Garden Design, How To

Garden Path with Brick

Spring has sprung, and it’s time to start planning for those garden gatherings.  Fresh air and greenery are vital for our sense of wellbeing, and after a year of spending most of our time indoors, we know you’re ready for some ideas that can help to turn your gardens into perfect getaway destinations.

Houzz’s lockdown survey in 2020 revealed that 30% of respondents believed that upgrading their outdoor space would make their time at home more enjoyable. As lockdown eases, restrictions lift and home improvements are on the rise, investing time in building an outdoor sanctuary that’s a perfect fit for you, your family, and your guests will be a given. Take a look at our guide below to get ahead of the trend and create a welcoming space that works for you.

Social Spaces

It’s time to freshen up and prep your garden oasis for your guests. Choosing some staple furniture can help to transform your outdoor space into a luxe destination for everyone to enjoy.

Pre-dinner relaxation

Experimenting and creating different spots to entertain within your garden can elevate the overall experience. Choose furniture to help your guests relax and unwind before you begin the full on “hosting”. While you are busy in the kitchen, prepping hor d’oeuvres, why not direct your guests to the swings and offer them a pre-dinner cocktail?

Garden Swing with Canopy

Browse Garden Swings

Farmhouse Style

Nothing beats eating dinner alfresco style. That’s why investing in the perfect dining set for you and your guests is so important. Serve food in style, with a range of attractive and durable sets to choose from. You can guarantee we will have something suitable for you this summer.

Round Wooden Picnic Table

Browse Outdoor Dining

Summer Evenings

Outdoor fireplaces have long brought the heat and light needed to make a deck or patio a warm, inviting place for family and friends to gather. It’s a perfect way to end your garden gathering. It will keep your evening garden-getaways enjoyable throughout the whole year, not just for the English summer evenings.

Clay Chimenea

Browse Outdoor Fireplaces

Fitness hubs

Nothing like the feeling of freedom in an outdoor gym. With many of us now having fitness equipment at home, why not start prepping a section in your garden that caters for your commitment to wellness?

Stylish Shade

For a quick and stylish way to keep cool in your garden, Shade Sails are a great way to allow you to make the most out of your patio, and of course, protect you from the sun (and rain, after all we are in the UK) The shade will help you focus on dedicating yourself to your yoga flow or lift of weights without getting too hot or flustered, providing a practical solution yet still keeping your garden looking premium.

A Kookaburra shade sail, as evidenced by the watermark

Browse Shade Sails

Compact Storage

Worked off those calories and got your heart rate up? Why not add in some elegantly designed garden storage to help protect and tidy up your outdoor space just in time for your guests to arrive.

Garden Storage

Browse all Garden Storage

Header Photo by Zane Lee on Unsplash

Decorative Features, Garden Design, How To, Water Features

Using water in your outdoor spaces is a sure-fire way to add something extra to your design. Water features add movement and sound to the environment and come to life in the sun, reflecting light and attracting wildlife. Beyond this, they purify the air and create a relaxing atmosphere that makes these additions to your garden both aesthetically pleasing and practical. Here are our top tips on using water features in your garden design.

Match design to architecture 

When building or installing a water feature, you should try to choose something harmonised with your home’s architecture. Simple rectangular or curved shapes work well, and you should consider surrounding your pool or water feature with bricks, pebbles or decking that match its surroundings. 

River Canyon Watercourse

Handmade Bath Stone Pond

4-Tier Cascade

View all water features

Make use of different levels

we often ignore vertical space in our gardens. Playing with levels in your space adds more interest and lets you play with planters and seating placement. Tall fountains, water walls or raised ponds are an effective way to play with height and give you the option of adding cascades and waterfalls.

3-Tier Classical Stone Fountain

Cascading Metal Water Feature

Create contemporary space with a waterfall

Sleek and modern, modern waterfalls often come in chrome and stainless steel designs that add an impressive CenterPoint to your garden. Surround the base with rocks and large plants for more effect and light with spotlights to create a mesmerising nighttime display.

