Christmas decor on a shed

Wooden Garden Shed Maintenance – A Winter Guide

Wooden garden shed maintenance is an essential task that every garden lover needs to get done before winter hits.

Do these tasks now and you’ll help protect your garden shed from the harsh weather, prevent mould and mildew, stop leaks, protect your logs and kindling and help your garden shed to stay in great condition for many years to come.

Here’s our garden shed maintenance checklist to help guide you through the most important tasks.

Garden Shed Maintenance- Your Checklist

1. Clear away leaves and debris

Perhaps the easiest and most beneficial garden shed maintenance task you can do right now is to simply clear away any leaves, twigs or other debris that can accumulate around the sides of your shed. This will help prevent leaks and other damage from happening over the winter.

2. Install gutters

Every shed needs to have a good guttering system so you can direct rainwater away and prevent it from end up collecting in pools under your shed, causing the base and walls to rot. So now is the time to make that investment and get them fitted.

For extra eco-friendly brownie points, consider connecting the guttering to a water butt that you can use to collect rainwater for watering your garden.

3. Open those doors and windows

Even though it might feel cold outside, it’s just as important to open the windows and doors of your shed during the winter. This helps to keep the air flowing through, helps prevent mould and mildew forming inside your shed and helps keep nasty smells away.

4. Wipe away mould

Throughout the winter, one of the most important garden shed maintenance tasks you can do is to keep an eye out for mould growth on the windows, walls and doors. If you spot a problem, simply wipe away with a mild mixture of bleach and water to prevent it from spreading.

5. Apply a wood treatment

Every year, make sure you apply a wood stain or other wood treatment before the worst of the weather sets in. This will help your garden shed to stay in great condition for many years to come. We recommend you use a water-based treatment these are quick to dry and provide great protection against the elements.

6. Oil those locks and hinges

There’s nothing worse than coming to open up your shed in the spring and finding that your locks and hinges have become rusty and broken. Prevent this from happening by applying regular sprays of oil throughout the winter.

7. Give the roof some attention

It’s also worth checking your roof for wear and tear before the winter arrives. If it’s damaged, any rain, snow or ice could seep through to the wood of your shed. This could cause structural damage or leaks which could prevent any logs or kindling from staying dry throughout the winter months.

8. Check those windows & doors

Windows and door frames can also be very vulnerable to the elements, so make sure you give them some TLC before winter sets in. Gently wash the frames with soapy water, dig out any rot, fill with exterior grade wood filler then treat as necessary.

Follow our wooden garden shed maintenance checklist and you’ll protect your garden shed from the harsh winter weather and keep it looking great well into the spring.

 

railwaysleepers

Using Railway Sleepers in Your Garden: Project Ideas for Homeowners

Railway sleepers are those rectangular pieces of wood that you’ll see supporting railway tracks. They help the rails stay evenly spaced, upright, and in the correct shape.

But did you know that they’re also fabulous for creating stunning garden features?

Use them in your garden project and you’ll transform the look and feel of your garden, and perhaps even make the neighbours green with envy.

Here are some tips on how you can include railway sleepers in your garden, including project ideas, how to lay railway sleepers and where you can buy them.

Railway sleeper project ideas

Railway sleepers make a versatile, attractive and hard-wearing addition to any garden, adding natural texture and an eco-conscious feel to your outside space.

Here are our favourite ways you can use them.

1. Create a path

Make a great easy pathway on grass or gravel to add a touch of rustic chic to your outdoor space.

2. Build some garden steps

If you’re not a fan of bricks or stone, why not use those sleepers to make some steps instead? You can create the exact garden look that you want, they age really well, and they’re very straightforward to make.

3. Edge your veg

You could also use your railway sleepers to create an attractive boundary between your vegetables, flowers and the rest of your garden.

4. Build a raised bed

If you have poor soil quality, minimal space or you’d just like to keep your plants contained, use those sleepers to create a raised bed.

5. Craft a bench

Railway sleepers can also be used to create a stylish and rustic-looking bench which will fit perfectly in your garden design scheme.

6. Border your lawn

To create an effortless boundary for your lawn, lay some railway sleepers and then sit back to enjoy your handiwork!

Laying railway sleepers

Once you’ve decided which project you want to tackle, you can get stuck in! Here’s how:

Gather your tools

You only need a bare minimum of tools when you use railway sleepers in your garden. Usually, this involves a saw, a hammer, a screwdriver, wood screws, nails, a spirit level and safety equipment like gloves and goggles.

