Friday, 13 October 2017

October Jobs in the Garden

Many believe that the cooling weather means it's time to pause gardening efforts for the year. However, if you're hoping to have healthy plants growing when next year rolls around, you'll want to do a bit of planting in the coming weeks, sowing seeds that can survive and grow through the winter to sprout and bloom in the spring!

Specifically, there are a number of delicious vegetables that you can plant during the autumn and early winter so as to harvest in spring. If this is something that interests you, and you like the idea of plotting a vegetable garden before the real cold weather sets in, here are a few tips for cool weather gardening, as well as a few great vegetables to plant.

Tips For Cold Weather Gardening Comfort

  • Purchase Gloves - Generally, some manner of gardening gloves are recommended for your yard work in any season - but particularly with the weather cooling off, it might be a good idea to buy new gloves. Cold, stiff hands make it very difficult to handle equipment and go about gardening, and it's an easily avoided problem!

  • Wear A Winter Hat - This may seem like a very obvious suggestion, and for some it is. However, it's important to emphasize the hat above other cool weather attire. Bulky jackets and overcoats can make gardening tricky, as they make it harder to be flexible bending to plants, getting on the ground, etc. Keeping your head warm warms your body effectively, however, and a winter cap doesn't get in the way of your activity.

  • Address Seasonal Irritation - Allergies are generally more closely associated with the spring season, but different people react differently to cold weather. One example is in eye irritation that can result from spending time outside in your garden in an unfamiliar season. If this is an issue for you, a quick visit to Acuvue can help you to identify potential reasons for irritation, as well as different solutions - eyedrops, contact lenses, etc. - to keep you more comfortable.

Vegetables To Plant This Season

  • Asparagus - This is a long-term project, as Asparagus beds require 2 years to be ready for picking, but it's nonetheless a vegetable that can be planted in cool weather.

  • Onions & Shallots - There are many varieties of onion that can be planted now for harvest in the spring. Telegraph notes several suitable varieties, and even sells them in their garden shop online.

  • Spinach - A common favourite among home vegetables, sowing spinach now can give you a beautiful salad supply come spring. Merlo Nero is one recommended variety.

  • Cabbage - This is a great option because it will be ready in some capacity by early spring, but will continue to grow thicker and heartier after your initial harvest.

  • Peas - Another delicious option, fairly easy to grow and which will be ready by spring or early summer if planted in the next month.
Whatever you opt for I hope they do well for you.


Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Conquering Mole Hills And Other Mountains In Your Garden

If you are an avid gardener, you’ll know that it can be difficult keeping your yard beautiful. There are numerous common issues that gardeners deal with everyday they get down on their knees and stain their trousers with green. Thankfully, most of these problems have fairly simple solutions. If you have had any annoying issues when you’ve been gardening, you just might find the solution right here.

Water Water Everywhere

Perhaps your biggest issue is that there is just too much darn water flooding your garden. Water is obviously essential for plants to grow but too much, and you’ll essentially drown them. If your soil density is too high, it won’t be permeable. There might also be an issue underneath your soil that means water builds on the surface, turning your grass into a soggy mess. If you have this issue, you can look into permeable solutions. You can get this laid down underneath your garden by a professional landscaper.

Alternatively, you might just want to check how dry your soil is before you try planting new flowers in your garden. Give your soil a squeeze. If water drips out, it might be best waiting for it to dry out a little more.

Chomping Insects
All gardeners know that feeling when you wake up, check your plants and veg in the backyard only to find little chunks taken out of leaves, flower petals and even the potato. If that’s the case, snails and slugs are the most likely culprit. They’ve sneaked in, albeit slowly and devoured your plants while you have been sleeping. There is a way to fix this issue too though. You can use copper slug tape to protect your plants and vegetation in your garden. With a trick like this, you should easily be able to make sure that no more damage is done to your plants by hungry insects in your garden.

You can also use slug pellets and insect repellents, but it’s far better to just keep those bugs away from the plants and vegs. That way, you can avoid damaging the soil or even the plants with chemicals.

