Redesigning Features of Your Backyard

Redesigning Features of Your Backyard

When it comes to gardening, many of us focus on maintenance. We mow the lawn, trim bushes, prune trees, pull up weeds, and water any herbs and plants that we’ve bedded and are nurturing. However, every now and then, you might want to take larger, more significant, and more structural change into consideration. Why? This can really make your outdoor space look like a completely different place in a positive way. Now, these changes take a little more time, planning, preparation, and investment, but the outcomes are more than worth everything that goes into them. So, if this sounds good to you, here are a few different options for you to consider! Installing a Patio When we think of backyards, we tend to think of relatively green spaces. But your backyard has so much more potential than hosting lawn alone. Patios are a brilliant addition to almost any property’s space. Patio makes your outdoor space useable, providing you with a flat surface outdoors where you can place tables and chairs, sun loungers, or other furniture. Realistically, you’re not going to be able to install this yourself. That is, unless you want to invest some serious time and money into becoming qualified as a professional contractor. So, collaborate with professionals in the field who will be able to carry the work out on your behalf. Once the patio is fitted, you can add extra touches for flair, functionality, and comfort. High-quality backyard furniture from patioproductions.com will suddenly become a feasible option, as you’ll have a stable flat surface to rest it on! Installing a Pond While ponds may not be the best option for those with kids and pets (any expanse of water could pose a safety risk), they are great for many. Not only do they act as a source of water for various animals and birds, but you will see little eco-systems starting to establish themselves within the pond itself too, as it will provide a habitat or water source for birds, small mammals, and amphibians such as frogs, toads, and newts. The easiest and most sensible way to establish a pond is to leave the work to professionals who will have all of the necessary equipment to dig a deep enough hole, line it, fill it with water, and make everything look a little better finished and a little more natural than a DIY job would be likely to produce. These are just two different options that you have on hand if you’re considering doing a little extra work on your backyard this summer. Not only will they make the space more appealing and functional for you to spend time in, but the latter will also help local wildlife and your local ecosystem too. Your project will result in winners all round!   This contributed post may contain affiliate...
You’ve Done the Work: Now Enjoy Your Yard!

You’ve Done the Work: Now Enjoy Your Yard!

You’ve spent months working hard on your yard. You’ve toiled, you’ve been sweating, you’ve put all the reading you’ve done about gardening into practice, and now in it’s finally finished! While you’ll always need to stay on top of your gardening to ensure nothing falls into a bad state, for the most part, your job is done. So what now? Why, it’s time to enjoy your creation from the inside – that means, making your outdoor space an enjoyable place to be. We take a look at how you can do this below. Into the Outdoors It’s more enjoyable if your outdoor space and the interior of your home aren’t exclusively separate. They should feed into one another, as if they were joined (which they are). To do this, look at opening up the back of your home to let in more light. If you have french windows, then you’ll be able to see outside and be more tempted to spend time there. It’s also much nicer to have a home filled with natural light, especially during the summer months. Getting Comfortable Once you step into your backyard, you’ll want to find decking or a patio there, upon which you can spend long days enjoying the sunshine. Add some affordable outdoor furniture, and a BBQ, and your summers will be filled with family and friend get-togethers. While you’ll spend your evenings on the patio, you might want to spend the summer days on your grass. In which case, you should strongly consider buying a hammock. There are easy enough to store, and will transform the relaxation levels of your outdoor space.  Lighting You’ll have your decking, chairs, tables, and so on, and now it’s time to add some outdoor magic. Adding fairy lights and other lighting fixtures to your garden will make your yard feel more charming and enchanting. When the sun goes down, there’ll be no need to head indoors to see each other – just switch on the lights. If you want to take the magic a little further, you can look at adding a firepit. These are especially awesome to have in early spring and fall, when the weather is pleasant but chilly in the evening. Privacy For all the additions to your yard, you won’t be able to enjoy fully until you feel like it’s private. Even though your neighbors probably aren’t watching, no-one wants to feel like they’re being watched! Adding fencing and hedges around the edge of the garden to add an extra level of privacy. Bring the Fun Finally, don’t be afraid to bring a little bit of your personality to the yard! Colorful gnomes, works of art, and other staples of “you” will make the yard feel more homey. If you’ve got kids, make the yard fun for them too by adding a splash pool or a swingset. With these additions, you’ll be able to enjoy your yard for years to come! This contributed post may contain affiliate...
Garden Maintenance Tasks You Shouldn’t Neglect In the Summer

