Christmas decorations to make: a festive window box

by Rhiannon James

Giving the front of your house or flat a festive feel will spread Christmas cheer right down the street. Anything from a simple wreath to a light extravaganza will add some sparkle, or you could create this window box which will shine both by day and by night.

Make your own Christmas gifts: herbal hangover kit

by Rhiannon James

What greater gift could you give anyone at Christmas than a potential free pass to enjoy the excesses of the season? Lucky recipients of this present can put aside the paracetamol and try out some of the weird and wonderful herbal helpers used by boozers across the ages.

Heather heaven: plant a winter mini meadow

by Rhiannon James

Moors and heaths come to life with a flush of flowering heathers in late summer and with a small selection of plants, you can get the same richly-coloured effect in a container through the autumn and winter and into the spring.

Fruit Cocktails: the summer harvest shaken, not stirred

by Emma Cooper

There’s still plenty left to celebrate this summer, not least the long-awaited luxury of eating garden-grown strawberries, raspberries and other soft fruits. So save some of this summer swag from the dessert bowl and mix it with syrups and spirits to create the perfect garden party tipples.

Make a floral bowl of ice

by Rhiannon James

Summer tableware doesn’t come much cooler than a flower bowl made of ice. With blooms from the garden frozen in its walls, it’s a pretty way to serve ice creams, sorbets and super-cold drinks. Make one big bowl for the table or, if you’re feeling like a challenge, you could make individual ice cream cup creations for each guest.

Make a lantern for tea lights

by Rhiannon James

When summer finally arrives, there’s nothing more delicious than sitting outside as darkness falls. Perhaps it’s because the heat feels excitingly exotic; or maybe it’s the overheard murmurs and music that tell you other people are enjoying it too or perhaps it’s just that everything seems in sync under the stars. Whatever it is, candlelight is an essential part of the magic, and for that, you need lanterns.

Make a tasty table decoration

by Rhiannon James

If you’re throwing a jubilee or Olympic-themed party this summer, why not make some table decorations fit for a feast? Fill a planter with fruit, veg and edible flowers in Union Jack shades and you’ll have a centrepiece that’s truly British and tasty too!

Cutting garden in a container

by Rhiannon James

Homegrown cut flowers are a lovely way to add colour and character to the house but out in the garden, shorn rows of stalks aren’t quite so pretty. The way to have plenty of blooms in both places, even if space is limited, is to use prolifically-flowering plants.

Decorating planters

by Rhiannon James

Terracotta pots are a good, inexpensive option for the garden but sometimes they can feel just a little bit dull. You can jazz them up with a coat of paint but if you want to create something really unique, why not have a crack at a collage. So find the scissors and glue and get started on a mash-up masterpiece!

House plants for this season’s trends

by Rhiannon James

If you’re looking for quick ways to tap this season’s trends, you could track down some new tableware; buy more bed linen or re-paper a wall, but you could also just add a few plants. With a bit of creativity, indoor plants can give life to any look and their benefits don’t stop there: they’ll also boost oxygen, cleanse the air and lower stress. Here’s a few ways to harness 2012’s hottest styles using house plants.