The Black Spot!
It’s not as bad as it sounds, but the black spot on your plants can be a real nuisance. You’ll often find it on the leaves of roses in particular. The black spot is quite simply a fungus that grows in murky environments. You can treat it with fungicide, and as such it doesn’t have to plague your plants forever.

Mole Mess
Finally, you might have a problem with moles in your garden, leaving little hills that really can seem like mountains, messing up your lovely garden. You can fix that by tackling the food source of these beasties. Moles eat worms so if you kill the worms with pesticide the moles will soon disperse. People often get expert exterminators in to deal with moles, but there is really no need. Once the worms are gone so is their food source, and things will quickly be back to normal in your beautiful garden.


Thursday, 5 October 2017

Onion Soup, fresh from the allotment

Following on from our post the other day about how to grow onions, we thought it would be a good time to think about what to do with some of them! Onion based soups have been popular at least as far back as Roman times. They were then usually seen as food for poor people, as onions were plentiful and easy to grow. The modern version of this soup originates in France in the 18th century, made from beef broth, and caramelized onions. It is often finished by being placed under a grill in a ramekin traditionally with croutons and gruyère melted on top. The croutons on top is reminiscent of ancient soups
  • 6 large red or yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced.
  • Olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups of beef stock
  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dry thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 slices of toasted French bread
  • 1 1/2 cups of grated Swiss Gruyere with a little grated Parmesan cheese
1 Cut each onion in half lengthwise, then slice into half-moons. Slice these half-moons in half again. Place them into a large saucepan, sauté the onions in the olive oil on medium high heat until well browned, but not burned, about 30-40 minutes (or longer). You can let them cook even longer — an hour and a half will give you deeply caramelized onions! Just let them cook, stirring at times, as you see dark colour emerge. After 45 minutes they will look pale mahogany in colour. You can let them get even darker if you like — just don't let them burn or get black. Adjust the heat as necessary.

2 Add the sugar about 10 minutes into the process to help them to carmelise. The rich flavour of the base is not due just to the broth, but to the caramelized onions (typically, the pot is full of sliced onions, which will shrink down to less than half the volume on cooking).

3 Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the stock,  wine, bay leaf, and thyme. Cover partially and simmer until the flavours are well blended, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Discard the bay leaf.

4 To serve you can either use individual oven-proof soup bowls or one large casserole dish. Ladle the soup into the bowls or casserole dish. Cover with the toast and sprinkle with cheese. Put into the broiler for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F, or until the cheese bubbles and is slightly browned. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Backyard Buildings: Your Guide To Garden Construction

agriculture, architecture, building

The outdoor space that comes with most properties is severely under used. Most people will let this area fall out of shape, making it hard to use them for hosting guests or entertaining the family. Of course, though, there’s an excellent way to get more out of this part of your home without having to do regular work; building. To help you out with this, this post will be going through some of the best construction projects you can undertake in the backyard.

  • Sheds

A lot of people like to use their outdoor space for storage for large items which can’t fit within the home, like patio furniture and bikes. This sort of option won’t set you back very much, but you might need to get some help to put it up, as they need solid foundations to be safe. Most shed retailers will offer a building service for a minimal fee. So, it’s worth seeing what you can get when you weigh up your options.

  • Stables

Of course, you don’t have to think about a conventional approach when you’re adding to your outdoor spaces. Instead, you can take a walk on the wild side. A company like Vale Stables can help you to find a great stable for your garden, enabling you to keep large animals like horses, sheep, or pigs. You just have to make sure you have enough space for them. Not a lot of people consider this sort of idea, but it can have a huge impact on your garden, even if you only use it as storage or shelter.

  • Summer Houses

When you’re spending time, money, and effort on building something in your garden, you’ll want to make sure that you can get the most out of it. One of the best options to achieve this is a summer house. Being similar to a shed, but designed to be comfortable on a summer or spring day, this sort of option can give you a great resource in your backyard. It will enable you to stay out of the sun, while also enjoying the wonder of the outdoors.

  • Gazebos

A gazebo is fairly similar to a summer house, but it lacks a very distinct feature; walls. Providing shade and shelter, but still leaving you in the elements, this sort of option is great in most gardens. They are cheaper than summer houses while offering most of the same benefits, giving you the chance to save a little bit of money. Of course, though, you’ll have to do some research to find the right style.

