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With Storm Dudley hitting the UK last week, Storm Eunice having wreaked havoc over the weekend, and Storm Franklin incoming today, the country has been facing high winds, heavy rain and weather warnings.  Here at ManoMano we are here to provide you with some advice to help protect your garden from the storms, whether that be Storm Franklin today, or another to come down the line.

Protect pots and planters from strong gusts of wind

Protect your garden including pots from storms

Terracotta pots can tip or break, and plastic pots can be thrown and cause damage to neighbors and passers-by. The best thing you can do with your potted plants is to put them safely inside your house, in the garage or in a shed.

They probably won’t get all the light they need to thrive during the storm, but believe us: it would be much worse to leave them outside.

Heavier pots should be placed against a wall and grouped together to protect each other. Those that contain raised plants should be staked to prevent their branches from breaking, and covered with a thermal blanket for the duration of the storm.

Prepare your garden before the storm hits

Use a thermal blanket to protect the plants you are growing in the garden, and secure it with stakes. If you have plastic or tunnel greenhouses and installed them without taking into account the direction of the wind, consider dismantling them so as not to lose them. Although it is sad to say so, perhaps the value of the plants is less than that of the greenhouse.

Cut all tree limbs that could break and fall on roofs, structures, vehicles, or bystanders. Use pegs to protect bushes or tall plants, and check the condition of climbing plant fixings. A little more string can make a big difference.

Check the condition of the roof of the shed and evaluate what materials you should urgently store on it. Sun loungers and garden sets can lie down or fly away depending on their weight. If you don’t have space to store them, place them as close as possible to a wall that acts as a windbreak, cover them with a cover and place something heavy on them.

Make sure that the door and window hinges fit well and that both the garden shed and the shed do not have holes through which water or wind can enter.

Collect any electrical installation, solar lanterns, empty pots, tools, watering cans and containers in a place where they are protected. If that place is the shed, try to be tidy to make the most of its capacity.

Check the rainwater collection gutters to remove leaves that could clog the downspouts. If you use it for irrigation by filling water tanks, make sure that the filters are clean and that they are in the “open” position.

Pool covers should also be well secured to prevent them from turning into huge sails and splitting. When in doubt, it may be better to put it away and store it, even if it means having to clean the pool of leaves and other debris when the storm passes.

Roses are one of the most beautiful flowers that we can give as a gift at any time of the year. And if we receive them, we can learn how to preserve a bouquet of roses so that they last longer. In this article, we will share how you can preserve your roses as well as some popular tips & tricks so that you can enjoy your flowers for longer. 

How to choose roses as gifts

The moment a flower is cut, it stops receiving the sap that will allow it to continue growing, open, and wait to be pollinated to form seeds. A good tip to make cut flowers last longer is to always choose those that have yet to open or are just beginning to open. 

This advice is also useful for flowering plants bought in pots: if the flowers have yet to open, you can enjoy their bloom at home or in the garden.

How to preserve your roses in 7 steps

1. Preserve your roses by removing the wrapping and putting them in water quickly

Preserve your roses by putting them straight in a vase

Although it is usual to receive a bouquet of roses wrapped in cellophane, the plastic prevents the flowers from breathing freely. As nice as it is, remove it completely so that the flowers get all the oxygen they need.

Help them recover from stress: use a container in which you can completely submerge the stems for a couple of hours. It doesn’t have to be the same vase in which you will place them later: a bucket will do.

2. Choose a vase and place it away from direct sunlight

It is important that the vase is very clean, with no traces of detergent. Rinse it several times if necessary and place it in a place where it will not be exposed to direct sunlight. We don’t want the sun to shine on the flowers as this will shorten their lifespan. Fill it halfway with water. Prepare the flowers, removing leaves and faded petals.

3. Check the flowers and remove any petals that may have fallen off

If they are tied up, some leaves may have become trapped: remove any leaves that, because of their position along the stem, are going to be submerged in the water. Any part of the plant that falls into the water in the vase will begin to degrade, and its rotting will cause the appearance of bacteria that are precisely beneficial for our flowers.

This is where the famous trick of aspirin or drops of bleach comes into play: both prevent the formation of bacteria in the water, thus extending the shelf life of the bouquet.

