Month: November 2017

A blue tit - a common British garden wildlife - is at the centre of this image, perched on a log. Winter is a time where your garden may seem very lifeless. But, that is only because the life is hidden away. Birds, mammals and insects all need to work extra hard during the winter months in order to survive the seriously low temperatures. With that in mind, what can you do to help wildlife weather the cold spurts during 2017’s winter holidays?

Ponds

Frogs, newts and toads will likely be the wildlife that benefits most from your pond over chilly months. They tend to winter beneath logs, leaf piles, stones or even plant pots. The mud at the bottom of your pond is also a popular spot to keep warm and well away from any frost. To help them, you can stop your pond from freezing over by floating a tennis ball in it. This prevents complete oxygenation and means that the frogs at the bottom are much less likely to suffocate. A rock pile is also a good addition to any pond, as it provides additional shelter from temperature lows.

Bird Feed

Autumn and winter is the time of year when you can most expect a feathered visitor to your garden. Their natural source of worms and insects dry up in the winter, due to hibernation, so they rely on garden bird feeders greatly. Leaving bird food such as seeds, nuts, fruit and other supplements is the best way to help your feathered friends. If you don’t have a bird table or feeder, then leaving seeds on the leaves of shrubs is also an option. You can expect to see some rarer birds as a result; such as waxwings, blackcaps, bullfinches and even red wings. The classic Robin and blue tit will also, undoubtedly, make an appearance.

Twigs

Insects, while not everyone’s favourite garden wildlife, have a hard time over winter. So, hibernating is the only sensible solution for these delicate creatures. Bees dig into the soil or hide in leaf piles, whereas butterflies, moths and spiders can be more often than not found hiding in a garage. Loose bark becomes a safe haven for ladybirds and lacewings. To survive the winter, insects need protection from the icy cold. You can give this to them by creating effective nooks and crannies in your garden space. Creating twig piles and leaving sponges soaked in sugar water are also popular ways to help your resident bugs.

Nest Boxes

Birds don’t hibernate over winter, so keeping warm is vital to their survival. Especially during the long and sometimes brutally cold winter nights. A nest box won’t be used for the traditional rearing of chicks as they are in winter, however, you may find that some birds will bunker down overnight in winter to maintain warmth. To help with this you can clean out the box from the Spring nesting in order to give them their best chance overnight. You may find that any cover you use to protect your outdoor furniture becomes a bug hotel during the colder months. This isn’t a worry, as you can easily wipe down and clean your wicker furniture come Spring. The high quality of the pieces means that they can easily help your garden furniture during the winter while serving as the perfect social space for you and your family during the summer.   For more information regarding our range, either fill out our contact form or get in touch with a member of the team on 0161 834 1795. It’s never too early to start planning your summer garden!

Stress is something most people deal with daily, it can stem from many situations such as work, family, and finance. Ignoring stress never works, most situations usually just build up and become worst so having a hobby help people de-stress and get on top of the issue at hand. Gardening is a great way to get rid of stress, it increases your concentration of the matter at hand and at the same time gives you a great looking garden. It’s a win/win situation so here are reasons you should take up this therapeutic hobby.

Destress with gardening

Attracting Nature

With a beautiful garden comes beautiful birds visiting, listening to the sound of birds in your garden is a great way to de-stress and enjoy watching their daily antics. The two easiest ways to attract birds is setting up a seed dispenser and birdbath, you’ll be surprised how affordable bird baths are.

Add Your Personality to the Garden

Some people love having flowers all over their garden, others might find they’re too high maintenance and just enjoy a neatly cut lawn. However, we can all agree that having a perfectly selected choice of rattan conservatory furniture will always improve the garden experience. Having furniture in the garden is always help so you can sit down and appreciate the hobby you’ve turned into a work of art.

Keep it Fun!

Some people find gardening to be a chore, we must avoid this or it’ll just become an extra stress factor. Look at your garden and ask yourself what you would like to see it turn into. If you set a personal goal then it’ll keep the gardening fun! Importantly you don’t need to set timed targets it’s a hobby, not a race!