Clear the area

Before you start laying the railway sleepers, you also need to ensure the area is clear from unwanted vegetation and materials like rocks, roots and rubble.

Create your foundations

Next, you’ll need to prepare the area and then dig a shallow, level trench (unless you’re creating a piece of garden furniture), then add a bedding mixture to hold those sleepers in place. This will create solid foundations for your project.

Get building!

Once you’ve done this, you can start building your creation, using a combination of wood screws, nails or galvanised straps.  Make sure you use your spirit level to keep everything looking professional.

Finish off

Then it’s time to trim away any excess material, gently round the edges of the wood and treat using a wood preservative if required. If you’re creating a planter, this is when you’d add your high-quality topsoil before standing back and appreciating the fruits of your labour!

Voila! You’re done.

Where can you buy railway sleepers?

The good news is that it’s easy to find railway sleepers for sale these days. You can find them in most garden centres and also online.

If you’re looking for railway sleepers in Sussex, Surrey and London, look no further than our dedicated page.

Railway sleepers add a unique touch to any garden space, so why not dive into one of these projects and transform your outside space?

premium grade topsoil

What Causes Poor Soil Quality and How Can You Fix It?

Poor soil quality is every gardener’s worst nightmare.

There’s nothing worse than carefully planning and creating your perfect garden, only to produce vegetables, fruit or flowers that are weak, unhealthy and altogether disappointing.

Without healthy soil, all your gardening efforts could be in vain because healthy soil is essential for strong, nutritious, high-yielding plants that can resist pests and diseases and look beautiful in your garden.

If this sounds like your garden, don’t despair. Poor soil quality is a relatively common gardening problem. With some topsoil TLC, it can soon be improved.

So today let’s discuss how to spot if you have poor quality soil, why this happens, and how buying high-quality topsoil can help.

How do you know if your soil is poor quality?

Poor quality soil is usually very easy to spot because of its appearance, water drainage, the quality of your crops, and the presence or absence of weeds and other wildlife in your garden.

Soil texture

Soil that is hard to work, overly cloddy, loose, fine and sandy, ‘floury’, or filled with stones and pebbles are of poor quality. You’ll notice that any water tends to absorb water poorly and drain poorly. drain poorly and potentially flood.

Crop quality

If your tomato crop constantly suffers from blight or diseases, your cucumbers don’t grow as large as they should, or you suffer from other problems with crops or flowers, you are probably suffering from poor soil quality.

Local wildlife

Another surprising way you can tell if your soil is poor quality is by looking at the wildlife that visits. If there’s less healthy wildlife such as worms and bees around, and/or an excess of weeds, it’s time to improve that soil quality!

What causes poor soil quality?

Poor soil quality is often caused by one of these five factors:

  • Over-farming. Growing too many crops in one space year after year removes essential nutrients like nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus from the soil.

  • Infrequent crop rotation. Without adequate crop rotation, the demand for the same nutrients is high, leading to a long-term shortage and poor quality soil.

  • Draught or water shortages. Dry soil causes essential nutrients to gather in ‘clusters’ in the soil, making it much harder for those plant roots to reach.

  • Flooding or heavy rain. Soil that is overly wet will leach nutrients and essential topsoil can wash away.

  • Soil contamination. Overuse of toxins or chemical can contaminate the soil and reduce soil fertility.

  • New homes. A large portion of the healthy topsoil gets stripped away during home building, leaving behind poor quality soil that is less fertile.

How to fix poor quality soil

Thankfully, improving your soil quality and growing better plants is easy.

Pop to your local garden centre and select a high-quality topsoil that is high in nutrients and organic matter. (We provide topsoil and landscape supplies in Sussex, Surrey and London that would be perfect for the job!)

These topsoils are great for all garden purposes including improving your existing soil quality, and creating new beds, borders, raised beds or even lawns.

Topsoil prices vary, depending on what grade soil you choose:

  • Premium grade topsoil: Highly fertile, great structure and should be free from weed seeds.

  • General purpose: Great for creating new beds, borders and for laying new lawns. Comes in different screen size grades.

  • Economy: More affordable. Usually comes unscreened. Ideal for increasing the quantity of soil in your garden.

If you are struggling with poor quality soil, remember that there is hope. Simply invest in some high-quality specialist soils and you will soon produce a beautiful, healthy garden to be proud of.

