Tips

Those first signs of spring are something special. As if by magic, snowdrops seem to bloom overnight and daffodil bulbs begin to push their way to the surface. As our evenings start to get lighter, it’s time to think about preparing your garden for spring. While those warm, blossom-scented days might seem like a long time away, there are plenty of things you can do now to get your garden ready for the growing season. With the right plans in place, you’ll be able to enjoy your garden throughout the summer months. Getting ready for the warmer weather doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. To help you prepare your garden for spring, we’ve put together our top spring gardening tips below.  Clear your garden of leaves and weeds During the winter, many of us leave our outdoor spaces untended. After all, no one likes to spend a cold, rainy afternoon tidying up the garden! However, as spring approaches, it is important to take the time to clear away any debris. Dead leaves, weeds and twigs will get in the way of new growth and may impact your success when the warmer months approach. You can put leaves and other debris on your compost heap to breakdown. If you remove any weeds, remember to put these in your brown bin. These hardy plants will take any opportunity to germinate if placed on your compost heap, causing more problems when spring arrives.As well as clearing out your flower beds and planting areas, it might be a good idea to tend to the rest of your outdoor space too. If your patio has collected debris, take the time to sweep up now. It’ll be one less job on your to-do list when the weather gets warm. Prune trees and shrubs Many of us prune our perennial plants in autumn, but it’s not too late to cut back now. Many shrubs, trees and plants are still dormant, giving you time to trim before the spring comes. Shrubs that have finished flowering, hedges, deciduous trees and grasses all benefit from a winter prune. Just be sure to cut back in the right way to promote growth when you prepare your garden for spring.If you want to move plants around your garden, this is an excellent time to tackle that task too. Do your best to take as much of the root as possible to ensure good growth in your shrub’s new location. Don’t forget to water your plant well after moving to keep it healthy. Like we mentioned above, late winter is an ideal time to cut back deciduous grasses. However, you might want to leave these in your garden until the springtime to ensure wildlife has shelter during the sparse winter months. Remove unwanted pests Pests are a problem in every garden. The good news is that there is plenty you can do to reduce pests attacking your plants during the warmer months. Many pests hibernate during the winter, making it a prime time to destroy their habitats before they become a nuisance. To prepare your garden for spring, we suggest taking a close look at your plants for any signs of pest infestation. Aphids, slugs, snails and larvae can all shelter in your garden, so it will be important to remove them before spring arrives. You can buy (or make) specialist winter washes, which are designed to destroy any wintering pests. If a cold spell is on the horizon, you may want to turn over your plant beds to expose pests to frost. It could be worth doing this anyway, as birds will appreciate the extra snack during the sparse winter months! Prepare your soil While we might not be enjoying the warm weather yet, temperatures are beginning to heat up. That should mean your soil is workable, giving you the perfect opportunity to dig in some organic matter. Doing this will help to make sure your beds and planters have the right nutrients when the time comes to plant.If you have spring bulbs or other perennial plants, adding some nutrient-rich compost or manure will give them a kick start before the growing season. Scrub your greenhouse If you’re wondering how to prepare your garden for spring, it’s worth remembering that it’s not all about your plants and soil. Garden structures need attention too, and doing regular maintenance can even help your new plants thrive.For example, if you have a greenhouse in your outdoor space, it’s a good idea to use the quiet winter months to spruce them up. To prepare for spring, wash your greenhouse both inside and out using a garden-approved disinfectant and be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. It’s a good idea to sweep out any debris and clean your seedling pots or trays to ensure they’re ready for young plants too. Don’t forget to give your greenhouse plenty of time to dry (it’s usually best to leave the doors open for this). Once thoroughly cleaned, inspect your structure for any damage and undertake maintenance if you need to. A clean greenhouse will give your new plants the best environment to grow, so it really is worth taking the time to clean yours properly. Get maintenance jobs done Your greenhouse isn’t the only structure in your garden that deserves attention. At the height of spring and summer, taking care of maintenance jobs often falls to the bottom of the list. That’s why winter is an excellent time to tick off those niggly tasks. When preparing your garden for spring, check your fence panels, trellises and gates for damage and repair if you need to. Give all of the above a good wash (with a power washer if you have one). Once they’re fully dry, take the time to apply wood stain, paint or preservative. Don’t forget to choose a few dry days to do this; rainy or windy weather could undo all your hard work.  