Gardens

Trex decking: waste made extraordinarily good

Decking has proved an enduringly popular feature in gardens and outside spaces for obvious reasons. It looks smart, it delineates areas for specific purposes, and if it's made from wood we feel it's a natural, sustainable choice of material.

On the whole, says north London gardener Patrick Wagstaff of The Plot Doctor, 'nearly everyone who wants their garden done wants some decking - usually it's an area for a table, chairs and some pot plants. Decking is neat and it makes the area feel like an extension of your living space.'

Garden tasks that don't need hours of your time

Gardens are long-term projects and the key to their success is to maintain small jobs often and be patient with results. Instead of feeling overwhelmed at the upkeep, enjoy being outside with tasks that take anywhere between 10 to 30 minutes. And if you decide to grow a vegetable garden or plant fuchsias, don’t do everything in one day. Taking your time means the process can be more enjoyable, says Calum Maddock, garden expert at Home How (.co.uk). 

1. Prune hedges

Rugs for the garden

Fab Habitat recycled plastic rugs are eco friendly and long lasting. They are also recyclable. NOW Carpets has launched its own range of designer rugs made from recycled polyester yarn, made in India. Tags: garden, eco friendly, recycled, craft, sustainability, decoration

Kitchen compost bins: get composting and grow your own

You'd probably have a fit if you saw a family member put a tin can, newspaper or plastic drinks bottle into the 'normal' (ie destined for landfill) kitchen bin. But do you explode in green-faced exasperation if you see someone put some tangerine peel, teabags or eggshells into that same bin?

If yes, enjoy a metaphorical pat on the back.. you can pass go and move on to another article.

But if the answer is 'er, no..why would I?' well, if we can be so bold, you need to read on...

Easy green gardening

Whether you're fortunate enough to have a large garden, or just have space for a few window boxes, it's really important we do our bit for biodiversity. That flower filled pot on your windowsill can help bees and butterflies, and having as many plant filled containers as possible on your balcony can help lower temperatures inside and out! 

Gardening isn't a particularly cheap activity so plan what you need to do and have the word eco top of mind. There are a few key 'rules' which most of us know ...so to reiterate:

Harry Villiers' home office in the garden

Harry Villers of Villiers Brothers furniture company built an environmentally friendly home office/shed in his Essex garden. It uses recyclable materials such as steel, wood and glass. It has a salvaged oak floor from eBay. Villiers has launched Vintage Archive.

The benefits of bats in the garden

Bats can serve as pollinators

This is more true for other countries than the UK, but in some parts of the world, bats are pollinators for key species, just as bees are. And if bats disappear, the species that rely on their pollination services are also at risk. On the other hand, this is why planting species that bats rely on is crucial to their return. 

They control insects 

Tips for keeping cut flowers fresher for longer

keep cut flowers fresh for longer by remembering a few key tips..like changing the water regularly, cutting the ends of and trimming any dying foliage

Maintaining a greenhouse over winter

how to keep your greenhouse or glasshouse in good shape over December, the month with the fewest daylight hours

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