Author Archives: Nick Stuart-Miller

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!

Barbecue grill with fire

5 tips for Preparing your Garden for Outdoor Entertaining

From caring for your plants and flowers to clearing up your patio area, our advice will guide you in creating the perfect summer garden your guests will love. Before you start thinking about your guest list and the BBQ menu, you should consider how you can get your garden ready for outdoor entertainment.

1.Embrace summer bright colours:

Early June is the perfect time to pull your garden from the depths of winter and embrace lighter colours for summer. Add colour to your garden by choosing vibrant plants, flowers and painting your shed. If that sounds like too much work, why not invest in colourful garden pillows and add mirrors to your garden to give the illusion of space.

 

2.Ensure optimal growing conditions for plants and flowers:

A garden in full bloom is the perfect location for your summer entertainment whilst also providing an ideal backdrop for photographs with family and friends.

Make your beautiful array of flowers the talking point of your party by ensuring they have all the necessary conditions to bloom throughout the summer months. This includes supplying flower beds with enough water, protecting against snails and ensuring your soil is rich with nutrients. Our extensive range of soil conditioners are perfect to give your soil that extra nutritional boost they have been craving.

3. Nourish garden lawn with fertilisers and mow garden lawn:

Looking for luscious green lawn similar to the one on the front cover of gardening magazines, but left it a little too late to replicate one of your own? At Bury Hill, we stock lawn turf which can help transform your tired lawn into a vibrant lawn in mere hours. This will create the perfect play area for younger guests.

4. Clean up the patio:

Often your patio area can become overlooked after a long winter.  Freshen up your stone or tiled patio before your next BBQ by power-washing to remove excess grime and weeding to prevent overgrowth.

Looking for a complete overhaul? Take a look at our extensive range of aggregates. These stones are a fantastic way to add an unusual touch to your garden patio, which your guests will love.

5.  Invest in garden furniture:

Investing in new garden furniture and accessories can transform your garden space from uninviting, to warm and friendly. For summer BBQ’s we recommend investing in statement furniture pieces that will add a touch of style to your summer entertainment. Consider pastel pillows and woolen throws for added comfort during those long summer evenings.

For more information on how to create your perfect garden for summer entertainment, contact us here.

Bumblebee pollinate or collect nectar on blue flower at golden sunlight in sunset time

How to Create the Perfect Bee-Friendly Garden

Bees are vital pollinators and welcome visitors in any garden to maximise the distribution of nectar and to encourage plant growth. As bees pollinate many of the plants we eat, by helping bees we in turn help ourselves and our environment to flourish.

You can encourage pollinating insects to visit your garden by providing food, shelter and water. At Bury Hill, we have combined a list of our favourite tips to help you create your very own bee-friendly garden.

1.Best plants for bees:

Finding the right plants for bees is easier than you think – with thousands of possibilities available, you are guaranteed to find a suitable bee-friendly plant for your garden at your nearest centre. These include:

  1. Mint
  2. Oregano
  3. Lavender
  4. Lily of the Valley
  5. Witch-hazel

Top tip: Bees notice the colour purple in particular, so integrate purple foliage into your beds and borders where you can.

   2. Bee-friendly flowers:

Bees are most attracted to bright, brash blooms which give out an alluring scent.

It is important, however, to select a range of flowers that will extend beyond the flowing period to encourage bees to visit your garden all year round.

Single flowers that are rich in pollen and nectar are perfect for visiting bees. These include:

  1. Sunflowers
  2. Wildflowers
  3. Blue Geraniums
  4. Agastache
  5. Snapdragon

To create optimal conditions for plant growth, add soil conditioners to your soil. This will ensure that your plants are supported and receiving the necessary nutrients they need to grow and to support bees.

     3.Plant strategically:

Plant flowers in suitable locations to maximise how bees interact with your garden. Our top tips for strategic planning include:

  • Growing plants in blocks
  • Plant throughout the seasons to provide food
  • Allow grass to grow to ensure there is maximum amount of shelter available.

Creating an ideal environment for bees to visit and enjoy is key. Follow these steps for visible results.

4. Create bee houses:

Bees create homes in a variety of locations across the garden. Places include long-grass, in the eave of a roof and inside a tree. Left to their own devices, beehives in the garden can become troublesome, but there are alternatives which you can manage.

Why not create your own bee hotel to encourage bees to visit your garden? Made from waste wood and logs, bee houses can be made relatively cheaply but with maximum impact for your garden.

Place the bee house in a corner of the garden that is sheltered from adverse weather conditions but with access to sunshine. Position the bee house in a south-facing position if you can, but not in the way of direct sunlight. This will provide bees with the best possible conditions and encourage them to visit your plants and flowers.

