Tag Archives: garden supplies

Gardening Gift Ideas Christmas Guide

Gardening Gift Ideas Christmas Guide | Bury Hill blog

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

Gardening in an apartment for city living

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

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

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

Gardening gadgets for the modern gardener

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

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

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

Unusual gardening gifts

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

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

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

Garden tools to cover the essentials

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

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

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

Transform any outdoor space with Bury Hill garden products

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

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A Beginner’s Guide to Autumn and Winter Pond Care

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

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

6-step autumn and winter pond care action plan

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

1. Remove fallen leaves

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

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

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

2. Keep your pond free from ice

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

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

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

3. Give your pond plants some love

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

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

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

4. Cut down on fish food

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

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

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

5. Beware of predators

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

6. Consider switching off your pond pump

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

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

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

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.

child-friendly gardening checklist

Child-friendly gardening checklist for spring

It’s always exciting to see our gardens wake up once again after a long winter slumber. Spring is an active season for plants and gardeners in the UK. It’s a great time to inspire the next generation of gardeners to get outside and lend a hand to start growing their own flowers, fruit and veg.

Spring is a time for sowing seeds, watching wildlife and maintenance in the garden. A cool breeze may be lingering, but the garden still needs tending. We’ve put together the following guide, which lists child-friendly jobs, planting and activities by month to help your whole family enjoy your garden space.

March

Spring has sprung, busy days have begun!

Jobs to help with

Regular bug watches! Keep an eye out for slugs and snails

Cover bare borders with good quality topsoil

Rake up leaves and stick them in your compost bin

What to plant

It’s time to get summer bulbs in pots for summer colour

Sow herb seeds thinly in a tray or large pot

Sow lettuce seeds early indoors

Clear an area for wildflowers then spread a wildflower seed mix

Clear weeds to sow hardy annuals, like ‘Ladybird’ poppies

April

Prepare for April showers and sunshine

Things to do this month

Dig in a 5cm layer of good quality topsoil along borders

Help plant hanging baskets with bright blooms

Keep on top of weeds! Spread woodchip if needed

Continue your good work

Plant herb seedlings into separate pots or into the soil

Water your newly-planted fruit trees regularly

Add a soil conditioner before summer planting

Tie tomato plants to stakes for straight growth

Look out for frogs and frog spawn in the pond

May

A marvellous month for green fingers!

Now’s the time to

Find a good soil conditioner to break up heavy soil

Begin picking lettuce leaves for lunch!

Bundle herb sprigs into drawers for freshly-scented clothes

Spring sowing and planting

Sow sunflower seeds in a sunny spot outdoors

Pick a spot on a fence or wall for wallflower plants

Plant delicate indoor seedlings outdoors

Gather the first flowers of spring into a lovely bunch

3 ways to attract wildlife into the garden

Make a dark, warm hedgehog hotel using a wooden crate filled with leaves left turned upside down, with a small air hole and an entrance.

Place a small strip of carpet, or any other thick fabric, along a border to attract slow-worms. Often mistaken for baby snakes, these lizards are becoming an increasingly rare sight in the UK.

Create a makeshift bird feeder by stuffing melted fat or lard (an adult must be present) peppered with nuts and seeds. Finally, attach some rope to the container and hang it from a tree that is in plain sight from your house.

Make your garden look and feel great in time for spring with a nutritious topsoil and soil conditioner. All our premium grade topsoils and loams are blended using high-quality natural soils, selected sands and grits and organic compost from known sources, using local materials where possible. If you would like to place an order, visit our topsoil delivery information page.

 

Gardening tools on garden soil texture background top view

A Gardener’s Guide to Organic Soil Conditioner

As avid gardeners ourselves, we understand the satisfaction of discovering easy techniques and multi-purpose materials which help to keep our gardens healthy.

Here at Bury Hill, we select the best materials and complementary products that we would buy ourselves. One such material, one which you may not have used until now, is our organic soil conditioner: a great peat substitute and nutritional all-rounder that’s ideal for improving all types of soil.

If you have sandy soil which requires a lot of organic matter to improve its health, or temperamental cloggy wet clay soil which is a challenge all year round, soil conditioner is the perfect ingredient for your problematic beds and borders.

How organic soil conditioner is made

Good quality soil conditioner takes time to make, often with a 5-10 year process to utilise the nutrients stored in organic matter. Organic soil conditioner, as the name suggests, is free from artificial substances. It’s produced using 5-year-old composted waste matter, which is then screened to 10mm, making it easy to rake and spread. It’s this natural process which gives the conditioner its dark rich colour and near neutral pH level.

What are the key benefits?

When we talk about using soil conditioner in the garden, we’re simply referring to using organic matter.

Whereas manure provides some nutrients when combined with existing topsoil, however, soil conditioner is most effective when used to help ‘hungry’ plants.

Using your soil conditioner as mulch for your beds and borders – around trees, shrubs, flower borders and vegetable plot – will feed your plants, protect roots from cold snaps, lock in moisture and quash rapid weed growth.

