Month: July 2018

  eco friendly garden When it comes to ensuring that your garden is eco-friendly, there are a variety of ways that you can create a self-sustaining environment that will not only reduce waste but is also more reliant on renewable energy, too. Not only will your garden look better, but local wildlife will be more attracted to your garden thanks to the range of habitats available to them right outside of your door.  

Here are some tips for you to create your own eco friendly garden.

 

Attracting Wildlife

Whether you’re more of a bug avoider than enthusiast, there’s no denying that insects are extremely important to our ecosystem. However, there are many bugs that can be harmful to garden plants. Instead of reaching for chemical-laden bug control, there are many bugs that can help to reduce the populations of harmful bugs. Ladybirds, for example, eat aphids such as the common blackfly. If you have an aphid infestation, you should consider planting flower borders that contain sunflowers, marigolds and candytuft to help attract the good bugs and minimise damage to your garden.  

Conserve Extra Water

Water conservation is essential, particularly if you have a large garden which frequently needs watering. You can easily save any excess water with the help of water butts. These can be added onto downpipes and come in a range of materials and styles to add to your garden, from the more traditional plastic green tubs to larger weathered oak barrels. Other ways you can save water is by removing the sprinkler from your garden – plants and flowers prefer to be watered at the roots, rather than on the leaves. Other tips include buying large plant pots (as they don’t dry out as quickly) and don’t cut the grass too low in warmer weather.  

Set Up A Compost Bin

The process of composting is not only an important supplement to have in your eco friendly garden, but it is a great way to make sure that your garden is getting all of the nutrients it needs to grow. As well as being beneficial to the environment, it also reduces the stress on your wallet, as you won’t need to keep buying compost or soil.   To set up your compost bin, collect compostable materials such as fruits, vegetables, tea bags/leaves and eggshells, coffee grounds and any weeds from the garden. Avoid using meat or fish, as this will attract flies and other unwanted pests, potentially damaging your garden and plants. Once you have gathered your compost, spread it over a partly sunny spot in your garden. When the weather is right, the compost will encourage bugs which make compost into the pile. Your compost will be ready in six to nine months, so whilst a timely investment, it is a worthwhile one.  

Consider Companion Planting

Often, the most beautiful and healthy gardens are those with a large and diverse mixture of plants. Certain plant combinations are said to help one another and boost vitality and growth in your garden. For example, marigolds are said to help discourage unwanted flying insects from plants. Keep in mind that whilst some plants make a great pairing, some couplings do not mix well together and can often hinder the growth of your plants.   Some great combinations to consider are chives and tomatoes, as the scent of the chives deter aphids from ruining your tomatoes and roses and garlic, as the garlic acts as a natural pest repellent, as well as flowering lovely purple flowers. Companion planting is a great way to avoid using chemical pesticides and help to add to the working system of your eco friendly garden.  
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  5 Flowers To Grow In Your Garden When it comes to picking which flowers to grow in your garden, the options available can seem overwhelming. What works in some gardens may not work in others and the choices you make can depend on a variety of different things. Growing plants and flowers can be time-consuming so before you set out to buy a pack of seeds or seedling plants, look through our suggestions of the best 5 flowers to grow in your garden.  

5 Flowers To Grow In Your Garden

 

Sunflowers

Sunflowers are the sign of summer and there are many different blooms you can choose from. They come in different sizes, colours and heights and will add an interesting focal point to your garden. Sunflowers are also a great choice of flowers to grow if you have children – they’ll love planting them and following them as they grow taller throughout the summer holidays.  

Wallflowers

If your garden has poor soil, then wallflowers are the perfect flowers to grow. This English classic is lightly scented and will look good anywhere in the garden. Wallflowers are easy to grow and like the sun and the shade. Whether you choose to grow them in plant pots or around the edges of your garden, you’ll be adding some lovely splashes of colour to your outdoor space.  

Sweet Peas

Sweet peas are one of the most popular flowers to grow in gardens. Famed for their scent and colours, they are extremely easy flowers to grow in the garden and can be grown straight from the seed or from an already sprouting plant. If you have children, sweet peas are a great way to introduce them to gardening, as they attract bees, wildlife and can be picked to place in vases around the home.  

Marigolds

Marigolds are a great choice of flower to grow in the garden, whether you choose to grow them in pots or straight from the soil. Marigolds are sure to brighten up your garden with their lovely golden colour and, if you have a vegetable patch or allotment, they will act as a natural pest control. Their bright colour will attract bees, which are an added benefit if you’re looking to help your other flowers and vegetables bloom and grow.  

