Personally, I love the crisp mornings & early dark evenings of winter (that’s the Londoner in me coming out) and I was only thinking the other day how I used to set my heating in the UK in winter to 20 degrees to keep warm.

Now, living here in Sydney, I set the air con at the exact same temperature to cool me down after working through those scorching hot summer days in the garden centre! I know that winter is isn’t everyone’s favourite time of the year but here it’s a pretty short season, so I’d like to share a few things with you that keep me cheerful and cosy until Springtime.

Waking up to a fresh, bright plant makes for a great start to the day. As it’s cyclamen season, I go for a feminine soft pink one in my bedroom & a more powerful, invigorating magenta pink in the bathroom. The flowers keep popping up for months!

Outside, my appreciation of the structural magnificence of the deciduous trees is equalled at the other end of the scale by the iridescent white blooms of the humble violas that line the pathways. White flowers are great in the garden at night as you can still see them in the darkness and they are particularly enchanting on a clear night when the moon is full.

When friends come over but it’s too nippy to eat alfresco, I light simple white candles in my old-style metal coach lanterns on the outside table which are visible from the dining room. Inside, the gentle crackling of the wick of my WoodWick® scented candle creates a feeling of warmth & comfort to the living room.

For those quiet nights in, there’s nothing nicer than wrapping a soft throw rug around you with a hot drink & a good book in your hands. So please, do enjoy the winter season – you’ll hardly notice it if you surround yourself with the delightful colours of nature & some creature comforts at home.

Susan Potthurst, Elegant Outdoors Garden Centre, Turramurra