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Making The Most Of Your Garden With The Least Effort

Image credit – Pixabay.com License CC0

Whether you have a large garden or a small one, time seems to be a factor when it comes to taking care of it. If you want to enjoy the outdoor spaces that adjoin your home, you will have to be prepared to put in a great deal of effort to manage the upkeep of them. With lawns that will need mowing weekly, through to plant beds that need watering and weeding, there is always something in your garden that will keep you busy and eat into your valuable relaxation time. 

If the main purpose of your garden is to relax and socialize, and you don’t feel as though you are able to do that because of the amount of upkeep involved, here are a few tips to help you get the most of your garden for the least amount of effort. 

Keeping Your Lawn In Trim

Your lawn will no doubt need to be mowed every week during the summer months. This can be a massive hassle that nobody wants to deal with. Your lawn is a great space that you should be able to enjoy without having to spend all of your spare time looking after it. There are a couple of options to save you time and effort. Firstly, if you want to keep real grass in your garden, think about having your lawn fully levelled and make sure that all of the edges and flat and straight. This will make running the mower around it a much easier task. When it comes to mowing the lawn, the hardest work is often dealing with difficult corners or uneven patches. 

Another option would be to get artificial grass fitted. Have a look at this astro turf in Basingstoke to see what you can do with your lawn. You won’t ever need to water or mow it, meaning that you will always have perfect-looking grass, whatever the season. 

How To Plant Flowers Without The Effort

If you want flowers and bushes but you don’t want to deal with the weeding, one option for you would be to use planters and line your paths and patios with them. You can move them around easily without the need to dig up the plants inside, and you will find that they are less prone to weeds. If you use mulch around the base of the plants too, this will protect them further. 

Think about planting hardy perennials such as hydrangeas or peonies as these will need less effort when it comes to planting your garden next year. Bushes and topiary can offer a great additional level and provide colour too. 

Making Your Garden Space Perfect For Socializing

If you want to host BBQs with friends and family, then you will want a patio or decked area set up. Decking can be easily maintained and will make your garden space ready to use when it comes to outdoor socializing season. Just add garden furniture, and line the edges with planters. 

This is a collaborative post

Nearly Spring – Time To Get In The Garden

Last year was supposed to be the year of the garden. We did get the patio and cover done which was a big job. We also got my raised bed completed. However, my vision of having a nice lawn and a new border near the fence didn’t come to fruition.
It’s nearly Spring so it’s nearly time to get out and get some hard work done.

Nearly Spring, Time For a New Border

This year I want to get the border next to the fence done. Last year we took out all the shrubs so we could plant fruit bushes. We bought the fruit bushes from Poundstretcher while they were on sale for 50p each. It should have been a great bargain but after putting them in a bucket to soak, I then totally forgot about for them for days probably more like weeks if I’m totally honest and they died. Our bargain turned into a complete waste of money!

I’m definitely going to get the fruit bush border completed this year.

new border coming soon!

The Lawn Needs Work

The lawn was completely neglected last year. It’s now in a terrible state and needs some love and attention. As soon as we get some dry days, we’re going to strim then mow the lawn.
When we moved in it looked lovely and we’re going to make it look that way again!

Look how nice our lawn was when we moved in!

lawn
Look at it now!

Patio Furniture

There is currently a mishmash of furniture on the two patios. We have a bed settee that’s seen better days but we have to keep it because Kaycee and Ella love sleeping on it in the summer. I’m going to cover it this year to make it look nice again.

All the other furniture, except for our big table, needs replacing. I love the look of rattan garden furniture sets but Ant’s not too keen so I’ve been searching online for an alternative.

I found a wooden 4 piece coffee set on Garden Camping that looks even better than the rattan sets I’ve seen. Every year I say that it would be lovely to sit out with Ant on a summer morning, having a coffee and watching the activity in the wildlife pond.
This set would be perfect at the side of our garden pond 🙂

Manhatten 4 piece coffee set from Garden Camping

Top Of The Garden

The top of the garden is going to be the biggest job of all. We cleared it last year with the help of our family but over Autumn and Winter, it’s got nearly as bad again.
It’s full of rubbish and all the plants/weeds/bushes etc that we cut down last year.

Our plan was to dig it over, plant some fruit trees and put down some lawn seed. I don’t know if we’re still going to do this but seeing as we’re going to be doing it last, we’ve got time to change our minds!

 

messy garden

it all feels a little overwhelming but we’ll get there!

