Category Archives: Topsoil Tips & Advice

How To Use Your Garden in Winter

Use your garden this winter - bird feedingWinter can be a quieter time in your garden, and even the most enthusiastic of gardeners may want to stay indoors when the colder weather strikes. However, especially in a country where winter can go on for a while, it seems a shame not to use your outdoor space for months on end.

So how can you continue to enjoy your garden over winter, and keep those green fingers green?

Here are some ways in which you can use your garden in the colder months:

Help wildlife survive

As lovely as it is to stay warm and cosy indoors over winter, it is important to remember that not everyone has the option! Feel good about yourself by helping the birds, and the bees have an easier time by leaving out seeds and water for birds as well as bird boxes if they need a place to shelter. You can also keep your garden bee-friendly by keeping your compost heap going, growing ivy which provides handy cover as well as nectar, growing winter flowers and creating twig and leaf piles for protection too.

Appreciate winter plants

Just because you might not want to spend hours sitting out in your garden over winter, doesn’t mean you can’t keep it looking good. Pretty plants such as Cyclamen coum, hellebores, snowdrops, crocus, and aconites all provide colour and interest over the winter months. So stock up on these seasonal plants and flowers, and then you can still admire the garden even if it’s from the comfort of indoors!

Have a good old tidy up

Winter is the perfect time to get your garden in ship shape before the warmer weather arrives. When the sun comes out you’ll no doubt want to spend more time gardening and just relaxing in your outside space so bite the bullet, put on a thick jumper and some good gloves and get out there to tackle all those slightly less glamorous jobs such as pruning, sweeping, sharpening your tools and organising your garden shed.

Utilise your greenhouse

If you are pining to plant or desperate to dig you can try to keep those winter blues at bay by heading to your greenhouse where you can grow citrus plants or start sowing seeds ready to transfer to the garden come spring. If the weather gets particularly severe rather than moving more vulnerable seedlings into your home, you can provide extra insulation by wrapping with bubble wrap.

Pay attention to your veg plot

While winter isn’t an ideal time for many plants, the great news is that many vegetables do well over winter and you can enjoy homegrown parsnips, leeks, winter cabbages, kale, and winter salad varieties too. Winter is also a great time to plant fruit bushes, raspberries, rhubarb and garlic which should come good later in the year.

Have a winter garden party!

Now that you’ve got your garden looking great why not celebrate by inviting your nearest and dearest over for a winter garden party? Wrap up warm, invest in a fire pit or chimenea, get some outdoor lights, mull some cider and enjoy your outside space despite the cold.

These top tips mean you can enjoy your garden all year round! For more gardening tips and advice why not check out the rest of our blog? And if your garden needs some TLC to give it a boost after winter frosts take a look at our range of topsoils, soil conditioner, compost and mulches, and lawn turf to help get it back to its very best?

New Year New Garden – Inspiration For Your Garden in 2019!

Inspiration for your garden - colourful garden wall

If you are looking to give your garden a makeover in the new year we have some great inspiration for your garden below. Follow these tips to create a unique, vibrant outdoor space that you’ll love.

Inside meets outside

If you have a courtyard, terrace or patio garden a popular trend for 2019 is to try and seamlessly blend the room leading into your garden with the outside space, thus creating a lovely flow – bringing a bit of your garden into your home and vice versa. Do this through smart decor decisions, colour themes, and soft furnishings to create a seamless and unique space.

Pots galore for a quick win

Pots bursting with an arrangement of colourful, vibrant plants can instantly transform any garden. Containers come in all shapes and sizes, colours and patterns and in a range of different materials too, so it’s so easy to put your stamp on your garden without having to do too much prep. Just choose your pots and plants, make sure you use high-quality soil to ensure their longevity and sit back and admire your handiwork with a nice cup of tea! Pots provide a perfect solution for the time-poor gardener, and if you get bored with your new look moving the positions of the containers, switching up the plants and flowers or swapping out the pots for different designs instantly gives you a fresh new look.

Real grass shows class

An impactful way to revamp your garden is to put a real lawn down. There is nothing more beautiful than looking out of your window to a stretch of lush green grass and laying lawn turf or planting grass seed can provide you with just that. Why not scatter some wildflower seeds in amongst the grasses for a colourful country garden look too?

Quirky planters to make your garden stand out

2019 is the year to get creative with your garden so why not think outside the box and use some unusual vessels to house your plants and flowers. Anything from a grand piano to a handbag, typewriter or wellington boot could add a touch of magic and imagination to your outdoor space.

Relaxing is what it’s all about

Gardens are there to be enjoyed, so make sure in 2019 you keep things simple. It’s all well and good having a beautiful garden, but if it takes up all your spare time maintaining it, you are missing the point. The joy of a great garden is to be able to sit back, breathe in the fresh air, admire the beauty of nature, soak up some rays, entertain friends, and enjoy the space you’ve created. So make your garden an area you can unwind in to ensure you make the most of it.

Eco-friendly is important

Look after the bees and the birds as well as other wildlife by making sure your garden is as eco-friendly as possible. Leave out bird feeders and water baths. Plant bee-attracting flowers and use natural weedkillers to make sure that you don’t upset any visitors that arrive in your garden. Buying hardier plants that don’t need too much watering and using a top-quality soil with great filtration will help to keep your garden healthy without having to use too much water. Recyclable pots, peat-free composts, and solar lighting are all plus points also.

Colour is the key to change

Garden furniture ranges used to be limited regarding colours and designs. However, now you can get garden furniture in any colour or pattern imaginable. You can also think about the colours of your soft furnishings,  decorative pathways and stones, pots, walls, flooring, lights and of course your flowers and plants. Say goodbye to dull, stiffly designed gardens in 2019 and instead get creative and go colour crazy for bright, striking spaces that will bring a smile to everyone’s face.

If you are looking to give your garden a facelift in 2019, use the tips above to make it as dramatic, lively and enjoyable as possible.

If you have a garden project and need some advice why not get in touch with our friendly team on 01306877540 today?

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.

aquatic-plants-biotope-flowers-46231

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.

blur-close-up-dried-leaves-713803

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!

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!

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.

Screen Shot 2018-04-13 at 13.12.06

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

Screen Shot 2018-04-13 at 13.01.34

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.

Screen Shot 2018-04-13 at 13.13.59

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.

Screen Shot 2018-04-13 at 13.04.35

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.

Fresh carrots

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.