Gardening Gift Ideas Christmas Guide

Gardening Gift Ideas Christmas Guide | Bury Hill blog

As a nation of garden lovers, it’s no surprise that searches for gardening gift ideas are already surging in the run-up to Christmas. With so much on offer, gardening enthusiasts are spoilt for choice in the shops throughout the year, but what should their loved ones look for to provide a special Christmas gift that they’ll love? We’ve split up the gardening gifts market into popular searches right now to see what’s on offer.

Gardening in an apartment for city living

Decorative shelves – perfect for mounting on a wall for much-loved pot plants for green living in a city

Hanging pots – an alternative way to present prized blooms, either as a space-saving indoor feature or strung up outside a balcony

Herb seeds – hardy and handy, herbs make an essential accessory on top of the smallest window sill.

Gardening gadgets for the modern gardener

Macro phone lens: for those who love to proudly show off their hard work in the garden online. A magnifying clippable lens for Android of iPhone enables users to take eye-popping macro photos, anytime and anywhere

Solar lights – affordable tea lights transform a dark, dingy space into a colourful space for entertaining throughout the year

Weatherproof outdoor speakers – splash out a little more on a musical gadget for a loved one to enjoy in the garden, come rain or shine

Unusual gardening gifts

Vintage planter – trendy and full of character, vintage, worn planters are on-trend and in-demand. Look online for the best deals

Unique garden ornament – you needn’t pick up a garden gift for your nearest centre. Hundreds of independent sellers offer unique products for the garden, from furniture and statues to planters and children’s products, that you can’t find anywhere else

Jewellery – say ‘Happy Christmas’ with a piece of botanical jewellery, that’s both delicate and personal

Garden tools to cover the essentials

A shorted handed trowel – perfect for planting, weeding and maintenance in a smaller space

A high-quality set of gardening gloves – store them away from direct sunlight and moisture for durability

Watering can – OK, this won’t fit in a stocking, but a quirky, colourful watering can is sure to go down a treat

Transform any outdoor space with Bury Hill garden products

Whether you’re shopping or having a sneaky browse for your own garden, you can count on Bury Hill to provide the high-quality products to transform any garden space. From attractive decorative stone for water features and pathways to nourishing premium topsoils and loams, discuss your requirements with our team on 01306 877540 to determine delivery and pricing

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A Beginner’s Guide to Autumn and Winter Pond Care

The autumn and winter are the toughest months of the year for our garden ponds. This means it’s vitally important to tackle those essential pond care jobs before the coldest weather comes.

Get it right and you’ll ensure your fish are healthy, pond plants thrive and that it all looks beautiful when the warmer weather comes around again.

6-step autumn and winter pond care action plan

Here’s our foolproof autumn and winter pond care guide that will help you take care of these remaining garden pond care jobs quickly and easily.

1. Remove fallen leaves

We all love to crunch our way through those autumn leaves, but they’re one of the main causes of pond problems during the autumn and winter. Once they fall into your pond, they start to decay and can disrupt the fragile ecosystem of your pond, killing your fish and harming any wildlife living there.

So make it your priority to skim away those leaves once they start to fall before they can do any harm. Don’t forget to remove them from any decorative stones, pond pumps and pond ornaments, too!

If your pond lies within close range of a tree, or leaves are a real problem, it’s also worth considering covering your pond with protective netting (also useful when it comes to deterring predators – see below – or investing in a pond filter.

2. Keep your pond free from ice

When the big freeze comes, it’s vital to make sure that your pond isn’t completely covered with ice. Gases from any rotting plants or organisms can soon build up, precious oxygen levels can drop and it could potentially damage your pond liner.

Prevent this from happening by placing a floating pond de-icer, a clean ball or a clean plastic bottle containing a few stones into the pond water.

If you leave it too late, don’t panic. Simply pour a small amount of warm water onto a small patch of ice, allow it to melt, and keep the hole open using the tips above. Whatever you do, definitely don’t shatter the ice as this can traumatise and even kill your fish.

3. Give your pond plants some love

Another great way to avoid rotting leaves, dying plants and other cold season havoc is to look after those pond plants before the weather gets too cold.

Start by removing any dead or dying leaves from your pond plants and tossing them on your compost heap. Also, make sure that their roots are planted deep enough so they have a better chance of surviving the winter.

Then, completely remove any plants that don’t like being submerged in the icy water, such as Japanese Iris or Cardinal Flower. Pop them into your garden until the spring rolls around again, top up with some nourishing premium grade topsoil, and you’ll have healthy, strong plants for next year.

