Get A Wow All Year Round: Creating An (Almost) Zero Maintenance Garden

Everyone wants a beautiful garden in which they can relax and be at one with their own little piece of the great outdoors. The trouble is that very few of us have the time and effort spare to commit to maintaining one. Mowing the lawn, weeding, planting and all of the usual activities necessary for a beautiful garden may be fun and easy over the summer months but when the leaves fall from the trees and the rain clouds come out in force, many of us prefer the creature comforts of the great indoors.

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The quandary, then, is how can we put together a garden that is not only beautiful all year round but requires an absolute bare minimum of maintenance. Believe it or not, it can be done. Here’s how…

Lose the lawn

A lush green lawn is a beautiful addition to any garden, but it also requires regular maintenance. If you’re not prepared for mowing, clipping and weeding on a weekly basis then it may be time to consider the alternatives. Fortunately they can be both beautiful and affordable. Paving your garden gives you absolute control over the look of your garden and with the huge variety of colors, shapes and materials on offer, there’s huge scope for customization allowing you to tailor the look of your garden to your own personal tastes. Of course, even the most robust weed control membrane may be breached every once in awhile so it’s important to be vigilant and patrol your garden with a bottle of weed killer handy every now and then.

For those who want the low maintenance benefits of paving while still enjoying the ability to plant, gravel lends a Mediterranean style to your garden while allowing you to plant drought resistant plants like lavender. This way you can give your garden some beautiful, colorful flourishes that provide nectar and pollen for visiting insects while also preventing weeds.

However, if you want the appearance of turf, as well as providing a soft, safe surface for your children to play on, a synthetic turf such as Multiturf may offer you the best of both worlds. Synthetic turfs look and feel much like regular grass yet require no mowing or other maintenance. For those who want a neat, lush lawn all year round, synthetic turf is the way to go.

The perfect plants

A lawn free garden will require some plants to prevent it from looking and feeling sterile and lifeless. But since we’re looking for low maintenance options, it’s vitally important to choose the right plants. Fortunately, there are many beautiful and hardy perennials that will add color and vibrancy to your garden yet expect almost nothing in return. Evergreen shrubs like holly, lavender and daphne are famously reliable though if you’re looking for a little more range of color we recommend the ‘Jules Verne’ peony, the Japanese barberry and ribbon grass.

With a little imagination, a beautiful yet relatively maintenance free garden is not a pipe dream but an affordable and attainable goal.

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Winter Doesn’t Last Forever: Get Your House Ready For Summer 2017 Now

You may think that the winter season is never going to end, but there are only a few months to get ready for the summer, and this is without mentioning any bikini figure! You need to think about getting your house ready for the hot season, and this isn’t something that you can delay too much. It is important to start planning right now with this list of summer essentials for your to go through.

Make Sure You Have All You Need To Keep The House Fresh

It might seem odd to think about keeping cool when the weather is still cold outside, but now is the right time to check the state of your air conditioner system, fans, and your swimming pool. If you don’t have any air con, it is time to consider an A/C installation to prepare for summer. As you still have a handful of months left before the hot months arrive, it is good to get in touch with expert engineers to service your pool and keep your cooling systems up to date before the summer rush begins.

Look After Your Garden Now To Find Freshness In Summer

You’re sitting inside, looking through the window to see only cold, gray rain. Taking care of your garden might well be the last thing you want to do with your time. But it is essential to maintain your trees and plants throughout the cold months to help them be strong and healthy for when you will need their shadow and their freshness. While you don’t need to spend every week kneeling outside in the wet grass and the mud, a monthly list of maintenance tasks should include:

Summer Garden, Garden Bench, Green Lawn, Iron Trellis

[Photo courtesy of jensullivan113/pixabay.com]
  • Mowing the lawn,
  • Trimming the trees so that they can grow strong and high in summer,
  • Pruning flowers and fruit trees to ensure a beautiful and vibrant garden,
  • And protecting your precious plants from the frost and the rain.

Prepare For A Change Of Interior Décor

[Photo courtesy of pexels.com]

Winter is naturally characterized by a change of décor inside your house: A warm blanket lies on the sofa to keep you warm in the evening; a series of tall mugs is piled up in the sink for a hot cup of tea; and every room has received a touch of warmth with scented candles and fluffy cushions. Everything is there to provide a cozy sensation. But soon the time for bbq parties and summer drinks will come: You need to rethink your décor to bring back a sense of sunny freshness inside your home. There are many options to do so on a budget: You can choose to hide all reminders of the winter months away, such as blankets, heating units, and candles, or you can decide to bring touches of bright colors inside the house with picture frames, funky cushions, and decorative plant pots. Just remember to check every room to make note of the wintery elements to store away during summer. And why not already plan your first bbq party of the warm season? Maybe you could celebrate the arrival of spring around a grilled burger with friends, so if you start now, you could prepare your DIY décor.        