Set up new planters Whether you have a small outdoor space or just prefer to garden in planters, winter is a great time to get your new pots ready for the warmer months. To prepare for spring, remove any dead matter from last year and clear all your planters back to bare soil. It’s also worth taking the time to check for any damaged pots and replace them as you need to. If you want to invest in more pots and planters, head over to your garden centre to add to your collection. Winter is a great time to construct any new purchases, particularly those that need time to put together. Prepare your garden beds As well as your pots and planters, it’s important to take good care of your garden beds before spring arrives. This will give your plants the best conditions to thrive within, making sure you are as successful as possible. Like with your planters, take your beds and borders back to bare soil (unless you have perennial plants in there, of course). Dig in organic matter and be sure that all weeds are taken care of. Now is an excellent time to experiment with your garden design too. Whether you want to add in raised beds or create a new border, you’ll find it easier to prepare your garden for spring now.  Create a planting plan Preparing for spring doesn’t have to be all work and no fun! Creating a planting plan is an enjoyable way to look forward to the warmer months and helps you know what you need to plant when. By doing this, you can make sure your garden is full of colour and interest throughout the summer months. If you enjoy growing fruit and vegetables, it will give your produce the optimum time for growth too. It is also an opportunity to get creative with your garden. We suggest drawing out what plants you want to put where and colour them in accordingly. That way, you can be sure that your colour combinations work together. Start some seedlings Preparing your garden for spring isn’t all about the prep phase. There are some seedlings you can start now to get ready for spring blossoming. Of course, most of these will need to be started in a heated propagator, greenhouse or indoors. However, what could be more exciting than seeing the first signs of growth when it’s still cold outside?We suggest starting seeds like lobelia, snapdragons, sweetpeas, chrysanthemums and geraniums indoors. For fruit and veg, you could start cucumbers, tomatoes, peas, brassicas, asparagus and sweet peppers from seeds. Don’t forget that your seeds will need warmth and shelter to grow – inside a greenhouse or on your windowsill is best. Get ready to enjoy your gardenPreparing your garden for spring is a sign of plentiful things to come. Whether you’re green-fingered or a novice in the garden, there are a variety of things you can do to make sure your outdoor space looks its best during the warmer months. We hope our spring gardening tips have been helpful. For more gardening tips and advice, visit the Coleshill mowing blog.  ...

It’s easy to see why so many of us love to spend time in the garden. Whether you enjoy hosting summer barbeques, playing football with the kids or growing your own vegetables, there’s no doubt that your garden is one of the most important parts of your home. Along with fun outdoor activities, one of the joys of gardening is bringing the wonders of nature into your outdoor space. From beautiful flowers to leafy trees and colourful shrubs, creating a peaceful garden space is a wonderful way to enjoy our natural world. However, it isn’t just you and your family that enjoys spending time in the garden. With the right environment, birds, mammals and insects can find refuge in your outdoor space. Whether you’re an expert at digging flower beds or a novice in the garden, there are plenty of ways to create a garden that helps animals, insects and flora thrive. To get you started with your wildlife garden, we’ve put together a range of ideas below to make your outdoor space even more inviting. A home for nature: why create a wildlife-friendly garden? According to The Wildlife Trust, there are over 16 million gardens in the United Kingdom. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why they’re such an important part of our environment. However, many of our bird, insect and animal species are in decline in the wild. By creating a wild garden, you have the opportunity to give these creatures a safe space to make their home. That doesn’t mean your back garden has to be a jungle. All you need to do is plant the right flowers, trees and shrubs and provide a few inviting habitats. Adding wildlife garden ideas into your home is a lot of fun too. From watching butterflies flutter amongst the flowers to spotting hedgehogs late at night, we are confident you will find your wildlife garden incredibly rewarding.  How to start your wildlife garden: There are plenty of ways to introduce more garden wildlife into your outdoor space. You don’t need an extensive garden either; even small spaces can be inviting to a range of different creatures. The best way to get started is to plan your space. Think about what you can plant where, or what structures you can build as homes for your animal or insect guests. It may be useful to use a planting calendar too, as there may be activities you can do throughout the year (meaning you won’t need to wait until spring to get started!). Creating safe habitats for your garden wildlife:   Bird Boxes and FeedersThere are over 620 species of bird in the United Kingdom, so why not invite a few into your garden? Bird boxes are the ideal way to give our feathered friends a safe place to nest, while feeders ensure they have plenty to eat throughout the year. If you choose to add a bird box to your garden, remember to place them up high in a sheltered site. It can be helpful to place them near climbing plants or dense bushes, so your garden birds are protected from cats and other predators. When it comes to feeding birds in your wildlife garden, choose fat balls during the springtime (this is when birds are feeding their young and need extra calories to keep their offspring healthy). During winter, seeds are usually best.   