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Landscape Gardening

Strategies for Maintaining Garden Paths

Most properties with a front garden will have some kind of path leading to the front and rear door.  A well maintained path is an attractive feature; a damaged one can be an eyesore.Paths are very vulnerable to damage from weeds, roots, and standing water.  Whether concrete or gravel, a garden path can benefit from regular maintenance. Frequent treatment of a gravel path with weed killer, and removal of grass and other vegetation from the path edging, are two easily performed maintenance strategies.  Fixing major overgrowth and root damage could involve removing the gravel and refinishing the base level before re-pouring the gravel surface.  Regularly redistributing the gravel by raking will help to minimise the formation of potholes or puddles and the spread of grass and/or weeds.Once cracked, a concrete pathway is subject to subsidence as a result of recurrent freezing and thawing cycles; cracks may get bigger and potholes may form.  Repair bills will definitely increase.A concrete path should have plenty of drainage holes incorporated into its structure, but once a crack forms it should be repaired as soon as possible.  Wait until the ground is dry before attempting any repair work.  A compressed air blower or vacuum can be used to remove debris and loose bits of concrete from inside the damaged area, and to clean the surrounding surfaces.  If the crack or hole is large, undercutting the edges will create a wedge spaced shape which when filled will be less vulnerable to cracking or popping out.  Proprietary fillers for fixing damaged concrete are readily available from suppliers of DIY and gardening products.  The filler is usually supplied dry and must be mixed with water before use.  Mix enough filler to complete the task of both filling the crack/hole and covering the surrounding area for a little distance to create a patch.  Overfilling a little will allow for shrinkage; sanding can be done to even the surface once the patch has dried.If cracks continue to form it may be necessary to seek professional advice to rule out larger problems or drainage issues.

Building a great Garden Gazebo

Traditionally, gazebos have evolved from ancient stone structures to a hexagonal or octagonal wooden design. However, there are many different shapes and materials available to give you the right outdoor gazebo for your needs.Wooden gazebos are a popular choice due to their durability; unlike some metal or canopy gazebos, a wooden gazebo will make a permanent addition to your garden. If you decide to build a wood gazebo, make sure that you choose the right materials for the job – a hardwearing wood such as cedar is perfect for parts of the structure that will be exposed to the elements, while softer woods such as pine should be kept for interior beams and not exposed to harsh weather. This material allows you to make dramatic design statements – choose a Chinese or Persian inspired multi-tiered pagoda design for real wow-factor, or carve unique designs into the pillars of your project.Of course, the downside to choosing a wooden gazebo is the cost and time involved. For a more portable option that will take less time to construct and be more cost effective, you may wish to choose a metal framed or canopy gazebo. Available in a range of materials, from cast iron to steel frames, with the option to choose floral or nature inspired metalwork designs, you can still achieve elegance without spending a huge amount of time on construction.

DIY Tree Removal

Cutting down Unwanted TreesCreating an ideal garden can often revolve around creating the right amount of space.  Gardens are often divided into parts: lawn, flowerbeds, vegetable patch, seating area or patio.  Trees can function in this space by acting as natural dividers or as border markers.  On the other hand, refashioning the space into the desired whole can mean taking out unwanted trees.Starting the Tree CuttingBefore starting to cut down trees in your garden, you should check that you are allowed to do so with your local authority.  You may end up with a fine or legal consequences if you cut trees without written permission.If there are no local authority objections, start cutting the tree by removing its top branches.  Work your way downwards.  The aim is to end up with a cleared tree stump that you can cut down from top to bottom in stages.  Cutting it in stages means you do not run the risk of the tree falling onto your property or the rest of your garden.Clearing the Tree StumpThe end stump left of the tree, perhaps around knee height, can be removed only with brute force. You may find it easiest to hire a small digger that you can use to mechanically dig and then pull out the tree roots.  Digging a tree stump out by hand is possible, but very time consuming.Level the area by filling the hole with ground from elsewhere in the garden.

