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Keeping Your Garden Special To You

With the summer in full swing, being able to go out and enjoy the garden is an expected luxury. Your plants are green and flowering aplenty, and your apple tree is dropping fruit by the minute. But how easy is it to keep a garden in this condition? Even moreso, what’s with all the hot new trends on the horizon about garden styling? Whether your garden is big or small, or just consists of a few plants next to the window, here are a couple of tips on keeping it special to you.

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[Photo courtesy of Lukas/pexels.com]

Plant the flowers you want to see

It’s good to have a conundrum of colour amongst the greenery of leaves. In your garden, be sure to buy and plant the seeds of flowers you found interesting and pleasing to the eye, instead of based on reviews. If you don’t know what the flower is or the logistical side of mixing it with other species, you can do a little research and then design your garden around your own choices.

Sunflowers are a staple of the good garden dream and everyone loves the sight of them. They’ll also grow to humongous heights which is always a pleasure to see! Bring back a little of that childhood magic by including a couple of sunflowers next to your shed or at the back of the foliage.

Similarly, planting a few marigolds here and there is an easy task to accomplish. The rich golds and reds you’ll be greeted with when you step outside is both rewarding and warming.

If you’re environmentally conscious, both of these plants are great for attracting to bees to your eco system! Just be sure to use seed varieties instead of pre-grown plants from garden centres if you’re worried about dangerous elements.

Get used to mowing the lawn

Mowing the lawn can seem an arduous task, and having your legs out whilst working on the grass means you’re in for quick sting with every strimmed blade. However, mowing the lawn allows you to take pride in your work and a heavier sense of satisfaction when you see how it looks at the end. You know you’ve grafted hard to enjoy what you have. Buying a lawn mower isn’t a hard task really either. Shopping at sites such as Beacon equipment ensures you have an easy way to make a return or exchange if you experience a fault. You want to know you’re getting bang for your buck and that your efforts will pay off, so get yourself a warranty and get that summer tan you’ve dreamed of at the same time.

Having a healthier grass condition means you won’t be seeing any of the dry and brown variety any time soon. It’s so much nicer to be outside when you’re not ashamed of the weeds you have cluttering your space, and will allow your hosting abilities to skyrocket.

Keep your garden special to you by keeping in mind a few practical elements of the care process.

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Why The Lawn Is The Be All & End All Of Your Garden

A huge mistake for any greenthumb to make is to ignore the importance of grass and its role in the garden. In fact, green grass and stretches of lawn have a massive role in society that might not be clear – it is certainly something that exists in the subconscious. In fact, there might not be a better representation of the ‘American Dream’ than a green grass lawn. There is so much to do to a garden to improve its use, looks and lifespan – so it can come as a surprise to learn that everything ends with how well the grass is kept. Grass in poor health? It’s bad and it brings down the garden. You might not have known just how important grass is.

Grass? It’s the biggest crop in the United States. There is no crop more pursued or cultivated than humble green grass – and that’s because there are a lot out there who realize the importance of the lawn and the role it plays in life. It plays a bigger role than you might know or understand. When kids get shouted off for playing on a lawn, there’s a big reason for that – and that’s because people pour so much into their lawns. Behind every neat lawn lies hours and hours of work and probably thousands in money. Becoming the owner of a great lawn is certainly something to be, it’s not easy though. Well, if you have the right equipment behind you, like a zero-turn mower which you can find here and a good foundation that you don’t have to rip up, you can get it done. Even then, you can get plenty of gardening help to get you going – and enough to help maintain it.

Lawn Mower, Hand Lawn Mower, Lawn Mowing, Mow, Meadow

[Photo courtesy of Counselling/pixabay.com]

The key to a good lawn is not just its health, it’s yours as well. The lawn chase has grown into an obsession that frankly isn’t healthy – and considering that lawn care is a laborious process, it can be a good hobby or a distraction, but as a daily pursuit it can be crushing. The Chicago Tribune described laws as a soul-crushing timesuck and said that most of us would be better off without them! A bit harsh – but the truth is there. If we are focusing all of our efforts onto a lawn, than anything else, that might be a bit of a worry. There are plenty of negatives as well – when it comes to obsessive lawn care and the use of fertilizer, there are environmental considerations to take into account. As always the best thing to do is find the middle ground. You do not want to be caring for your lawn day in and day out because it’s not healthy to do so. Obsession, in general, isn’t healthy!

