How to Design the Garden You Want

May 23, 2015 by  
Filed under Gardening 101

There are many different ways of designing your garden and it is important that you choose the one that is right for you, your family and your lifestyle in general. Using your available resources (money, time, plot, strength and skills), you will want to make something that:

- is well built and safe – you don’t, for example, want to have to rebuild features after a couple of years, let alone install paving that becomes dangerously slippery or build an unfenced swimming pool or water feature where small children may subsequently be playing

- does what you want – if you want to sunbathe by the house then it’s not a good idea to build a patio in an area that is always shady or overlooked

How to Design a Garden

How to Design a Garden

- makes you happy – if you and anyone who uses your garden likes it and it doesn’t annoy anyone else (for example, your neighbours – by stealing all their light) that is all that really matters. People’s tastes will always differ and fashions change over the years, but choosing the things and plants you like, successfully put together in the way you like, will give you the best opportunity to enjoy your garden and your gardening. What William Morris said of houses could equally well apply to gardens: ‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.’

- possibly, but more likely nowadays, is environmentally friendly and encourages biodiversity.

Even if you take on an established garden, it is still worth taking time to consider how well it suits you and your needs. You might find that while you do want to make some changes, these can be phased over time. Most changes involving structural features, such as patios and paths, can be done at any time when there isn’t a hard frost that will prevent mortar and cement from setting, but changes involving plants are usually best carried out in spring and autumn.

However, you may not have inherited an established garden in good order. You may have bought a new house and even a new house sitting in a sea of builders’ rubble and mud! Or you may have taken on a completely overgrown or unsuitable garden. In these cases, the planning stage is vital if you are to get a good return on your efforts.

- Ideally you should make a scale drawing of the plot, taking into account the factors such as soil, aspect, etc. If you like drawing you will enjoy this phase. If you don’t, on a sheet of paper roughly draw the shape of the garden and mark where you want the principal features to go. At this stage, it is enough to write ‘lawn’, ‘bed’, ‘patio’, etc. When you mark it out on the actual site you will get a much better idea how it will look. For a precise style, such as a formal garden, your planning will need to be more detailed.

- Once you know what you want, mark it out in the garden using pegs and string, sand trickled through a funnel, or a garden hose. You will need to take account of the height of any features and how large your plants will grow.

For many people it is unlikely that the whole plan will be executed immediately, and there is no harm in creating your garden design bit by bit as long as you are still following an overall scheme that will eventually bring the whole garden together. In fact, putting your plans into practice in stages is often a good thing as it allows you to make alterations – what you have mapped out on paper does not always turn into the reality you expect. Whatever changes you make, it is important that the garden has a unified structure and is not simply a collection of disjointed elements. It will work best if you design it so that the different areas lead into one another – paths, arches, curved beds and even steps all provide good linking features.

You can alter the feel of your garden without making major structural changes. Using color is a good way to achieve this. Hot colors, such as reds and oranges, will make flowers stand out and the garden seem lively, whereas strong blues will make it feel cooler and soft shades, such as mauves, pale blues and pinks, will make it soothing and restful.

Here are some features you may need to take into account in your garden design:
- tool/bicycle/car storage
- patio
- barbecues and eating areas
- washing line
- rubbish areas (household and garden)
- compost bins
- bonfire site
- play area
- summer house/conservatory
- water features
- swimming pools
- paths
- areas for pets
- trellis/pergola
- anything to increase privacy and reduce noise
- containers
- trees
- kitchen garden
- area for cut flowers
- herb garden
- greenhouse.

The Demand for Great Landscapes in Leicester

Over the last few years, the area of Leicestershire has shown a great rise in the need for quality landscaping and those investing in their properties. With the increasing costs involved with moving combined with the hassle and need for preparation, many have decided to instead invest in their own property.

The Demand for Great Landscapes in Leicester

The Demand for Great Landscapes in Leicester

Since Leicester has had a lot of coverage recently and is growing slowly in population, houses will becoming in demand in the next few years. With the increasing number of new builds, interior improvements are limited to what will increase the value of your home. So what better way to invest in your home than your outdoor area via professional landscaping.

