Ditch The Decking – Why It’s Time To Scrap This Outdated Garden Trend

garden decking and wooden furniture

Replace Your Decking With Artificial Grass Before Autumn Sets In

It’s out with the decking as homeowners are becoming increasingly fed up with their high-maintenance timber platforms and prefer the functionality of a fake lawn.

It’s easy to see why decking has become such a popular choice for gardens in the UK. Made famous by makeover shows such as Ground Force in the early Noughties, decking is an attractive and cost-effective solution that is easy and quick to install, transforming a drab garden into a functional living space in a couple of days. The problem is that since decking experienced such a surge in popularity at the turn of the millennium, the novelty has now worn off.

The Downsides of Decking

Unfortunately, decking may be affordable, but it’s also quite high-maintenance if you’re looking for a look that lasts. As with any wood-made materials, it doesn’t handle the elements well and can quickly become damaged following a spell of either sunny or rainy weather. In fact, homeowners will need to regularly re-oil their decking to keep it in good condition, but depending on the type of wood used, bending and bowing are both problems that can occur.

Perhaps of more concern though, particularly if you have young children or elderly people living at home, is that decking can easily become a treacherous and slippery platform, particularly in winter following freezing conditions or even when wet leaves or other foliage falls on top of it. It’s important to keep children safe and stop them running on it in the colder seasons, which can be easier said than done. If your decking is in a dark, shaded part of the garden you are likely also to have to deal with moss cropping up which will need to be dealt with as this can also be a hazard when wet.

Pest Control

Raised decking areas also attract some rather unwanted guests to your garden in the form of rats and mice. Particularly where decking is raised up off the ground, the space between the timber and the ground can provide a cosy resting place during the winter months for rodents to hole up in and build their nests. Pest controllers advise blocking off all access routes and laying traps where appropriate to discourage and eliminate such a problem if it exists beneath your garden decking. However, a better option still would be to tear up this outdated garden material and replace it with something that is much more durable, functional and aesthetically-pleasing all year round – artificial grass.

Benefits Of Artificial Grass

According to a Suffolk artificial grass installer, a fake lawn can cope perfectly with the ever-changing British weather. As it is both water resistant and self-draining, there is no need at all to worry about an artificial lawn becoming swamped during a rainy season, nor will it be scorched during the hotter weather.

Fake grass can be enjoyed by all the family whatever the weather. If you have energetic family members who use your lawn as a football pitch or play area for their swing set and slide, then there will be no patches around a goal mouth or beneath any play equipment. Additionally, you can rest assured that no mud or debris will be trampled inside as the fake grass will stay dry.

Once installed, your artificial grass needs very little in the way of maintenance, aside from a bit of regular raking and the use of a leaf blower to remove any fallen foliage.

So, if you’re looking to revamp your garden space before the cooler season arrives and renders your decking unusable, then it’s time to fight back against this outdated trend and consider replacing it with an artificial lawn that can be enjoyed all the way through winter.

Keep Your Lawn Green All Year

beautiful home with luxury lawn

How To Banish Those Dry Patches On Your Garden Lawn

If you long for the green, green grass of home, then here are some tips to help you eradicate those problem patchy areas and achieve a luscious lawn.

Many things can keep your lawn from looking less than desirable. Whether it’s taken a beating from the British weather, or experienced some heavy usage from energetic kids, your garden lawn can quickly become thin and patchy, yellow or overgrown with weeds. Some give up entirely on their lawns and switch to artificial grass instead. However, if you prefer to look out over an authentic grass lawn, then follow these tips to keep it green all year round.

Neutralising Yellow Patches

If you suffer from unsightly yellow patches on your lawn, then this may be because you’re mowing too much of the grass blade. Instead, try and mow more frequently, but set your mower to a higher setting, so that it never cuts off more than a third of the blade. This will ensure that the greener section of the grass is not removed and the colour of your lawn should improve.

However, sometimes if you find that that the blades are yellow in the vein area but not in the leaves, then this may be indicative of an iron deficiency. This is easily treatable by spraying the area with a liquid iron supplement designed for use on lawns. Take care not to over-apply any type of supplement or fertiliser though, as this can end up scorching the grass. If this happens, give your grass a good drink to remove any excess residue and wash it down into the soil.

Aerate Your Lawn

It’s important that the soil beneath your lawn receives a steady supply of nutrients as well as air and water, to allow the grass to grow and provide a healthy lush appearance for your garden. If your lawn experiences heavy usage from children and pets, or if it dries out easily, then it may be suffering from soil compaction. This is an easy problem to fix by using a simple aeration method to deliver oxygen to the root of the grass. You can use either a plug aerator or a spike aerator to perforate the lawn with small holes. This will allow deeper roots to develop and creates a stronger and more vigorous lawn.

Reinforce Your Grass

Most areas of your garden lawn will have sections that experience heavier usage than others. These might be spaces near a football goal, beneath a swing or even wherever there is a pattern of natural footfall, such as close to the front door. Areas such as these can benefit from some grass reinforcement. Suregreen grass protection for instance, works by fixing a layer of plastic mesh to the ground. The grass roots and sward will then grow between the gaps and also intertwine with the mesh itself, to create a strong and stable reinforced surface which is perfect for handling extra heavy traffic.

Regular Mowing

Little and often is the best way to cut your lawn. Always mow when it is relatively dry to enable you to get a clean cut. You should always check that your mower blades are sharp and use a mower with a mulching plug. This will return the grass clippings back to the lawn as a valuable nutrient to encourage further growth.