However, because the lawn is the carpet of the garden, you do need to pay attention to its upkeep if you care about your garden. However, because the lawn is the carpet of the garden, you do need to pay attention to its upkeep if you care about your garden at all. This does mean regular mowing. In fact, if your grass is poor – you might need to consider ripping it up and starting again. That’s only if it is in terrible condition – because most lawns can be resurrected from the brink of death!

The lawn foots off our garden, so if we having things like flowers, trees or a water feature, then a poorly maintained can be a massive distraction from some of these features. Off-colour grass takes the eye away from flower patches, while taller grass can hide a lot of what we would want to look at. Think of the lawn as a bonus points multiplier in that it enhances everything else, but will also subtract from everything else that is good from your garden.

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[Photo courtesy of wikimedia.org]

The lawn is especially important because of we have brought the lawn to mean. It means social status, it means money, respect and hard work. It’s a lot wrapped up into a green grass lawn – we’re judged on how well our lawns are kept. It sounds silly, but hey – that is the truth of it all. We have made lawns into a big deal!

The thing is, if you’re going to go the whole hog and put lots of effort into making your garden look good, you cannot forget about the lawn. It might just be the be all and end all of your efforts, a bad lawn will take away all your hard work.

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Laws Of Stunning Garden Design

Have you ever wondered how professionals seem to be able to create stunning garden designs? It’s not just because they’re consummate artists. It’s also to do with the fact that they learn certain laws of design, and stick to them.

The good thing about these rules is that they can be applied by anybody, whether you’re a professional garden designer, an amateur enthusiast or a parent. They’re unambiguous and easily adapted to most situations.

Law #1: Plant Similar Plants Together

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[Photo courtesy of SJ8358/pxhere.com]

Cottage gardens with dozens of different varieties of flowers and plants emerging from a single bed have a certain charm. But, in general, the power of clustering plants together is better than mixing them up and spreading them around the garden. According to Russell Page, one of the most famous landscaping designers of the last century, it is more aesthetically pleasing to see one element in a garden repeated over and over again than to have many competing against each other. In simple English, he was saying to put your pansies in one bed and your tulips in another.

Law #2: Plant Big First, Then Small

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[Photo courtesy of SJ8358/pxhere.com]

Most gardens have a range of large plants, like trees, medium-sized bushes and small shrubs and flowers. But if you’re starting from scratch, the order in which you plant these items really matters. Planting big first and then going small is important not only to ensure that you get the right composition but also from a purely practical perspective. Many larger plants, such as trees, could require mechanical diggers to plant. Hence, you don’t want delicate shrubs which could be damaged already in the ground before you get started.

Law #3: Go Big And Be Bold

Some gardeners are rather timid when it comes to the size of the features in their garden. But according to experts, it’s almost always better to go bigger. For instance, if you’re deciding whether to go with a tall or a short summer house, a long or a short pool or a wide or a narrow path, the former is almost always the better, even if you feel that you’re space-constrained. Visit Soulscape for ideas.

Law #4: Use The Golden Number

Knot Garden at Little Moreton Hall: Cheshire

[Photo courtesy of SJ8358/geograph.org.uk]

For centuries, something called the Golden Ratio has dominated artistic work. You can find it in the ancient pyramids, the Greek Parthenon and many other places all over the world. In fact, it’s so universal, many archaeologists think it’s about the closest thing there is to objective beauty in the known universe.

The Golden Ratio is just a number which describes the proportions of an object. Numerically, it’s 1:1.6, meaning that the length of one dimension is 1.6 times as long as the other. Gardeners can use this principle in their garden to create beauty, almost free of charge. For instance, raised beds can be carefully calibrated to observe the Golden Ratio, as can patios, terraces, and lawns. The ratio helps to bring a sense of order and stability and always looks good, no matter what the application.

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Prying Eyes: Tips and Tricks for Improved Garden Privacy

Most homeowners would agree they don’t want their neighbours spying on them in the garden. However, due to the layout of many housing developments these days, that task can seem impossible. Still, there are lots of things anyone can do to avert those prying eyes and create a secluded outdoor sanctuary. Some of the best ideas are in this article. So, anyone who’s struggling with their neighbours at the moment should consider the tips and tricks below. When all’s said and done, most folks spend a lot of money when purchasing their properties. So, the last thing anyone wants is to end up with an open garden that doesn’t offer any privacy.

[Photo courtesy of Akuppa John Wigham/flickr.com]

Plant some large trees

One of the easiest ways to keep any garden away from prying eyes involved planting some tall and bushy trees according to experts like those at treescience.com.au. The issue is that it can take many years for them to grow. For that reason, it’s sensible to search online for specialists who provide mature species to homeowners. Sure, those items will cost more than seeds, but the people get to benefit from a fully-grown evergreen that will create privacy straight away. Some of the best trees for residential gardens are:

  • Blueberry ash
  • Bunya bunya
  • Finger lime
  • Queensland lacebark

Still, there are many other species available, and the final decisions should come down to the homeowner’s preferences.

