Archive for April, 2013

5 Low Maintenance Garden Landscaping Ideas

Friday, April 26th, 2013

low maintenance garden1.  Install a fake lawn

Mowing, watering, feeding and weeding your grass is probably one of the most time-consuming aspects of your garden upkeep.  While you may not even consider switching to ugly paving slabs, have you thought about artificial grass?  The only solution that gives you an immaculate, maintenance free lawn.

2.  Automated watering systems

A real time saver, you won’t need to waste 20 minutes a day standing there with a hose or watering can.  A good sprinkler systems does a better job too as coverage is more even.

3.  Go evergreen

Choose plants that don’t lose their leaves and save yourself the chore of raking and tidying.  Plus, your garden will look attractive all year round, with lush green plants and trees.  Conifer, Yew trees, Box shrub and Rhododendron are some of the best.

4. Take steps to prevent weeds

Use ground cover plants in between feature plants.  These will prevent weed growth and add more texture and interest to your borders and beds.  Alternatively, put down mulch or gravel.  While stone is more expensive that wood or bark chips, it is the most successful and will save you hours.

5.  Grow healthy plants

If your plants are strong and hardy, you won’t need to waste time on diagnosis and treatments.  Get a garden survey, or DIY with testing equipment available online.   Find out what the best plants are for your soil type and conditions and buy hardy, low maintenance species.

Check out the RHS plant selector tool

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7 Ways to Improve your Garden this Spring

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

garden improvements1. Install artificial grass

A fake lawn will transform your patchy, faded, lack-lustre grass, giving your garden a complete makeover.  Plus, you’ll be free of the chores and maintenance required to keep it neat.

2. Create a sheltered area

This will allow you to get much more use out of your outdoor space and enjoy your garden this summer, even if it rains.  There’s no need to invest in a lavish gazebo, be resourceful – could you create a roofed area with materials from your local DIY store?

3. Add some lighting

Creative, stylish, outdoor lighting can give you an attractive place to dine and entertain after-dark.  Use imaginatively to create ambiance – twinkle lights for romance, cool coloured spot lights for a contemporary space.

4. Form a lounge area

Invest in a garden sofa and coffee table.  Perfect for drinks, light lunches and sitting outside with the newspaper.  Or, make existing areas more comfortable with better quality chair cushions.

5. Upgrade your BBQ

If you’re using a cheap charcoal BBQ, consider investing in a fast gas alternative.  You’ll be able to enjoy outdoor cooking on the spur of the moment – ideal with the changeable UK weather.

6. Grow your own

Dig up a vegetable patch and plant some seeds.  It’s great fun to watch them grow and rewarding when you harvest home-grown produce.  Or, use pots Jamie Oliver style.

7. Add art

Make your garden look more attractive with wall art or sculpture.  Decor and accessories can be used outdoors, just as they are inside.  You can even use the same interior design principles- e.g. add a wall mirror to a courtyard to give the impression of space.

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Romford Artificial Grass install

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

 artificial grass access problemLast week we worked on an ornamental lawn at a property in Romford, Essex.  We thought we’d share the details with readers on the blog.

Every artificial grass project is different, with snags and glitches that you could never foresee.  This time, we couldn’t physically get the grass carpet through the house into the garden.

The kitchen had an island in the centre with hob and extractor and it was impossible to get 60m2 of grass through the space.

Access was a problem at a previous job we did in London, the owner wasn’t happy about us coming through the house.  We carried the grass and all our equipment over an 8ft wall:  Read – The things we do for artificial grass

Carrying grass roll through kitchenThis time, as you’ll see from the photos, the property backs onto neighbouring gardens.  With no public access, going over the back fence wasn’t an option.

How did we solve the issue?

The only way we could get the grass through was to remove the extractor hood.  Here you can see us carrying the roll out through the space.

Another successful install

before-new-lawnLook at the transformatAfter artificial grassion in the before and after shots.   The owners had a very patchy and uneven lawn.  Poor drainage caused pools of water to form round the edges, creating bare patches.

The new lawn looks superb.  It’s pristine and will stay this way without any maintenance.  The large wooden building can be used as a home office or summer house now.  There’s no longer the need to store a mower, or gardening tools.  The owners get to enjoy an immaculate garden, without any of the hassle.

 

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Funding your new 3G football pitch

Saturday, April 6th, 2013

3G artificial grass football pitchDoes a 3G football pitch sounds more like a dream than a reality for your grassroots club?  Here LeisureTech offer some fundraising tips.

Raising money for your club

Assuming you’ve tried all the usual car boot sales, sponsored walks, fun days, exhibition matches, here are some other ways to raise cash:

– Every Waitrose branch donates £1000 per month to good cases locally.  You need to drum up support by getting shoppers to vote for you. See the community matters scheme
– Signup as a good cause on Easy Fundraising.  Get supporters to do their online shopping from your links and raise cash for your pitch renovation.  Read how it works
– Get in touch with Live4Soccer.  They offer an online clubshop to help you sell official merchandise and raise funds for your club.

Funding schemes

The Football Foundation’s facilities scheme offers grants of up to £500,000.  To be eligible, you must show that the improvement will:

-be of benefit to the local community.
-sustain or increase participation in all age groups and at all levels.
-help children and adults develop skills through regular participation in sport.

You must also prove you’ve been unable to raise enough money yourself.

Apply for an artificial grass grant

Sport England have £1 billion of National Lottery and Government funding to invest before 2017.  They offer small grants between £300 and £10,000 for initiatives that will encourage more young people and adults take part in sport.

Find out more at SportEngland.org

 

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