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Monday, 27 February 2017

Give Your Garden Some Summer Lovin' This Spring

If you can’t wait for the summer months and the way that they bring out the best in all of your beautiful flowers, then why wait? Don’t wait for the summer when you can bring the summer to your garden now, in the springtime. As soon as the last dregs of persistently bad and wet weather have passed, and it is safe to get outside and make a start on sprucing up your garden, you should.

Start by trimming and tending to your grass that has, of late, seen no action and therefore grown out-of-control. Feeding your lawn like clockwork with granular feed should start as soon as is practically possible for you, and should then continue throughout the spring and summer months. If winter killed your grass well and truly, then not to fear, it can be rectified — you should seek to eradicate any instances of moss quickly though so that you can get to thickening the affected area of grass. And as soon as it is in a position to be tended once more, get to shaping and trimming it in order to bring the best out of it aesthetically. Buy a Hayter Mower to assist you in making sure your grassy area doesn’t look like it has a winter hangover and isn't suffering from wear and tear, but is instead in a pristine and perfect condition. Your grass is the centre piece of your garden, so should be the first piece of the puzzle that you seek to get in place as you seek to construct the perfect summer garden.

However, a garden wouldn't be the same without flowers in it — so it’s a good job you can get to planting summer-flowering bulbs as early as in the spring! Lilies, Gladiolus and Ranunculus are just some that can all be planted before the summer period kicks in, but will erupt to life and provide a colourful summer display when it does; if these don’t take your fancy, then make sure to check the huge catalogue on Thompson & Morgan to find the seeds and bulbs that can be planted during the spring that best suit your garden’s style and character.

You should also focus your energies on covering all of the practical aspects of owning and maintaining a sizzling summer garden. This means that you should be carrying out actions such as: clearing up your flower beds and borders, so that the dead growth of the winter is cut back and you can really focus on the future; sowing seeds that need a longer season, so that you’re covered in the long-run; hunting down any unwelcome garden pests, so that they don’t back around to bite you (or any guests you may invite over) on the bum when you host summer parties; cleaning your greenhouse, so that it is clean for the time when it is to adorned with trades of seedlings; and put-up, fix or paint any fences, gates and trellis. Doing all of these tasks, no matter how tedious they may seem, will mean your garden will have a sturdy backbone that you can work upon.

Getting your garden practically in order as early as possible in the year is a way to stay on top of keeping it looking aesthetically pleasing when the summer sun is shining upon it, so start pronto! Tending to your garden as if it were summer time now will mean you will be able to reap the rewards when it is in fact in the midst of it.
 

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Let The Exterior Of Your Home Reflect The Interior

A lot of people put more thought into the interior of their homes, than they do with the exterior. It makes sense to some people to make sure that the inside of their homes is completely to their taste and that all aspects of it look, and feel, just as they had imagined their home to look when they initially moved in. This is perfectly understandable, as after all, when the inside of your home is more important to you - visually and pragmatically - then you will want to get it sorted out before you start on the exterior aspects.


However, when your home is fitted out to a level that you are happy with, it is easy to forget about the exterior of your home and how that also affects the look and feel of your home. The interior of your home may be fitted with modern flooring, expensive and vintage furniture, trendy aspects like a vinyl player, unique artworks and state of the art TVs and kitchen appliances but if, from the outside, your home looks pretty ordinary and does not reflect the inside then you will not be doing yourself justice and all your hard work may seem like a waste of time.


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Exterior aspects of your home can make a big difference to the overall look. These can include: the garden, paintwork, fences, and general disrepair. Take a look at the exterior of your home and think about what additions, or maintenance, it could benefit from. Would solar powered decking lights make a big difference? Could planting flowers, and getting rid of any weeds, make your garden look more colourful? Should you pair the colour of your fence with the paintwork of your home?


Maintaining the garden can be one of the most beneficial jobs that you do. A well thought out and carefully maintained garden can mean that you will want to spend more time outdoors, and if all aspects are kept on top of, people will see that you take pride in all appearances of your home. Simply by replacing natural grass with gravel can mean less work for you, and it can also add a more modern effect. By planting flowers in designated areas, more colour will be added and can make your garden look much brighter. By taking the time to paint your fence, and repainting the outside of your home, your house and its additions could look brand new.


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Allow yourself time away from developing the inside of your home, and head outside to see what can be done to make all parts of the exterior a better reflection of you, your creativity and your passion to make your home as best as it can be. By simply taking an hour or so out of every day, which you can dedicate to the exterior of your home, you will more than likely be surprised at how manageable it all becomes and, also, if done well can be done at a fairly cheap price.

DG

Friday, 17 February 2017

Big Ideas For Your Garden? Prioritise Proper Planning



Whisper it quietly, but the time to get back in the garden is creeping nearer and nearer. This is good news for some, who since October have been limiting their outdoor work to necessary repairs and tidying. For others, who take on garden work only when necessary, it marks the beginning of the end of their ideal excuse. Before long, your local garden centre will be a hive of activity again.


Let's be clear - it's still a little too cold to be planting out very much. Even if you wrap up warm, most of what you plant will struggle to survive against the harsh conditions - and we may yet have more snowfall. Nonetheless, this is very much the time to put together any plans you may have to overhaul your garden in 2017.


Big garden renovations do not happen overnight. They take time and effort. Most of all, they take a certain amount of planning. Whatever ideas you have to bring your garden up to date, an idea does not become a reality without a sound plan.