Since Leicester is a large city, there are limited views of green grass and natural outdoor features. Having this in your back garden will make a huge difference to your mood and make your home appear more appealing for years to come.

Getting a landscape gardener involved

When it comes to professional landscaping in Leicester we recommend Groby Landscapes as our first choice, they can do anything from paving through to garden design and really prestigious commercial projects. Since they are local you can have a thorough meeting with them before committing to any project.

First thing to do is to measure your garden and make sure you have sufficient room to play with, the cost will vary greatly with both with the space you want to reinvent and the type of features you want to implement. Generally simple grass areas will not cost to much, whereas including a water feature, patio or arch might add to the costs considerably.

It’s also worth looking at where the sun will hit at certain times of the day, baring in mind that you may want a shaded area such as a patio for sitting with friends. You should also get used to the main factors of landscape design which includes colour, form, line, scale and texture. Much like redecorating your bedroom or living room, you will want consistency in some of these things.

Looking at your ground, start to think of how plants might be arranged best. Make a list of your favourite flowers and if you know someone who is handy with CAD, get them to draw up a plan. Many garden designers use CAD programmes to create artwork so you can see how well your Leicester garden might look like after a professional landscaper has worked his magic.

Handheld Leaf Blowers: A Time Saver

May 17, 2014 by  
Filed under Gardening Tools

It’s a big deal to be able to save time doing something especially if you have a busy schedule. The handheld leaf blowers are surely going to help you save a lot of time doing the chore of getting read of those leaves outdoors. There are even reports that say blowers are also used to tidy up what’s indoors.

Leaf blowers’ production started in the 70’s and in 1985 75,000 of it were sold and in 2010 it reached over 4 million and the tedious work of cleaning up those fallen leaves became less daunting.

Handheld Leaf Blowers

Handheld Leaf Blowers

A leaf blower is pretty much just a portable turbine fan that’s powered by gas engine or by electricity that blasts the air through its tube. The air that’s forced out of the tube, when directed to leaves or debris, will move them towards the area that you want them placed so they can be disposed of easily once done.

The electric leaf blower reviews show that it has several features that are quite appealing to many homeowners. One particular feature is how easy it is to use. You only need to have an extension power cord and turn on the switch. You don’t have any requirements with the storing of the flammable fuel and its additives and you don’t have to worry and get frustrated about pulling the starter cord several times to get the engine going. The electric blower can deliver 250 cubic feet per minute of air through its tube and some types even allow adjustments to the flow.

One other attraction to this type of blower is the price. You can get one at just $40 or at most at around $150. They’re also cheaper to operate because it only runs on electricity and there’s no need to maintain its engine just like you’d do for a fuel-powered engine. It also doesn’t produce fumes and are quieter than the gas powered ones.

If you’re not fond of the electrical blowers then the gas powered blower is for you especially when distance from the power outlet is an issue or if there are no power outlets at all. The gas powered leaf blowers are also more powerful than the electric blowers. There are those with 2 cycle OHVs that are more efficient and can last longer and more powerful.

The choice of having a handheld leaf blower really depends on your situation and choice. It’s a great tool for your yard. The best backpack blower is great as it allows you the convenience of cleaning the yard with the blower at your back. It’s not very heavy.

Electric Patio Heaters 101

Patio heaters are great, but for a family concerned about safety, it may be a little intimidating. Many parents aren’t so thrilled about having gas around their kids. For those parents, and others who would like alternate options to the traditional gas powered heaters, electric patio heaters may be what’s best for you.

Electric heaters are a great choice, because there is no need to fill up an expensive gas container. Neither does it contribute to Global Warming by polluting the Earth. Some people are cautious when it comes to electric heaters, they have this stigma that electric heaters aren’t as effective or efficient as a gas powered one.

Electric Patio Heaters 101

Electric Patio Heaters 101

When compared though, both heaters do a great job at warming up your space, they also have a 15 feet radius in which it works to keep warm. When looking for a electric heater it is best to conduct research and look at many patio heater reviews.