 

Don’t Give Up On Your Garden Yet! Easy Ways To Enjoy Outdoor Living For Longer

Enjoy Outdoor Living For Longer

After months of anticipation, the summer has been and gone, and we’re hurtling towards autumn at a rate of knots. When it’s warm and bright outside, most of us love spending time in the garden, and the arrival of cooler climes can dampen our spirits. The good news is that you don’t have to give up on your garden just yet. Here are some easy ways you can enjoy outdoor living for longer.

Let there be light

As we approach autumn, it’s all too obvious that the nights are getting longer. It’s getting darker earlier, and there’s barely a drop of sunlight to be seen when the alarm goes off in the morning. There’s no way of adjusting the natural light, but it’s very easy to add more light to your garden. You can use lamps, uplighters, sunken spots or strings of bulbs to illuminate the area and give you a usable space even when sunset is upon you. If the kids are at school all day and they come home full of energy, they can still tear around the garden for a bit without you having to worry about them tripping over steps or goalposts in the dark.

lighting in the garden - easy ways to enjoy outdoor living for longer

Image from https://www.flickr.com/photos/wonderlane/9436463291

Keeping cosy

Even when it’s sunny, and the skies are bright, the cold can make it hard to endure afternoons or evenings in the garden. This is where heaters like those featured on patiomate.co.uk come in handy. Patio heaters are ideal for gardens of all sizes, and they come in a range of different shapes and styles. Wall-mounted heaters are great if you have small children and you’re worried about safety. You could also fit heaters inside the roof of a gazebo or opt for a rustic fire pit if you have older children or you have an adults-only section of the garden. If you’re warm enough, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy your garden all year-round.

outdoor heating

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/arabani/8720119294

Sheltering from the elements

If it’s absolutely pouring down outside, you probably don’t want to head out into the garden, but if there’s just a touch of drizzle around, you may fancy a change of scenery or some fresh air. You can make your garden more versatile and weatherproof by adding a shelter of some sort. You can choose from a permanent structure, such as a summer house, a log cabin or a gazebo or something like a retractable awning. Take a look at this page if you’re searching for more ideas https://www.pinterest.co.uk/explore/outdoor-shelters/?lp=true. If you can shelter from the elements, you can enjoy the views and the feeling of being outdoors without worrying about getting wet or cold.

summer house in the garden

Image by https://pixabay.com/en/summer-house-play-room-1580700/

If we had our way, most of us would spend as much time in the garden as possible. When colder temperatures and darker evenings arrive, it can be tougher to get outside, but there are ways you can make your garden more functional in the cooler months. Considering adding a shelter, light up your garden and install some heaters to keep you warm and cosy. 

 

Overgrown Again! Garden Update

Overgrown again!

It doesn’t seem that long ago since the family was last here helping in the garden. From the look of the garden today, you’d think it had never been done!

It’s getting overgrown at the top again and will soon be just as bad as it was but with the added pile of rubbish we created last time!
Ant’s been working hard on the cover over the patio. I’ve been too busy working to get out in the garden so it’s being left to grow as it pleases.

Hopefully, once Ant’s finished the patio cover, we’ll be able to find some time to clear the piles of stuff from the lawn and mow it. Just getting that job will make a world of difference.

patio cover

 

patio cover

The raised bed plants are doing really well. I hadn’t been out for a while and was surprised to see how much they were spreading and filling out.

raised bed

 

raised bed

 

raised bed

 

raised bed

 

raised bed plant

This is the area that was nearly cleared when the family last came up. Those blackberry bushes don’t give up without a fight!

overgrown again

 

overgrown again

 

Easy Ways To Make Your Garden Sustainable

Easy Ways To Make Your Garden Sustainable

Sustainability is a buzzword that’s making its way into all aspects of our lives. As environmental concerns become more immediate, everybody is looking for ways that they can be more responsible, and the garden is no exception. Creating a sustainable garden is a brilliant way to reduce your impact on the planet, but you can also build a beautiful outside space in the process. By following these simple steps, you can turn your garden into a sustainable paradise for relatively little money.

 

Recycled Materials

train planter making your garden sustainable

Pixabay

 

When you’re setting up your garden, you could buy everything brand new, but it’ll be more expensive and less eco-friendly. It’s also more fun to see what you can do with recycled materials. One common expense is wooden bordering that goes around the garden. For a cool alternative, why not try using old, decorative railway sleepers instead? They give the garden a great rustic look compared with the traditional wooden bordering, and it’ll be far cheaper as well.

 

You can also make lots of great furniture and planters out of old pallet crates. Don’t worry if you aren’t great with DIY, there are plenty of simple ways to do it that don’t require any expert knowledge or expensive tools.

