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For the little ones, a different and festive gift wrapping can make the whole difference, Anna thinks.

Watch the video and discover how you can decorate gifts with funny cat motives.

Materials:

  • Decoration paper (cats)
  • Pegs with hearts
  • Pom pom’s

 

Find the items in your local Søstrene Grene from week 16, 2018 and while supplies last.

Gift wrapping ideas with funny cats
Gift wrapping ideas with funny cats

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DIY canvas cut out

Creative souls can use a canvas for many other things than painting projects, Anna thinks.

Have a peek at the video on how to make fine little motives on a canvas.

You can print the template here:

Diy canvas cut out
DIY canvas cut out

Should you wish to find further DIY videos, you can subscribe to Søstrene Grene’s YouTube channel, where new inspiration is shared every week.

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DIY hanging flower pot

Hanging flowerpots can create the right, pleasant atmosphere in your outdoor living space, Anna thinks.

Watch the video and discover how you can leave your own touch on the flowerpots.

Materials:

  • Flowerpot
  • Garden Rope
  • Wooden beads

 

Find the items in your local Søstrene Grene from week 15, 2018 and while supplies last.

Diy hanging flower pot
DIY hanging flower pot

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Even though space may be limited on your balcony or terrace, you can easily create a wonderful green environment – as long as you have a creative mind. Planters, flowerpots and window boxes – they all work beautifully, if you ask the sisters. It is important however, that you choose plants that thrive in small spaces, and Anna and Clara have therefore put together a list of plants which work well in pots and window boxes.

Rosemary

Rosemary, which is extremely delicious in seafood dishes and home-made bread, is one of Anna’s favourite plants. The herb, which is actually a bush, is extremely flavourful, beautiful and evergreen in most climates. Whether you sow your own seeds or buy ready-to-plant bushes, rosemary thrives in containers. Rosemary is sensitive to cold and should be brought indoors in the winter. Water your rosemary sparingly, as the soil should be a little dry.

Mint

Mint is a perennial, and if you let it, it will come back next year, and the year after that. The plant thrives in containers, although it should be repotted and rejuvenated every so often as it spreads vigorously and needs space. Water well. Mint prefers moist soil and semi-shade conditions. Clara recommends that you add fresh mint leaves and a couple of slices of lemon to ice-cold drinking water on hot summer days.

Lavender

Lavender, like rosemary, is an evergreen bush which will live for years if protected against the cold. Transplant your lavender into a well-drained container as it thrives in dry and poor soil, and then position it in a sunny corner of your outdoor living space. Lavender is extremely decorative, and the leaves can be dried and used for cooking, in teas and as fragranced potpourri around the house.

Basil

Basil is an ideal herb for planting in pots, as it is very sensitive to the cold and must be brought inside when the frost comes.
Anna recommends placing the plant in a sunny and sheltered position as it needs warmth, and giving it plenty of water. Basil plants should be cut down when they show signs of flowering as the yield is otherwise affected. “Basil is a tricky plant to keep happy so do not lose courage if your first attempt does not go well,” as Anna says.

Chives

Chives are onion family and will grow back year after year. The plant is frost-proof, but prefers sunny and partially shady positions. It loves lots of water. Chives can be grown from seed from March-April, but for quick results, buy a tray of seedlings and plant them out in late April. In the summer, Anna and Clara like to serve homemade omelette with finely chopped chives and tomato.

Strawberries

Strawberries grow well in most pots and window boxes, making them an obvious choice for your urban garden on the balcony. The sisters recommend buying proper plants and planting them in plenty of sunlight. Please note that your strawberry plants are unlikely to produce any fruit in the first year, but how wonderful to have something to look forward to, says Clara. Strawberries can be eaten as a snack or used in salads.

Cos lettuce

Cos lettuce is an obvious choice for window boxes if you are keen to be a little self-sufficient. These lettuce plants can be grown close together as they do not need nearly as much space as other types of lettuce, like head lettuces. Pick a few leaves as needed, and new leaves will grow out. You can grow cos lettuce from seed or buy seedlings. If you want to pre-germinate seeds, you can do so from March, and plant out the seedlings once they are 4 cm high.

Dahlia

Dahlias are not edible, but very decorative. If you would like to grow your own dahlias from seed, pre-germinating them will take about 10-18 days. March-April is the ideal time. Dahlias like plenty of sun and sufficient water. They are beautiful, colourful plants which grow to a height of about 40 cm. In the autumn, after the first touch of frost, dig out the clumps of tubers which you will find in the pots and store them in a frost-free place over the winter. The tubers can then be planted out again in spring.

