Sunday, 31 May 2009

Product Review - Schwarkzopf Hair Dye

I don't usually do product reviews, but when I colour my hair I throw the packaging away and can't remember next time which one to buy again. Some work well, some wash right out, some have toxic fumes. So here (mostly for personal future reference) are my cons and pros:


- Colour tube was difficult to squeeze into mixer bottle.
- Applicator bottle was difficult to use - I found it too big and hard to squeeze the gel out of.
- The plastic gloves were completely useless - huge, floppy, my hair tangled around them and pulled them off my hands.

+ The product was not as stinky as some others! Good ventilation is still a must though.
+ There seemed to be lots in the bottle. I always buy two packs because of my long hair, but it seemed like one and a half would have been adequate (better than other times when I've nearly run out).
+ The conditioner comes in a tube with a screw top! This is a big plus, as you will know if you have ever been in the shower, trying in vain to open a plastic sealed sachet with your teeth...
+ It rinsed out quickly and stayed rinsed out - no staining the towel or continuing to rinse out the next three times I washed my hair.

There you have it, and three cons to four pros mean I'll probably buy this one again. I'll make sure I have some disposable latex gloves on hand too. On the subject of hair dye, here are a couple of things I'd like to see:

* Half size packs for touching up your roots... it's so annoying to buy a full pack, knowing you'll have to throw half of it away.
* The actual conditioner they use in the packs available as a full size bottle.

If you dye your own hair, what brand do you use?

Saturday, 23 May 2009


Last weekend we had perfect weather. Warm, sunny and summery. I spent the entire weekend in the garden - weeding and tidying up on Saturday, chipping more branches on Sunday (pictured). Saturday was the most fun day - Sunday got old very fast! But as I worked, I dreamed. And I thought about what I want to do in my garden. And I think I've got a plan.

I'm going to make a potager - similar in design to this one. I like the concentric circle layout of the paths, which gives a strong structure to the whole thing. It means that when the broccoli is flopping around, and the cabbages have all been harvested leaving a big bare spot, there will still be a strong design element at work.

Especially if you plant diagonally!

Of course I'll still have flowers and flowering herbs scattered throughout...

And something decorative in the central bed.

I also think raised beds are important - building curved ones will be quite the challenge!

I definitely want brick or stone paths.

The above images are from "New Zealand Potager - The Ornamental Vegetable Garden" by Diana Anthony. It's a really helpful book if you are planning a potager!

This is my rough sketch. I'll be keeping the existing concrete paths for now (far left and bottom right). The rectangle shape in the lower right corner is my glasshouse, and the circle above and to the left of it is the cherry tree - I've designed the path to veer around it. (Should I leave this in do you think? I don't want its roots making the paths buckle, or sucking up the water from my veges. But I don't want to just chop it either...)

Anyway, that was last weekend. This weekend has been nothing but rain, gales, and the two mixed together. Much better to just curl up on the couch and forget about it all....

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Gardening days

Weekends of late have been full of gardening activity (weather permitting). We have removed a large section of overgrown, bushy shrubbery from the side of the house, and are about two thirds through putting all the twigs and branches through a chipper. It's a noisy, dirty, backbreaking job, but I'll have some nice mulch at the end of it. I've also been battling the overgrown-with-oxalis strawberry bed, and that job is taking so much longer than I thought that I don't even want to talk about it.

So, onto something a little more cheerful - shall I show you how my garden grows?

The butter beans of summer have succumbed to the frost, but the broad beans are loving life and growing bushy and beautiful.

I have plenty of cabbages, kale, broccoli and cauliflower...

Even some bok choi which is obviously tasty.

Parsnips are fattening up (and taste much better after a frost).

Foreground: spring onions and background: leeks (my pride and joy!)

In the glasshouse the last peppers are still ripening.

A little viola, her face dirty from the rain.

As I took these photos the sky opened up once more so I scrambled for the shelter of the porch and used my zoom lens. See the chrysanthemum at the back fence? It's flattened under the weight of the water. Poor thing...

That's better!


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