A homewares tour of Ponsonby Road

Before travelling to Auckland I had heard so much about this suburb, it’s dining, fashion boutiques and drinking options and of course its housing. On a sunny Friday morning, I biked from the city to Ponsonby to check out what options were available for the home. On the way there up college road, I had to hop off my bike so I could appreciate all the houses, they all looked just like our villa at home and there was so many of them! As you look around you see wisteria covered porches, grand bay windows and skillfully crafted fretting – I was in heaven. After soaking up the views I was eager to see where the people in these homes shopped locally for their homes, so I continued on Ponsoby road on a quest to check out what was available.

Bob & Friends

I was parking my bike from the Grand Mercure outside a charming villa on Ponsonby road and noticed that it was a homewares store also so went in for a look. Walking in I was greeted by the lovely store owner who told me to have a good look around.

P1200019WOW was my first impression, her exorbitant collection of homewares allowed you to browse like you would a museum. Bob & Friends is a store that brings a collection of contemporary British design to Auckland with a range of furniture by leading designers such as Mathew Hilton, Donna Wilson, Kay and Stemmerlee Kirkbridge, Gareth Neal, Terrence Woodgate and Rob Ryan.

I would shop here for the finer things to differentiate my home like modular scandi style shelving and the sustainably designed and developed lighting options by Tala (in love).

I loved how each room had a new feeling, toward the back of the house you could slouch in the chairs and picture the furniture in your own home. Being a villa it was even better for people like us who have a villa with high ceilings and white walls just like theirs!

Ponsonby Homeware store

Indie Home Collective

After stopping in for lunch at Blue Breeze I spotted Indie Home Collective from across the road and recognised the name from Instagram.

Indie Home CollectiveWalking in I knew that Georgia would like this store. A modern interiors store with an organic vibe, not trying to be something it’s not – I like this! Located in the perfect spot for shopping and dining on Ponsonby Road, the boutique historic space had white tongue and groove floors and was styled perfectly to relax when you were inside. The store person also made you feel extremely comfortable as she ran me through how each piece is carefully selected and why. Owned by the hugely talented Claudia Kozub, she has fantastically executed a feeling of comfort and home. I’m always influenced by a store that has a bounty of plants so maybe that’s why…

This store stocks international homeware brands such as The Scent of Home & Wonki Ware (so amazing). These sit alongside exclusive lines including Bedouin Societe & Ay Illuminate.

You often find stores that have a small amount of white washed linen blended with soft monochrome furnishings – but not one that nails this throughout their store – Indie Home Collective does!

 

Indie Home CollectiveIndie Home Collective

Ponsonby Plants

I go to Auckland and I find the best plant store yet – standard me!

Ponsonby Plants was such a great find in the cracks of the hustle and bustle.  I saw this across the road as I was biking to lunch so pencilled it for my way home. This store has been here for longer than I have been alive, so I imagine they’ve seen Ponsonby thrive also.

P1200122Richard DeGrandpre, owner of Ponsonby Plants is to thank for this haven. He grows the bonsai and cacti himself, as well as producing some of the pots with a varied maturity of plants from months old to years old. The price of the plants generally reflects the care and time that gives you a plant like a fiddle leaf fig that is almost as tall as you or a hanging vine that drapes like no other.

I heard locals in the store as they were admiring the bonsai’ saying how this store is the only store that offers the “in” plants when the others struggle to source them.

What’s even cooler about this store is they have worked with brands like Huffer and MTV, when you’re inside you will see why they go to this location for the plants – they have everything!

Get plants for your home people, not only are they healthy – they look so much better than anything else.

Auckland Plant storesBonsai Tree AucklandAuckland Plant stores

 

 

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A spring guide to your garden

Kiwi’s love spending time outdoors, our backyards are where we do most of our entertaining over the warmer months so we put a lot of pride into their appearance.

In spring we put the brollies away and start prepping our gardens, it’s the perfect opportunity to do all the ground work so your outdoor spaces are looking primo for summer.

So what do you need to do? Where do you start? It can be challenging to know which garden maintenance jobs we should do specifically during spring that won’t damage the plants and is a good use of time.  We’re getting our yard prepped, so created a list to help you through it.

CLEAR THE LEAFAGE

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Clear away winter deciduous leaf debris, dead branches and old leaves that are still hanging on but look like they won’t be for much longer. We’ve just done this and used a leaf blower to mulch the all the leaves and it doubles as compost, you can also use your lawn mower to do this.

WEED THAT GARDEN

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Spring is when plants are at their best so clear weeds before they make them selves at home! Start thinking about making your life easier with things like weed mat, bark, sprays and planting crawling plants. Think about how much time you have to spend in the garden this summer. Weed mat is our life saver in the garden and we spray every month to keep the weeds down.

PRUNING

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Spring is the season for plant growth. So have a look on websites like www.tuigarden.co.nz to gets some tips and tricks.  Make sure you get onto pruning early so it doesn’t kill any growth for the spring!

USE THE MULCH

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Soil, just like us thrives when it’s getting nutritious food. Use the mulch that you made with the leafage or any compost you’ve accumulated over the winter in your garden. go to your local garden centre and get some fertiliser when you’re wanting your plants to shoot up. Oderings is always a good option or just a local nursery or garden centre.

ELIMINATE THE PESTS

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Black spot, slugs, snails and mites – get these buggers nice and early! Go to your local hardware store and they will have plenty of chemicals available along with guides and info for you.

DECK AND PATIO CLEANING

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Moss and mould most likely grew over the winter on your deck/patios. Use a water blaster or a high-pressure hose with a garden friendly cleaning solution. Be careful not to remove any paint and get a professional green keepers help if you’re worried you’ll make a mess.

TRANSPLANTING AND SPLITTING

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In spring we can split and transplant the plants that have spread. Plants will adapt quickly to being divided with the warmer weather and drier conditions and spring is a good mix of both so they won’t dry out too much while they are taking to the soil.

LAWN CARE

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During winter, lawns become bogged and full of weeds and moss. Spring is the best time to aerate your lawns and grow new grass. You can get weed and feed products that clip onto your hose so no mixing needed. You can seek a lawn care experts help and get a plan in place so your lawn is looking lush in summer if you are too busy to pay attention to your lawns. Now is also a good time to start re-edging your front lawn and reshape.

Wait for the soil to drain and the weather to warm up, before planting to give seedlings the best chance.

GROWING HERBS FOR SUMMER COCKTAILS

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Spring is a harsh season for frosts and random weather conditions so seedlings should be raised in a covered sunny location where they won’t be touched by a frost or the wind. Start transferring these to your planter boxes around October so they are established come summer.