There are a plethora of various styles for an electric patio heaters. One of the most requested would be ones that can be mounted onto the walls. There are some types that can be used on table tops or stood up in a corner. Since it is electric, you can also move it anywhere you want, anytime you want.

If you have kids or pets and are worried about fires, electric patio heaters may be what you are looking for, considering it is noncombustible. Because it is not constantly releasing gas fumes into the atmosphere, it can easily be used in enclosed areas. An electric patio heater is also proven to use less energy than any other type of patio heater.

Searching for quality patio heater reviews will be very beneficial to you. They will show the pros and cons of each type and brand of heaters. Hearing other peoples opinion on a prospective heater will give you a better sense of the product you are looking for. There are many guides on the internet that will further your knowledge on patio heaters, plus provide great tips on ways to save. Most also provide safety ratings and additional safety measures.

Karcher K 5.540 Electric Pressure Washer Review

March 10, 2014 by  
Filed under Gardening Tools

Karcher K 5.540

Karcher K 5.540

If your hose is on its last spurt, or you’re just tired of lugging it out and reaching it around the house to clean some part of the house, then you should seriously look into a pressure washer to beat back the tough dirt, grime, and grit that is plugging up your home, gutters, and eaves and making your house look a mess.

Top pressure washers are designed to clear away grime by shooting a high-pressure stream of water at it, either hot or cold, with or without detergent. Pressure washers have built-in functions to add detergent as the water goes out, depending on the model you get.

Features – Benefits:

  1. Safety – child safety lock to ensure that your children can’t hurt themselves with the machine
  2. Patented DirtBlaster Apparatus – to increase pressure by an effective rate of 50%, the patented DirtBlaster really does the trick
  3. Nicer motor – there is a water-cooled induction motor that gives the device better performance over a longer span of time
  4. Hose reel – the hose reel makes storage easy because you can reel in the cord and have hassle-free storage


Product – Shipping Details:

  1. 38 pounds
  2. 2000 PSI/1.4 GPM
  3. 25-foot high pressure hose
  4. 15.5 x 16.5 x 23 inches


Final Analysis

Every dad wants a pressure washer, but they just don’t know it yet. They might think the garden hose can do the job of clearing away the leaves each autumn, but they just haven’t been turned on to the power of a pressure washer. Pressure washers actually make it fun to clean.

They make it enjoyable to get out there and do the cleaning that you formerly resented when you were forced to do chores. Now, when your old lady yaps at you, you’ll want to get out there and clean.

Making Accurate Cuts With a Sliding Miter Saw

March 7, 2014 by  
Filed under Gardening 101

Making Accurate Cuts With a Sliding Miter Saw

Making Accurate Cuts With a Sliding Miter Saw

For making accurate cross-cuts and angles. the basic miter saw is premiere. There are two separate kinds of miter saw, the electrically powered and the manual saw. What achieves the accuracy of cuts is the blade that is suspended on rollers while being held in a metal guide.

While the manual miter saw was formerly used mostly for framing, the power saw is replacing it for most operations. With the power saw the blade drops onto the wood for a quick chopping cut which is cleaner and more accurate. Since the wood being cut is pressed firmly against a fence, this sharp cut is very clean.

The angled cuts can be made in 1 degree increments on most miter saws although most models also have several preset cuts at 15, 30 and 45 degrees since these are the most common cutting angles.

On a compound miter saw the blade can also be angles so as to cut a beveled egde to the material. While the basic miter saw just drops the blade straight down, the sliding saw has the blade mounted on two tubes so that the blade can also be pulled along horizontally for a longer cut per stroke.

Most power miter saws now have a laser sight which accurately shows exactly where the blade is going to cut into the material. A blade guard is critical to safe operation. This guard is spring loaded so that it always covers the blade except for when the wood pushes it up as the blade engages. When the blade is raised, the guard drops back to cover the teeth.

Another feature that helps with the cutting accuracy is the dust bag. Collected piles of sawdust can throw the blade off so this bag collects it as the cuts are made to keep the surface clear. With a well-maintained miter saw it is very hard to make a false cut and ruin materials.

