You’ve got a shimmering lawn neater than the haircut of a military general, pot plants more colourful than a Flaming Lips album cover and a gazebo that could make the Gardeners’ World team spurt tears of pride – but is your garden eco-friendly?
That’s right – From the lawnmower you use to the patio furniture you sit on, the grass (as well as the air and energy usage) can always be made greener.
So, what can you do? Start with a few of these top ideas.
Get with the glazing
What does every perfect middle-class home have in common? You guessed it – they’ve all invested in a professionally made conservatory.
Giving you the perfect view of your garden as you laze indoors, conservatories also act as an ideal form of insulation for your home. Although the glass won’t actually retain much heat, your extension will essentially act as a shield, keeping the cold at arm’s length and saving you on heating bills.
Let it rot, let it rot, let it rot
Composting is the perfect way to recycle those out-of-date newspapers, old bits of food (though never compost fish and meat items, for reasons of hygiene) and rotting plant life that has little to no other use.
First off, create a compost bin to hold your gunk, then fill it with leaves, water, twigs and anything else that will decompose effectively. Be sure to mix up your compost heap so that different materials come into contact with each other, creating an alchemy that will break them down quicker.
After all this, you’ll have a handy supply of compost to give your soil an extra lease of life.
Praise the sun!
In the recent past, solar panels were viewed as ideal ways to power your home, but ultimately impractical thanks to their cost.
But that’s all changing with the price of solar panels recently dropping by a third (according to national newspaper The Guardian). Place these in your garden and on your roof and, provided there’s sunny weather, you’ll have a wellspring of electricity that doesn’t rely on finite fossil fuels to power your home.
Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain
The average UK rainfall in 2012 was 1331mm, although you’d be forgiven for thinking there was far more. But instead of grumbling and moaning about the UK’s stormy fortunes, put that rain to good use by placing a water butt in your garden.
Allow it to fill and you’ll have a repository of rainwater that you can use to water your plants, saving you on water bills and giving you backup if a hosepipe ban comes into play.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 25 August, 2014
Made of rotationally-moulded polyethylene, Atlas is SLIDE’s latest creation, designed specifically to provide new, innovative, and always unexpected seating solutions with a strong personality.
Atlas springs from the creative mind of young designer Giorgio Biscaro. It is compact and sinuous, easy to handle and position, perfect for furnishing indoor and outdoor areas alike.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 28 July, 2014
Ah, summertime. Pool parties, backyard barbecues and plentiful play in the outdoors. There’s no better way to prep for summer fun than to consider creating a new deck for your home. The options are plentiful from large, multilevel designs brimming with landscape to more quaint ones perhaps with a gazebo.
Whatever your choice, here are a few things to think about before embarking upon your fabulous deck project:
- Purpose: What is the main reason you’re wanting to expand your outdoor living space? Perhaps it’s because you desire to entertain more often and larger groups. Or maybe it’s merely to create more privacy in your backyard, or to have a place to lounge while watching the kids play in the pool.
- Zoning: When hiring a contractor, be sure to look for one who is familiar with recent zoning codes and regulations. If necessary, a surveyor may have to be called upon to ensure that the deck remains within your property boundaries.
3. Material: You’ll want to decide what aesthetic you wish your deck to portray. Weathered woods are quite popular, as are tropical hardwoods such as teak and ipe. Softer woods like cedar and pine are also commonly used, so the options run the gamut.
- Finishes: Other than the structural design, the finish and color of your deck is a very personal choice. Since the deck will be exposed to the elements, it’s vital to have it finished with specialty stains and protectors our colleagues at Trade Paint Direct recommend. These oil finishes, coatings and stains in a variety of tones and hues, so it’s up to you to customize the look and feel of your decking.
The beauty of adding on a deck is that it literally becomes an extension of your family’s living space. Whether enjoying it under the sun or stars, it will become a welcome addition to your home sweet home.
Posted by Suzanne at 2 June, 2014
BirdCabin provides a safe haven for small birds to visit or even nest in the urban environment where tree hollows are scarce. Designed by Tait’s very own Production Manager Wayne Bell, who wanted to find a use for small timber offcuts, the resulting bird house uses minimal materials and is available in a variety of powder coat colours supplied with hanging hook and cord.
BirdCabin will attract small bird species to your inner city garden and the opening is small enough to deter invasive Myna Birds. Cheep Cheep.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 7 March, 2014
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 25 October, 2013
Spark Modern Fires announces a dynamic new outdoor fire element called The Cube. As its name implies, The Cube has a modern box-like shape which makes it a striking contemporary feature and a focal point in any outdoor environment. When not in use The Cube projects as an art object worthy of illumination. When in use, the Cube’s flame creates its own light and warmth.
The Cube is available in stainless or powder coated red, and is 34.5” square X 28.5” tall. It can be ordered for natural gas or propane and comes with a cover to protect the firebox from the elements when not in use. Options include safety screen and mat plus four choices of decorative fire objects – black glass, clear glass, small basalt stones or lava rock. “The Cube is truly a unique fire element that infuses outdoor living with contemporary design”, says Tom Healy, co-founder of Spark. “Form and function share equal parts in this sculptural play.”
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 16 October, 2013
The Catalonia lighting company, LEDS-C4 present a new collection,Kap, the new chill out light for outodoor use, designed by Francesc Vilaró. The product comprises a piece of matt white polyethylene, manufactured using a rotating moulding technique to provide an original and unique 60 cm by 60 cm shape. It is a large lamp that generates a kind of general diffused light.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 10 October, 2013