Hedgehog housesHedgehogs are an exceptional addition to any garden, particularly as these animals are in decline across the United Kingdom. To encourage hedgehogs into your outdoor space, try adding a hedgehog home in a sheltered spot. These artificial shelters ensure that hedgehogs have somewhere safe to nest, hibernate and breed away from predators. To make your hedgehog house even more inviting, try placing some dry grass and leaves inside for bedding. You may also want to provide some food for your garden hedgehogs. A portion of meaty dog food or cat food is best, as well as a bowl of clean water.  Insect hotelsBug or insect hotels are a fantastic addition to any wildlife garden. From bees and butterflies to ladybirds and beetles, these structures help to encourage important insects and bugs into your garden. You don’t need to invest in a special structure either. Simply place piles of rocks, twigs, wood and leaves in areas across your garden to invite the creepy crawlies in.   PondsMany of us choose to install a pond to keep fish; however ponds are just as crucial for your wildlife garden. Water features can be a haven for a wide range of garden wildlife, including frogs, toads, newts, water insects and birds (don’t forget to keep an eye out for the beautiful grey heron if you choose to add a pond to your garden!). Be sure to use unchlorinated water to make the most of your pond and add plants like water lilies to keep the water from stagnating. It is also beneficial to add sloping sides and steppingstones to keep your pond accessible to all garden wildlife. If you don’t have enough space for a large pond, you can still encourage water-loving animals into your area. A simple trough or bucket buried into the soil can be enough to invite wild creatures in.  FencingMaking a wildlife-friendly garden doesn’t need to be complicated. Even cutting holes at the bottom of your fencing can have a real benefit. These holes ensure that animals, like hedgehogs, can access your garden easily. Choosing the right plants for your wildlife garden: FlowersWhen planting flowers in your wildlife-friendly garden, it’s usually best to go for variety. Not only will this bring a beautiful canvas of colour and scent to your space, but it will ensure that plenty of different insects and animals are catered for. Choose native species where possible and get creative with your colour palette!Some ideas include daisies, marjoram, lavender, thyme and sunflowers. Remember to avoid using harmful pesticides and slug pellets, as these can be dangerous for your insect and animal friends.    Trees and shrubsYour wildlife garden isn’t all about the flowers. Trees and shrubs play an essential part in your mini-ecosystem too. Fruit trees are always good for wildlife, but there are plenty of other options to choose from. Some ideas include holly, hawthorn, silver birch trees, butterfly bush and spindle. Remember that shrubs are especially useful for small birds and mammals, like hedgehogs and mice. Shrubs or trees that produce fruit or berries are an excellent choice for wildlife too.  GrassWhile mowing your lawn is important to keep it accessible for the humans in your family, it may be worth thinking about leaving sections to grow long. Long grass is increasingly rare in domestic gardens but plays a significant role for wildlife. Many insects, like butterflies, lay their eggs in long grass and small mammals often use it for shelter too. Birds may be tempted into your space as well because they are more likely to find insects and worms to feed on when the grass is long. If you can’t face the thought of leaving your grass to grow long, think about avoiding mowing during the winter when you use your garden less often.   CompostA compost heap is an excellent solution for every wildlife garden. Not only can you make your own compost for gardening purposes, but you can also reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfill.There is a third benefit too. Many small insects, like woodlice, worms, slowworms and frogs, make their home in your compost heap. These animals are perfectly safe to have in your wildlife garden and will contribute to the overall ecosystem. To avoid dangerous pests, like rats, only put raw food in your compost heap.  WeedsDo you worry about the weeds in your garden? There’s no need to! Many weeds are an essential food source for insects, particularly as these hardy plants are often in flower when others are not. If you notice daisies, buttercups, foxgloves and nettles in your space, try to leave them be. You may just be rewarded with a beautiful butterfly. Keeping your wildlife garden sustainable: When putting together wildlife garden ideas, it’s vital to bear sustainability in mind. Even the best intentions can harm our environment. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to ensure your wildlife garden is as eco-friendly as possible. Use your own compost. Like we mentioned above, compost is a great way to invite important insects into your garden. It also helps to avoid peat composts, which can destroy habitats elsewhere. Save water. Install a water butt in your garden to collect rainwater. This water can be used to nourish your plants and even top up your pond. Buy native. Native plants are best for our wildlife, as they cater specifically for our insects, birds and mammals. Avoid choosing plants that aren’t local to the United Kingdom. Recycle. There’s no need to invest in lots of special equipment or structures to make a wildlife-friendly garden. Old wood can be repurposed for insect or hedgehog houses and reclaimed materials can make unique planters too.  Avoid pesticides. Harsh chemicals and pesticides can be very dangerous to your wildlife garden. Use natural products wherever possible. Enjoy your wildlife-friendly garden: With a little bit of effort, you will soon find plenty of garden wildlife in your outdoor space. All that’s left to do is enjoy your wildlife garden and see how many species you can spot!For more garden tips and advice, visit the Coleshill Mowing blog....

