Posts tagged ‘outdoor’

February 10, 2015

Creating a 24 Hour Garden

The summer of 2014 feels as though it was forever ago, but now we have reached February the temperatures are starting to rise and we are starting to get longer days and evenings. As the frost starts to recede and your garden begins to recover, it won’t be long until gardens start to come into full bloom once more. But, how do you change your garden into a 24 hour place to enjoy? This post aims to find out.

Creating a Pleasant Place to Sit… And Enjoy

If you want to enjoy your garden, then you need to make it a pleasant retreat; a place to be that’s away from the children, the noise and the hustle and bustle of family life; somewhere that you can sit back, relax and enjoy.
This can be done fairly easily, and at a relatively low cost, too. Increasingly, we’ve seen a number of people add patios to their garden, but there is obviously a large cost attached to this. If you’re after a cheaper option, then a small paved area is great. If you’re looking to reconnect with nature in a natural setting, this will arguably be better, as it will appear more natural and less man-made. If you add a dining set then you’ll even have a place where you can relax and eat outside; as well as somewhere to rest your wine and book.

In order to create a 24 hour garden, you have to create a place you actually want to be 24/7.

Lighting the Way

To make a 24 hour garden you need artificial light for when the natural light fades. Sadly, even in the summer, light can fade relatively early even when it is warm. To make the most of this natural heat and to enjoy dusk in your garden, you can add outdoor wall lamps to provide a suitable level of lighting for your needs. This can either be localised or cover the whole garden depending on exactly what you require.

Setting the Mood

Finally, consider the ambiance of the garden. Something like a water feature can make a lovely sound and convert your garden into a relaxing area to unwind after a long day at the office, or a place to sit and enjoy a morning coffee as you wake up to the world. Much like with patio areas, there’s no need for your water feature to be too extravagant, so you can even create a great look on a budget.

Follow these simple steps to make sure your garden is a place you can enjoy morning, noon and night.

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February 9, 2015

Using Your Polytunnel to Grow Vegetables

Whether you’re an experienced gardener or a novice, looking to be self-sufficient or supplement your salad bowl, we all want a bumper vegetable crop – but it can be tricky to achieve. A polytunnel is a great way to up your game and help you grow the veggies you’ve always dreamt of, so here’s a guide to putting up a polytunnel, and growing your own veggies.

Putting It Up

Putting up a polytunnel is a lot easier than you might think! You can choose to have it erected by a professional, or you can do it yourself – either way this definitely isn’t a job for a bad-weather day! In particular, you want to choose a day that isn’t too windy. It’s also important to put it up in warm weather, as the polythene will hand more tightly on the frame and make the job easier. A standard polytunnel has a framework constructed from hoops of aluminimum (or other metal) tubing, covered in a large polythene sheet. Assembly is pretty simple; first you’ll lay out the footprint and put up the frame, then you’ll dig a trench around the outside of the frame and use it to secure the sheet, before fixing the cover to the frame, and adding the doors.

What to Sow, When

One of the most important things to think about when trying to achieve the best possible vegetable crop when using a polytunnel is knowing what to sow and when. In spring you can sow early crops of lettuces, carrots and herbs. In summer all the half-hardy plants – the aubergines, cucumbers, peppers, chilies and tomatoes plus the more tender herbs such as basil and coriander can fill the beds. In autumn, winter salads, overwintering brassicas and oriental greens are ideal, while in winter you can enjoy cut-and-come leaves, spinach and chard and sow your onions. Peaches and nectarines can also be brought inside to avoid peach leaf curl.

Irrigation

For a bumper crop of veggies proper irrigation is vital. Overhead watering systems might sound attractive, but the environment tends to be humid anyway and as you are growing a wide range of crops means some are too wet and some too dry. For something a little lower tech but potentially more effective, irrigation tubing at bed level is a great option. You can also use this method to adjust the height of the water spray so plants that need to stay dry (say to avoid rotting) will, and those that need more water will be equally catered for.

http://www.premierpolytunnels.co.uk/top-links/useful-downloads/growing-guide/

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January 20, 2015

How to Make the Garden an Extension of your Home

When choosing a house, one of the non-negotiable priorities for many buyers is that it must have a garden. There’s something about having that patch of lawn bordered by flower beds, or that useful patio, littered with pretty flowerpots, that we just can’t do without. And even when it’s the size of a postage stamp, we cherish it. So how can you appreciate your garden even more?

Portal

Having a solid wall between you and your slice of outdoors will never do. And whereas most people opt for a set of French or patio doors, this won’t invite the garden in like a bi or tri-fold sliding door. The beauty of this type of door is that it’s possible to have wall-to-wall glass, which then slides open and neatly folds out of the way.

With this type of door, you’re truly extending your kitchen or living area into the garden. Even when shut, you can see your garden unimpeded, plus the extra light brought in is a real bonus.

Creating Flow

An interesting way of extending into the garden, is to have the same flooring going from room to patio. This ‘infinity’ look can be quite effective. Solid oak flooring is suitable for both inside and out, and together with the sliding, folding doors, will create a large, combined living space. If you’re not into the wood look, then limestone tiles would work equally well or some frost-proof porcelain tiles. If there is a step down, then you may want to consider raising the patio so that it’s on the same level.

Mirror Plants

By choosing varieties that are equally happy indoors as out, you can have mirrored plants. Get matching containers and pot them up with the same plants. Then place one just outside the door and its twin on the inside. This further confuses where the garden starts and the house ends. If you think flowering plants might require too much maintenance, why not choose some robust succulents, which include cacti and sedum.

Furniture

To blur those lines even further, particularly if the room in question is a conservatory or living area, you may wish to consider all-weather furniture, both inside and out. There are some very attractive and comfortable sofas and chairs available, such as a mock rattan design.
With a little ingenuity, and by making relatively small changes, it’s very possible to give the illusion of bringing the garden into your home, for maximum enjoyment.

http://www.barrier-components.co.uk/

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