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.
 

Why Spring is the Best Season for your Garden

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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.
 

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
(photo from Flickr by Personal Creations)


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.