You can ignore that advice, but it will be at your peril. If you're one of those people who decides to do something and jumps right into action, it can result in a garden that looks disjointed. Unfinished. A collection of good ideas not fully realised. The garden equivalent of an album released by any group referred to as "a good singles band."


The following, then, are ideas which, if planned and executed with precision, could make your 2017 summer garden special.


#1. Modern Decking




There are different ways to "do" decking. Some will look excellent, leaving you with a garden full of character which will be an ideal outdoor space. Others can look thrown together, not match up with anything else in your garden, and just give the impression of an afterthought. Your garden is too important to look like that.


First of all, you must decide on the finish for the decking. To get the right look, you need to scan around your garden and evaluate the general look. Do you have a fence, and if so what colour is it? What naturally grows around your garden, and what colour of decking will fit with the look of your house? Are you prepared to paint the fence, or the exterior of your house, to get the right look?


Safety is also an important consideration. If you're going to be holding barbecues and children will be playing out there, the decking needs to be kept as dry as possible. Sitting water can encourage bacteria, damage the finish and the load-bearing abilities of the wood you've used. Also, because decking creates a multi-level effect, you don't want people to fall off it. Putting in place a balustrade, by SHS Products or similar, is a good idea. Done right, it will enhance the look considerably.


#2. Fire




Okay, left there alone like that, the word can seem a bit extreme. No-one is suggesting just setting fire to part of your garden and occasionally throwing wood on it, though. There are ways and means to use fire in your garden which make it look spectacular.


Obviously, safety is an issue here. However you might choose to include fire in your garden, it needs to be in a way that children and pets are not going to be at risk of harm. For example, one of the most popular garden accessories of 2016 was a fire pit. Versatile and visually impressive, they nonetheless need to be placed very carefully.


Most important of all when considering a fire pit, chimenea or barbecue, is that it needs to be away from the house or any fence. You buy fuel for these things at a garden centre or supermarket. You do not want your fence or your siding to become additional fuel. Also, by situating it away from the house, it is out of the way of any kids or pets who might come running out, excited to play in the garden.


Therefore it is essential to create a fireproof space for any new accessory like this that you buy. Laying down concrete paving, keeping any wood out of the way and ensuring that nothing is hanging overhead are essential. Fire can be beautiful, cosy, romantic. It can also be deadly, so respect its power.


Finally, any time you are going to light a fire, check among the fuel for any creatures that may have nested in there. Hedgehogs, in particular, like to huddle among piles of material for warmth and safety.


#3. Your First Menagerie




It's becoming more and more popular to create a little bit of the countryside in the towns and suburbs of Britain. This was originally seen mainly in terms of planting food and flowers but has spread to include keeping animals in your garden. And why not?


Be aware that personal responsibility is essential here. Of course, it is wonderful to have a few chickens or a duck here and there. Depending on the size of your garden, you can go further and keep a goat or two. You do, however, need to provide them with adequate living space. For chickens, this means a coop, and a similar arrangement for any other fowl. Ducks will ideally need a pond to swim in.


Goats or other livestock will need at least a shelter. Unless you plan to have them sleep in the house at night, you can't expect them to roam around the garden in all weathers.


If you fancy just having a little nature around your garden but can't commit to maintaining that kind of space, create a hedgehog house. Keep it supplied with food and water. Then it will become a refuge for the kind of animals that are often driven out of other areas by predators and angry gardeners.


Monday, 13 February 2017

3 Starting Steps To A Successful Allotment

For those who consider themselves to be at least a little green-fingered, the idea of starting an allotment might be a frequently recurring fantasy. And why not - having an allotment has many benefits to it. For a start, who doesn’t love the idea of producing their own produce year after year? This is a cheaper, much more fulfilling way of sourcing fruit and vegetables, and many agree that the taste is even better as a result. What’s more, an allotment affords you a wonderful opportunity to practice your gardening skills, and it is also likely that you will learn a great deal which will be beneficial in the future. But one of the hardest aspects of the whole process is in the beginning; starting an allotment has its own unique challenges which are quite a lot of effort to deal with. As with anything, it is remarkably easier if you break it down into smaller steps - so here are three steps towards starting your own allotment plot.


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Plot It Out


One of the quickest ways to ensure failure with your allotment is to fail to plan it out. This is vital, as there is so much that can go wrong if you fail to plan properly. With a decent plot laid out on paper, however, the whole process is going to be remarkably easier. You need to think about where you are going to have not just your plants, but anything else which might be necessary to. For example, have you included space for your compost? Is there room t walk between the beds, so that you don’t tread on your soil? All of this needs to be considered in your plotting, as it all makes a big difference to the final outcome. Allotment planning is a difficult art, but one which is vital to your success.


Rotation


When you are planning, it is vital to remember rotation. This means that you need to rotate where your different plants go from one year to the next. In the first year, you need to have your brassica in one patch, your root vegetables in another, your salads and leaves in another, and so on. Then, it is important that you rotate where these are the following year, as this ensures that the soil is kept in the best possible way. You need to remember this during planning, so as to make the most of the space you have.


Prepare The Soil

Now it is time to actually get down to work and get your hands dirty. Preparing the soil is one of the most important parts of the whole operation, as it ensures that your plants will actually grow and be as healthy as possible. The first thing to do here is to remove any weeds, ideally by their roots so they don’t grow back. Then you want to turn over the top layer of soil, add some compost and dig it down to whatever depth you need, depending on what you are planting. With well-prepared soil, you are now ready to actually begin your planting - arguably the most exciting stage of all.
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