 

Ditch The Grass

flowering ornamental grass

Pixabay

 

A nice lawn does make the garden look lovely, but it needs a lot of upkeep as well. You’re using lots of water and fertilizers to keep it looking like it does, but you don’t need to. There are lots of ornamental grasses that are easier to care for and use fewer resources. Maiden Grass is one of the greatest choices because it is easy to care for and drought resistant, so it needs hardly any watering.

 

Grow Your Own

 

Food production is one of the biggest contributors to environmental issues so growing your own in the garden is a great way to make yourself more sustainable. It will also save you a lot of money on groceries and make your meals tastier because homegrown vegetables are a lot nicer than what you get in the store. It’s fairly easy to grow root vegetables during the winter and when it gets a bit sunnier, try planting some herbs or chilis. Fresh herbs will elevate the flavor of your meals to the next level.  

 

Save Seeds

 

Most people will go to a garden center and buy packets of seeds every year. This is pretty silly really, considering they’re dropping off plants every year. Keep an eye on all of your flowers and when the seeds drop off, collect them up and dry them out on a windowsill. They’ll be ready to plant next year and you won’t have to keep buying more.

 

Compost

compost

Flickr

 

Reusing material is at the core of living a sustainable lifestyle. The best way to do that in your garden is to make compost. Instead of putting all of your food waste in the bin and sending it to landfill, put it into a compost bin instead. You’ll stop that waste, and you’ll also get some great compost for next year that will help the plants in your garden flourish.

 

These are all simple changes that you can make, but their impact is far greater than you realize.

This is a collaborative post

5 Tips to choosing the best shed for your property

Choosing The Best Shed

 

Having a great yard can be a wonderful privilege. Maintaining your yard and storing all the necessary equipment to have a well-manicured property can be quite a time-consuming endeavor and one that takes a great deal of diligence and persistence. It may be a challenge to find a place to store your lawn mower, edger, weed wacker, and hedge trimmer in your garage so many are resorting to investing in a shed. Sheds can be used for extra storage or as a workshop. If this sounds like an interesting idea, we have put together some tips on how to choose a shed for your property.

Space

Before you begin shopping for a shed it is important to measure your yard and the space in which you want to place it. It would be detrimental to purchase a nice shed and have it delivered only to find out that it does not fit the space that you intended to put it. Measure the space and take the dimensions with you when you go shopping. That way you can confirm with the shed company that the model you are interested in purchasing will in fact fit.

Needs

After you have determined how much space you have for your shed, you will then need to make a list of all the reasons you need the shed. This will shine a light on all the things you will use your shed for. You may find that you will use your shed for much more than storage and therefore you may need a bigger shed. On the contrary, you may find that you are not going to need as much space as you had once envisioned and you can then invest in a smaller model. It is important, however, to keep in mind that you may want to use the shed in the future so it is always better to get a bit larger than intended. You can always fill the space or find a way to use it.

garden shed

Budget

Simultaneously, you will need to determine your budget. Be sure that you have your finances in order and that you do not have to take out a loan to purchase your shed. If you have to take out a loan to buy the shed you have always wanted, be sure that you get a low-interest rate. It can be a drag to pay for a shed over a long period of time.

Decide On A Design

After you have determined your budget, the size of shed you need and how you will use it, you can then begin to research designs. There are many models on the market that can serve as storage or as a workshop. Some have a porch and some just have doors. Choosing a design can be fun but it can also be stressful. Make sure that the design you pick compliments your property and house. For example, if your house is red, you may not want to get a shed that is purple.

garden shed

Research Places To Purchase

After you have followed the initial 4 steps, you can now research companies in which to purchase your shed. Companies such as greenhousestores.co.uk have a huge selection and consistently get great reviews from customers because of their high-quality sheds and great customer service.

This is a collaborative post

Patio Pavers From The Range – Garden Update

New Patio

 

Ant wanted a pizza peel to go with the two pizza stones he bought from Asda last week so we nipped into The Range. He bought 2 because he wanted one to bake his bread on in the oven in the kitchen and one for the outdoor oven he’s going to be building 🙂
He didn’t get a pizza peel but I’m so glad we went because sitting outside the front entrance was a patio kit for £99.99.  We’ve been looking at all the different options for the new patio, including fake grass and decking but as soon as I saw the patio pavers kit, I knew it was what I wanted.

It was cheaper than any others we’d looked at places like B&Q and I loved the pattern. Ant wanted red pavers ideally because he loves the Spanish-style patios.