Anna and Clara wish you the best of luck with creating your own urban garden.

ANNA AND CLARA’S PLANTING CYCLE

Here you can download Anna and Clara’s planting cycle.

Please note that the recommendations in this planting cycle are based on the northern European climate which Anna and Clara are used to in Denmark.

Should you wish to find further DIY videos, you can subscribe to Søstrene Grene’s YouTube channel, where new inspiration is shared every week.

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MARIA CHRISTENSEN

For the sisters, it is a true joy to find inspiration and pick up useful tips from passionate personalities.

Here, Anna and Clara meet the garden blogger Maria Christensen from livsnyderhaven.dk, who boosts her energy levels by communing with nature and enjoying outdoor living at all hours of the day and all year round, with breakfasts on the terrace, barbecues in the evening and decorating the greenhouse for winter.

What made you fall in love with outdoor living and designing outdoor living spaces?

I have always been passionate about designing outdoor living spaces. Being outdoors, under the open skies, is simply lovely. It gives me energy, and it is as if you think better. More freely. I draw inspiration from the world of interior design and apply the same principles when designing outdoor living spaces. Working with plants in the garden is particularly exciting because it is so challenging. Have you remembered to feed them? Have they been watered as they should? I like the pace of the process because there is no speeding things up in the garden. It is liberating in a way. Just think how long it takes for a small seed to turn into a flower. When you have had a go at cultivating your own summer flowers, you start respecting nature in a new way.

What is your favourite spot in your own garden?

My greenhouse, definitely. My greenhouse is my playroom. This is where I think great thoughts, throw some seeds in the ground and challenge myself. In my greenhouse, I enjoy living in the present moment as well as the process. This is also where my family and friends gather round the table for a glass of wine on a summer’s day and perhaps pick a tomato or a cucumber. I try to use my greenhouse all year round as it makes me feel fantastically energised.

When spring comes, and the days grow milder, what are you most looking forward to in your garden?

I look forward to sitting in the sun under a blanket and just enjoying that spring has finally sprung. The first rays of spring sunshine are almost magical. Sowing and transplanting seedlings is also a wonderful process. Inside, my windowsills are overflowing with sprouting seeds, which will soon be planted out in my greenhouse. The first sign of spring is the blanket of little snowdrops and tulips spreading across the ground. It is so uplifting!

What does the summer look like in your outdoor living spaces?

I use my garden all year round, but the summer is the absolute high point of my gardening year. All the beds are filled with perennials, roses and summer flowers. And the pots with dahlias and more summer flowers. My garden is always teeming with life. I’m constantly doing barbecues and summer parties for my family and friends. It is as if the garden springs to life when there are visitors around. Sensing other people’s enthusiasm is just wonderful. I usually also organise a few open garden events each year, where I open my garden to anybody who would like to experience it. You never know how many people are going to turn up, but people seem to be happy to drive a long way to find new inspiration for their own gardens. 

How do you use your outdoor living spaces during the cold months of the year?

When it is miserable and cold outside, I try to create a bit of ‘hygge’ in the garden with torches and candles, or even ice lanterns which I make myself. The most important spots are by the front door and in front of the kitchen window. It is nice to have something beautiful to look at. In my greenhouse and on my terrace, I put lots of candles, pine cones and branches of spruce on the tables to create a genuine atmosphere of ‘hygge’. I try to create a fairy-tale atmosphere.

At what times of day do you use your outdoor living spaces?

Morning: I eat breakfast on the terrace, which is close to the house. Even when it is raining, I can sit out there, because it is covered, and I have actually also installed a heater on the wall, like the ones you see at cafés. I use the terrace from May to September. Having a covered terrace really prolongs the outdoor season. Even if it is raining a bit, you can still gather your friends around the barbecue.

Afternoon: At the weekend, I enjoy having a cup of coffee or a glass of white wine on a bench near my garden pond. It is a sunny spot, and sitting by the water is special. And when there is a heat wave, the pond is excellent for cooling your feet. If it rains, or if it is cold, I head for the greenhouse, which I can heat up in about 20 minutes. The greenhouse offers perfect shelter against the elements, and is a great place for family ‘hygge’.

I have a potting workshop in my garden, where I work with my flowers. It has a pent roof, which means that I can work away even if it is raining. I keep all my pots, sticks and twine there. During the day, I nip out to see my chickens. They love leftovers and sweetcorn. They come running if they think I have come to feed them. They are funny little creatures and with very different personalities. And they love porridge, spaghetti and grapes.

