Gardening

  1. 5 Garden Ideas for a Fresh New Look

    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.


  2. Garden Features - Creating a Beautiful Garden

    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.


  3. 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.

  4. Water Features: Reasons to have water in your garden

    There are many reasons you might want a water feature in your garden. To add to the aesthetics, and create a focal point or to have a positive impact on wildlife or your wellbeing. Water features are available in a variety of sizes and designs and are ideal for both large gardens or for small secluded patios. Here are some reasons why you should have a water feature in your garden.

    Water Feature

    You can match the features with your style as an extension of your home
    There are many different designs of water feature. This makes it easy to find a style to complement your personal aims. For example a modern, minimalist space might incorporate Asian inspired features. This could be made from natural materials and accessorised with grasses and bamboo. For a country cottage feel garden antique style water features would fit well.

    You can use them to reflect sunlight
    Sunlight enhances water features shining through their water streams. This light can reflect off of plants and other design features to enhance their beauty and even create mini rainbows.

    Water Feature wildlife

    Water makes spaces appear larger
    Clean clear water has reflective properties which can make spaces look bigger. To maximise this reflection choose smooth surfaces and plants with smooth leaves near the feature. You could even add lights in the surrounding area or underwater to add to the effect.

    Water attracts wildlife
    Wildlife is more likely to frequent your garden when there is water available. Even a small feature can encourage birds into your garden for drinking and bathing. Ground level features such as ponds can also encourage frogs, newts and hedgehogs.

    Water creates an atmosphere of tranquility in your garden
    On a hot summer day, having running water can physically cool the garden down. Water creates a tranquil sound which can have positive health benefits including reducing blood pressure and stress levels. This can therefore improve physical and mental health.


  5. How to grow your favourite fruit and veg

    If you have never really thought about growing your own fruit and veg, don't have a greenhouse and thought that it would mean hours and hours of digging and raking huge beds which take up your whole garden. But believe it or not you can actually grow some fruit and veg in pots and hanging baskets. So why not a go at growing a few different kinds, these are some of the simplest to grow and with minimum effort.

    fruit and vegetables

    Salad and herbs

    You can buy herbs at most garden centres or even in the supermarket. Plant these in pots outside during spring and summer and most will continue to grow year round if watered regularly. Alternatively plant them in small pots and keep them near the window in your kitchen for fresh herbs year round.
    You can sow salad leaves between these herbs outdoors in summer or in an unheated greenhouse or windowsill all year round in pots or trays of moist, multipurpose compost, or even between your bedding plants. Just ensure the soil its moist and they are in sun or semi shade and harvest as required.

    fruit and veg

    Tomatoes
    Tomato plants are really quick to grow either from seed or bought as plants and can be grown outside during spring/summer months. Choose a tumbling variety like ‘Cherry Cascade’ that can be planted in hanging baskets. You only need to feed and water them and keeping them off the ground prevents slugs and snails getting to them.

    Potatoes
    Really easy to grow! Plant potatoes during late February and March in bags or pots only part filled with compost. When the green shoots begin to appear cover them with more compost. Repeat this until the bag is full, and remember to water them. Around 15 weeks later, the foliage will die back. Empty the bag or pot out to collect up your own home grown potatoes.


  6. Which Garden Plants are Poisonous to Dogs?

    Which Flowers are Poisonous to Dogs?

    We all want to have a beautiful garden full of colourful flowers that help to create a relaxing outdoor space for us to enjoy. Flowers come in so many different colours, sizes, shapes and scents that the choice is almost endless.

    For those who have dogs in their household though, there are things to consider when choosing flowers such as which garden plants are poisonous to dogs? Dog lovers will know that a curious canine is part of the family and we all love to protect them against potential risks. Unfortunately there are certain flowers which can be poisonous to dogs so it’s obviously very important to avoid these.

    Which Plants are Poisonous to Dogs?

    If you’re in the process of building your dream garden from scratch, below you will find a list of plants and flowers to cross off your list immediately!

    You may however be slightly less fortunate and already have a fully blooming garden or just be moving into a house with one. If that’s the case then it’s a good idea to Google the following for images and have a good look around before letting your four legged friend roam freely.

    • Aconitum
    • Amaryllis bulbs
    • Asparagus fern
    • Azalea
    • Cyclamen
    • Daffodil bulbs
    • Day lilies
    • Delphiniums
    • Foxgloves
    • Hemlock
    • Hyacinth
    • Hydrangea
    • Ivy
    • Laburnum
    • Lily of the valley
    • Lupins
    • Morning glory
    • Nightshade
    • Oleander
    • Rhododendron
    • Rhubarb leaves
    • Sweet pea
    • Tulip bulbs
    • Umbrella plant
    • Wisteria
    • Yew


    It goes without saying that should you find your dog eating any of the above or either convulsing or appearing under the weather following time in the garden, you should seek advice from your vet immediately.