How to use organic soil conditioner

For best results, spread a thick layer approximately 3-4 centimetres deep across the soil, using a fork or spade to incorporate the conditioner into your existing topsoil. This will instantly improve soil structure and fertility.

Due to its excellent nutrient content and water retention properties, soil conditioner promotes root growth while remaining a safe, sterile and stable organic matter to mix into your soil.

Tip: Ensure soil is moist rather than frozen when applying conditioner to a suitable area outside, preferably cleared of weeds beforehand.

Storing soil conditioner for longer-lasting performance

To maintain freshness and performance, store your organic soil conditioner in a dry, frost-free place undercover, away from pesticides and other garden chemicals. Always reseal the bag after use and avoid breathing in dust whilst spreading and storing your soil conditioner.

If you wish to place an organic soil conditioner order, please use our postcode finder to determine delivery and pricing.

Money-Saving Gardening Tips

10 Money-Saving Gardening Tips Part two

Last year, we took you through our top 10 money-saving gardening tips for our thrifty customers, from money management to researching your landscape supplier properly. However, a gardeners work is never done, and every season presents fresh opportunities to plan ahead! So, if you’re a beginner looking to cut costs or you need a tips top up, you’ve come to the right blog.

1. First, preserve leftover seeds

Seed packets may be small on size but many are big on price – the rarer or more popular the flower, for example, the more expensive they are to grow from seed. One of the easiest ways to cut down on seed expenditure every year is to store all your packets and leftover seeds (because you will always have some left over). Airtight plastic containers and glass jars are best, in a cool dry area away from direct sunlight.

2. Or, collect seeds to use again next year

Collecting flower and vegetable seeds at the end of their growing season will keep your seed collection topped up every year without having to head to the gardening centre. It’s not difficult to do, and some plant seeds are easier than others to harvest. Here’s a quick list of seed-saving vegetables to consider:

  • Peppers

  • Melons

  • Squash

  • Aubergines

  • Cucumber

  • Tomato

The smaller the seed, the bigger the hassle. But trust us, storing home-grown seeds is very satisfying – and frugal!

3. Learn how to take and grow cuttings

You don’t have to wait until a flower or fruit has lost its luster until you can start creating money-saving tips. As soon as plants begin to grow additional stems and shoots, there’s potential to take cuttings to grow on, sell or barter with friends. Here’s a quick tree cuttings guide, for example, to note:

  • Softwood cuttings: late spring, early summer

  • Semi-hardwood: midsummer after flowering

  • Hardwood: end of summer

4. Buy mulch in bulk

If you’ve decided that you’re a minimalist gardener – more interested in materials and practicality- consider using attractive materials in bulk like woodchip and bark to spread around the garden. Bulk buying is often a cheaper, easier and quicker solution for this type of garden project.

5. Shop comparitably

There are plenty of online comparison sites to choose from, selling everything from garden furniture and features to tools and lawnmowers. So shop around to find the cheapest prices on the market, alongside seasonal deals and sales.

6. Avoid overplanting

It’s easy to burden a big flower or vegetable bed with too many plants all at once to achieve a mature, lively scene straight away. As a rule, start with the bigger plants at the back and work your way forward in size until you reach the front, leaving enough room around each plant so they’re not constantly competing for light and nutrients.

7. Test your soil

If you go on a spending spree before testing your soil – what nutrients your soil lacks and its pH – your plants may not be suited to the conditions and will eventually wither, no matter how much you feed them. Test your soil and plan a planting scheme accordingly, like you would with shady and sunny spots in the garden. Consider using specialist soils to give your beds a boost.

8. Try natural, DIY feeds

We’re big fans of trying natural products in the garden when you can. Our pH-neutral organic soil conditioner, for example, is used by customers who want to improve their soil without potentially damaging chemicals.

Natural options to include in the garden include:

  • Making your own weed killer

  • Making your own compost

  • Save your grass clippings to use on your lawn as a DIY feed

9. Get free advice or speak with an expert

If you’re looking for extra ways to be creative in the garden, there’s a wealth of free knowledge online, at your local library or in free magazine supplements to get you started. Alternatively, as we pointed out in our earlier post, investing an hour or so with a landscaping expert to discuss your project to avoid mistakes is often good value for money over the long-term

10. Finally, use water wisely

Rather than add to your water bill during the summer when tending to your garden, collect water from other sources where you can. Installing a water butt, or leaving open containers around the garden to collect rainwater, is quick and easy. Additionally, watering directly on the soil rather than higher up on the leaves ensures water goes to where it is needed and adding two to three inches of mulch to your soil locks in moisture for longer.

For more even more evergreen tips on how to keep your garden looking great for less, revisit our first money-saving blog.

If you’re interested in any Bury Hill product or service listed in this blog, please call our team on 01306 877 540 for more information, or use our postcode delivery finder to receive an estimated price for your order.