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Growing Veggies – It’s Easier Than You Think!

Most people have been making an effort to cut back on their carbon footprint for some years now. However, in the last few years, there has been a more significant push to have less single-use plastic, less fast fashion purchases, and more ‘self-sustainability’. And that in itself is very cool.

Recycling, using the car less when possible, cutting back on cleaning chemicals are all great efforts. And, even the smallest eco-goal is one worth making.

But, managing to produce a range of fruits and vegetables is an excellent addition to your efforts.

It’s easier than you think!

vegPhoto by Sven Scheuermeier on Unsplash

Start Small

You might be tempted to rush out and buy as many seeds and small plants as possible. But you should start smaller. Think about what you currently eat, and what would be beneficial for you and your family. Laying the groundwork is going to be vital. The basic soil makeup to grow tasty veggies is plenty of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. In most bags of soil, you will get a great balance. Think about if you want to have your veggies in a greenhouse from Greenhouse Stores, straight in the earth or something else.

What To Grow

Lettuce is a great starter. There are a few different types, butterhead and iceberg are head forming, excellent for single line growing. Rocket is a great option to fill in space around the head forming types. They don’t take too long to grow, and you can take what you need and leave the rest of that plant to keep growing.

Tomatoes are such a great starting point. They grow pretty quickly and are relatively forgiving. Cherry tomatoes are great for kids to start growing, and the yield is pretty great too. You could choose to trellis your tomatoes, and you’ll get even more.

Peppers are started pretty early in small pots, and when it heats up outside, you can pop them in the greenhouse or outside. You’ll need to pick the peppers as soon as they are ripe to help keep them growing.

Potatoes are great if you have the space. You can take a reasonably sized planter and pop in a couple of old sprouting potatoes and let them get to work.

Strawberries – although not a veggie, might be one to add to your list. Much like tomatoes, they work really well to get kids interested in growing things and enjoying the moment, it’s finally time to pick the first berry.

Time

The key to getting a significant amount of veggies (and maybe fruit) is timing. You’ll need to plant the seeds or plants in their directed months. Learn when and how to pot them up, and how much water and shade they need.

Much of what is glorious about gardening, specifically growing your own, is that you will get to cook and eat your hard work, and always enjoy fresh seasonal produce. And always remember, that planting extra if you can is a good idea, because some seeds, no matter what you do, will just never sprout.

 

Top Five Benefits of Greenhouses

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Photo credit: Thomas Verbruggen via Unsplash

If you’re a keen gardener, a greenhouse can be extremely advantageous in growing your plants – especially if you live in a colder climate. Gardening itself has many benefits, from giving you something you can enjoy to do with your family to saving you money on buying fruit and vegetables.

When it comes to purchasing a greenhouse for your garden, you should always look online at reviews and what each of the designs can offer you. If you want a state-of-the-art greenhouse with automatic climate control, there are many high-tech companies (such as Cultivar greenhouses) that offer upgraded models of the traditional type – extending the life of the plants/veg or whatever you grow inside it.

So what are the top five benefits of investing in a greenhouse?

  1. They will protect your plants/veg/fruit

This may go without saying, but a greenhouse can protect your plants from being attacked by the elements and pests. Often, if you have planted vegetables or fruit that is exposed to the outside, caterpillars, mites and more will infest them. By installing a greenhouse in your garden, you won’t have to worry about your plants being destroyed and they will remain healthy all year round.

    2. You can use your greenhouse for all types of things

A great advantage of having a greenhouse is that it can be used for a variety of plants, fruits, vegetables, flowers, house plants, seedlings and more. Throughout the year you can fill it with different things. It gives you the freedom to grow what you want, whenever you want. This also has the benefit of improving your lifestyle, making you healthier as you won’t need to buy processed fruit or veg.

    3. It will save you money

Following on from the first point, when your plants/flowers are exposed to the elements, they will die pretty quickly. When you have a greenhouse,  you won’t have to worry about spending out lots of money on different plants to fill your garden with or fruit/veg. You can grow them in the greenhouse throughout the seasons and can even give some away to loved ones if your collection is getting too large. 

 4.  They will benefit your health

Similarly to gardening, greenhouses are great for your health – no matter what your age. Not only do they make you venture outside regularly (which is obviously beneficial to your wellbeing), but planting things inside your greenhouse will put you at ease and take you away from the worries that every day brings. Great escapism, the change of scenery is a wonderful way to take a break from work, studying or just to get you out of the living room.

   5. They extend the growing season

If your greenhouse is climate controlled, you can grow your vegetables or plants throughout the year no matter what the season. This means that when the cold weather or even the hot weather hits, it won’t put the plants at risk. It can even extend the life of the plants (or whatever you grow), allowing them to grow bigger and for them to flourish.

A Garden for Fun, Relaxation and Socialising

Ah the garden, the last bastion of the home where fun and crazy ideas can exist without judgement. You may not realize it but, the garden has always been a playground both in the literal sense and figuratively. It’s a great place for both adults and children to come and rest and or play. However, it’s also a great place to run wild with your ideas. A garden doesn’t have to be the stereotypical nice flat green lawn and surrounding orange varnished fence. It can be much more than that, but you need to be confident. You need to balance your ideas between the cost and the prolonged enjoyment you will get out of them. Bear in mind that, a family home needs a good family garden. Therefore you need to satisfy both your children and any guests that might come over; including family and friends.

