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.

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.

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.

How to Grow Fruit Bushes in Your Kitchen Garden

November 6, 2013 by  
Filed under Gardening 101

Although fruit bushes take a little time to become established and need attention and netting, the taste of home-grown gooseberries, redcurrants and white currants (all of which grow on a single stem) or blackcurrants (growing on a group of stems) is so delicious you may well decide to grow them. Green and red gooseberries, for example, are totally different from the fruits usually available in shops as you can (unlike commercial gooseberries) wait to harvest them when they are perfectly ripe.

All bush fruit does best on well-drained, but not dry, soil in moderate, damp climates with enough sun to ripen the fruit. Avoid frosty and windy sites. Typically, bushes should be set around 1.2-1.5 m/4-5 ft apart, perhaps a little more for blackcurrants. Mulch around the base in spring and be careful when weeding since many are shallow rooted. Pull up suckers carefully as they form.

Fruit Bushes

Fruit Bushes

Various formats are available but standards or semi-standards are probably the easiest because the branches are clear of the ground, making weeding and harvesting simpler. Late autumn or spring is the best time to plant, preparing the soil well and putting in everything but blackcurrants (which can go slightly deeper) level with the old soil mark.

Home-grown gooseberries are worth the effort. They need potash in winter or spring. Prune in the winter to make an open centre to the plant, to make picking easier and to reduce the chance of mildew. Cooking gooseberries can be picked in late spring or early summer, but leave them longer on the bush to ripen for eating. Mildew can be a problem so keep the bush well ventilated and cut away any branches the moment they begin to look powdery, or plant the resistant strain Tnvicta’. Other diseases include rust, grey mould and honey fungus.

Red- and white currants
Red- and white currants are botanically similar and easy to grow. They fruit on old wood and should be pruned in winter, but they are unfussy and will produce fruit whatever you do to them. Currants should always be picked as bunches rather than individual fruits, starting in early summer although they will not fully ripen until late summer or early autumn. Aphids and leaf blister can affect the plants but are not usually serious.

Blackcurrants are different from the other bushes. They are multi-stemmed, more sprawling, and take up more space in the garden unless you choose a compact variety. They need to be planted so the old soil mark on the stems is 5 cm/2 in below the soil level, as this will encourage growth. You should then cut the stems back to one bud above the ground. This will mean you do not get a crop the first year but it will provide a better framework for the bush.

Prune in autumn or winter, keeping the center open and, since blackcurrants fruit on the previous year’s growth, cut away any old or badly growing branches at the same time. Take out one-third of all fruiting stems each year, leaving no branches more than four years old on the plant. Unless you are going to eat blackcurrants immediately, they must be dry when you pick them. They will be ready to pick in summer and, with tougher skins, will keep better than red- and white currants. Mold, aphids and occasionally honey fungus can cause problems.

5 Suggestions for Garage Workbenches

November 3, 2013 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.

How to Create a Perfect Garden Patio

November 3, 2013 by  
Filed under Gardening 101

A patio may form part of a larger garden or take up the whole area of a small one as a courtyard. Building a patio as part of an existing garden is a big task so it is important you get it right first time.

- Position the patio correctly. The most practical place may seem near the house, but consider other options – it may be nice to walk down a path and either sit in a totally secluded area or look back at the house. Either way, it needs to be easily accessible and well lit if you are considering sitting out in the evening. Take into account when you will most use the patio and whether you want it to be in the sun or the shade.

Garden Patio

Garden Patio

- Make the patio as large as possible. You need to be able to fit a table and chairs on it and still allow room to walk around. If you find it is too large, you can always fill it up with some big containers.

- If the patio joins directly to the lawn, make the level slightly lower than the grass as this will make mowing much easier. The level should be higher than surrounding flowerbeds to prevent earth overflowing.

- The edges of the patio can be softened or modified by planting.

- If you want to change the position of an existing patio, wait a few months – the previous owners may have had a logical reason for siting it where they did, such as getting the evening sun, etc.

Courtyards need to be carefully designed because on a small scale every detail is important. In large gardens it is often possible to disguise unattractive features, such as an old shed, while in a small garden any fault will tend to stand out. There are advantages to gardening on a small scale though, and as enclosed courtyards can be very sheltered you may find that you can grow a greater range of plants than on a more exposed site in the same area. Small gardens can be given a greater sense of space by using a few tricks:

- Plant the beds with a mixture of tall and short plants.

- For privacy, trellis with climbers does not take up as much room as a hedge and does not block out as much light as a tall fence or wall. A good combination is to have a fence or wall up to 1.6-1.8 m/5-6 ft and then trellis on top.

- An arbour will provide privacy and a certain amount of shade depending on how thickly you train the plants over it.

- Lighting can be used to create illusions of greater space.

