Tuesday, 10 October 2017

The Ultimate Guide To Garden Protection



When your garden is your pride and joy, there’s nothing scarier than something happening to it. And sometimes, you can find that your garden faces all kinds of threats. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to put up with them. Instead, you need to ensure that you can protect your garden from just about anything that you can. And we all know that we need to be able to cover your plants ahead of the winter season, but the weather isn’t the only thing that we have to protect our gardens against, both at this time of year and all year round.


Secure The Boundaries

First up, let’s talk about how you can keep your garden protected on a security level. When you have broken fence panels or hedges with gaps in, you may find that your garden really isn’t secure at all. So, instead, you need to focus on making sure that the entire boundary is secure. For this, the obvious choice is strong fencing, even if it means ripping out a hedge that you already have to upgrade the boundary. But you should also think about the gates with locks that you need to really ensure the space is secure.




Cover Your Veg Patch

However, you’re also going to want to think more about some of the specific areas in your garden, like your vegetable patch. Because when you’re growing veg, you don’t want to have put all of that hard work in to of then found out that the fruits of your labor are damaged. When it comes to growing your own, you don’t always want to douse everything in chemicals. So, instead, you should look at covering your vegetables. This way, they can be protected from any harsh weather, as well as be kept safe from pests.


Tackle Pests
And while we’re on the topic of pests, let's have a look at how we can tackle them too. You’re going to want to ensure your garden is pest-free with some handy homemade deterrents. These can be great for insects. But when you find a wasp nest, you might like to give wasp nest foam a go if you can. Or, call in an exterminator or wasp specialist if you’re concern. This can also be a great idea for rats too.




Protect Your Furniture
But you’ve also got your furniture to think about too. You can often need to protect your garden furniture during both the summer and winter. For wood, it will often need sealing, plastic is best off covered, and when it comes to metal, you should always look to store it away to ensure it's protected.


Discourage Intruders

As well as securing the boundaries, you may also want to focus on further ways to protect your garden from intruders. One of the best ways to discourage them, as well as make it hard for them to get in, is to put lights out so that they can be seen in the garden should they try to enter. Security lights can also be an excellent form of protection here too.


 

Friday, 29 September 2017

The Heads Up On Growing Veg, Without The Crippling Back Pain

That excruciating, pulsing ache that radiates out from your back after a hard day of gardening and growing vegetables. For some, it signifies a job well done, but it can make others question why they have been compelled to work so hard in the first place. Especially, if their back is problematic anyway. So, if you are one of the poor souls that fall into the latter category and would like the result of a healthy vegetable garden without the crippling back pain, keep reading for some useful advice.


Raised beds


One way to minimise the bending and hard work associated with growing your own crop of vegetable is to put in raised beds. These are vegetable beds that sit on top of the natural ground level, instead if under it, as is traditional. The idea is that there is less of distance to bend when tending and planting, and so saving your back.


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To make your own raised bed, you first need to delineate the areas that they will cover. So use string and garden cane to map out the area. Then you need to install wooden scaffold board around the edge of this shape and fix it at the corners. Many people do this by inserting a strut at each corner and nailing each board to it where it meets. Then all that is left is for you to fill the space with soil.


To save money here, you can use materials dug out of other places in the garden.  Although topsoil and compost purchased from the garden centre will work fine too. Remember too that the higher the beds, the more soil you will need to fill the volume of the space. Although higher bed do mean less bending and are so much easier on the back.


Greenhouse


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Greenhouses are also a great way of growing some fabulous vegetables without causing crippling back pain. Especially ones like these Elite High Eave Greenhouses, as they are tall enough to stand up fully straight in when you are working, even if you are tall!


You also have the advantage of being able to work on shelves in the greenhouse, instead of the floor. So save your back, as well as ensuring that your plants get the perfect amount of sunlight and heat to start off strong.


Tubs


Lastly, in a similar vein to raised beds, you can also use plastic, or wooden tubs and barrels for planting veg. Root vegetable like carrots and parsnips grow especially well in these types of containers.


