Thursday, 9 August 2018

Haven't The Room For A Personal Garden? Consider These 3 Remedies

Not all of us are lucky enough to work in a green space outside. Why this may be your ultimate goal, your ambitions as a gardener may not be so easily patient. Sometimes, you just need to create and design your perfect patch. It’s no wonder why people feel this need so distinctly - gardening is perhaps one of the most therapeutic hobbies or careers anyone can partake in.  

This creative mindset often lends itself to solutions. As such, we have compiled a simple list of methods you may try if a large green space is not within your property ownership or rentals:
It might be that the only thing stopping you from enjoying a garden space is a comfortable discussion with your landlord. Many people feel like renting means they cannot make changes to any aspect of the property, but if you have good intentions for renovation and upkeep, it might be that your humble garden space attached to the rental property is a prime place for you to conduct your first gardening exploits.  

Not only is your landlord likely to appreciate the effort placed in upkeeping the garden space, but they might be more than willing to help you rectify this area with new work if it’s long overdue. Of course, this may not apply to everyone, nor may small apartment gardens be much to work with. Still, for humble beginnings, this might be an excellent step forward for most.
Indoor Gardens 
Indoor gardens are also a possibility to curate. From hydroponics that offer a soil-free method of growing some of your best planting arrangements, to wall gardens and indoor tank gardens, you may find that an outdoor green space perhaps just isn’t necessary to begin to learn the lessons of planting, to grow certain yields you’re interested in, or to bring some excellent greenery to an apartment sorely in need of some more natural life than just yourself.
Of course, the king of solutions for those hoping to grow their own vegetables or planting arrangement is the rental of an allotment. Often these allotments aren’t very much to rent and can provide you with an excellent place to escape the confines of a city environment in an area that truly feels wonderful to be part of. Thankfully, allotments are often structured in quite large land spaces, meaning that this can function as not just a substitute for working in a green space, but a wonderful and comfortable environment for relaxing in one. Perhaps the greatest part of working in an allotment space is that it connects you to a community of like-minded people from all walks of life, perhaps people you may not have connected with otherwise. Every person on planet Earth can connect with the universal nature of a beautiful garden, or the impressive nature of a crop yield. For this reason, you may find a beautiful means of enjoying one of your best new explored hobbies possible.
With these simple remedies, having little to no home garden space needn’t be a difficulty.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Renewing Your Garden This Summer

Renewing your garden can be an excellent pursuit, as it helps you completely reassess the space you have been given to work with. It may be that you’re tired of the old layout, that new features you have installed seem like they don’t quite fit, or that you hope to run a more pleasing operation in general. In order to take care of all of this, it might be that you need to consider your garden from its roots and take care of some quite prolonged redesigning work.
Luckily, doing so is more than achievable, you just need to know where to start, and allow ideas to inspire you as you consider your options. So, allow the inspiration:
Reusing certain items around the home can help you add a texture and ethical versatility to your garden. For example, cutting two-litre plastic bottles in half and using them as plant pots or guidance along an elongated hanging basket can help you reuse household trash that you may have otherwise thrown out. Of course, it might be that you decide to craft your own compost borders in order to throw out and utilise your organic waste, as this can help you tremendously in the effort to grow a vegetable garden or nourish your plants in the long term. All of this can have an effect, so it’s very important to consider using those items that you may not have previously considered possible to utilise.
Using a professional landscaping company to really make the most of your garden, to tier it and help educate you about the potential of your green space can help you think in ways that you may not have thought before when it comes to your garden. Of course, they will often be willing to take your instruction and to come to a dialogue with you about what is best to implement, and how you might tie certain elements of your garden together, or achieve an aesthetic you have always appreciated. Bringing in these experts allows you to both find the best solution, and then execute said solution in the most timely fashion, while also ensuring those responsibilities are conducted correctly.
Flow Between Interior & Exterior
It can be strange to hear, but one of the most interesting changes you can make in order to renew your garden is considered the interior of your home, at least so far as to think ‘how well does it flow into my garden?’ Might you consider constructing a canopy or an elongated window set door system with a deck straight outside, or perhaps constructing an entertainment area outside of your back doors which beautiful leads into a garden path, rather than simply installing turf up to the doorway? Your tastes will often dictate the choices you make here but consider how interior/exterior flow can often help your home space feel more cohesive, and for both spaces to feel larger, especially in the summer.
With these simple efforts, renewing your garden this summer will become a practical reality.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Building your own Barbecue Pit

Summer is finally here, and the sun comes is out, it time to make the most of it and plan though summer BBQ gatherings. But instead of bringing out the standard barbecue, why not build your own barbecue pit?