5 Suggestions for Garage Workbenches

March 3, 2014 by  
Filed under Gardening Tools

Most people that are thinking on purchasing a workbench will place it in their garage, because that is generally the best place to perform any woodwork tasks. However there are also some people that choose to add their workbenches to the basement.

Generally they place the benches where ever they find suitable, in places that are easy to clean with lots of space available. The main reason that most people place their workbenches in the garage is because it is a space that requires little to no cleaning afterwards. People can leave the space a bit of a mess without worrying about others observing it.

5 Suggestions for Garage Workbenches

5 Suggestions for Garage Workbenches

However, this does not give a person an excuse to keep their work area cluttered or dirty, because it could become a hazard. A garage workbench has been ideal to most because it allows people to work stress free and easily on their projects. If you haven’t already chosen a garage workbench to purchase then it might help if you could consider the things listed below.


The first thing that you need to do before you purchase your workbench for your garage is determine where you plan to put the workbench. You should have enough space for the workbench that you plan to purchase. Take some measurements so that you will know which bench would be the best portable workbench to fit in that particular area where you plan on placing it.

Hooks & Drawers

What is a workbench without hooks and drawers? You will need a good amount of space on your workbench with plenty of drawer space and hooks to place the tools properly in order to keep your work area well organized. This will also ensure that you don’t lose any of your tools or that none of the tools fall on the floor.


Sturdiness in a garage workbench matters. You will need your workbench to be sturdy so that you will be able to work at the bench without it moving around or being wobbly. A cheap workbench could mean that your projects will not be done properly. Portable workbench reviews are ideal to read, especially if you plan to purchase a workbench online because you won’t really know how sturdy a workbench is you have assembled it an used it for yourself. However, those that have purchased the workbench that you are interested in buying will let you know just how sturdy the bench is.

Height of the workbench

Choose a workbench according to its height as well. You need to choose a workbench depending upon how tall you are so that you can work comfortably at the bench. You would be surprised at how much the height of your workbench matters. You don’t want to have to bend down too low because you have a short bench, or struggle to reach up on a taller bench.

Build your workbench

Custom building your workbench might be a good idea if you cannot find a garage workbench that meets all of your personal requirements and standards.

Why Use a Lathe Machine?

February 22, 2014 by  
Filed under Gardening Tools

In general, a lathe machine is used to give a shape to an object by rotating it on its axis. At a high level, think of a desktop globe spinning on its axis. A lathe machine does this much faster.

Why Use a Lathe Machine

Why Use a Lathe Machine

Background of the Lathe Machine

The idea behind the lathe machine was introduced somewhere around 1300 B.C. Over the centuries it has been improved upon and diversified to the machines used today by industrial shops as well as hobbyists. You’ll find lathes used in steel fabrication, carpentry, mechanical applications, and even glass working.

What Are Lathes Used For?

As mentioned previously, lathe machines are used to give shape to an object by spinning it. However it has other uses as well with regard to forming a final piece. A lathe machine also used for:

  • Sanding
  • Cutting
  • Drilling at specific angles or where traditional drills cannot go
  • Wood working
  • Metal working
  • Watchmaking
  • Turning to make ornaments
  • Glass working
  • Spinning metal
  • Boring
  • Turning round metal bars into bolts by threading

And these uses are only the beginning. Lathes are used to create a seemingly endless array of products.

When a lathe is used for boring, you’ll find that it can drill a hole up to six inches. It does this by using extremely sharp tools.

In cutting, you will find tools such as a diamond cutting tool or an M.S. cutting tool that are extremely effective for slicing through solid materials.

The Parts of a Lathe Machine

Typical parts that you will find on a lathe machine include:

  • Head stock
  • Compound rest
  • Saddle
  • Clutch knob
  • Half-nut lever
  • Face plate
  • Tool post
  • Back gear level
  • Feed service lever

These are just some of the main parts. Each part has its specific function and together they work to produce a turned and finished product.

The Different Types of Lathes

For the uses above, you will find different types of lathe machines. For metal working, you’ll find lathes used specifically for working metals. Likewise, you’ll find woodworking lathes in carpentry shops.