Their main advantage over raised beds is that they don't take up so much room. So are perfect for those with smaller gardens that want to minimise the back breaking work associated with planting, tending and harvesting veg.


It is worth noting too that you can grow other types of fruit and vegetables in these barrels such as lettuces. However, as they are so deep, it's probably not the best use of space. So choose a shallow window box and house it on a plant shelf for access that is easy on your back instead.




Monday, 25 September 2017

Size Doesn't Matter: Practical Tips For Growing Food In A Small Space



Many people mistakenly think they need a large garden, or even farmland, to grow food. This isn’t true, as it is possible to yield a sizeable harvest in the smallest of spaces. So, if you don’t have a garden, or you don’t think your land is big enough to grow food, we have some ideas you may find useful.


Use the space you have




So you don’t have a garden? Fear not, there are other spaces where food can be grown. Planters can be hung on balconies and fences, and you can also affix them to the walls on the exterior of your home. You could grow fruit from vines, such as grapes, by lining them around mailbox or fence posts. You might also place pots and planters on your windowsill. So, despite your lack of garden space, you can utilize other areas around your home.

Buy a greenhouse

You may not have a garden, but if you have a yard space outside your home, greenhouses are perfect. They can come in all kinds of sizes, from around 4 feet to 12 feet, so you could feasibly buy something that can be accommodated in your space. A greenhouse can be used to grow crops all year round, so even during the colder months, temperature controlled heaters can be used to maintain food and plant growth.

Remember to fertilize

When gardening in a small area, such as a planter or a raised bed, your crops will deplete the nutrients in the soil faster than they would in a larger area. So if you have tried this idea, but given up because you don’t think it’s practical, you have probably failed to fertilize sufficiently. There is advice here on how to fertilize container plants, including using compost teas, that will help you get the most from your small-scale gardening.

Attract pollinators

Pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, are essential to a garden’s success. Through cross-pollination, they fertilize plants and food crops, encouraging growth. Therefore, always mix flowers in with your vegetables and herbs, as the scent and bright colours will invite the pollinators in to get about their business. You should also think about planting edible herbs, such as dill and basil, which will also attract our insect friends.

Maximize your space

If you only have a small amount of space, you don’t want to plant any varieties that will leave little room for anything else. So, if you only have a square foot of soil, forget about cauliflower and broccoli in that area, as not only do they take up space, but they only yield one harvest. Instead, plant those foods that won’t take up a lot of space, and have higher yields. For example, carrots, onions, radishes, and lettuce, are perfect for those of you growing in small pieces of land or containers.

Grow miniature fruiting trees




You can grow miniature fruiting trees on a small patch in your garden, or in a container, allowing you to have your quota of fresh fruit without having to grow an orchard. Nearly every fruit imaginable can be grown, from apples to peaches, so you can buy according to taste. For a faster yield, buy at least two, as this will allow them to cross-pollinate.

Finally

Great things do come in small packages, so don’t let your lack of space put you off from growing food. Let us know if you have ideas of your own.


Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Yard Doctors: Rescuing A Garden That’s Showing Signs Of Flatlining

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A beautiful garden can transform any home, but it is the area that probably needs more TLC than any other. So when yours has been left unloved, the enjoyment it offers can quite quickly start to fade. But this doesn’t need to be a death sentence, and there is still time to rescue the outside space.


Small gestures can go a long way to giving your garden a fresh lease of life. Here’s how to achieve it in style.


Respect The Weather


If you’re serious about injecting new life into the outdoor space, you need to ensure that it will look great all year round. Otherwise, all of the good work completed now will become redundant when the seasonal changes take place.


Climate conditions will have a huge impact on the condition of your garden. After all, it is constantly exposed to the elements. Right now, it’s time to start thinking about autumnal preparations. In truth, though, you want to create a garden that requires minimal maintenance throughout the different months of the year.


Your geographic location will play a pivotal role in deciding how you should respond. If you’ve lived in the area for a long time, you probably have a good idea of weather behaviours. For homeowners that are in a new property, a quick search of the internet should tell you everything that needs to be known.