Evening: In the summer, we tend to eat supper on the covered terrace. If it is too cold and windy, I head for the greenhouse, if I want to be inside.

What are your dreams for your garden?

My dream is to get a water collection system going in the garden, so that I can water my pots with rainwater. Another dream which I have been toying with for a number of years is inviting the elderly people from the local nursing home for coffee in my garden. I think it would be wonderful for them to experience the garden.

MARIA’S IDEAS

Designing outdoor living spaces

ALL ELEMENTS

Incorporate the elements of fire, water and earth into the design of your outdoor living spaces. You can light up your balcony with torches, lamps or lanterns with candles. A large zinc planter or a bowl filled with water and flowers introduces a water element. Plant lots of plants in pots and planters on your terrace, or in window boxes if you have a balcony.

SEATING FOR ALL

It is a good idea to have a number of places where you can sit down in the garden. A bench in the sun, and another bench in a sheltered position. It entices visitors to move around the garden and enjoy the various spots. It brings life to the garden.

INVITING AND ORGANISED

Make sure to organise all your garden things so you always know where to find them. You may like to keep your gardening gloves, seeds, twine, fertiliser, plant labels and sprayer in a small wooden box, which makes everything look very inviting. Any unused flowerpots can also be stacked in the box.

If you have space in your garden, you may like to erect a potting bench where you can work with your plants and flowers.

MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR OUTDOOR LIVING SPACES

If space is limited, it is a good idea to use all available surfaces. A covered terrace or balcony is ideal for hanging flowerpots. Lots of them, preferably – for an interesting mix and a fantastic atmosphere. String lights are also a nice touch. Pure ‘hygge’. If you have a half-wall or a whole wall for that matter, then make sure to make the most of it. Use it for hanging up any folding chairs when not in use. Or you can hang a box on the wall and use it as a shelf for some of your gardening things. You can also plant herbs in deep beds on wheels. They can easily be moved around the garden so that you always have lettuce, parsley or chives to hand.

BE TRUE TO YOURSELF

Your garden and your balcony must be designed to suit you, your needs and your style. Find out what you like before setting to work. It is about being true to yourself.


About Maria Christensen:

Maria is 42 years old, has three children and lives in Aalborg, Denmark, with her partner. Follow Maria at Livsnyderhaven.dk and on Instagram @livsnyderhaven

Should you wish to find further DIY videos, you can subscribe to Søstrene Grene’s YouTube channel, where new inspiration is shared every week.

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DIY plant sticks

Here, the classic flower labels are being decorated with motives so that even the little ones can solve which plants will come to sprout in time.

Watch the video and discover how you can make your own labels.

Materials:

  • Flower sticks
  • Acrylic paint

 

Find the items in your local Søstrene Grene from week 14, 2018 and while supplies last.

DIY plant sticks
DIY plant sticks

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In keeping with tradition, the sisters have invited the family over for an Easter get-together, and Anna is in charge of making a creative activity for the day.

Watch the video and discover how you can make potato print with your family.

diy potato print
diy potato print

Should you wish to find further DIY videos, you can subscribe to Søstrene Grene’s YouTube channel, where new inspiration is shared every week.

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diy easter ornament

While Clara arranges spring twigs in a vase in the living room, Anna suddenly gets an idea which brings her into the kitchen looking for eggs.

Play the video and discover how you can create fine, little Easter ornaments.

Should you wish to find further DIY videos, you can subscribe to Søstrene Grene’s YouTube channel, where new inspiration is shared every week.

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diy balloons

“Balloons can easily become even more festive,” says Anna.

 Have a peek at the video and discover how you can decorate with pretty balloons.

Materials:

  • Balloons
  • Tissue paper
  • Stickers

 

Find the products from the video in your local Søstrene Grene shop

DIY balloons for spring parties
DIY balloons for spring parties

Should you wish to find further DIY videos, you can subscribe to Søstrene Grene’s YouTube channel, where new inspiration is shared every week.

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DIY table favours

The sisters have invited their friends and family over for a party, and Anna looks forward to showing the creative element of the table arrangement – the table favour.

Watch the video and get inspiration for how to surprise your guests.

Materials:

  • Paper folding box
  • Stickers
  • Ribbon
  • Glass name cards
  • Decoration leaves

 

Find the products from the video in your local Søstrene Grene shop

DIY table favours

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diy easter basket

Anna likes to do little projects which demand a flair for finish.

See the video and discover how you can transform a paper bag into a weaved Easter basket.

diy easter basket
diy easter basket

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diy easter bunny bag

Little goody bags can create joy amongst children and childish adults.