Learn how to build your very own safe and efficient BBQ pit in your garden, with this guide…
What’s required?
First thing, before you get started is to collect all the tools and equipment you need to build the pit:
  • Bricks
  • Carpenter’s square
  • Cinder blocks
  • Dry mortar
  • Gravel
  • Grill top
  • Hand tamper
  • Measuring tape
  • Metal braces
  • Metal cylinder or can (if you’re building a metal pit)
  • Paving slabs
  • Shovel
  • Spirit level
  • Trowel
  • Water

Did you know that there are many different styles of BBQ pits that you can choose? This this handy guide from DIY Cozy Home to help you find the design for you and don’t forget to consider your budget. You don’t want a half-finished pit just because you realised during the project that you couldn’t afford all the materials.
You need to determine the most suitable location for your barbecue pit. For convenience, you should be aiming to place it close to your dining room or kitchen, so that you only need to walk small distances with food and utensils once it’s time to grill. Logistically, you should aim for your pit to be at least 15 feet square (3 feet x 5 feet).
You will need to prioritise safety when it comes to barbecues, especially with small spaces, like a normal garden. Avoid building it in a place where it’s likely that smoke is going to blow straight into either your home or one of your neighbour’s properties. It should be placed away from any overhanging trees, buildings and fences which are at risk of been damaged from the smoke or catching fire. If your home’s outdoor space is vulnerable to high winds, aim to build the pit close to a brick or concrete wall which will work to break the force of the wind.
If you plan on building a gas barbecue, then you’ll need to read up on important safety rules and advice, too. Refrain from ever enclosing your barbecue pit, such as by putting a tent or cabin around it. Be aware of the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning once a gas-powered barbecue pit is constructed too. You should stop using a barbecue pit immediately if you begin suffering from a loss of breath, dizziness, headaches or nausea and seek advice from a specialist builder before operating the barbecue again.
Laying the Foundations
The foundations are the start of the construction process and essential in order to complete the full functional BBQ pit. After all, the barbecue itself is going to be of substantial weight and will require good foundations to support it.
Begin by digging a hole in the ground at about 8 inches deep, then clear any stones and use your hand tamper to compact the soil at the bottom of the trench. Next, pour a layer of gravel into the trench that is around two to three inches deep and level this off, again using your hand tamper. You will then want to mix your dry mortar with some water and spread a two-inch layer of the mixture on top of the gravel. Level this mixture out using a trowel, though do this quickly as mortar tends to dry-off at a rapid rate.
Build the base
When you’re happy with your foundation, next comes the base. To build this, start placing cinder blocks around the edges of the mortar. A small hole should remain to drain water and any gaps between the blocks can easily be filled using wet mortar. Just be sure to keep removing any excess mortar while remembering that mortar dries off quickly.
Using a spirit level and carpenter’s square, ensure the pit is evenness and corners of your pit. . After, spread more wet mortar on top of the cinder blocks and start placing bricks in a side-by-side format on top of them. By using a double layer of bricks, you will instantly strengthen the entire pit. Once again, don’t waste time removing any excess mortar to avoid problems once it’s been given time to dry.
Final touches
Depending on the style you’ve gone for, this step might change for different barbecue pit builders. If you have decided on a metal pit, then all that’s going to be required is for you to install the metal cylinder or can over the layer of bricks you’ve put in place and fit the grill top over the furnace.