Combine Natural Improvements With Artificial Beauty


The garden is your piece of natural heaven, and you should give nature the best chance to flourish. On the other hand, even keen gardeners don’t want to dedicate too much time to creating that beautiful appearance. The phrase to hold onto here is that a stitch in time saves nine.


Using bulk compost will save you bags of money, and also gives you the best chance of keeping the garden in great health with minimal fuss. With soil in greater condition, plants stand a far better chance of staying that way too. If dead flowers have been the main reason that your garden has looked dead for years, this could be the game changer.


If there’s only one maintenance job that everyone hates, it has to be mowing the lawn. You already have plenty of natural beauty throughout your yard, so why not cheat with artificial grass. It’ll keep the bulk of the yard look perfect day after day, year after year.


Encourage Increased Garden Time


At the top of this post, we talked about the need to give your garden TLC. Perhaps more importantly, though, it needs attention. When you fully appreciate what the garden has to offer, you’ll spend more time enjoying it. In turn, that should encourage you to keep it in better health.


The garden isn’t just a place for natural beauty. Creating a decked seating area can give you a chance to enjoy the outdoor tranquillity. Frankly, that relaxation is a blessing in today’s world. Invest in a quality BBQ too, and you’ll have every reason to keep enjoying the space time and time again.


Meanwhile, you should use garden lighting to extend your time in the yard into the evenings. Once again, it’ll go a long way to pushing you towards greater involvement and treatment. More importantly, it’ll help you seek greater enjoyment.


Friday, 28 July 2017

Increased Garden Appeal Achieved In 4 Easy Steps

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The great British summer is well underway, but there’s still plenty of time to enjoy the nice weather from the comfort of your garden. Moreover, you can transform the external area into a personal wonderland with minimal fuss.


Focus on these four simple ideas below, and you’ll see positive results in no time. Moreover, those improvements can be appreciated for many years to come. Let’s get started.


Embrace The Space


Feeling trapped or claustrophobic is the last thing anyone wants from their garden. Therefore, designing the space in a more efficient manner should be top of the agenda.


Firstly, reorganising your garden shed will claw back valuable space. If you have lost space due to unnecessary items, such as jungle gyms that the kids have outgrown, sell them. Every yard matters and it will create new opportunities while boosting perceptions.


Don’t forget to make good use of alleys and other limited spaces too. It’s a simple idea, but the difference is truly magnificent.


Add Beauty


Nobody is going to feel enthused about spending time in their garden until it looks attractive on the eye. Thankfully, a few simple adjustments can make a telling impact that’ll last for years.


Of course, planting flower beds and using hanging baskets can help. However, new grass seeds can be equally influential as a winning lawn will always serve as a winning foundation. There’s nothing like a healthy green lawn to promote positive feelings and a strong connection to nature and the home as a whole.


The garden should also be bursting with personality. Whether it’s garden ornaments or a water feature, investing in an item that makes the garden feel like yours is crucial.


Grass, Blades Of Grass, Nature, Meadow, Close, Green


Inject New Function


Above all else, you need an incentive to get out in the garden on a more frequent basis. Beauty is an important starting point, but having a garden that enables you to complete activities is arguably even more vital.


There’s no question that hot tubs have seen a surge in popularity and accessibility in recent years. When combined with a simple decking area and suitable garden furniture, you’ll be set for hours of family fun.


Having said that, nothing beats a great British summer BBQ. Invest in a quality BBQ stove, and your garden is sure to become your favourite part of the property once more.


Extend Garden Time


Building a better garden space is one thing, but the best way to increase the appeal is to enable yourself to enjoy it for a longer period. Outdoors fun needn’t end when the sun goes down, and a few simple tricks will work wonders.


Installing a decent lighting system is vital. This can include a fixed feature on the outside walls, as well as solar garden lamps. Meanwhile, sconces can add a special appeal for those summer and autumn evenings.


