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OUTDOOR ILLUMINATION The recent heatwave has seen us all heading for the garden to make the most of the sultry weather. As twilight descends, garden lighting creates a softly romantic effect. Cox and Cox's clear, bulb-shaped festoon lights are perfect for shining a light on proceedings ( They are simple and effective, and will add allure to the garden or terrace. What's more, they are simple to connect and the low-energy bulbs last for 50 hours. Solar stake lights, available from most garden centres, are another ideal option - especially the powerful sunlight we've had recently will charge them up to the max.

,ly as STUNNING STONE FLOORING Mandarin Stone ( has reintroduced its beautiful "Alabastrino Honed Filled Travertine". This warm chalky coloured stone is ideal for both walls and floors, and has a lovely, soft, swirly look that's full of character. As with all natural products, no two installations are identical, giving character to the room it's in. In the image, the floor gives a cool and airy ambience in a sun-room. But the light and shade, and shifts in colour throughout, mean that it won't look cold in the depths of winter. Add a rug for some extra oomph if you fancy.

SOFT FILTERED LIGHT Shutters are ideal for filtering in light. When the harsh afternoon sun is blazing into the house, shutters can exclude the worst of the glare yet still allow light to come into the house. The wooden shutters pictured are from Shutterly Fabulous ( They work very well on the tiny bathroom window, keeping the space looking clean and uncluttered, and adding to the calm effect of the overall decor. Shutterly Fabulous also has options in bright colours such as fuchsia pink, green, indigo and yellow. These look particularly good in a kitchen where they make the room look jaunty and welcoming.

YVONNE JONES is a Royal College of Art trained Call 029 2037 1277 or visit designer, and owner of Chameleon Interiors HWa HOT DOGS What a week - it's been scorchio! The longest and hottest heatwave for 20 years, apparently! Just hope it wasn't our summer.

JI It may sound obvious to most, but please remember that we are not the only ones that can find the unprecedented hot weather challenging. Pets of all shapes and sizes will need to be able to cool down too. Even one of my pet pigs found another use for her water trough! (Pictured right).

Yc Dogs, especially, struggle with hot days - just try walking on Tarmac with bare feet and you'll see what they have to cope with! I have a child's paddling pool in the garden for Yogi to cool off in, a friend soaks a big towel in cold water, wrings it out and drapes it over her dog to cool him down and you can also buy cooling mats which automatically cool when your pet sits on it. They are activated by weight or pressure and the pad will be cooler than surrounding temperature for up to 3-4 hours of dc yos cc constant use. They are ideal for pet's beds and car travel, although nothing should compensate for common sense when leaving a dog in a car. The best advice for leaving dogs in cars in hot weather is "don't"!

Also remember to provide water for the birds and for the bees. Bees can only drink from shallow water, so will appreciate a suitable dish, like a saucer or plant drip tray, being topped up regularly.

Birds will need fresh, clean drinking water too and will also appreciate a bath. Bird baths are a great favourite of mine as they provide fabulous entertainment as a reward!

They don't have to be preformed concrete statue types either - Alan Gardener made a lovely rustic one based on the principles of dry stone walling in his programme The Autistic Gardener last week. I have seen lots of items cleverly recycled into bird-bathing facilities, from old sinks attached to a fence, to saucers and shallow dishes suspended from trees.

GUNS AND ROSES As well as "making hay while the sun shines", I also made the most of the nice weather to explore a bit more of Pembrokeshire. I am a huge fan of Barafundle Bay and Bosherton, but this time revisited Marloes (my partner hadn't been before) and topped up my vitamin "sea" levels with an early morning swim. And at the other end of the day, discovering a bird hide meant that we could watch the sun set whilst listening to the chatter of a pair of stonechats and watching a pair of swans proudly show off their new cygnets.

We also explored Angle and its stunning coastal path flanked by wild orchids, dog roses and honeysuckle. And a cannon. Yup, a cannon - and that cannon led to the rather unexpected highlight of the trip - discovering Chapel Bay Fort Museum and Cafe.

It is the earliest known fort in the world, constructed principally in mass concrete and occupies a four acre site, just a 10 minute walk from the beach (you can drive too). They have a fabulous cafe with great coffee and fabulous food, but do make sure you "invest" in a guided tour whilst you are there. We were well fed by Emma but even better educated by George and Jack. Not only did I leave a lot wiser, but also coveting their Scout car. Chapel Bay Fort is open from Easter until October on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am-4pm and on Bank Holidays. It is a not for profit organisation dependant on volunteers and community involvement, and as George mentioned, "Could do with some young blood helping out!" Do pop into the website for more details, and even better, pop in to the fort and be educated!

Find out more about Lynne at HERE COMES SUMMER The older I get, the more I realise what I don't know. Earlier this year, I wondered why Easter was a different date each year (it can fall anytime between March 22 and April 25 and it's complicated - Google will tell you!) and just now I realised that I thought that the summer solstice and Midsummer's Day were one and the same. They're not.

Summer solstice is on June 21 (well, it is this year - it can be 20, 21 or 22) and astrologically, is the longest day of the year. Traditionally it is also regarded as the first day of summer, although I think we had our summer last weekend. Midsummer's Day is fixed on June 24, which is St John's Day, celebrating the day It does seem that the traditional celebrations for the pagan and Christian dates are interchangeable though, with fires, fairies and folklore abounding for both.

St John is also the patron saint of beekeepers and Midsummer's Eve is a time when the hives are full of honey. June's full moon is called the Mead Moon, because honey was fermented to make mead. It's also where the word "honeymoon" comes from.

Mind you St Valentine and St Ambrose are also considered to be patron saints of honeybees too - I learned that a while ago - and managed to retain it!

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jun 24, 2017
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