5. Bee conscious:

Be aware of bees coming to your garden and ensure you provide optimal conditions for them in your garden. This consciousness can include everything from reducing the amount of chemical pesticides and fertilisers you use, to allowing parts of your garden to grow wild. As some weeds are a rich source of nectar and pollen, allowing them to grow in parts of your garden will be beneficial to bees. Reducing the amount of times you cut the lawn will allow more lawn flowers to grow, providing a fantastic feeding opportunity for bees.

For more information or to speak with a member of our team on how to create your perfect bee garden, contact us here.

 

bring your grass back to life

How to bring your lawn back to life in 5 easy steps

Bringing a lawn back to life after a long stint of cold, damp weather is a hugely rewarding but challenging process. As a general rule, when the first signs of spring begin to appear, it’s time to focus your attention on the lawn to get it primed for summer.

So, if your lawn is looking a bit patchy or brown, and sunshine alone won’t bring it back to full health, follow this guide to get it looking like a key feature to be proud of once again.

Bring your lawn back to life in 5 easy steps

1.Get rid of winter weeds and dry blades

Dead, dry blades, fungi and moss can all build up on our lawns during the winter and extended cold spells. Snow mould in particular only rears its head during extreme weather, so watch out for that in your garden. It’s time to get your wire rake out of the shed to get rid of this debris to make way for spring growth and reseeding if necessarily. Think of this raking, otherwise known as ‘scarifying’ the lawn, as exfoliating your lawn of the dead cells and dirt to celebrate the spring season.

2. Reseed to freshen up a sparse lawn

Shaping your lawn from seed is inexpensive and straightforward. Whether you are sowing seed to start from scratch or fill in patchy areas on an existing lawn, sowing is a much cheaper option for larger spaces – just don’t get expect instant results.

The right watering strategy is key: water your existing lawn well, sow your seeds and don’t water again until you begin to see the shoots coming through. Watering too early risks washing the seeds away and increases the chance of mould setting in.

How To Sow Grass Seed – A Complete Guide

3. The more your mow, the thicker your grass will grow

As soon as the cold winter snap seems to be over, and your grass seedlings are dry and established, start mowing at least once a fortnight in spring and once a week in summer to prompt full and thick regrowth. Remember to collect your clipping to store in a your compost bin. If you don’t have one, a thick black bin bag will do!

4. Feed your lawn regularly

Nothing brings existing foliage in the garden back to life like a good quality feed. Some feeds are designed specifically for the lawn, which are great if your lawn is moss and weed-free, and others have added ingredients to kill unwanted fungi, weeds and moss for quick results. Some are designed for the spring to promote new growth, and others are for toughening up your autumn grass in time for winter.

Not all feeds are pet-friendly, so check the packaging beforehand or ask the supplier. Chemical-free weed killing alternatives include boiling water – which may also affect your grass so it’s not ideal – vinegar, salt and sugar.

Whatever feed you choose, spread from April through to September for extended growth and health. Try a liquid feed from later spring into summer to feed as well as moisten your lawn during dry spells, then opt for a gentler feed which is low in nitrogen in autumn which won’t speed up growth and leave new shoots susceptible to winter frosts.

5. Aerate your lawn in late spring and early autumn

Your lawn can becoming compacted through use and different weather conditions, which restricts the absorption of air, water and nutrients at root level.

The concept and process of aeration is simple: take a strong, long-handled fork out of storage, put on a pair of boots or wellies with thick soles and use your weight to dig the fork down into the lawn to create small holes. Leave a set of holes every two feet or so until the entire lawn has been aerated.

Your work will stimulate new growth, improve water drainage and de-compact your lawn below surface level. Timing is key: aim to aerate in late spring and early autumn, when your lawn is established but when very hot weather hasn’t made the soil dry and hard to dig.

Why, How and When to Aerate a Lawn in the UK

Revive your lawn this spring with Bury Hill

Now’s the time to invest in a high-quality grass seed mix that has been blended for your specific use. Bury Hill supplies Limgrain grass seeds which have been treated with a transparent coating made from seaweed extract which ensures fast germination and strong root growth.

Find out about our package options and delivery prices by clicking through to our Grass Seed page.

Earth planet. Vector color vintage engraving illustration

Gardening experts share their best eco-friendly tips for 2018

Here at Bury Hill, we’re celebrating Earth Day 2018 on 22 April, so we’ve compiled 22 top tips to start your eco-friendly garden! We enlisted help from leading gardening experts and personalities in the USA, UK, and Ireland to share their advice.