Seeing is one thing, but you also need to consider your comfort. A garden heater should battle back against the drops in temperature. Relaxed evenings in the garden have never felt better.


Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Create a Garden Retreat You Can't Beat

Sometimes, you need somewhere to escape from the stress of your own home. It might seem strange, but your home can be pretty busy and full of things that make you worry. But perhaps you don't want to go out - you just need some space. If you have a garden, it's the perfect space to create a retreat for yourself. And it doesn't need to be somewhere you sit outside, which you can only use when the weather is good. If you use a small shed or cabin, you can have an indoor space that's connected to the outdoors.
 
Transform Your Existing Shed
 
Have you already got a garden shed or maybe a small cabin that's going to waste? If there's already a structure in your garden you can use, you might be able to transform it in hardly any time at all. The first thing you should think about doing is getting it tidy and cleaned up. If you've been using it as a storage shed, it could be dusty and perhaps a little damp. Clear away any cobwebs and make sure it's protected from the environment. A protective stain or varnish on the outside can help to keep the wood dry.
 
 
Design a New Retreat
 
If you don't have anything you can turn into your retreat, or you don't want to use what you do have, you can consider designing something from scratch. You can come up with some great ideas to put in a cosy cabin at the end of your garden. This option could be a little more expensive, so it's worth figuring out how you're going to pay for it. You could take out a home owner loan, use a credit card, or just dip into your savings. You can find someone to design a space for you, which might mean enlisting an architect or landscaper to help you.
 
Put In Light and Heat
 
If you want to use your retreat in all weathers, you're going to want to make sure you can stay warm and dry. And you'll want some lights too, or else you won't be able to use it much in the winter or any evenings. Since your retreat is outside, it's easy to use solar lights to light it up. Just place the solar panel outside and the lights inside. Heating the space could be a little trickier. You can find a way to use a portable heater, or perhaps some way to have a small fire.
 
Make Your Space Comfortable
 
You want to be comfortable in your space too. Once you know you'll be warm and you'll be able to see, you can think about making sure you have a comfy place to relax. Maybe you're going to use your retreat to read, write or do arts and crafts. Somewhere soft to sit will immediately make your retreat a better place to spend your time. Blankets and cushions can't hurt either.
 
A special garden retreat gives you somewhere to get some alone time when you need it. If you need to get out of the house, it's the perfect place to go.


4 Garden Essentials for a Relaxing Outdoor Oasis

We all need a place that we can retreat to, to relax and disconnect and what better place than our gardens. Therefore today we want to share our top tips on how to create a super relaxing and indulgent garden where you can while away the hours enjoying some good, old fashioned, quality ‘you’ time.
 
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Privacy
 
First of all no garden is going to feel particularly relaxing if you feel that you are being overlooked by all and sundry. Therefore a really good place to start when creating a relaxing and peaceful garden is to create some privacy for yourself. This may come in the form of building up some high fencing or it may just be fitting in an awning that can be pulled out over your decking to cover you from any nosey neighbours from above.
 
Therefore look at the areas in your garden that have the least privacy and see how you can overcome that problem. Perhaps you can build in some hedges and trees that will create a secret relaxation corner to your garden. Or perhaps it is a case of traffic noise that you can buffer out with thick fencing. Whatever the needs of your garden, privacy is a really important in order to enjoy your garden as a relaxing and personal space.
 
Look to the Floor
 
Lets face it no garden is going to look particularly cosy with old, hard concrete floors. Therefore a really effective way to make your garden look much more welcoming and indulgent is to whip your floor up into space. Pulling up old concrete floors and replacing them with grass turf is a simple way of instantly transforming your garden into a natural and fresh space. Decking is also a great way of making your garden look really attractive, organised and clean so look into the different flooring options that could transform your garden into a really inviting and cosy outdoor space.
 
