Browsing Category: "Home and Gardening"

Landscape Your Garden To Create The Ultimate Entertaining Area

Most of us love having friends and family over for a meal and a drink or two. It’s a wonderful way to spend quality time together. It doesn’t have to be a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary. But having enough space to relax and feel comfortable can be a challenge for a big party. That’s why our outdoor spaces can be ideal for a big gathering.

If you’re thinking of hosting an event at home this year, why not treat yourself to a garden makeover? Landscaping your garden to make the most of the space can be a good idea. And it needn’t cost as much as you think. Best of all, it’s a great project to take on if you enjoy improving your home and DIY.

Backyard Patio

[Photo courtesy of Field Outdoor Spaces/flickr.com]

To create a great space for entertaining in the garden, you may need to bring in some extra tools and equipment like a Dingo. Dingos are mini-diggers that make light work of your garden remodel. Levelling the land you have makes it perfect for laying patios or installing decking. Once your garden is cleared and levelled, you can see clearly just how much space you have. Now it’s time to sketch a design.

Ideally, you will create a dining area just in front of your patio doors. This makes it easier for carry dishes in and out of the house. You don’t need a huge space here, but it can be a good to create a little more room than you think you might want. This allows for walking around the table when people are seated, and you can squeeze in one or two more chairs. Cover over this area is essential too. If you can’t stretch to a full outdoor room, consider a gazebo.

From the patio, you should create paths that lead to the other key areas. You may choose to do this with concrete, pavers, or even decking. Decking is the easiest choice if your garden is multi-level so you can create the steps needed. You may want a seating area with garden sofas or a bench. Perhaps you are building a water feature or some planters. An artificial grass lawn can be an excellent addition to a child-friendly garden too.

You may be in a good location for growing your own vegetables. If your soil isn’t ideal, why not build up a planting area? You can then fill it with good quality compost and soil and plant what you need. It is often easier to cover if you’re prone to insects or frost. You can even use hanging baskets for growing fruits. It can be a nice gesture to let your guests pick their own while they are with you too.

Installing garden lights means your gathering can continue to use the garden after dusk. Use cascading fairly lights on the gazebo. You can even hang lanterns along your veranda. Most garden lights are solar powered with a movement sensor. This means they will only come on while people are in the garden, and they’ll cost you nothing to run. Enjoy your party.

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How You Can Save Water in the Home and Garden

Saving water is something that we should all be making more of an effort to do. It will help the environment, but it can also help you to save some money, so keep that incentive in mind. Here’s how you can start saving water today.

Wash on a Full Load

When you’re filling the washing machine or loading the dishwasher, do you always make sure that it’s full? Most people don’t, but this wastes water because it means you’ll be doing more washes in the long-term. It’s a common sense idea, but most people don’t even think about things like this. So, wait until the machine is full before turning it on next time. You should also think about the quality of your washing appliances. When you decide to upgrade it, make sure you go for a more water-efficient option.

[Image courtesy of  Edal Anton Lefterov/en.wikipedia.org]

Collect Rain Water

You can use a tank to collect rainwater in your garden. You can funnel the water down to your tank as it falls, and this helps you to save water when it comes to watering the garden. By cutting your reliance on the mains water supply, you will save a lot of water and a lot of money too. It’s very cheap to set up a tank to collect the water, and it will be very useful at the times of the year when there is plenty of rain. In the dry summer months, this won’t be a great option though.

Avoid Overwatering Plants

Watering your plants too much is one of the most common ways in which people end up wasting water. As I mentioned above, you can save some by collecting rain water. But this won’t provide enough water to cover all your garden watering needs. So, you need to be careful when you are using a hose on the plants. It’s very easy to overwater them and waste lots of water. To avoid doing this, you could start using an irrigation system. Visit http://proirrigation.com/ to find more about that.

[Image courtesy of Piotrus/en.wikipedia.org]

Don’t Leave the Tap Running

Very simple things like leaving the tap running when it’s not needed can waste a lot of money. For example, if everyone in a household left the tap running every time they brushed their teeth, think of all that wasted water. You should try your best to turn the water off. And that’s just one of the examples of wasting water around the house that could be easily avoided.

Install a Water Meter

A water meter allows you to closely control how much water you use. You then can pay for exactly the amount you use. So, if you use a lot of water, the bill will be larger. But if you use less, you will pay less. This gives you an extra incentive to use less water. Simply being able to keep tabs on your own usage is a big boost when it comes to saving water. It means that you can no longer forget about your water usage because it’s always there for you to see. Go to http://www.economicshelp.org/ to find out more about the benefits.