With regular care, there’s no reason why you must continue to look out onto a dry and patchy lawn. Follow these tips and you’ll have a green healthy lawn in no time at all.

How To Brighten a Shady Garden

shady garden

Here Are Some Ideas On How To Make Your Garden Lighter!

We’ve put together ideas on how you can make small changes to your woodwork, plants and landscaping materials to achieve maximum light exposure in your garden!

One of the many pleasures of summer is being able to sit outside in the warm sunshine. Plants need the sun’s light just as much as we do; the nourishing sunbeams provide energy needed for a garden to flourish and grow.

Sadly, a house cannot be moved around in order to achieve maximum light exposure. The sad truth is, a north-facing garden will always be a north-facing garden. But alas, not all is lost! There are certain things you can do that will help you to increase the amount of light your garden gets.

Paints Walls And Fences White

Do you have any old walls? Or any timber structures like sheds, pergolas or rose arches? A great tip for these would be to paint them in white or cream. The white surfaces will reflect and diffuse light in many different directions. This increase in light will be a benefit to nearby plants and will immediately brighten up your garden.

Carefully Choose Hard Landscaping Materials

The colour of your paving, if you’re thinking about laying a path or patio, is certainly something that needs to be thought about. If you’re going to use hard landscaping materials, then stick with warm, pale-honey colour tiles or silver granite paving to help reflect light.

Try to avoid dark grey or khaki tiles, or slate chipping. Darker colours do not reflect light very well and in a dark garden, they can look quite sad, especially when wet!

Highlight With Plants

A shady garden can be brightened up using white flowers and variegated foliage, or some Spring coloured woodland plants. This creates the illusion of light, and as the sun sets the white will stand out.

It’s important to choose plants that can help to create the illusion of more light, and help to brighten your garden up with their beautiful colours. The flowers of choice for this could be the Pulmonaria or Dicentra, both of which are delicate, dainty flowers that vary in vibrant colour and can help to jazz up a shady garden.

Mirrors

Mirrors are an increasingly popular way of creating an illusion of space in a garden, which can also reflect light and heat from the sun. To do this, place a mirror in the brightest area of your garden, and direct it towards the darkest area; this will improve the light your garden gets.

Make sure not to use a magnifying mirror, or direct multiple mirrors to the same spot, as in some cases this can cause an accidental fire!

Water features

A water feature can bring sounds of nature to your doorstep, attract natural wildlife and can adapt to fit in any size space. They’re a great feature of a garden, and can give people something to talk about!

Glass garden sculpture

A glass garden sculpture can help to reflect light around a garden. Pick a coloured glass sculpture and you will add some all-year-round colour to your garden, with beautiful bright colours being reflected around the space.

If you’re thinking about a glass sculpture, or any kind of sculpture, make sure the area it’s placed in is clear and not at risk of falling onto something else or being shattered by overhead factors, such as dead or damaged branches.

Follow these easy steps and ideas to transform a shady garden into a brighter garden!

Add Value To Your Home With A Luxury Sun Room

Caulfield conservatory

Maximise Your Living Space With A Modern Conservatory Extension

The best luxury sun room extensions complement the style and interior of the existing property, using building materials and décor that blends in seamlessly.

If you’re looking for a way to extend the living space within your home, whilst opening it up to the garden, then a sun room is an ideal investment for your property. According to the Telegraph, a conservatory extension costing in the region of £4000 – £10,000 could increase the value of your home by 5% in the current economic climate. However, it is important to ensure that this luxury sun room is designed and built well, otherwise cheap extensions can actually put buyers off when it is time for you to sell.

Blend Your Living Spaces

Modern living has seen an increase in homeowners opting for large open-plan areas which combine kitchens, dining and living areas into one huge space. Many are now utilising their outdoor garden areas and choose to create a free-flowing environment with a sun room acting as that transitional space between the joys of nature outdoors and the comfort of interior living. If you wish to add a bespoke conservatory to your property, then it is essential that it complements the existing style of your home. It may be exciting to design and decorate your new space, but try to keep the same flooring as the rest of your downstairs area to ensure that it blends well with your current interiors. Similarly, choose tones that add balance to your existing colour scheme.

Matching Materials

In order to add value to your home, it is also vital that your sun room looks attractive from the exterior of your property, and is seen as a structural addition to the home. This means using building materials that match the existing components of your building. Naturally, you would expect a sun room to feature more glass or uPVC than other exterior walls of your house. However, it is still possible to blend the extension seamlessly with a similar style of timber, bricks, roof tiles or cladding.

Heating and Cooling

One aspect of sun rooms and conservatories that has been a problem in the past, is the ability for these spaces to retain an ambient temperature. Unfortunately, many sun rooms have a tendency to overheat during the summer, yet are too cold to enjoy in the winter. This can render this type of additional living space unusable for large portions of the year, if the extensions have not been built with a consideration of temperature in mind. When planning your conservatory extension, it is important to choose a design that avoids overheating by installing an air-conditioning unit, ceiling fan or specialist conservatory blinds. Similarly, you must consider ways to insulate the space in winter, by building the extension with double-glazing and potentially underfloor heating.

Always choose a reputable building company and designer that is willing to discuss various design options with you. A sun room will only add true value to your property if you can use it to maximise the living space in your home. Many luxury sun room extensions fall under the ‘Permitted Development’ regulations, so as long as you adhere to these various standards, then it should be very easy for you to create that dream extension in 2017!