Laying Paving Slabs

You have a huge choice when it comes to choosing paving slabs, as they are available in all sizes, shapes and colours and in a wide range of materials and finishes.When preparing the site, use a line strung between pegs to delineate the area you intend paving.  Dig out the soil, clearing it away as you go.  If the paved area is only going to take foot traffic you need to go down 100mm or so and use builders sand to form the sub-base, depending on the ground conditions.  If vehicles are to be driven over it, you will need to go down 200mm to 300mm and use limestone aggregate with a top layer of builders sand.  The sub-base will need to be firmed down by walking over it several times or using a roller, if you have access to one.  If you have used limestone, you will need to rent a ‘wacker plate’ from a tool hire company, in order to form a solid base, before topping off with sand.  There should be a slight drainage slope and remember, if the path or paved area is to adjoin the wall of the house, you will need to ensure that their upper surface is 150mm lower than the level of the dpc (damp-proof course).  The slabs should also slope away from the wall.At this point, you can begin laying the slabs straight onto the sand.  Start at a corner and manoeuvre them into position, using a 100mm wooden spacer between them.  This will create an even space into which mortar will eventually go.  As you place the slabs in position give them a few taps with a wooden mallet and check that they are lying flat by using a spirit level.  When you have laid all the slabs remove the spacers, mix the mortar dry and brush it into the gaps between them.  Taking care to walk as lightly as possible.  Finally, use a watering can or hosepipe with a fine nozzle, to dampen the mortar.Working slowly and methodically you can save a small fortune by laying your own paving slabs.

A Gazebo as a Play Area

Even if your gazebo is not a permanent structure it can provide the ideal play area for children.  Using a gazebo as a play area has a number of benefits; for example, it will encourage the children to be out in the fresh air rather than in the house watching television. They will, therefore, be able to play more active games, rather than the sedentary activity of using games consoles that they may play indoors.It also means that children can play outdoors even if the weather is poor. This is perfect if the space indoors is limited, and also stops them from becoming bored while they are waiting for the sun to shine. On very hot days, it will also provide the shade they need to avoid heat stroke and sunburn. However, an enclosed space may prove to be too warm on very hot days. Children playing indoors can often be noisy and disruptive, particularly if parents are working at home or carrying out chores.  Encouraging them to play in the garden will ensure a more peaceful, restful household.If the garden gazebo is being used as a play area furniture is not needed, as children are more than happy with cushions and beanbags. A small table can be added if the children want to eat in the gazebo. If the gazebo is enclosed then it will discourage insects, and allow items such as cushions and toys to be safely left inside overnight.

Transforming your Garden with a Wood Gazebo

Now that the teenagers have taken over the den, you need an extra entertainment area, where you and your friends can have a dinner together; a place where you can kick back, relax, chat, and have sundowners in the evening.  You need an adult place where you can express your individual style and be snug in winter and cool in summer, and a place that can expand on lovely summer days, and then hug up close in winter.You’ve thought about renovating the house, bashing out walls, but you know that you can’t take the chaos. So you’ve taken to looking at other properties, but nothing quite offers what you have already in the home you love. If only you had another room to use for entertaining.On those cold winter nights your outdoor patio doesn’t get used much – but wait, what if you transformed the space by adding a wooden gazebo with a dining area, and perhaps a seating area with a small bar? And your dream, a luxurious wooden hot tub.This could be a sanctuary where you can escape to read a book with a glass of wine. You can fill it with palms and plantation style wicker couches with comfort in mind.  You can picture the fresh, breezy, cotton chintz fabrics for the canopy. A gas heater would add warmth.Now it’s a visual asset to your home and adds a touch of class and style.  All lit up at night, with the lamps and candles glowing, the wood gazebo has completely transformed your home.

The Advantages of a Wooden Garden Gazebo

Adding a wooden gazebo can really enhance the use and fun you get out of your garden.What are the advantages of a wooden gazebo, and what accessories can you include?* A wooden gazebo provides you with an extra outdoor room, adding value to your property. * A wooden gazebo can be used all year round, right through from winter to spring and summer.* A gazebo can include a relaxing wood-surround hot tub for those chilly evenings.* Gazebos come in all shapes, sizes and colours, including either a tiled roof or a sturdy canvas canopy.* It is now a breeze to arrange a romantic evening for two with champagne in the hot tub in your cosy gazebo.* A wooden gazebo can be designed with any furniture and dining configuration you prefer.* Gazebos can house a state-of-the-art barbeque for entertaining stylishly on those summer days with friends.* A gas heater can be included to get year round use.* Gazebos don’t require planning permission if they are freestanding in your garden.* A gazebo made from wood in the style you choose can be installed on an existing patio.These are just some of the wonderful advantages to having a garden gazebo that can be a visual asset to your home while increasing its value. You will find endless uses for the garden gazebo, and enjoy dining outdoors more.

Hot Tub Gazebos - perfect all year round!