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10 Tips to Make Your Garden Even Better

If you look at your garden and feel as if it’s lacking in certain areas, there are a few things you can do to perk it up. You want your garden to be a place you can relax and get some fresh air, maybe even play with your kids during summertime. These 10 tips will help you to make your garden even better:

  1. Make Sure You Have Appropriate Seating

Depending on what you want to use your garden for, you’ll need appropriate seating. This might be a simple wooden table and chair. You might even go all out and choose comfortable, lounge style seating for your outdoor area. You just need to make sure that they are properly protected from the elements.

  1. Get Rid of Weeds and Plant New Things

To make your garden look better, get rid of your weeds and plant new things. Weeds will always come back, but using a weed killer and being consistent should allow you to get rid of most of them. Planting new things will add personality to your garden and give it a new lease of life.

Herbs Garden

author

  1. Install Outdoor Lighting

Having outdoor lighting is not only practical, it’s far safer. You never know when you might arrive home at night and not be able to see what you’re doing. Hinkley outdoor lighting will allow you to stay outside later and make sure you arrive home safely.

  1. Make Sure You Have CCTV

Having CCTV is another great way to keep your home and garden safe. The great thing about CCTV is that you don’t even need to have real cameras. Fake CCTV cameras can be just as effective as real ones.

  1. Create Educational and Play Areas for Children

If you have young children, creating educational play areas for them can be a lovely way for them to learn more about the outdoors. You can create a fairy garden, for instance, or create their own park area.

  1. Invite in Some Wildlife

Inviting in wildlife to the garden will make it way more fun for kids, and can even be more educational for them. You can do this by keeping the grass a little longer, having a body of water, and putting out bird feeders.

  1. Have Garden Storage

Having garden storage will help you to keep the garden clean and tidy when it isn’t in use. You can buy storage containers especially made for outdoor use!

  1. Consider Artificial Turf

If the grass really does seem greener on the other side, then why not consider artificial turf? Your grass will always look bright green and healthy. You will barely be able to tell the difference, and the maintenance will be minimal.

  1. Clean it Up With a Pressure Washer

Hire a pressure washer and clean up your slabs and other elements to make them look like new again.

  1. Screen Messy Areas

If you always have a messy area in your garden, such as the bin area, then cover them up by screening them. You can use materials like bamboo for the best effect.

Have fun!

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Saving Your Garden From Animal Damage

During the last global recession, there was an emerging trend for growing your own food in your garden. I know a few people who started doing this to save money, and discovered a lifelong hobby in the process! If you’ve been cultivating your garden seriously for a while, then you’ll need to protect it all from hungry animals. Here’s some simple and humane ways you can go about this.

A Wild Rabbit at Lossiemouth

Source: Geograph

Let’s start with rabbits. Although timid, these furry little guys can be a total nightmare when you’re not around to guard your plants. Like most vermin, rabbits aren’t exactly fussy about what they’ll munch on. Having said that, they do tend to gravitate towards pea pods, beans, and beets. I assume you’ve already got a fence that’s taller than a rabbit! However, if they’re really determined they’ll burrow under one of these with relative ease. The next best way of keeping rabbits away from your garden is making it smell dangerous. Soaking a few corn cobs in white vinegar and scattering them around works pretty well. Failing that, you could purchase some fox urine and use it to soak cotton balls. For an economical option, ask your local hairdresser’s for some excess hair, and scatter this around your garden.

Birds might be a little more common as a pest in your garden. The best defence against these is getting a cat – but let’s keep it humane. Birds are easily scared by any kind of intimidating shapes and sounds. Be very liberal with how you define “intimidating” here. Remember that these animals can fly, and have probably spent a lot of their lives soaring suddenly away from danger. Scarecrows can be pretty effective, but I’m guessing you don’t have the time or resources to make one convincing enough. A good alternative is to get a replica owl. Almost every smaller bird is fooled by these. That or they don’t want to take chances! Perch one on your fence or greenhouse, and all those pesky birds will stay the heck away!

deer_resized

Source: Dr Tobler

Finally, deer. Don’t worry, I was as traumatized by Bambi as you were. These creatures are truly beautiful in their grace and general aesthetics, but if they see your plants they’re likely to go crazy! So how do you get around this? You could try scent-based deterrents similar to the rabbit ones. While these can be effective, it can often vary from deer to deer. For a fool-proof plan, I recommend getting some high-quality deer fence. Surround your entire garden with this, and you’ll be able to rest easy knowing your beautiful garden isn’t being touched. Although getting tangled in plastic mesh will scare off most deer, it’s always a good idea to check for damages in the fence.

These tips will keep some of the most common critters in the woods and away from your crops. These solutions don’t cover everything, but after setting them up I’m sure you’ll notice far less damage from animals. Keep trying different measures, and your prized garden will be airtight!

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