4. Cutting the stems diagonally every two or three days will help preserve your roses

Submerged stems also degrade and this prevents the roses from staying hydrated. Trim the stems using pruning shears or a knife if you do not have them. Kitchen or craft scissors squeeze the stem before cutting it, so the part responsible for absorbing water is crushed and you can preserve your roses for longer. 

5. Change the water in the vase every day

You can imagine that cleanliness is vital for preserving roses. Change the water in the vase daily and wash it if necessary. You may need to use a smaller vase at some point if trimming the stems makes the large one unstable. 

6. Preserve your roses by taking them outside at night

If it is not too cold, it may be worth taking the bouquet outside at night. The change in temperature will improve their oxygenation and lengthen their shelf life.

7. Remove the wilted flowers

Preserve your roses by removing wilted leaves

Just as we did at the beginning with the leaves or petals, it is equally important to remove the flowers that are getting damaged. The reason: it can cause the rest of the bouquet to wilt prematurely.

Drying a bouquet of roses to make it last forever

Roses are flowers that can be dried easily and with which we can form new compositions in our home. However, it is important to start the drying process when the roses are still in good condition. We recommend using one of these 3 methods:

1. Let the bouquet dry naturally in the vase itself

Remove the water from the vase and add a centimetre of clean water. Absorption and time will take care of the rest, slowly dehydrating the flowers. They will be completely dry after a month or so.

2. Hanging the bouquet upside down

Dry your bouquet of roses

This is perhaps the oldest method, but you also need to know how to proceed: hang the bouquet upside down in a cool, dark place. Use hairspray to keep the petals in place. Let the hairspray dry thoroughly before handling.

3. Dry the flowers with salt or silica gel

Salt absorbs moisture very well, and flowers are no exception. Use coarse cooking salt in a container or tray, form a layer of a couple of centimetres and place the flowers on it. Turn them over every day and let them dehydrate slowly.

The silica gel works very quickly but you will need enough to cover the entire bouquet. The most common way to proceed is to use an airtight container in which a layer of silica beads is formed on top of which the flowers are added. They are then covered with more gel and left to act for a week or a fortnight.

Over 6 million Christmas trees are sold every year in the UK, and once the celebrations have passed, and the decorations go back into storage come Twelfth Night, it is time to deal with your Christmas tree. Just because Christmas is over doesn’t mean your tree has outlived its usefulness, and there are many ways to prevent it from ending up in the landfill. The experts at ManoMano give you some ideas on how to give your Christmas tree a second life, from keeping it alive to recycling it or reusing it in other decorative projects.

First of all: is it a cut Christmas tree or a rooted Christmas tree?

You may not have noticed at the time of purchase, but natural Christmas trees are sold rooted or cut. How do you know if both are usually sold in pots? If you bought it online, this detail is always indicated in the product description. If you bought it in a physical shop or at a Christmas market, the seller should provide you with this information. Very often Christmas trees bought in the UK are cut. 

If you are reading these lines when you have already put away the decorations, tinsel and garlands of lights, it will be easy to answer this question: hold the trunk at the base and pull it upwards out of its pot. Now look at the base… does it have roots or has it crumbled around a cut trunk? Here lies the answer to your question and the various recycling or reuse options below.

What to do with a natural Christmas tree after the holidays?

Now that you know whether your fir tree is cut or rooted, you know that you can only keep it alive if it is a rooted tree. Let’s take a look at the options to give your Christmas tree a second life:

Option 1. Repotting a Christmas tree to another pot or to the ground

If your tree has roots and is in good condition, you can transplant it to the terrace or garden. The most common variety of Christmas fir is Picea abies, also called Picea excelsa, European or Norway spruce. It is a tree that withstands low temperatures very well but suffers a lot from summer heat. 

But this does not mean that it cannot survive, on the contrary! It needs two or three waterings a week and a special conifer fertiliser, especially in spring and autumn.

For a successful transplant, ideally you will have kept the tree inside for no more than two weeks, away from heat sources such as fireplaces or radiators and you’ve provided enough water at its base. Before replanting the tree, give it a few days to re-enter dormancy by keeping it in a cool sheltered area outside, like a garage or a shed.

