Green Your Life

Talking about amazing eco-friendly products and access to my online Wikaniko shop.


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Wonderful Wildflowers

Animals 056Spring is really here!  It was so wonderfully warm today, my two children spent most of the time in the ‘not-a-lot’, we even got the sun cream on them.

Now is a great time to be thinking about wildflowers – or at least it is in my mind!  There is still time to be planting wildflowers to get great summer blooms and give fabulous colour to your garden – no matter how big or small.  I do admit that wildflowers can be a bit hit and miss – sometimes they take more than one year to grow and flower, but once you have created a mini-meadow, then it will bloom year on year with relatively little attention from you (compared to a lawn that is!).

So one good reason to have a wildflower meadow – reduce the mowing!  Fabulous if like me, this is not a great way for you to spend a dry day!

Why else do I plant native wildflowers over ornate blooms or tropical imports?

Well, a major reason is bees, bugs and butterflies and all the things that rely on them for food (including us!). Without bees and other pollinators, our food supplies would dwindle dramatically so, in my mind, it is essential to do a little to give the pollinators, decomposers, seed disperses, predators, and yes, even slugs, a helping hand.  So gradually I am turning my front lawn into a wildflower meadow.

I have removed a 1x 3m rectangle of grass and a large number of flower-seeds have gone into this.  Some are growing, but not all (yet).  There is only about another 4x3m section of grass left to remove and I already have lots of flowers starting to grow indoors – all ready for planting out.

Seed ball tinsMany wildflowers are not so keen on really fertile soil, preferring fairly nutrient poor ground.  They are not good in heavy competition either so it is good to remove the turf and top-soil prior to planting.  Depending on flowering time, once the meadow is doing well you can get away with an early spring mow (for summer flowers) and then a mow after the flowers are over and seeds are set.  But don’t do really short mows as this may damage the plants too much.

Also, when you do mow, do remove the cut grass – perhaps after a day or so, so any seeds can drop off seed-heads and into the soil for next years flowers.

Planting is best in spring or autumn and now we have a great, hassle-free way to plant using seed-balls.  The range is fabulous and we even have sets for your own table!

 

 

urban_meadow_2We have

Salad Mix – an easy way to get a mix of salad greens, just plant one ball every few weeks for salad all summer long.

Herb Mix – with basil, marjoram, chives, dill and parsley, you can get many of your cooking herbs from these seed-balls, and provide wildlife with fabulous pollen!

Cloud Meadow Mix – a range of white blooms that go on throughout the summer

Urban Meadow Mix – hardy plants that will survive even in fairly polluted areas, providing pollen for bees and butterflies.

Poppy Mix – lovely poppies add beautiful colour to your garden and attract a whole host of wildlife.

Butterfly Mix – flowers that butterflies love including red campion, forget-me-not, yarrow, purple loosestrife and musk mallow.

Bee Mix – attract a wide range of bees to your garden with these pretty flowers, including foxglove, vipers bugloss, birds foot trefoil, wild marjoram and red clover.

Sky Meadow – give your garden a wild blue make-over with these seed-balls.  A mix of early and late summer flowers including forget-me-not, meadow cranesbill, cornflower, self heal and wild clary.

Tea Mix – flowers for the bees and butterflies and leaves and flowers to make your tea!  Includes chamomile, mint and anise.

So what are you waiting for?

Time to get planting.

 

 

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Signs for Everyone, Anytime, not just Christmas

We have recently stocked up with a fabulous range of great quote signs and some Christmassy ones too.   These make lovely little gifts for friends, family or even yourself!

Most are on wood, though some on metal.  Click on the pictures to take you to the appropriate page in our shop.

So here goes a montage, just for you…..  Hope you like them.

without_a_dog

without_a_cat

twinkle_twinkle

merry_christmas

24i_would_agreecinderallagood_friendsread_me_a_storychristmas_is_the_mostdance_in_rainlike_shoesho_ho_hoi_agree_with


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Gorgeous Goodies New In

Gift Sets collageWe have some most delightfully gorgeous new goodies from the fabulous Faith in Nature that could solve many gift issues you have….