Building a brick barbecue pit? Follow the below procedure:
1.       Using more mortar, carry on building additional layers of bricks until you reach the optimum height.
2.       Put bricks in the corners first and work outwards.
3.       Keep using your spirit level and your carpenter’s square throughout this process.
4.       Reached the penultimate layer of bricks? Then stop and insert metal braces into the mortar so that they face inwards before applying the bricks.
5.       Allow to set overnight.
6.       Place the grill top onto the metal braces.
Gone for a gas-powered barbecue pit? Then, attach the hoses for the gas supply and ask an expert for advice to check that the gas transfer is operating properly. Remember, gas taps must be switched off before you change a gas cylinder and you must only carry out this task in an open-air environment.
Once you’ve checked around your creation and are happy that it’s sturdy, celebrate the fact you’ve built a barbecue pit from scratch and get ready for a nice day to start enjoying outdoor dining!
This article was created by Flogas, one of the UK’s top suppliers of LNG and LPG storage tanks.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

How To Create A Safe Garden For Toddlers

The garden is the perfect place for all the family to spend time together. Now that summer is here, you need to make the most of your outside space. It’s also a great place for the kids to play outside without you having to worry about them being out and about on their own. It’s more important than ever that you keep the kids active but when they’re young, you need to consider their safety as well. Check out these tips on making your garden safe for toddlers so you don’t need to worry about them while they’re out there.

Secure The Borders

Young kids are prone to wandering off and exploring the world which is why you need to make sure that they can’t get out of the garden while you aren’t watching. Garden fence installation is the first thing to consider; make sure you’re getting a good quality fence and you make it high enough that they can’t climb out of the garden easily. Make sure you’ve got a good lock on the gate as well and remember to lock the shed or garage if you’ve got any dangerous tools etc. in there that they might injure themselves with.

Divide The Garden Properly

Even though you’re creating a nice garden area for the kids, don’t forget about yourself. You’ll want to make a nice area for the adults so you’ll need to divide up the garden. You’ve got to think about this properly because you still need to be able to supervise the kids. Always put the kids play area somewhere close to the house so you can get on with things around the house while also keeping an eye on them. Putting a shaded area in is important as well because the kids won’t realise when they’ve been out in the sun for too long. You can use smaller fences and hedges to section off the kids area of the garden to stop them wandering around too much.

Be Careful With Plants

When it comes to planting the garden, you can get the kids to help. If they’re going to be helping you around the garden you need to be incredibly careful about what you’re planting. Toddlers like to explore the world by putting things in their mouth a lot of the time so make sure that you aren’t planting anything that can make them sick. Things like Ivy, Poinsettia, certain types of Lilies, Aloe Vera to name a few, can be incredibly dangerous if ingested. If you are going to use any of those plants in the garden, keep them away from the kids area and always teach them to be careful in the garden.

Use Plenty Of Grass

Slips and falls are inevitable when the kids are playing out in the garden so concrete is never a great idea. Soft grass is a lot better because they won’t hurt themselves too much. Normal grasses are likely to get ripped up pretty quickly when you’ve got kids running about so you’re better off going for something a bit hardier. Kikuyu grass is one of the toughest grasses out there which will stand up to a bit of punishment.

Be Careful With Water Features

A water feature is a great addition to your garden but you might need to wait until the kids are a bit older before you put one in. If you’ve got a fenced off portion for the adults that’s fine but don’t put a water feature where the kids can get at it. Even if it’s only a tiny water feature, there is still a chance that the kids could drown in it if they’re incredibly young. It’s not very likely but it has been known to happen in the past and it’s not worth the risk. If you’re dead set on a feature, just put one in and don’t run the water through it. It’s still a great piece of decoration in the garden but without the risks. If there’s an outdoor tap in the garden, put a lock on it so the kids can’t play with it.

Secure Furniture

Garden furniture is a must if you’re going to create a nice relaxation area for the adults but you need to think about how the kids might interact with it. They’re likely to pull at it and push it around. If it’s not secured to the ground, it can fall over and hurt them. Either secure it or keep it locked away in the shed or garage and just take it out when you need it.

Follow these rules and you can create a fun garden space for the kids that is safe so you don’t have to worry about them.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

4 Things You Should Change In Your Garden This Year

Gardening is wonderful. It allows you to release your inner creativity and let it show throughout your backyard. It’s also an incredibly stress relieving activity, as it takes you away for a short while and allows your brain to relax too. If you’re a proud gardener, it’s likely that you’re always looking on ways to improve your garden so that you can admire your hard work, and when you’ve got guests, you can show off your garden with pride. Take a look at these 4 things that you should change in your garden this year so that you can really finish off your look.
Photo by Sarah Crawford on Unsplash

Your garden furniture

As you’re probably already aware, over time garden furniture can lose its pazazz. This is due to rainfall and other weather conditions that can affect the structural integrity of any exterior furniture. However, this can have an adverse effect on how you want your garden to look, and function for that matter. Take a look at your furniture, is it looking a bit old and battered? Then it’s probably time to replace it with something that will wow your guests this year.

