6 ways to turn your garden into a cosy outdoor cubbyhole

This year, our gardens have become places of solace where we can escape daily stresses and enjoy some fresh air, nature and green fingered activities. As nights draw in, leaves start to fall and season change, we can still make the most of our precious outdoor spaces by turning them into warm and welcoming garden rooms.

a bunch of items that are on display: With fire pits, blankets and mood enhancers

© Various
With fire pits, blankets and mood enhancers

“People want to give their garden a cosy feel this year, truly making it an extension of indoors,” says Jonny Brierly, CEO of Moda Furnishings. “With the introduction of softer outdoor-use upholstery, lighting, accessories and fire pits, they are applying the same interest in the design of their homes to their gardens.”

So, on that note, here are some great ideas for extending the season and turning your garden into an outdoor haven.

1. Create shelter

a statue of a person

© Cuckooland.com

If you’re going to enjoy your garden whatever the weather, you’ll need a place to shelter. A stylish pop-up tent or gazebo neatly bridges the link between indoor and outdoor living space and can be put up at a moment’s notice and stored away in a shed or garage.

An arch or pergola planted with an evergreen climber such as Clematis Armandii offers protection from howling winds and helps create a sense of privacy. An arbour structure with storage is even better if you need to fold away those essential garden blankets.

But for the ultimate hideaway, embrace the outdoors all year round with a garden pod. It’s a see-through space to entertain, work or simply enjoy nature.

2. Sociable seating

a living room filled with furniture and a fireplace: garden outdoor room

© Kettler
garden outdoor room

The key to all-weather garden furniture is durability and it’s worth investing in a decent weatherproof combination set.

“We have been seeing a huge increase in sales of our garden furniture during lockdown, with people spending generously on their gardens rather than holidays,” says Siobhan Lancaster at garden furniture company Sitting Spiritually. Their Swinging Day Bed has been particularly popular. Accessorise daybeds and outdoor sofas with colourful tasselled quilts and cushions.

3. Let there be light (and warmth)

a close up of a picnic table: CHIMINEA

© Garden Trading

When the sun sets, it’s crucial to add light and warmth to an autumn/winter garden. The chiminea, an all-weather alternative to the fire pit, is gaining ground, according to curated online marketplace Notonthehighstreet.com: “Three out of our five top-selling items are currently chimineas,” says spokesperson Phoebe Ede.

Candles and tealights cast a warming glow over any socially-distanced gathering. “Outdoor lighting is now an important consideration when creating a seamless flow from home to garden,” says Marketa Rypacek, managing director at Industville Ltd.

Achieve this with strings of festoon bulbs in warm white, cool white or multi-coloured.

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Interior Night’s mission to turn non-gamers into gamers

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As mainstream as video games have become, there are still millions of people who do not yet participate in the hobby. These people represent the future growth of the industry, and publishers, developers and platform holders alike are exploring new ways to get them engaged.

Whether it’s Google’s attempts to bring down the barrier to entry with cloud gaming service Stadia, hypercasual mobile developers focusing on accessible game design to get people playing, or Nintendo hoping to recapture the Wii Fit magic with products like Ring Fit Adventure, there are myriad ways of appealing to non-gamers.

But for Caroline Marchal, CEO of UK developer Interior Night, there’s a simpler method: tell them a story.

“I don’t think anyone has watched something like this anywhere – and they certainly haven’t played this”

“Story is a fundamental element of attracting people to play a game,” she says. “We focus 100% on getting a great script with flawed characters that people will find relatable and compelling.”

Marchal and her team aim to demonstrate this with their debut title As Dusk Falls, an interactive drama heading to Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC. The game centres on a conflict at a motel in the Arizona desert, in a story that’s “not about saving the world, but about deep and intimate relationships.”

“We’ve got two families we focus on across 30 years, so it’s got scope and it’s a really original story,” says Marchal. “I don’t think anyone has watched something like this anywhere — and they certainly haven’t played this.

“We confront [the audience] to ask questions about really relatable themes and real-life struggles. Can you break free from a toxic family? Can you start over by moving house or changing jobs? Will all your problems go away? When you have a family, how much of yourself should you sacrifice to meet their needs first? How do you balance your own needs with theirs? All of these are questions and themes that have not been in games before, but are universal and relatable in real life.”

In the above behind-the-scenes documentary, Marchal expresses a desire to bring TV audiences to video games, but there’s a significant difference between the two sectors. Watching television is a passive experience, with audiences simply absorbing the story. Video games require active participation, which means interactivity can be as much of a potential barrier as it can be a selling point.