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Creature Comforts: Be A Friend To Wildlife This Winter

Winter can be tough for all of us it’s cold, dark and the last thing you want to be is outside when you can see icicles hanging from the trees. However, animals and birds aren’t so lucky so it’s important we do all we can to help them through the colder months. Food is often scarce for many animals in winter so why not help hedgehogs by leaving out some tinned meat? Make sure there’s a small bowl of fresh water visitors can drink from and that visiting birds to your garden are rewarded. By following a couple of the ideas listed not only will you be assisting animals at a difficult time, but be able to enjoy the variety of wildlife snuffling around your garden.

Beautiful Bird Table

Pop a lovely, wooden bird table in the centre of your garden and scatter breadcrumbs, seeds, peanuts, cheese, and fruit you’ll be able to find grocery online as well as buying mealworms from your garden store. Birds often find it hard to get enough food at this time of year as berries, insects, seeds and worms have either died or are covered by a thick layer of snow. Once the word has gotten out that there’s food your bird table will be filled with hungry feathery visitors. However, bear in mind these are all wild animals and will get lazy quickly if they receive regular handouts, which makes them unwilling to source their own food so it’s important to limit how much is given.

[Flickr Image Courtesy of Tony Hisgett]

Help Squirrels Go Nuts

Despite what many people think these fluffy tailed creatures don’t actually hibernate instead they collect a store of nuts to munch on in their cozy, dry drey’s, or nests all winter. The gathering starts in early autumn and only ends when they’ve found enough to eat so you can help them out by leaving nuts such as hazelnuts, walnuts and almonds as well as sliced apple, carrot and even spinach or beans. A regular small handful of these foods will see squirrels safely through till spring.

Break The Ice

Many animals don’t possess the strength to make a hole in water that’s frozen over so when people think they’ll be alright often wildlife struggle to find enough to drink. Check your water bowl, or dish regularly as it could have frozen overnight and make sure to refill it regularly as you don’t know how many animals are using this precious water source to survive. If you have a pond you also need to make a hole as overtime toxic gas can build up and harm any fish or frogs living in the water. Don’t use a sharp item as you may injure any fish swimming near by instead take a pan of boiling water and pour it on the surface and the ice will then melt.

Let Your Garden Grow

Now isn’t the time to be doing any weeding, burning or leaf clearing in the winter months simply let your garden rest and grow wild. Don’t worry when spring comes you’ll be able to clean up but for now compost heaps, piles of leaves and even overgrown brambles can become the perfect winter retreat for many a creature.

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Garden Maintenance – Keep On Top This Winter

You may think now that winter season is here, you can sit back and leave you garden alone. Unfortunately – that’s not the case. There are still a few things you have to do if you want your garden to survive this winter.

Lawn

Although it may be cold and icy, and you have perhaps even seen mini icicles on the lawn, this isn’t an excuse not to cut the grass. True – it’s not growing as it would in the spring and summer time. But there is still slight movement, and if you want to keep your garden looking fabulous, you need to keep looking after it.

Garden, Spade, Soil, Gardening, Work, Plant, Spring

[Photo courtesy of walkersalmanac/pixabay.com]

There are many ways you day decide on cutting your grass. But as it is the winter, a machine is best because it is the quickest and most efficient way. There can in all sorts of brands, sizes, and power, so get your own model that works right for you.

Watering

Just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean we no longer have to water our plants. There may not be any bright, colourful flowers, but that is not to say that there is no life. Things are still growing, and they are going to get thirsty. So give some water! Do in during the day when the sun is up so they have no risk of freezing over.

                         Vision Protection Hedge, Privacy, Hedge, Door, Input  

[Photo courtesy of Antranias/pixabay.com]

Plant A Hedge

Hedges are a great alternative to fences as they effectively filter strong, damaging winds. A mixed variety of native plants provide the perfect habitat for birds, insects and small mammals such as hedgehogs, as well as giving year round interest from flowers, seeds, berries and colourful tones of foliage.

Eradicate Weeds

Weeds have been having a wonderful time during this mild winter, quickly germinating and getting ready to cause all the havoc again in spring. Hoe through the roots of annual weeds and dig out the roots of the more stubborn ones to stop them in their tracks. This will save a whole lot of time and effort in spring time.

Early Potatoe Chitting

Begin the process of chitting early potatoes at the end of the month. The best way to do this is to stand the tubers in a recycled egg box with the end that has the most buds uppermost, and place in a bright, cool, frost-free area.

After a couple of weeks, shoots will begin to sprout, get these to about three or four per tuber to get the most productive crop.

Prune Wisteria

As beautiful as this plant may be, wisteria can be a bit of a nightmare and needs pruning in summer and winter to keep it manageable.

If you don’t bother to do this, wisteria naturally produces a very messy mass of foliage and barely any flowers. So prune the whippy growths back to five or six buds in late August, and prune further in January or February to two or three buds. Don’t worry if you missed the summer prune, it’s simple enough to spot the elongated stems.

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