Clocks, Lighting, Solar Clocks, Solar Lighting

Spring Time And Solar Power For The Garden

At last, the sun is shining! We’ve had a couple of weeks of wonderful weather already lately, which I have been thoroughly enjoying, as I hope you are. Now is the perfect time to get planting ready for summer and strawberries are a great investment of your time at the moment. Not only do you get the satisfaction from seeing them grow well, but once the berries are ripe, they are also delicious (particularly in a cheesecake!) This year we are growing our strawberries in one of these strawberry
barrels
, although we’ve also got some in a couple of hanging baskets. Fingers crossed they’ll be a success, we’ll let you know!

Of course, gardens are more than just a place to grow things, they’re also places to sit down, relax and enjoy the beauty around us. At this time of year, one of the best ways to enhance your garden’s natural charm is by taking advantage of solar power. Many garden features and decorations can be powered by the sun and this has a lot of knock-on benefits, for example lower costs as solar energy is free unlike electricity. Solar products can also be placed anywhere outside (as long as the panel is in the sun) whereas mains powered products need to be placed near the house to be connected to the electricity.

Solar lights are one of the most attractive and varied solar garden products available. Some, like the colourful butterflies in the picture, are very pretty and unusual, but if you prefer something a little less extravagant, this set of four lamps is classy and also ideal for lighting up a path or patio area. From table lights to light strings with 50 LEDS, there is such variety available that there will be something for anyone’s taste.

Solar doesn’t just stop with lighting, however. Many water
features
come with a solar option, but if you already have a water feature that runs off the mains, you can still save some money (and the environment!) by turning it solar with a solar pump kit.

In addition to decorative items, energy from the sun can also be used to run more practical items. An outdoor clock is perfect when you need to keep an eye on how much time you’ve spent in the garden, but solar clocks that absorb the sun’s rays can often provide an extra power supply for LEDs on the clock, so it can still be used on balmy nights when the sun has gone down. Even pest control devices which chase away those pesky cats or moles can be powered entirely by solar energy!

So versatile, so eco-friendly, so cost-effective – have you tried solar yet?

Ponds

Tips For Keeping Your Pond Healthy And Clean

Now that the days are becoming longer and warmer and the winter is officially behind us, it’s a great time to make sure that your garden pond is healthy and clean. Here are some tips on how to achieve this:

Hoover up any dirt or debris with a handy pond vacuum – all you have to do is attach it to a hose, stick it under the water (making sure the bag is completely covered by water) and watch your pond become clean again. Pond vacs are an efficient and very easy to use pond tool, (not to mention affordable).

If the pond water is prone to algae and is tinged green, you can turn the water clear again by adding barley straw flakes which create an environment that is harder for algae to grow in and which, incidentally, are non-polluting and are safe for fish, wildlife and even children!

It is important to keep the water moving in the pond to prevent it becoming stagnant. A good pump will do the trick, although a handy way to keep oxygen levels up in the water is to use a pond aerator. Even pond fountains can help since they constantly turn over the water by drawing it up and then releasing it in a cool jet.

Composting, Decoration, Gardening, Weeding

Tidying up the Garden

Well it’s already February! The time has gone quickly and the snow from December is just a memory now. It’s also starting to get warmer down our way, we’re creeping towards Spring, so now it’s time to think spring cleaning for the garden!

I expect that after a few months of abandoning the garden and hiding inside away from the weather, your garden is looking like it needs a little TLC… So here are a few tips on how to get it back into shape! Weed Wand from Primrose Gardens

You can keep your garden looking neat and tidy by mark the boundaries of your flower beds with some stylish, affordable border edging. Border edging comes in a range of styles and looks great running along the edge between your lawn and flower beds. It’s flexible and can fit any length edge and is also a great way to prevent loose soil etc from spilling over from your flower beds onto your lawn.

Weeds can be the bane of a gardener’s life, and I’m sure a few will have popped up over the winter. It’s important to take special care when removing weeds that have grown up around your plants, but weeds growing on your driveway and patio can be dealt with very quickly and easily with a number of weed-killers such as sprays or an eco Weed Wand – instantly creating a much tidier area.

There are a great number of products to make it easier and quicker to clear up your garden. For example, if there are a lot of leaves and detritus clogging up your garden, a handy way to deal with this are leaf grabs which can scoop up the leaves in large volumes. And what do you do with all these leaves and other garden waste? Make compost! Composting is fantastic as it is not only great for the environment, but also provides a neat and free way to dispose of a lot of your garden waste (though don’t compost weeds!). Take a look at one of our earlier posts for how to make great compost.

Finally, where do you put all your garden tools, pots, planters and everything else when they’re not in use?

Storage is vital in any garden and will keep your tools and other items safe and protected while at the same time neatening up your garden. Greenhouses are useful storage areas as well as ideal environments for plants that require more warmth and shelter than our British weather can provide. Sheds are the traditional garden stores, though you may like to consider plastic garden stores instead since they are fully weatherproof and not liable to rot or succumb to damp. Many can also be opened by the roof as well as the doors, allowing easy use.