Sunday, 18 December 2011

How to Avoid a Winter Fence Emergency (and what to do if you have one)

We’re not sure if you’ve noticed but it’s mighty windy out there! Much of the country has been battered by wintry storms with winds reaching gale force in parts of Britain last week. As you can imagine, these types of storms cause untold damage but you don’t have to experience winds to the force we saw last week to cause havoc in the garden.

Winter is one of our busiest times, so even when the garden lays dormant we certainly do not. Emergency fencing keeps us busy throughout the winter as we fit and secure fencing in many gardens that have been damaged due to high winds and winter storms.

A good fence is vital for securing a home and garden so if it’s sustained any damage then it’s important to get it fixed as soon as possible or security could be seriously at risk. We offer an emergency service for OAPs and vulnerable people to help keep homes and gardens safe and secure.

Tips for Winter Proofing a Fence

We never really know what the weather will do but it’s always wise to make sure that your fence is weather proof. If your fence has seen better days then act fast to get it secured for the inevitable winter gusts. The cost of making your fence strong could be much less than paying for emergency repairs or a whole new fence.

Make sure that you choose a professional to strengthen or repair your fence. A fence that’s been inadequately fixed will not last through another storm and will cost you much more than it should.

Opt for a gardening firm with experience in fencing. Here at D&G we offer a full range of fences from close boarded to picket and decorative panelling. Our fences are made to measure and come with all the fixtures and fittings required to keep your garden safe and secure.

Give us a call today for a free estimate and expert advice on winter proofing your fence.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Prepare for Frosty Weather Ahead

As the days get shorter there’s definitely more than a slight chill in the air. As much of the garden goes into hibernation it’s time to think about which plants you need to protect from the oncoming frosts.

Although there are some plants and vegetables that laugh in the face of frost; more on those later, there are many that can’t withstand even the slightest sprinkling. Understanding the types of plants in your garden, and indeed understanding the lay of your garden can really help protect your blooms against winter devastation.

Understanding Your Garden and What’s in It

There will be some parts of your garden that are more sheltered and shady than others. Take some time to learn where these are, particularly where frost pockets hit. Plant hardy plants here and choose the more sheltered areas for your delicate plants. If you’re not sure which plants go where then read on:

Plant Categories

Tender: Tender perennials definitely don’t like frost, they can survive for years if they’re not frost bitten. Move them inside or protect against frost if you want to see them again next year.
Half Hardy: Half hardy plants are usually annuals and are a little, well, hardier, but they can’t take freezing temperatures either.

Frost Hardy: As you might imagine these plants can withstand frost and temperatures of approximately -5C.

Fully Hardy: Nature’s survivors. These tough plants can survive temperatures of around -15C.

Protecting Your Plants

There are many ways in which you can protect your plants from the frost.

Surround the stems of your herbaceous perennials with grit to help stop the plant’s roots becoming sodden and waterlogged. Surround the beds with mulch and bark compost too to help the soil’s drainage. The mulch will break down over the winter too and add some nutrients into the soil.

Move your tender plants inside a greenhouse or indoors and protect others with garden fleece, straw and even bubble wrap!

If you don’t have a cloche or cold frame cover plants such as alpines with a sheet of glass or plastic propped up on logs or large stones. Make sure you keep the sides open to allow air circulation to your plants.

Frost Lovers

Not all plants suffer in the frost; some positively love it! In the vegetable plot cabbages and Brussels sprouts improve with a bit of frost. Kale, parsnips and leeks thrive in this season too and provide a bit of much needed greenery and variety to our seasonal winter plates.

In the flower beds chrysanthemums, passiflora, red hot pokers and hardy fuscias are just some of the plants that seem undeterred by a visit from Jack Frost himself!

Winter proofing your garden is not as difficult as you might think and a little preparation for frost goes a long way to safeguarding your spring blooms.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

October is the Time For.. Planning for Spring Colour

While the start of the colder weather gives the impression that the garden is shutting up shop for winter, this is the right time for planting spring bulbs.

I love the autumn, the time to plan for the year ahead. It’s good to think that as the leaves turn and fall and the garden prepares for frost and snow you’ve made firm investments to ensure your garden bursts back to life when the weather warms up. Planting now in October, before the weather gets too cold, makes good gardening sense too as the soil is still holding some of the summer’s heat and will really help the bulbs get rooted in the soil and, quite literally, put some roots down!