View all waterfalls

Ponds for wild gardens

Wild gardens can be havens for birds, pollinators and other garden animals, but we often see them as just meadows of wildflowers. However, a pond can be a great addition to these hardens and provide sanctuary for amphibians and other animals. Build with a slight sloping side topped with pebbles and stones to allow easy access to animals. Surround with pollen-rich plants like coneflowers. You can also add marginal pond plants for textures and colours you won’t find anywhere else. 

Find all our pond suitable plants here 

Rills for a timeless look

A rill is a long narrow channel that brings clean lines to your garden but can fit in with any design scheme. Surround with brick or stone for a traditional look or lay decking, bamboo, black gravel or pebbles for a contemporary or eastern design. 

Derek Harper / The Rill Garden, Coleton Fishacre / CC BY-SA 2.0

Integrate pumps and filters into the design

Any water feature needs a pump and if its a part of a pond you will also have filters, heaters and other equipment. All of this equipment can get messy and cluttered so, incorporating it into your design is a great way to keep your water feature running smoothly and keep your garden looking great. 

Lights

The full effect of a water feature will be seen during the day, but if you like to spend time outside during the evenings then placing lights around your water feature you can get just as good an effect.

Scale to your garden’s size

You don’t need a large garden to fit to have a water feature. Everything from a small courtyard to a balcony can benefit if you buy small tabletop or wall-mounted fountain that gives the same effect as bigger displays.

Jug and Bowl Solar Water FeatureThree-Tier Oil Jar Water FeatureOil Jar Cascading Water Feature
Wall-Mounted Cascade Triple Trickle Honey Pots

 Verdigris Wall Fountain

Think solar

A water feature can use a lot of electricity if run for most of the day. A solar water feature will save on your bills and keep your water feature active whilst you’re outside.

View all solar water features

Terracotta Bowls

 Tap and Half Barrel

Easter Island Head

4-Tier Solar 

Buckets and Tap

Ivory 3-Tier Cascade

Garden Design, How To

Lots of people have been working from home this year, and some big companies have made the change permanent. With hybrid working looking more likely in the future we need to start building workspaces in our homes. But, those with no spare rooms or a busy home might find this a bit difficult, so why not look to the garden. A garden office separates you from the distractions of the home and if you don’t have the budget to buy a brand new one why not look to what’s already in your garden. Here is everything you need to know about converting a shed or summerhouse into a great garden office. 

Image thanks to SHARON D

Step 1: Make your space suitable. 

Before you start buying materials and making changes to any outdoor building you should take a good look at it first to make sure it is a suitable place to work. You will be spending a big part of your day in it, so it needs to be comfortable, secure and protected from the weather. When surveying your space think about: 

  • Weatherproofing – your new office needs to be completely watertight, and some older sheds might not be. This is the first thing you should do and it is easy to do with a few simple steps: 1. Line the floor and roof with DMF, 2. seal any large gaps with a silicone sealant and you should have a nice dry place to work.

 

  • Electricity – a lot of office spaces will need computers, printers, fax machines and extra lighting in the winter. This means you will need a mains connection and always consult an electrician. You shouldn’t need planning permission unless you live in a listed building.

 

  • Heat & insulation -in the winter you want to work in a nice, toasty office. A smaller space can be easily warmed up with a heater. If you want to go a step further you can install some insulation and plasterboard for a higher-end look.  

 

  • Wifi and internet – this can be a tricky one if you have a big garden, but as long as you have a wired mains connection, the internet can be yours. You can buy a plug-in powerline adaptor quite cheaply that turns your electric cables into wifi boosters. 

 

  • Lighting – good lighting is the key to productivity. A combination of natural light in the day and good artificial light in the afternoon is key. If your shed or summerhouse has windows then one is already sorted. When putting artificial lighting in your home you have a few options, install a light fitting or buy a lamp. Whichever you choose make sure to choose a cold white over a warm white as they are better for concentrations, and always consult an electrician before installing light fittings. 

 

Step 2: Arrange your workspace.

Once your shed or summerhouse is ready to go it’s time to set up your office, and how you do this will depend on the size of your space. 

