Garden Makeover: Low Maintenance But High Amounts Of Fun

Garden Makeover: Low Maintenance But High Amounts Of Fun

A family that’s growing needs a place where everyone, not just the children can go and release their tensions and unspent energy. Hence why we love the garden so much because it’s not just a place to relax and enjoy the sun in the summer. It’s also a place to have fun and play games without the need to go out to the park or elsewhere. However we’ve all got different sizes of garden, different status and health. Some of our gardens might only be half lawn while the rest is a stone slabs, or a pebble driveway. The challenge then becomes how can you transform a boring garden into something that’s going to allow all the family members to enjoy it? The other supplemental question is, can you keep costs down? Changing the garden is one thing but maintaining it is another. You don’t want your garden of fun to keep changing every season, at least not drastically. Essentially, you should aim to keep it low maintenance so it can stay functional all year round.

Level the playing field

Firstly you need to even the field, literally. Fit in something like LazyLawn whereby they take away your old natural lawn and topsoil, and simply replace it with artificial grass. It’s not coarse or made out of tough fibers either so don’t worry about it being uncomfortable to sit on or perhaps slide on if you’re an exuberant child. What happens when they fit it is, they make sure the surface is as smooth and even as possible. This means taking out the lumps in your lawn that have always been a pain to mow over. Once the artificial lawn is in place, now you can set up all your games.

A team on team sport

One of the easiest games to play and have fun as a family is, bowling. It doesn’t take a lot of skill and nor does it cost a lot to buy your own equipment. Outdoor bowling equipment is meant for garden as the ball and the pins are lighter. These stand a much less chance of causing injury. Now that you have an even surface, your pins won’t be falling over by themselves. You can also bowl straight and true so you can have team games. Maybe the dad and the son, square off against the mother and the daughter one weekend.

What’s your handicap?

The added benefit of having an artificial lawn is you also get to play a little bit of golf right at home. Putting greens use artificial lawn to give pro players a space to learn their art. You can set up your own game of putting at home. On the other hand, you can put your own objects in the way of the hole and have a round of crazy golf instead.

Changing up the garden so that it becomes more family fun oriented isn’t that difficult. Firstly you need to swap out the grass for something more forgiving like an artificial lawn. After this you can set up games of bowling, crazy golf or perhaps an outdoor version of jenga.

How To Create A Tranquil Garden Nook

How To Create A Tranquil Garden Nook

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It can be such a luxury to have a garden of your own. So, it’s always important for you to make the most of it. When you’re planning home renovations, why not start with your garden? It’s definitely not too late to get the most out of your outside space this year. And it’s definitely great to be able to have something sweet ready for next spring and summer too. However, because we’re part way through the summer, you may not want to take on an entire garden renovation project just yet. So, why not just create a small tranquil nook instead? If that sounds like something that you’d absolutely love to have in your garden, here are five simple tips to follow to make it happen.

Select Your Space

The first thing you need to do, is work out where you want this to be. A great choice will always be the patio area. But, if you want to do things differently, you could also choose the end of the garden too. Ideall, you need an area of at least 5 to 10 square meters to work with. Remember, you’re going for a garden nook, so it doesn’t have to be a huge area. This is great if your garden is relatively small already.

Pick Your Furniture

Now, because this is going to be a relaxing space, you’ll want some furniture. Think something relaxing and cozy – not a outdoor dining set. Here, great options like a small seated swing or a bench could be exactly what you need. Just make sure that it’s going to be comfortable and something that you can see yourself relaxing on at the end of a busy day.

Bring In Your Plant Choices

Then, it’s onto the plant choices. And get creative here. Remember, it’s a nook. So you won’t want to cram too much in. Instead, you could use a vertical garden kit to create a wall garden and surround yourself with gorgeous greenery. Or, why not go for a row of potted plants in a large planter? Think about the colors of the flowers and the breeds too. It would be great to pick out your favorite scented flowers that can add to the tranquility of the space.

Look Into Water Features

What could be more relaxing that a water feature? If you love the calming sound of running water, the this is the next step. Take a look at different styles. Maybe you want stacked pebbles or a fountain to really bring a sense of calm into your nook?

Accentuate The Relaxation

To finish off, you’re going to want to take the idea of relaxation to the max. Really boost the feeling of serenity with scented candles and sweet twinkling fairy lights. You may even want to bring in ornaments, like a Buddha, or even some cushions for you to relax with too. Set the space of with your favorite music or bring a book out, and you’ve instantly got yourself a tranquil garden nook to enjoy.