Chalice patio pavers

He had to make 2 trips to collect all the pavers. They would have exceeded the maximum weight for the car if he’d tried to bring them all at once.
I can’t wait to see them when they’ve been laid. Ant’s got lots to do before he can start laying them but he’s cracking on 🙂

patio pavers

Friendly Advice

I now have to tell you about this website I came across after we’d bought the pavers from The Range. It’s called Turnbull & Co and they specialise in garden paving and garden furniture.
I looked on the site at first to check out the furniture for the new patio. While there I thought I’d have a quick look at the paving.

My heart sank when I saw some red pavers, exactly like the ones Ant would have preferred and what makes it worse is that they were cheaper per square metre than the ones we bought at The Range.

So my little bit of friendly advice is to make sure you’ve done all your research before you splash the cash! Even with the delivery charge, we would have paid about the same and Ant would have had his red patio. I do love the ones we’ve picked but I’d have been just as happy with the red ones.

Garden Furniture

We haven’t decided exactly how the cooking area is going to be arranged on the new patio yet so we’re not sure what space is going to be left for patio furniture. I don’t know if we’re going to have a table set with chairs and benches or a rattan sofa and chairs set with a little coffee table.

rattan garden furniture
Sorrento Rattan Effect Furniture

patio table and chairs
Forest Garden Rosedene Table

Overgrown Garden

While having a wander around the garden I was shocked to realise how overgrown it really is at the top.  The brambles and butterfly bushes have taken over, making it virtually impossible to do anything up there.

It’s unrecognisable from the way it was when we moved in.

overgrown garden overgrown garden

I cheered up when I saw lots of apples growing on our lovely tree and some lily flowers that had opened. I’d totally forgotten that I’d planted them.

apples

Lillies

Ant’s started building the wall next to the fence. He’s going to start on the other wall soon so hopefully, next week’s update will show lots of progress 🙂

This is a collaborative post

Finished Raised Bed – Finally! :o) – Garden Update

Finished Raised Bed

 

When I saw raised beds on Pinterest, I knew I had to have one. We had some in our old garden but they were quite small. I wanted a high one. The super wonderful husband built me one and I absolutely LOVE it 🙂

It’s taken about a month to build it, fill it and plant it. It’s had to be fitted in with the hundred other things we’ve had to do. We also had to work around the weather. You can’t be mixing sand and cement in the rain!

I think the part I enjoyed the most was going shopping on Thursday for the plants and stones. I’d saved my vouchers from Mother’s Day for just this occasion.
We also picked up a unicorn ornament. Ella loves unicorns and we’re planning on making little fairy gardens all over the garden when we’re done. Ella said unicorns are magical like fairies 🙂

Before

Garden border before

After

Finished Raised Bed

Finished Raised Bed Finished Raised Bed Finished Raised Bed Finished Raised Bed Finished Raised Bed Finished Raised Bed Finished Raised Bed

We’ve left some holes in the brickwork at the front so we can put succulents in them and we’re going to get some more trailing plants to trail down down the front.

I love how rustic it looks. We didn’t want a perfectly built wall with new bricks. We’ve used realy old bricks from Ant’s mum’s garden.
I’m really happy with everything and I can’t wait until the plants start to fill out 🙂

A Garden Can Be A Lot More Than A Patch Of Grass

Not Just A Patch Of Grass

It’s a crisis that simply can’t be ignored! There’s an epidemic of underused gardens all over the country, and it’s a crying shame. A lot of people seem to believe that their garden is nothing more than a patch of grass and a place to occasionally enjoy the sun for a few minutes before going back inside. Well, that’s not something that’s going to stand. Here, we’re going to take a look at all the fantastic ideas you can use as a bit of inspiration to create a garden that’s worth the space it takes up.

hedgehog

Picture Credit

Your chance to connect to nature

It’s something that a lot of people bemoan from time to time. They feel like they’re surrounded by all the trappings of man and civilization and feel like they’re losing touch with the world of nature. It’s why so many people go hiking and camping. But you can lose that disconnect within the comfort of your own garden. Working on those green thumbs and cultivating your own bits of life is a big part of that. But even if you don’t want to, you can get closer to nature by creating a garden that serves as a great habitat for some local nature, too. Whether it’s installing a pond that provides a great place for frogs to spawn or a hedgehog house to give our spiky friends a winter home, there’s a lot you can do to invite nature into your garden.

