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Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Ye Olde Garden: How To Get Vintage Style Into Your Back Yard


If you’re like many gardeners, you have a bit of a soft spot for homes that have vintage appeal. There’s something wholly romantic about anything that has a history. But getting that romance to spill out into your garden can be a challenge. Where to start?
The good news is that there are plenty of ideas rustling around for how to do just that. Anybody can now turn up to their local garden centre and start putting together their own vintage garden design. Here are some top tips.

Love Your Roses
 
 
Ever since the Wars of the Roses, the rose has been a central emblem in British history. So what better way to bring a touch of the old world to your garden than through the rose. It is the quintessential British flower.
Nothing gives a garden more of a vintage look than a wooden archway, adorned with pale, white roses. What’s more, roses produce a beautiful scent you can enjoy while reading on your garden bench.

Lay Down Rustic Sleepers
 
If your garden is split up into sections, a great way to section off different areas is to use sleepers. The problem is that many modern sleepers don’t look particularly vintage. The good news is that some sleepers, like M-track sleepers, have a rustic finish. This means that you can lay them down in your garden, even if you’re going for that iconic vintage effect.

 
Host A Tea Party
You don’t have to redesign your garden to make it more vintage, of course. You can just change what you do in it. A very good idea is to bring your table and chairs outside and have your very own Mad Hatter’s tea party. Set your table up underneath a pergola or an awning. Then dress the table with all the usual trimmings. Don’t forget the cake stand and your mother’s crockery.

Make Garden Buildings Look Pretty
In the past, garden buildings were the preserve of the rich, unless you were penniless, in which case you had an outhouse. As a result, they were beautifully designed and cared for. Outdoor buildings were a retreat, not some vulgar receptacle for your garden tools.


It’s easy to pretty up your garden buildings, like sheds. The first is to make sure that they’ve got a nice lick of paint. Duck egg blue is always a good colour for gardens with plenty of greenery. But you can choose from other rustic favourites, like cream or pastel green. Next, ensure that your outbuildings are beautifully situated. Nothing kills the rustic feeling of a garden more than sheds that are stuck out by themselves on big, concrete foundations. Think about how you can make your garden buildings look nestled away behind rows of beautiful flowers, trees, and bushes.
Accessorise Your Way Into The Past
The great thing about accessories is that they can fit into practically any space, no matter how small. Grab things like church candles, mason jars with tealights and fresh hydrangeas. Make your vintage garden stunning both day and night.


Thursday, 6 October 2016

Easy Ways to Prolong The UK Growing Season

The UK might not be known for its fantastic weather, but it doesn’t mean us Brits can’t have success in the garden! The average growing season is now a month longer than it was in the 1990s, but due to our long and cold winters it’s still much shorter than other places in the world. However with the right know-how and equipment it’s easy to prolong the growing season, and achieve more crops. Here are some of the ways you can go about doing it, to get the most out of your garden.


Grow Houses
Growhouses such as greenhouses and polytunnels will absorb heat from the sun, and protect tender and half-hardy plants from the frost over the winter. To go a step further, you could insulate your structure with a layer of bubble wrap, or have heating installed. The temperature you’ll need to maintain will depend on the crops you’re growing so be sure to thoroughly research everything. Having a warmer environment in the garden allows you to keep growing produce right into the year. There would be no chance of this otherwise in the frosty UK winter!


Cold Frames and Hotbeds
Cold frames and hot beds are useful accessories to a greenhouse. Frames are boxes which lie flat on the ground with a glazed, sloping lid. A cold frame is left as it is and will provide protection from frost and a natural greenhouse effect from the sun. A hotbed is a cold frame but with an added heating device. This can be in the form of manure or nitrogen-rich compost. You can take advantage of this natural energy and chemical reaction by putting it where both the fertility and warmth will have the best impact.


Ecologically_grown_vegetables.jpg


Mulch
Adding a layer of mulch, organic material such as bark, chippings, leaves or compost, is useful over the winter. It adds a protective barrier which helps to keep the base and roots of plants warm and avoid evaporation so that it doesn’t dry out. Mulch prevents soil compaction and also keeps out weeds which will prevent root competition. An easy, inexpensive way to protect your plants and keep them happy right the way through the year.


Cloches
Cloches are glass or plastic covers which will protect single plants. They 'buffer' temperature for late-ripening crops, reducing the sharpness of early frosts. As well as protecting from the elements, it will also protect against pests. Cloches act as mini-greenhouses and will help to keep your more tender plants protected. Taller cloches promote ripening of aubergines, tomatoes, and peppers. Cucumbers. Wind protection increases growth rates and leaf surface area, and also promotes ‘softer’ growth. This is useful for leafy crops such as salads, spinach, and cabbage where soft growth is desirable. Cloches also offer a favourable environment for cuttings as well as helping to germinating seeds. You can buy specially made glass cloches, or also make your own out of simple materials you’d find at any DIY shop.


Do you have any tips and tricks for extending the growing season





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