has also inherited my parents’ love for beautiful things and flowers, he knows exactly how to take them to the next level, go big or go home! Here are a few examples of the flower moments that you will find any day of the week at Halfaampieskraal.
Jan-Georg doesn’t do ‘small’, here the dining room table gets a full-on showstopper made up of hydrangea, love-lies-bleeding and small apple branches. The urn standing ontop of a stone plinth, gives this oversize number even more height, filling the room, while still keeping the table surface clear.
Love Lies Bleeding or Amaranthus grows wildly in the the farm garden and looks fabulous on its own against the beautifully hand painted botanical wall art, done by Nelia Solms du Toit (my other sister).
Giant hydrangea heads in opal colours adorning an extra large pale blue vase.
An abundance of farm grown quince fruit, nothing more needed… For me this fruit brings back such happy and nostalgic childhood memories with my dad on this farm. Driving in the bakkie (pick-up truck) with him, dad taking giant bites out of the hard fruit and passing it onto me.
Feature by Theoda Solms Iles
Easter is my favourite holiday and not only because of the chocolate indulgence but also the abundance of flowers that are becoming so readily available. I kind of much prefer it over Christmas. However, the one thing Christmas has that I do like, is Christmas wreaths, so why not borrow the wreath idea and reinvent your own version for spring and Easter.
I made this simple wreath yesterday afternoon from three long Holly bush tendrils that I tied together with bits of wire. Luckily the holly leaves are not too obvious holly shaped! These tendrils are long and very flexibly, you need a bendy plant to make it easier. You can also use willow branches, pussy willow or forsythia for colour (alternatively, buy a ready-made wreath form any florist or craft shop).
For my Spring and Easter touch, I added a purple miniature pansy plant, complete with roots and soil that I wrapped with moss. I’m resting the plant on top of more moss tying it all to the wreath with twine. I finished it off with a few dried bendy twigs that I twisted together to give the illusion of a nest. Adding artificial eggs will also look cute. I initially made this wreath for the front door, but now I like it so much inside, I think it can stay right where it is.
Feature, Styling and Photos by Theoda Solms Iles
My Flower journey through South Africa continues and my next stop is visiting my eldest sister, Hanli Smuts. Hanli & Anton lives on a gorgeous wine and fruit farm in the fertile Robertson valley, right on the banks of the Breede River. Their garden is absolutely gorgeous and Hanli grows the most beautiful cut flowers. Sometimes, she has so many flowers and foliage, she has to cut bunches and supply to florists, just to spread the wealth and prevent them from going to waste. I stayed with Hanli for 3 days and just about every corner of her home was dressed with beautiful flower moments, just as you’d expect.
A subtle and romantic grey theme for the guest bathroom. Grey foliage of the dusty millar and a hit of pink and purple dahlias adorning glass bud vases.
A few of the flower arrangements through her home; pink dahlias, roses, red and green amaranths, pink and green hydrangea and a prized deep red cockscomb, all being showed off in a selection of vintage vases.
An eclectic picture gallery with the obligatory floral paining or more! The two Iris paintings (top left and middle) as well as the white tulip painting (top right), are all by my other sister, the artist Nelia Solms du Toit (yes, I have 3 sisters and a brother!)
Even Hanli’s kitchen sink area allows for a beautiful flower display. Antique wall scones are filled with herbs Hanli uses for cooking daily. By just adding the odd dahlia for colour, this practical solutions becomes a beautiful statement.
Feature & Photos by Theoda Solms Iles
Flowers grown and displayed by Hanli Smuts, Robertson, South Africa
A year ago, I visited my family in South Africa. I managed to be in the country for quite a while and so I could spend precious time with each of my siblings and parents. While I was there I took a few pictures of gorgeous flowers and in the next few weeks here on Friday Flowers, I will show you these.
Feast your eye on these burgundy beauties, they are roses from my sister, Ursula Solms’, garden. The dark ones are called, Burgundy Iceberg and the red ones are the very fragrant Papa Meiland. They just look fabulous on their own, nothing more is needed, no foliage even showing. I love how she styled them in an antique brass urn next to the vintage silver trophy and mimicking the fabulous painting in the background (incidentally, painted by my other sister, Nelia Solms du Toit).
Feature & Photos by Theoda Solms Iles
Flowers and display by Ursula Solms, Somerset West, South Africa.
Every time the prestigious fragrance house, Jo Malone London, launches a new fragrance, I think; how can it possibly be more special than the previous one? And every time I’m totally bowled over, and this being no exception (secretly I think this is my ultimate favourite!). As a lover of the colour green and green scents, this collection ticks all the boxes for me. I love that there are 5 different fragrances in 30ml bottles so that you can add to your collection and layer the scents. Just look at the fabulous collection below and as they have just launched in stores, tell me what is your favourite.
The Herb Garden consists of five 30ml colognes; Wild Strawberry & Parsley, Sorrel & Lemon Thyme, Nasturtium & Clover, Carrot Blossom & Fennel, Lavender & Coriander
Smelling the colognes on tester cards right next to the fresh growing herb plants, was such an exciting and captivating experience.
The Jo Malone London townhouse was totally transformed into a herb garden. A stone gravel garden path that’s planted on both sides with fragrant herbs and foliage, led us through to the potted room, that reminded me of an orangery. Here old rustic pots that have been planted up are forming part of an aromatic potted wall structure, showcasing all the herbs involved to create this delectable collection.
feature by Theoda Solms Iles
Feast your eyes on this hugely creative explosion of colour that is the latest home ware collection by Maison Christian Lacroix, recently launched in Paris. This new interiors range for Spring/Summer’16, includes a vast range of fabrics and wallpapers as well as home accessories edited by Designers Guild. Note the eclectic porcelain by Vista Alegre and the colourful designed luxe stationary by Libretto, all of these elements sitting together to create a playful and vibrant collection, certainly not for the faint hearted.
To see the whole collection visit Christian Lacroix
For the stationery collection visit Libretto
For the porcelain collection visit Vista Alegre
Photos by Richard Powers
Feature compiled by Theoda Solms Iles