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  • Grand Designs Live

    Grand Designs Live

    Outdoor Living UK will be returning to Grand Designs Live this year to display a wide range of our water features and garden accessories. After attending the show a number of times previously, it has become the ideal way to display are products to their full effect.

    About The Show

    The show is based on Channel 4’s Grand Designs series presented by Kevin McCloud. Having been running for a number of years now, the show provides visitors with advice from experts as well as an array of suppliers offering their products and often unveiling new items.

    Spread over six different zones, Grande Designs Live caters to all audiences from people undertaking a full self-build project to major or minor renovations or just adding final touches to their home.

    The Different Areas

    Grand Designs Live is a great place to find inspiration for a project. With suppliers of almost every home and building product imaginable, you’ll find everything you need to take your project from the start to the very ending.

    The show is made up of multiple different sections:

    • Grand Gardens
    • Design Arcade
    • Grand Kitchens & Bathrooms
    • Grand Build
    • Grand Interiors
    • Technology Trail
    • Grand Food & Housewares

    Outdoor Living UK will of course be located in the Grand Gardens area of the show and our team will be ready and waiting to demo our products, take provisional orders and answer any questions you might have.

    We hope to see you there!


  • 5 Garden Ideas for a Fresh New Look

    5 Garden Ideas for a Fresh New Look

    A Fresh Trim

    One of the simplest garden ideas to give your garden a new appearance is to trim and shape lawns and other areas. Changing regular rectangular lawns and bedding areas to have different curves and angles will add character and completely transform the look of your garden. Mark out your desired new garden layout with string before using a straight edge to cut out the different sections. Effective, fast and free!

    Garden Plants

    You’ve likely seen newly built houses, each one an exact recreation of its neighbours, slightly boring right? Fortunately nature is extremely random and as such makes it beautifully easy to create a unique outdoor space through the addition of plants and flowers. Perennials are a great option and can be split up to be spread around different flowerbeds and also save cost! Geums, Hardy Geraniums & Astrantia can be removed from their pots and pulled into sections before being planted. As they grow they can also be dug up and split once again.

    Let There Be Light

    Garden lighting can be appreciated all year round. It’s great to have a well-lit area to enjoy during the summer months but even in the cold of winter, they add a sparkle to your garden and keep it looking beautiful. Outdoor lighting comes in various different sizes and styles; you really are spoilt for choice. Stake lights can be placed around a lawn or patio perimeter to illuminate a seating area. Alternatively, you might hang fairy lights along the top of a fence. Fairy lights offer a good amount of light and cover a larger area. For added effect they can also be placed around trees, bushes and flower beds to light up an entire garden!

    Make a Path

    Adding a path to your garden can break up an area of lawn and turn a plain outdoor space into a unique, stylish outer living area. Pathways can lead to different areas of your garden rather than unnecessarily causing damage to your lawn. The sides can be marked out with different types of rocks whilst the path itself can be created with gravel, slate or even bark depending on your personal preference. The beauty of adding a path is that it provides a stylish feature whilst also offering functional benefit too.

    The Finishing Touch

    A stand out feature can truly make a garden. People often neglect their garden, treating it as an afterthought but it can become an enjoyable place to be just as your homes’ interior is. A water feature, pond or garden seating area can transform a garden into an extension of your interior and make it a usable and comfortable place that you can enjoy during good weather.


  • Preparing your garden for summer

    Preparing your garden for summer

    Preparing your garden for summer: Winter can take its toll on a garden. A harsh winter of rain, frost or even snow can turn a beautiful garden into a sorry state. With minimal opportunity to carry out any maintenance through the winter months, it’s important to get started as early as possible in the New Year to ensure your garden is looking its best by summer. When putting together a plan of action, there are a number of steps you can take to simplify the process and make sure you don’t miss anything out.

    Aesthetic Features

    Consider the aesthetic features you want in your garden this year. Whilst it’s still wet and cold it’s a great idea to think about the different bulbs, furniture, water features or lighting you want in your garden. Ordering these early will allow you to take full advantage of the summer and stop you having to wait for deliveries when you could be outside enjoying your garden.

    Garden Tidying

    Complete a general tidy up. Clear any debris from flower beds, lawns, patios and decking areas. Use a rake or brush where appropriate to quickly clean the above areas. Mow your lawn, starting on a higher setting if necessary and going over the lawn multiple times. Starting too low can leave an uneven finish and even remove chunks of grass rather than just the tops of blades.

    Consider the timings of any seeds you are planting and plant them at the suggested times. Or if possible, align the time of planting so that your flowers are in full bloom by the time you think you will first be enjoying your garden.

