Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Deck The Gardens, Not The Halls!

When the winter abates and the warmer months start to draw round, attention often turns from interior design to the garden and the curb appeal of a home. It’s easy to focus on the interior of your house when the weather is cold, and autumn and winter tend to be the time we update the living room and the kitchen. Interiors are fun to organise and once you sort a lick of paint or flooring only require cleaning maintenance instead of what a garden would require.
The garden can often – and unfortunately – be somewhere that’s neglected. The weather gets wetter or colder and we retreat indoors, ignoring that maintenance is still required no matter what the weather is. Where possible, try not to neglect the garden. The amount of work it takes to ensure a garden stays looking beautiful all year round means that you can often spend your weekends pruning bushes, planting flowers and generally looking after the area. No one likes to spend their weekends doing chores and that’s where low maintenance gardens can be a total blessing!
If you enjoy being outdoors, whether to eat or simply just enjoy the fresh air, then you should look at installing decking. With the wealth of designs and materials out there made to suit your budget, you can have your pick with garden decking. Choose a company to install the decking for your, or get some quality materials from George Hill Timber and follow online tutorials to build your decking yourself. It’s one thing to maintain the grass and flowers of the garden, but you can make it a space that requires lower maintenance by having decking. It’s also easier to brush leaves and debris off decking than it is to maintain gravel and other stone layouts.
A deck is a way to add beauty and aesthetics to your garden and is an attractive look for any garden, whether a flat one or multi-level. You can also install a deck if you’d prefer something that looks classier than simple paving slabs. Decking transforms your garden and makes it a place you can hang out all year round. There are a lot of considerations that you need to think about before you invest in decking, including your decking options. Ask yourself why you want a deck and what it will be used for. You can then plan accordingly as to what you want out of the space you have created. Al fresco dining, for example, will mean creating a space that has easy access to the kitchen to pass food in and out of. Dining outside is always amazing but still be cautious of where you place any barbecues or brick grills like these so that you don’t end up with smoke blowing into the house.
You could also choose to use your decking for simple relaxation purposes. If that’s the case, perhaps a deck built toward the back of the garden would be a better idea, as you may find that’s your garden’s sun trap. Children should be considered, because you need the deck to have non-slip materials or mats like these on it and if your deck is elevated, railings and coverings will always be advised. Think about investing in a parasol or gazebo for all weathers so no matter what you can enjoy your deck. A gazebo is a great thing to have in the summer so children can play safely, and you can add mosquito netting as well to protect everyone from bug invasions in the summer months.

Garden decking isn’t made in the same way it used to be thirty years ago, and there is so much advice online about materials you should use. Your deck can add to the value of your home and while you may not be interested in selling up and moving on right now, you have a little investment that has a good return on it for years to come. Hiring professional landscapers to come and give some advice on the design of your decking is never a waste of money, especially if gardening doesn’t come naturally to you.

Always be creative with your ideas for your decking. Be aware of the dangers of decking and installing it the wrong way and ensure you do some thorough research about it. Your garden is your own personal space to enjoy the outdoors and with a beautiful deck in the garden, you get the chance to do that all year round.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Why Spring is the Best Season for your Garden


Winter in the UK can so often be miserable, and yet it always carries within it the promise of spring. Every year, we get to luxuriate in the warmth and freshness of what must be the finest season. Summer can sometimes seem rather brash, Autumn is beautiful but in a rather melancholic way and Winter is just cold and wet. But Spring never fails to inspire wonder.
For gardeners too, it is a great time of year. They can watch as all of their hard work eventually comes to fruition (literally!). But it is not just blossoming plants that Spring grants us each year; it is generous enough to bestow the wonder of new animal life too. The bustling and yet elegant promise of Spring is just now upon us. It is a great time to enjoy nature. Here are reasons why Spring is the best time of year for your garden:

Spring stereotypically represents a new start for baby animals and daffodils, but it also represents an opportunity to look at your garden anew.You can see it in its full potential again and reevaluate what you want your garden to be. Do you want it to bloom again next year with just a few additions or should you overhaul what you have and look forward to watching something unique blossom next year? At the very least, it is a great time to tackle all of these small imperfections that snuck in over Winter. Don’t let those weeds last any longer. If you have hedges in your garden, then Spring is the time to take control of them again. Start pruning now!