4. Cut down on fish food

Even though fish don’t hibernate like many other animals, they do descend to the deeper, warmer waters in your pond and their metabolisms slow significantly once the outside temperatures drop. This means that you’ll need to feed them much less than you usually do.

Stick to just one or two small helpings per week during the autumn. Once temperatures drop below 10°C, you should stop feeding them altogether.

Most importantly, be sure that there’s no food left floating around as this could pollute your pond water, damaging the pond ecosystem.

5. Beware of predators

The autumn and winter are dangerous months for any fish living in your garden pond as there’s less food around and so more hungry predators looking for a snack. Make sure they don’t take a fancy to your Koi Carp or goldfish by covering your pond with high-quality netting or adding a scarecrow to your garden.

6. Consider switching off your pond pump

If temperatures drop below freezing, it’s a wise idea to turn off your pond pump.

Cold water contains plenty of oxygen already, and the metabolism of your fish will slow down anyway. Plus, you’ll save money on electricity costs and give yourself have a great opportunity to clean the pond pump ready for next year.

So, before it gets too chilly outside, make sure you’re preparing your garden pond for the colder weather. It needn’t take long and that little bit of effort will be well worth it! It’s also worth noting that wooden pond features need extra protection during the colder months, which is why we recommend considering attractive decorative stones as a fuss-free alternative for your water feature.

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Autumn Gardening Tips: What to Plant and When

Even though the temperatures are dropping outside and the air is feeling ever crisper, the autumn is the perfect time to get most of your gardening done.

By putting in the work in your autumn garden now, you can enjoy homegrown veggies and a bloom of colour all year around. If you’re lucky, you might even get an extra early crop of your spring favourites.

It’s such a wonderful time to plant vegetables, flowers and trees as the soil is still deliciously warm and moist from the summer. This provides the perfect environment for seeds to germinate, for roots to form and for flavour to develop.

To help you make the most of this time, we’ve put together a list of our top autumn gardening tips. We’ve included a rundown of the vegetables and flowers you should include plus full tips on when to get them in the ground.

What to grow in the autumn: Vegetables

Onions

Onions are a tasty and versatile crop which are easy to grow and need little care. This makes them an excellent vegetable to plant this autumn.

When?

Anytime during the autumn.

Garlic

Just pop individual cloves in the ground this autumn or into raised beds and you’ll get a full head of garlic the following year. Easy!

When?

November is the ideal time, although you can plant any time until the spring.

Spring onions

Pop spring onions into your autumn garden to get ahead for next year. They’ll grow quickly and should be bursting with flavour and ready to pick by early spring.

When?

During September and October.

Perpetual Spinach

Grow perpetual spinach in your autumn garden and you’ll have a delicious crop to enjoy throughout the winter. Just make sure you keep picking leaves to ensure that your spinach keeps growing.

When?

Anytime during the autumn, before the first frost.

Broad Beans

Broad beans will help protect the soil in your autumn garden, add back essential nitrogen and, most importantly, taste utterly delicious.

When?

Sow in September or October.

Peas

Whether you’re keen to grow succulent peas in your autumn garden, or you’d prefer to grow beautiful, ornamental sweet peas for the flowers, now is the perfect time.

When?

Sow in pots of high-quality compost from September and October then pop into your greenhouse and cover with newspaper until the seedlings emerge.

Asparagus

Whilst asparagus does take several years to establish properly, autumn is the best time to get them into the ground. They make a wonderful attractive addition to your garden and taste absolutely delicious. Choose a spot where they won’t be disturbed and they have plenty of room to grow and you’ll have a crop within two years.

When?

Anytime this autumn.

Carrots

Plant carrots in the autumn, when the soil is still warm and they’ll have chance to grow deliciously sweet before the colder winter weather arrives. Be sure to protect these tiny seedings from the cold.

When?

Get them in the ground as soon as you can in the autumn- preferably 10-12 weeks before the first frost. If you’re using a greenhouse, you can sow them until November.

Spring Cabbage

Cabbage is a great source of nutrients which you can enjoy all year long. Choose fertile, well-drained soil which retains moisture well, add plenty of compost to keep your autumn garden nourished, and watch out for hungry slugs.

When?

Start in your greenhouse as in early September.