    Removing Garden Pests

    Complete a sweep of your outdoor space for any garden pests which might cause damage to your newly planted seeds and eventually flowers. Check those moist, damp areas which may be home to slugs and snails. Also be aware of white vine weevil larvae which can be found in the compost and will eat plant roots when they start to grow.

    Complete any necessary fixes. Depending on the severity of winter, your fences or gates may need repairing. They may also need a fresh coat of stain to bring them back to their former best. This can be one of the most time-consuming and potentially costly tasks if wind has damaged fence panels but fortunately a relatively new fence will withstand most bad weather conditions for many years.

    Once your garden is tidied and growing new flowers, it’s time to add finishing touches. Install any lighting ready for warm summer evenings. Place any water features or garden furniture you might have purchased. Then regularly perform quick ‘tidy-ups’ to keep maintenance to a minimal and your garden ready at all times.

    That’s it! Your garden is ready for summer and for you to fully enjoy. Spending time outside has many health benefits so make the most of the time available. Reduce stress, spend time with friends and if you’re lucky, maybe even get a bit of a tan!

     


  • Types of Garden Lighting

    Types of Garden Lighting

    Regardless of your budget or garden style, the various types of garden lighting available mean you should be able to find just what you’re looking for. Garden lighting has grown increasingly popular as people look to make the most of their outdoor space during the summer months. Rare summer nights can come to an abrupt end when the sun goes down but with warm temperatures remaining, garden lights can keep the night alive.

    The list of outdoor lighting types below will hopefully help you to decide on the correct sort for your garden. With solar garden lights also readily available now, on-going costs can also be removed entirely!

    Solar Stake Lights

    One of the most popular types of garden lighting is solar stake lights. Known for their affordability, efficiency and simplicity, stake lighting can easily be fitted and moved in a matter of seconds. Without requiring wiring or a large floor space, stake lights can be placed around your garden or in a particular area depending on your own preference.

    Security Lights

    Security lights seem like a straightforward, functional purchase but many garden security lights can also double as an effective source of lighting for a seating area. Of course the key benefit is to protect your property and offer peace of mind. But if your security lights have the option to remain on permanently through a switch, they can be perfect for lighting a decking or patio space.

    String Lights

    String lights offer an entirely different option. They can be used in a number of different ways such as along the tops of fences, on pergolas, around decking or sleepers, the choice is yours! Whilst string lights require slightly more fitting time than stake lights, they generally offer considerably more light and across a wider area.

    Garden Lanterns

    Lanterns are a great little feature to add to any garden. Not only do they add a good amount of light but they can easily be hung, placed on the ground or moved around whenever necessary. With both conventionally and solar powered lanterns also available, you won’t need to compromise if building an eco friendly garden is one of your aims.

    Above are just a few of the most popular types of garden lighting but here at Outdoor Living UK we have a vast range with something for all garden types. If you have something slightly different in mind, why now browse our full garden lighting range or give us a call to discuss other options?


  • Garden Features - Creating a Beautiful Garden

    Garden Features - What Makes An Attractive Garden?

    When you’ve got a garden, you want it to look the best it can. That’s a very natural response, and we all try to make sure that we’re following that impulse as much as we can. This does often mean that we try and make sure that we have as many garden features as possible which help with this. However, not everyone knows what the most attractive and well-received garden features are, so we’re going to be looking at them here.

    A Tidy Lawn

    One of the most important parts of a garden is a tidy lawn. The lawn is something which, when done properly, will fit into the vision of a well-kept home and is also something which will help you stand out as being a very proud individual. If a lawn is properly maintained and looked after, then it will be a very appealing and attractive part of your garden and will be a point of pride at social events and other similar functions which take place at your home.

    Water Features

    These are often highly valued by gardeners and homeowners, and it is easy to see why. A good set of water features will look good, generate a therapeutic environment for your garden, and also take advantage of the sun if they’re solar powered. Water features are often highly commended by people who are seeing them for the first time, and they’re eye catching.

    Plants And Trees

    A good flower bed or a well-placed tree can be a good garden feature and contributes nicely to the idea of an attractive garden. Plants suggest to your neighbours and visitors that you’ve got a green thumb, and also that you’re knowledgeable in the garden. As well as this, plants which have had a good chance to grow and develop will look incredible when they’re fully grown, and you’ll soon be very happy with how things look.

    A Patio

    The patio is a very important part of any garden and is a feature which will aid in making it look good. The patio can be a place where people gather together and spend time together, and it’s all against a beautiful backdrop of a garden. The patio, when done properly, will look neat and be suitable for all kinds of different activities.

