Free Delivery over £50
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.
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.
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.
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!
Water features and ponds are a great addition to your garden. Imagine, the gentle sound of trickling water, sunlight reflecting off a glassy pool… A water feature can add interest to your garden and enhance its relaxing atmosphere. A water feature is a great addition to a sensory garden, as they are known to have holistic effects for people with autism, mental health issues and the elderly. If you are thinking of adding a feature here are some ideas to help you decide what to buy and tips for installing your fountain or pond.
Which water feature is best for you…
Modern water features are many and varied so it helps to know what you're looking for before heading to the garden centre. If you are keen to invite wildlife into the garden, a pond may be the best option. However, ponds aren't suitable for everyone and those with young children may be better suited by a waterfall or fountain-type arrangement.
Firstly, know your location! How much room do you have? Your water feature will need to be placed on a flat level surface, and you may want to add life to the surrounding area, with plants or containers; also your water feature may have a reservoir that will either need to be dug into the ground or decorated around. Most water features and ponds are prefabricated, so you’ll need to know what space you have available. Do you have an outside power supply? If not then you’ll need a solar powered pump and an area that gets enough sunlight. The style of the water feature is also important, is your garden in a traditional style or is it hard landscaped? Although taste and style is subjective, you don’t want something that will look out of place, so think about the material and style of your water feature before purchasing.
Be budget conscious…
By accounting for the cost of the water feature and the installation of the project, you will be certain that it fits well within your budget. Even if you're on a limited budget, there are going to be options that are available which will allow you to include such a feature to enjoy in your own garden area. Outdoor Living UK has a large selection of water features to beautify and enhance any garden or patio. Pumps, nozzles, hoses, lighting and other accessories are also available along with spare parts. Indoor water elements can be designed for conservatories and other rooms.
If you have children or if children tend to frequent the area, you would not want to have a dangerous location because of the water feature. In some areas, it may be necessary for you to block entrance to the water feature with a fence, depending upon the options that you choose. There is no doubt that your children are going to love the water feature as well. Just make sure that it is of benefit to the entire family and supervise it properly to reduce the risks that could be associated with it. Raised ponds can help with this, as it’s harder for a child to trip and fall into it.
Maintaining your water feature…
Once your water feature is in place you will need to maintain it to get the best out of it all year round. One of the most important tasks it to keep your water feature free from debris and leaves as this clog up the pump and stop it from working.
To clean the pump during the year is to use a garden hose placed against the outlet of your fountain to 'back flush' clean water through the pump. If this fails to improve the flow a more complete cleaning should be undertaken, simply remove the cover at the outlet end of the pump then pull out the rotor. With warm soapy water clean out the housing and rotor, flush with clean water, (Note the bearing pin in the centre of the hole, be careful not to damage it when cleaning) replace the rotor onto the centre bearing pin and slide back into the slot, the rotor should turn easily with just a slight resistance from the magnets. Replace the end cover and that's it.
Keeping the water clean is also very important. You can buy sterilising tablets to keep the water free from harmful bacteria, fungi and the build-up of algae. When your water feature is not in use it, especially in the autumn and winter months, a water feature cover can cut down the maintenance
If you’re one of the growing number of renters in the UK you may be wondering what you can do to improve your outdoor space. You may be constricted by your landlord’s stipulations, or by the size of your garden, or it may simply be that you don’t want to put lots of effort into a garden you’ll eventually leave behind.
Whatever your flat and landlord situation is, from inner city flats with no gardens, flats with a concrete yard, to flats with balconies, and flats/houses with gardens large and teeny tiny; Planters and pots could be the answer to your woes!
Cadix planters are modern and contemporary, and perfect for adding some greenery to a hard landscaped garden. They fit in perfectly with the urban scenery as they come in a range of materials and finishes. All of the planters are very durable and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. It also means that when you come to leave you can take your plants with you!
If you only have a balcony and would like to grow your own veg a trough planter could be the ideal solution. Fill it full of ‘come again’ lettuce, nasturtiums, chillies, herbs and pot grown strawberries and be self-sufficient for the whole summer. The Royal Horticultural Society has some great tips on how to grow in pots for practical advice on growing come again lettuce CLICK HERE.
Container gardening is also a good option if you have a concrete yard, or if your only outdoor space is a doorstep. Container gardening is an extremely versatile way of planting and are the perfect home for colourful annuls and half-hardy perennials. Most shrubs, climbers, grasses and even some trees can be successful in planters. Spring is normally the best time to plant up your containers, for more detailed information the RHS has lots of tips.
If you want some greenery but haven’t caught the green-fingered bug the plastic topiary may be the answer! The Cadix Buxus Ball is UV protected and made from high quality material; artificial topiary is low maintenance and the perfect way to give your planters an instant makeover.
To view the Cadix range just click here
Depending on your local climate you may have packed your water feature away for the Winter or left it out. Whichever option was best for you we wanted to give you our top tips for reviving it for Spring. Our advice will keep your water feature happy and healthy for years to come!
If you packed your water feature away for the Winter…
We would always advise that you clean your pump before packing it away for the Winter, but if you haven’t then now is a good time! To clean the pump during the year is to use a garden hose placed against the outlet of your fountain to 'back flush' clean water through the pump. If this fails to improve the flow a more complete cleaning should be undertaken, simply remove the cover at the outlet end of the pump then pull out the rotor. With warm soapy water clean out the housing and rotor, flush with clean water, (Note the bearing pin in the centre of the hole, be careful not to damage it when cleaning) replace the rotor onto the centre bearing pin and slide back into the slot, the rotor should turn easily with just a slight resistance from the magnets. Replace the end cover and that's it.
Then it’s just a case of following the installation instructions for the water feature, just follow the steps below…
If you left your water feature set up through Winter…
We suggest that you give your water feature a thorough service.
We hope that our advice helps you to maintain your water feature. If you have any further queries please don’t hesitate to contact our Customer Service Desk on 01733 6688464.
From time to time we all wonder what happened to those instructions! We've all been there, you bought something, haven't used it for a while and then when you want use it and can't quite remember where you put the all important instructions!
If you're getting your water feature out after storing it for the winter or it's new and you've simply misplaced the instructions in the excitement of unpacking, don't worry we're here to help!
The process of setting up your water feature is very simply, just follow the steps below...
These instruction should be everything that you need to get your water feature running ready for Summer, but if you have any issues then do not hesitate to call our Customer Service Desk on 01733 688464.