Browsing Category: "Home and Gardening"

Could These Backyard Tools Revolutionize Your Gardening Experience?

We all know how demanding do the gardening can be on our time and our bodies. So it’s great when new tools come along and make the job easier. Here are some tools that will revolutionize your gardening experience.

Self-Watering Container

If you’ve got a plant nursery in your backyard, you know how much effort it can take to maintain. You have to remember to get up and water it every day, depending on the weather. And it can take up a lot of time. Sure, it might be a labor of love, but why not make that labor a little easier? Earthbox has started making a product that does just that. It’s a self-watering container that waters plants throughout the day through a reservoir. What’s more, it makes sure that the soil remains evenly moist throughout, preventing roots from getting soggy.

Compost Tumbler

Do you lament the fact that you have to wait for months to get great compost from your compost bin? You’re not alone. The reason it takes so long is that there’s nothing to speed up the reaction. It takes a while for worms and bacteria to penetrate all the material, and it can be frustrating.

[Photo courtesy of Bev Wagar/flickr.com]

But there’s a rather ingenious solution: compost tumblers. These are essentially big barrels on stilts, with a handle for turning. Put the compost in the barrel and turn it every few days to mix up all the material inside. Now you’ll only have to wait a couple of weeks to get rich, beautiful compost.

Seated Lawn Mower

Unless you’ve used a seated lawn mower, you won’t fully appreciate the difference that it can make to your gardening. If you’ve got a big yard, seated lawn mowers are practically an essential. But they’re also perfect for people who have health issues or find it difficult to get around. There are many different manufacturers to choose from. And there are loads of suppliers who provide Schluter, Honda, and John Deere mower parts to keep them running.

[Photo courtesy of SeppVei/wikipedia.org]
Easybloom Plant Sensor

If you’re just starting out with gardening, a great tool is the Easybloom plant sensor. This little device looks a bit like a stake. All you have to do is push it into the ground and leave it in your garden for a few days. During that time, it’ll collect lots of data about the environment. It will measure the amount of sunlight and moisture in that part of the garden.

[Photo courtesy of Alvesgaspar/wikipedia.org]

You can then upload all those data onto your PC via USB. Once you’ve got the data, you can then go to the Easybloom website to find out what plants are suitable for those conditions. In other words, get science to tell you what to plant!

Gardening Apron

Perhaps the most useful tool in your arsenal is the gardening apron. This is usually a little apron you can wear around your middle to store all your tools and whatever else you might need. It’s a great timesaver because it stops all those trips back and forth across the garden to collect various implements. Now you can take your trowel, pruners, seeds and camera wherever you go.

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Sizzling Summers and Cosy Winters: Make Your Garden a Sanctuary For All Seasons

A garden is often our sanctuary. It’s our own little bit of private outside space in a world so full of people. It’s somewhere you can relax on your own, or share with friends when you are entertaining. It can bring joy when you see things you have planted flourish and grow. It may be a space where you read, write or paint. Or perhaps it’s where your children play in the fresh air. It’s important to put as much care into your garden as you do into the interior of your home. Below are some tips on how to make your garden a sanctuary for all seasons.

relaxing, garden, countryside

[Photo courtesy of Torsten Dettlaff/pexels.com]

Lighting

No matter how small or large your garden you’ll need a few different lighting options. In the summer you can bask in the glory of natural daylight and blissful summer sun. But as dusk falls you’ll still want to enjoy that outside space. Illuminate your garden with some elegant outdoor solar lighting. Solar lights work by generating daylight as their energy source and then storing that power until night falls. You’ll then be blessed with warm light until the sun rises again. You can buy solar wall lights, lanterns and stake lights to create all different styles in your garden. They are great if you are entertaining outside in the evening and are also useful if you have pets that need to be let outside at night. If you have decking, you may want to install lighting into the foot of the decking for a glamorous look in your garden. You can also consider LED lighting for the prettiest of twinkling white lights. While you are designing your garden also think about whether you want to install a security light too. Your aim is to create an enchanting ambience in your garden through the power of lighting.

[Photo courtesy of Pezibear/pixabay.com]
Chiminea

While your garden is ultimately a peaceful refuge, there may also be times that you want to entertain. Having friends over for barbeques and outdoor get togethers is a great way to get back to nature. Having a pretty chiminea in your garden works well both in the summer and winter. Check out this great guide on how to buy chiminea. A chiminea is not only a super heat source but also a delightful focal point for your garden. They add glowing embers and ambience and create much-needed warmth as night falls on your garden. The word chiminea originates from the Spanish word for chimney. Not only are they used to be aesthetically pleasing in your garden, but they are also wonderful for cooking! If you buy a cast-iron chiminea, you will be able to cook pizzas, bake bread and sizzle up steaks and chops. Adding a chiminea to your garden is the perfect accessory for the ultimate in outdoor dining.