Getting Nifty with the Rake

If you’ve spent the summer cultivating the perfect lawn then it’s important you get the rake out and gather up any fallen leaves to make certain they don’t rot on your springy grass. I like to leave fallen leaves in other parts of the garden though – where they can’t do any harm, just because it’s such a seasonal treat to see piles of golden leaves. Keeping your paths and patio clear however is a good idea as wet, rotting leaves are extremely slippery. Another note on lawns – after the final cut of the season, now is also a good time to give the lawn a good autumn feed, particularly if your lawn has seen out more than its fair share of impromptu football matches, barbecues and the odd tent or two during the summer months!


October is a good time for bringing any houseplants indoors that have enjoyed some freedom outside during the summer months, especially before the first frosts hit. Clean out any nest boxes that you’ve installed in the garden and start thinking of good places for bird feeders or a bird table; our feathered friends don’t need much help at the moment where food is concerned as there’s a veritable smorgasbord all around us but they will in the winter time. Prune shrubs now and get weeding and mulching too.

If you’d like to discuss garden plans for next year or you’d like some advice on replanting a lawn then feel free to get in touch.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Now is the Time to Plan for a Water Feature

As the summer draws to an end and the riot of colour and accelerated growth in the garden pales and dies down, it’s easy to mourn the long days and the fruits of the year’s toil. But as the garden retreats into its autumn / winter state, now is a good time to plan major features and changes to your landscape.

Water features are a great addition to the garden and the benefits are many. You don’t need lots of space to have a water feature either, even the tiniest of gardens can accommodate a water feature, the trick is choosing the right one.

A Place to Relax and Unwind

Water has a universally relaxing quality and it’s no great surprise that the sounds of water are used in many relaxation treatments and therapies. Creating a water feature such as a gently flowing fountain or cascading feature such as a waterfall will provide you with your very own oasis of calm and a place to retreat to. An illuminated water feature will add a whole new dimension to your outdoor space once dusk descends too.

Creating a New Wildlife Environment

A water feature, such as a pond with sloping sides, will in time attract a new and diverse range of wildlife into your garden. Even without adding any species to your pond you’ll be amazed at the amount of plant and insect life that will develop as nature finds her way. Expect to see frogs, newts and toads in the garden as well as insects such as dragon flies, damsel flies and pond skaters. Small birds such as finches, sparrows and tits will flock to the pond to bathe and drink. Watching the changing phases of a pond and discovering new species throughout the year is rewarding and fascinating.

Give us a call to find out more about our range of water features, or for advice on which feature is right for you and your garden. We can supply everything from pyramids, stones and statues to ponds, waterfalls and bird baths.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Attracting Wildlife to your Garden is Not Impossible

There is nothing better than sitting down in the garden with a glass of wine and listening to the sounds of various wildlife that have set up home in your garden. But for many, attracting wildlife can be difficult, particularly if you live in a big town or city where green space is not exactly abundant. If this is something you want to put right, I can help.

The key to attracting wildlife is variety. Think of your garden as a number of habitats rather than just one. If you want to attract birds and insects, consider using the services of a landscape gardener like those found here at D&G Garden World. We know just how to make your garden irresistible to all sorts of wildlife.

Adapting your Space

If space is a bit of issue, we could put up a trellis or fencing to allow growing plants to spring up and attract insects. Alternatively we could plant a mixed species hedge in place of an old fence, a sure-fire way to get birds and other wildlife interested in your garden.

I could also help create brand new habitats in ways that you may not have thought of. Even minor things such as laying new turf and letting it grow a bit longer in certain areas will attract species never before seen or heard, like crickets or grasshoppers.

The bottom line is you do not need a huge, lush green garden to have abundant wildlife. It helps – but it is not a necessity. Landscape gardeners can always find ways to use what you have got to your advantage. Give us a call if you need some help and we’ll soon turn your garden into a wildlife paradise.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Extend your Home with the Help of a Landscape Gardener

We would all love a nice big house and huge garden, but the reality is that for most of us we have to settle with what we’ve got. As a landscape gardener I visit many properties and I often get asked to design a garden that helps create more living space. This is something that I love to do because the results are always so pleasing.

Creating the Illusion

How can I make your garden appear to be a natural extension to your home? The clever trick is to continue space from inside to out. What I could do is, directly outside your French or patio doors, build a lovely decking area so that when the doors are opened there is immediately space where you can put a BBQ or table and chairs, meaning it will look and feel like a conservatory or extension, just without the roof and hefty price tag attached.

To complement this I’d add a lighting scheme so that an intimate feel can be created once the sun goes down. It really will look like you have an extra room to your home, except it’ll be nice and cool and perfect for relaxing on those warm summer evenings.

If you need some expert help with a landscaping project this year, don’t delay in asking us for a free, no obligation consultation on just what we can do for you and your garden.