  • For The Kids

If you have children, your garden is a great tool which you’re probably under using. Most kids will be happy to spend hours at a time playing in the backyard. But, you’ll need to make sure they have the resources they need to do it. Summer houses for little people can be found fairly inexpensively, and items like swingsets are also cheap. Adding these elements will take some work. But, for the joy it gives, it will be well worth it.

Most people ignore the space they have behind their home. A lot of gardens fall to ruin, their space wasted and going unused. This is a shame, though, as it doesn’t have to be hard to make good use out of this sort of space. You just have to do the right work.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Growing Herbs with Limited Space

Following on from this post about growing herbs with limited space it is possible to take this one step further and create vertical herb gardens.

Using either a custom kit (widely available) or if you are good at DIY creating your own the key is to use good quality compost and water regularly. Also by harvesting your herbs you will keep it all in check.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Alfresco Relaxation: Turning Your Garden Into An Oasis Of Calm

For many of us, there are few places that make us feel calmer or more relaxed than our gardens. Sadly, we don’t all have outdoor spaces that are reminiscent of glossy magazine images, but if your garden is a diamond in the rough, there are lots of ways you can polish it and create a perfect space to chill out. Here are some top tips to bring calm to your outdoor area.

When you’re trying to add ambience to a room inside, colour is probably one of the first things you think about. Colours can affect our mood, as well as the look of the room and choosing specific tones and shades can help you to feel calm and mellow. The same rules apply outside. If you’re keen to use your garden as a tranquil spot to rest, relax and recover after a busy day, avoid colours that make you feel energised. Instead, choose shades that help you unwind. Rather than opting for neon pinks and bright yellows and oranges, got for whites, pastel shades and serene colours like duck egg and cornflower blue or lilac. You can add colour to your garden in many different ways. If you’re a keen gardener, fill planters, beds, and baskets with plants and shrubs that will last the autumn. If you have a low maintenance garden, you can add accents with accessories and furniture.

Feeling cosy
In the summer, you can kick back with a good book and a well-earned drink without worrying too much about the weather, but as temperatures fall, it’s a good idea to try and make your garden a cosier, more versatile space. Scatter blankets and throws around sofas and outdoor chairs and take a look at a patio heater buying guide. If you’re after something more rustic, a fire pit may be a solution worth considering. If you weatherproof your garden now, when it gets chilly in the evenings you can stay warm and continue to enjoy your garden.

Lighting can play an instrumental role in setting the tone both indoors and outdoors. If you long for your garden to be a sanctuary where you can soak up the peace and quiet and escape the hustle and bustle, use muted lighting that creates a romantic vibe. You could hang strings of oversized bulbs, add up-lighters to your patio or flowerbeds or even create a statement with free-standing outdoor lamps. Finish the look off by placing lanterns and LED candles on decking or garden tables.

Plants are not just there to look beautiful. They can also add a sensory element to your garden. Many plants are proven to have healing and calming properties, so if you want to de-stress, opt for lavender, bamboo and spider plants.

Do you love retreating to the garden when you get back from work or soaking up the sunshine on a lazy weekend afternoon? If you’re keen to use your garden to de-stress and chill out,  there are lots of ways you can create your very own oasis in your backyard. Think carefully about colours, choose plants that are proven to relax you, keep lighting muted and add heaters and soft furnishings to keep you cosy.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Dividing Rhubarb

If you grow rhubarb in your garden or allotment you should be thinking about dividing it over the next few weeks if you haven't done it for a while. Rhubarb plants should be divided every five years or so giving you additional plants but also healthier ones too.

How to divide Rhubarb
Dig up the crowns and roots taking extra care not to damage the crown. Divide the roots into 4 to 8 pieces depending on the size of the plant you are lifting. It is best to divide the dormant crowns between two large buds called eyes so that at least a 5cm or so section of storage root is left attached to each bud. Remember to take care not to break off the delicate buds as these can easily be broken, but other that that the roots are actually pretty tough and can tolerate quite a lot of rough treatment. Small buds will give you small plants for the first few years after planting until the newly divided plant bulks up again, while four to ten new roots can usually be obtained from crowns that have been grown a few years.

