Saturday Must | Spring in the Garden

The official start of Spring is just around the corner and it’s time to start preparing your garden.

From bringing your potted plants back outdoors, to planting up your borders and mowing the lawn, here are our top tips on how you should spend this weekend in the garden.

1 > Move your Potted Plants Outdoors

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Most outdoor potted plants need to be moved indoors during the Winter months to protect them from fast changing temperatures and frost, but the lack of sunlight and synthetic heat can damage the plants if left indoors too long.  When transitioning the plants back outdoors it’s important to remember the following…

  • The change in light from indoors to out can be intense, so do not place your plants in direct sunlight to begin with. Instead, choose a shady spot in the garden and over the next few weeks begin to move the plants into sunnier spots
  • The clocks may be changing and the weather may be warmer, but it’s still important to be wary of frost, especially after a clear night
  • These plants will need more watering and care against pests, but be sure to pay close attention as overwatering can have detrimental effects

2 > Start Sowing Seeds

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Whether you are beginning to work on your fruit and vegetable patch, growing some beautiful sweet peas or replanting your borders for Spring, this is what you should be focusing on in March…

  • If you want to grow sweet peas this year, then it’s the perfect time to start sowing. Find a deep pot, lightly fill with soil and pop seeds straight into surface about 2cm below soil (we recommend adding 2-3 per pot) and watch as they begin to sprout in the next two weeks
  • Begin to plant up your borders with a base of shrubs by opening up the soil using a fork, mixing with compost and then placing shrub into soil. Once the soil is built up around the shrub, be sure to give it a good water and keep an eye on it over the next few days. You can also begin to add more hardy perennials like foxgloves or geraniums
  • It’s the perfect time to start focusing on that vegetable patch; sow the seeds of carrots, broad beans, cauliflower and lettuce and dig out around your fruit trees to remove any conflicting roots

3 > Mow the Lawn

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  • If the weather stays dry then take advantage and mow the lawn. Be sure to make sure the grass is clear of anything which may clog up the mower, and set the blades to cut a little longer to avoid the lawn looking brown. As the weather gets warmer you will need to do this about twice a week, but for now once a week is fine

4 >  Weed the Garden

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Once Weeds have taken over the garden it can be extremely difficult to get them under control, but ensuring they are gone before you begin planting will make it much easier in the long run.

  • Before you begin planting, spend time turning over the soil and mulch a thick layer of bark chippings and leaf mould to prevent weeds from growing up and keep the soil beneath moist
  • Use your hands to remove the heads of all weeds as soon as you see them growing, and later go in with a hand weeding tool to lever all the roots out of the soil
  • If you find weed growing in your potted plants, it’s best to remove by hand and then place pebbles or shells over the soil to prevent regrowth

How To | Easter Ideas

 unnamed (1)fbe6dd14687615409ca2f17bf6fb7c04 092b5a6d781eded76da351d93108a648 The Easter Tree stems from German and Scandinavian tradition and is a beautiful way to decorate your home for Spring.

Hang our delicate porcelain decorations for a magnificent display, using simple branches such as twisted willow, and add cherry blossom or our faux dogwood stems for a hint of colour.

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What you need:

> A large, weighty vase- we used our Tall Recycled Glass Vase

> Strong stems- we recommend twisted willow

> Soft blossom- add colour with cherry blossom or our Faux Dogwood Blossom Stems

> Hanging Decorations- our porcelain birds and ceramic hanging eggs are ideal

What to do:

> Add a handful of stronger stems like twisted willow that will take the weight of your decorations

> If you want to add a little colour, the include some season cherry blossom or faux dogwood

> Hang ornaments across the willow and be sure to intersperse different colours and sizes for a balanced display

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Why not try:

> Using a wider stem vase, like our Milo Vase, and filling with decorative coloured eggs like our Faux Speckled Eggs for a more colourful and creative display

> Create a longer lasting floral display by replacing the hanging decorations with more flowers. Try our faux hydranga or visit your local florist for a selection of seasonal flowers

> Do a little DIY and decorate your own eggs, take a look at our blog on easy ways to do this

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For us, the Easter weekend is all about getting the family together, and there is no better way than enjoying a meal together.

Decorate your table for Easter by creating a simple but beautiful display using the tips above and adding a pop of colour with faux florals like our Hydrangeas, or creating a centerpiece of faux eggs in a basket.

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Here is what we will be cooking on Easter Sunday >

roast-leg-of-lamb-verticalRoast Leg of Lamb

An Easter Sunday tradition and one we really love; Lamb is in season and a is tasty treat the whole family will enjoy.

