Jobs for the Gardener in May

With warmer weather and more frequent Spring showers, the lawn will need mowing at least once a week. Spike badly-drained areas and feed poorly growing patches.

Prune early flowering shrubs like kerria or flowering almond.

Make sure you apply a general rose fertiliser and spray roses against pests and diseases.

At this time of year, borders will need to be weeded regularly. Support taller perennials with canes. Pinch out the growing tips of michaelmas daisies, golden rod and heleniums in order to encourage bushy growth.

Once the danger of frost has abated, plant out young plants from cuttings.

Half-hardy annuals can be planted outside once the risk of frost has passed. Sow biennials such as foxgloves, sweet williams and wallflowers.

In order to make more room for bedding plants, lift Spring bulbs (daffodils, crocus and tulips, etc) which have already finished flowering. Make sure these are stored correctly in a dry, dark shed, ready for planting out again in the Autumn.

Thin peach and nectarine trees once the fruits have reached the size of marbles. Make sure you water well in dry weather. Put straw around strawberry plants.

Practical and secure fencing for your home

It seems that these days most households have some kind of security system on their house and contents; whether it is a traditional box burglar alarm, CCTV, a large guard dog or security marking of valuable goods. However, thieves are often on the watch for houses where they think it will be easy to get inside and out quickly, without being seen by prying neighbours or passers-by. Secure fencing and strong, locked gates are an additional deterrent.

These days there is plenty of choice and it is possible to erect fencing and install gates which are both strong and pleasing to look at. Vertical railings look particularly good around period properties and they are available in a number of colours and finishes. If you value privacy highly, then you may wish to consider wooden fencing. Wooden tongue and groove fencing, reinforced with heavy duty posts is a good option. Nowadays, there are a number of spray paints and stains available for preserving wooden fencing. These are also available in colours other than traditional brown, if you want to go for a different look in your garden. Once you have your fence installed and painted, then plant prickly shrubs and bushes like creeping juniper, holly and berberis along the perimeter to further deter any intruder from climbing over.

Buying an Opener for your Garage Door – 5 Considerations

The garage door opener is one of the most important components of any functional garage door. Without it, it is almost impossible to operate. It is important that you get the right knowledge before buying an opener. Fact is, there are many options out there. You want to make sure you buy the right one that will fit your garage door. This guideline will help you make the perfect choice.

The power

What type of door do you have? The heavier the door the more horsepower you will need to carry it. For a single car garage door or a standard two-car carriage door, a 1/2 horsepower opener is enough. For a solid wood or carriage garaged door a 3/4 horsepower opener is the perfect choice. If you have any doubt consider going for more power. It is better to have more power than not have enough. The extra cash you’ll spend is worth it.

The size of your door

What is the size of your door? Most garage doors are about 7-feet tall. A normal garage door opener is strong enough to operate any garage door of that length, even up to an additional 6-inches. If your door is taller than that you’ll need an extension.  Continue reading

Getting Creative with Garden Lighting

The use of garden lighting can extend the use of your garden well past dusk and, at the same time, create a relaxing ambiance for entertaining, quiet reflection or for just spending more time outside.

Spot lights can be used along the edge of decking or at the sides of a small flight of steps, installed flush with the decking or a side wall. Spot lights can also be used to highlight a small area of a garden – maybe to draw attention to a water feature, a statue or a particular ornamental plant.

Spike lights can be used to edge a path way or driveway.

Lighting on a patio or a barbecue may need to be functional as well as pretty. Stronger lighting may be required above a cooking area and over the dining table. The use of up-lighters and down-lighters can create interesting effects with shadows depending where they are placed in relation to the plants around a patio area.

Up-lighting trees adds drama to the garden and emphasises the height. Alternately, lines of string lights along the branches of a tree will also draw attention to the shape of the tree, as well as looking very attractive.

Constructing raised beds

There are several advantages to having raised beds in a garden. They are a good way of growing fruit and vegetables in particular, especially plants which may need “constraining” like strawberries which, if left untended, can become straggly with runners growing almost anywhere. A raised bed can also be a good way of growing plants which thrive in a different soil type from the rest of the garden. Lastly, raised beds are often easier to manage for gardeners with mobility or back problems.

When building a raised bed there are a few things to consider:

1. Make sure the bed is not too wide (less than 1.4m), so that it can be reached from the sides.
2. Ensure that the pathway in between beds is big enough to accommodate a wheelbarrow or perhaps a wheelchair for a disabled gardener.
3. Carefully select the materials for construction. Timber is cheap but will not be long-lasting. Railway sleepers will last longer but can be very heavy and bulky to manage. A more permanent solution is to lay bricks or stone.

It you have used treated wood in the construction of your raised bed, it may be best to line the bed with plastic, in case harmful chemicals used in the treatment process leach out into the soil.

You may also have to water your plants in a raised bed more frequently as drainage in the soil is usually improved.

Chelmsford and the Need for Building Insurance Repairs

A lot can be done to ensure the safety and security of buildings with a solid insurance being at the top of the list. With proper coverage, you will be sure that the building can be repaired and rebuilt when anything untoward happens to the structure. With so many builders in Chelmsford, it is important to be vigilant with your choices. Take into consideration what you need versus what the company can offer for your protection. The following are just some of the elements every policy should cover:

Sum Insured

This refers to the total amount that is needed to fix your home after the damage. The cost depends on how much you want to set aside for the project. Note that some insurance companies may not pay the amount if the cost of rebuilding is higher – even if it is just going to be for a partial repair. Continue reading

Benefits of Installing Rooflights On Houses and Outbuildings

The main reason why rooflights are used is to provide a brilliant, naturally lit indoors and to lessen the need for artificial light. Daylight has more benefits over artificial radiance with the reality that it is a free, unlimited natural supply. While artificial lighting is important, providing it uses lots of energy, thus reducing the use of artificial lighting dramatically cuts of energy use and reduces carbon emissions. Other benefits that natural light bring include:

They provide better and more functional interior environments

Daylight is a crucial natural benefit. If you live in moderate Northern climates, you will easily recognise the beneficial result of sunlight. Besides this, it is evident that most buildings with higher natural light levels are more triumphant than those relying on artificial lighting. This is because the brain and eye functions work better with natural light, thus performing much better. Natural daylight gives a sense of comfort amongst building residents and rooflights do this without distractions brought about by views coming through vertical windows.

