News

20th April 2018

BLOG: The Hard Stuff

BLOG: The Hard Stuff

Limestone and Granite

Spring has sprung and with it comes great demand for new paving, driveways and terraces. In recent years sandstone has been very popular, however limestone and granite are becoming increaslingly popular too.Like plants paving adds texture, pattern and colour and each type of natural stone will have its own unique qualities and beauty. 

Natural stone has a quality that surpasses anything man made so it is no surprise that most consumers choose it for their gardens. So which to choose for a project and how would you recommend it to your client?

Much of the decision will lie with is being built - a terrace? path? driveway? Both granite and limestone have excellent hard wearing qualities and are equally durable and versatile. So, often it is down to personal taste and the budget.

Elegant, Stylish, Modern

Granite has more of a grainy appearance than limestone and is available in varying shades of grey and on occasions pinkish hues.It is an elegant stone that will enhance either a traditional or a modern garden.It is generally more evenly coloured than many of the natural stones.

Smoothly does it 

Limestone, though mainly white does also come in different colours, which are created by inpurities in the stone and these can range from grey, blue-black to hints of yellow brown. Limestone has a very smooth finish which makes it ideal for a more contemporary look and works very well for both large and small patios, courtyard gardens or even a swimming pool surround. Its fine grain makes it easier to cut to shape than granite. It has a textured feel although the surface is unlike the riven surface of sandstone.Perhaps the only restriction apart from budget is to take in to consideration the surrounding area and style of the house before deciding on paving for your project.

Give it some thought

Finally, next time you lay limestone give a thought to the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Eygpt, which is made entirely of limestone!

Need some help or advice? Contact us today

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23rd March 2018

BLOG: Garden Structures

BLOG: Garden Structures

Garden Structures

Fancy a pergola in the garden this summer? They are definitely in vogue and are popular to not only create a focus point in the garden but also as a frame to grow climbers for shade during the summer months when used to cover paved entertainment areas. Also, pergolas were once very simple structures whereas today they have become increasingly sophisticated and even have slatted roofs and pitched frames so they appear more like a building.

Do you know what type of wood do you think need if you are going to build one for your garden? You can opt for a soft or hardwood and sometimes it really is a matter of preference as the most important factor is whether the wood has been treated. 

 

What is tannalised wood?

Tannalised wood means the same as pressurised wood and this is a process that forces a chemical perservation, that does not cause any harm to the soil, largely made from copper into the wood to make it more resistant to water penetration and rot and protects it from termites and fungal decay.

By using this type of wood your structure will be more sturdy and have a much longer life. However, this process is not a decorative finish and if you prefer something other than the natural finish you will need to apply that yourself. 

If you need any advice please contact us via email or call us on 01489 779992

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25th January 2018

BLOG: Edging Tiles

BLOG: Edging Tiles

Edging tiles and their Uses

Do you often overlook lawn and flowerbed borders? or even borders for decking and paving? Believing there's no reason to add anything extra? 

What can you do that will help lift a garden? Perhaps separate out areas that merge into one giving the garden  more defined lines and focus.

Polished finish

Garden edging does not need to be boring. Although bricks and pavers are popular edging materials, give gardens a polished finish by installing ready made traditional Victorian style terracotta edging tiles which also come in black for the more contemporary garden. 

Rather than sticking with straight symetrical lines edging tiles can help you to create curves to help give depth to narrow plots. Most ready made edging tiles are so simple and easy and quick to install too!

Create Natural Borders

Create natural borders between the grass and decking or flower beds. Decking and paving natural borders.

No more Lawn Trimmers!

Even use for simply edging the lawn so you can keep the edges neat without having to use a lawn trimmer.   

Need more info? Contact us today

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30th November 2017

BLOG: Mulches

BLOG: Mulches

Winter may seem an odd time to talk about mulch as generally it is more widely used during late spring, early summer and the autmn. However, there is no reason not to use mulch at this time of the year if the conditions are right. This means that the soil is not frozen or too dry. 

Protect your plants from the hard frosts

Once down it can help to protect the roots of more delicate plants plants during hard frosts or heavy snowfall. Use it if you are winter planting bare root roses, hedges and fruit trees. Lay two to three inches thick remembering to not to mulch right up to the stems as this will make the plant vulnerable to disease.

Commercial & domestic use

Chipped bark or shredded bark is one of the most popular mulches, along with mushroom and leaf mould. Amenity bark mulch is suitable for both commercial and domestic use and an economic method of creating an attractive surface to beds and borders. It can be used for any plants, although acid loving plants such as azaleas and rhododendrons are best served with pine bark mulches and not hardwood mulches as it increases the pH balance in the soil.

Long term benefits

Mulch is appealing because is has several uses and long term benefits. It helps to improve soil conditions, soil texture while suppressing weeds and helping to retain moisture, thereby reducing the time required to keep the garden looking good as weeding and watering time is significantly reduced.

Biodegradable, it creates a layer that not only protects the soil from erosion and weather extremes it also insulates the soil and regulates the temperature.

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3rd November 2017

BLOG: Stepping Stones

BLOG: Stepping Stones

Stepping Out

Have a lawn that has bare patches with constant traffic? Perhaps a route to the garden shed or a seating area? Its amazing how quickly the grass becomes worn so a simple and inexpensive method to overcome this is to use individual stepping stones. You can create an attractive path, as wide or narrow to suit your outdoor space and a path is a great way to help lead the eye down to the bottom of the garden, thereby giving the illusion that the garden is longer than it is. 

These stones need to lay just below the surface of a lawn so that you can easily mow over them rather than having to go round and then use edging clipper. 