Our favourite recipe comes from website Simply Recipes and recommends a simple marinade of rosemary, olive oil, garlic, pepper and lemon juice, left on overnight before slowly cooking on Gas Mark 7 for 20 minutes before reducing to Gas Mark 2 for the remaining 40 minutes. Take a look at the full recipe here.

 

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Hot Cross Buns

Creative cook Jamie Oliver has come up with a brilliant spin on two classic dishes, combining festive Hot Cross Buns with the family favourite Bread and Butter Pudding.

Click here to take a look at his clever recipe.

 

 

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Saturday Must | Mother’s Day

It’s time to say ‘Thanks Mum’ and treat her to something special for Mother’s Day next weekend. Take a look at our Mother’s Day edit, we’ve hand selected some of our favourite products that our mum’s will love, and we think yours will too.

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We have also teamed with artisan florists Bramble & Wild to create an exclusive Cox & Cox bouquet. Click here to take a look, and enjoy 10% off all bouquets with code CC10%.

For your chance to win this stunning seasonal bouquet and our Cloud Hand Blown Vase, simple place an order on our website before Midnight Sunday 8th March. One lucky winner will receive this beautiful prize just in time for Mother’s Day.

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Sometimes there is nothing more valuable that spending time with your loved ones, and we’ve found some lovely ways to spend your day together.

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Enjoy a quintessentially English afternoon tea in this historic town of Bath. The Royal Crescent is one of Bath’s most famous landscapes, boasting traditional Georgian features and set right in the heart of this beautifully historic city.

With prices starting from £32 per person, this luxurious treat will really make mum feel special. Click here for more information.

 

Take a trip to royal palace hampton-flowerHampton Court to enjoy the gardens and architecture and experience Florimania. Showcased in the apartment of William III, Florimania takes you through the history of flowers, and how they would have looked over the past 500 years. Click here to find out more.

 

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If you’re in Yorkshire for Mother’s Day then take a trip to Nostell Priory and Parkland to explore the stunning 18th century treasure house and beautiful gardens. To celebrate Mother’s Day they are hosting a Fiesty and Fabulous talk on influential women from the past, followed by a traditional afternoon tea. Click here to find out more.

Introducing | Flowers from Bramble & Wild | Competition

Flowers can instantly brighten up your home, injecting soft colour, fresh scent and a Spring feeling no matter what the weather’s like outdoors.

Here at Cox & Cox, we love to use flowers to add a pop of colour or texture to our fabulous products and bring our photographs to life, and we often work with local florists to create unique and stylish bouquets.

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To celebrate Mother’s Day, we’ve teamed with Frome-based florist Bramble & Wild to create an exclusive Cox & Cox bouquet that embodies our unique style- available to buy here. Treat yourself to 10% off this bouquet and any other from Bramble & Wild with discount code CC10%.

We are also offering one lucky person the chance to WIN this exclusive large bouquet and our Cloud Hand Blown Vase. To enter, simply place an order on www.coxandcox.co.uk between now and midnight on Sunday 8th March using code BRAMBLE for 15% off and your chance to win.

Good luck!

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We chose Bramble & Wild for their like-minded style and unique attitude towards the home, and sat down with owner Grace to celebrate the opening of her new shop and talk about her work as a florist >

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What inspired your career in floristry?

My leap into floristry was a bit of a ‘eureka moment,’ to be honest! After finishing a foundation degree in art & design, I decided to defer my place at Falmouth University and, with the support of my mum, enrolled in an evening class learning floristry. Seven years later I’ve never looked back, although floral design can be stressful, knowing you can make a difference to someone’s day is wonderful.

Tell us about your unique style when it comes to your work.

I am always inspired by the countryside where I live, and I want my designs to reflect this natural look- I like to think of it as Rustic Chic!

Untitled design (34)Have you noticed any summer trends coming through in Floristry?

Peach and blush are definitely the colours of the year. This delicate colour combination is really popular at weddings, ‘Cafe au Lait’ Dahlias are great go grow in the garden and their large peach heads add a real wow factor.

What are the essentials for introducing flowers to your home?

For flowers, it’s all about the right vessel. Something like the Cloud Hand Blown Vase is perfect for ready-made bouquets as the wider base allows for the stems to spread out. If you’re picking stems from the garden, a small bud vase or jam jar works well and looks really sweet. As well as a vessel, it’s handy to keep a small bottle of flower food and a pair of sharp scissors, this keeps your flowers well fed and lets you cut the stems at an angle and remove dead heads.

What are your top tips for creating a good display?

My most important tip is to create something you love. My dad has a saying “If it looks right, then it is right”, so make sure you choose flowers you adore. Always bear in mind the 2/3rd  1/3rd rule- aim for 2/3rd of flowers above the rim of a vase, and 1/3rd below.