They offer specific advantages in various sections:

• Well-being: In the UK, many people know about SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). It is a clinically detected condition where lack of sunlight during winter season makes most people feel sick. Natural light aids these people feel much better and it can help the healing progression too. Studies have also proven that patient recovery rate in hospitals increase where natural light levels are improved.

• Learning: According to research, there is a clear connection linking classrooms with good daylight and great student performance including attendance. Reason being, students concentrate better in natural light, are more keen and also less abstracted. Some studies even go as far as suggesting that health is enhanced, which explains improved turnout too. This is why this kind of lighting design is recommended in most schools.

• Leisure time: It is said that people love clear naturally lit areas. This is evidenced by the many domestic sun rooms and conservatories people go to during their leisure time. It is thus logical that people choose facilities that enjoy higher daylight levels, during their leisure time, which is the more reason why nowadays more recreational amenities try to capitalise on natural light to recognise this. They choose to install this lighting design to attract more clients.

• Retail and Business: Just as natural lighting improves concentration in classrooms for students, it also improves concentration in work places thus achieving increased productivity. Further research shows that sales are high in naturally lit settings where colours are true and vivid. This makes products appear striking and customers spend much time in such areas. Several UK’s top retail organisations have large parts of rooflights as conditions for new construction projects. This is to ensure that a higher percentage of natural light is evenly distributed in the interior.


Putting lights on the roof is one helpful way to add some light around the house, whilst adding security and safety measures. Many companies that make these kinds of lights on your roof also have a selection of lighting from which you can choose from. It is therefor up to you to decide on what fits you best.

Critical Things You Must Consider When Selecting Green Turf

When selecting green turf grass it is important that you choose the best grass available in your budget. However, the decision of selecting turf grass is not that simple. Most people ignore one important portion of selection process, which is to do some research and gather some background information. You must remember when selecting turf grass that if the chosen grass turns out to be inappropriate, then changing it can be a labour intensive and costly option.

Therefore, you must evaluate all the available choices thoroughly. You can select the best turf grass for your needs if you consider a few important things carefully. Continue reading

Patio Awning Ideas That you Will Love

Is your deck too hot? Do you want to give your patio an eye-catching and comfortable shading solution? Well, you are at the right place. You will have an opportunity to learn the different patio awnings ideas that you can employ in your home and keep your deck cooler by screening out harmful ultraviolet rays, while at the same time giving it a stunning appearance. Here are a few suggestions that you will love.

Retractable awing with a support arm

This idea consists of a metal framework that’s covered with a shade fabric. You only need to mount the framework directly on the side of your house with diagonal support arms. This type of awing is best known to provide instant shade on a hot afternoon. It’s mostly popular since it’s not permanent and doesn’t present storage hassles like most patio awnings in the market today. Whether you are having your lunch or just reading your novel while watching your beautiful garden, you can easily roll it up when you are done and keep it safe for another sunny day.

Canopy awnings

These structures are permanently installed although you will have the freedom to remove the fabric whenever it’s not in use. They are supported by a freestanding frame that’s bolted on your deck. If you want to have the fabric roof stay for long, you can decide to remove it seasonally and keep it in your house during winter. It doesn’t sag; it can withstand rain, strong winds and hail; and the cloth is resistant to tear, meaning that it can serve you to over 10 years without retracting or wearing out. Continue reading

Tips On Painting Your Fence

Of course painting your fence is usually for cosmetic purposes, but you shouldn’t forget that the paint can also provide protection from elements. It’s recommended that fences should be given a protective coat of paint every couple of years.

Before you paint your fence, prepare the area around your fence. Make sure to cut the grass along the fence line, and drop plastic sheeting in the fence section.

When picking the right paint, make sure that it’s an outdoor paint! These are specially treated to not be effected by weather. There’s different versions available from Acrylics, Oil-based paint to Enamels. We recommended Acrylics seeing as it’s very durable. Make sure to apply a primer beforehand though.

When painting think about how you want it done. If you have a long fence, then an industrial spray will get the job done quickly, but if it’s a short fence then a roller will suffice.


  • When asked with company we used to install our Automatic Opening Vents , we did not hesitate to recommend the National Domelight Company.

  • The Garage Door Centre - Garage Doors, Operators and Automated Gates, Up And Over Garage Doors Kettering, Wellingborough, Northampton.

  • Samson offer a range of security grilles in the UK, these grilles can be fitted to most commercial or residential properties.

  • UK Oak is a specialist supplier for many oak and timber products including Oak Posts , structural oak beams and oak fencing.

  • Avant Garde Roofing are specialist Flat Roofing Bedford approved installers of comprehensive range of proven flat roofing systems for both commercial and domestic properties.


  • Domestic and commercial Roofing Northampton specialists for your business and your property.

  • Sliding Gates

    Automatic, sliding gates , swing gates and remote control gates for your house.

  • Awnings

    Glass Garden Canopies and Garden Awning for your perfect garden.