Your vegetable patch

Growing vegetables is a really fun way of spending some free time. Seeing the little buds coming out at this time of year is enough to make any avid gardener squeal with joy. Okay, so we’re not suggesting that you remove your vegetable patch or replant any of it, but we are saying why not expand your horizons? Why just stop at growing a few carrots and potatoes? Why not grow herbs too? Not to worry if you’ve not got any idea on how to grow herbs, as here are the best tips for growing herbs in your garden that can help you grow dish ready herbs in next to no time at all!

Your tools

Over the years tools begin to fail. Even those good old trusty tools that you’ve had since day one will fail at one point. While your tools aren’t necessarily on show, the product of their use is. Do your garden a favour and replace any old and battered tools so that you can get the best results from it in your garden. For example, if your lawnmower needs replacing, you will immediately notice how much better your grass looks after cutting it with your new one. Invest in the tools so that it shows within your garden.

Your decking

Much alike tools and garden furniture, time and weather can greatly affect the condition of your decking. While you might have protected your decking against weather conditions, there are also other aspects that can damage it too like how often it’s used, any work that’s been done on it, and even the wrong chemicals accidentally being spilt on it. Do yourself a favour and replace your decking if it’s eroding so that you can prevent any injuries. Also, who doesn’t love the look of fresh decking? It’s sure to wow your guests!

Monday, 30 April 2018

Beginners Guide To Theming Your Garden

With summer just around the corner, it’s finally time to look forward to some long and warm days spent in the garden. Your garden might be looking a little neglected due to the winter we have just had, or you may just feel like something is amiss. Sometimes, all a garden needs is an established theme so that you can continue improving on it for many years to come. If you’re feeling like your garden is in a little need of tlc and a definite theme, here’s a beginners guide to theming your garden.

Photo by Florian GIORGIO on Unsplash
The first thing that you will need to establish is what kind of look that you’re going for. Some people opt for rustic looks, where others prefer a clean and modern look in their garden. Take some time to sit down and plan out a theme for your garden. A good idea is to match it with the room that leads out to your garden to make it a continuous theme throughout your whole property. 

Once you have decided what kind of look you want to go for in your garden, it’s time to think about colours. While different coloured plants won’t make a difference to the theme of your garden, other features will. If you’re looking for a patio area or even some paving slabs in your garden, consider Indian Sandstone paving slabs as they come in a wide range of colours, so you’re bound to find a colour that suits the look you’re going for!

Another thing to consider when it comes to colours is your garden furniture. Matching your furniture to any colours that you’ve already implemented in your garden will ensure that it doesn’t stick out, not quite looking right.

Once you have established a general theme in your garden, you can begin to think of different zones that you want to create throughout. This could be for a vegetable patch, a water feature, a kid’s play area, or even some decking. You can easily buy sleepers to fit into your garden which will create the illusion that there’s more to your garden than there actually is.

Choosing the right plants for your garden will also make all the difference in how it looks. For example, if you’re going for a clean and modern look, buying creeper plants will change the whole look of the garden. For a modern look, it’s probably best to go for small shrubbery that’s easy to maintain, and small yet colourful flowers to finish off your look. If you’re heading towards the rustic look, a plethora of different flowers will complete your look perfectly. Consider planting bamboo to add even more mystery to your garden!

Use these ideas to help you theme your garden ready for the many BBQs that you will be hosting for your friends and family. Show off your garden with pride and don’t forget, enjoy the summer while it lasts.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Bring Some Panache To Your Patio

Image Source

As the weather warms up, more of us will be spending time on our patios relaxing and eating outdoor dinners. Here are some ways that you can spice up your patio in preparation for the summer months.