Small  – A basic office without all the bells and whistles, but there will be enough room for a chair and desk with all the space for your basics. 

Medium – Offers you more flexibility when it comes to the layout. You can add bookshelves and larger printers or equipment.

Large – Gives you the most flexibility. Y. Allows you to store all of your paperwork and equipment and may allow for workspace for multiple people. You can also add furniture for meeting or break spaces. 

Step 3 – Decorate

Make space your own. Consider adding some houseplants or pictures to make it a place you want to work. 

For more ideas on decorating your new workspace see our guide

Don’t have a shed or summerhouse already? 

 

If you don’t have a suitable building to convert into an office, then why not start from scratch. A small purpose made studio office is ideal for most sized gardens, but if you want something different you can see our whole range of outdoor buildings to find something you’ll love. 

 

 

Garden Design, Gardening, Make over, Outdoor Living, Uncategorized

As we enter the second lockdown of the year, our gardens and outdoor spaces come back into the spotlight. With shorter days and falling temperatures, it might seem like they’re done for the year – but that’s far from the truth. Getting outside is a key way to boost your mental health and get some exercise, even as we approach winter. Here are some top tips on how to make your garden as inviting in the winter and is it in the summer.     

Get Ahead Of Garden Maintenance

Gardening is great for mental and physical health, it can be physically demanding and it keeps your mind occupied. There is also something satisfying about setting a goal for the day and meeting it. These little wins are important when you can’t distract yourself by visiting friends and family and there is still plenty to do in the garden at this time of year. You don’t need a big space to keep your fingers green, and there are a lot of things you can grow on a balcony or in a windowsill. 

See our full list of November gardening jobs here.

Got a small space? – Find out how to get started with balcony or windowsill gardening.

Decorate for Christmas

In a year where a lot has been cancelled, there is one thing that never will be – Christmas. Celebrating may feel a bit out of place this year, but this is a time to focus on those relationships that have gotten us through,  let our hair down and enjoy ourselves.  A lot of people are decorating early to extend the festive season and end the year on a happy note. Why not join in the fun and deck your garden out with a festive display that will delight your neighbours and give you an oasis of festive cheer. 

Find the perfect decorations for your garden. 

Want to add the personal touch? –  We’ll show you how to make your own wreath this year.

Introduce Some Winter Interest Plants

Summer is the only time of the year where you can relax in a colourful garden, right? Of course not. The winter garden can be just as colourful and interesting as vibrant summer beds or trailing hanging baskets. This year the garden is the easiest to access space you have, so why not bring out its full potential in every season?  There are a lot of plants whose true colour only comes out when the rest of the garden has gone dormant. As leaves drop, colourful stems, textured bark and bright berries become more prominent. The effect is just like something you’d find on a Christmas card, and it makes your space unique

and relaxing – a great way to add a unique stamp to your space and bring it alive year-round.

Not sure what to plant at this time of the year? – Check out our guide here  or 

see all our favourite winter interest plants.

Create A Cosy Space

 

The patio is one of the best places to relax, but as we move closer to winter we often abandon it for central heating. This year, our need for more space should lead us to look at the patio in a new light. Can you relax outside when it’s cold? Of course, you can, and some of our top tips on how to get it right. 

Make it intimate – the key to getting that cosy feeling is to make space feel smaller. This is really easy to do with a balcony or courtyard, but if you have a larger garden use screens,  sail shades,   gazebos or arbours to section off the space and protect it from the elements. 

Add ambience – contrasting shadows and moving lights enhance the feeling of a small space. Add string lights or a fire pit or chiminea to the mix and space will instantly feel more relaxed. 

Heat it up – fire pits and chimineas bring atmosphere, but also heat to your space. If you don’t have the room or budget for one why not consider a heater. 

Accessorise –  The final touch is to add a few accessories to soften and fill the space. Throws and cushions are great for your garden furniture and outdoor rugs look wonderful if your patio of decking contrasts with the rest of your aesthetic.

Let us help you design your ideal cosy space here.

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