Make Your Garden Into A Sanctuary

It is spring, the finest time of year for gardeners. The country is in bloom and putting on a show. Not only that, your own quiet corner of the world will likely be repaying you for your care and hard work all year round. While maintaining a garden is a lot of work, when you get to see it blossom, it is all worth it. Just as Wallace Stevens taught us that there are ‘Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird’, there are also many ways of looking at your garden. You may see it, and the work that you put into it, as an exercise in beauty. When it comes alive in spring, it is mesmeric and all you want to do is share it with everyone (whether in person, or if you have one, on your Instagram account). Other people will look at their garden with a view to its utility. Dedicating part of your garden to growing vegetables, fruit or herbs is a great way to eat the freshest food you’ll ever have and maybe make some money too if you want to set up a stool at a farmer’s market. Another way of looking at your garden is as a social hub. This is great if you have visiting family, or you just want to get your friends together. The atmosphere at a barbecue is special and appeals to both adults and kids. However, an important perspective to have when it comes to your garden is that it is a place where you should be able to relax.


The world today is so often hectic and stressful that everybody needs to find their own way of relaxing. Some find that they can only unwind in the tumult and noise of the stands at a football stadium while others think that the picture of relaxation is a day at the spa. In any case, one’s garden, when organised properly, can be exquisitely relaxing, and it is literally in your backyard. If you want to turn your garden into your own personal oasis of calm and indulgence, here are a few things to consider:


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The first and most important thing that you need if you are going to relax in your garden is somewhere comfortable to sit (check out bramblecrest for some ideas). Picking the garden furniture that is perfect for you is obviously a personal thing, but without it, you will be stuck sitting on the grass. Depending on the time of year, that may be somewhat impractical and not all that comfortable in any case.


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Secondly, if you want to be able to retire to your garden all year round, you will need to make sure that it is not too cold during the winter months. Investing in a patio heater or a fire pit is a good idea. On those mild nights where you do not want to sit in front of the TV again, curling up on the patio and watching the sunset is just perfect.

Thirdly, if you enjoy being in your garden but you also enjoy watching films, then why not consider installing a projector and a screen and having your outdoor cinema.

Before long, your garden will be the envy of your friends and they will be jealous that you keep it all to yourself.

 

A Bloomin' Lovely Garden

With summer on its way, us green fingered folk can already imagine our gorgeous gardens in full bloom. We’ve waited through the barren winter, but our outside space is about to burst into colour again. Of course, no garden will explode without a little work. Now is the perfect time to ensure your garden becomes the colourful haven you want. You may have existing plants that return each year. If not, get to work. Here are a few ways to ensure you have a blooming lovely garden come the summer months.
A WIDE RANGE


Every gardener dreams of a flourishing outside space.A well-done garden is a feast for the eyes, and we’re more than ready to gorge ourselves. But, how do you achieve the vibrant garden you can picture in your mind? Variety is the answer. Sticking with one colour or plant type will make it harder to achieve a colour explosion. Instead, look at a range of different plants, in a range of colour schemes. How you arrange these in your garden depends on your personal taste. You may want to keep each plant in a neat section with its own kind. Or, you may want to mix things up and go for a wilder feeling. Whatever you do, it can pay to mix colours throughout each section. An organised gardener may want to keep each colour separate, and there’s no denying that this can work. But, it can be harder to make a garden pop when working to such strict codes.




A WATERING SCHEDULE

Your plants will not stay vibrant if you don’t get on top of a watering schedule. Instead, they will fast become tired and washed out. It’s worth watering in the morning and evenings if the weather is hot. For the most part, the dryness of the soil will show whether this is necessary. Try to water at the same time each day. You could use a hose, or install sprinklers which come on automatically and do the job for you. You’ll need to bear in mind water restrictions, too. It may be worth installing a private water supply. Visit the Nicholls website, and others like them to get an idea about whether it would work for you. The primary benefit of a private supply is that your water use can never be limited. Private supply is also an eco-friendly option, so you’ll still be doing your bit.

PROPER MAINTENANCE

To keep things looking lovely, stay on top of maintenance. A mixed colour scheme can look fantastic when done right, but it can get out of control fast. You need to keep on top of what your plants are doing to ensure wildness doesn’t take over. A slightly wild look can work well, but complete wilderness in the garden is not what you’re aiming for. Make sure to trim back any straying flowers, remove weeds, and keep an eye on cross pollination. Some plants spread like wildfire, and they alone could ruin the whole image.


Making Your Garden A Social Hub This Summer

It’s almost summer, which means that the season for socialising outside is almost upon us. It’s time to go to rooftop bars, to beer gardens, to take a picnic to the park and sprawl out on the grass with your loved ones to really enjoy the sunshine - but most of all, it’s time to take a look at your own space and figure out how you can use it this summer for social occasions.


Add Decking


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First of all, it’s time to add decking. If you’re a whizz at DIY projects then you could consider going to a lumber yard, picking out what wood you want to use, and making it yourself, but if you think you’re probably the sort of person who’ll buy the materials and let them rot in your garage all summer instead of actually doing the work, then it’s a good idea to call in the professionals. Make sure that there’s enough space to put out some chairs and a table, for anyone that you want to invite over for dinner - and add an area where you can put your grill so that you can cook your meat and veggie burgers in safety.


Make Sure There’s Shade


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It’s important to make sure that your back garden has some areas of shade. Not everyone tans easily and you don’t want anyone to end up with bad sunburn because they don’t have anywhere to shelter in your back garden - it’s important to remember that comfort extends past chairs and tables and into people having what they need to stay healthy. Likewise, make sure that it’s easy to get into your house to get some water and to apply sunscreen. Not only can the sun’s UV rays cause sunburn and skin cancer later down the road, but being in the sun for too long can lead to heatstroke.


Add Some Quirks


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If you have enough cash to spare then why not make your back garden a fun place for people to be? You could add a trampoline for the kids and maybe even a hot tub for the adults. Quality hot tubs may cost a little money but they’ll be worth it when you’re relaxing outside at night with your partner under the stars, feeling the warm bubbles bursting against your back. There’s very little that’s better for you than to have an excuse to relax - and let’s face it, the warmth and the gentle rippling of the water will make you feel as though you’re far, far away from home, in a place where the summers are much warmer!


Make It Beautiful


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Finally, it’s time to make your garden gorgeous again after neglecting it during the winter. Make sure that you keep watering your borders, and pull up all the weeds from the roots to lessen the chances of them growing back again. If your lawn is overrun with moss and weeds then you could try a natural weed killer followed by plant food which will help it grow back to its lush green best.

Pleione maculata


Pleione maculata is an unusual and interesting plant, with rather squat, warty, green bulbs. It produces fragrant white blooms in October, the lip is strongly marked with Imperial purple and yellow. It is not a difficult orchid to grow, but to be successful it needs a very open, airy compost, such as pure moss, in an orchid basket or a lattice pot, and must be kept over winter at 8°C or above and prefers to have high summer temperatures with lots of humidity. When it is treated as a tropical epiphyte it thrives.