For the height of luxury, one should look no further than a hot tub gazebo. Designed to look stylish at the bottom of a garden or even on a deck or terrace, the hot tub gazebo is the ideal place to relax and unwind after a long day at work.The hot tub gazebo comes in many sizes and styles, with the larger ones being able to house patio sets and small tables for relaxing and enjoying a drink either before or after a dip in the tub. Bamboo or wicker furniture really looks the part inside one of these gazebos and offers added comfort. These also give the illusion of an extra room onto the house and are ideal for those who wish to have a little space for themselves.Covering the hot tub with a gazebo also gives added privacy, especially if your home is overlooked by a neighbour. The gazebo also helps to keep debris, such as fallen leaves and other foliage, out of the hot tub. Usually wooden, the hot tub gazebo can be stained, painted or waxed to suit each individual, and can truly make a statement in a garden area. Allowing climbing plants such as roses to grow over the gazebo can also give it an additional feel of romantic privacy, like a hidden room within the garden.An asset for any outside space, the garden gazebo is not just for the elite, and come in all sizes to suit all garden areas. Many companies can even custom build to specific dimensions.

The Best Place for a Gazebo

The beauty of a gazebo is that it is often portable. It can be positioned in one area of the garden, but easily moved if need be. Of course, there are gazebos that can be firmly fixed into the ground, which are not so easy to move. If you are buying one of these, how do you know where it should be placed?It is all about personal preference. Garden gazebos look perfect both on decking or similar patio areas, and can be positioned for the perfect place to shade from the sun. For those sun worshippers, it can be placed in the ideal position to catch the sun. A gazebo on a deck can also double as a bar area for those who wish to entertain.Those with larger gardens may wish to consider positioning their gazebo at the bottom of the garden. When placed amongst foliage, a feel of a secret hideaway garden room is created; a romantic setting for both young and old alike. Having a gazebo in a garden is also the ideal place for children to play. In this case, positioning it closer to the house, so that it is under adult supervision at all times, is best. Enclosed gazebos can be used as extra rooms, and often these are used for offices. If this is the case then again, the best position would be closer to the house for easy connection to the mains electricity if needed.

Gazebo Deals

In the warmer months in the UK, gazebos produce a high number of sales for many high street and online retailers. When the spring and summer seasons arrive it is time to get outside and start having some fun. However, safety in the sun is very important and an outdoor gazebo can provide extra protection from harmful UV rays for all the family.  They are also a convenient place to take shelter if the weather turns rainy. Coming up to the spring season you will find exciting deals and savings on many different types of garden gazebos. These deals may also include everything you will need to maintain your outdoor gazebo properly.Always shop around for deals if you are looking to purchase an outdoor gazebo (whatever type you want to buy) as retailers will have different prices and savings.  Always check with online suppliers as you may find that you will get a better deal. There are also some very good deals available on gazebo extras, which will appeal to many users. Sometimes, the standard poles that come with a canopy gazebo can be a little delicate. A retailer may have special offers on stronger, more flexible poles, which will still fit through gazebo canopy layers and form a stronger structure. Gazebos are a great way to enhance enjoyment of a garden and are an ideal structure for outside entertaining during the spring and summer months. So shop around and look for good gazebo deals.

Gazebos – perfect for lazy summer days!

Whether you’re in need of a sheltered area for a social function, want to improve your garden by providing it with a useful focus, or need to knock something up in a hurry as economically as possible for a private party, a garden gazebo is the natural choice. The open tents familiar from garden fetes are just one form of gazebo available, as they come in all shapes, sizes, styles and materials you can imagine. Indeed, one of the gazebo’s biggest selling points is its flexibility.The average back garden can benefit enormously if it’s focused around a small, wrought-iron arbour incorporating a few seats or a bench. Alternatively, you might want to consider the luxury of a bespoke wooden gazebo, constructed from traditional timber, as a permanent fixture in your garden. A wood gazebo blends in organically with the trees and shrubs and makes an attractive alternative to a garden hut, a space to hang out during the mild weather.But for many people maybe strapped for cash in the current economic climate, a simple canopy gazebo is more than enough to provide focus, shelter and a great setting for social events. People prefer some form of covered space rather than an open garden when it comes to socialising, and a canopy gazebo provides just that. It can be easily set up before the event and packed safely away afterwards.A patio gazebo is a good choice for those wishing to add another space onto the back of the house that can be used during mild spells, and makes an economical alternative to an extension.

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