Caroline Marchal, Interior Night

Marchal says the key to overcoming this is how you manage tension: “You don’t want to have people really uncomfortable playing your game, feeling really stressed out. That’s the thing with TV — your mind is active but you’re safe because you’re not challenged too much with your reflexes or anything.

“With As Dusk Falls, we’re very focused on story first, bringing people into the world and connecting them with the characters. We make sure there’s no barrier. I can tell you more when we’re able

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Five ways to turn fallen leaves into free fertilizer for your garden

Leaf litter is a common sight in yards across the country this time of year. Instead of raking leaves into bags headed for the landfill, experts say fallen leaves can stay put, and with a little preparation, become a natural renewable resource that creates the perfect soil to grow new vegetation.

Raking leaves
Raking leaves

(photo/patrickheagney/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, yard wastes account for approximately 20 percent of all garbage generated in the United States each year.

The EPA’s most recent statistics indicate 34.5 million tons of yard trimmings were accounted for in 2014, but only about 31 percent (10.8 million tons) ended up in a landfill.

Most tree leaves, grass clippings, brush and other prunings end up recycled, composted or burned for energy. And experts, like horticulturist Robert “Skip” Richter with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, suggest taking advantage of the leafy freebies by keeping them in your own yard.

“You have all these free nutrients in an organic form that lay on the lawn and by bagging them up and using them for mulch or compost you can recycle them back into your landscape in a form that plants are designed to take: naturally decomposing organic matter,” Richter said.

Nutrients in leaves that fall from a tree during one season is equivalent to about three-fourths of all the nutrients that tree took up during the year, he added.

Reusing these wastes creates a product that can be used to help improve soils, grow the next generation of crops and improve water quality.

If you are going to hang onto your leaves this year, here are a few ways you can keep them on your property and out of landfills.


A light covering of leaves can be mowed with a mulching mower or cut up with a few passes of a lawn mower. The shredded leaves fall in between the blades of grass and down toward the soil.

Richter said this technique is most effective with southern turfgrasses because they have a course texture and the leaves can fall between the turf blades.


Use a mower with a bag as your leaf gathering device to shred and collect leaves. Then spread the chopped leaves as mulch in flower, vegetable and shrub beds and around trees.

Leaves will slowly decompose on the surface and release their nutrients over time, Richter told AccuWeather. They also form a cover that protects the soil against erosion and crusting from rainfall and irrigation.


Some jurisdictions operate programs in which residents can rake or blow leaves onto the street for pick up by special vacuum trucks on designated days. These are then sent to composting facilities, according to the EPA.

Another option is to compost them on-site. For people who have a compost bin, leaves and other yard wastes can be added to create an organic product that feed trees and plants.

Soil Improvement

You can simply collect leaves and rototill them directly into garden beds to

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U.S. airlines turn eyes to expected new House coronavirus relief proposal

By David Shepardson and Tracy Rucinski

WASHINGTON/CHICAGO (Reuters) – U.S. airline unions expressed hope on Thursday that Congress could strike a deal in the coming days that would provide $25 billion to prevent tens of thousands of furloughs on Oct. 1 after the U.S. Treasury chief said he could not act unilaterally to save airline jobs.

A new Democratic-proposed House bill is expected to provide $2.4 trillion in coronavirus relief that would include funds for airlines and restaurants, a congressional aide said, down from $3.4 trillion approved in May. That figure is still far above the $300 billion Senate Republicans backed earlier this month.

While the White House has repeatedly said it would seek executive action to help airlines if Congress failed to pass a deal, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Congress on Thursday he cannot tap unused coronavirus lending authority to provide cash grants to airlines.

“Is there anything that you have under existing authorities, either the CARES act authorities, or prior law, that could help the airlines avoid these coming layoffs?” Republican Senator Tom Cotton asked Mnuchin.

“Unfortunately there is not,” Mnuchin said. He added the funding from Congress approved in March “literally saved the entire industry.”

Many congressional aides and some airlines are pessimistic about the prospects of a new bailout.

Some lawmakers are pushing for a deal before Oct. 1, when airlines are set to furlough tens of thousands of workers if they do not secure additional payroll support.

International President of Flight Attendants-CWA President Sara Nelson said labor’s pressure on lawmakers was having an impact.

“We are seeing that this is moving us to a full relief bill,” Nelson said over Facebook Live.

An initial $25 billion in payroll assistance under the CARES Act approved in March required no layoffs by airlines through Sept. 30, but with industry continuing to struggle, airlines are pleading with Congress for more money.