Mowing your lawn, when first starting out can be a tricky task in hand. Luckily, there is a range of tips & tricks in order to help smooth the process. In our years of gardening maintenance, we have accumulated a range of techniques & professional tips to make it easier for beginner lawn mowers.Check out our 11 tips & tricks when mowing your lawn this Summer: 1. Don’t cut the grass too short Every grass type has an optimal cutting height, and you’re better off on the high side of that height. Here are a few reasons. The grass blade is the food factory of the plant. Short blades just can’t generate as much food as long blades. Long blades also shade and cool the soil.That means weed seeds are less likely to sprout, and you won’t have to water as often because water won’t evaporate as fast. Not sure what type of grass you have? Take a sample to a garden center for identification. 2. Reduce mowing height gradually If your lawn is overgrown, gradually reduce it to the correct height over a few mows. Avoid taking too much off the leaf blade in one go as this can stress the grass and it may require additional irrigation to recover. Taking no more then one-third of the blade length each mow is a good general rule. 3. Consistent Lawn Mowing One common misconception about home lawn maintenance is that grass should be mowed at a preset schedule. In fact, the best routine is to mow your lawn when it’s necessary—not when it’s convenient. Lawns grow at different rates depending on the season, weather, management, and species. So, how can you tell when it’s necessary to mow your lawn? Follow the “one-third” rule: Simply mow frequently enough so that no more than one-third of the leaf blade is removed in a single mowing.Removing more of the grass blade than that may stunt root growth. So if your desired lawn height is 3 inches, mow when your grass grows to 4 to 4 1/2 inches tall. 4. The Best Mowing Patterns Every time that you mow your lawn you, should change directions. This simple but powerful lawn care tip reduces soil compaction and any turf damage from mower wheels. Repeated same-direction mowing causes patterns in areas such as tree rings or median strips because it’s hard to change cut directions in these areas.As patterns develop, mowers stop adequately cutting the grass and simply push it over, causing it to lie flat on the ground. This reduces the cut quality over time. Alternatively, athletic turf managers can use patterns to create visual stimulation and interest on ball fields—this requires much more lawn maintenance and upkeep that is necessary for a home lawn, however. 5. Mowing Round Garden Objects Robot lawn mowers will have no problems mowing around most items in your garden. This is because the lawnmower reads a signal which is sent through a wire which runs around the perimeter of the cutting area, and also around any obstacles that are in the middle of the mowing area.In addition to this, all robotic lawn mowers have built-in sensors which mean that when they encounter an unexpected obstacle, they will stop, back up, turn and move in a different direction. Some newer models are also now incorporating a GPS feature which allows it to more accurately determine it’s location and avoid temporary obstacles and have a greater awareness of the edge of the mowing area. 6. Aerating your lawn Walking over the lawn and trampling it for years, tighten the soil and take all the air out from the area, that’s why you should aerate your lawn twice a year in both spring and fall. Aerating helps the root system and soil by providing air and water. It also improves nutrients penetration. Aerating is the secret of happy green lawns. 7. Mowing New GrassNewly-seeded grass needs three to four weeks to get established after germination before you should mow it for the first time. The grass blades are tender and easily damaged and the foot and mower traffic could compact the soil, especially if the soil is moist. Mow when the new grass is 3/4 inch to 1 inch taller than its recommended regular mowing height.8. Time Your Mowing Just Right The best time of day to mow is when it’s cool outside, so in the morning or evening. Mowing when it’s cool helps keep moisture in the roots where it’s needed. It also reduces the chance of heat exhaustion.Still, the evening is preferable to the morning because this gives the grass 12 hours of darkness to heal before the sun comes up. The grass also tends to be dewy or wet from being watered in the morning, and you shouldn’t mow when the grass it wet for your own personal safety and the health of your grass. 