Have a peek at the video and find out how you can decorate goody bags as sweet Easter rabbits.

Materials:

Sweety bag, price per pack EUR 1,40 / GBP 1,35
Pom pom maker, price per pack EUR 3,44 / GBP 3,42
Easter candy, price per pack EUR 1,07 / GBP 0,76
Yarn, price per item EUR 3,48 / GBP 3,46

*RRP

Find the items in your local Søstrene Grene from week 11, 2018 and while supplies last.

Easter bunny bags
Easter bunny bags

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Homemade chocolate eggs

Anna likes to surprise Clara with homemade goodies. Watch the video and discover how you can make chocolate eggs with caramel filling.

Anna suggests that you temper the chocolate so the Easter eggs get a shiny finish.

Materials:

Chocolate moulds, price per item EUR 2,04 / GBP 1,98

*RRP

Find the items in your local Søstrene Grene from week 10, 2018 and while supplies last.

homemade chocolate eggs
easter choclate eggs with filling

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DIY easter decorations

When Anna serves boiled eggs for the Easter lunch, she always decorates them with funny faces and ears.

These little Easter bunnies decorate the plates wonderfully.

DIY easter decorations
DIY easter decorations

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Rustikale Ostereier

Rustic concrete Easter eggs are decorative on the outside and offer a tasty surprise on the inside.

“Perfect as a host or hostess gift for your loved ones,” Anna says.

concrete Easter eggs
concrete Easter eggs

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home-made granola

For everyday breakfast, Anna often serves her home-made granola which can be scattered over yogurt.

She recommends that you put some chocolate crunch on top for a bitter chocolate twist.

RECIPE FOR HOME-MADE GRANOLA
– for a perfect start to the day

INGREDIENTS
90 GR ROLLED OATS · 3 TBSP HEMP SEED · 3 TBSP DESICCATED COCONUT
3 TBSP SESAME SEEDS · 3 TBSP SUNFLOWER SEEDS · 90 GR ALMONDS
0.5 TSP CINNAMON · 4 TBSP HONEY

METHOD
First, coarsely chop the almonds and place in a bowl. Tip the oats, hemp seed, desiccated coconut, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and cinnamon into same bowl and mix well.
Spread the mixture on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment, and then pour the
honey over it. Now all you have to do is roast your granola mixture in the oven.
Roast the mixture for approx. 10-15 minutes at 165°C, and make sure to stir it around
at regular intervals to prevent it from sticking.
The sisters suggest that you sprinkle cocoa nibs on top of the finished granola
if you like a bitter chocolate twist.

SERVING
The granola mixture is fabulous when sprinkled on a bowl of yoghurt or skyr.
Add fresh fruit to suit your mood and appetite.

Remember to use #grenediy when sharing photos of your home-made granola
to make sure the two sisters get to see your creativity.

home-made granola
home-made granola

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”The perfect gift wrapping for the bag enthusiast,” Anna says.

Have a peek at the video and discover how you can create an eye-catching wrapping for the special hostess or birthday girl.

gift wrapping idea for birthday
DIY gift wrapping idea for birthday

Should you wish to find further DIY videos, you can subscribe to Søstrene Grene’s YouTube channel, where new inspiration is shared every week.

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DIY fold napkins like dresses and shirts

Anna suggests that you decorate the party table with beautifully folded napkins.

Have a look in the video and discover how you can fold napkins like fine dresses and shirts.

DIY fold napkins like dresses and shirts
DIY fold napkins like dresses and shirts
DIY fold napkins like dresses and shirts

Should you wish to find further DIY videos, you can subscribe to Søstrene Grene’s YouTube channel, where new inspiration is shared every week.

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Anna loves to spend time on creative bead plate projects with the little ones.

Have a peek at the video on how to make your own game of Tic Tac Toe from beads.

You can print the template here:

Materials:

Beads, prices per pack EUR 1,40 / GBP 1,32

*RRP

Find the items in your local Søstrene Grene from week 7 2018 and while supplies last.

tic tac toe from beads
tic tac toe from beads

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When Anna and Clara tell nephew Hilmer adventurous bedtime stories, the sisters like to do it in interaction with a small theatre.

See in the video, how Anna has created a theatre where small animals of paper cuttings come to life.

You can print the template here:

Materials:

Acrylic paint, price per item EUR 1,84 / GBP 1,74
Straws, price per pack EUR 0,88 / GBP 0,81

*RRP

Find the items in your local Søstrene Grene from week 6 2018 and while supplies last.

Homemade theatre
Homemade theatre

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