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Below you will find a selection of the most recent entries from bloggers in the Your Home section.

To view the entries from individual bloggers, click on the links below:

Liz Forest - EMF Management
Liz Forest is the founder and owner of EMF Management, a Swiss-registered renovation project management company servicing the international community in the greater Lake Geneva / Vaud region. EMF handles the heavy lifting so clients do not have to learn a new trade, take time off work, or sacrifice family holidays or their sanity just to make their house a home.

Gareth Jefferies - Alpine Property
Gareth Jefferies left the West Yorkshire Police in 1999 to make a new life for himself and his wife in the mountains.  Responsible for marketing and technology at Alpine Properties, a French-registered estate agency with bilingual agents located all over the French Alps, Gareth is usually the first contact you will have the company. He is always happy to discuss your project with you, usually by email, suggesting various properties and making appointments.

Virginie Dor - Space of Mine
As founder of Space of Mine, a professional business specializing in residential organizing, Virginie Dor is committed to helping individuals and families better their lives, take control of their surroundings and time by creating organizing solutions that are individually tailored to each client. As a proud member of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers), she is an expert in clutter control, work flow, space planning and time management.

Tara Lissner - Swiss Gardening School
An enthusiastic, self-taught gardener, Tara Lissner is passionate about gardening and eager to share her zeal and knowledge with other gardening fans. In 2012, she joined forces with Hester Macdonald, a British-trained landscape designer, to launch the Swiss Gardening School.

Aislinn Delmotte - Settling Here
Aislinn Delmotte runs Settling Here, a company which aims to provide practical help and advice to individuals, couples and families relocating to the Pays de Gex, a region where some of the customs are similar to those in neighbouring Switzerland, but where many aspects of living are entirely different.

Sophia Kelly - Sophia Kelly Home Design
Responding to the growing demand for home design services in the international community, Sophia Kelly provides a range of tailor-made services, which are perfect for clients who have just moved into a new home or who simply need help reorganizing one that they have lived in for many years!

 

 

golden red beets

By Tara Lissner, Swiss Gardening School

This morning while sitting at my desk I admired the dexterity of a blue tit flitting from branch to branch on my roses enjoying a delicious breakfast of tiny green caterpillars. These little caterpillars feast on the tips of the soft new growth on my roses and manage to fold the leaves on top of themselves creating a cocoon. Whenever I notice these folded leaves I open them and often find that the caterpillar has long since moved on to another spot leaving behind damaged leaves. The blue tit however is most precise and only looks for caterpillars – he was very successful this morning and I enjoyed the show.

The end of April brings showers and sunshine and significant growth in the garden, with May comes warmer temperatures (we hope) and no excuses – it is time to work. Here are a few things that have been keeping me busy recently.

tarablog yellow daffodil

By Tara Lissner, Swiss Gardening School

At long last spring has arrived. Once the time changes it really is all systems go for those of us who love to garden. That extra hour of daylight from the end of March followed by those incremental minutes every day make all the difference. Warm sunshine, a drop of rain and all that light mean that there is a lot to do.

Timely tips

Lawn care is at the top of my list; starting with an initial cut, just taking the tops off means that growth is encouraged while also protecting the young shoots from the potential damage of frost. Then taking a good hard look at the situation, too many weeds, masses of moss, easily identifiable worn patches and then moving toward a plan of action, selective weed killer, lawn sand and perhaps a new path or a small set of steps.

Next on the list is pruning. Having provided spectacular red stems over the winter the dogwood shrubs cornus sanguinea really need some significant work. I've been renovating long neglected shrubs for the past few years taking out a third of all growth from the base each time so as not to shock the plant. This year however I've decided to coppice them completely (cut them back to the ground). This will allow the other smaller plants surrounding the dogwoods extra light this spring. I've also been clearing my perennial beds of the old stems left standing from the autumn - I leave them as long as I can as they add a bit of height and interest during the winter and look especially nice when covered in frost. New growth has started so the time to do that job is now.

SGS Christmas 2014 448

By Tara Lissner, Swiss Gardening School

Well it is that time of year again, Christmas carols playing all around, the scent of mulled wine in the air, sparkling light-filled trees and all the chaos that comes with the anticipation of the holidays. It is also a time to look back and contemplate the year that was in the garden and look forward to the adventures in store for 2015.

What were your greatest successes, courgettes or roses, mine were the blueberries. Or the biggest disappointments, basil or geraniums, for me this year it has to have been the tomatoes. Taking notes and photographs as reminders of the successes and the failures in the garden is the best way to change and improve things for next year. A gardener’s best friend is the trusty notebook – a hard cover little notebook that slips into your pocket makes a great gift.

setttlinghere col2

By Aislinn Delmotte, Settling Here

At a recent information session, Settling Here shared the basics and details for the local ski resorts; including Les Monts Jura, which is just 25- 40 minutes from Geneva.

Les Monts Jura Is a multi-activity resort, during the winter: 3 downhill skiing areas, 2 cross country skiing areas, a dozen snowshoeing trails, 3 ski schools with 4 special child areas, sledge runs as well as restaurants and shops. There are 60 km of slopes made up from 47 slopes (15 greens, 15 blues, 12 reds & 5 blacks). The resort comprises:

LELEX-CROZET:
Dedicated to downhill skiing. Whether beginner or expert, there is something for everyone here. You’ll recognise the resort from the Geneva airport runway as you can see the path the cable car takes up to the slopes.

autumn-leaves-mulch

By Tara Lissner, Swiss Gardening School

Well you have to admit we have had the most wonderful Indian summer; mild sunny days with above average temperatures, but with the first dusting of snow on the Jura this week autumn has most definitely arrived! Flocks of migrating birds, heavy dew in the mornings and a rainbow of coloured leaves encourage us to spend every last productive moment in the garden before the freezing temperatures of winter arrive.