Creating the Backyard of Your Dreams

Creating the Backyard of Your Dreams

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When most of us think of home design and improving our properties, we tend to think of our interiors. Sure, this makes sense. After all, chances are that you spend a whole lot more time inside your house than you do in your backyard. But it’s important to remember that your backyard really can hold a whole lot of potential when it comes to improving the quality and appearance of your overall living space. So, perhaps it’s about time you start to show it a little TLC. Now, there’s so much that you could do with your backyard that it would be impossible to go through every single potential design in just one article. But we can take a moment to take a look at some key areas that will really make a difference to the overall state of your backyard! Here are a few to mull over.

The Backdoor

Your backdoor serves as so much more than a simple entrance to and exit from your garden. It’s visible at all times while you’re out back. So, let’s focus on this first. Sprucing up your back door is a relatively minor design change to the exterior of the property, but it is a simple one that you can carry out by yourself at almost any time. Just remember to put some old overalls on and roll up your sleeves, as you’re likely to get a little paint on you at some point during the process. First things first, you need to choose a paint. This should preferably be in a high-gloss tone. Remember to put masking tape on the hinge, so you don’t get any excess paint on the frame. Also, tape around the letter box, to avoid paint marks on the metal flap. If your door has a number screwed on, you might like to try removing it and then screwing it back on once you’re finished. This is easier than trying to paint around more intricate shapes. Remember to let anyone going in and out that there is wet paint about and to avoid touching the door’s surface until it is fully dried.

Patios

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. Bear in mind that if you do opt for patio, you are also likely to want patio roofing. This provides your patio with protection and also makes the space useable in adverse weather conditions. There’s little in life that is more calming than drinking a hot cup of coffee in the fresh outdoors while hearing the pitter patter of rain on the roof protecting you from the wet. They can also provide shade in the heat of the day.

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Gates

Chances are that you don’t necessarily need a gate in your backyard. They are a brilliant addition to your home if you have little ones or pets around, but for the average person, their main appeal is aesthetic. A small, metal gate makes for a really sweet feature and can act as a secure portal between your backyard and other surrounding areas. If you want to get particularly personal with your yard design, you could have a sign specially made to hang from it. Perhaps with your house number, house name or family name on it.

Climber Plants

Climbing plants, otherwise referred to as “climbers” are a distinct type of plant that will grow up your property’s walls. Their vines cling to vertical surfaces and they will grow upwards, slowly spreading over the exterior of your property. They are a truly beautiful addition to any property, and you can create completely different aesthetics depending on the type of climber that you opt for. If you fancy pursuing a classic and traditional take on your property, try planting ivy. This plant has delicate leaves and will establish itself up against the face of your home relatively quickly. If you’d prefer a flowering plant, try Wisteria. This will bloom purple in the summer months and add a touch of subtle color to your home as well as a unique scent. For something that looks like it’s been taken straight from the pages of a classic fairytale, incorporate roses into the mix.

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Window Boxes and Hanging Baskets

While climber plants are one way to incorporate a little flora into your backyard without taking up all too much room, there are alternative options on your hands to consider too! These include window boxes and hanging baskets. Window boxes are placed, quite literally, below your window. This allows you to water them easily from indoors and they contribute a pretty addition to almost any house. Hanging baskets allow you to prettily arrange a small selection of flowers and keep them up and out of the way, off the ground and in the air. You can arrange these yourself, picking and choosing what plants to fill your basket with. Regardless of the species, they’ll need to be watered regularly to remain healthy and fresh, but they’re definitely worth the effort.

Herbs and Vegetables

If you enjoy the presence of the previously mentioned low maintenance and small scale plants in your garden, you might want to take your gardening a little more seriously and start getting involved in growing your own herbs and vegetables out back. Now, there are numerous benefits to be had when you start using your backyard as a space to grow your own herbs and vegetables. First, you will begin spending more time out back and out of the house as your newfound hobby flourishes and progresses. Next, the plants that you are likely to engage with are wonderful colours and create beautiful scents that you will be able to catch on the breeze around your entire property. Finally, you will produce food products that you can actually eat and incorporate into your home cooking. We are all well aware of the sheer number of artificial ingredients, colorings, pesticides, and additives that are likely to work their way into the food that we’re picking up from the supermarket shelves. Growing your own puts an end to these problems. All you need to curate a thriving environment for the plants that will produce these foods is a small space that has access to natural light, some sort of container, and a little supervision. If you want to go all out, you can invest in some natural fertilisers specifically designed for edible plants.

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Bird Baths

We should all feel some sort of responsibility over the local wildlife that surrounds our backyards. After all, these species have probably been inhabiting the space long before you arrived. One way that you can cater to local creatures’ needs is to instill a birdbath out back. This only needs to be a shallow pool of water, but you’ll soon make a whole host of feathered friends who will frequent your space for a drink and quick splash about.

