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FIREPLACE IS g , or THE FOCAL POINT A wood burning stove will be the focal point in your sitting room, drawing people close with its cosy glow. An elegant surround completes the look, and is especially important in say, a Victorian or Georgian townhouse. For a lovely selection of fireplaces to suit all settings, take a look at Topstak's showrooms in Monmouth and the Vale of Glamorgan. The Vale showroom has a cafe, so you can ponder your choices over a light lunch or a slice of homemade cake. This family-run business also prides itself on its team - always on hand to dispense sound advice.

m also of experts CREATE A FABULOUS FIRST IMPRESSION The poor old hallway tends to be the last place on anyone's mind when it comes to redecorating. Afterall, it's just a throughway, nobody sits there to unwind. Besides, it's full of clobber, and the thought of shifting it is too awful to contemplate. But, the hall is the gateway to your home, and if the first thing a person sees is somewhere scruffy and cluttered, it will colour their impression of the rest of the house. The clever use of colour in the Crown image ( creates a hugely eye catching effect yet clean effect. I particularly like the two-tone paintwork on the door and frame.

Yvonne Jones is a Royal College of Art trained designer, and owner of Chameleon Interiors PUTTING PLASTIC TO GOOD USE I recently featured Weaver Green's ( fabulous cushions and throws, all created from unwanted single use plastic bottles. It's hard to believe that these soft, beautifully handwoven items have been fashioned from plastic. Now there's the Juno rug to add to the collection, a fine piece with its interlocking diamond design. It's as lusciously soft as the other products, yet is tough, durable and machine washable. These rugs are perfect for high traffic areas such as hallways, kitchens and family rooms. You can even use them outside as they won't perish or go mouldy. And they prevent at least some of our dreadful plastic from landing up in our rivers and oceans.

Call 029 2037 1277 or visit PO r sinc wh Pa POPPY POINTS The remembrance poppy, which has been used since 1921 to commemorate military personnel who have died in war, represents a field poppy, Papaver rhoeas.

ba We are all familiar with the little red flower but did you know that an infusion of petals applied to the skin is said to reduce wrinkles or that the seeds can be used in breads and baking? Other common names for the field poppy include the common poppy, corn poppy, corn rose, Flanders poppy and red river poppy and amazingly, the seed of the field poppy can remain dormant in the ground for as long 50 years when buried or kept in darkness vegetation.

r a ca as by v Th upon to lig Th moto impo I ad popp The annual poppies germination is dependent ground being disturbed and exposing them light.

This is why you will see them adorning a new motorway embankment or popping up in imported topsoil.

adore the little yellow and orange Welsh poppies but surprisingly they aren't really poppies at all, but a member of the Meconopsis genus, a group of flowering plants that have poppy-like characteristics.

I love the way that they will only flourish where they want to and are particularly obstinate to bloom where you want them to!

Suttons seeds are offering Field Poppy (Papaver rhoeas) seeds that include a donation to SSAFA.

An average packet contains 2800 seeds and all proceeds from packs sold up to 11/11/18 will go to SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity.

So you can just get an order in if you are quick after the 11th, for every pack sold, Suttons will donate 20p to SSAFA.

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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Nov 10, 2018
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