The following guide is perfect for novice gardeners and anyone looking to fine-tune their eco-friendly footprint. Here’s the industry insights and trends you should be looking out for in 2018…

1.Create a pollinator-friendly garden – Toby Buckland, BBC radio, and TV host

As people become more aware of the need to care for our environment, BBC radio and TV presenter, author and award-winning garden designer, Toby Buckland, has reported seeing a ‘rise of interest in pollinator-friendly gardens’. This type of garden focuses on the use of plants and flowers with a high nectar count to assist pollinating insects. We recommend marigolds, wallflowers, and honeysuckle to create a bee-friendly patch.

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2.  Create your own compost:

Composting is an easy eco-friendly habit to adopt in the garden. Creating your own compost reduces the amount of rubbish you add to landfill and improves the quality of your soil to encourage plant growth. Bury Hill offers a range of mushroom composts to nourish your soil – a perfect mulch for beginners!

3. Organic soil conditioners:

To be a successful organic gardener, the quality of your soil must be a key focus. With this in mind, invest in an organic soil conditioner to create a better environment for your plants and flowers to flourish.

4. Organic deterrents:

Invest in organic deterrents early to limit garden pests and reduce the impact they have on your garden. Rather than reaching for harsh chemical-based garden products, consider using organic alternatives like eggshells, coffee beans and baking soda which are all non-abrasive.

5. Collect rainwater – there’s plenty of it!

Water your plants and vegetables without touching a tap! Water butts are perfect for collecting rainwater throughout the year and come in a surprisingly wide variety of styles and sizes. You’re sure to find one that is the perfect fit for your garden – a simple way to help protect the environment.

6. Water plans at the right time of the day:

Select the right time to water the garden to reduce the volume and frequency of your water use. The benefits of this are twofold: a reliable plan reduces garden maintenance time and reduces your use of resources, which, if you don’t have a water butt, will take a chunk out of your water bills, too.

7. Invest in plants native to your area:

Investing in a planting scheme that is native to your area promotes a healthy ecosystem. Native plants, by nature, adapt to their environments. They require less maintenance and provide a natural habitat for birds and smaller animals – what more could you ask for?

8.  Limit your use of electricity in the garden:

There are plenty of sustainable and solar-powered alternatives to garden lights and features. Why not add solar-powered light features to a statement wall or water feature and set the perfect scene for a garden party in the evening? As we become more environmentally conscious as consumers, expect to see more companies investing in beautiful and innovative garden features at affordable prices.

9. Plant trees that are particularly efficient at reducing CO2 emissions:

Certain trees are better at reducing CO2 than others and are therefore more beneficial to the environment. Trees such as pine, oak, and black walnut are all particularly good investments for this aim – and are brilliant for creating shady spots to relax under with a good book!

10. Grow your own fruit and vegetables in the garden:

Try growing your own organic vegetables and fruit as a sustainable way to eat off the land!. With a variety of useful gardening resources available to help you get started on your vegetable patch, there’s no excuse not to start growing your own this summer.

11. Reduce plastic usage – Tom Brown, head gardener at Parham House, West Sussex

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Head gardener at Parham House, Tom Brown, highlights the importance of reducing plastic usage: “I expect a great deal of plastic alternative products to come at us thick and fast over the next twelve months”. By swapping plastic products to environmentally-friendly alternatives, you’ll reduce your carbon footprint and how much you spend, too.

12. Reduce, reuse, recycle and rebuy:

In 2018, there is more need than ever to adopt regular recycling habits to limit your impact on the environment. Our top tips include:

  1. Share cuttings/seeds from plants with friends and family

  2. Use old yoghurt pots as traps for snails

  3. Invest in wooden garden tools to reduce plastic usage.

British events and home-grown flower farmers and producers are preparing for a revival, according to Tom at Parham: “British Flower Week celebrates our home-grown flower farmers and producers in June each year. With our minds on Europe and the provenance of our food and flowers, the UK flower industry is poised for a revival through small, artisan producers and large-scale flower growers increasingly brought to our attention.”

13. Remove weeds from the source to prevent competition for resources:

Weeds prevent plants from receiving existing resources in the ground, hindering their chances of growing to their full potential. Removing weeds at the roots prevents the same plant from growing in that spot again, giving your flowers enough room to bloom.