If you want to transplant it to a garden, bear in mind that in optimal conditions, it is a tree that can grow up to 60 cm per year. Think about this when choosing its location. 

If you prefer to keep it in a pot, transplant it into a larger pot and take it outside. The heat and lack of light it may have experienced over the Holidays may have affected it, but it will recover quickly. Use universal compost and add some perlite to improve drainage.

Option 2. Compost your Christmas fir tree

Give your christmas tree a second life  through composting

All Christmas trees can be composted. City councils in large cities often set up a tree collection programme in public squares or parks at the end of the Christmas season. The gardening service will collect them and turn them into compost. 

If not, you can always put it in the organic waste bin. You can reuse the pot (they are usually large, and that’s always good) or put it in the plastic container. And of course, you can also compost it at home.

Option 3. Use it for mulching

You can use the whole tree to create a mulch that will be very useful for acidophilic plants. If you have hydrangeas, azaleas, gardenias, camellias, rhododendrons or heather they will appreciate it.

If you have a wood chipper, the task is very easy. But if you don’t have one, cut as many branches as you can and let them dry a little before spreading them over the soil in your pots. The trunk can be used as described below.

Option 4. Leave it to dry and use it for handicrafts

Give your christmas tree a second life by getting crafty

The branches that are still green can be used to create some crafts: wreaths, bouquets and centrepieces can still bring some green into your home. Combine it with colours other than red to avoid associating it so much with the holidays that are over.

The trunk can be cut with a saw to create coasters, table mats or for future projects for next Christmas. Or if it was a good size (and you aren’t lacking space), why not let it dry out completely? Next year it can become a minimalist Christmas tree that you can decorate in a totally different style.

Did you enjoy this article on how to give your Christmas tree a second life? Why not read our guide on beekeeping for beginners

The most French of American series, Emily in Paris, is back for a new season! To celebrate, ManoMano has gathered ideas to help you decorate your bedroom (or your whole home) in the best “la vie en rose” style and achieve that elusive Parisian interior design feel.

If there is a character that has dazzled us over the last year for her sweetness and spontaneity, it is Emily Cooper in the Netflix hit Emily in Paris, and not only for this; her outfits and looks have set trends as well as the elegant interiors full of details, pastel colours and sophistication. It is more than proven that the combination of glamour, luxury brands and gorgeous dresses still works perfectly, and if we add Paris as a backdrop, we have the perfect cocktail.

So, if you’re a fan of Emily in Paris, the city of light and Parisian style in general, follow these tips to give your French-Scandinavian bedroom that Champs-Élysées vibe.

Parisian interior design: soft colours 

To give your bedroom a Parisian feel, you don’t need to make big changes to the furniture, but you should use a colour palette in gentle, neutral tones. If you want to give it a soft, romantic feel, choose a range of whites and pinks, both on the walls and in your decorative accessories. The overall effect will be both relaxing and chic. If, on the other hand, you prefer it to exude glamour and character in equal parts, dare to use touches of grey, black and gold in accessories and centrepieces. Another option for making your walls stand out is to create a contrast with a beautiful floral wallpaper that adds a touch of vintage delicacy. If your tastes are more classic and you prefer something more timeless, how about a Toile de Jouy print with pastel country patterns for the dressing area? The result: a Parisian-style bedroom you’ll never want to leave. 

Mouldings, a ‘must’

If there’s one thing that’s characteristic of any historic Parisian home, it’s the elaborate plaster mouldings that embellish the walls, ceilings and doors. If you want the same effect, but much quicker and cheaper, you can always do a DIY job with mitre-cut wooden mouldings painted white. Just stick them on the walls and doors with a good adhesive… And voila, an effective Parisian touch in an instant! 

(DIY) Fireplace for Parisian interior design

Fireplaces are great for Parisian interior design

Add a decorative fireplace to your bedroom wall for a touch of warmth. You can make it yourself out of wood and paint it white. Don’t forget to decorate the fireplace with candlesticks, ceramic vases and gold accessories to give it a French and vintage touch.