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, a Republican, sought to fast-track legislation for a fresh $25.5 billion in airline bailout funds to avoid layoffs for another six months, but it failed to move forward after some senators raised objections.

American Airlines said it would furlough some 19,000 workers on Oct. 1 without fresh aid and halt service to 15 smaller airports.

United Airlines and Delta Air Lines are delaying the furlough date for their pilots by a month as they try to strike new agreements and await developments in Washington.

Treasury has a separate $25 billion loan fund for passenger airlines, but not all airlines are tapping it.

(Reporting by David Shepardson and Tracy Rucinski, editing by Timothy Gardner)

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6 Tips to turn your bathroom into a home spa

Do you love to get a spa treatment? Then bring it to your home by changing the bathroom décor and turning it into a home spa. Your bathroom can give you the ultimate spa vibe in your abode with certain changes in decoration. This will also provide the bathroom with an aesthetic look to make you feel comfortable.

Having plants, mirror, dimmed lights, etc. will help you to get the look for your bathroom. So, if you are thinking to change your small bathroom into a spa, here are some ideas to do it.

Tips and ideas to turn your bathroom into a spa:

1.First, add a touch of golden colour to feel luxurious. Handles, knobs, taps, etc. can also be opted in golden colours.

2.Now put a few tiers of open-shelves on your walls and fill the spaces with basket for towels, beauty products and a few bottles of aromatherapy oils.

a large tub next to a window

© Provided by Pinkvilla

3.Plants play a major role in making any space refreshing. So, when you are turning your bathroom into a spa, then plants are a must-have. Get some succulents or air plants for this look. They are easy to take care of.

4.Candles are important for creating the spa bathroom. So, put some candles but be minimalist with them. You can also opt for scented candles.

5.Now warm up the floor with some luxurious rug to get the ultimate spa-like feeling.

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My Turn, Hope Oliphant: Garden made possible by United Way – Salisbury Post

By Hope Oliphant

Main Street Marketplace Gardens is designed to grow awareness and provide education surrounding the vital importance of good nutrition and healthy lifestyles. In addition, our hydroponic garden will help fuel our community market with fresh and affordable produce for all to enjoy.

Thanks to the generous support of the 2020-2021 United Way grant funding, Marketplace has been able to expand our ability to provide fresh foods and to create a 400-square-foot living garden with year round produce within our warehouse space that is attached to our current marketplace. Individuals in our community will have the ability to see their healthy produce grown before their eyes, taste the harvest, learn how to utilize micro-greens, herbs and a variety of lettuces and actually purchase it all at an affordable price for their families. People can even use EBT to make these purchases if needed.

For many, visiting Marketplace means having the opportunity to access healthy foods that are affordable for their families. So often, people living on a limited budget must sacrifice the ability to purchase quality products for the necessity of quantity. This means purchasing more processed food and fewer whole foods for their families. Through our hydroponic garden, we have the ability to make it possible for all in our community to access fresh produce.

The hydroponic garden will be all organic, sterile, and kept at a controlled temperature of 65 degrees. When harvested, this produce will go directly from the garden into our cooler, which will allow our produce to have a shelf life of four to five weeks. We will have the ability to have a harvest of greens in approximately 31 days from seed to full growth.

The benefits of an indoor hydroponic gardens are truly far-reaching. We are growing to train and employ our local neighbors as Marketplace staff helping those in our community work toward a living wage. We desire to improve the diets of those in our community and, therefore, help end healthy food insecurity.

We hope to educate and inform others on the importance of good nutrition. Finally, we are growing to meet the challenges of tomorrow today, as our natural resources dwindle and climate changes create extra challenges for generations to come. As we continue to grow sustainably with safe and health-conscious agriculture practices, our organizational goal is to adapt and learn how to innovatively increase healthy options for all in our community.

Now more than ever, your support ensures we build a healthy, thriving, and equitable community.

As a community change agent, you and your gift to Rowan County United Way will improve individuals’ and families’ lives by making a positive impact in our community.

Hope Oliphant is executive director of China Grove-based Main Street Marketplace and Meeting Place, which was formerly known as Main Street Mission.


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Boutique Rugs helps you turn a house into a home

CNN Underscored partnered with Boutique Rugs to create this content. When you make a purchase, CNN receives revenue. CNN news staff is not involved at all in the selections or product reviews. For more on what we do and how we do it, visit our About Us page.

