Garden Water Features

Garden Water Features

 

When choosing a water feature whether its a pond, rill, fountain or a swimming pool, a water feature can add movement, sound, reflect the light around the garden and help to cool you down in the summer months.  You can create a habitat for wildlife, or let the kids splash about, ensuring for safety purposes, full visibility from your internal space. These ideas were all given by loft conversions Newcastle based companies!

 

Creating a water feature in your garden can be fun and challenging, please read the guidelines below, to help you along the way.

 

  1. Ensure to place a water supply (if needed) and a mains power supply connection within reach of the water feature.  An extension lead can be used, or an underground cable made from armoured cable trunking (to prevent tools penetrating it) can be run from an electrical power supply.  

 

Alternatively, use a solar powered feature, this would not require a mains cable and is eco-friendly, but would not work as well in a space with a limited light source.

 

  1. Creating a visually appealing waterfall is very easily done. Using rocks and stones to make slopes will fabricate a natural flow and direction for the water to flow in.

 

  1. Make sure you have enough space in your outside space, for your water feature and it is in proportion to the size of your area.

 

  1. To discourage mosquitoes from your pool, do not turn the filter off during winter or periods when the pool is not in use. By consistently maintaining the pool less time, effort, and money to adjust the pool water correctly for the next use, will be required.
  2. Run a timer for your filter on your pool/pond, to operate around 3-4 hours each day, this will keep your pool properly maintained and prevent a mosquito infestation.

 

  1. Use a pond skimmer to remove any surface debris, duckweed and leaves from your water feature.  You can also use a rake to remove blanket weed.

 

Thanks for reading our water feature blog, remember to seek professional advice when installing and maintaining a water feature.

Doors!

Doors

 

If you are having a tough time deciding to choose from a bi-folding or a sliding door, to break up the garden and the interior of your house or business, please read our brief guide covering the differences in the types of doors available.

Bi-fold or folding doors

Bifold doors can be known by several different names such as bi-folding doors, folding sliding doors, glass sliding doors, sliding room dividers, a concertina door, or a zig-zag door. A bifold door slides open along a track, using either a weathered or flush track. Weathered tracks are useful in exterior spaces with stairs, or when a building is exposed by the elements. Flush tracks are installed on a level threshold between interior and exterior spaces.

 

Once installed, the doors open wide enough to stack up against the wall, leaving just the doorframe exposed, creating a seamless opening from the interior to the external areas of the building. If you are concerned about securing the building, then you should ensure that the glass is at least 4mm thick with a five-point locking system.

 

There are many styles to choose from that can appeal to every taste and budget, alternatively, you can have a custom made one built by your door installation expert, to suit your needs. You can use timber for a natural look one made from aluminium for modern and minimalist designs. Aluminium is strong as well as resilient, this enables the frames to be thinner and the glass panels wider to cover a larger area but is usually a more expensive material to use.

Sliding doors

If you would prefer a partial opening door and a panoramic view from your home, then you may opt for the sliding door option instead. Make sure you talk over your plans with an expert and let them know how intend to use your space, they will help you choose an option to fit your individual needs.

 

Thanks for reading, please join us in the next blog, for advice on garden water features.

Cuttings

Cuttings

 

Flowers and plants that grow from a small cutting of another plant can be a fantastic addition to your garden. Your friends and family could save you a trip to the local nursery to buy plants, seedlings, or bulbs.  Check with them and ask if you may take some cuttings of their plants, at little cost or no to you.

You may think taking cuttings is hard, on the contrary, it is very easy.  Read below for a quick guide to taking a cutting, using our simple 5 step guide:

Step 1: Using a clean pair of secateurs or a sharp knife, cut off some stems just below a node (or leaf joint), to a length of about 10cm.

Early spring is the ideal time to take cuttings from a parent plant, such as a salvia. To increase the chance of rooting the plant, aim to take the cuttings early morning, when the salvia is full of water(turgid).

Step 2: Avoid damaging the cuttings by using by a leaf to handle them.

Step 3: You will need to prepare the compost by watering it generously before planting your carefully placed cuttings.

Step 4: Using a dibber (a pointed wooden stick) or a pencil, for making holes in the ground so that seeds, seedlings or small bulbs can be planted place the cuttings just beneath a leaf break, making sure you do not overcrowd the plant pot.