Take care not to allow the divisions to dry out or to freeze if you are not to going to be planting the straight away. Remember that when you are dividing crowns for re-planting, it is a good idea to identify the most vigorous plants the previous summer and use these as planting stock in the Autumn. The depth of planting should be so that the top of the plant is at, or only just below the soil surface. Gently firm the surrounding soil and water the new plants in well. The space between plants should be approximately 75cm (30in) for smaller varieties, and up to 120cm (48in) for larger varieties. It is a good idea to identify where the newly divided crowns have been planted with a cane until new shoots appear above the soil surface in February or March.

It should be obvious but crowns from diseased plants should not be divided from.

Soil Preparation
All Rhubarb varieties develop a deep root system and will grow best in a fertile, partially shaded, free-draining soil. It is a good idea to prepare the ground in advance, start digging over your soil four weeks before planting and remove any stones you find and adding as much organic matter as possible.

Heres a useful video:

Thursday, 27 July 2017

‘Excuse Me, This Is My Garden!’ 4 Ways To Make It More Private

What springs to mind when you think about a summer garden? The odds are that you will imagine a nice decking, a neat lawn, and beautiful flowers with vibrant colours. What you won’t think of is the lack of privacy. Unfortunately, lots of houses don’t have enough space between the plot of land and the neighbours. As such, it can feel like you are constantly being watched when you just want to enjoy the warm weather. The only thing to do is add features which safeguard your privacy. With that in mind, below are the tips that you will want to consider.

Put Up A Fence

The reason people go to companies like Oakdale Fencing and ask for an estimate is the effectiveness. Simply put, there is no better way to shut out the neighbours than a fence. After all, they are high and sturdy and solid, so what more could you want? The only issue is getting the height right. If you go too high, you will send a message that some people might take personally. The key is to get it high enough to restore your privacy, but not to make your neighbours think you are antisocial.

Plant Shrubs

Another option is to use Mother Nature to your advantage. That way, the people next door can’t complain about your fence being too high and shutting them out. To do this, you will need to plant shrubs that grow tall and have thick foliage. Then, the hedges will take care of the issue naturally without the necessity of a man-made contraption. Of course, they will need some care and attention as they can look cluttered and untidy when they grow too thick. But, if you trim them down once in awhile, they can be stylish and private at the same time.

Don’t Use Platforms

Lots of homeowners like to add a platform to their garden, particularly if they have decking. The problem is that a raised platform adds height and makes the grounds more visible. So, you will want to omit it wherever possible. The options are to forget about decking altogether and use stone as an alternative or lower the platform. Hopefully, this will help you keep a shred of decency the next time you are hosting friends or relaxing in the evening.

Be Realistic

Sadly, it is not practical to make the entire garden private because the space is too big. What sites like BHG says you can do, though, is take one area and concentrate on making it as closed off as possible. As long as you pick a part of the garden that is concealed to being with, it’s a much easier task. Plus, it will save you a lot of money and time as opposed to transforming the whole garden. Then, at least there is one space which you can enjoy without worrying about watching eyes.

Privacy is a big deal, and now you can treat it with respect thanks to the advice above.

When To Use A Little Help With The Garden

To many, gardening is a hobby, as much about the effort you put into creating the perfect outdoor space as it is about the results you end up with. However, the idea that you should do absolutely everything yourself isn’t always the most practical. For instance, not everyone has the tools necessary to carry out landscaping work and not everyone is going to be able to immediately grasp some of the more scientifically challenging parts of creating a gorgeous garden. Here, we’re going to look at the kind of help on offer to you and when it might be time to consider using it.

When it’s too big a job
There’s nothing riskier to your plans than trying to take on a job yourself that’s beyond your capabilities. Many are able to carry out their own landscaping work, decking installation and even those capable of building their own ponds. There are plenty of resources to learn, as well. However, for a lot of people, it’s not feasible, economically or time-wise to try projects that they have no experience with completing. Garden design experts have access to tools and materials you might not and bring with them a professional level of experience that will ensure that the project doesn’t take longer than it should or cost more than it should. They can also be of great help to those who might need a little help gathering the inspiration they need to make the best use of the space they have available.

