Top Tips and How To
Sometimes, we tend to hold onto things that we really ought to replace. For example, we might insist on running an old 1998 Volkswagen Polo into the ground, even though it’s clearly time for a newer model. Similarly, we often let old fence panels rot away until they’re next to useless, when we should really replace them once they start to deteriorate.
What should you do with your old garden fence panels, though? Of course, the obvious solution is to simply load up the boot and take them down to the local tip. However, with a little creativity, you can actually find many uses for your ‘antique’ garden fencing and wooden fence
Who would have thought that a major hit in 2005 by pop-combo Westlife could be attributed to your back garden veg plot? Oh yes, I can exclusively reveal that the song ‘You Raise Me Up’ (you know the one - big ballad type affair perfect at weddings and maybe even funerals?) was inspired by the grow-your-own movement and the use of raised beds. I know it’s hard to believe, and may even shatter many emotional memories, but in these days of fake news, anything goes. And apologies if the song is now in your head or you’ve had to look it up.
And cue piano…
With the Christmas festivities over for another year but the joys of spring not yet in sight, the second half of winter can sometimes feel like a depressing time. The last thing you need, particularly if suffering from those ‘winter blues’, is to have your shed ransacked. Unfortunately, with it potentially full of Christmas goodies, and with the nights not yet having noticeably shortened, January and February are the months that it is most at risk. But don’t let your latest power tools or the kids’ new bikes be carried off without a fight. Now is the time to take our advice and beef up your shed security.
The New Year is here. Millions of people around the country have made the famous resolution: to finally get in shape. The excessive consumption of mince pies and wine over the festive period has not helped anybody’s weight loss goals and gym owners will be rubbing their hands together, awaiting a massive influx of new memberships. If you’re like me, the thought of being in an overcrowded gym, waiting 15 minutes just to use one piece of equipment, fills you with horror. There is however, a more agreeable solution. The home gym. Or, in this case, the ‘shed-gym’.
Why would I go to the effort of creating a gym in my shed?
Well, I’m glad you asked.
Firstly, shed-gyms will save you time and money (in the long run). There is no tedious commute, merely a
Posted: December 15, 2017||
It has been a good few years since we’ve seen a snowfall quite as impressive as this week’s influx. And, as the latest snow storm hit the UK, we suddenly all remembered that we meant to buy a snow shovel, we fully intended to have some rock salt kept in the garage and we were definitely going to get some of that fluffy white stuff to protect our plants. Most of us didn’t.
As the snow and ice starts to thaw, don’t put it off again. We’ve got some key tips so at least you’ll know what to do next time the cold weather strikes, covering Britain with a blanket of snow and ice. While the snow has the brilliant ability to turn everyday sights into beautiful, picturesque scenes, it can also cause a multitude of frustrating problems. It’s best to be prepared.
I love gardening and everything to do with greenhouses. However, I have to admit the best day of my greenhouse/ gardening life to date is when the team who put the structure up left and I was face to face, for the first time, with a beautiful wooden greenhouse. My beautiful wooden greenhouse. Completely empty. Walking in, closing the door and being enveloped by the evocative aroma of wood and luxuriating in the vast emptiness of the area is a memory that will never fade. Time to breathe, think and plan. The acres of benching, the glorious expanse of unfettered flooring (concrete slabs) and achingly clear headroom. No plants, no pots, no canes, wires or string. Just a dream.
OK, it lasted a few hours before a couple of pelargoniums found their way in for their winter protection, a dozen bowls of bulbs were soon housed on the immaculate benching, and a back-of-an-envelope plan was scribbled out for five containers of tomatoes, three cucumbers, a couple of aubergines, chillies
Posted: November 23, 2017||
The first day of winter is very nearly upon us; Jack Frost’s icy grip is tightening on Britain, attacking us with sleet, snow and freezing winds. At this time of year, one would probably worry about whether there is enough time to finish the Christmas Shopping and perhaps not the rattan set sitting on the patio, but maybe your garden furniture deserves a quick thought?
Your beautiful outdoor bench and chairs are a statement piece in the garden; they deserve some protection from the elements during the winter season. Of course, modern furniture is constructed from a range of high quality materials but, as the old saying goes, it is better to be safe than sorry. Come the summer, you want to ensure everything will be in pristine condition to impress the neighbours at barbecues and garden parties.
If you have a wood burner, you have to have a supply of dry logs. And that’s 'dry' as in seasoned and 'dry' as in not dripping wet from last night rain. A log store is the answer.
Log store plans
A good log store allows great air circulation between the logs (ideally, in a good stack the gaps between the logs should be large enough to allow a mouse to run through). All you really need is a roof on the thing to keep the rain off. Utilising the side of a shed is a great idea if it is handily placed. Otherwise, four posts fixed into the ground with a sloping roof is great too. Run some guttering around it to a water butt and it really begins to work in the garden.
However, some of the best log stores aren't simply dumped at the bottom of the garden (make them easily accessed to avoid last minute and freezing trips for emergency logs) as they can be structures of beauty. Especially when stacked with logs. Pyramid shapes, for example, become style statemen
Log burners are a must-have item and to keep one well fed you will need to stack your logs. A log store needs to keep the worst of the rain off your logs and allow air to circulate around the wood. If you just dump all your wooden logs in a heap and expect them to get on with it, then you are destined for disappointment. A log store will make sure your logs are ready to use at the drop of a hat (or the drop in temperature).
Different ideas to utilise space
A log store needs to have a roof and be deep enough to allow a couple of layers deep of logs. Ideally, it will be placed near the house or wherever the log burner is situated. It saves that mid evening dash up the garden, head torch in place, in freezing temperatures to stock up.
- Log stores are easily situated next to sheds, indeed utilising one wall of the shed (or garage) – think of one as a lean-to store.
- You could utilise the space below a large potting table if you have one out
There has been a massive upsurge in wood burner installations. This has obviously resulted in many more piles of wood being stored in preparation for colder nights. But only dry wood burns well, so a log store is an essential part of the garden.
Dry wood can mean two things. Wood can be dry in that the overall moisture content is low i.e. it has been cut and dried for a year or more, resulting in a material that will burn efficiently. Dry can also mean it has been kept out of the rain and is dry to the touch. A moisture meter will tell you the moisture content, and handling the split wood logs will give an indication of whether or not it has been sitting out in the rain for weeks. The idea is that with dry logs you won't need your fire to drive out the moisture before it gives off any heat. It stops that rather tiresome smouldering look.
Keeping wood dry
But to dry wood, or to keep wood dr