I'm obsessed with outdoor spaces. I don't know if I was an escape artist in a previous life, but I always have this urge to just throw all the windows wide open and feel the fresh air on my face. Perhaps it's the traveller in me who just loves the endless possibilities of the world outside. But I've found that bringing that outdoor world into my everyday life help keep a little of the magic of travelling alive. Anywhere I go, I love finding special places that combine the beauty of outside with our inside lives. Whether that means exploring beautiful greenhouses filled with exotic plants and getting lost in a butterfly house. Or even just bringing plants into your home – there are so many ways to keep this magic alive.
On one of my very first visits to Hamburg, I remember going inside the gorgeous greenhouses at Planten Un Blomen and discovering the amazing tropical plants. The cacti and succulents in particular caught my eye. I even remember saying to the boyfriend that when we had our own apartment, we should fill it with plants like these. I loved the idea of bringing lots of plants inside, of them filling our home with oxygen, with life, and their soothing qualities. When we moved into our apartment, sadly we don't have a garden or balcony, but we made do with our window ledges. We filled these with a mixture of plants, including my favourite Aloe Vera, which has made the place feel so much more homely. It can so easily be forgotten, but the personal touches you add to your home are just as important as the furniture. We couldn't have outdoor spaces, so we brought the outdoors indoors.
When we were in Vienna, we visited the most beautiful indoor "outdoor space" and were left in awe of this incredible, tropical space. Schmetterling Haus is right in the heart of Vienna and just metres from the Opera House. This unique attraction is well worth a visit when you head to the city, the palm-filled building alone is the most Instagrammable sight. And don't get me started on the graceful creatures which fill the air with vivid colours of the rainbow. With over 400 live butterflies to view all year round, it makes a great visit no matter what time of year. As you can see, we took these images while visiting, and had a lot of fun trying to capture the butterflies on camera. (I will clarify that we didn't seek to touch any of the butterflies, they landed on us curiously and we stayed as still as possible so not to disturb them)
If you’re someone who loves to add a personal touch to your home, creating your own unique planters is the perfect project for you. Replace those basic terracotta pots with some beautiful planters that will enhance and brighten up your garden. Put your own personal stamp on your garden and create something that no-one else will have. This is a great way to make the interiors of your home special to you, and to create exactly the look YOU want.
The easiest and cheapest DIY planter to create is one from the plain pots that you can get from the local garden centre. Pick up a few of these pots for the garden, the herbs growing in the kitchen or plants in the conservatory. Using some paint, you can get to work on transforming your plain plant pots into colourful planters that will stand out on any window ledge or outdoor step. Cover the pot itself in a durable base coat, then you can get to work on transforming your pots and making them your own. You can find a great selection of plant pots here, providing you with plenty to get your project started!
Over the last year or so, there has been a huge demand for Mason jars – quirky glass jars that add character and style to any space. I have a friend who makes these for weddings, designing them individually with candles, flowers and beautiful decorations. From storing the spices in your kitchen, to planting your favourite flowers, you can use the Mason jars for any kind of storage. By gathering half a dozen Mason jars and positioning them in a line, you can fill them with your favourite seeds and some soil. You can either display your mason jars side by side on the ground, or in amongst your flower bed. Or you could hang them with some durable string to add a little extra character to your garden and add solar fairy lights to make your garden extra magical.
Do something wonderful for the environment and start recycling your used tins and cans, by turning them into planters for your outdoor spaces. Once you’ve finished with your baked beans can or your tomato soup tin, remove the label from the outside and ensure there are no sharp edges that could cause any harm. Once you’ve got your clean metal can or tin, you can get really creative. Whether you choose to glue some string around the tops of the cans to add a little extra detail, or paint some pretty patterns on the sides, you can create a cute little planter that will hold your plants beautifully, whilst recycling used items at the same time.
One way that seems so beautifully British, is to make use of your old wellies to create a unique planter for your garden. This may sound like a crazy idea, but there’s something adorable about having a pair of wellies stuffed to the brim with a bold flower display. Fill your wellington boots with soil and plant your favourite flowers in the top. This will look great positioned on your doorstep, by the pond or even just in the corner of your garden. The quirkier the pattern the better!
Hopefully this post has left you feeling inspired to create your perfect outdoor space, whether you have a garden or simply make do with a window ledge. Get creative and use what space you have to create a home and garden you love to come home to. Are you a traveller stuck in one place for a while? Nothing will make it easier like creating a place you love to spend time in – capture the magic of your travels in your outdoor spaces.
Have you found a way to bring outdoor spaces into your home? Would you prefer a balcony or a garden? What other ways can you think of creating planters for your home?
Before we talk about Hamburg festival MS Dockville, let's have a bit of a catch up.