Leave the Phone in the House

Pleasent picture of gardening in the summer Mobile phones can factor in for stress, so leaving your phone in the house and not thinking about what’s buzzing will help your gardening time become peaceful. Taking a phone outside you’ll find yourself sat on the grass scrolling through losing out on all your gardening time.

BBQ

So, after all, your gardening you find yourself awarded a clearer stress-free mindset, but that isn’t tangible. To show off the new garden invite friends and family around to compliment you on your hobby, plus I’m sure the smell of BBQ food will always help lose a little more stress. Having a communal area outside with a garden will be a great goal to achieve and create some fun memories. Don’t worry it doesn’t have to be the most expensive BBQ set up most people are just happy with the free meal. Although this won’t be everyone’s ideal hobby to de-stress, a lot of people do it and it works and also can become something you take pride in and enjoy to talk about and that all help reduce stress.

pexels-photo-279366 For many, the coming of winter means the closing down of your conservatory. Without the sun it seems a cold place, not the warm retreat that it is through the winter months that makes it perfect for days relaxing in your comfy wicker furniture. However, does it have to be this way? A conservatory is a valuable commodity to your home and should be usable on a year round basis. So, what can you do to make your conservatory that little bit more habitable in Winter 2017?

1) Insulate

Now, if you are working backwards this can be easier said than done. As insulating your conservatory after it has already been built can be difficult. If you have bought a house with a particularly cold conservatory, then this can be a difficult discovery to make. However, if you have invested in a brick roof, double (or even triple) glazing, from day one then you will have a head start. Added insulation in any walls your conservatory also has does help, as well as the inclusion of your central heating into the room. It can be costly to heat up – as heat simply escapes through the windows – so be sure to watch energy consumption when you are keeping the room warm.

2) Blinds and Rugs

For a little bit of extra heat – and style – you should invest in both blinds and rugs. Blinds help to insulate your windows better, keeping the cold at bay in winter and in summer can even make the space cooler by blocking some of the sun. A rug is also the best possible solution to issues you may be having with cold floors. Conservatory floors often feel as icy cold as the ground outside in the winter, which seems almost inevitable when it comes to a room that is all windows and hardly any brick work. A rug or even full carpeting can help to make your floor space feel more comfortable and much less chilly overall.

3) Decorate

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, decorating your conservatory so that it is fit for a magical winter is the best use of the space. After all, creating a winter wonderland is one of the best uses that the space could have. Invest in lots of stringed decorations to use in your windows for a beautiful effect, with added use of fake snow to make the most of such an expansive canvas. If you can string lights around the expanse of your conservatory then this is also a great way to bring the Christmas spirit to the space. This could even be the perfect place to house your Christmas tree, especially if you do not quite have the space in other areas of your home. If you do not yet have a set of comfortable seating, then be sure to invest now in order to make the most of the space this winter. You could even buy outdoor furniture; perfect for use in your conservatory during winter and able to be moved outdoors during the warmer months. The versatility of the furniture means that it is an investment that you will be able to make the most of year round.

4) Entertain

When having a party every bit of space is vital, so why not make use of your conservatory this winter when it comes to entertaining? If you are worried about the warmth, gather enough people and the residual body heat alone will help to heat the space.   Still not quite sure how you can bring new life to your conservatory this winter? Browse our collection of premium Desser & Co wicker furniture for a number of ideas, or alternatively call our team on 0161 834 1795 to make an enquiry.

Wicker is commonly regarded as a material; however, this is not the case. Wicker is a term given to a group of natural or man-made materials that are woven in a specific way – these materials include natural and synthetic options such as cane, rattan, willow, reed, reed, rush, resins, vinyl and splints to name a few. When the word wicker is used, it relates exclusively to the weaving process for which the materials are then sculpted into the furniture. During this process, natural materials are wet, making them easier to work with when the weave takes place. Despite this technique being an ancient handcrafted practice, it is today applied to natural materials and used for the mass manufacture of quality indoor and outdoor furniture. The wicker pattern that is most commonly used makes the finished product firmer and sturdier than furniture produced using other production techniques. So how is it made? Well, let’s find out…

How is Wicker Furniture Made?