    Overall, these are just a few of the features which would make a garden look very attractive and are ones you should consider. Your garden is a point of pride and is somewhere which will look great if you take the time to do it properly and make it look it’s best. A good garden will be neat and tidy and provides you with a perfect location for things like social events and summer parties. For people who want to have a good garden, having the right features in it is a must, because, without them, it can be hard to properly showcase all of the unique features and attributes your garden possesses.


  • Solar Water Features

    Solar Water Features - A Guide

    In every garden, people ponder the best way to make their space stand out. It’s a common desire to want something special and unique, and to that end, people invest in all kinds of different accessories for their garden. One prominent example of a popular garden decoration is the myriad of solar water features which are available. However, not everyone knows about solar water features, what they are and what they can do. With that in mind, we’re going to be taking a look at solar water features, and how they work.

    What Is Solar Power?

    First of all, let’s make sure that everyone knows what we mean by ‘solar’. Solar power is a concept which has been around for the past century but has only really come into popularity in recent times. The idea is that we can use sunlight, a free and sometimes constant resource, to create electricity and use it in place of things like fossil fuels. It’s a clean and renewable energy source and is gathered by solar panels.

    So How Does A Solar Water Feature Work?

    With things like solar fountains or wheels being operated by sunlight, the solar water feature uses a smaller version of a solar panel, referred to as a solar cell. The technology soaks up the sunlight and converts it inside the feature to create electricity, which in turn generates the function of whatever it is that you’re trying to power. The miniature panel on your device will absorb the sunlight, and use it to complete an electrical circuit. Without this light, the circuit won’t complete, and the feature will not work.

    Things To Consider

    The benefit of a solar water feature is that it’s now fairly common technology, which brings with it a wealth of different options for how you use the device. Some solar features have pumps; some have backup batteries in case there’s not a lot of sunlight. This helps to make a solar water feature a much more adaptable and flexible system and means that regardless of weather you can enjoy its benefits. However, you need to make sure you choose the right kind of solar water feature for your system. A solar water system without a battery backup will not work at all in the shade, so you need to be cautious when installing one.

    Overall, the solar water features are a good choice for any home which sees a lot of sunlight. They help to provide a more dynamic garden and are firm favourites with a lot of people because of this. The solar water system is often used in sunny areas, but with a battery backup, it can see use in any conditions. If you’re using a solar water feature, then it’s well worth looking into all of the extra features, because they will improve your experience even more. Things like a pump or a movable solar panel are great because they enhance your experience and give you a new level of control over your solar water features.


  • Water Features

    Water Features - The Benefits Of Having Them In Your Garden

    Water features have become a big part of a lot of gardens. They look really good when they’re active, and they’re a fantastic accessory for your garden. However, there are also some benefits to having outdoor water features that people don’t know about. We’re going to be looking at some of the key advantages that water features will bring, so you know exactly why they’re such a good idea.

    Health Benefits

    Surprisingly enough, having a set of outdoor water features can provide some positive health benefits. There’s a wealth of studies on the internet which suggest that having water noises and features in your garden provides you with a therapeutic environment. For example, a miniature waterfall has been linked to a decrease in anxiety and stress, providing a soothing noise which allows people the chance just to calm down and relax. The same logic can be applied to a small brook or stream.

    They Looks Nice

    Obviously, one of the main advantages of having a set of water features in your garden is that you’ve got something that looks great. We all want our gardens to look their best whenever we come out and spend time with them, and a water feature aids with that in a big way. You’ll notice quite quickly that your garden looks nicer, and feels a lot more lively. The thing about water features is that they provide you with something new to look at, and this can help when you’ve been dealing with the same design for years. Your guests will also notice how the water features brighten up the garden too, which makes social events more of a joy.

    Property Value Increase

    One thing which you will notice about having water features in your garden is that they will add to the value of your property when it comes to selling up and moving on. As a general rule, any work that you do to a property is a long-term investment, because it will stand the test of time. A home with a waterfall or a pond will be valued at a higher price than one without, and it also helps when you’re trying to put across a good first impression to potential buyers. It is true that the interior design of your property is important. However, when buyers are walking up the pathway to your home, they’re going to take notice of the outside too.

    Overall, these are just a few of the benefits which will be afforded to people who take the time to install water features in their homes. Water features are known to be great investments, but also provide other benefits such as a therapeutic atmosphere and an improved aesthetic value. These are both things which are highly sought after and mean that people can have a place to go where there’s no stress and anxiety. Plus, you’ll also find that when it comes to social events, it’s common for people to be impressed with the kinds of water features you have on offer.


