Welcoming in the cooler weather

Summer is fast disappearing behind us and doors and windows will be shut a little more in the coming months. So here are some tips on keeping your home from feeling stuffy. 

The number one thing to do is get your radiators ready for warming up (see here). This small and easy task will stop the dust that has accumulated over the warmer months from being heated up and then permeating a rather nasty smell though the house. If you have lavender bags, you can hang these on the radiators in readiness for the warmth to infuse around your home. 

It is also a great time to get rid of the spiders that have moved into the windows over the warmer months. A quick dust off and clean with a eucalyptus room spray will do the trick. 

Lounge chairs can also be dust collectors so remove all of the cushions and sprinkle the underside with a mix of bicarb soda and your favourite essential oil. Leave this for an hour and then vacuum up the dust. The bicarb soda will work as an odour-eater and the essential oil will leave everything smelling fresh. This job can be done a couple of times over the colder months. 

It may also be time to have the chimney swept, or to have your gas fire checked by a professional. It would be disappointing to snuggle down with a good book or film by the fire only to find a problem, so best get this sorted out early. 

I also like to leave a jar of bicarb soda with the lid off at the back of draws and cupboards. These absorb any damp that might sneak in and if you add some essential oils they will gradually release these into the air over time. If you have small children or animals it will be best to put the bicarb soda into a jar with a few holes in the top just to be sure no fingers or paws end up exploring. 

It may also be time to bring out some dried or silk flowers as the fresh season draws to a close. Or a basket of freshly collected pine cones with lots of essential oils sprinkled over them placed in the lounge by the fire. 

These little touches will help keep your home snug and smelling lovely when you do not have as much fresh air filling your home every day. 

A room spray at this time of year will also work wonders. Again, your choice of essential oils will ensure your home is perfect for when the cold arrives. 


Cleaning up leaves in Autumn

October and November are truly stunning as the leaves turn rust red and orange. This is the time for hot drinks and walks in the garden kicking up the leaves with the kids and the dog!

But eventually, these leaves will turn a sludgy brown and will be trampled into the house unless they are cleaned up. Not the best job in the world.

This blog is for the lazy people who hate raking up leaves. My advice is: don't. Use your lawnmower as a garden vacuum cleaner.

I use mine with the catcher bucket on, then mow or "vacuum" all over the lawn and the garden path to pick up leaves that have fallen. This has two advantages. The first is most of the leaves will be removed this way so raking will become a thing of the past. Secondly, the lawn mower will chop the leaves into fine pieces so you will fit much more into the garden waste bin. Or alternatively, just deposit the mulch evenly over the garden beds to protect the plants from Winter frosts.

The leaf mulch will also break down and absorb back into the soil. Given the leaves are now cut into tiny pieces they will be less likely to be blown by the wind back onto the lawn or onto the path. 

No you can enjoy the Autumn without spending hours with the rake.