Keeping on top of things
If you have a particularly large garden, then you know how much work it can be. You can take steps to turn the garden into a lower maintenance space by, for instance, using fake lawns or increasing the amount of patio or decking space to lawn. But if you want to keep it natural and beautiful, then it might be worth hiring those who can help you shave plenty of time off your gardening maintenance. Local lawn mowing and garden tidying services can help you focus on the parts of gardening you love the most.

Addressing real concerns
Then there are issues with the garden that you simply might not have the level of education and knowledge to truly feel confident in tackling. Significant problems like a pest infestation or a sick tree can be a danger to your garden and you don’t want to waste time trying methods that might not work in fixing it. Insect or disease damage to a tree, for instance, can be hard to pinpoint and tree experts are often needed to truly get to the bottom of what’s making your tree sick. Otherwise, your attempts to fix things might do nothing while the problem continues to get worse.

You’re no less a gardener for recognizing when you need help. In fact, it frees up your time and offers you more opportunity to include even more variety in your results. Alongside that, you get peace of mind that you’re relying on professional quality, ensuring that you pick your services carefully.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Easy Ways To Boost Your Plants' Growth

We want to fill our gardens with gorgeous plants and flowers. After all, you want it to look superb for when friends and family come over for a visit. And ensuring you have plenty of these colorful and bright plants will help you to pull off a gorgeous garden. However, a lot of people struggle when it comes to making their plants last in the garden. And they are often left confused why they don’t have flourishing plants. Therefore, if you want to ensure you have happy and healthy plants, here are some easy ways you can boost your plants’ growth.


Go for adequate containers

You need to make sure your plants have plenty of room to grow. After all, if you place them in poorly sized containers, you are going to struggle to maintain them. In fact, you will end up needing to replace them as they keep dying in your garden. Therefore, you need to go for adequate containers which will keep the plants in good nick. For starters, you should only go for hanging baskets which have plenty of space for the plants. It’s worth checking how big the plant is meant to be before you get one of these to be home to the plant. That way, you won’t restrict their growth down to the container. And the same goes for any pots you get. You need to make sure they are adequate to boost your plant’s growth and enjoy a beautiful garden.

Make your soil healthier  

It’s often down to the soil when your plants are not growing as well as they could be. After all, they need healthy soil if they are going to flourish in your garden. And simply watering them more is not enough. Therefore, you should look into ways to make the soil healthier. For one thing, you could add some organic matter to the soil. It’s ideal for improving the texture of the soil to ensure it absorbs and drains moisture better. It can also help ensure nutrients are delivered to your plants to keep them happy and healthy. You might also want to go for something like a topsoil bulk bag. The great quality soil can be perfect to ensure your plants flourish in the garden. And it’s ideal to use in flower beds and planters to help the plants grow to perfection!

                    Image from Pixabay

Get rid of pests

It can be so easy to end up with pests in your soil. After all, they can be enticed by particular plants and flowers. And then they can cause them to die as they stop growing properly. You can use scents to drive the pests away. In fact, aromas like basil and lemon grass can soon send the pests away which can improve growth. Also, make sure it’s not a good area for them to make a home in. For example, if you add sharp things like eggshells in the soil, they won’t be sticking around near your plant!


And going for greenhouses with lighting can also help to boost your plant’s growth. So if you have space in your garden, opt for one these to grow your plants!

Friday, 7 July 2017

Giving Your Garden A Freshen-Up

When it comes to gardens, those with a keen eye are wanting to keep it looking fresh and blooming the whole year round. Of course, living in the UK means that we don’t really have the means to be able to do this; sunlight is limited at certain times of the year, and harsh weather conditions certainly don’t help matters. But what about the things that we can do - and why aren’t we doing more of them?