  • Creating the perfect, tranquil outdoor space

    Whether you are a sun worshiper or prefer the cooler months, you can still enjoy your garden all year round if you have designed it suit your preferences.
    For the sun lovers among us, creating a tranquil outdoor living space is straightforward. A shaded area might be something as simple as an umbrella. Alternatively, you might opt for something slightly more elaborate such as an arbour or even a garden room.
    Beyond that it is simply a case of choosing the different features you find peaceful. Some of our best selling garden products are water features. Available in a wide array of different styles, sizes and materials, you’re sure to find one which suits the look you want to create. The sound of running water is extremely peaceful and the perfect escape from the stresses of a busy lifestyle.
    The summer months can be hit and miss in the UK so we all like to make the most of the heat when we do have it. With that in mind, garden lighting makes it possibly to stay outside long into the night. From string lights to vintage lamp posts, the options are extensive. Many of our lighting products are also solar which prevents increased energy bills.
    Garden ornaments are another feature you might want to consider. Whilst a traditional garden gnome might not be your thing, something a little more neutral and simple can add some character to your garden.
    When the summer months do come to an end, it isn’t necessarily the case that you have to stop using your garden. A sheltered patio or decking can be created to offer a cosy area which retains heat where an open garden won’t.
    Of course a sheltered area alone won’t create the heat you need. Our garden heaters are a constant  source and can warm an area in even the coldest months.
    Alternatively, you might prefer the relaxing option of a fire pit. Offering significant levels of heat along with calming qualities, a fire pit creates a great atmosphere for garden parties or a cosy night with your partner.
    If you require any additional information on the above products, why not give us a call? Our team will be happy to help.

  • Choosing Garden Water Features

    If you have already researched the reasons to incorporate a water feature into your garden, the next thing to look into is the options available. Today water features are available in a variety of sizes, designs and they can be made from an assortment of materials. This can make choosing garden water features difficult but with the right guidance, you can quickly and easily find the right feature for you.

    Ponds:
    Water gardens are living water features, filled with and surrounded by plants to create a lush natural setting.
    Reflecting pools are usually a focal point located near a landscape feature that is reflected in the glassy surface of the water.
    Ornamental pools normally incorporate a decorative piece such as a cascading fountain or waterfall creating movement.

    Fountains:
    Come in a variety of shapes and sizes; these can be more traditional carved stone, granite, reflective metals or use natural unfinished slate. They create sound of water tumbling and splashing on itself combined and a cool refreshing mist.

    Waterfalls:
    Like fountains, waterfalls add sound and motion to the garden. Often created with natural stone slabs or boulders, but can be created using more angular smooth materials as part of a more minimalist style. They can be used as a focal point to bring a vertical dimension or link different levels within a garden.

    Streams:
    Streams are ideal for linking features together and creating a flow through a garden, they are ideally suited to a larger space.

    The location of features running on mains electricity is only limited by the length of the cable. By running the cable to an outdoor plug or a socket you can switch on your water feature whenever you desire or leave it running all the time. For a more eco friendly option you could choose solar which also allows the feature to be completely self contained. These water features do need a good level of sunlight, which may limit where you can place them in the garden.


  • Attracting wildlife to your garden

    Native wildlife is under pressure like never before due to; destruction of habitats, climate change and diseases such as that affecting bees. But with a little effort we can help by encouraging hedgehogs, birds, butterflies, bees and pond life to our gardens.

    Not only are they fascinating to watch, but actually benefit our gardens through pollination of plants and natural pest control. For example hedgehogs, frogs and toads eat slugs and snails, and birds and beetles eat aphids.

    • Here are my top tips for attracting wildlife to your garden.
      Choose a selection of plants which mean you will have flowers in your garden over a long period, to encourage bees, butterflies and other plant visiting insects and ensure you have colour in your garden throughout the year.
    • Create a log pile; this will provide habitats for insects, fungi, mice, hedgehogs, frogs, toads and newts.
    • Reduce the use of pesticides, these can harm wildlife which naturally control pests in your garden such as ladybirds which eat greenfly; and frogs, toads and hedgehogs who eat slugs and snails.
    • Water features without fish provide a habitat for Frogs, Toads, Newts and Dragonflies. Even something small such as an old sink sunk into the ground will do, but there a many options for stylish water features to enhance your garden.
    • Plant wildflowers in your garden, these will not only look beautiful but will provide food and shelter for many native species.
    • Attract birds, bats and hedgehogs by providing specially built boxes for nesting and hibernation or add an insect hotel to attract insects including bees.
    • During the Autumn and Winter months put out seeds, nuts and fat balls to attract birds when food sources are scarce, they will continue to visit and help with pest control by eating bugs and greenfly during the warmer months.

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