It is not just weeds that you have to worry about though. Winter weather can be harsh on your garden. One of the things to do as the evenings get longer is go out and check that all of your plants are still healthy. Frost damage is real and is overlooked at your garden’s peril.
However, maybe it is not just your plants that you want to revamp as Summer approaches. Spring is the perfect time to consider whether you should indulge in some landscaping. Maybe your patio needs some attention, or you should invest in a water feature. Spring allows you to realise the opportunities that are right in your backyard.

The best thing to do when Spring comes around again is enjoy it while it lasts. If you want to indulge in Spring from your own quiet corner of these green and pleasant lands, then the comfort of your garden is the perfect place. However, if you want to enjoy it properly, you need to be comfortable. Log sheds have to be just about the perfect answer. Besides, if it was good enough for Thoreau, it should be good enough for anyone.

Finally, if you grow vegetables in your garden, it is the most exciting time of year: harvest. The long dog days of Winter are over and you can feast yourself on its spoils. Why not organise a garden party, invite your friends, and make them jealous by serving the freshest vegetables in town.

So, as March turns into April, and April starts to melt into summer, get out in your garden and enjoy Spring while you still can.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Make Your Garden A Wildlife Sanctuary!

While your garden may be absolutely wonderful to look at, you, like many other gardeners, might feel that it could do with a little more life and vibrancy. With spring almost upon us, you may want to encourage a little more wildlife in your garden, besides the neighbour’s cat who likes using your flowerbed as a litter tray! Here are some great ways to go about it…
DIY Bird Food

Winter is the season when birds need our feeders more than ever. Still, now that the weather’s getting a little warmer, they certainly won’t mind a little something extra! A lot of the pre-mixed bird foods you’ll see on sale use cheaper ingredients, for example beans, dried rice and lentils. All you need is a few simple components to create bird food much better than any you can buy at any garden centre. Mix some melted lard (with no margarine) with a mixture of different seeds – sunflower seeds, nyjer seeds, millet and peanuts are all popular choices. Then, pour this mixture carefully into a container that will be able to weather the elements, like half a coconut shell. Just leave it to set, and you’ll be all done. You can keep squirrels away from it by hanging the feeder from the end of a branch with some string.
Install a Pond

Installing a pond in your garden is a fantastic way to add a whole new dimension to your garden, and provide a habitat to a lot of wildlife. It will be a source of drinking water for small mammals and birds, and provide a home to frogs, toads, newts, and a range of insects. You can even get a few koi or other fish if you feel up to caring for them. No matter how large or small your garden is, there’s usually at least some space for a bit of standing water. Even on a small, urban patio, simply filling a large container with water, and adding some plants, stones and other pond supplies can be enough to bring so much more wildlife into your garden.
Stag Beetle Bucket

These fascinating beetles are endangered in the UK, but one simple feature can make their fight for survival so much easier. All you have to do is get your hands on a standard plastic bucket, then cut holes of at least two inches around the base and sides. Next, dig a hole in a quiet corner of the garden, deep enough so that the rim is only just below the ground. Then, start filling the bucket with soil and bark chippings, and simply wait for the beetles to move in naturally. Stag beetle larvae can live for up to five years, so it’s important you place it somewhere where it can’t easily be disturbed by cats or foxes. You may not love creepy crawlies, but you’ll be doing your bit to sustain the country’s delicate ecosystem.

