Creating a Safer, Simple and Secure Front Garden

Creating a Safer, Simple and Secure Front Garden

When you think of home security deterrents, you may think of CCTV Cameras, Alarms, Ring Door Bells and the like, but did you know that as landscape gardeners, there is a lot that we can do to help improve the security of a property for home owners.

Recently this client contacted us. Her front garden had become very overgrown and the tall shrubs were actually hiding her front door from her neighbours.

Had anything of happened at her front door, her neighbours wouldn’t have been able to see, even though entrance to her home is not far from the road. The client wanted a much safer, simpler and security focused garden.

To respond to her wishes, we removed the tall overgrown shrubs to open up her front garden to the road and laid block paving around the garden. This means that her front door is now visible and can be seen from the road. Plus, the front garden is completely open, so nowhere for uninvited visitors to hide.

We also added two attractive bushes/shrubs and some gravel on her front garden to give it a landscaped look, but also, because gravel is noisy, so of course she would be alerted to anyone trying to approach her door, as would the neighbours.

To make the property even safer, we advised some floodlit lighting for extra security at night.

Here are some other ways we can help provide security to your property:

Gravel Driveway

Having a gravel driveway or path makes it harder for visitors to go undetected, as the gravel will make a loud noise underfoot, and this often puts off anyone who has unscrupulous motives.

Garden Lighting

Having well placed lighting can open up darker areas of your front garden and makes it harder for peoples to hide, especially if you use bright outside security lights so that intruders are spotted if they try to approach your home

Low Front Boundaries

A low wall or boundary at the front can be more advantageous than a higher wall, as higher walls provide a place for people to hide, whereas low boundaries mean that anyone who visits is visible to neighbours and those in the area. Obviously higher boundaries are better around the back of your property and provide extra security to the garden.

Defensive Planting

We can offer a “defensive planting” plan if you would like, with prickly plants which make it harder for people to climb over or navigate around in a hurry.

The Met Police recommend planting any of the following along your boundaries to act as a deterrent:

  • Berberis
  • Osmanthus
  • Forget
  • Poncirus
  • Crataegus
  • Pyracantha
  • Aralia
  • Chaenomeles
  • Ribes
  • Oplopanax
  • Elaeagnus
  • Robinia
  • Colletia
  • Ilex
  • Climbing roses
  • Maclura
  • Mahonia
  • Ligustrum (privet), or laurel
  • Smilax and Zanthoxylum

We’re always happy to discuss Garden Renovations and keeping your home secure by using your garden to create extra security features. For all things Garden Landscaping and Horticulture related, please do feel free to give us a call!

 

 

 

Fun things to do with Pallets in your Garden

Fun things to do with Pallets in your Garden

Are you looking for some simple and inexpensive ways to spruce up your garden? We’ve been seeing some brilliantly creative things done to transform pallets for use in the garden recently, so we thought that we would share some of our favourite ideas for things to do with pallets in your garden!

Create a Herb Garden

Do you love cooking with Fresh Herbs but don’t have much space to grow them? If so, then a Pallet Herb Garden could be a great project for you! Pallet Herb Gardens are also great if you don’t have much space as they help to keep herbs separate and stop them overtaking the garden.

Create Pallet Furniture

Creating furniture out of pallets is getting more and more popular, and there are so many different pieces of furniture which can be made – tables, chairs, stool, even sofas! You may need to collect quite a few pallets for bigger pieces of furniture, but they can make unique and interesting pieces of furniture!

Create a Pallet Bridge

Connect one area of the garden with another using a bridge made from pallets. This can be a great way to use your pallets to create a pathway in your garden and it’s more environmentally friendly too! You could also use this idea to create an “obstacle course” in your garden.

Pallet Sign Posts

What better way to make your garden your own, than to create bespoke signage which can be displayed around the garden. You could theme it around your favourite things, something memorable to you and your family, or even create it for a special event such as a wedding, birthday or anniversary and then find it a home in the garden afterwards! This would also make a unique gift for a relative or a friend and could be even more special if you have kids and get them involved in creating it. As well as signs you could create pieces of art with pallets too!

Kids Play Equipment

We’ve also seen Pallets turned into great Wendy Houses and Mud Kitchens which can provide hours of fun for younger ones, and also make a great project to do as a family too!

Wooden Pallet Bar

Last but not least, don’t let the kids have all the fun! Entertain Friends and Family in the Summer with your very own bar made from Pallets. Perhaps a great way to socially distance from each other!

So, there are a few ideas from us on how to turn a simple pallet, into some interesting and unique creations for the garden.

We’re always happy to help and advise on garden improvements, anything from a simple tidy up or Lawn Cut, to a more substantial Landscaping project, so please do get in touch if you have a gardening project you would like carried out.

 

 

Garden Makeover: Creating a Child-Friendly Garden

Garden Makeover: Creating a Child-Friendly Garden

Lockdown has given us an opportunity to work on some of our own projects in our own homes, and so we thought that we would show you what we’ve been up to over the lockdown period.

