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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:

Anna Lascols, Organizing Geneva
Her mission as a professional organizer is to improve people’s lives by coaching them how to set up and maintain efficient systems to keep their time and space in order. Anna helps her clients to visualize their ideal lifestyle and works side-by-side with tem to reach their goals. These can range from redesigning their closet à la Marie Kondo to getting their paperwork under control, improving their time management skills or preparing for the arrival of a baby. Anna is a KonMari Consultant and a member of the Swiss Association of Professional Organizers (Swiss-APO). She works in and around Geneva and provides her services is English, French, German and Spanish. She offers personal organizing sessions, virtual coaching and organizes workshops on various organizing and zero waste topics.

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.

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!



tara red tomatoes

By Tara Lissner, Swiss Gardening School

The arrival of June brings with it the increase in temperatures that we have all been waiting for. With this heat comes the tremendous increase of growth in the vegetable garden and flower beds which in turn brings us to the issue of water. How much is too much, how best to manage it and what to do when the holidays are looming. A little advance planning is never a bad thing. Be wise when it comes to your plants this summer.

If you are away for more than three consecutive weeks rethink your pots, containers and your plans for a vegetable bed. Let’s start with pots. If you can bear it, wait until you get back before you plant up your terrace beauties. Unless you have a house-sitter or you have paid a neighbour’s child (with specific, detailed written directions) your pots will not survive your holiday. They will be a dried out bundle of crispy annuals by the time you return and you will have to start from scratch anyway. If your plans are for shorter trips there are a number of things that can be done. Avoid thirsty and heat sensitive annuals like impatiens and petunia, pelargoniums and verbena are a better bet. Prepare your pots with good drainage materials, consider using water-retaining crystals or rain mats which absorb water and allow the plants to access it when needed. Finally move your pots into the least sunny position available.


By Tara Lissner, Swiss Gardening School

I often get the feeling that all we gardeners do is talk, or more importantly complain, about the weather, whether it be too warm, too wet, too cold or too dry. It is of course an essential part of our ability to garden, no one likes the thought of mowing the lawn in the rain. My recent discussions with others have been all about the “saints de glace“. In case you were not aware, in local agricultural folklore nothing tender should be planted out unprotected until after the days of the “saints de glace” have passed. These ice saints, SaintMamertus, Saint Pancras and Saint Servatius, celebrate their feast days on 11, 12 and 13 May each year. Until these days have passed there is still the possibility of night frost. I think this year they are dragging their heels as we’ve had some very chilly nights recently. With my garden hovering around +7c as a high one day last week, I’m very glad to be behind with my tomato planting. Do keep an eye on the overnight temperatures and if it looks like it might be very cold and your garden is very exposed, throw some garden fleece over those tender shoots.

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.