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14. Awareness of biodiversity in the garden – Peter Dowdall, ‘The Irish Gardener’

Peter Dowdall, also known as ‘The Irish Gardener’, has noted the increasing “awareness of the importance of our gardens in terms of biodiversity”, with a particular focus on creating an animal-friendly environment throughout the seasons. As Peter explains, “gardens and gardeners can help to slow this and more and more clients are seeking designs which have a high level of pollinator-friendly plants.” Immediate tasks include attracting insects and bees with colourful flowers, building bird houses and installing water features.

15. Water features to attract birds and smaller animals

Installing a water feature is a great way to prompt great biodiversity in the garden, and makes a great addition to any garden space. There are a variety of options to suit all types of gardens, ranging from artistic water installations and waterfalls to small, subtle fountains and traditional stone tables. It won’t be long before you will be spotting birds bathing from your kitchen window!

16. Buy organic alternatives to garden products

With a large focus on organic products, gardeners will never be stuck for sustainable options to use in the garden. These items are ideal to minimise theimpact on the environment while also ensuring a healthy environment for your plants to grow.

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17. Automate the use of resources – Ahmed Hassan, Celebrity landscaper & TV host of DIY’s Yard Crashers

Leading American gardener, Ahmed Hassan, highlights the importance of keeping up with the latest technologies, particularly automation tools, to give gardeners the freedom “to control whether our sprinklers need to run while also saving on utility bill’. It is becoming increasingly important that we all take advantage of digital apps that control our resources as we advance into a technology orientated future. “There are literally convenience tools for automation that exist to make all the bells and whistles outside more efficient, work when they’re needed and save us time or energy.”

18. Improve air circulation:

Just like humans, plants need air to survive and grow. Regular maintenance of your soil, preferably with a premium grade layer of topsoil, creates the perfect conditions for growth. It’s also worth noting that worms are a friend to you in the garden as they help to break up dense clumps and aerate your soil as they go about their business.

19. Use mulch:

Mulch, which is an organic mix used to cover the top layer of soil, helps maintain soil temperature, reduce weed growth and to nourish the garden bed. Mulch ensures optimal growth conditions for your plants and flowers and is, therefore, an essential for any organic gardener.

20. Viewing gardens as therapeutic spaces:

We often underestimate the healing effects of being in the outdoors. Tom Brown highlights that “gardens as therapeutic spaces will also feature highly, designers are increasingly looking at the health and healing qualities of a beautiful outdoor space as part of  recovery.”

“Keep your eyes on Matt Keightley’s garden at Chelsea this year which highlights the benefits to well-being using plants and gardens.”

21. Invest in long-lasting gardening equipment:

Investing in durable gardening equipment and tools is the best way to reduce your plastic usage over time. Wooden and steel alternatives may expensive in the short-term, but the long-term environmental and reliability benefits far outweigh the immediate costs.

22. Enjoy your organic garden with friends and family:

It’s now time to sit back and enjoy all the hard work you have done to create your eco-friendly garden. We recommend hosting summer garden parties or drinks – it may even encourage your guests to create their own eco-friendly garden!

By following these industries influenced top gardening tips, you will quickly be on your way to making your own eco-friendly garden – just in time for summer too!

Gardening for beginners

5 top gardening tips for beginners | Bury Hill

Have you always been interested in starting your own garden but you don’t know where to start? Do you dream of pottering around in your own garden but lack the experience to feel confident outdoors? As the season of new beginnings, spring is the perfect time to cast aside your doubts to begin your gardening adventure.

At Bury Hill, we have compiled a list of our 5 favourite tips, from choosing a layout to caring for and maintaining your garden, to help gardening beginners blossom into experts.

1.Plan your layout before you begin

There are a number of factors to consider before going to the garden centre to buy flowers and shrubs. By planning in advance, you can cut down on extra costs, avoid impulse purchases and select plants that are suitable for your soil type and levels of light in your garden.

What you should do before going to the garden store:

  • Research the various types of gardens to find one you would like to recreate

  • Create a sketch drawing of a layout for your garden

  • Set a budget to avoid impulse spending

 2.Select the right plants

With a design layout in mind, it’s time to consider your what type of plants you would like to grow in your garden. This may seem like a simple task based on colour preferences and flower types, but there are a variety of other factors you need to consider, such as:

  • Season: The time of year will affect your plant selection. For more information on preparing your garden for spring and summer, plants for each season, take a look at top tips gardener’s guide.

  • Soil: The type of soil you have naturally or import into your garden plays a bigger role in plant selection than you might think. Factors such as Ph levels, aeration, drainage and minerals influence the type and quantity of flowers you can grow.

To boost the health of your soil and encourage plant growth, mix a high-quality soil conditioner into your topsoil.

  • Resistance to disease and parasites: Many plants can resist diseases and parasites that affect their health and growth life. To avoid complications with more disease-prone flowers and plants, look for those with higher resistance.