    We hope you found this blog post on "which garden plants are poisonous to dogs?" helpful. If you have, why not sign up to our newsletter to read our gardening blog posts before anyone? Alternatively, feel free to visit our main site to browse a huge range of garden water features, garden furniture and a whole lot more!


  7. Choosing Fencing for Your Garden

    When looking to replace fence panels in your garden there are various factors consider before making your purchase. It’s quite easy to rush into things choosing fencing panels which don’t suit your garden or will need replacing again in two to three years. But taking your time to consider the following will ensure you can enjoy a great looking fence that will also last for many years.

    Garden Fence Purpose

    The first factor to consider when choosing fencing panels is the purpose of your fence. Are you simply replacing a broken fence at minimal cost or are you looking for a fence that offers you maximum privacy? For privacy you will require a fence that is higher than a tall person’s eye line. We’re not suggesting your neighbours will be peeking over your fence but any lower than the odd glance is inevitable.

    Do you want a fence that simply serves a purpose or do you want it to be decorative or at least easy on the eye? If you have children you’ll likely want a fence that will withstand the odd hit from a football or crash from a bike.

    Fence Panel Size & Cost

    The next thing to think about is the size of your garden and how many fence panels it will take to completely fill the perimeter of your garden. Measure your garden accurately, check it and then check it again. The last thing you want when choosing fencing is to have to buy additional panels or worse still, find out that there are none left of the style you have used. With the size of your garden measured out, you’ll know how many of a certain panel you’ll need and how much it will cost to complete the job in your chosen panel.

    Appearance

    Let’s be honest, appearance should probably be top of the list. Our home is a place where we sit back and relax; forgetting about the stresses of work and enjoy complete comfort. To do that, our home has to look and feel the way we want it to. There are various different styles of fence panel. You might choose a modern, clean style that will compliment a simpler minimalist garden. Alternatively you might prefer a rustic style fence panel with a rougher finish.

    After deciding on the overall style, the next step is to choose the colour or tone you want your fence panels to be finished in. Not only is this a way to add colour to your garden but it will also protect them and ensure they last for many years.

    Treatment

    With your fence panel style and size decided and an idea of what treatment you’ll apply, you can begin choosing the products to achieve your dream garden. Why not view our Grange Fencing products to see if we have the perfect fencing selection for your garden? You can then choose a weather protection treatment in your chosen colour and protect your fence for the perfect overall finish.


  8. RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 5 - 10 July

    rhs logo vector

    We will be exhibiting our fantastic display of water features at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower show from the 5th - 10th July.

    There's plenty do at the show, you could take yourself for a wander through the Butterfly Dome, be inspired by the stunning show garden, or indulge in a bit of shopping! Which is where you will find our team!

    You could reach reach for the stars and keep the children entertained at Family Saturday! The day is packed with activities like sowing seeds, a fun family trail to follow, story telling, and and even children's cookery classes. It’s a fun-filled and educational day fuelled by rocket science, the theme of each activity. Marvel at the space-themed scarecrows - they're truly out of this world!

    Tickets are available just click HERE to grab yours!


  9. Kent Garden Show 28th, 29th & 30th May

    The Outdoorliving UK team will be exhibiting our fantastic array of water features at the Kent Garden Show in a week's time.

    The Kent Garden Show features over 300 exhibitors with a wide variety of goods on display and for sale. The features of the show include the floral marquees with their stunning floral displays including medal winners from Chelsea. The garden exhibitors have all manner of gardening goods for sale and include over sixty nurseries. There is a craft pavilion, food hall, brass band and children's rides.

    As well as the numerous nurseries in attendance there will be exhibitors selling garden furniture, water features (which is where you'll find us!), garden sheds and buildings, tools, sculptures, and much more.

    Tickets are still available just click HERE to grab yours!


  10. Grand Designs London goes 'live' in

    mccloud

    There’s only five days to go until the Grand Designs Live show in London and the team are ready and raring to go!

    The show is a great place to get ideas for any home improvements you’re making or for those adventurous souls thinking of doing a self-build, it really is a one-stop shop for all information you’ll need. There are many sections to explore including Interiors, Technology, Kitchens, Bathrooms, Gardens (where you’ll find us!), and build.

    Tickets are still available to purchase and are very reasonably priced, CLICK HERE for further information.

    You will find the OutdoorlivingUK team in the garden section, stand G11. We will be showcasing our 2016 water feature collection and lots of 'show only' offers and discounts, so make sure you pop down to see the team and grab yourself a bargain!


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