The difference between a bare floor and a floor with a rug on it is the difference between a house and a home. Sure, they’re both places you can stay, but you’re only going to feel right taking off your shoes and socks and curling your toes on a rug. In other words, a rug is all about marking where you belong.

And since folks have different thoughts and ideas about their perfect home, it takes a truly comprehensive and knowledgeable company to be the one-stop shop for everyone’s perfect rug. Luckily, that place actually exists: Boutique Rugs.

With over 15 years’ experience, Boutique Rugs has a vast and incredibly diverse inventory of fine rugs to suit every taste, from the perfectly prefaded sophistication of the Leonora area rug to the upbeat, geometric frenzy of the Godalming. Even though there are over 40,000 styles to choose from in sizes ranging from 2 feet by 3 feet to 12-by-15s, from stairway runners to specialty rounds and octagons, they all have one thing in common: They’re well-constructed and durable.

Godalming Area Rug

Godalming Area Rug

Boutique Rugs

Boutique Rugs’ warehouse has been packed since the brand launched online in 2017, so it’s paired its endlessly expanding stock with prompt and friendly service. You’re guaranteed a response within 24 hours, and the company has pledged to resolve almost any issue in the first conversation with a representative. There’s even a real-time chat function on the Boutique Rugs’ website to answer your questions right then and there.

And Boutique Rugs’ customers love the care and attention. From the “[a]nother perfect rug” just in time to make Pamela P.’s guest bathroom “warm and charming” for Christmas (thanks to the Hillcrest) to the creamy off-white-and-black, soft-textured rug that Debra M. found so easy to order and quick to deliver that her sister bought the exact same one, everyone can find exactly what they’re looking for at Boutique Rugs.

And for the people at Boutique Rugs, it doesn’t get much better than making customers like Maria B. happy:

“ABSOLUTELY love my rug!! It brought our office together. My husband is retired military, [and] the rug had the perfect colors. Looks beautiful and the material is comfy for our grandson to play with his cars on.”

Boutique Rugs

Boutique Rugs

Boutique Rugs

Browse the website, and you’ll see that you can’t go wrong when you have choices as varied as the postmodern Lenzburg, the intricate Warroad and the classic and colorful Selbyville.

Need something that’ll spruce up a sitting room without overpowering the rest of the decor? The flowers and vines of the Mudgee will lift the mood without going saccharine. Something more subdued for that extra room where you love

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Gauri Khan to turn author with coffee-table book on interior design, says ‘excited’ as she shares cover – bollywood

Home / Bollywood / Gauri Khan to turn author with coffee-table book on interior design, says ‘excited’ as she shares cover

Gauri Khan will turn author with a coffee-table book, which has been tentatively titled My Life in Design. The book will be published in 2021 and will have unseen pictures as well as her design philosophy.

Updated: Sep 14, 2020 19:15 IST

Gauri Khan will talk about interior design in a coffee-table book that will be launched in 2021.
Gauri Khan will talk about interior design in a coffee-table book that will be launched in 2021.

Interior designer Gauri Khan, wife of Shah Rukh Khan, is all set to turn author with a coffee-table book tentatively titled My Life in Design. The book, which will be published by Penguin under the Ebury Press next year, will feature unseen pictures of her interior design projects, family and residence. She will also talk about her design philosophy and style.

Gauri took to Instagram to share the cover of the book and said that she was ‘excited’ about it. “Excited about this coffee-table book with @penguinindia . One of the best shoots I’ve done. Thanks @avigowariker!,” she wrote. She looked chic in a red jumpsuit.


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Excited about this coffee-table book with @penguinindia . One of the best shoots I’ve done. Thanks @avigowariker ! @beautybyg_thelook @mehakoberoi @stylebyami @billysiddiqi @mileeashwarya19 @bottomlinemedia #Repost @archdigestindia ・・・ Gauri Khan’s (@gaurikhan) design journey started long before she took it up professionally and established her eponymous brand Gauri Khan Designs (GKD). It was through passion projects, a keen interest in interiors, and her innate talent to visualise a space that made her realise her love for design. She reveals, “I discovered my talent while doing up my own home. I realised it was something I loved deeply, but it has been a long journey that I hope to showcase through my coffee-table book.” # The pandemic-induced pause in our lives, not only made us homebound, but also made us realise the importance of physical spaces around us. Khan’s book hopes to lend inspiration, and also showcase a treasure trove of never-seen-before photos of her work, family and residence. She says, “The lockdown gave me time to work on this coffee-table book. It will contain exclusive project pictures and information that I feel could guide aspiring designers or those who are just generally interested in the art of design.” # Gauri Khan’s coffee-table book tentatively titled ‘My Life in Design’ is set to release in 2021 and will be published by Penguin (@penguinindia) under the Ebury Press. More in #linkinbio Photo: Avinash Gowarikar (@avigowariker) Writer: Kriti Saraswat-Satpathy (@kriworks) #architecturaldigest #ADIndia #gaurikhan #coffeetablebook #news

