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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

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

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

Leaves can become a natural renewable resource that creates the perfect soil to grow new vegetation.

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.

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