Spruce up with bold plants

Plants can bring colour to your patio and provide natural shade. These are best grown in pots. Use boldly coloured plants to make a statement such as salvias and irises. You can also bring fragrant scents to your patio with plants such as philadelphus and jasmine. Some scents may even be able to repel insects such as lemongrass. Meanwhile, you could also consider growing potted herbs such as thyme, sage and rosemary, which can then be added to your cooking when having meals al fresco.

Decorate the walls and fences

You can also decorate the walls and fences around your patio to make it feel like an outdoor living room. You could do this with ornaments or you could add hanging baskets of flowers or creepers. Mirrors and landscape wall murals can meanwhile make a poky patio area feel bigger.

Upgrade your garden furniture

If you’ve currently got cheap and flimsy plastic chairs and tables, why not upgrade to something a little more luxury so that your patio is more inviting? There are all kinds of different styles of outdoor seating out there, from outdoor lounge sets to quirkier pieces like swinging benches. Different materials are likely to have different advantages and disadvantages. Cast iron can offer a traditional Victorian feel as well as being heavy enough withstand strong winds, however it can be prone to rust. Materials like wicker can offer a more Mediterranean vibe and are waterproof as well as being sturdy, however they can be lighter making them more prone to be thrown around in storms. Try to keep to one style and material so that your patio has a theme and doesn’t look too disorderly.

Light the way

For staying out on your patio in the evenings, it could be worth adding some outdoor lighting. This could be a motion sensing wall light that runs off the mains, or you could opt for solar lighting that relies wholly on the sun’s power. Solar lighting is by far the most flexible form of outdoor lighting as you don’t have to trail a cord around, plus you get more use out of these lights than a battery operated light.

Provide shelter from the elements

A gazebo could help to provide shelter from the elements – whether it’s shade from the sun or cover from the rain. This could allow you to stay out without worrying too much about the weather switching. Find a gazebo that suits the style of your patio. You could also decorate this awning with lights or hanging baskets of flowers. Patio umbrellas are another option, although these exist mainly to provide shade.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Garden Layout For Laying Out – The Tricks Of The Trade

Summer is almost here and that means one thing: getting the garden in shape. Everyone wants to be able to sit outside in the sun and admire their work. Let’s face it – we like to brag and judge neighbouring gardens too. Of course, to get to this position all the features have to be on point. In short, the layout, something homeowners don’t take seriously, is vitally important to the style and practicality. As an amateur, structuring flower beds and vegetable patches so that work seamlessly sounds hard. And, it is because it takes skill and knowledge. Here, though, are the trade secrets that can bridge the gap.

Sketch A Design

How are your drawing skills? If the answer is good or so-so, start by heading out into the garden and jotting down a couple of sketches. Having an idea(s) on paper is the first step and makes it feel real. Remember that the majority of people are visual thinkers, so an image can instantly get the ball rolling. Begin by sketching the garden as it is now before moving onto the creative stage. That way, you can see what needs removing and what can stay. It doesn’t have to be a work of art, either.

Pin Ideas Together

Social media is huge, and it has a big part to play in landscaping. To design a layout, you need to be able to add features which are “must-have”, “want,” and “bonus.” Without inspiration, it can be hard to muster the imagination to revolutionise the area. For instance, Pinterest will have a variety of ideas regarding everything from water features to decking. Also, the site should lead you down the garden path, so to speak. Swing and Slide has patio door technology which is well worth considering, and their boards are available online. Think of it as a scouting mission.

Start Designing, Digitally

Once there is a plan and there are must-have features, it’s time to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Doing it manually is by no means a good idea, not until you know what it is going to look like. Therefore, it’s always wise to use design software to get an insight into the finished article. Garden Puzzle is an excellent tool as it encourages you to figure out the kinks and work through them, as the name suggests. Small Blue Printer is a handy resource as well.

Trial And Error

When the layout is in place and you’re happy, you can pat yourself on the back. It’s a job well done! Alternatively, you can constantly tweak and adapt the features until they are perfect. The way structures work is by using trial and error and learning from your mistakes. It may not look good, but you can address it, change it, and seek to understand what went wrong. Even when the garden feels right, don’t be afraid to add different pieces and try new things.

Hopefully, your garden layout will be perfect for laying out in the sun come summer.

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