Kale

Kale is a hardy crop which won’t just survive the harshest of winters but will actually taste better because of it! Like cabbage, they need plenty of water and plenty of compost too.

When?

September or early October.

What to grow in autumn: flowering plants

Apple trees

The autumn is the ideal time to buy your apple trees and get them into the ground. Do this before the first frost strikes and you can enjoy their beautiful blossom in the spring. Soak the roots before you plant them, then plant into a sunny and sheltered position.

When?

Anytime before the first frost.

Daffodils

Plant brightly coloured daffodils in your autumn garden and you can enjoy some of the first flowers of spring! Buy a high-quality bulb, find a warm and sunny spot and plant into the soil or a container for the best blooms.

When?

October and November, before the first frost.

Hyacinths

For beautifully fragrant flowers in time for Christmas, plant those hyacinth bulbs into pots this autumn. They love a well-drained soil with a moderate amount of water and need to be popped into a cool dark place until the shoots reach approximately 5 cm. You can also plant directly in the soil in a place that receives full sun exposure.

When?

September or October.

English bluebell

Give your autumn garden a traditional English look by adding some bluebells to your autumn garden. They’re woodland flowers so demand plenty of shade and a rich, well-drained soil. When they flowering in April and May, you’ll also provide plenty of food for bees, butterflies and moths.

When?

During the autumn months.

Snowdrops

Snowdrops are a very popular spring bulb which demand moist and shaded specialist soil, but otherwise very little care. They’re also a pretty addition to any garden.

When?

Early autumn.

Roses

There are numerous varieties of roses which will add a classically beautiful look to your garden when they come into bloom between summer and autumn. Plant them now to give them plenty of time to get established. Make sure you protect them from wind and give them plenty of direct sunlight.

When?

During the autumn, before the first frost.

Get ahead this autumn by preparing your garden with a bounty of fresh vegetables and flowers which will deepen in flavour over the winter and provide something special when the spring comes back around. As always, give your garden a boost with Bury Hill premium grade topsoils!

How to keep your garden tidy

Your Ultimate Guide to Keeping Your Garden Tidy

A lush garden is a beautiful addition to any home, although everyone who has one knows the importance of keeping your garden tidy and thriving. Although there is always something new to learn about gardening, novice gardeners can have more questions about upkeep than those with some years of experience. Luckily, it’s mostly about knowing when to do what. By following a few easy steps, making sure your garden stays healthy and tidy isn’t that difficult at all. Follow our tips here:

How to Plan a Garden Tidy-up

To understand what to begin with when doing a garden tidy-up, first, you need to pinpoint what it is you want to achieve. Some gardens require more work than others. If you have just moved into a new property, you might see something neglected for years. In this case, there will be loads more to tackle than when you spruce up a garden after winter.

1. Make a List of Things to Do

Start by making a list of things you want to change or take on. Doing that allows you to pinpoint specific tasks that will need doing. Also, what is it that you want to achieve? Do you want your garden to be aesthetically more pleasing? Do you want to grow flowers, fruit, and vegetables? Is it about creating an outdoor space for family and friends?  Once you have this established, look at tasks at hand.

2. Prioritise Tasks

Now that you have your goals and an idea of tasks, it’s time to pinpoint, when to do what. Create a gardening calendar and fill in tasks. Different plants and flowers have a specific time when they need to be planted. Usually, you can find this information on the seed packet or consulting sales assistants in a gardening centre. Pruning can be done throughout the year, but again, it depends on the plant.

The best time to prune trees and bushes to stimulate growth is during the inactive period in winter. However, you can cut off dead wood anytime. For blooming trees, consider pruning after their spring flowers fade. If you want a beautiful lawn, consider laying lawn turf. Mid-autumn is the best time for this, however, you can do it until late winter, but before the soil is too wet or frosty.

3. Plan Your Garden Layout

Beautiful gardens are aesthetically pleasing and functional. It is much easier to do a garden tidy-up if everything is in the place it should be. Consider creating a dedicated space for different areas in your garden. If you grow fruit, vegetables, and herbs, create a patch where things would grow best. Does it have enough sunlight? Being close to the shed would also help. An area for socialising with friends and family is where you would want ornamental accents like a pond, decorative stone paths, and flowers.

Garden Tidy-Up Ideas

Simple tasks can go a long way in making your garden look pristine. More often than not, it’s all about prevention and maintenance.

  • Remove any moss or lichens from pathways, patios, stone features, and fencing.

