Browsing Category: "Home and Gardening"

Enjoy Your Garden All Year With These 6 Tips

A lot of effort goes into gardening. We cut back, mow, weed, and prune. We water and fertilize plants, and then we repeat and do it all again. We nurture tiny seedlings until they bloom into sturdy flowers and vegetables. We put down bark to keep weeds at bay. And we put up netting and pellets to detract birds and pests.

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When it all dies away in the winter, the garden can look bare and dull. But there are several steps you can take to make the most of your garden throughout the year.

  1. Plan

The trick for planting an all-year-round garden is to plan. You need to carry out a little research. Look for plants that bloom at different times of the year. Perennial plants work well because they don’t die after one season. The flowers die away, but the roots remain active under the soil. They regrow year after year.

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  1. Cultivate All Weather Plants

Not all plants and flowers bloom only in the spring and summer months. Some do well in all weather, such as foxgloves, verbenas, and geraniums.

  1. Winter Blooming Plants

When choosing your plants, include some that bloom in the winter months. Examples are snowdrops, winter flowering pansies, and crocuses. In that lull after Christmas, it’s always cheery to see the first snowdrops and crocuses poking through the frozen earth.

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  1. Prepare Your Garden For The Next Season

Gardening is a year-long commitment. It’s not something that is confined to the spring and summer months. There is work to be done throughout the year, even in winter. Make sure you keep on top of maintenance tasks. Prune trees and dig over beds. Keep on top of weeds. Get your garden in good shape for the coming season.

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  1. Look For Inspiration

Visit public gardens and greenhouses for inspiration. Learn from the professionals by reading descriptions of the varieties of flowers that are growing. Ask for suggestions for your own garden. Most gardeners are only too willing to share their knowledge and advice.

Garden centers will also be able to offer advice. Their trade slows down during the winter months. They are always seeking ways to attract buyers during autumn and winter.

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  1. Create Shelter

Make the most of your garden throughout the year by building a shelter. This could be a simple canopy attached to your home. Or, it could be a more complex structure such as a gazebo. This will allow you to enjoy the garden throughout the year, despite the weather. You may need to wrap up and take a blanket. But there’s nothing nicer than sitting in the garden on a brisk autumn morning with a warm mug of tea. Canopies and gazebos are also useful during the summer months, as they provide some shade.

Gardens are not just for summer. With a little thought and planning, you can create a cheery space for all year. Don’t be ruled by the weather. Stagger your planting and opt for varieties that bloom at different times. Look for hardy perennials and enjoy the explosion of color during the long winter months.

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Is Your Home Summer-Ready?

Spring is drawing to a close, and summer is within touching distance. You may be thinking about spending lazy days in the garden, but is your home ready for summer? Here is an essential checklist to prepare you for the warmer months and ensure you’re all sorted and ready to relax in the sunshine.

Prepping your garden

Most of us get excited at the thought of spending free weekends in the garden. Are you planning to get friends and family around? Are you looking forward to playing with the kids in the open air? If so,  it’s a good idea to get your garden prepped and ready now. Start by having a good clear out and getting rid of any loose patio tiles, weeds, and dead leaves. Give decking and paved areas a sweep and then jet wash them clean. Mow your lawn on a dry day, and plant your seeds. When the weather warms up, dust down your patio furniture and give the barbecue a thorough scrub. If you’re eager to add some color or create an entertaining area, look for inspiration online. You can convert a modest decking area into a chic dining space. Add a rattan table and chairs set, some oversized lanterns and a couple of patterned floor cushions.

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Spring cleaning

Nothing prepares you for summer better than a good, old-fashioned spring clean. Now is the time to declutter. Tackle those boxes that have never been unpacked and be ruthless. If you have items that are in good condition, give them to charity, or organize a yard sale. Visit the tip and get rid of anything you don’t want. Once your rooms are clear, get your rubber gloves out and clean from top to bottom. Open the windows and let the fresh air in. You may not enjoy cleaning, but you’ll feel much better when it’s done. Pack away winter clothing to give you more closet space.

Maintenance checks
Before summer arrives, it’s a good idea to get any DIY jobs completed and to book some essential maintenance checks. Finish off painting jobs and put those shelves up in the spare room. Call a service man to carry out appliance repair, and book boiler and air conditioning checks. Replace broken appliances that cannot be salvaged. If you’re looking to save money on energy bills, go for products, which have a high energy rating. If you’re expecting hot weather, it’s particularly important to get air conditioning units serviced.

Interior design
If you fancy brightening up your home in time for summer, you don’t have to spend a fortune to make a difference. Invest in finishing touches, such as lamps, vases, and cushions to inject some color and give your home a new look. Look through some magazines for ideas.