9. Look After Your MowerBefore you begin mowing, look for obstructions in the mower's blade area, particularly if the mower was just purchased. Add a little oil to the moving parts if they feel tight. If the mower is more than a year old, the blades may need to be sharpened, or your lawn will look ragged after you have mowed it. A little known fact is that new mowers have blades that aren't particularly sharp. A new mower will perform much better if the blade is sharpened before its first use.Some people are afraid of the idea of a razor-sharp mower blade, but in fact, a sharp blade cuts more efficiently and therefore is actually safer than a dull blade. It is easy enough to learn how to sharpen mower blades, but if you are unsure, your local hardware store may offer this service or be able to recommend a commercial sharpening service.A general lawnmower tune-up each spring is a good idea, especially for gasoline-powered mowers.10. Taking Care of Your Grass Clippings Leaving your lawn clippings on the ground after mowing can be beneficial because it allows valuable nutrients to return to your lawn. Clippings contain nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which are natural fertilizers. It'll also save you time and energy when you’re mowing.A popular myth is that leaving your clippings on your lawn after mowing can cause thatching. This is a layer of partially decomposed grass and organic matter lying between the soil and grass. As long as you mow regularly and the grass is at the same height, this won’t be a problem as your grass will break down naturally.11. Do NOT Mow A Wet Lawn There are a few reasons why you shouldn’t mow your lawn when it’s wet. The disease can be spread through your grass when it’s wet so you need to be aware of any fungi or bacteria in your lawn. Cutting wet grass can also cause problems for your mower by sticking to its undercarriage. A good tip is to give your mower a thorough clean after use. You can also compact your soil when it’s wet, which can cause long-term damage.If you are going to mow when it’s wet, a good tip is to have your mower blades sharpened. This is because wet grass can shred or tear instead of being cut, which can cause long-term grass damage. You could also raise your mower blades higher so you cut less grass, which will cause fewer problems for your lawn....

Garden renovations can range from the simple and straightforward to the opulent and outrageous. Here are 12 examples that could inspire you to make changes to your own garden this year.Modernizing a small garden Source: Cateshill.comThis project turned an overgrown, under-loved garden into a stunningly contemporary outdoor space complete with seating, a brazier and easy to manage stone chips in place of the unruly lawn.Adding a water feature Source: Mylandscapes.co.ukAnother excellent adaptation of a limited garden that should require minimal maintenance, this transformation is achieved in part through the use of a cutting edge water feature which provides its own ambient background noise to drown out the sounds of the city.Wildlife-friendly overhaul Source: Real HomesFor larger lawns or meadows, working out what to do when undertaking garden renovations can be a challenge. In this case, the owners chose to take a more natural approach and embrace plants and flowers that would attract wildlife, while also making it easier to integrate the garden with the surrounding landscape.A simple approach Source: Constructionbear.co.ukSometimes adding greenery to a garden is the best way to bring it back to life. This typical yard space was overhauled thanks to the addition of a lawn, an area for growing vegetables, a simple paved path and a handy shed for storage.The delights of decking Source: LTMDecking might seem like something that was a hit in the 1990s and has since fallen out of favor, but with modern materials, it can be both more attractive and durable as an option. In the case of this garden renovation, the addition of decking in place of a traditional patio not only provides more choice for outdoor entertaining but also combines well with the artificial grass that has been used to replace the original lawn to make upkeep even easier.Total lawn transplant Source: D GreensladeThe longer a lawn is neglected, the harder it will be to revive. Sometimes it is quicker and more cost-effective to replace it outright, adding new turf and turning a dried-out wasteland into a garden to be proud of. This project shows an especially stark contrast between the before and after shot, with the addition of raised flower beds to go along with the newly minted lawn helping to add a bit of structure and symmetry to space, as well as a splash of color.Coping with shade Source: Mike VenablesLawns, plants and flowers need lots of sunlight to thrive. Unfortunately many gardens do not have this luxury, with shade often stunting growth and leaving certain areas looking a little worse for wear. Garden renovations can address this by converting shady areas to keep them looking neat and tidy without relying on regular exposure to the sun.In the case of this job, the addition of irregular slabs along with gravel and plants that are adapted to thrive in shaded positions helped to overcome these issue.Covered seating for all-weather enjoyment Source: LivvyLandFor a lot of people, garden renovations may involve the erection of a conservatory. This is the kind of structure that allows you to feel like you are experiencing the best that your garden has to offer while keeping the wind, rain and cold temperatures at bay. However, anyone who has been in a conservatory in the warmer months will realise that it can quickly generate a greenhouse-like atmosphere inside, which means you