Astar's Craft - Australian flowers, natural solutions for outdoor living - 16 October
Flowers of Australia - warratahs and monsteria leaves
When I was in Australia recently I went to the most beautiful tearooms in the old Queen Victoria building in Sydney. The decor was beyond magnificent, as were the gorgeous floral display that featured the largest reddest warratahs I've ever seen.
I tried my hardest to locate fresh ones, but to no avail, so have decided that the artificial will work just as well and will last until I am tired of the display.
Things to gather
- Extra large heavy based footed urn - the urn needs to be weighted due to the weight of the warratahs.
- Wet green floral foam to fill urn.
- 6 to 8 monsteria leaves in various sizes.
- 10 - 12 red warratahs flowers.
Fill urn with wet floral foam up to the rim.
Insert the biggest monsteria leaves around container - you'll probably only have room for three - overlapped.
Take the measurement of the container and add half that much again, then insert a warratahs into the centre of foam.
Cut 2 more warratahs about 4" shorter than first and insert these on either side.
Leave enough space between each to fully show each flower to its full advantage.
Insert a leaf to rest underneath each flower several cm below flowers.
Cut several more warratahs 4" shorter than second lot and insert these opposite side of above.
Insert several more leaves, and then fill in remaining spaces with shorter warratahs.
How to clean outside paving
Request from Karen Dickens
For light stains - equal parts water and vinegar or washing soda
and water scrub vigorously.
Fresh oil stains - scatter area with dry kitty litter. Let soak then sweep away.
And for most other hard to shift dirt and grime - baking soda mixed with enough detergent to make a sticky paste.
Natural bug eliminators for outdoor living
Ways to eliminate ants -Spray then with white vinegar
Sprinkle used coffee grounds around garden - the ants eat it and then implode
Chilli powder stops an ant invasion
Cream of tartar sprinkled around the entrance to ants nest and cracks in paving stops them in their tracks
Borax and sugar- dissolve sugar/borax in a little water, then scatter solution around garden/house.
Ants on roses - rub Vasoline around base to stop them climbing up stem.
Cats and dogs
Tf you have bother with a dog urinating on the lawn, simply dissolve one cup baking soda in a couple liters of water. Mix in a watering can, and then saturate urine spots every couple fays. The baking soda deodorizes the area, preventing the offending dog from recognizing the spot. The baking soda also helps to retain colour in lawn, thus stopping it go yellow.
To repel cats, dissolve:
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp cayenne powder
2 cups water
Fill a spray mister bottle, shake well then spray around flower beds, vegetable gardens and around backyard. Cats hate it.
Mix and add to a spray bottle:
2 tbsp Tabasco sauce
1 tbsp chili power
1 tbsp washing liquid
1 cup water
Spray around boundary of property.
Tom Cats spraying
Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar hit all the areas concerned. The vinegar will neutralize the smell of the cat urine and stop them marking their territory - plus they hate the smell.