A grocery store

You might like to get a little more use from your garden, yourself, never mind other creatures. It’s a habit that fell out of style big time, but now it’s coming back. More and more people are starting to grow their own food in their garden. There’s something to be said for the satisfaction of creating a meal that uses your own seasoning, never mind the money that can be saved on source truly the freshest ingredients on the market, plucking them straight from soil to pot.

fountain garden grass

Picture Credit

Your zen haven

Perhaps you don’t want to do all that work, however. There’s nothing wrong with that, some would prefer a place they can relax in. Although it’s outdoors, your garden could serve as one of the most relaxing places of the home, insulated from the outside world. Adding some hedges instead of fences can give you some great soundproofing for the garden, for instance. Meanwhile, the sound of water features has proven the perfect touch to make gardens all the more relaxing. You don’t need to go to the huge effort of creating a livable space, either. Having a tidy place to keep some deck chairs or even to hang a hammock can give you just the amount of space you need to lie back and relax.

A home away from home

When you have a rather full home or you’re used to having company, sometimes the house itself isn’t exactly the most relaxing space. If you want an area that’s a little more private, you don’t necessarily have to retreat to your bedroom. Instead, if you have space, why not consider the log cabins you can easily get fit in your garden? A summer house in your own garden can provide a great social hub when you have folks over, or it can be just the place to retreat to when you would like to do something like read a book or play some music without disturbing or being disturbed by the others in the house.

tea in the garden

Picture Credit

The perfect social spot

Of course, if socializing if your main objective, then doing it indoors isn’t always the best option. Especially in the heat of summer, you want a place where you can safely and cleanly enjoy the weather while making sure everyone has somewhere comfortable to sit and enjoy a drink or a meal. To that end, creating livable space in the garden isn’t all that difficult. If you’re willing to get hands-on, DIY raised decking can cost you a lot less than options like getting a patio installed. From there, it’s all about choosing the décor for your outdoor space. It’s as much of a “room” as anywhere inside the home. It’s a good idea to get an awning for the home so that the area’s a little more protected from the elements on most days as well.

A bit of brightness

Perhaps you’re not entirely bothered about how much time you actually spend in the garden. You might, however, see it as an opportunity to really show off your style to the world. Adding a bit of kerb appeal to the home isn’t just aesthetically pleasing, either. It can also add some genuine value to it, so if you were to ever consider selling, you might have a much easier time of it. Taking the time to add some vertical planters or to paint the front door and create a more welcoming entrance can really give the garden the look of the threshold of the home.

garden

Picture Credit

A summer night spot

When you think of spending time in the garden, the chances are that you’re imagining sunny summer and spring days. But some of us are more nocturnal creatures and the garden can be just as good for that. For instance, you can choose flowers perfect for a night garden like irises and lilies that seem to glow under the moonlight and the stars. But you can also make it a much more pleasing spot to enjoy the night by adding some external heating a little extra lighting. A garden can be the perfect place to spend on those clear, chilly nights just as summer’s starting to lead into autumn, enjoying earlier nights without having to go in earlier.

Whether you love gardening, having a place to spend some time, or the idea of creating your own little ecosystem, the garden is the best place for it. Hopefully, the tips above help you fall in love with what your garden can be, not what it is right now.

 

Gardening Party and BBQ For The Family

Gardening Party

 

Wow!

The weather this past week has been awesome! I’m actually quite surprised at how nice it’s been, what with a bank holiday weekend coming up. The weather people are telling me there’s more of this lovely sunshine to come so we’ve planned a BBQ and gardening party for the family.

We have lots of work to do in the garden, as you may well know if you’ve been reading my garden updates and we need help. There’s too much to get done on our own. I figured if we fed and watered the family, they’d come and give us a hand!

Brambles

As well as all the bushes to dig up….

Gardening party - bushes to dig up

the top part of the garden seems to have been taken over by a bramble.

I think it’s blackberry but I’m not 100% sure. It’s very sneaky, seemingly to have seeded itself and spread without our knowledge! Seriously, though, I was very surprised to see how big it is after only seeing a tiny plant just peeking through, last year! I dug some up when we were working up there on the shed and greenhouse but obviously I didn’t get it all.

It’s going to be a big job to cut it back and dig it up and it’s one I’m not looking forward to at all.

Brambles

Peach Tree

We have a peach tree that has some kind of infection. I believe it’s called peach leaf curl from what I’ve been able to find out on Google. I thought we were going to have to dig it up but it seems we can treat it in autumn using a fungicide spray.
Fingers crossed it’ll be back to good health next year Smile

Peach tree leaf curl

There are also 2 butterfly bushes to dig up. One of them was a Mother’s Day present some years ago. The other was a self-seeder that I ignored last year and is now just about taller than me!

Gardening party - butterfly bush

It’s going to be a busy, but hopefully, fun day Smile

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