  • Repair any damaged pathways, fences, garden furniture or any other disfigured element.

  • Tidy appearance of soil around plants by applying barks and woodchips. Mulching protects the roots, prevents moisture from escaping, and slows down the growth of weeds.

  • Introduce plants and flowers into unused and neglected areas in your garden.

  • Grow a hedge to separate your front garden from the street.

  • Add garden furniture to create a space that you and your family and friends can enjoy.

  • Create raised plant beds for growing vegetables, herbs, and fruit. Adding fresh topsoil ensures that the plants get enough nutrients.

Shed Tidy-up Ideas

Anyone who has ever had a garden shed knows that it can quickly turn into a mess that resembles a drawer, where you chuck everything that doesn’t have a place anywhere else. Keeping your garden shed tidy is one of the most important tasks as it will make the whole process of tidying up your garden much easier.

To tidy up your shed organise everything and put it in the appropriate place. Make sure the garden hose doesn’t have any knots and is rolled up nicely. Any long gardening tools like shovels, hoes, and rakes should be hung up. Have a dedicated space for pruners, shears, and other tools you use regularly. Ensure that all equipment is clean and dry after use, and put it in its designated spot.

Keeping Pond Water Clear

If you have a pond in your garden, remember to take care of it too. Ponds that are taken care of are a beautiful addition to your garden, but neglecting them will repel you or anyone else to go near them due to murky water or even smell.

The best time to clean the pond is in late autumn. If you have any fish or other creatures, they will be less active during this time. When changing the water in the pond, carefully remove any fish or other creatures into tanks. Before filling the pond up again, clean the surface liner with a brush.

During the summer, remember to top-up water levels if they drop during hot weather. Remove any floating weeds or leaves, or other debris. Every now and then spray some fresh water on the pond surface to improve oxygen levels and break the surface.

simple gardening tips

23 Simple Garden Ideas with Maximum Impact

Looking for some simply gardening ideas which will add a touch of effortless style to your garden and make the most of the space?

We’ve got you covered!

We’ve gathered together our favourite garden design ideas that will give a new lease of life to your space, whether you only have a tiny patio or a larger backyard or garden.

Unleash your creative side with these projects and you’ll really maximise those lush greens and gorgeous colours and your garden will look effortlessly stylish and well-designed too.

We promise you won’t need to fork out too much of your hard-earned cash or spend hours getting it all done either. Enjoy!

Backyard ideas

1. Set up a potting station. Why feel embarrassed about that unsightly pile of plant pots, potting soil and garden tools hiding in the corner of your garden when you could make it look pretty? Grab a small table which fits your garden design, weatherproof it and be proud of your creativity.

2. Create a DIY fire pit. Create a stylish focal point for your garden without breaking the bank by using circular and square paving stones. Perfect place to socialise any time of year!

3. Use rope lights to light up your paths. Inexpensive rope lights make a stylish and quite magical addition to any garden. You just need lights, garden staples and you’re done!

4. Get creative with your planters. There’s no need to stick with unimaginative brown planters when you could find something beautiful instead. We love to repurpose everyday items such as metal milk jugs, used tyres, teacups and bowls, and much more.

5. Invest in a hammock. We all love sitting back and relaxing back in a hammock, especially when the summer days are long. So why not find the perfect design for your garden and unwind!

6. Create a new path. There’s nothing like a brand new path built with scrap wood, decorative stones, high-quality wood chips or gravel to create a high-impact feature in your garden that is functional too.

7. Add decorative bark and woodchip to create a focal area. Sick of looking at the bare soil between your plants? Cover it with decorative bark and let your flowers to shine whilst also retaining moisture and keeping your soil healthy.

8. Use a trellis. Used cleverly, trellis can divide your garden space, hide parts you’d rather not see, and also provide a great space to grow your climbing flowers or vegetables.

9. Add mirrors. Mirrors make a great addition to any garden space as they help maximise the amount of light, create the illusion of beautiful design features and also look stunning.

10. Gather planters in one place for maximum impact. Soften the edges of your backyard and create a sense of fullness by grouping your planters together. Think colour, height and sunlight requirements to get the best from your plants.

11. Create a wildflower meadow. Attract more bees, butterflies, insects and birds, and get your garden looking gorgeous by adding a wildflower area to your garden. Simply scatter some wildflower seeds or buy some wildflower turf to create a look that adds impact even the smallest of gardens.