- Formal water features usually work better in small spaces, and the sound of flowing water can enhance the peace of a city courtyard.

- If you want to plant a tree, bear in mind what its roots may do to surrounding buildings and where it will cast shadows.
- Trellis, mirrors or even trompe-l’oeil can create the illusion of a greater area of garden, but these features must be positioned carefully to be effective. Always try to position mirrors so that they reflect part of the garden rather than the people in it. You want to create the impression of more space, rather than more people!

Picking Out the Right Pressure Washer

October 30, 2013 by  
Filed under Gardening Tools

When it comes to picking out the best pressure washer for your needs, the first thing you are going to need to do is figure out what type of jobs you are going to be using it for. If you are only interested in general cleaning of your driveway or washing the pollen off your home, then you won’t have to worry about going into the realm of high intensity industrial pressure washers.

You could stick with the household washers that have an estimated 1500 to 2000 PSI rather than turning to the commercial washers, which can go well over 3000 PSI.

Depending on what kind of job you are performing with your pressure washer, you may want to determine the amount of water flow that you will need. If you are just going to be washing down your driveway and getting rid of leaves or dust that accumulates, then you won’t have to worry about too much water flow. But if you are planning on pushing large amounts of debris around, then you will want something that can put out a decent amount of water flow so that it doesn’t take you all day long to get the job done.

Another thing you are going to need to consider is how often you will be using your power washer. If you are only going to be using your washer a few hours every year, then you can probably get by with a household washer. On the other hand, if you are going to be using it for a few hours every day, then you will want to get a commercial washer. The reason for this is that a household washer is usually made form aluminum and plastic and can’t handle the amount of use that a commercial washer can withstand.

Using a power washer can be quite beneficial for you and allows you to get a job done a lot faster than with a hose and nozzle attachment. However, if you end up purchasing the wrong washer for the jobs that you are going to be doing with it, then you will find that you are wasting more money than you could be saving. Remember, you have to have the right tool for the job.

Bonsai Tree Styles

October 24, 2013 by  
Filed under General Gardening

The number of bonsai styles will vary depending upon the expert in which you inquire. Some will say there are 5 basic styles: formal and informal upright, cascading and semi cascading, and slanted. Others will say there are as many as 18 including: wind-swept, broom, exposed roots, and split trunk.

In reality, according to Bonsai Tree Gardener, the style name indicates a specific description of the bonsai. The name is used by growers and enthusiasts to provide an accurate mental picture of the tree. This classification is used in bonsai education, and as a uniform standard by which the tree is termed.

Bonsai Tree Styles

Bonsai Tree Styles

While most trees can be shaped to any style, the actual composition depends upon the specific tree, and the skill and expertise of the designer. Some trees are more suitable for an upright style, while others are more adept at a slanted or cascading style. Many growers consult catalogs for styles and use this information to determine the proper styling for their particular bonsai variety. The pictures within the catalogs provide a basis to determine which leaves or branches should be trimmed or reshaped.

Bonsai Tree Shaping
The novice bonsai grower may find it difficult to begin shaping a tree. It may be easier for a novice grower to begin with a pre-shaped specimen and strive to maintain the current style before attempting a transformation. Prior to determining the shape, one should consider the age of the tree, the tree species, and the experience of the grower. The style of the tree is not limited by the above mentioned factors, but is limited by the creativity of the grower. While a traditional style may be the preferred outcome, it is certainly not a requirement.

Formal And Informal Upright
Two of the primary styles of bonsai are formal and informal upright. Formal is the basis, yet informal symbolizes a romantic twisting and bending aura. With both styles the trunk and apex of the trunk are directly over the base of the tree. However, the informal will curve and sway. The slanting style is similar to the upright formal, as it has no curves. The only difference is the fact the trunk grows at a significant angle from the soil. Semi-cascading or cascading describes a tree in which the branches grow either directly in line or below the base of the trunk, respectively. The cascading style is widely known as the oldest style of bonsai.

Other Styles
The remaining bonsai styles resemble trees as seen in nature; trees which are misshapen by years of intense wind, or climate and erosion considerations. Styles include specimens with multiple trunks. Generally multiple trunk specimens have an odd number of trunks (excluding the twin trunk), and may include up to nine trunks. Some tree styles are named for the configuration of the roots; multiple trees with own roots (rather than a single root for multiple trees). Styles of a romantic nature include wind-swept and literati (meaning tasteful elegance). Windswept is exactly what the mind’s eye sees when reading the words; a slanted tree with the trunk and branches directed in a single direction. Literati, is style of tree commonly painted by Chinese artists. The tree has a thin, long trunk, with minimal branch which curves at the upper end of the trunk.

Bonsai Styles | Bonsai Tree Gardener

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