A post shared by Gauri Khan (@gaurikhan) on

In another Instagram post, Gauri was seen wearing a green sequined gown. Both the pictures were taken by photographer Avinash Gowariker. Fitness trainer Deanne Pandey congratulated her and wrote, “Congratulations @gaurikhan welcome to the world of authors/writers/books.”


Also read | Swara Bhasker says she is tired of being called outspoken: ‘I am always lying

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The best luxury towels to turn your bathroom into a spa

Luxury towels are great way to make your bathroom feel that little bit more spa-like. Adding in a leafy fern or two to bring that botanical vibe, ensuring it’s as clutter-free as possible, and lighting a beautiful scented candle while you relax in the bath are additional ways to ensure this space makes a serene sanctuary to escape in after a long day.

To ensure you don’t spoil the mood as soon as you hop out of the bath, investing in a set of thick, fluffy bathroom towels will mean you’ll never have to emerge from a relaxing, zen-inducing soak only to have to wrap yourself in something ratty and threadbare. So, especially as we come into the colder season, treat yourself (and your bathroom) to a new set of fresh, plush luxury towels that will dry you quickly without becoming soaking wet or looking bedraggled after a spell in the washing machine.

Luxury towels: the lowdown

What does GSM mean?

The weight of fabric is measured in GSM, which stands for grams per square meter. The higher the number, the more dense the towel, so opt for higher numbers if you’re looking for something more luxe.

What’s the difference between a bath towel and a bath sheet?

Just the size. A bath towel is generally about 27 inches by 52 inches in size, up to 30 inches by 58 inches. Bath sheets, in comparison, tend to be sized around 35 inches by 60 inches, so it’s good to keep one handy for those cold evenings when you need something bigger to wrap yourself up in.

Here are our picks of the best luxury towels for 2020.

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Is Central Garden & Pet (NASDAQ:CENT) Likely To Turn Things Around?

If you’re not sure where to start when looking for the next multi-bagger, there are a few key trends you should keep an eye out for. Ideally, a business will show two trends; firstly a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and secondly, an increasing amount of capital employed. Basically this means that a company has profitable initiatives that it can continue to reinvest in, which is a trait of a compounding machine. Having said that, from a first glance at Central Garden & Pet (NASDAQ:CENT) we aren’t jumping out of our chairs at how returns are trending, but let’s have a deeper look.

Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What is it?

Just to clarify if you’re unsure, ROCE is a metric for evaluating how much pre-tax income (in percentage terms) a company earns on the capital invested in its business. To calculate this metric for Central Garden & Pet, this is the formula:

Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets – Current Liabilities)

0.098 = US$184m ÷ (US$2.3b – US$385m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).

Therefore, Central Garden & Pet has an ROCE of 9.8%. In absolute terms, that’s a low return and it also under-performs the Household Products industry average of 16%.

View our latest analysis for Central Garden & Pet

Above you can see how the current ROCE for Central Garden & Pet compares to its prior returns on capital, but there’s only so much you can tell from the past. If you’d like to see what analysts are forecasting going forward, you should check out our free report for Central Garden & Pet.

What Can We Tell From Central Garden & Pet’s ROCE Trend?

In terms of Central Garden & Pet’s historical ROCE trend, it doesn’t exactly demand attention. Over the past five years, ROCE has remained relatively flat at around 9.8% and the business has deployed 96% more capital into its operations. This poor ROCE doesn’t inspire confidence right now, and with the increase in capital employed, it’s evident that the business isn’t deploying the funds into high return investments.

In Conclusion…

As we’ve seen above, Central Garden & Pet’s returns on capital haven’t increased but it is reinvesting in the business. Investors must think there’s better things to come because the stock has knocked it out of the park delivering a 159% gain to shareholders who have held over the last five years. Ultimately, if the underlying trends persist, we wouldn’t hold our breath on it being a multi-bagger going forward.

On a separate note, we’ve found 1 warning sign for Central Garden & Pet you’ll probably want to know about.

While Central Garden & Pet isn’t earning the highest return, check out this free list of companies that are earning high returns on equity with solid balance sheets.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and

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