 

Patio design ideas

12. Add string lights. Hang string lights over your pergola, around the trees, and wherever else takes your fancy to add ambience, style, or just that finishing touch.

13. Decorate the back wall. An easy way to create maximum impact on your patio is to get creative with the back wall. Add paint, add your favourite art, add bespoke tiles, textures or even artificial grass for a creative look with a difference.

14. Get creative with pocket planters. If space is tight but you still want to grow as much as you can, get your hands on some pocket planters. They’ll make maximum use of the available space and at the same time add a splash greenery to your patio.

15. Create a mini herb garden. You don’t need a massive garden to enjoy the gorgeous scent of freshly grown herbs. Simply find planters which fit with your design scheme and fill them with whichever herbs you love most.

16. Switch your cushions. Bring a new lease of life to your patio and up the comfort factor by investing in some colourful new cushions, the brighter the better.

17. Get some hanging baskets. Did you know that you can grow pretty much anything you like in hanging baskets? We don’t mean just flowers either. We love growing cherry tomatoes, aubergine, peppers, and even lettuce in ours. What could you grow?

18. Update your garden furniture. You don’t need to break the bank to update your patio with new garden furniture. Keep your eye out for small pieces in second-hand stores or repurpose what you already have to create impact for less.

Garden Projects

19.  Create tealight holders. Light up your garden by creating your own tealight candle holders from used tin cans. Simply hammer a simple pattern in the exterior with a small tool and let the light seep through. Beautiful!

20. Paint your flower pots. Get out your paint brushes and give your plant pots a facelift. You’ll create something unique, you can tailor your design to fit your overall garden design, and it’s a fab, fun project that the whole family can get involved in.

21. Reshape your flower beds. Liven up your garden and add a the finishing touch of a pro gardener by adding some shape and design to your flower bed. Edge with cinder blocks, glass bottles, scrap wood or wooden logs and your garden definitely won’t look boring anymore.

22. Create a raised bed for your produce or flowers. Raised beds are an excellent garden design feature that will help you grow healthier plants, keep away weeds and have better control over the soil quality. Build your frame using wooden planks, add high-quality bespoke topsoil and voilá.

23. Treat yourself to a lawn. Yes, keeping a lawn looking great does take some work, but the effort will certainly pay off, especially if you get creative with your shaping. Start with a high-quality topsoil and packet of grass seed, or invest in ready-to-lay turf and you’ll have a lawn to be proud of.

So next time you’re looking for some backyard design ideas, patio design ideas or just a general gardening project to get your teeth into, come back to this list of simple gardening ideas and get creative.

summer-gardening-tips

A Summer Gardening Checklist for July: Time for TLC

Looking for a quick gardening checklist for July? Then you’ve come to the right place!

During these summer months, your garden is absolutely bursting with colour and life. Your flowers are blooming, your fruits and vegetables are producing abundant quantities of fresh produce.

The bees are gently buzzing around…The butterflies drift from flower to flower…

It’s all looking gorgeous!

You know that you need to put some work into your garden if you want to keep it looking this beautiful. But you don’t necessarily want to be sweating away under the midday sun to make this happen.

That’s why we’ve put together this incredibly efficient gardening checklist for July.

Work your way through and you’ll get those vital gardening tasks done this summer and still have plenty of time to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

#1: Give your soil some love by adding compost

Those higher summer temperatures can really take their toll on your soil quality, so give it a boost by digging in plenty of nourishing compost this July.

You’ll help keep that vital moisture in your soil, you’ll grow better produce, your flowers will grow strong and healthy, and you’ll have a garden you can be really proud of. Best of all, you won’t need to use expensive chemical fertilisers or other products to achieve it.

Don’t forget to repeat during the autumn to ensure you produce healthy plants all year around.

#2: Get rid of those weeds!

Those pesky weeds don’t just make your garden look untidy. They also steal water and nutrients from the soil, attract pests and harm your growing garden.

Worst still, weeds love sunshine and grow strongly during the summer months so it’s really important to enough time spend time getting them under control this July.

Yes, even if weeding is your least favourite garden care task.

Doing it now will save you time in the long run because it’ll reduce the seeds that they produce and so you’ll reduce your workload when autumn and winter come around.

(Quick tip: water the soil first to help those weeds slip out more easily!)

#3: Set a clever watering schedule

 Higher summer temperatures can cause your soil to get pretty dry and lose vital nutrients, not to mention it can do to your beloved plants. So make it part of your routine to water your garden regularly and keep your garden thriving.