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If your home is not quite ready for summer, don’t worry. You’ve got time to work through your to-do list. Investing time and effort now will enable you to put your feet up and enjoy the warm weather when summer arrives.

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Are You Really Getting The Most Out Of Your Garden? Here’s A Few Tips To Make Sure You Do

Our gardens can often be something we don’t think about. Until we want to sit out and use them. However, like any part of your home your garden should be very much a part of it. It should be a place that is an extension of your rooms. Somewhere that you can utilize all year round. So I thought it would be a good idea to share with you some tips and advice to make sure you get the most out of your garden.

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Do you have an area to sit and relax

Does your garden have different areas for different things? Perhaps. A lawned portion and some flower beds. These are all garden zones and most likely will have different features and plus points. But what most people require is a place to sit and relax. Somewhere you can enjoy the evening sun, or drink your morning coffee. If your garden hasn’t got particular zones, then it’s worth trying to create some. If you can create a space where you can sit and enjoy the garden. You will find that this part of the garden will be the place you use the most.

What do you want from your garden?

The next thing you need to do is decide exactly what you want to achieve from your garden. Do you want it to look appealing? Then you may want to read these 10 Quick Tips About Landscaping that will take your garden to the next level. If it’s more about having an entertaining space for friends and families, then make sure you have the right areas to do that in. If it’s a place where you want your kids to play safely, then think about all the aspects that need to go along with that. Once you know what you want from the garden, you will be able to create the perfect place for you. This means you will make more use out of it.

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Is there a place to store things

Some gardens can be a bit of a dumping ground for one thing or another, so this is where you may want to consider investing in a shed or space to store things. This will transform your garden almost straight away as you will be able to see what you have to work with. A shed could also become an outside room that you retire to from time to time. She sheds are becoming the new man caves.

Why consider alfresco dining?

Eating outside may not have been high on your priority list before but why wouldn’t you want to enjoy the good weather? Cooking outside on the BBQ and then enjoying the food you have prepared is one of the life’s simpler pleasures. The problem is you may not have an area to cook and eat in so if this is something you want to do more of then work on the garden to create it. A BBQ doesn’t take up too much space and all you need is a nice table and chairs to enjoy the food and drink on.

I hope these tips help you get more out of your garden.

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A Beautiful, Natural Garden Can Be Yours

There are plenty of ways to make a garden look stunning, without adding anything unnatural to it. If you want to keep your garden organic and beautiful at the same time we’ve got some great ideas for you to try. You can forget about adding a water feature or stone sculpture. Don’t bother with the stone path or the new lights. With our ideas your garden is going to look fantastic without any of this nonsense. So, where should you start?

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Make Sure The Grass Shines

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The best part of a beautiful, natural garden, is green lush grass. But we think you’re probably aware that not everyone gets this in their garden naturally. Either due to weather or other elements the grass in your garden might be looking a little worse for wear. Not to worry though because we’ve got the solution you need. The first thing that you should do is cut the grass nice and short. Preferably, you should cut it as short as possible. That way, it’s going to make your garden look bigger and more open. Once you’ve done this, you should sprinkle down some grass greener. Doing this, you should see some startling results in a couple of weeks. It’s the perfect solution if you’re grass has been scorched by the sun or marked by a pet. If you’re having trouble getting your grass to look healthy, speak to a landscaper. Landscaping professionals know exactly what to do to make difficult grass grow.

Add A Variety Of Flowers

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Next, we suggest you buy a whole variety of different flowers for your garden. You can choose different species and colours. Put them around the garden, framing the grass if you like. Or, simply add clusters of flowers around the garden by digging up the soil in areas and planting the seeds. If you do this, in no time at all your garden will start to look colourful and vibrant. Once the flowers start to grow you might need to think about protecting them. Particularly if you live in an area with a hot climate. That’s why you might also want to consider planting some trees to provide shade. Screener trees are perfect for your garden if you have an eyesore near your home. Or, if you just want some privacy from the neighbours.

Getting Rid Of Weeds

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Once your grass is beautiful and your flowers are colourful, you have to clean up the garden a little more. Pull out all the weeds and other nuisances around the yard. Make sure that you lay down some weed killer to make sure that they don’t grow back again. You need to do this regularly because weeds are quite resilient, as suggested by the name.

Natural Water Feature

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While we don’t encourage you to add an artificial water feature to your garden, you can add one that’s a little more natural. You can do this by digging a pond in your yard, if you have the space. This will look truly stunning and could be the perfect centre piece of your space. Add some fish and you will have even brought real life to your new garden.

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