Are you on a quest for a truly comfortable lounge chair?

It’s dark and cold outside, there are lots of comforting repeats on the telly, and you’re too full of mince pies to feel like moving. What do you need? The perfect lounge chair to cradle you in comfort while you disappear into the Sky Christmas channel. Here is a baker’s dozen plus one of the most eco-friendly on the market.

Eco-friendly Christmas decorations

Most of us like the idea of a real Christmas tree, don't we, even if needles all over the floor mean its charm swiftly palls. Yet real trees aren't necessarily the eco option.

A real tree?

King crimson: poinsettias, the perfect Christmas plant

Poinsettias are the second best-selling houseplant in the UK (after the enduringly popular Phalaenopsis orchid), and this year it's estimated w'll be buying some eight million of them over the Christmas period.

Poinsettias, which hail from Mexico, have become the festive houseplant and you can do a lot with them from having a large plant in a pot, to cutting the stems to use in a floral display or incorporating into a wreath. They also make a perfect gift for men and women of all ages.



Oil painting exhibition

The ROI annual show at Mall Galleries offers a chance to beaded by the skill of contemporary artists - and may even inspire you to get painting. See landscapes, still life and portraits in oil, with a number of paintings depicting urban life and scenes from the capital. Works are priced from £500, so anyone looking to invest in an original work make a beeline for the show.

RHS Wisley's Old Laboratory opens its doors

RHS Garden Wisley, near Woking in Surrey, is world renowned and now visitors can step back in time and walk in the footsteps of RHS scientists and students from yesteryear.

Long considered the home of gardening science, the Old Laboratory has been restored and is bringing to life a rich history of horticultural experimentation and exploration with immersive displays and interactive exhibits. Explore a series of rooms, each set within a time in history, to discover how the work conducted here helped shape how we garden today.

Mark Rylance stars in Spirit of Place

Spirit of Place, written and directed by Jack Cooper Stimpson, is a meditation on identity and follows two young protagonists as they spend time in and around inner-city wetlands. Through chance encounters and curious discoveries they begin to learn about themselves and their relationship with the natural world.

Golfing event in China bans single use plastic bottles

The 2023 Volvo China Open golf tournament held at the Shenzhen Hidden Grace Golf Club went ahead for the first time in its 27 year history without selling any single-use plastic bottles of water.  

Around 17 Bluewater water dispensing stations were installed across the venue to provide complementary drinking water to players, tens of thousands of fans and staff. Harnessing Bluewater’s SuperiorOsmosisTM technology, the stations served purified water free of known contaminants, including toxic metals and chemicals.

Try your hand at building a cob studio

If you hanker after a garden shed or outside room with a difference, why not consider building your own this summer - the lockdown isn't going to be a thing of the past for a fair ol' while yet? The ancient building technique known as cob is, according to Kate Edwards of Norfolk-based Edwards Cob Building, so easy that anyone can learn to do it. In four days. That's how long the Edwards' training courses are. Which to those of us who are not practical won't sound anywhere near long enough.