I love Faith in Nature because they use totally natural products, all of which are vegitarian (most vegan) and cruelty free and where possible organic.  You will not find any of these in Faith in Nature products:-

  • No animal tested products. No animal ingredients. No ingredients tested on animals (with a cut off date in accordance with BUAV (Cruelty Free International) requirements of 1988.
  • No Genetically Modified ingredients.
  • No synthetic colouring or fragrances.
  • No SLES, SLS or Parabens.
  • No artificial preservatives.
  • No BPA plastic (and they use rPET bottles wherever possible).
  • No Methylisothiazolinone (MI)

40thThey have come out with some fabulous gift packs – great to treat yourself, introduce a friend to the wonderful Faith in Nature or give to someone you feel deserves something special.

Starting off with the 40th Anniversary (hey, they are nearly as old as me!!) Gift Set which has five sensual varieties of mini Shower Gel & Foam Bath (all 100ml) – Aloe Vera & Ylang Ylang Coconut , Pineapple & Lime, Raspberry & Cranberry  and Seaweed & Citrus.  A shower gel/bath foam for every mood!  And all for the fabulous price of £12.99.

You can also get some fabulous twin-pack shower gels for £7.99 (2 x 250ml bottles) to suit different moods

revitalising_energisingBoth of the shower gels in the Vitalising & Energising Gift Set,  Aloe Vera & Ylang Ylang and the Seaweed & Citrus, are great at helping me start my day – even after a broken night with small children!relaxing_luxuriousIf you are wanting something to help prepare you for a calm evening and a great night’s sleep then the Relaxing & Luxurious Twin Pack may be for you!  It has gorgeous Lavender & Geranium and luxurious Chocolate scents to treat your senses. Be ware of the chocolate one though – it really makes me want a box of dark rich chocolates to go with my bath!

mini_skin_care_packWe also have fabulous the Faith in Nature Mini Skin Care Gift Pack with  Intensive Moisturising Cream (50ml), Restorative Hand Cream (50ml) and Replenishing Moisturising Cream (50ml).

mini_body_care_packAlongside this is the Faith in Nature Mini Body Care Gift Pack which contains Revitalising Body Lotion and Exfoliating Face & Body Polish – these combine to gently polish and help the skin feel softer, smoother, nourished and moisturised.  Mmm, you can just hear your skin sighing at the sound of that!

pineapple_twincoconut_twinWe are not forgetting your hair….  we have fabulous shampoo & conditioner twin-packs in Pineapple & Lime, Aloe Vera (great for men who don’t want to be too ‘scented’), Lavender & Geranium and Coconut!  What treats and all at £7.99 per pack (250ml bottles).

I have chatted to people at events about Faith in Nature and some have pointed out a couple of ingredients that they have concerns with – Parfum, Amonium Laureth Sulphate and the use of Palm Oil.  So I have been to the FiN website to answer my concerns and I hope yours:-

Parfum – Faith in Nature only uses natural fragrances obtained from pure natural essential oils, designated by the plant name in the INCI ingredient list or as ‘Parfum’.

Amonium Laureth Sulphate – All our products are blended from a mix of essential oils, herbal extracts and other wonderful and special ingredients. Some of our products (shampoo, shower gel/foam bath and hand wash) contain a base called Ammonium Laureth sulphate (ALES). We do not use SLS, nor SLES.  ALES is considered to be a safe and effective cleansing agent and is rapidly biodegradable. Virtually 100% of this base is immediately removed from the skin or hair by the simple act of rinsing with water.  Whilst ALES can be derived from animal fats or from petrochemicals, all Faith in Nature products containing this base only contain ALES that has been derived from plant/vegetable oil.  A prime advantage of our ALES is that it has a large sized molecule. This reduces its ability to irritation when blended in our bases, compared to other bases; the small SLS molecule and the more irritant SLES.

Palm Oil – Faith in Nature have always had a policy of not using petroleum or animal fat based ingredients and from the very beginning sourced our detergent from vegetable based ingredients.  In the early days, the alternative base material was made from coconut oil. However, over the years, coconut has been replaced by palm oil, as the oil palm is a much more prolific grower than coconut. As a result, our suppliers cannot now guarantee that they will be using coconut as the base in the future.  Whilst palm oil is used in a number of our ingredients, we work hard to ensure the palm oil we use is sourced responsibly. We also closely follow recommendations from The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in sourcing our palm oil. Currently all of our soaps are made with fully sustainable RSPO accredited palm oil. We actively work on solutions to limit the use of palm oil in our products as a long-term goal.  The majority of our suppliers are signed up to the RSPO and all aim to have zero non-sustainable palm products by 2015. Additionally we are also in the process of certifying the rest of our raw materials as being from certified green palm through the Green Palm Accreditation Certification System.