Wednesday, 7 August 2013

How Much Wildlife do you Want in Your Garden?

One of my recent posts discussed how to keep your dog inside your garden. Another aspect of your fencing is to keep out unwelcome wildlife.

No, I’m not suggesting that our wooden fencing will stop a tiger getting into your garden, but unless you live near an unfortunate zoo, that’s not likely to be a problem here. It probably won’t stop the neighbours’ cats coming in either, but there could be other life in the locality that you would prefer to keep outside your boundaries.

Don't Let Animals Spoil Your Garden

When you view the TV wildlife problems, you’ll see that some people do welcome wild foxes, badgers and deer into their gardens. These animals, however, can do a lot of damage to your lawns and planting, so while you may love to view and support them in the wild, you may prefer to discourage them from your garden with adequate fencing. We suggest that a high wooden fence, perhaps with some mesh dug in the ground underneath, will be sufficient in most cases.

In locations as varied as Upminster and Orsett, fences around homes have also been topped with attractive trellis work at the top to make them even higher. Of course, it’s important to check them regularly for any repair work needed.

Keep an Eye on Security

Don’t forget your garden gates either. Close the entry way with solid wooden gates to match your fencing and get added security from unwelcome visitors, whether animal or human. Undertake appropriate fence repairs to keep your boundaries secure so that you can have more time to enjoy your garden with the bees and wee things that will help, rather than the larger animals that could damage it.

NB Thanks to and their contributor for the lovely tiger pic.

Outdoor Living in Summer

On balmy summer days your thoughts are likely to turn to intimate al fresco dining, or barbecues with gatherings of friends in the garden. You want to make the most of the outside space you have available and make it as attractive as possible. It adds external rooms to your home and the ‘walls’, or fences, of its garden rooms are as important as its internal walls.

Multi-purpose Fencing Walls

They need to keep your business private, and help to mute any noise heard from neighbouring residences. In built up areas of Essex like Romford and Hornchurch, fences that are solid and wooden are ideal for this. They not only mark property boundaries, they can also partition off garden areas so you can surround your dinner parties and other gatherings with double layers of fencing.

The fences don’t have to be just solid and enclosing. They can be topped with delicately patterned trellis and decorated with hanging baskets and outdoor artwork, or have planted borders at ground level.

Fencing Makes the Most of Lights

For many homeowners in locations such as Brentwood or Romford, fencing gives an opportunity to hang their effective lighting arrangements. After dark, guests will be free to wander in light and shade and follow mysterious pathways through dimly lit gaps in the fences. Meanwhile the jollity will continue in the main party area, where you might have seating and food, background music, maybe even a space for dancing.

So when you are planning your summer shindigs, make sure your fences are where you want them and in good condition. Then you can choose your party themes and decorate the ‘walls’ and fences of your garden rooms to match.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Small Repairs Can Save Your Fence

If you have noticed a bit of wear and tear on your wooden fencing panels or posts, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need a complete new fence. Repairs can often be made to the affected areas, saving you the hassle and expense of ripping out and replacing the whole fence.

In south Essex, from Romford and Brentwood to Orsett, fences are being repaired on our advice. Inspect your panels, gravel boards, posts and arris rails to see what needs to be done.
Panels and Gravel Boards Can Be Replaced

If just one panel has deteriorated, buy a new one to replace it. If you can’t get the right length and have to buy one that is too long, Essex fencing expert would advise you to nail new batons on either side, marking the length required, and then saw off the protruding end. You should treat the raw edges with a preservative before you attach your new panel to the old brackets with new galvanised screws. If a standard size panel is a little on the short side for your space, you may need to add a length of wood between the panel and the post at one end.

It may be just the wooden gravel boards that need replacing. If that is the case we suggest you use pressure treated timber to prolong the life of your new ones. You may not need to fully remove a fencing panel while you fix a new gravel board beneath it, but make sure the panel is supported by props while you do it.

Posts and Arris Rails Can Be Repaired

Along with the gravel boards, the posts are the parts of your fences that inevitably have the most contact with the soil. Over the years moisture seeps into the wood and rot starts to set in. But you can give posts a new lease of life with repair spurs. Dig out around the post, remove the rotten section, paint on preservative to the remaining post and attach the spur to it before filling in the new hole with hardcore topped with concrete.

Another element of your fencing that may need some care is an arris rail. These sometimes break when they age or rot at the ends. You can easily repair them with metal arris brackets that you attach with screws through the pre-drilled holes.

Carrying out these small fencing repairs will leave you with fences as good as new for several more years.

Don’t Let the Dogs out

Does your pet dog yearn to escape the confines of your garden into the wide world beyond? Sturdy garden fencing and gates, kept in good repair, will save you worry and heartache.

High Fencing Keeps in Big Dogs

Many large dogs can jump quite high. For this we recommend that the best fencing materials are strong, six-foot, close-board wooden fencing panels or larch-lap panel fencing. If you are worried about your dog digging underneath the fence, we advise that you do the digging first, and put a galvanised wire mesh into the ground beneath your fencing. Romford, Brentwood and other Essex residents also often make their fences even higher by topping them with decorative trellis.

Fences like these also help to keep out the wildlife you prefer to see outside your garden, such as urban foxes in towns like Upminster and Hornchurch. Fencing this high is also essential to stop the prying eyes of potential dog thieves.

Fences could also protect areas of your garden from your pets. You don’t really want them rampaging through your vegetable patch or a perfect flower bed. With a little dog training, an attractive picket fence could suffice here without spoiling the look of your garden.

 Picket Fences Keep in Small Dogs

If you have a small dog, or an elderly one that can’t or won’t jump very high, you might prefer a lower picket fence for your boundary as well, though it won’t be as effective in deterring wild life or thieving criminals. Many homes use a picket fence at the front, with higher and sturdier fencing at the back and sides.

Don’t forget to make regular inspections to see if you need any fence repairs. And remember that fences with gravel boards and concrete posts between the panels are the most long lasting. 

Monday, 10 June 2013

A Guide to Painting Your Garden Fence

Now that spring is well on the way, we know that many garden owners will be thinking about painting their wooden fences. Painting or staining your fencing may take time and effort, but it helps to keep it strong and protects it from the weather. Before you get out the paint brushes, though, there’s a bit of preparation to do.

Pick Your Day and Prepare the Way

The first thing we recommend is that you take note of the weather forecast. You don’t want rain to ruin the results of your hard work. Nor do you want a stiff breeze to pick up single leaves, petals and other odds and sods, and slam them against the wet paint on your fences.

Having picked your day carefully, prepare the ground beside your fence, edging a lawn, pulling out weeds, trimming back shrubs, and so on. Push back shrubs with a sheet of plywood and don’t remove it till the paint is dry, when the branches swinging back against it won’t do any harm. Put down a dust sheet and anchor it firmly, then start cleaning by sanding and pressure washing the fencing. Orsett, Upminster and Romford residents know that only then should they start applying the stain or paint.

Choose the Right Paint

There are plenty of types of outdoor paint that we can recommend, but acrylic paint probably offers the most protection. If your fencing hasn’t been painted before, though, it will need a primer coat first. This is not necessary if you use an acrylic stain instead of paint.

At this point, we suggest that you wear a mask to protect your face and prevent you from breathing in paint fumes, especially if you are spraying the paint on. Paint with a brush for the best possible finish, but you can use a spray to get the job done more quickly. Then stand back and admire your handiwork.

This is the time of the year when many Essex fences take on a new lease of life with a coat of paint. Will yours be among them?