leonie cornelius

LEONIE CORNELIUS & FRIENDS

Category Irish Mail on Sunday

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Tea Therapy

  There is nothing more satisfying than that first cup of tea in the morning. The process of sleepily brewing, steeping the bags and slowly watching the colour deepen. To many of us tea drinking is a form of ritual, a moment of calm before the days starts. In essence tea is therapy. In many countries tea culture has become a form or ritual where not only the drinking of

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Alpine Renaissance |achieving a modern look

Considering modern trends what do we think of? Garden rooms, sustainability, green walls, urban greening. The idea of an ‘alpine rockery’ is not one that brings contemporary design to mind. For many of us, the design style of rockeries feels firmly lodged in the style of 1960’s to 1980’s when they featured heavily in show garden circuit and played a strong role in setting garden trends. Often used as a

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Tulip theatre | Creating drama with tulip jewels

What plant is more perfect for creating drama than the tulip? This wonderfully elegant plant rises up out of beds and containers in a most theatrical fashion-standing proud and tall above most other bulbs and perennials. I love tulips. They remind me of weekend visits to Holland when I was a child, the saturated fields of colour stretching endlessly to the horizon as we drove through the landscape. They also

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Ferns | Magical shade loving ancients

  There is something truly magical about the thought that the plant for this week’s column was around when the dinosaurs were. In fact, the oldest fern fossil records of ferns date back to around 360 million years ago making the fern plant even older than the dinosaurs. It is no wonder so that ferns have an ancient and mythical feel to them. Unfurling slowly like a pre-historic snail, these

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Pink Valentine | frothy flower inspiration from the garden

  Happy Valentine’s day!  Every year around this time I love to get inspired to create a romantic combination of flowers. This early in the year there are not many plants from our own gardens that can be used for flower arranging. Foliage is a popular go to for vases and trees such as Eucalyptus are beautiful even in their own right.  Beautiful structural dried thistles and seed heads can also

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A touch of the Tropics | The beautiful Orchid

There is no plant I know as beautiful and sensual as an tropical orchid. Perfectly elegant and reminiscent of warmer climes, these flowers are such wonderful additions to the window sill in colder months, with many blooming in the depths of Winter. The most common orchids available here in Ireland would probably be the relatively robust Phalaenopsis- the Moth orchid. These beauties are native to southeast Asia and are very

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The power of Green | Colour of the year 2017

When you think about gardens what is the first colour that comes to mind? You will undoubtedly answer green and this is no surprise considering that green is the colour of most planting and considered the colour most associated with Springtime, nature and growth. Even the word green comes from the middle English and Anglo Saxon word ‘grene’ which, like the German word grün has the same germanic root as the words

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Totally Tropical | How to create that Jungle feel in the Irish garden

  When it comes to garden design there are so many different styles of planting. From romantic cottage gardens, minimalist approaches or self-sustainable havens, we create gardens to suit our lifestyles and our tastes. One style that I find particularly fascinating is the tropical style of garden. Admittedly, tropical is not the first style of garden you would think of when designing gardens in Ireland but with clever planning and

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Winter colour | How the Viola can brighten the darkest days

November is not a month that most of us would associate with garden colour. This time of the year we think more of strong textures in evergreen and the bark on trees which becomes more noticeable as the leaves disappear. I love the seasons and am a big fan of the quieter months in the Winter garden, where the garden seems to take stock, gain strength and focus itself on

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The Curcubita pepo | Blacksmiths, Turnips & Devilish tricks

Every year Halloween, or all Hallow’s eve, lands on the 31st of October and is a time of fun for children and adults alike. Trick or treating, endless bags of sweets and witchy costumes are some things that make Halloween so much fun, especially for kids. Most of all though it is the carved ‘Jack-o-lantern’ which grin devilishly at us wherever we turn that have become the emblem of the

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