Focus On The Lawn

The main thing that your eyes will be drawn to whenever you step out into your garden is the lawn. It’s the grass that you need to pay attention to. If it’s looking a bit bare, spreading fresh seed can help with growth. If you have regular bird visitors, make sure that you put a net or some sort of barrier over what you are sowing - that way the seeds won’t be eaten before they’ve had a chance to settle in and grow. It’s good if you know what type of grass that you are already growing in your garden, else you risk the chance of having mismatched colours and textures happening. If you don’t know what grass you’ve already got growing and you think it’s beyond redemption, looking up local turf suppliers may be the path that you need to take. Redoing your lawn entirely may be a day’s work, but the results at the end will be phenomenal once the turf has had chance to rest.

Weed To Your Heart’s Content
See a weed, pick it up and all day long you’ll have a … better-looking garden. The more weeds that you uproot as you go along your day-to-day business, the neater that your garden will look. This goes for your drive and borders too. Aiming to get a certain number each day will mean that you’ll certainly start to see a difference.

Make It Seasonal

Making sure that you have seasonal plants and flowers in for the correct time of year can do so much for your garden. Thankfully, most of these plants tend to come into bloom in the summer, so you don’t have to worry about this time of year. However, planting sturdy perennials for the winter can definitely see your garden still looking great towards the colder months.

A Lick Of Paint Makes All The Difference

It’s not just all about the flowers, plants and shrubs. The furniture in your garden can say a lot about you and just how much effort you put into its upkeep. Going over any wooden furniture such as chairs and tables in a wood stain or paint at least every year will keep it looking great - and will help to keep your garden from looking shabby. If you have wooden fences rather than brick enclosing your garden, don’t forget to give these a once-over too; not only will it help the appearance, but it will also help to protect them against rot which can see them easily blowing down when winds pick up.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Zen and the Art of Garden Maintenance

According to the famous book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, ‘The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you.’ And if you were to replace the word ‘machine’ and use ‘garden’ instead, the principal and truth of that quote remain intact.

Ultimately, if you put a lot of work into improving and maintaining your garden, you must be able to enjoy it. With this in mind, here are a few thoughts on how you can achieve Zen while looking after your garden, and how it can give you a relaxing, satisfying experience every time you need it to. Read on to find out more.

The basics

First of all, while we are talking about Zen for this article, we aren’t going to discuss creating a garden from that term’s country of origin: Japan. The truth is that Japanese gardens are incredibly lovely - and, therefore, ultimately satisfying - but they are also extremely difficult to achieve, due to the constant need for work and upkeep they need to stay in shape.

Unless you have the time, experience, and patience to create a Japanese garden, the likelihood is that its demands will be too great for the vast majority. Instead, we’re going to focus on the experience of Zen: in this case, an easy-to-maintain, enjoyable, and durable garden that is best suited to the busy lifestyles of the modern household.

Let it go

According to the well-known Zen peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh, ‘letting go gives us freedom.’ And it’s a simple line to remember when it comes to your garden maintenance and one that you should wholly embrace. If the conditions are such that you can’t garden at all - in winter, for example - then don’t.

Your best bet is to find perennial plants that require little upkeep and cause you no hassles whatsoever. Look at plants like lavender, sedum, Geraniums, and Dianthus to get your garden off to the best possible start. Not only will they flower beautifully in the spring and summer, but once they retract in the colder months, they are hardy enough to survive through the winter with no problem at all.

Perennials should make up the mainstay of your borders, and if you strike the right balance between spring and fall flowers, you should be able to have a dash of color all through your garden for the vast majority of the year.

Another way to ‘let it go’ is to leave an area of your garden to go wild. Not only will this be great for your soil, but it will also bring some interesting wildlife into your backyard, from beautiful and colorful insects to glorious birds. Bees love wild gardens, too, and given we are experiencing a serious issue with the wonderful, honey producing bees, every household with a big enough garden should really be doing all they can to encourage them.

Rock it

Japanese Zen gardens are also famous for the amazing displays of rocks, which are an essential element of the way they look and ‘feel.’ However, you don’t have to go down the purist route at all, and it’s up to you how you incorporate rocks and stones in your garden - any which way you choose.

Whether it’s attractive rocks you find while out walking, paving slabs dotted all over the place, or gravel from a gardening store that you use to create a crunchy pathway, there are plenty of options out there that require little maintenance and can have a fantastic visual impact on your garden.