Karen and Tony have had a pond in their own garden for a number of years and have enjoyed tending to the fish and seeing the wildlife which the pond attracted. Unfortunately, a heron came and took all the fish from the pond so it had become less of a garden centre-piece.

With the arrival of their grandchild in the last year, they wanted to make it a child-friendly garden and so this included filling the pond in Here are Tony and Karen describing how their garden has changed in recent months:

“We wanted to removed the long-established pond from our garden, so to start off with, we took out all unsuitable plants from the pond and re-homed them. We then removed the pond plants, newts and the few fish we found when emptying the pond, and these were taken to a clients’ pond which we renovated earlier in the year.

Once we were happy everything has been removed, we took out the water and then filled in the bottom of the pond with some of the hardcore from the construction of the pond for drainage.

We then added top soil to level up the garden and laid new turf over the garden.

Additionally we erected a new fence to the right side of the garden as the previous fencing had seen better days.

We then planted a june-berry and silver birch tree to encourage birds as we do love to see the wildlife visiting our garden during the year. There is also more planting to be added through spring, summer and autumn to give an all year-round colour and interest

We now have a much more functional space, which our grandchild can visit (once lockdown is lifted!) and which is also a. lot easier to maintain and look after!”

If you have a garden which has features in it which once were wonderful but have now seen better days, and you would love to simplify your garden space with a re-turfed lawn and borders again, or for landscaping of any kind then please do get in touch as we’d love to help!

Common Garden Plant Diseases

It can be hard to know how to treat Garden Plant diseases unless you know what you’re dealing with.

Here are a few plant diseases that we commonly see in our clients gardens. Hopefully by knowing what they are, you will be able to look out for them and identify them more easily.

We’re always happy to try and advise on plant diseases, so why not get in touch!

Common Garden Pests

Common Garden Pests can be a nuisance when you’re doing your best to grow plants in your garden and keep them in tip top shape, but you keep finding they are being damaged. Many of these creepy crawlies can be managed with a few of these tips:

  • Erect Physical Barriers – Cover your crops with a fleece or in a cage to prevent pests from eating the crop.
  • Keep your eyes peeled for pests attaching your crops and take action as soon as you can
  • Encourage Natural Predators – Encouraging bugs and flies who will eat through Aphid colonies can help you to keep any infestations under control.
  • Keep your plants in tip-top condition. The better condition your plants are in, the more resilient they are to attack
  • Use Eco-friendly Chemicals. Using the right chemicals (safely) can help to keep some of these pests at bay.

We hope we haven’t made you too itchy looking at some of these common garden pests.

We’re always happy to try and advise on what you can do to stop your plants being attacked by garden pests, so why not get in touch!

Planting of Snowdrops “in the green”

Planting of Snowdrops “in the green”

Although the weather this week hasn’t been the best, there are signs that Spring is on its way, and one of the first signs of Spring is often the appearance of Snowdrops!

Snowdrops are on the Snowdrops CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) list of plants. You should always buy Snowdrops from a reliable stockist.

Recently we purchased some “Snowdrops in the green” to plant alongside some established bulbs for a client where we felt that they needed some extra, more mature plants.

“Snowdrops in the green” are snowdrops that have been lifted from the ground while they are still in leaf, but the flower is about to go over. This is done because they establish more readily than stored snowdrop bulbs.

If you’re thinking of planting these kinds of Snowdrops then it’s important to handle the plants carefully when transplanting and to plant them as soon as you get them, in order to to stop any deterioration, You should definitely do this within 72 hrs of delivery.

Sometimes, Snowdrops can be quite tricky to get established. They don’t always come up in the first year and they are an expensive bulb to buy.

We planted 2000 bulbs back in November in this area, but in order to ensure that our clients had ample snowdrops to look at this year, we also decided to plant to Snowdrops “in the green” as an extra, at our own expense, as we were not happy with the rate that the snowdrops were growing at from the current bulbs for this year’s crop. There are various reasons for bulbs not growing. It could be down to “bulb stress” or perhaps they have decided to stay dormant until next year due to later planting. So after consultation with our client, we decided to add more.

Here is Tony, demonstrating planting a clump of Snowdrops in the green.

 

Here are some guidelines for planting bulbs in the green:

  • Choose a semi-shade where the bulbs will not dry out.
  • Ensure that the soil is rich with well-rotted organic matter.
  • Plant about 75 bulbs per square metre, try and plant in drifts if possible.
  • Ensure that the bulbs are planted at the depth they were previously grown. The stalks will be white where they were in the ground. This is normally about 8-10cm.
  • Wait until the foliage has completely died back before mowing if they have been planted in grass areas.
  • Established snowdrops can be lifted and divided after flowering.

Take a look at a time lapse of our hard work planting Snowdrops!

 

If you are looking for help or guidance with planting bulbs for different times of the year on your property then please do get in touch as we’re always happy to help and advise, and we look forward to seeing those snowdrops appearing in the next few weeks too!