Raking fallen leaves, pruning back the roses, enjoying piping hot, spiced pumpkin soup and planting bulbs and perennials before the soil becomes too heavy to walk on – my ever expanding to do list of things to keep busy with over the next few weeks.

Timely Tips

This time last year I suggested making leafmould compost from all the fallen leaves in the garden. If you managed to do this check your black sacks now and see the results. If you’d like to give it a go this year rake up all the leaves from the lawn and bag them in large black sacks perforated with air holes. Tie up the bags and pop them somewhere out of sight for at least 12 months. If you are storing them in a rain shadow water them occasionally and forget about them until this time next year when you will discover heaps of beneficial leafmould compost - perfect for adding to your beds as mulch.

October is all about pumpkins if you’ve had a successful season now is the time to think about harvesting them. They should sound hollow when tapped. Leave a good amount of now hardened stalk attached and store them in a cool dry cave or garage until you are ready to enjoy them. If you haven’t grown any this year there are plenty of opportunities to see and buy them locally from the supermarkets, who have an ever increasing variety for sale, to some of these local farms: http://www.fermecourtois.ch/46/le-marche in Versoix, http://www.lafermedespralies.ch/joo15/index.php in Arnex sur Nyon, http://www.schilliger.com in Gland, and a little further afield above Lausanne: http://www.1001courges.ch/

Pumpkins are a particularly easy crop to grow, why not try some new varieties this autumn with a thought to planting them at the end of the spring next year.

Continue to clear out the old summer bedding and fallen leaves. If you can resist the temptation don’t completely cut back everything in your borders. It is preferable to leave the dried seed heads of perennial plants like Echinacea to not only provide food for the birds but to create a little interest in the borders, they will look amazing covered with frost and or snow.

Get your bulbs in the ground or into their pots for a spectacular show in the spring - now is the time.

What’s on in November

Vente de Tubercules de Dahlias – 1-2 November, 10:00-16:00 The huge annual dahlia tuber sale organized by the Morges tourism office will be held in the gardens of the Chateau de Morges. Tubers are Chf 5 each and a list of the available varieties is available on the website: http://www.morges-tourisme.ch/fr/floralies-nature/event-dahlias

Les ateliers verts, Conservatoire et Jardins Bontanique de Genève – if you have children from the ages 8-11 who understand French this is an ideal way for them to spend a Wednesday afternoon. There are 17 individual afternoon programmes running from end October to June encouraging discovery and exploration of the plant and animal world: http://www.ville-ge.ch/cjb/accueil_ateliers_verts.php

As we have been so distracted by the warm temperatures it seems the end of year and Christmas preparations have being going on all around in some of our favourite places. Here are a few dates for your dairies:

Schilliger Garden Centre, Gland, Plan-les-Ouates, La Praille - Saturday 1 November sees the official inauguration of their Christmas markets, although they have been open since mid October: http://www.schilliger.com

Vernissage de Noël, R. Jaggi, Trélex - Saturday 15 17:00-21:00 & Sunday 16 16:00-21:00 November, R. Jaggi, Trélex
Possibly one of the most spectacular holiday plant and floral displays of the region, enjoy a glass of hot wine or a drop of soup with the talented team in Trélex: http://www.remyjaggi.ch

Forthcoming course information

Beyond Daffodils
Morning course, Thursday 30 October, 09:00-13:00, R. Jaggi Nursery, Trélex
http://swissgardeningschool.com/events/beyond-daffodils/
We are tremendously excited to announce this new course on integrating perennials and unusual bulbs to the garden. If you need inspiration to redesign a tired border this morning will be packed with practical advice and inspiring guidance. This course is sponsored by one of the leading perennial growers in the region. We will spend the morning in Trélex (above Nyon) with the team at the R. Jaggi Nursery where students will be immersed in a sea of inspirational plants. Full details and inscriptions are now on the website.

Pruning Techniques, sponsored by FELCO
Evening course, Monday 3 November, 18:30-22:00, Founex
http://swissgardeningschool.com/events/evening-course-pruning-techniques-2/
Although considered to be an essential skill for the amateur gardener pruning can be a daunting undertaking for the uninitiated. Join us and discover how to prune, when to prune and what to use. Get some hands-on experience and sound advice for your own garden from our resident arborist with tools provided by our Swiss sponsor FELCO, the world-leading manufacturer of professional pruning shears and cable cutters since 1945. http://www.felco.com

Redesigning the garden – value for money
Evening course, Monday 17 November, 18:30-22:00, Founex
http://swissgardeningschool.com/events/evening-course-redesigning-the-garden-value-for-money/
Designing your own garden or rejuvenating a tired corner may seem like a very expensive exercise but it need not be. Creating a beautiful outdoor space without spending a fortune is not as impossible as you might think. With advice from the experts join us to learn some clever ways to keep the finances under control, where to cut corners and when to invest - put your imagination to work.
 
I hope you enjoy the remaining sunshine and manage to keep busy in your garden.

Author's bio

taralissner

An enthusiastic, self-taught gardener, Tara Lissner is passionate about gardening and eager to share her zeal and knowledge with other gardening fans.

In 2012, she joined forces with Hester Macdonald, a British-trained landscape designer, to launch the Swiss Gardening School.

(Photo by Jean-Luc Pasquier)

Swiss Gardening School
www.swissgardeningschool.com