Parisian dressing room 

If there’s one thing we love most about the city of light, it’s Parisian women and their style when it comes to their wardrobes. And what better than to adapt our wardrobe or dressing room to have our best outfits and accessories stored in style. If you have a lot of bags worth showing off, why keep them in a wardrobe when they can be part of the decoration? You can display them on an open shelf to enjoy them to the max. Dare to mix and match and tuck your favourite shoes among them, with pretty boxes or flirty bags. If you don’t want them to get dusty, you can choose to put glass doors on them. If space allows, place an island unit where, apart from offering extra storage for your folded clothes, you can display all your jewellery and accessories in an orderly fashion. Marble trays or glass jewellery boxes will not only help you with organisation, but will also add a very sophisticated touch to the ensemble. Don’t forget to add a beautifully framed full-length mirror and a light-coloured shag rug to this area, and of course, a nice French-style chandelier.

If, on the other hand, your space is limited, perhaps you could opt for an upholstered pouffe that is as aesthetic as it is versatile, since, apart from serving as storage for shoes, it can also be used as a coffee table to place a few aromatic candles on, or even as a place to rest your Parisian breakfast. Sunday mornings with croissants and café au lait, nothing less!

Parisian interior design

Mouldings, gilding, marble, fresh flowers, scented candles… go for it because Parisian interior design is more fashionable than ever! 

Did you enjoy this article on Parisian interior design in celebration of Season 2 Emily in Paris? Why not read our article on Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2022!

Are you going to give your home an Emily in Paris touch? Let us know how you get on over on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway#manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

Pantone once again opts for purples and chooses the colour Very Peri as the trend colour of the year 2022.

The American company Pantone has just unveiled the colour that will star in 2022 and set trends in art, fashion and design: it is 17-3938 Very Peri, a shade that has been created by the company itself and which fuses the tranquillity of blue with the energy of red. According to Leatrice Eiserman, executive director of the brand, “It is literally the happiest and the warmest of all the blue hues. Because of that red undertone, it introduces an empowering feeling of newness, and newness is what we’re looking for.”

But how can we introduce the colour of the year into our home? Here are some suggestions.

This shade of purple is an appealing, enigmatic colour that will undoubtedly fill our home with freshness and optimism, but it must be used in a certain way.

While the Pantone Colour of the year 2021, Illuminating and Ultimate Gray, were light colours that could be easily used on large surfaces such as walls and furniture, Very Peri is full of personality that will capture all eyes and steal the limelight, so we will need to choose the pieces carefully and add small doses to avoid it being too much. We can integrate it into our homes through accessories such as vases, sheets or flowers and even give the final touch to a piece of furniture with an upholstery. 

As it is such a powerful colour, we recommend combining it with calm and soft tones such as white or beige, and even choosing a chocolate brown or wood to create contrast. Any other mixture with dark tones will overload the space and will make it lose the freshness and vitality that it brings us. 

On walls

Very Peri colour of the year as interior wall features

Instead of painting an entire wall in this colour, which in the long run can be tiring, it is better to opt for a wallpaper or a mural with brushstrokes in this tone combined with other colours, which will help to create a very fresh and cheerful atmosphere. A complete wall in this colour could be a bit overwhelming and visually reduce the space. 

In furniture

Red armchair next to purple settee in cozy living room interior with wooden cupboard and lamp

Although this type of colour is always recommended in small doses, of course you can have a central piece that draws all the attention. Dare with an armchair, a headboard or even a sofa, but bear in mind that the rest should be relegated to the background. To do this, combine your piece with others in softer tones that balance the space. 

In accessories

There are countless possibilities for the colour of the year to be present in our home without the need for major transformations. Accessories will make our home look trendy without making a big investment: a blanket at the foot of the bed, some cushions on the sofa, some paintings with purple motifs or a vase in the centre of our table. 

With flowers

Colour of the year

We are lucky that there are many varieties of plants and flowers with purple tones that are very affordable and easy to look after. Decorate your tables with hydrangeas, orchids or fresh lilies. Potted heather and lavender, apart from being more lasting, will also add a touch of colour and look perfect on any shelf or mantelpiece in the living room or kitchen. 

As you can see, whether to a greater or lesser extent, there are lots of ways to introduce this year’s Pantone colour trend and make your home look in vogue. Do you dare to integrate Very Piri into your home?