 3. Invest in the right equipment and tools

As a beginner gardener, it is worth investing in necessary gardening tools to make gardening tasks easier. There are an endless supply of tools available, but not all of them are necessary for beginner gardeners. We recommend the following:

  • Gloves: A basic necessity for all gardeners. Not only will they protect your hands from scrapes and cuts, they will also prevent you from getting infections.

  • Hand trowel: This useful tool has many uses, from moving plants, composting and weeding. It is a must-have for all beginner gardeners.

  • Spade: A durable spade is mandatory for digging larger plots and planting shrubs and trees.

  • Rake: A necessary garden tool to help with garden maintenance, removing fallen leaves and loosening soil.

4. Garden Maintenance

Arguably one of the most important steps for all gardeners, maintenance ensures your plants stay healthy, whilst reducing competition for nutrients and light sources.

-While there are a variety of steps you can do to keep your garden in top condition, we have found the following to be absolutely mandatory:

-Water plants 1-2 times per week to ensure enough moisture reaches your plants and flowers. Naturally, the amount and frequency of watering will change depending on the season.

-Use mulch to reduce the growth of weeds in your garden. When spread over the surface of your soil, it acts as a protective barrier to retain moisture, prevent weeds and maintain ideal soil temperature.

-Weeds are an unwanted but unavoidable feature of every garden. By regularly removing weeds from their source, however, you can prevent them becoming an even bigger problem.

 Enjoy the work you have done in your garden

You have invested a lot of time and energy into creating the garden you have always wanted, now it’s time to enjoy it.

We recommend:

-Investing in garden furniture so you can spend afternoons reading in your garden.

-Sharing seeds and clippings from your favourite plants with friends so they can grow them in their garden.

-Taking photos of the various stages of your plants and flowers in bloom to track progress.

-Helping friends and family by sharing tips and advice that has worked for you.

 Looking for more gardening advice?

Are you a complete beginner or a more experienced gardener? Follow Bury Hill’s blog for more tips and advice on how to create and maintain your perfect garden.

 

Top Organic Gardening Tips for Green Living

The basic premise of organic gardening is to minimise the use of manufactured chemicals by working working within the natural systems and cycles of our gardens. Although it may seem counterintuitive to describe your garden as ‘inorganic’, gardeners often use chemical fertilisers and treatments which can affect water, reduce soil fertility and lead to toxic deposits.

At Bury Hill, we understand the value organic gardening can bring to your garden, so we have combined a list of our top 5 organic gardening tips to help you make the most from your garden.

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1.Prepare your soil:

Organic gardening means treating the soil with the same care you would plants and flowers. Start be ensuring the soil is properly conditioned using a trusted soil conditioner – this will create the perfect environment to facilitate plant growth.

Soil compost is a mandatory addition to all gardens as it adds nutrients to your soil, grows plants with fewer pest problems and reduces your carbon footprint. We advise making your own organic soil compost by following our guide.

2. Water plants effectively:

It is necessary to ensure your plants always have enough water to retain moisture, and facilitate plant growth.

We recommend watering plants and flowers early in the morning as there is no breeze and its still cool outside. This will allow the water to travel down to the roots of the plant without too much water being lost to evaporation.

3. Alternative ways to protect your plants:

Pest control is an important factor to consider when maintaining your flowers and vegetable garden. Traditional pesticides, however, often cause damage to the environment and can affect soil health. Organic homemade pesticides are a safer option for keeping pests at bay.

You can make your own using foods found in your cupboard:

  • Coffee wards off slugs

  • Eggshells prevent slugs, snails and caterpillars

  • Garlic, tomato, rhubarb: The smell of these foods deters a lot of insects

4. Control weeds:

Weeds compete with your plants and flowers for nutrients, water and light. To prevent them from taking over your garden completely, there are some necessary steps to follow:

  1. First, pour boiling water on weeds to soften and kill the root

  2. Use sharp tools, such as weeding knives and trimmers, to remove weeds

  3. Always remove the roots from the base to prevent future growth

5. Crop rotation:

Crop rotation is a key factor for maintaining soil fertility, reducing the build up of pests and controlling weeds. By implementing a crop rotation system, you ensure optimal soil conditions for your plants.

Follow our easy 3-step guide to crop rotation:

  1. Divide your plot into legumes, root, leaf and fruit

  2. Rotate each section once a year

  3. Make note of the layout of your plant bed each year and take photos to track growth progress

By following these organic gardening tips, you will get maximum benefit from your garden with minimum impact on the environment.