Poppies

Traditionally, red poppies are classed as a weed and will grow anywhere that soil has been disturbed. There are many different sorts of poppies and they are very easy to grow, you don’t need to be a garden expert to grow them! As poppies are self-seeding, once you start to grow them in your garden they will return for many years to come.
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Is your conservatory the inviting and cosy area that you envisioned it would be? A lot of people are underwhelmed with the general feel of their conservatory, with dated decor, tired windows and doors and a lack of style. There are plenty of conservatory makeover ideas that are sure to transform the space and create an inviting living area.  

5 Conservatory Makeover Ideas

 

Add a Natural Element

Conservatories are designed to let in natural light. Many plants, such as citrus plants and orchids, thrive in the warmer conditions that conservatories offer. By bringing nature indoors, you will create a lavish natural area. The look, scent and freshness that indoor plants offer is guaranteed to enhance your mood, whilst also creating a vibrant living area.  

Choose a Welcoming Minimalist Style

White is perhaps one of the most contemporary interior design colour. Transform your conservatory by fitting white blinds to your windows, adding in key pieces of white furniture and by painting any interior walls white. This conservatory makeover idea will modernise any space, especially when combined with subtle colour accents.  

Add Some Homely Touches

The conservatory is an extension of your home, so make it truly comforting by adding in floral fabrics and wallpaper. By including warmer tones, you will ensure that your conservatory looks and feels welcoming all year round. Comfortable furniture, such as rattan pieces, is a key element for a comforting space. Add in a couple of personal touches, such as a vintage dresser or a play box for children, to round off the comforting, homely style. Making your conservatory more homely is one of the most important conservatory makeover ideas and one which will make having a conservatory much more worthwhile.  

Change Your Flooring

By default, many conservatories have tiled floors, which can make the space feel cold and unwelcoming in the colder months. By fitting plush carpets, you’ll provide warmth and comfort to your conservatory, which is sure to be welcome in the winter. Another way to change your flooring is to use wooden or laminate flooring. If your conservatory runs directly from your kitchen, matching the flooring is a great way to extend your living space. If you want to add a warming element to wooden or laminate floors, then a deep-pile carpet will give you the feel of a carpet without the expense.  

Add a Touch of Tropical

If you’re looking for something a little different from the traditional conservatory makeover ideas, then give your conservatory a modern twist with bold prints and bright shades. Rattan furniture is the choice of conservatory furniture, as it will help to keep the space comfortable. Add in some colourful blinds, or illuminate your space with multi-coloured lanterns. Big, leafy plants will complete the tropical look, along with finishing touches in the form of soft and colourful furnishings, such as cushions, blankets and rugs.
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When you have children, often the back garden can become less of a relaxing haven and more of a play area. Trying to find the right balance to suit all the family’s needs can be a little tricky, but you don’t have to let your garden be overrun by children’s toys. Here are some great family friendly garden ideas to transform your outdoor space into a paradise for all the family.  

Our Favourite Family Friendly Garden Ideas:

 

Keep it Natural

You don’t often have to buy specific items for children to play with. Get creative and make simple play areas for them using natural materials. Tree stumps make a great seating area or fairy house, or place stepping stones across the grass and let children paint or decorate them.  

Lay Some Grass

Not only does it look good, but grass is the perfect area for playing on. As well as providing a soft landing for practising handstands and cartwheels, it makes a great football pitch or just a place for kids to sprawl on. If you want surrounding flower borders, then choose easy-maintenance plants, such as Alchemilla mollis and Choisya ternata, that will remain standing after trampling and ball games. If you don’t fancy real grass turf, then why not invest in some good quality artificial grass? It’s maintenance-free and long-lasting.  

Create a Sensory Area

If you’re looking for family friendly garden ideas, then encourage your children to enjoy everything that the garden has to offer by stimulating their senses. Bright flowers, such as calendula, sunflowers and swiss chard, are good for stimulating sight. Rustling long grasses and seed heads are lovely to sit and listen to in those rare quiet moments and fun smells from plants and herbs, such as mint and chive, will stimulate the taste buds.  

Include a Family Seating Area

Having an area where the whole family can sit and relax or enjoy dining outside in the summer is a must-have for a family garden. Outdoor sofas or a rattan table and chair set are great options for families – they look better and last longer than plastic garden furniture and will provide year-round seating. For a more laid-back seating style, invest in some bean bags or large cushions so that children can sit down and lounge where they like.  

Add In Some Quirky Paths

If it has wheels, then kids usually love it. Including a hard surface in your garden, such as decking or paving, gives children a place that they can cycle, roller-blade or scoot. Whilst a standard patio is great, if you want to be more adventurous then consider a curved path. A path which winds and loops around the garden is much more fun than a straight path and can be the inspiration behind a lot of races and games.  
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