will be leaving the windows and doors open most of the time.With that in mind, an alternative option is to create a sheltered seating area like the one in this example, turning standard decking into something that is well suited to the changeable climate of the UK. Maintaining neutral wood tones rather than bold colours helps the structure of the roofed deck to feel less of an imposing feature and more of a natural convenience.A little lawn is better than none Source: FFDecking, paving and poured concrete are all well and good from a practical perspective, but garden renovations that go too far and get rid of what little lawn is available can be more of a problem in the long term. Working to preserve the lawn and integrate it with a newly restored, renovated garden is generally the best option, unless you have no other choice.This project provides a compelling example of how this can play out with a raised bed that blends seamlessly with the brickwork of the existing wall, an area of grass that is inviting without being overwhelming and a brick-laid section at the rear which acts as a sun trap for a spot of afternoon relaxation.Scaling back foliage Source: PinterestWhen a space is so small that the word ‘garden’ is almost not applicable, you might think that your options for renovation are limited. What you will often find is that you can make much better use of the space that is available by subtracting from it, rather than making additions.In this example, the garden is made to look and feel a lot larger than before because the plants and trees that were previously taking up room were removed and replaced with smaller, less obtrusive alternatives.Eliminating some foliage in favour of a simpler look can have other benefits, such as improving the health of the plants that remain, getting rid of the shade that might have been hampering your sunbathing efforts and making your garden look a lot neater.Reviving ponds Source: RichEarthMillions of people have ponds in their gardens and many will choose to include one as part of a total overhaul. However, if you already have a pond in place it can begin to look tired and unkempt over time, as aquatic plant life flourishes into a tangled mess and the structure of the pond succumbs to wear and tear.There are a number of ways to address this and it is generally sensible to seek professional assistance with any pond-related issues, because it is easy to unbalance this delicate ecosystem if you are not careful.In the case of this pond renovation, the murky water has been refreshed, the plants have been kept at bay, the surrounding walls have been converted to look like natural rock rather than something artificial and many other tweaks have been made to complete the revival.Injecting rural charm Source: CMDThere are a lot of ways to put the finishing touches to garden renovations, from the plants you pick to the pots and beds you choose. The designers of this project went one step further and added a rustic-looking fence along one side of the lawn.This demonstrates that the practical aspects of any garden can also be chosen because of their aesthetic impact. If you have a vision for what you want to achieve with your garden renovation, there are lots of ways to go about it and thinking carefully about the fencing is just one of them.Like the other projects covered, this example makes excellent use of the space available, ensuring that there is room for growing, relaxing and playing without having to make many compromises....

Looking for landscape design ideas is the best way to help shape your plans for the coming year and get inspiration from the compelling creations that experts in the field have developed.The following 8 landscape gardening designs will be a great starting point, giving you the fuel you need to get your own creative juices flowing. Whether you adopt one idea or pick and choose elements from several, 2019 is the year to realise your garden design dreams.Work With Wood In Compact Spaces The trend for decking rose to prominence in the 1990s and fell out of favour fairly soon afterwards. However, wood can be an excellent material to choose if you have a limited area of land to work with.Part of the appeal of wooden decking is that it retains a natural look while being immensely durable, so long as it is properly treated during installation. Combining it with modern balustrades and counterpointing it with greenery is a great option for attractive urban gardens.Be aware that working with wooden decking can be difficult, both from a design and installation perspective. Getting landscape gardening architects to assist you at this point is a good move, since that way you will not have to compromise on any element, or struggle with the execution of your plans.Reuse & Recycle The increased awareness surrounding the dangers of plastic waste generated in the past couple of years means that more people are looking to live their lives in a more sustainable, environmentally friendly way. There is no reason that landscape gardening designs cannot reflect this ethos as well.Turning the plastic shells of unwanted electronic devices into flower pots is a