But beware- you can’t just water anytime the urge takes you. You could risk damaging your plants in the higher summer temperatures if you don’t set a water schedule.

Stick to watering your garden in the early morning or evening when the sun is weaker, and also be careful not to drown them. Also, make sure you’re watering directly to the ground, not over the plant itself so you don’t risk burning your precious plants.

#4: Give your garden a facelift using aggregate stones

 The summer months are perfect for giving your garden a new lease of life using aggregate stones or decorative stones.

These gorgeous garden decorations won’t just add a splash of colour, add texture, or give your garden more of a designed look. They’ll also cut down significantly on your gardening workload, they’re very low maintenance, they help control weed growth and improve soil quality and they won’t break the bank either! Perfect!

#5:  Pick your fruits and veggies

 Most of your tasty fruits and vegetables will be producing their crop during the summer, so make sure you enjoy them!

Pick as much of your fresh, nutritious produce as you can and find clever ways to use it all. This might include trying delicious new recipes, donating any excess to your friends and neighbours or even bartering for items that you might like instead.

Whatever you do, don’t leave your produce there rotting and attracting flies, rats and other pests.

So this July, make sure you really enjoy the garden that you’ve worked hard to create.

Enjoy the fruits of your labours, spend plenty of time enjoying the sun and the outdoors, and follow this easy gardening checklist to keep your garden looking great all year around!

Mixed Race Couple Planting Rooftop Garden Together

6 Simple Tips for Urban Gardening

Urban gardening is awesome.

It allows you to grow delicious and nutritious fresh vegetables and herbs in the smallest of spaces, and you’ll have so much fun whilst you do it.

Whether you’re looking in bring a splash of greenery to your balcony or window box, or you have a tiny yard that you want to make productive, you’ll love how easy it is to grow your own with urban gardening.

You’ll also save money on groceries, reduce your carbon footprint and do your bit for sustainability. What’s not to love?

Here are our top tips for getting the best out of your urban gardening project.

1.    Find the sun!

 Before you start creating your urban garden, first think about how many hours of direct sunlight your growing space gets each day. Your plants need the right conditions to be as healthy and productive as possible.

Based on this information, you can then choose the right plants to grow in your space. (Check the back of your seed packets if you’re unsure.)

2.    Use containers or raised beds

Containers and raised beds are great options for beginner gardeners, especially if you’re working with small spaces like balconies, city gardens, and small backyards.

You’ll have more control over your soil, you’ll better protect your baby plants from the elements and you’ll be able to keep producing vegetables late into the season.

Containers also make it much easier to keep those pesky weeds in check and make access to the garden much easier. Double win!

3.    Compost!

 As a gardener, compost is your best friend – whether you chose to make your own or buy in store, it offers many benefits to your crop and the environment. Compost helps reduce your carbon footprint, help nourish the soil and ultimately, create tastier, healthier veggies.

Just collect your fresh food waste and garden waste, pop them into a composting bin, and within a few months, you’ll have a ton of ‘black gold’ you can use to grow your crop.

4.    Start with the easiest crops

 When you’re just getting started with urban gardening, it’s best to opt for vegetables and herbs which grow well in your local area. That way you won’t get overwhelmed with complicated growing techniques, but instead feel extra-motivated when you start munching on fresh produce you’ve grown in your very own urban garden.

Tomatoes, herbs, peppers, cabbage and lettuce are usually the best plants for beginners.

5.    Water them! But not too much…

 Remember that you’ll need to water your crop regularly for them to be healthy.

But don’t be tempted to overdo it. If you leave them drowning in water all day, they could fall victim to root rot and die before they produce anything. Instead soak the container with plenty of water, then allow the rest to drain through.

[If you have trouble remembering to water your urban garden, let technology help. Set a reminder on your phone and you’ll never forget again!]

6.    Grow vertically

 If you’re only got a teeny tiny yard or balcony where you can start your urban gardening project then consider vertical gardening.

Use netting and frames for vegetables like cucumbers, beans and tomatoes. Grow carrots or potatoes in deeper containers with holes in the sides. Or create clever shelf or stacking systems for lettuce and herbs so you can make the most of the space you have.

 Don’t let lack of gardening space deter you from starting your urban garden! You can still grow plenty of fresh produce if you’re clever about how you do it. The small effort is absolutely worth it.

So whether you have a balcony, city garden or small backyard, get growing!