There you have just a few great ways to make your garden a haven for wildlife.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Ways to Spruce up Your Garden

Has, in recent seasons, your garden been looking a bit lacklustre? If you garden didn't even look good in its heyday last summer, then perhaps it’s time to start taking action now in order to spruce it up before this coming summer arrives.
You could brighten the area up with a whole host of lights — they add a real character to the environment and even mean you can spend nights outside during the summer without having to bring a torch out with you. Decking lights are a great feature for any of those of you whose gardens are blessed with a decking area, but there are other areas in your garden where you can utilise LED lighting to spruce it up. LED plinth light can be mounted and sit on top of posts, such as veranda posts and solar-powered lighting can be stuck into the soil in various points and positions. You could, if you have any sort of path running through the garden, place lights on either side of it in order to spruce up the path.Solar_garden_light.jpg
And why not make a splash when sprucing up the area? You could introduce a bird bath to your garden in order to give your garden a different kind of edge, whilst in turn attracting all sorts of different types of birds to your area who will bring with them an instant and healthy dose of ‘spruce’. Or, if you’d prefer, you can go the whole hog and opt for a fancier water feature. Features, fountains, ponds and pools are some of the best ways to give your garden a new lease of life because, when first introduced, they offer something completely different to your area. Make sure to have a look at some of these stunning water features.

But it doesn’t all have to be necessarily expensive: you don’t need fancy and costly tools and areas to help spruce your garden up.You can add colour to your garden, and not just by way of the flowers you plant or grow there. A good idea is to buy cheap and colourful plant pots, or even paint old ones to add even more vibrancy to your outdoor haven. Whether you go for summer pastel colours, or bold bright ones, your garden will be brought to life instantly. However, you should always continue to take care of the basics of your garden, which is looking after the nature that grows there — because if done right, they are a way of really sprucing up the environment themselves. You should begin to tend to your lawn as soon as the weather allows you to. Feed your lawn on a regular basis with granular feed, and continuing to do so throughout the summer months, will stop your grass from ever looking as it is suffering from a serious case of wear and tear. This makes the garden look greener and far more inviting.pexels-photo-212324.jpeg
Green grass
So, there you have it. A few things you can do and introduce to your garden to give it an injection of life and really spruce it up!

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Getting Your Garden Summer Ready

We might still be waiting for spring to make an appearance, but it is never too early to start thinking about the summer. In fact, if you want to make the most of your garden when the sun starts to shine and the temperature hots up, now is the perfect time to start getting your garden ready for summer, and here are a few tips for doing just that:

Feed Your Lawn

If you want your garden to look luscious and green when your guests rock up to the first barbecue of the summer, you need to start feeding your lawn regularly come spring. This will stop it from getting yellow and ‘threadbare’ so that your garden always looks fabulous.

Sort Out Your Paving

If your garden has a significant amount of paving, you will want to make sure that it looks good by the summer. Paving that is dirty, filled with weeds and cracked can make the best gardens look grubby so it may be worth checking out local paving centres for new paving, if yours is beyond help.

If your paving is just in need of a good clean, a good once over with a pressure washer and some well-placed weed killer should see you right.

Flower Power

Few things are able to transform garden from drab to fab like the inclusion of a few well-placed flowers. Whether your garden consists of paving stones or grass, there is a suitable flower solution out there for you. If you’re not a fan of getting down and dirty in the garden, you might want to invest in a few baskets and pots that you can fill with pretty blooms. If you don’t mind gardening, then digging around the perimeter of your property and filling the beds with flowers is a great way to add colour while maintaining the functionality of your garden space.

Clean Your Garden Furniture

If your garden furniture has been left languishing over the autumn and winter months, now is the time to get them out and give them an airing. Leave them out for a few hours on a dry day to get rid of any musty smells and spend an hour or two giving them a thorough clean. If your garden furniture is plastic, a good going over with soap and a sponge should suffice, but if your furniture is made from metal or wood, you may need to scrub it with a wire brush to get rid of any rust or mould that has started to appear on the furniture.

Let There Be Light

At this time of year, you can usually pick up outdoor solar lighting at very reasonable prices, and it is great for adding some sparkle to the garden on those long summer evenings spent eating and drinking with friends. Lights can be fixed to fences, wrapped around gazebos or even attached to outdoor walls for a special tough.

Cut the Grass

Of course, you should also start cutting your lawn as soon as spring hits and it gets a growth spurt. Cut grass at least twice a month to ensure you don’t end up with a jungle on your property come summer.

