Gardening Gardens Landscaping

Tidying Up Your Rockery!

Posted on June 19, 2016 at 6:22 am

The weather has mostly been great recently and there are more days of summer promised in the day’s ahead; providing the weather stays good in the coming days. So with this in mind, it may be worth getting to work in your garden and making it look great for the summer (if not already).

If you have a rockery feature in your garden that has become boring over the years, then you may want to remove all the stones and then redesign the rockery area; maybe even expand or shrink the boundaries. Then you can remove the weeds and put down some new topsoil afterwards; you may also want to clean the stones – if they wear well the stones can can be jet washed,. It may be a good idea to clean them before putting them back with the new design.

As an idea, you can have herbs in the rockery instead of the usual plants, and plant some rosemary, thyme, parsley etc… They will look great with the right arrangement, and you will always have fresh herbs handy for when you need them.

You can then get some small garden ornaments to dot around the rockery area to match the stones and herbs; when you have the right contrast and balance, it’s going to look super awesome for a few or more years to come.

Posted in Gardening, Gardens, Landscaping

Improving Drainage In Your Garden

Posted on April 10, 2016 at 6:55 am

With the climate in this country shifting slightly to cause heavier downpours at at given time of the year, we now have more rainfall and flooding in some areas where harsh farming methods, dredging, straightening rivers and removing bends, as well as dodgy EU farming policies as the direct cause. This of course has affected towns and cities that would not have flooded to the extent they have if things had been done differently; our gardens have now been effected by this.

You won’t be able to prevent heavier flooding, but by adding a simple drainage system to your garden you can prevent large bodies of water forming in your garden with the usual downpours, and this will help keep your lawn healthy in the long run.

If your garden has dips and uneven areas, you may want to start levelling your lawn then and add hedges, shrubs and trees around the edges of your garden to absorb excess rain water. In addition to this you should start digging a channel around the edges of your garden with, a slight angle towards where your drains are and fill that channel with small stones; this will allow the water to drain and flow towards the drains, rather than building up in the uneven areas of your lawn.

Posted in Gardening, Gardens, Landscaping, Lawns

Garden Lighting

Posted on February 26, 2016 at 6:55 am

Sometimes it’s good to sit by a window and gaze into the garden, or read a book by the window. Often you will either have the curtain drawn or if open you will be staring into pitch black darkness and it’s just not going to have the same calming effect.

You can get a Sakura fibre optic tree for your garden if you don’t have any trees in your; preferably one that has phase lighting that fades from one calming colour to another. The lights will be low power, usually on the battery with some that have solar powered options in conjunction with a chargeable battery.

If you have a tree in your garden you can get some small led lights to put in your tree that don’t have to be wired up to anything, just battery or solar powered and almost invisible during the day due to their low profile.

This way when you gaze into the back garden at night and have low lighting inside as you read a book, you will also have low calming lighting outside and are free to gaze and wonder into your garden and let time pass by.

Posted in Gardening, Gardens

Removing Dead Tree Stumps.

Posted on February 3, 2016 at 7:15 am

Uprooting a tree is no easy task, especially if the tree is old and has deep roots. There are special machines out there that help uproot trees and move them to other locations, but for the larger trees with thick trunks and well established roots, that won’t be an option; machinery may be too large to get into your garden, and it may be costly.

When you have to dig up the tree stump, it’s usually best to dig a whole from the base of the tree 6ft from the base outwards in a circle around the tree, and then start digging down to uncover the large roots. Once this is done and the roots are fully exposed you can use a circular saw to start cutting into the roots; some may be larger than the saws disk to cut through, so just cut an angled section, like a piece of cheese so you can start finishing off with a sharp axe.

You will need to cut the root at the base of the tree and follow the root down to the 6ft perimeter and cut the root off from there and remove that section of root; you could try to pull up more of the root that’s past the 6ft perimeter and buried under the ground in the part you did not dig up, but it’s not really worth digging up your whole garden to find the rest of the root system, so it’s best to cut what you can and leave the rest in the ground.

Once you have got all those sections of roots up around the base of the tree, you can start digging deeper until the tree stump becomes loose and easier to remove; you may find other roots further down and you can deal with the same way as you did the others. You can then get a sledge hammer to further loosen the tree root until it is ready to be taken out; be-careful as the root may be heavy and hard to handle, if in doubt get some assistance from a friend.

So you’re now left with a rather large hole, and refilling it with the soil you removed is not going to be enough, as you will need to get some more soil to replace the space left from the absence of the tree stump and roots. You can choose to just get top soil, some rocks and some garden decorations with solar lights and build a rockery instead, or you can fill in the hole and turf it over.

Posted in Gardening, Gardens, Landscaping

Front Garden Feature Area

Posted on January 28, 2016 at 7:53 am

You have seen those gardens around that have those nice quaint little features in their front garden; some even ruin it by adding a small pond or garden gnome, or some other tacky garden item.

It’s easy to create a small feature for the front of your garden, but it really depends on how big your front garden is; if the garden is small just keep it simple with gravel or block paving as it’s easier to maintain and does not require anything spectacular. If you have a fair sized front garden and have some trees, a great idea would be to create your featured area around the base of the tree; you can get everything you need from the your local garden centre to do this.

Creating the featured area in 7 easy steps:

Step 1: Start by cutting out a free-flow shape around the base of the tree with a spade; stand with your back facing the tree and take 4 or 5 large steps forward and then start creating a free-flow circular type shape around the tree where you want the border to be.

Step 2: Once you have marked where you want the border, then start cutting out sections of the grass using the spade, all the way from your set border to the base of the tree; always best to have about 20 – 25 inch wide strips that you can cut out with the spade and then start loosening the roots, so you can cut and roll the turf and handle easily when removing (cut down about an inch depth to get the roots of the grass in case you want to use it elsewhere, or sell it).

Step 3: After you have cleared the area of the grass around your tree start laying some small rocks around the border you created so you can define your border. Then lay some varying shaped rocks around the base of the tree, but not too big and not too small; you can hide some small stone creatures amidst the rocks if you wish.

Step 4: You can now start putting down some stepping stones in any particular pattern that best suits you, from the border to the base of the tree; some people put the stepping stones in a circle around the tree also, so that might be an idea to consider.

Step 5: Start planting some green leafy plants in random patterns according to your style and taste around the featured area, and compliment them with some nice all-year-round flowers that won’t grow too big, dotted around the base of the tree and border randomly.

Step 6: The next step would be to add the top soil to re-level the ground level of the featured area with the rest of the lawn.

Step 7: Finally you can get some varying shaped solar lighting and dot them around in various places in your featured area to provide a calmly lit featured area to come home too late at night.

Posted in Gardening, Gardens, Landscaping

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