Garden Maintenance Tasks You Shouldn’t Neglect In the Summer

If you would like to make your garden look fresh, lush, and impressive all through the summer, you should make sure that you are not neglecting some of the most important tasks that help your plants grow and stay healthy. With the heat of the summer, insects and parasites will arrive, threatening your harvest and your beautiful shrubs. Below you will find a few tips on how to stay on top of your summer garden. Getting Rid of Infected Branches or Plants No matter how well you have tried to prevent common tree and fruit diseases, chances are that the lack of rain and the abundance of sunshine have attracted some. If you have found any infections, nests, or sign of parasites, it is not only important to wash your trees and fruit plants, but you also have to get rid or the affected branches. You might want to invest in professional Chain Cutting equipment to prevent the infection to spread throughout the plant.   Feeding Your Grass Even if it rains regularly during the summer, and you don’t have to water your lawn, it is important that you use feed to keep it strong and lush. In case you  have kids or pets, your lawn will have a lot of pressure to endure, so it is important that you get rid of the dry grass and feed your grass to look its best. Repairing Patches It is inevitable to have patches in the lawn, if you have kids or pets, or wildlife visiting. Whether you lie on the lawn and sunbathe or play football, you will have patches. There are some great fast-growing patch repair kits that will help you restore the shine and the strength of your lawn. You might consider choosing a lawn seed variety that is able to withstand the traffic and the dry weather as well. Natural Insect Repellents To keep insects and parasites at bay, you might want to create your own organic fruit spray that will keep them away. From bicarbonate soda to common soap and lemon juice, as well as the more prevalent cayenne pepper, there are several ingredients that will not pose a health risk on your family or the wildlife. You can still grow organic vegetables and fruit and keep the pests away. Cutting Back Bushes after Fruits Have Ripened To keep your garden in a tip-top condition in the summer, always cut back the bushes once the flowers are dry, or – in case of fruit shrubs – cut the branches after the fruit has been harvested. If you leave the dry flowers or stems on, you might have to deal with dry branches and dead plants later on in the year. If you want to make sure that you and your guests can enjoy the garden throughout the summer, stay on top of your lawn maintenance, cut back bushes and branches, and prevent infestation by using an organic insect repellent spray. This way, you can have a garden you can be proud of.   This contributed post may contain affiliate...
9 Tips For Keeping Your Garden in Tip-Top Condition

9 Tips For Keeping Your Garden in Tip-Top Condition

It seems like we can spend a long time working on our garden, and then, when it’s all finished, we only have a small amount of time to enjoy the fruits of our labor before things are beginning to look, well, a little less perfect than they did when everything was fresh and new. But good news: you don’t have to settle for a garden that you’re less than happy with. It’s all about taking those small steps and making sure it’s kept in tip-top condition. We take a look at nine useful tips below. Do Your Homework Everything will stay in excellent condition for longer if they were right for your garden in the first place. During the planning stages make sure you’re reading as much as you can about plants, fertilizers, and correct placement for the various aspects of your garden – it’ll serve you well in the long run. Like most things in life, knowledge is power! If you’re putting things in the ground that really shouldn’t be there, then you can’t have too many complaints if they later turn out to give you more problems than they were worth. Make It Part Of Your Routine Your garden isn’t going to look after itself. That’s your job! To prevent things from getting too out of hand, you just have to do one simple thing – make it part of your routine. It’s much easier to spend ten minutes each day making sure that your garden has everything it needs rather than waiting until things are too far gone before you do get up out of the hammock and do something about it. If it’s a dry season, that small amount of time you put into watering the plants will make all the difference. Get Rid of Those Weeds It’s not just about making sure that the things you’ve already got are thriving. It’s about keeping the things that you don’t want part of your garden out. Take weeds, for example. They’re harmless enough, and often begin so small that you don’t notice much of a difference. But after time, they’ll become all-consuming; your garden will look slightly off, but you won’t be able to tell exactly what’s wrong. It’s those pesky weeds! Get rid of them before they have much of a chance to grow – it’ll save you from having a big clean-up job later on down the line. Review and Update Regularly Your garden isn’t static. You’ve got living, growing things. So just through the course of its life, it’s going to change. But is it moving in a direction that’s beneficial to the overall health of your garden? You’ll only know if you’re keeping an eye on how things are progressing. Maintaining a garden is all about making subtle adjustments that’ll help the garden to flourish. Pay close attention, and update as and when you deem necessary. Keep Out Unwanted Wildlife You’re not the only living thing that has an interest in your garden. The wildlife that surrounds your house does, too. That wildlife doesn’t see an expertly curated garden; they see enough meals to last them for months on end, and you better believe they’re going to seize any opportunities that they’re given. You can help protect your vulnerable plants (plus any vegetables you may be growing) by adding deer fencing to your garden. It’s a subtle addition that could make all the difference when it comes to the health of your outdoor space. An Eye on the Kids And hey, you know as well as we do that your kids sometimes act more like animals than they do humans! As such, it might be worthwhile having a little chat with them about the need to be careful when they’re playing in the garden, lest they start stomping around everywhere and crush all of your plants. Of course, kids will be kids, so maybe think about having a designated play area in which they can play. Plus, it’s much easier to get away with spending long hours tending to your garden if you’re able to keep a watchful eye on your little ones at the same time. Get Rid of Debris A lot of debris can find its way into your garden, especially during the fall and winter months. There are all those leaves for starters, but they’re not the biggest concern – on windy days, you can end up with plenty of trash and other items that have no place in your beautiful garden. If you see something, pick it up (this is also useful advice for when you’re out in public, too!) – it’s much easier to tidy as you go rather than wait until the fine weather is back. That trash will only have nestled itself into a tight corner somewhere, out of sight. Nip Any Problems in the Bud There are some problems that can emerge from a garden. Perhaps the biggest threat to your garden – not to mention your home – are falling branches. These can crush whole beds of plants and vegetables, and also cause significant damage to the structure of your home. Every now and again, it’s good practice to survey the branches around your home and make sure that they’re alive and well, and not susceptible to breaking away, especially during a thunderstorm. Keep Your Furniture Indoors Don’t forget that you’re not just enjoying your garden from afar; you’re going to be spending time in it, too. As such, it’s a good idea to invest in high-quality outdoor furniture, and then take steps to protect and preserve that furniture. Bring it indoors completely during fall and winter, and make sure that you’ve got a proper cover for it during the summer. Getting your garden to the standard you want it to be is not easy, but keeping it at that level is easy, if you follow the steps we’ve outlined above. This contributed post may contain affiliate...
Planning A Garden Party