Monday, 13 February 2017

No Yard? No Worries, You Can Still Garden

Maybe you’re moving to a new property that doesn’t look like it can cater to your hobby of choice. Maybe you’ve always wanted to give gardening a go but you don’t have the space. Whatever the case, having no garden on your own property isn’t the end of your green-thumbed dreams. Here, we’re going to look at how to indulge when it looks like the space you have won’t let you.

Get indoors
Nowadays, there are plenty of ways to garden indoors. In fact, one of the best parts of indoor gardening is choosing containers and placement that contributes to the d├ęcor of the home as a whole. One of the challenges about gardening indoors is about properly knowing the demands of it. Your garden won’t get as much natural water, so if you don’t want to spend too much time watering all your indoors plants, then you want some with fewer demands. Cacti aren’t your only option. Orchids make a very popular choice for indoor gardens because of their relatively little need for water.
Get vertical
If you want plants that can bask in the sun and the rain, then you should look at using any vertical space available. Lightweight trellises with attached planter gardens offer some space that won’t only brighten up your yard but are also very easy to move if you need to. You don’t necessarily need to build permanent structures to house your vertical garden. Just make sure you carefully consider the placement of them. Take a look at whatever outdoor space you have and how shade affects it during the day.
Get communal
If you simply want to garden for the enjoyment of the hobby or you want to grow some of your own food, then it’s not as important that it’s a part of your home. In fact, allotments can be a great way to even make some friends that share the hobby. An allotment blog can help you find the garden centers near you and even the events that pop up that allow you to play a bigger role in the community. If there isn’t one available, then you could go about pushing to start one, yourself.
Get inventive
If none of these options sound like a fit, then you might need to put a little more creativity in where you decide to add a little green. Hanging baskets at the entry of a home are a great way to add some curb appeal to the home, for instance. A drab balcony can be transformed with a little greenery, too. Even windowsills can be great choices if you use the ones that are going to be facing the sun for most of the day. There are plenty of ways to find space to pot your plants.
Gardening can be as creative or perfunctory as you want it to be. Think about what you want above all else and make the right choice of how you get it. Having no garden shouldn’t be any obstacle.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Turn Your Balcony Blues into a Flourishing Garden

Not everyone is able to have their own garden. But just because you don't have a garden, it doesn't mean you can't do any gardening. If you're fortunate enough to have a balcony, it can be a brilliant place to create a mini garden. Even with just a small amount of space, you can add some beautiful plants to your balcony that you can enjoy. You can even attract some wildlife, ranging from insects to birds and squirrels. If you want to create a balcony garden, have a look at the tips below to get started.

Put Plants at Different Levels

Even with only a small space such as a balcony, you're able to create a dynamic and varied garden. One of the great things about a balcony is that it can still offer at least three levels for you to use. You can place plants in pots and planters on the floor, hang them from the railing or barrier of the balcony, and suspend them from the roof with hanging baskets. You can maximise the space you have to make a tiered garden with a variety of plants. You could have anything from trailing plants in your hanging baskets to a small fruit tree on the floor.

Draw in Wildlife

If you like gardens for the wildlife they attract, don't let having a balcony stop you enjoying it. There are several things you can do if you want to attract some wildlife to your balcony. You might not be accessible to hedgehogs, but your balcony can still be reached by bugs, birds, and squirrels. You might choose to hang a feeder if you want to attract birds. Another option is to choose your plants carefully if you want to attract bees and other insects to your balcony.

Consider the Weather

When you're selecting the plants for your balcony, don't forget to think about the weather. Of course, you need to select plants that will do well in the climate. But you also need to think about the safety of having various containers on your balcony. If the wind picks up, is there a danger of anything going flying? Selecting heavier contains is often best to ensure that they stay in place. However, your balcony might protect everything from the wind.

Create a Seating Space

Some balconies are bigger than others. Perhaps after adding plants, there might not be space for much else. But if there is room, you might want to create somewhere you can sit and enjoy your garden. Just try not to place any seating directly under hanging baskets, or you could end up being dripped on. A bistro table and a couple of small chairs are great additions to your balcony, giving you somewhere to relax on a sunny day. If you can't fit them in, you could consider a single chair, such as a rocking chair or armchair.

You only need a small amount of space to create a garden. If you have a balcony, it might be enough to give you what you want.