Tell us a little about how you’d style our vases?

Brightly coloured ranunculus with twisted stems would look lovely sat in your Three Recycled Bud Vases, I love the yellow ones as their colour and texture compliments these hand blown vases. For country styled flowers, the Small and Tall Pitcher would be ideal; fill with sweetpeas or an array of summer blooms like alchemilla and dahlias.

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Treat yourself to 10% Bramble & Wild’s bouquets and to order our exclusive Cox & Cox Bouquet- simply use code CC10% when ordering on the website.

Guide | Flowers

Flowers can instantly brighten up your home, injecting soft colour, fresh scent and a Spring feeling no matter what the weather’s like outdoors.

Here at Cox & Cox, we love to use flowers to add a pop of colour or texture to our fabulous products and bring our photographs to life, and we often work with local florists to create unique and stylish bouquets.

bramble and wild shop frontbramble and wild bouquetWe’re working with local florist Bramble & Wild to bring you an exclusive Cox & Cox bouquet, perfect for brightening your home or as a gift for Mother’s Day.

Available to buy online here, we are offering 10% off any bouquet using exclusive discount CC10%. Keep your eyes peeled next week for an exclusive Mother’s Day competition coming from Bramble & Wild!

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Follow our top tips on how to introduce flowers into your home for Spring >

> Bramble & Wild owner Grace says ‘My most important tip is to create a display you love. Always bear in mind the 2/3rd 1/3rd rule- aim for 2/3rd of flowers above the rim of the vase, and 1/3rd below’.

> Interior stylist Pippa Jameson has blogged about the perfect way to create a small flower arrangement. As a rule of thumb- opt for one strong colour with a few softer complementary shades, and for single colour displays, stick to three types of flower to avoid over complicating the design. And of course- add a splash of green foliage for contrast.

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 > Make sure you remove leaves from all stems that will sit below the vase or within the water to keep the display clean and fresh. For a simpler, bold display, thin out leaves around flower heads.

> Make sure your choice of flowers reflect your vase- for a tall glass vase, go for simple stems like Arum lilies, and for small bud vases, opt for a bright and beautiful bud like ranunculus.

> Prolong the life of your flowers by snipping stems at 45-degree angle, and ensure the vase is completely clean. The cooler and darker the room, the longer your flowers will last, and adding a blend of vinegar and sugar will keep flowers clean and fed.

> Try flower pressing. Gardenista have a brilliant and very easy-to-follow blog on the best way to press flowers and another on stylish ways to present them.

> If all else fails, go faux. With flowers so realistic, you’ll find it hard to tell the difference, faux flowers are low maintenance and high impact.

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March Musts | Do it Yourself

Must Eat

minted-lamb-legA classic Spring Sunday lunch for Easter, Mother’s Day or any occasion, we love Donna Hay’s Minted Lamb and Asparagus recipe

Simply marinade for an hour in salt, pepper and olive oil, before roasting in the oven for an hour. Make the recipe extra special with homemade mint sauce, simply mix 80ml Malt Vinegar, 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar and finely chopped spearmint.

Must Watch

 

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Watch amateur sewers take on a series of creative challenges in the competition to be crowned Britain’s Best Home Sewer.  If you haven’t already seen this brilliant show, then you need to head to BBC iPlayer right away. The next episode of season three is due to air on Thursday, so you’ve still got the weekend to catch up and chose your favourite sewing bee.

Must Make

 

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Made from fresh peaches, tasty blueberries and basil, this refreshing Spring Mojito recipe is a tasty alternative for anyone who isn’t a fan of mint or lime.

We’ve followed this recipe from blogger Pineapple and Coconutand mixed peach infused rum, homemade peach syrup and sparkling water with a muddle of blueberries and a sprig of basil. Take a look at her Spring inspired recipe here.

Must Do

 

bramble and wild bouquet1 This week we’ve been working with our local florist Bramble & Wild to create an exclusive Cox & Cox bouquet (pictured left), which has inspired us to learn a little more about flowers.

Floral designer Lucy MacNicholl runs a variety of flower schools, ranging from Beginners Flower Arranging to Wedding Flower Sessions, for more information take a look at her website.