Step 5: Put the plant pot in a heated propagator.  If you need to cover it, try using a plastic bag. Place your potted cuttings in the light. Ensure to avoid direct sunlight.

Thank you for reading this blog. Taking a cutting, is a simple process that will expand your plant stock and save you money.  Have you decided what will you be planting this year?

.

 

 

Home & Garden!

Home and Garden

 

Getting creative on a budget with your outside space can lead to some surprising landscaping ideas.

You will need to first consider the available space and what you have planned to use it for. Is your back garden a place that you like to spend time in? Is your front garden too small? Determining what you want from your space and what you want to use it, will guide your landscaping decisions. Below are some ideas to start you off:

 

Plant Perennials

Perennials are great if you are on a budget.  The initial outlay maybe higher, but they are guaranteed to bloom year after year, unlike annuals that only live for a season. There are several Perennials to choose from, including:

–Allium
–Astilbe
–Baptisia
–Buddleia
–Coneflower
–Kangaroo Paw
–Sage
–Veronica

You can mix and match these plants, when designing the landscape to give a unique look to your garden.

Planters

Another inexpensive way to add a customised design to your garden, is the use of planters and pots. Planters designed for outdoor use come in a variety of shapes and you can choose from a variety of different textures and designs for your planters, they could be made from wine crates or barrels, tires, or old pallets, or you can buy one made and paint it in a bright colour to create a stand out planter.

Terracotta is usually sold unpainted, but if you put these pots in water, they can be painted using a water-based paint.

Ask Friends for Cuttings

Did you know that there are many flowers and plants that can grow from a small cutting of another plant? Before you head to your chosen nursery to buy plants, seedlings or bulbs, check with your friends who may take some cuttings of their plants which you can reciprocate, if you have a plant they admire. This can be a very effective way to plant some beautiful flowers and plants at little cost to you.

Thanks for reading. In our next blog, we will be covering plant cuttings.

The most beautiful garden

Although I spent the last blog post practically moaning about some of the homes within the Newcastle area, there are many homes where they have taken great care of the gardens. There was one home that I visited that I still think to this day was amazing.  The home itself was nothing spectacular. It was nice, but that wasn’t what made the house so memorable once I finished working there. What made it truly great was the garden that the home owner had cultivated. It was something that you could easily see on T.V. because it looked so great.

The bushes and hedges of the garden were growing and cut into a way that made the garden look like it had a little maze running throughout. I know that it wasn’t built and designed to be a maze too, which made the garden itself look so great. It was a miniature maze and it was clearly designed to replicate the way the top of a maze looks without trying to be one. The grounding of the miniature maze was white pebble stones, making it very easy to walk around and giving the area itself a great light.

The whole garden wakes up just because of those little stones, especially in the summer when the sun shines down on them and they brighten up the entire area.  They were also encased around small concrete holders so that the pebbles wouldn’t break off into the grass that surrounded the bushes. You also must note the contrast between the dark green bushes and hedges and the shine of the white pebbles to really understand how amazing and lit up the garden looked because of such a small addition.

It takes such little things for a garden or home to really come to life, so it’s truly a shame more people don’t take such notice of their own homes and gardens.

Elfy!

Elfin Distributors has a weird name for a blog, so I understand when people first click to find out more they are confused as to what they will find. Truthfully, this blog is about home and garden improvement. I am a builder within Newcastle, and if you have ever been to Newcastle (or our unpopular neighbour, Sunderland) then you would know that many of the homes do not care for their gardens. Truthfully, many of the homes in this area aren’t even looked after very well, let alone the garden. It’s a sad when home owners within your city don’t care enough about their homes to even look after it very well.

Another thing that is quite clear and annoying about the city of Newcastle is how little people even try to take care of their homes structurally and aesthetically. As we all know, if a home owner is not taking care of their home or garden properly, then you can see it with your own eye if you are just visiting the location. But many of the home owners within the area don’t even take care of the actual structure of the home or its foundations either.

As a builder, I often see homes that are neglected, and you can tell just from a loft conversion or even halfway through a property renovation how well a home has been taken care of. That is why it is so common to see homes within the area become decrepit and ruined. It also doesn’t help that we live in a city that is often humid more times out of the year than anything else, meaning the condensation is slowly seeping into the woodwork and foundations of the home.  This is something that we often encounter and something we are actively trying to fight against.