great example of this modern movement. If you do not have any outdated equipment to hand at home, you can visit your local recycling centre to find good that others have discarded to fill the same role.Embrace Raised Beds Raised beds provide a number of benefits, ranging from ease of maintenance to overall attractiveness and improved safety from pests for your plants.Adding raised beds is one of the best garden landscaping ideas because it is also quick, easy and less disruptive than digging out a bed into the lawn itself. If you decide to move the beds at a later date or remove them altogether, you can restore your garden to its former state without lots of time and effort.Another advantage of raised beds is that they can be positioned on pieces of land that do not have access to soil. For paved spaces, cramped gardens and regions where the quality of the soil is fairly poor, this can be a boon.Sheds As Usable Spaces For most people, a shed will be little more than a weatherproof storage area for all of the detritus they use to keep their garden looking trim. With the help of landscape gardening architects, this space can become attractive and practical, rather than dank and cluttered.This year, why not invest in a shed that you can use as an extra room, with windows, furniture and electricity to allow for all sorts of activities. Whether you want a place to craft and create, a workshop to build and design, an area for the kids to play or an outdoor bar to entertain guests in the summer, a shed can fulfill a range of requirements.Bring Fencing To Life You might not think of your garden fence as an integral part of the landscaping process, but in actuality it can be a great canvas to use as a contrast to the plant life and structures you choose. This is especially relevant if the fencing is doing more than just defining a boundary between gardens, since in many cases it may be used to disguise something unsightly, which means that it too needs to appeal to the eye of the beholder.Instead of painting your fence in a natural colour, retaining the look of the wood or using a darker treatment on its surface, why not opt for lighter hues? When it comes to garden design ideas, photos of the possible outcomes will be worth studying before you take the plunge, allowing you to plan your fence paint choice and match this to the flowers you will be growing to get the best results.Gravel Is Your Friend Visit any number of the world’s most prominent public gardens and you will often find that the paths that ring the beds and lawns are laid with gravel. There are a number of good reasons for this, from the effective drainage properties to the low maintenance and weed resistance that it offers.Adopting similar landscape design ideas may not be completely practical in a domestic space, but the benefits of gravel are applicable even in the smallest gardens. If a paved path is a little too unnatural or inappropriate for the rest of your layout, consider gravel as a viable alternative.Revamp With Vegetables Flowers are undeniably attractive, but they offer little practical benefit to gardeners. If you want to support plant life that looks good and also has a secondary use, you could turn your flower beds into vegetable patches and create a kitchen garden that will make you the envy of your neighbours.Veg can grow, flower, fill your garden with colour and then supply you with tasty, organically grown treats to supplement your grocery shopping throughout the season.For businesses that have gardens to tend, this is another of the many worthwhile garden landscaping ideas to consider, since customers will appreciate both the novelty and the sustainability of vegetable patches being used in place of decorative flower beds.Make Use Of Mirrored Surfaces When it comes to man-made ornamentation for your garden, you have a host of options available, each of which has its positive points and potential pitfalls. You might be drawn to using classic stone-hewn creations to adorn your outdoor areas, not considering that there are other materials that can have their own impressive impact once installed.Sculptures with reflective exteriors are an excellent choice in this respect, since they can both draw the eye while mirroring the world around them. This lets you double down on the other landscape design ideas that you have adopted, allowing them to echo, expand and replicate when seen in the surface of a mirrored object.For those on a budget, adding a mirror to a garden wall or fence and surrounding it with greenery to make it less conspicuous can be an effective strategy. This is not just cost effective, but also allows you to give the impression that a small space is actually a lot larger.Most of all, when thinking about landscape design ideas to pursue in 2019, it is sensible to get started with planning as soon as possible to ensure that you have enough time to set up and enjoy the results of your labours later in the year.Image Links: Reuse & Recycle, Work With Wood In Compact Spaces, Embrace Raised Beds, Sheds As Usable Spaces, Bring Fencing To Life, Gravel Is Your Friend, Revamp With Vegetables, Make Use Of Mirrors...