Whatever the job, you’ll find a lathe that can handle it.

Japanese Garden Design

November 11, 2013 by  
Filed under Regional Gardening Designs

The Practical Use of Stones and Boulders Japanese garden design consists of many different elements and plant life. No matter what design or elements you chose for your Japanese garden you will always use one of three basic elements. These elements are Water features, rocks, and plants. It is best to thoroughly consider and discuss one of the Japanese garden elements at a time. In this article we will look at the different uses and qualities of the rocks features.

The first use for a rock feature camouflage. A Japanese garden should have a relaxing or Zen quality to it. This feeling is created by the calming a beautiful features of the garden. If unsightly things such as the water hose and spout, a busy highway or neighbors ugly yard can be seen the Zen effect can be lost. A large boulder can hide these things from view while in the garden. This makes it feel quiet and Zen like.

Japanese Garden Design

Japanese Garden Design

Some gardens have very bad soil in spots. Bad soil can kill any plant life cause your garden to look sparse and uninviting. Placing different sized, colored, and shaped stones in these areas you can create a balanced and beautiful Japanese garden.

Rocks can also bring out other features in the garden such as a water fountain or small pond. Natural ponds have rocks in and around them, so by adding rocks to a pond we can bring its natural beauty to light. We can even create a sitting area from which visitors can breathe gentle sighs of relief as their stress is relaxed away.

Rocks can also lead the way for you and your guests. Take your time and design your rock pathway in any pattern you like. Your visitors will slow down while walking your creations and consider what different shapes and patterns may mean. This can create another level of enjoyment as well steer them onward through your garden.

If you have areas of your garden that are not finished or where you just don’t want traffic, rocks can provide a barrier to keep guests out. Create large but interesting rock formations that keep people guessing. In creating these dynamic displays guests will avoid off limits areas with out even noticing they were kept out. This is excellent for the very observant and hard to please visitor who may other wise be upset by the idea of being kept out.

Design your own unique back drop. Your visitors will enjoy their journey through your garden and want many pictures. Help capture that perfect shot by creating depth and interest behind your plants. Be sure to give your flowers enough space to bloom and grow without being hindered by the rocks.

Make hills and slopes safer and easier to walk up and down. Use some rocks to make a small staircase or to outline the flower beds. You may even want to use them as retaining walls to keep the soil and roots where they belong.

Give an existing stream new life. Line rocks decisively along the bottom of the stream. Create ebbs and flows and visibly define its borders. When you are done you will find your stream stands out as though it was larger and the erosion will be kept to a minimum.

Choosing your Perfect Garden Cabin

November 11, 2013 by  
Filed under Gardening Tools

If you are the type of person that is looking for a garden home office that represents log cabins that you would find in the mountains, then you need to consider a few things. The most important thing to consider is the amount of space and location you have in your garden for your cabin home office.

Space is extremely important and you might have to do some landscaping in order to get the amount of space that you will need. You are also going to need to figure out the correct place to build your cabin home office to make sure it’s easily accessible.

Choosing your Perfect Garden Cabin

Choosing your Perfect Garden Cabin

Cost is going to be another factor that determines what your cabin home office is going to be. There are a lot of options available to people on a budget and determining how much money you have available to build this cabin office of yours.

The more money you have available the more accessories you will be able to afford. Things like extra windows to bring light in, and even a bathroom can be added to your office to make it more comfortable for you and your clients when they come over.

You will need to make sure that you can get electricity to your office as well. This is going to require the hiring of a professional electrician to make sure that everything is done right and that you don’t cause a fire or electrocute yourself. If you are planning on having water for your office, you will need a plumber to come in and make sure the water line and the sewer line are properly connected as well. You can create the most professional office that you can afford this way if you have the funds to do it.

People that prefer to have their home office out in their garden because of the privacy they can get. This means they are able to get more work done in less time because they don’t have all the distractions that they would normally have if their office were in a room of their home. This may seem odd to some people, but having a cabin office in your garden could help you greatly with your home based business affairs.

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