Be adventerous

You can also use to make a walk through through scree gardens or gravel areas. In this case its best to lay them slightly above the gravel surface to avoid the gravel laying on the surface. Ensure you test the distance between the steppiung stones so they are easy to navigate. This stepping stone path does not have to be laid in a straight line. Be a little adventerous and use curves, or even join some stones together to make a pattern.

Available in many colours, shapes and sizes and different materials such as Indian sandstone Cotswold or York stone, there is a great choice making it easy to find a stepping that suits your particular garden or area. You can also purchase 'setts' which are often used as edging stones but can also be placed together to make a garden path that is a little bit different.

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29th September 2017

BLOG: Autumn Colour with Conifers

BLOG: Autumn Colour with Conifers

Colourful and Versatile

Conifers are colourful and versatile adding shape and structure to gardens all year round. The foliage ranges from soft golden yellow, steel blue to brongze through to several shades of green. While they ahve all year appeal they are most noticeable in the winter garden. The Thuja occidentalis globular sports foliage that changes from a bright emerald green in the spring to dark green in summer, a bronze tinge in autumn then back to green for the winter. The varieties of Picea or Chamaecyparis have particularly elegant shapes and attractive blue foliage.

Choice of Shapes

Conifers went out of fashion for some years, but now have a new lease of life and there is a definite conifer renaissance in the air! They appeared in several gardens at Chelsea Flower Show this year, which gives them the golden seal of approval. You have a wide choice of shapes including narrow, pyramid,tall, broad, conical, upright, weeping or spreading. Varieties include juniper, cedar, Italian Cypress, pine, thuja, spruce and larch. 

Four Basic Growth Habits

There are four basic growth habits, which are miniature, dawrf,medium and large.

Hedges or Specimen Plants, Ground Cover or Features?

Conifers are the backbone of any garden. Use as stand alone feature trees, for hedges, as structure for the mixture border or ground cover for low mainteanance gardens. Once established they require very little care. 

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4th September 2017

BLOG: The Right Soil

BLOG: The Right Soil

Soil Fertility

Autumn is the time to encourage your customers to think about increasing the soil fertility ready for the growing season next spring. Now is a great time to add top soil and fertilsers, manure and general soil conditioners. It is particuarly important as the weather has been quite extreme - going from extrmely dry to very wet. Currently the ground is quite soft which makes it ideal for digging in these soil conditioners, which in turn will help any new planting of shrubs and trees.

Promote Strong Root Growth

Remember it is very important to use the right fertilizers for this time of year. Treated farmyard manure is a great bulk soil conditioner, which is good for getting the microorganisms in the soil working. A course grade of bonemeal will slowly break down over the winter months and release nutrients to promote strong root growth. A seaweed based fertilizer is another good autumn and early winter slow release feed as it also has the added benefit of helping to reduce the effects of frost.  

Heavy & Clay soils

For heavy clay soils it is best to dig over and leave until the spring to add a generous layer of soil conditioner so they are less likely to become waterlogged,while both chalky and sandy soils will benefit from soil conditioners during the autumn months.

Additionally, all lawns require a feed low in nitrogen and high in phosphate and will also benefit from a layer of top soil.Best of all - you can buy it in easy bulk bags! 

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7th August 2017

BLOG: Bulk Bags

BLOG: Bulk Bags

Did you know that bulk bags have been around since the late 1950's? Made of thick polyethylene they were mostly by oil companies to ship granular products more easily around the world. Today the bulk bag has been ultised to transport any free flowing material such as sand, ballast, decorative aggregates, rockery stones. So, as you can imagine, they are particularly valuable to the hard landscaping industry

Cost Effective

They are a cost effective and versatile method of providing garden materials to the trade landscaping industry in addition to the DIY gardener. Most standard bulk bags hold almost a tonne of materials in the range of weight 700-900 kg and are easily delivered to driveways or pavements. Before the advent of bulk bags anyone wanting garden materials would probabaly have had to hire a suitable vehicle to carry the loose materials which hiked up the cost of landscaping the garden.

Flexible

 Strong and flexible with no mess - you use the materials straight from the bag. Want to revamp a dark corner in your garden with some decorative stones or gravels? Easy - just order a bulk bag! 

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23rd June 2017

BLOG: Simply stunning decorative aggregates

BLOG: Simply stunning decorative aggregates

Decorative aggregates! With such a comprehensive selection of different textures, natural colours and sizes available, you can create stunning effects in small, urban or courtyard gardens.

You can also lay pebbles and decorative aggregates over a large area to act as a great sustainable alternative to a lawn as rainwater will drain away naturally, just as it does through a lawn.

Or compliment a water feature by using different colours and sizes of cobbles or small stones. Want to lay a path? Decorative aggregates, pebbles and gravel are an economical alternative to laying a brick or stone path.

Lastly, any north facing areas or places where there is little sun you can use decorative aggregates to provide a low maintenace attractive focla point. And best of all - its quick and easy!

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18th April 2017

BLOG: Beautiful Half Oak Sleepers

BLOG: Beautiful Half Oak Sleepers

Why use green half oak sleepers in your garden? There are many good reasons not least because they look attractive, they are versatile and naturally long lasting. You can use them to build raised vegetable beds, seating areas, steps, paths, walkways and retaining walls.

They contain a natural preservative so there is no need to treat and this is certainly better for your vegetable beds. Green oak sleepers last up to three times longer than softwood sleepers and in many instances, and  in the right conditions, will last well over 30 years .

The weight of the oak sleeper means it will stay in its place, which is a real positive. You may just need a helping hand to lay -unless of course you have eaten your spinach!

Contact us if you would like any advice or help. 

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