Flowers and Plants

You’ll also want to add colour and texture to your garden by planting flowers and shrubs. Before you start planting why not read my post on how to keep bugs at bay. Your choice of flowers and plants will be dependent on the season. For summer choose easy, colourful flowers such as Aster, Gloriosa Daisy and Dahlias. Make your garden a vivid sanctuary of beautiful blooms. You can also use plants and flowers to create much-needed shade in the summer. In the winter choose plants such as Winter Aconite, Heavenly Bamboo and Red-Barked Dogwood. Think about the colours you want to create. Greens and reds look magical in the winter and yellows and pinks look beautiful in the summer.

[Photo courtesy of Unsplash/pixabay.com]

Now all that’s left to do is bask in your blissful outside sanctuary, no matter what the season.

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Sick of Nosy Neighbours? Tips For Making Your Back Garden More Private

Spending time in the garden and relaxing is what summer is all about. But it can be annoying when your garden is overlooked and you don’t have privacy, when all you want to do is prance about in your bikini and sunbathe. Luckily there are a few things you can do to stop your garden being so easy to peer into!

Add Higher Fencing

If you currently only have low fences and hedges in your garden, adding taller fencing will immediately make it more private. Go with a fence that’s at least six feet tall, you can then add trellis along the top to heighten it further. Alternatively you could go with custom screen fencing from reputable fencing contractors for a more decorative and aesthetically pleasing look. If you only have one area which you need to block for privacy, you could opt for some lattice panels. They’re inexpensive, and climbing plants like ivy will soon cover them over if you carefully place some nearby.

Screens covered in climbing plants can be useful for privacy
Grow Trees and Plants

Trees, plants and hedges can be a good way to make your garden more private while still maintaining a very natural look in the garden. If privacy is an issue that you want sorting as soon as possible you’ll want to choose fast growing plants- bamboo, cypress and thuja are good options. They can grow a matter of several feet in the space of a year so can quickly grow into a great privacy screen. You could opt to buy fast growing plants that are already established, so that way you have less time to wait for them to grow as tall as you need.

Utilize ‘Blind Spots’

If only part of your garden is overlooked, consider moving the main seating area or garden furniture to a more private spot. That way when you’re sitting out there you have peace of mind that people can’t see in. You could even create a second patio or seating area if you have a ‘blind spot’ in the garden, and choose to sit there when you want more privacy.

Make Use of Furniture

Having a big parasol put up over your seating area will block the view from anyone looking down from the first floor windows. Alternatively you could opt to put up a gazebo or pergola and encourage climbing plants to grow around it, which will obscure the view for people looking into your garden. You could even go a step further and use bamboo screens or cleverly place tall pots of flowers or potted trees to give you even more privacy.

Try a gazebo for privacy

Next time you’re having a family barbeque, sunbathing or just relaxing outside there will be no need to worry about nosy neighbours using these tricks! Having a garden that’s secluded and not overlooked can even add value to your property too, so have a think about what you’re able to do in the space you have.

Do you have any tips for making your back garden more private?

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Keep Gardening Even With A Bad Back

Whether you want to add value to your home or want to grow your own produce, gardening is a fantastic hobby to have. It helps to make your backyard look amazing, and it can be an excellent stress reliever. Gardening has also been found to help strengthen and tone our bodies because of the physical activity it involves. But if you suffer from a bad back that causes you pain, you may find it difficult to complete a number of gardening tasks. Thankfully there are things you can do to reduce your back pain while still helping your garden to flourish. Read through these tips to get started.

Buy specialist tools

There are a number of specialist tools you can buy to make gardening work easier on your back. Trowels with long handles allow you to remain standing while still tending to your plants and flowers. The tools you currently use may have extension pieces you can buy that prevent you from bending or stretching too. Gardening stools that are portable and provide cushioning are another item you should buy.

As well as stretching you also need to be careful of lifting heavy loads, which can cause further back complaints. Trade in your watering can for a hosepipe to water your plants and invest in a lightweight wheelbarrow. Just remember not to put too many items inside the wheelbarrow at once and make multiple lighter trips instead.

[Photo courtesy of Ofer El-Hashahar/flickr.com]

Install raised flower beds

To prevent you from bending awkwardly or overstretching, install raised flower beds into your garden. These can enhance the look of your garden by making your plants and flowers more prominent. But more importantly, they allow you easy access to plant and weed from a seated position. This can give your back a much-needed rest, as well as being more gentle on your joints. There are many ways in which you can raise your flower beds and ensure they still compliment your yard. Head to your local gardening center and ask them for advice on how to get started. They may be able to build and install your new raised beds for you too.

Ask for help

If you find that certain gardening tasks such as mowing the lawn or weeding cause you significant pain, you should always ask for help. Even though you will want your yard to look its best, it’s not worth making your condition worse. Ask friends and family to assist you with these jobs while you continue you something less strenuous. Your neighbors might also be willing to do some gardening for you. Another option is to hire gardening or lawn services to help you with these difficult tasks. You can tell them which jobs you enjoy doing and which ones you would like them to complete for you. That way you can still enjoy spending time outside practicing your hobby.

So don’t let your bad back stop you from creating the garden of your dreams. You just need to be safe and smart about the tasks you can and cannot do. For more guidance and advice, talk to your doctor about how to control your condition more effectively.

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