Planning A Garden Party

It seems like only yesterday that the chill of winter had sunk its teeth into our beloved gardens, rendering them cold and barren. However, spring is well and truly here and as we settle into June most of us have already put in the hard work and elbow grease of getting our gardens spring ready and are now getting ready to enjoy the explosions of warmth, color and scent that come with the summer. The summer is the perfect time to reap the fruits of your labors (literally if you’re growing food in your garden) and spend some relaxing and emotionally nourishing time alone with your own little slice of nature’s bounty. But then, you ponder, it’d be selfish to keep such a wonderful garden all to myself. As summer draws near, now is the perfect time to invite family, friends and neighbors over for a garden party. What could be more enjoyable than the prospect of great food, refreshing drinks, fun and laughter in the company of your nearest and dearest? It’s a wonderful idea, but one which can quickly sour if the event is not planned to perfection.  The prospect of hosting a garden party may be a little intimidating if you’ve never hosted one before, but while there are certainly potential pitfalls, they can be easily managed. With a little preparation and imagination, you could throw a party that not only wows your guests but provides the perfect showcase for your beautiful garden… It’s all about the planning It’s an age old adage that’s applicable to more or less everything… “failing to prepare is preparing to fail”. Impromptu events can be a lot of fun but by and large, the more time you have to prepare, the more enjoyable and manageable the occasion. Thus, you should establish a guest list and get your invites out well in advance of your proposed date. You can either design your own from scratch or use one of these lovely templates. It might also be a good idea to create a Facebook group so that you can manage your guests effectively. Some hostesses like to add a sense of fun and theatricality to proceedings by choosing a theme. Blogs, magazines and of course Pinterest are great resources for planning a theme that will give your party its own look and feel and help it to stand out in people’s minds. Prep today so that you can enjoy tomorrow Planning will make all the difference between making your party an enjoyable summer event and a stressful nightmare that you’d rather forget. Two days before your event it’s a good idea to send a message to your Facebook event group, enabling you to create a final guest list. This will allow you to purchase just the right amount of food while allowing you to manage your guests effectively. You don’t want anyone going hungry or having to ration food among your guests but you don’t want to be up to your elbows in festering leftovers for the next week and a half either.  When it comes to catering, this is a perfect opportunity to wow your guests with a selection of seasonal canapes which will delight your guests’ taste buds. If you can source as many ingredients as possible from your own garden this can provide the perfect talking point for guests. Our British friend Jamie Oliver has some impressive yet delightfully easy recipes for these. Of course, you don’t have to stress yourself out by having to become a master of the culinary arts in a matter of days. Keeping things simple but making sure they’re done right is always a useful approach. It will also ensure that your nibbles cater to  a broad range of palettes and ensure that fussy eaters are well catered for. If you’re nervous about the prospect of catering for a large group of people, do not despair. Bring and share parties are a way of easing some of the pressure placed on busy hostesses, allowing them to pay more attention to the little details which will give your event personality and pizzaz. If you choose to do this, however, just make sure that you communicate with your guests beforehand to make sure everyone knows who’s bringing what. You don’t want to spend weeks wading in potato salad. Cater for everyone If you’re firing up the barbecue (and why wouldn’t you on a summer’s day) just remember that a lot of people today eschew meat and animal products for health and ethical reasons. Likewise some of your guests may suffer from dairy or gluten intolerance or celiac disease. Make sure that your guests let you know of their dietary restrictions well in advance so that you can ensure that everyone has a full plate without offending their sensibilities or condemning them to an evening of crippling stomach pain.   Transforming your garden Anyone can lay on some nibbles and drinks in a well maintained garden.  A sense of theatricality and adventure can make a huge difference in making your event stand out in the minds of guests. Transforming your garden needn’t even be a huge undertaking. Often, a few design flourishes are all that it takes to transform your garden. Using LED rope lights is a great way of adding sparkle and dazzle to your garden while also marking out different zones for guests or even drawing special attention to your horticultural masterpieces. You can also create a magical area while cordoning off no-go areas or lending a sense of dazzle to dull or drab areas with LED curtain lights. When the sun retreats and the garden goes cold, burning some dried logs in a  fire pit will add a touch of romance along with a sense of visual wonderment! But give your guests a space to cool off! If your guests will be in the sun all day, it might be a good idea to give them a place to cool off under some shade...
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