One thing the Japanese rock garden does shine in for the super busy gardener is the minimalism. The less you have out there to tend, the more relaxed you will be about it. It is pointless spending lots of money on complicated and tricky floral arrangements and shrubbery designs if you don’t have the time to tend them.

Fake it

In days gone by it would be a gardener’s crime even to countenance the thought of installing artificial grass. Not only were the old artificial grasses terrible to look at and feel, but they were also incredibly bad for the environment, both in production and impact on your back garden. These days, however, you can get some exceptional artificial grass that looks superb when in place, and even allows rainwater to drain into the soil that lies beneath.

Of course, nothing can beat a real life, lush green lawn made from the real thing. But when you have a busy lifestyle and can’t afford a gardener, how much time do you think it will cost you to keep your grass looking in great shape? If you have a large garden, it will need cutting on a weekly basis, weeding every month or so, and constant care and attention that few people can manage over the course of a weekend.

So, if you want to achieve Zen in your garden and don’t have the time to spend sorting out lawn problems every couple of weeks, investigate artificial grass. As long as you are happy with the look and feel, and are careful with your choice of manufacturer, you can’t actually lose.

Section it

If you have a large garden, you will find it much easier to control if you create sections for it. You might have a space for meditation - to achieve real Zen, of course! - or maybe a place that you could just lie in and relax on a hammock. There are plenty of options available whether you want to hang it traditionally between two trees or place it on wall fixtures. Whether you browse WeDo Hammocks today, go to your local garden store tomorrow, or even make a DIY hammock, the choice is yours. Ultimately, a quiet little corner of the world with a hammock is one of life’s greatest pleasures.

Sectioning your garden also gives you a chance to do things like growing your own vegetables. Don’t forget that different plant types thrive in different areas, with soil composition and sunlight affecting their growth. With a particular section for veggies and/or fruits, you will be able to cut down on the amount of time you need to spend tending them. Also, of course, you will have a smaller area to worry about when weeding and looking out for plant-damaging bugs and pests. Try installing a raised bed to make your life easier, as well. It will help you save your back from a  lot of hard work, effort, and pain, and it looks great, too.

Shaping tips

So, when it comes to shaping your garden, whether you are breaking it up into sections or not, it is essential that you keep things nice and cleanly shaped. Ultimately, the more curves and irregular shapes that exist in your lawn or garden, the longer you will spend tending to it. A rectangular or square shape can be mown in minutes, whereas tricky corners can take you a minimum of ten times longer.

Avoid creating little nooks and crannies, too. These areas of garden often end up piled high with debris, due to wind and nature taking it’s course Again, it’s going to take you a lot longer and more hard work to clean hard-to-reach areas than it will to tidy a simple corner.

Finally, don’t forget to include suitable borders to your garden. While fences might seem like a ‘fix it and leave it’ option, they can often fall into disrepair quite quickly. You might be much better off with choosing natural borders over fences - tall hedgerows and shrubs only need a prune and trim once in awhile, and are relatively easy to maintain.

A little, often

Once your garden is in the kind of shape you want it to be, you shouldn’t have too many problems keeping things looking great. If you can put aside just a half hour a week, you will be able to spot problems before they become serious, and do the quick housekeeping - or, should we say, ‘gardenkeeping’ - duties that are all you need to enjoy your backyard space all year around.

It’s worth investing in some good garden tools, too. Part of the joy of gardening is being able to control what is growing, and your ability to do so will be significantly improved by using the best tools possible. Look after the, too - keep them well away from the damp, either indoors or stored in a shed.

Every now and again your garden will need a proper watering, and with this, in mind, it’s worth buying a water but to collect rain in fall and winter, which you can use in the summer when it gets incredibly hot. It also means that if your state calls a hosepipe ban, your favorite plants will still manage to get the water they need to survive.

Finally, start using mulch and compost. It’s a lot easier to start than you might think, and a quick spread of either will do wonders for your garden with little effort a few times a year.

And there you have it - a garden that is perfect to relax in, and easy to maintain. Are you ready to achieve the ultimate in gardening Zen?

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