Invest in some new screen fencing

Erecting a new fence around the garden is always a wise move. Just be sure to opt for something that is at least six-feet high for the best results. It won’t stop people from looking out of their first-floor windows into the garden. However, it will stop those in neighboring homes from being able to see into the outdoor space when they’re hanging their washing out. Specialists from futurewood.com.au and similar sites say screen fencing doesn’t have to break the bank if people opt for a company that uses recycled timber. The benefits of new screen fencing include:

  • Improved privacy
  • Aesthetic appeal
  • Easy maintenance

Free Wooden Gazebo Stock Photo
[Photo courtesy of Archie Binamira/pexels.com]

Build a solid roof structure

Sometimes the only way to hide away from prying eyes in a modern garden is to create a solid roof structure. That move could also help people to make their outdoor spaces look unique. Think of the construct as a gazebo that isn’t going to blow away during high winds. Homeowners can use the design to create a part of their garden where it’s impossible for neighbours to see what they are doing. Anyone who enjoys sunbathing outside should consider that option. The structure won’t require any sides, and so it remains open to the elements. It’s also possible to use translucent plastic for the roof to ensure the sunshine manages to break through.

All three of those concepts should assist homeowners to create more privacy in their gardens. Of course, depending on the size and shape of the space, there are many other techniques people could try. Just use some common sense and read as many articles like this one as possible for inspiration. Also, take a look around before leaving this site today as there are some fantastic garden posts readers won’t want to miss. See you next time!

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A Haven For Wildlife: Encouraging Birds And Animals Into Your Garden

Gardens are not just about flowers and growing food. They can be a great way to learn about wildlife; something particularly important if you have a family. And they are a great way to help maintain species of birds and animals.

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[Photo courtesy of DroolingDogs/pixabay.com]

Regardless of your outdoor space, there are simple steps you can take to encourage birds and animals to visit or set up home in your garden.

  1. Create A Pond

Creating a pond is the quickest and simplest way to introduce wildlife. Once your pond has been built, you can fill it with your choice of fish. There are many different varieties to choose from, depending on the areas you live in and the space available, etc. Butterfly koi are a popular choice as they are known for their beauty and stunning colors.

Ponds will attract other wildlife such as frogs and insects. It is important to monitor and clean your pond regularly to ensure it is a safe environment for fish and other animals. The plants and grasses surrounding your pond will also attract visitors.

Greenfinch, Bird, Foraging, Garden

[Photo courtesy of Oldiefan/pixabay.com]
  1. Garden Design

When designing and maintaining your garden, think carefully about the animals you wish to encourage. Birds like trees and bushes for nesting. If you have the available space, try creating zones. Some birds may prefer not to come close to the house, and so a quiet space towards the back of the garden may be preferable.

Frog, Water Frog, Animal, Green, Nuphar Pumila Leaf

[Photo courtesy of Couleur/pixabay.com]
  1. Frogs

Frogs like ponds, as mentioned, but they also like piles of leaves. When raking your garden next fall, leave a few piles of leaves in a dark area to encourage frogs. Ensure you leave some space in walls or fences for them to enter.

  1. Birds

To encourage birds into your garden, put up a bird table and several feeders. A bird bath is also important. Vary the seeds and food that you provide to attract different species. To ensure they keep coming back, feed birds daily, particularly in the winter months when food will be scarce. It’s always pleasant to watch a garden full of birds, and you’re helping them at the same time. Try setting up some nesting boxes to see if any of the birds set up residence.

  1. Insects

Insect hotels provide a safe environment for insects to hibernate in the winter months. They are made up of several compartments or suites to allow insects to choose a warm place to stay. Encouraging insects into your garden is good for them and the environment. Some like dry environments and others prefer the damp. So try to establish insect homes in several areas.

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[Photo courtesy of NickRivers/pixabay.com]
  1. Bees

Bees are vital pollinators for our gardens but, unfortunately, their numbers are declining. Insect hotels make a safe place for solitary bees. Introduce some bee-friendly plants to your garden. Bees like flowers such as white clover, bluebells, alliums, and buddleia, etc.

Encouraging wildlife into your garden is a win-win situation. You’re providing a home and food for them to help them thrive. And you get to observe them in their natural habitat. Many will contribute to the garden by pollination, turning over soil, etc. So, it’s good for you, and it’s good for them.

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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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