Ponds

Another option that will add a touch of water to your space is a pond. Now, this may not be an ideal option for those of us who have small children living in your home or regularly visiting – any expanse of water, no matter how shallow, can prove to be dangerous for little ones. However, for the rest of us, they create a beautiful spot for nature to flourish. They act as a source of water for birds and small mammals, and can create a habitat for amphibians such as frogs, toads, and newts. What’s more? They just look lovely, especially when water based plants start to flourish in the damp environment it provides.

As you can see, the potential that your backyard holds is astounding. No matter how large or small a space you have, there’s always something that you can do to spruce the area up a bit. You just have to dedicate a little more time and effort to proceedings and you’ll soon start to reap the results!

5 reasons I love my home…

5 reasons I love my home…

This is a collaborative post.

My house isn’t tidy or pretty and there are days when I absolutely hate it… I hate how scruffy and old it looks.  On these days, I have to really remind myself that it doesn’t matter what it looks like because it’s our home.  Today is one of those days.  There are toys all over the floor, dirty fingerprints on the walls and dishes piled high in the sink.  As I remind myself, I’m going to share 5 reasons why I love my home with you.

Our home is safe

I don’t mean safe in the respect that it has doors we can lock to keep us safe.  When I say our home is safe I mean that we have no threat of homelessness.  It would take something completely devastating for us to lose our home.  We pay our rent on time, there’s no threat of the house being sold and if the worst happens employment wise, we would be eligible for help to pay our rent.

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Our home is affordable

In today’s climate, where living costs often come close to the wage brought into the home, it’s important to have a home that is affordable.  Ours is.  We know that we can cover the rent and utilities on our house every month, some months it may be a bit of a tight squeeze, but we know we can do it. 

Our home is warm and dry

We have a home that is warm and dry.  Many people live in substandard properties because the upkeep is so expensive.  Damp and mould were rife in my first house despite the double glazed windows.  We were frequently ill, and it wasn’t good.  I love my current home because it has none of those problems (although it does have spiders… lots of spiders).

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Our home has a garden

I grew up with a large garden to play in and I wanted the same for my children.  Our last house had a garden no bigger than a postage stamp and, although we only had two children then, it was impossible to do anything other than sit in the garden.  Our current home has a large front and back garden.  We have two slides, two swing sets and a trampoline; plus a load of little ride on toys and a sandpit.  We really are very lucky.

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Our home is where the heart is

This is perhaps the biggest reason I love my home.  We’ve all heard the saying “home is where the heart is”.  Well, considering I have 5 little pieces of my heart running around outside my body and they live in our home… then I must be home.  It’s a place for us all to be together.  For all of us to spend time, lounging on the sofa, eating our dinner together. 

Yes, I love my home.  The main reason is because my family are here. It may not be perfect but it’s the place we have made, and will continue to make, happy memories. 

So, tell me, why do you love your home?

Struggling To Get Your Garden Growing?

Struggling To Get Your Garden Growing?

Spring is a great time to really get into your gardening and ty to get your own yard looking fantastic. But so many people who approach their gardening for the first time, or with little to no experience, will find it surprisingly hard to keep things alive and to get them flourishing as much as they would hope. If you find that you tend to have difficulty getting your garden growing as much as you would like, then you should take a look at the following. Here are some of the most common reasons that people fail to get their garden to grow as they would like. Try out these solutions and you will find that it really does make a huge difference – and that you can get your garden ready for Spring much more easily than you had thought.

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Reading The Care Labels

Something to always bear in mind is that each and every plant you have in your garden will have specific care needs. We tend to think that all plants need the same things, but this is simply untrue. Actually, some plants need more or less sun than others, different amounts of watering, different kinds of fertilizer at different amounts, and so on. It is therefore hugely important to make sure that you are always reading the care labels on your plants, so that you can know exactly what each specific plant needs and how to ensure you are caring for it as best as possible. That way, you will be likely to see everything grow as much as you would hope, and without the fuss that you might usually expect.

Using Fertilizer

Beginners often overlook the importance of fertilizer, or consider that it might be for more advanced gardeners to use only. But the truth is that if you want to have a beautiful, blooming garden, you will need to use fertilizer to make sure that happens. As we have seen, different plants need it in different amounts, but either way you should make sure to get hold of some decent all-purpose fertilizer such as Charlie Carp manufacture organic liquid fertiliser. That way, you will be able to continually feed your entire garden all year round, and this will especially be useful during the initial growing stages in Spring. If you aren’t using fertilizer, you just aren’t giving your plants the best possible chance to thrive.

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Care & Consistency

Many gardeners start off the year with a lot of interest and energy, and then fail to keep this up as the year goes on. If you are guilty of doing this, you might want to try and find ways to keep yourself interested in your garden all year round. Alternatively, you can host a kind of rosta with the other people you live with, so that one person looks after the garden for a month, and another the next, and so on. In this way, everyone gets involved, and nobody is likely to get bored with it all.