A luscious, green lawn is every gardener’s dream. But all too often, pesky weeds pop up and turn dreams into nightmares. Our customers are always asking us how to keep weeds at bay and make sure lawns stay in tip-top condition. So we’ve put together the following handy guide for lawn weed control… The Issues of Weed Control  For most gardeners and homeowners, the issue with weeds is purely aesthetic. While it’s true that one man’s weed is another man’s wildflower, the majority of people want a lawn that’s lush with thick, green, regular blades of grass – without daisies, dandelions, moss and other common culprits ruining the effect.The problem with weeds is that they are very good at growing! This is really why we have come to think of certain plants as weeds. Lawn weed control can seem like a never-ending battle as repeat offenders pop up time and time again.Another dilemma faced by gardeners is how to remove weeds from a lawn without chemicals. The green-fingered community often cares deeply about wildlife and the environment and are reluctant to use chemical weed killer for lawns.In this guide, we’ll outline some simple lawn maintenance tips you can follow to stop weeds in your lawn from getting out of control – as well as some natural weed killer ideas that you can try if you want to move away from chemical weed killer sprays.  The Best Weed Removal Techniques  If you look at your lawn and see a weed-strewn, patchy plot, it may be tempting to reach for the nearest chemical product and douse the whole area. But if you use follow good lawn maintenance tips throughout the year you can get results without using any weed killer spray at all. Cutting Down on Size How much have you thought about the way you mow your lawn? There’s more to it than simply getting the mower out and running it over your grass. Factors such as the cutting length and frequency of mowing can really make a difference when it comes to keeping your lawn weed-free.If you cut your lawn too short, the grass can be damaged, making it easier for weeds to get a hold in the soil. Too long, and the weeds are able to grow high enough to seed and multiply. When it comes to mowing, you should only remove about a third of the length – which will mean more regular mowing is required during the spring and summer months. Using Your Pulling Power One of the best ways to tackle weeds is simply to pull them up. It may seem like a lot of hard work, but if you’re only tackling a small area pulling weeds up from the root is one of the best weed removal techniques to banish them for good! A useful tip is to pull up weeds after watering or when the soil is wet, as the roots will loosen much more easily. Give Your Grass Room to Breathe by Scarifying Scarifying your lawn in autumn will help rid it of moss and smaller weeds, allowing light, water and air to get to the soil more easily. This involves raking over the lawn with a springy rake to loosen moss and weeds. Edge Your Lawns to Stop the Spread Aside from the look of your lawn, gardeners can also face issues when lawn weeds encroach into neighbouring flowerbeds. A simple solution to this is to add edging such as bricks or wood. Make sure it’s at least six inches deep into the soil to stop roots from crawling underneath. Mulch Neighbouring Flowerbeds Another alternative to edging your lawn is to use newspaper and/or mulch around borders. Place a layer of newspaper on the soil where you don’t want weeds to appear, then add a layer of mulch on top. Just like any plant, the lack of light will prevent weeds from growing. Bear in mind this applies to grass too, so this technique is best used to keep lawn weeds out of borders.  The Best Weed Killer Home RemediesWith growing concerns about wildlife and the environment, a lot of our customers want to know if there are alternatives to chemical weed killers. How to remove weeds from a lawn without chemicals is also something that’s high up on the agenda for pet owners, or families with young children.The good news is that organic and natural weed killers are available in many shops and garden centres. Plus there are a few tricks you can try using simple items found around the home. Say 'No' to H20 Say no to garden weeds with the simplest substance of all – water. To be more specific, boiling water. Pouring boiling water onto weeds can kill them off - make sure it’s as closing to boiling point as possible for maximum effect. Beware that this weed control technique can kill grass and other plants so it is best used around edges and paths. The Power of Salt Humble salt can be a powerful weapon in the war on weeds! Mix 1 part salt with 3 parts water to create a natural herbicide solution. Spray directly onto the leaves of weeds. Just be careful not to soak the soil as salt can affect its quality – and keep the solution away from other plants. Vinegar with that? Another useful product from your condiment cupboard is vinegar. It’s often praised for its cleaning properties but what people may not realise is that vinegar is also a natural weed killer. Put simply, it causes weeds to shrivel up and die! As with the salt solution, vinegar should be applied directly to the leaves of the weeds, taking care not to douse any nearby plants or soil.  The Best Weed Removal Tools   Dig Your Lawn If you have one or two weeds in your lawn, a hand fork or handheld weeding tool will see to the job. Spot treat lawn weeds by digging down to the root and pulling them out individually. Spring into action Invest in a springy rake for scarifying your lawn. Rake over the surface of your lawn in autumn to remove moss and allow water, light and air to reach the roots of your grass. If you’re not sure how or when to scarify, enlist the services of a professional lawncare company like Coleshill mowing. Known Your Mow Your mower probably isn’t the first tool you think of when it comes to weed control, but if you get your mowing routine right, you can make big steps to pushing out pesky plants. Cut your lawn to a height that’s neither too short nor too long – for most lawns this is about 2 ½ - 3 inches. Mow regularly and make sure you’re only cutting a third of the blade with each mow.  Useful ResourcesEffective Weed Tips Organic Weed Control  Weed Control: Essential Tips & Tricks ukgardening-directory.co.uk Home Improvement Companies in West Midlands ...