Ramp it up a Notch
 
If you really want to take your garden up a gear and create an outdoor space that will really make your neighbours jealous why not thinking about investing in a hot tub? Hot tubs offer the ultimate garden relaxation space so they are well worth the investment. There are a wide range of hot tubs on the market from the top of the range models all the way through to much more affordable inflatable hot tubs, so there really is a model for every budget. If you are unsure about the best type of model for you look for a hot tub specialist and read their review here to find out about what is available. Use online research as a way to decipher which model, size and style would best work in the space that you have available.
 
Furniture
 
A garden is not going to welcome you outside to relax, after a long hard day at work, unless you have the right furniture to beckon you outside to take the weight off. Therefore if you don’t already have comfortable outdoor furniture you will want to be looking at the range of soft, comfortable and of course, hard wearing outdoor furniture that will really bring your outdoor oasis to life.
 
 


Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Top Tips To Prepare Your Garden For The Autumn




Whether you choose to believe it or not, Autumn is just around the corner. While you dream of an eternal summer, it’s just not going to happen. Very soon, the telltale signs of Autumn will arrive, such as the shorter nights and changes in nature. You may have just readied your garden for the summer months, but as every gardener knows, it is important to prepare your garden early for the changes ahead.


As the colder days set in, you are less likely to venture out into the garden. So while it’s warm, begin to take care of your garden, and you will start to see the benefits of your labor in the weeks and months ahead.


Here are a few ideas to get you started.


Look after your lawn

The sun is great, in small doses, but your lawn will suffer in the heat. During the summer, make an effort to revitalize your grass by watering it weekly, and add fertilizer, such as those from  www.homebase.co.uk to your plants. By doing so, you will give your flowers and plants the nutrients they need to help them fend off the treacherous advances of the colder days ahead, and giving you extra time to enjoy their beauty.


Cover the pond



During the summer, a pond is a great water feature. However, as Autumn sets in, there is a need to protect the pond from falling foliage and other debris that the chilly winds can bring. Therefore, buy an adequately sized net to cover the pond to prevent the water from being polluted. This way, you will have less work to do in the spring when you begin to get your garden ready for the following summer.


Dig up the weeds

Weeds are a curse to gardeners, and you need to get them under control as they are liable to spread. Digging them up and killing them off early will save you a lot of hard work later on, and your garden will thank you for it. They grow everywhere, from between your carefully planted flowers, to the cracks in your patio, so scour every inch of your outdoor area as you begin to attack them from the root. Be careful about chemical weed killers as they can be dangerous to your flowers, but www.goodhousekeeping.com have some very good ideas as to how you can make a safer option at home.


Keep the home fires burning

Not only will you be buying firewood for your wood stove ready for the Autumn chill, but they are also useful for a small bonfire to burn up your garden waste. Visit www.woodcall.com and have a look at what they could offer you, saving you the hard work of sourcing wood from your garden and places of nature. Furthermore, you could use spare logs to create an attractive boundary around your garden, or create some interesting wooden sculptures.


Don’t throw away the wood ash as it can be used as extra fertilizer for your garden, giving some of your plants the potassium they need to survive. Visit www.pearsonsofduns.co.uk to find out which plants wood ash will benefit, as well as those that won’t.


Care for your greenhouse
Your greenhouse is perfect for allowing your summer plants to flourish during the warmer months, and now is the time to prepare for those flowers and plants that need extra care during the winter chill. As Autumn creeps in, your plants will have less sunlight to benefit them, so clean the glass panes to allow in as much sun as possible before winter finally takes hold.


Plant evergreen foliage




While many plants and flowers will eventually die or hibernate during the cold and frosty weather, evergreen trees and plants will continue to add much-needed color to your garden. While the soil is still warm, now is the perfect time to plant a few, including camellias, japonica, and holly. Unlike other foliage, these are low maintenance, so you don’t need to brave the cold air to look after them.


Prepare for the spring
 
Read one of our previous articles at www.orchidgardens.co.uk to find out why spring is the best season for your garden. While summer is barely over, you still need to prepare for the later seasons to get the full benefit of your Spring flowers. Now is the time to plant those all-important bulbs, including tulips and daffodils, to ensure your garden blooms with glorious colour in the new year.