Opera Desser Furniture Weave In an ideal scenario – albeit a slower one – the process of weaving either natural or synthetic materials should be done by hand. The amount of time taken to create a finished piece will vary massively depending on how complex the piece is; typically, however, most wicker furniture suites are made within 45 days of the project start date. A general rule of thumb is that the tighter the weave, the longer it will take to finish the product as there, of course, is more detailing going into the piece. Generally, it is also more expensive to make furniture that features a tighter weave since you will need more materials to fill in the frame. Typically, the process starts with a creation of a metal frame that outlines the shape of the suite. The structure is made from the ground up with the base wicker layer being made first so that the sides and top can all be intertwined accordingly. Depending on the material, it may be soaked thoroughly so it can be manipulated into the place the designer wants, meaning that it becomes much easier to weave with other strands or pieces of material. Each strand is laid next to each other and the maker begins by creating the weave around the frame, creating a weave which is layered one by one to build the full wicker effect. This is then dried out section by section until it forms a solid and durable structure. Close up of the Desser Dijon Wicker Weave In addition to the weaving process mentioned above, the materials are also known to go a series of processes which may include two or more of the following:
  • Deburring
  • Sanding
  • Painting
  • Lacquering
The key is to know what material you’re working with and how best to work with it. It is a long and complex task to master but one that is highly rewarding. As this can be a long hard process, it is much quicker and easier to simply purchase a new range from a company such as ourselves who have many years of experience in producing high-quality wicker furniture.

A picture of dying flowers on a grey background, with snow dusting the top of flower to depict winter. Winter isn’t the best time of year for your garden or it’s various pieces of outdoor furniture. The cold winter makes many people retreat indoors, leaving both neglected over the long winter months. But why should that be the case? Rather than forgetting that your garden exists, what can you do to make the most of the space in the winter months?

Stargazing

The weather may be colder but – barring the occasional storm – the skies are never clearer. Meaning that you can enjoy some quality stargazing during the winter months. Uncover your rattan furniture and lie back for the best views of the night sky, just be sure to wrap up well beforehand!  

Wildlife

Robins, hedgehogs and even the occasional dormice. The wildlife in your garden over the winter months will be much less than in summer and spring, as the animals also choose to retreat to warmer boroughs and hideaways. However, though you may see them less it does not mean they will not be there. The fact is, lots of small critters and animals will also be languishing in the less vibrant surroundings of your garden over the winter months. Which means that anything you can do for them you should, as many will not make it through the long winter months. So, what can you do? Simple things can really make a difference:
  • Leave areas of leaves and overgrown patches untouched, as many animals will be able to burrow in these or take them for extra warmth.
  • Put out bird feeders for feathered garden life.
  • For mammals, put out cat food and other similar meat to keep foxes, badgers and hedgehogs happy.
  • If your pond freezes over, be sure to break the ice, otherwise pond life will struggle to breathe.
  • Provide fresh water daily and replace anything that becomes frozen.
Overall, winter can make your garden seem less vibrant but helping wildlife to flourish in the colder months can bring this feeling back.

Plan Your Spring Growth

Making a start on your spring and summer growth plans during the end of the year is essential, as it gives you time to prepare the garden for it’s most bountiful time of year. Which is why though your garden may look at its most uninhabitable, you could actually be in the space more than ever. From resoiling important areas of your garden to planting spring bulbs, there are a lot of important tasks for you to spend your winter making the most of.  

Firepits

Just because snow dusts the grass it doesn’t mean that your barbecue should also be suffering the same fate. To make sure that outdoor gatherings happen year round, no matter the chill, invest in a fire pit or other types of outdoor heating. This way you can guarantee that your guests are toasty warm, as well as make the garden that much more usable year round. A fire pit can be an inexpensive option for garden heating, as you could even build it yourself using a number of rudimentary supplies. But despite its simplicity, it can create a social hub in the space that makes your garden perfect no matter the temperature.   If you need seating to make your winter garden as comfortable as possible, then don’t hesitate to fill out our contact form or talk to a member of the team here at Desser & Co on 0161 834 1795 for expert advice.