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Summer and spring seating

First of all, know that in a garden the simplest things are often the best. A nice comfortable place to sit is one of them. But what kind of seating would you like? Maybe you want the typical wooden bench, maybe you would like something a little more comfortable in the way of fabric or even foam sofas and chairs. Consider what you will be doing this spring and summer. Fabric sofas are going to be great for both seasons. Consider wicker and cushion sofa that is also rain-resistant. Light and comfortable, the natural structures of both materials allows the hot humid air to pass through and not cause you sticky and sweaty discomfort. Alternatively you could just buy some nice foam cushions for your park bench if you’d like something simpler and easier to maintain.

High in the sky

Remember back when you were a kid, spring and summer would have clear blue skies and a hot beating sun. You had plenty of energy and you just wanted to run and jump everywhere. If only you could get high as the birds and bees. Well, consider what your children would like to have to help them at least get a little higher. Something like one of these 12 foot trampolines would boost them high in the sky. The Stratos is one of the more popular kinds because it’s easy to assemble. There are no nuts, washers, brackets or even screws. Due to its size, you can have 3 to 4 people inside quite safely.

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Adults only hangout

A garden should be strong enough to brave the autumn and winter, but it also has to offer a great time during the other two seasons. For that you can build a small bar that’s similar in size to an outhouse. Using simple decking boards, you can construct the small structure and using small tables you can either fit a small fridge or even small barrels with bar taps. From here you can serve your guests and it just looks the part as well.
The last refuge of the modern home, the garden should be a great place to have fun and explore your creative design ideas. But since it’s a family hangout space, consider something for the kids to have fun doing too.

Front Garden Ideas For Ultimate Kerb Appeal

 

font gardenPhoto credit

If someone were to reference your “garden”, the chances are that you would immediately picture your back garden – and you’re far from alone. Back gardens tend to receive a huge amount of thought, time, and attention, but for most homeowners, there is a second garden they have to consider: the front garden.

While typically smaller than the back garden, and usually more functional by necessity, spending a little time improving your front garden can greatly enhance your house – especially in terms of all-important “kerb appeal”. If you want to give your front garden a new lease of life, here are a few ideas that are definitely worth considering…

#1 – Add an archway

In terms of a quick change to the front of your house that can make a big impact, it’s tough to beat archways – they require relatively little space, ‘installation’ usually just means assembling a few pieces, and the effect they can create is inherently charming. You could opt for a metal archway across your main footpath for a modern effect, or choose a wooden arch for a more rustic finish.

#3 – Introduce greenery

Modern design trends have meant that front gardens have a tendency to be a little “greenery-free”, with hard landscaping seen as more convenient and easier to maintain. However, greenery is just as much of a joy at the front of your house as at the back, with artificial grass from the likes of https://www.newlawn.co.uk/, faux planters, and hanging baskets the perfect choice if you want to keep the maintenance requirements low. While hard landscaping undoubtedly has a functional purpose, a few extra green touches help to give the garden element of your front garden the chance to shine.

#3 – Create a rockery

Rockeries are relatively low maintenance, but still greatly improve the overall look of any space – making them perfect for a front garden. Rockeries can also be customised to the space you have available, so if your front garden is relatively small, you can simply limit the scope of the design to ensure a good fit. If you want to give it a try, there’s a great guide on https://www.diydoctor.org.uk/ that can help you get started.

#4 – Install a water feature

Water features are most commonly seen in back garden designs, but there’s absolutely no reason not to include such a feature at the front of your home – in fact, arriving home to the sound of gently trickling water should be outright idyllic. Water features can be as complex or as simple as you need them to be, and are relatively easy to set up; you simply need to choose your feature and then contact a professional to provide the electricity. Alternatively, you could dig a pond – make sure to fence it if you have young children – and then use solar-powered fountains to achieve the same result without the need for a connection to the mains.

In conclusion

By implementing one – or more! – of the ideas above, your front garden can become a delightful space that welcomes you home in style and greatly boosts your kerb appeal to boot.

Summer Fashion: Weddings, Events and Accessories

Summer is probably the most exciting season for fashion, with the multitude of outfit options available (despite the predictably erratic British weather, there will indubitably be cause for shorts and skirts at some point!).  Knowing what to where for which occasion, however, can prove a bit of a headache. I stumbled upon this infographic which has lots of inspiration for summer event fashion:

What should I wearI love this – I am incredibly indecisive so suggestions are always welcome when it comes to clothing choices. You don’t even need to be too formal with your outfits – with the right accessories, you can dress up something casual to make it fit the wedding season. A few of my favourites are sparkly clutch bags, oversized sunglasses, diamond stud earrings, stacks of colourful bangles or just a pretty statement watch. Of course, being British, an umbrella is an absolute must for every outdoor occasion; these clear umbrellas are both practical and stylish, complete with gorgeous Cath Kidston options. Ideal not just for wedding fashion but also for every day summer style.

What are your go-to accessories for the summer wedding season?