Saturday Must | Pancakes

Pancakes don’t have to be eaten only once a year, we think they made a great weekend brunch idea. Whether you prefer sweet of savoury, it’s all about a reliable, easy to follow recipe that makes them taste great. Our recipe comes from Delia Smith >

What you need:
>  110g Plain Flour
>  Pinch Salt
>  2 Large Eggs
>  200ml/75ml Mix of Milk and Water
>  50g Butter
>  Sugar and Lemon to serve
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1) Sift flour and salt from a height into a large mixing bowl before breaking eggs into well in centre

2) Whisk until mixture begins to thicken then start adding milk and water slowly until batter is complete

3) Melt butter into pan before spooning 2 tablespoons back into mixture and whisking

4) Use remaining butter to keep pan moist, heat pan to high temperature and add just under two tablespoons of batter for every pancake

5) Serve by squeezing over lemon juice and sprinkling with sugar

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Why not mix it up with some fruity, savoury and sumptuous toppings >

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Strawberry Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes

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Sumptuous Double Chocolate Pancakes

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Creamy Chicken & Mushroom Crepes

Saturday Must | Valentine’s Cocktails

Here at Cox & Cox HQ, we are always looking for any excuse for cocktails! Here are just a few of our favourite Valentine’s Drinks you can enjoy over the weekend >

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A great alternative to dessert, Valentino’s Delight is a rich creamy cocktail with a sweet flavour.

Made using whiskey, sweet ruby port, coffee liquor (We recommend Kahlua) and double cream, Valentino’s Delight is perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth.

Click here to view the recipe.

 

 

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This fizzy, fruity cocktail can be made ahead of time by soaking pomegranates, cranberry and raspberries in rum before adding 3 tablespoons of sugar and fizzy wine when serving.

We’ll be making a whole pitcher to enjoy over the weekend using this handy recipe

 

 

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Our favourite Valentine’s Day Cocktail by far, The Red Queen is a sharp, strong cocktail which carefully mixes gin (we recommend Hendricks), cranberry juice, elderflower liquor with a drop of lemon juice.

Simply pop the ingredients into a cocktail shaker, mix until frothy and serve in cool martini glasses. Click here for the full recipe.

 

 

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The perfect blend of sweet and sharp, this cool refreshing Rosewater Lemonade can be made from scratch just like all of our cocktails and can be served alcohol free.

Blogger Use Real Butter has made this tasty recipe from scratch, click here to take a look.

 

Everyday Elegant Dining

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Whether it’s a special occasion or a relaxed dinner party with friends, a night in can be as appetising and stylish as a night out. Add subtle colour to your table with our brand new Dove Grey Casa Earthenware, handmade exclusively for us in Italy. Recreate the Cox & Cox look by teaming with our stylish Aurelia Gold Cutlery and Salt & Pepper Pinch Pots and treat yourself to Martha Stewart’s Raspberry Ripple Meringue­ our favourite Valentine’s dessert!

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If you’re looking for expert tips, then follow the advice of the top chefs by presenting your food on simple white plates-­ apparently it makes your food look even more attractive and appealing.

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gnocchi

 

Blogger and chef, Bojon Gourmet’s Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi recipe can be served with or without pancetta and makes an tasty looking supper that’s bound to impress your loved ones. Head to her blog for a useful step ­by step guide on how to make this dish, and make the recipe extra special with a Sage Brown Butter Sauce from Domestically Blissful.

 

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No good dinner party is complete without a choice of delicious drinks. Whether you’re starting with a Gin & Tonic or finishing with an Irish coffee, our Everyday Water Glasses and Mugs are perfect choice to serve them in. Our Ceramic Cafe Set makes a great end to the evening, by brewing the perfect coffee or loose leaf tea.

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Saturday Must | Delicious Desserts

Valentine’s Day is only a week away, and it’s our favourite excuse to spoil ourselves. Ditch dinner and head straight for dessert with our sumptuous selection of sweet treats >

Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cake

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The perfect mix of sweet and sharp, the light layers of this stunning Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cake are topped with tight chocolate curls and sat on a rich brownie base. Inspired by food blogger and self confessed chocoholic SugarHero, click here to view her recipe.

 Milk Chocolate Souffle

chocolate-souffle-646-620x620The ultimate indulgence, this Milk Chocolate Souffle recipe is surprisingly easy to make and can be pre-prepared ahead of time. Our favourite recipe comes from Bon Appetit and is topped with a light handmade nougat whip. Take a look here.

Brown Sugar & Espresso Pavlova with Figs

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If chocolate isn’t really your thing, then this fresh fig pavlova is a sweet alternative. With rich espresso and brown sugar, this rich crispy meringue is topped with sweet caramel essence, refreshing greek yogurt and fresh figs. Our favourite recipe comes from The Pretty Blog and is available here.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

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A classic dessert idea that’s easy to make and the perfect balance of naughty and nice. Author and blogger Handle The Heat has made a youtube video filled with different ways to decorate from scratch at home, take a look here.

Win- Valentine’s Chocolate Goody Box

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We’ve teamed with luxury chocolatiers Choc on Choc for your chance to win an indulgent Valentine’s Goody Box! Treat yourself or your loved ones by heading to Facebook and entering our competition.

Good Luck!