Guess who's back to blogging?! Sorry guys, I know I totally disappeared for a while but this chick has been off living her life, forging new connections, working on creating some amazing content for you behind-the-scenes and, oh yeah, I was on holiday! I was away for three weeks and had a welcome break from schedules and more focus on getting creative. I'll be blogging all about the trip in due course, and will share everything I have been up to soon. Now, sadly my new job will be taking up a lot of my time and I will be cutting back on blogging. But I have some really exciting posts, some fab collaborations and photography that I am really proud of. Some of this is already up on Insta and I'm loving all the amazing feedback! If you haven't seen, please click here and give me a follow! I can't wait to share it all with you.
One exciting new collaboration I'm working on is a partnership with a new tourism project called, Come To Hamburg. The team work with bloggers and journalists to help promote Hamburg and all this amazing city has to offer. As one blogger who has just made the city her new home, I will now be working with Come To Hamburg on creating articles for their website. I will be reviewing restaurants, events and festivals on their behalf. I'm so excited to share some of this new project with you, and to be a part of a tourism project in this city. I can't wait to share more of Hamburg with you all, and to help others plan their stay. Last weekend, I attended Hamburg festival MS Dockville on behalf of Come to Hamburg and I wanted to share my review with you.
The last of the glitter be hoovered up this weekend and I'm yet to wash the dust off my trainers. But it's time to admit, Hamburg festival MS Dockville is well and truly over. After a week of reminiscing and wishing I was back wandering Williamsburg in the sunshine instead of at work, I've finally accepted the festival is over for another year. This festival was the perfect way to spend one of the last summer weekends Hamburg has left this year. We made the most of it, especially with it being an event that took place south of the river and so close to where we live.
Set against a backdrop of Europe's largest river island, the special location means that festival organisers place great importance on protecting the area and creating a sustainable event, which is something I can really get on board with.Attracting a crowd of 25,000 over the three days, the festival provided the perfect setting for a huge range of international talent to exhibit their talents, from artists and comedians, to DJ's and amazing live acts. The festival is a great example of the fact that Hamburg's nightlife is more than the famous stag-groups packaged Reeperbahn area of St. Pauli and locals & visitors alike can enjoy a proper festival atmosphere instead.
With a unique focus on art, the festival grounds were awash with creativity and vibrant colours in a culmination of the talent that has been on show at the site as part of MS Artville. This two week-long art exhibition took place before more than 100 bands and musicians, from the chart-toppers to the up-and-coming talent, took to the stage for the festival. It was easy to lose yourself in the festival atmosphere with so many amazing acts playing across 12 stages and with so many creative and vivid art spaces scattered across the grounds.
With so many stages and amazing acts, it was difficult to choose the highlights! I was very impressed with the range and selection chosen for the event. From the second I entered the festival grounds, I was drawn to The Nest, which quickly became a favourite as the DJ's spun disco beats. Some seriously standout sets from Camelphat and Technofrühstück who brightened up everyone's afternoon. At the opposite end of the festival, Machinenenraum overlooked the water for the perfect sunset spot. Over here we caught acts including Superorganism, Princess Nokia and Drunken Masters. Then later, sets by George Fitzgerald and Maribou State on the Sunday night.
Grossschot was the main stage and boasted a wealth of international talent. From the UK's Everything Everything, to ambient Brooklyn group, Cigarettes After Sex who provided a perfect melancholy warm-up to Friday headliner, Bonobo. Musical phenomenon Bonobo AKA Simon Green used his unique sound to bring the crowd together. The following night was the big one – the whole reason why I had wanted to go to the festival.
Nick Murphy, AKA Chet Faker, warmed up the crowd ahead of headliners, Alt-J, the act we had been waiting for. Their choral compositions and haunting voices brought chills to the audience. Caught in the moment, we eagerly sang along to huge hits like Matilda and Breezeblocks. Without doubt, it was one of the most magical festival performances I have ever seen. I honestly had goosebumps and was singing along to every word. The stage rounded off on the Sunday with Olli Schulz who brought his own brand of music, politics and comedy.
Hamburg festival MS Dockville was a fantastic little event. Having attended as many as I have over the years, you quickly notice when things could be improved. But I was very impressed with how smoothly it ran and the organisers' push towards sustainability and creativity. It was more than just a music festival, it was a festival with principles and a poignant message behind it. So far I've found Hamburg to be rather lacking in the vegetarian and vegan department, but the food options were great at the festival and it was lovely to see different dietary choices were catered for.
However, the one issue I had was that the service at the bars left a little to be desired. Despite always taking care to approach the less busy bars, often we found ourselves waiting a long time. We even had staff forget to bring our drinks over after we paid! The service was very slow even when a bar was empty, which was frustrating wanted to head to the next act. Perhaps something to work on improving for next year, but other than that, I can't wait for the next event! MS Dockville, over and out.
Have you been to a German music festival? What is your favourite festival? What festivals have you been to this year?