The Uses of Hedges

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Posted by jennyandrew | Posted in Shrubs | Posted on 19-10-2010

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BOUNDARY HEDGES
Boundary hedges are by far the most practical way of marking the limits of your plot containing pets/children and keeping out unwanted visitors while adding character and value to your property. Boundary hedging is not just cheaper than a fence or wall, it will be longer lasting and a more effective filtering barrier to wind and noise. A hedge will provide a higher quality of privacy bringing a sense of seclusion to your garden.

There are many hedge species suitable for boundary hedging. The photo shows a Leylandii hedge in the background with an English Yew hedge in front. Many other hedge species are suitable for boundary hedges for example Laurel, Privet, Beech, Hornbeam and Thuja. All of these hedges are either leaf retaining or evergreen therefore providing year round privacy.

SECURITY HEDGES
Security hedges will often perform similar functions as boundary hedging but with a greater priority placed in keeping out intruders.While many species will provide security, hedging plants with thorns will always be the most effective deterrent. While they are undoubtedly more hostile many of these hedge plants may also provide a beautiful living tapestry of colour for much of the year.

Faster growing evergreen security hedging plants include Pyracantha (in the photo) together with Berberis Darwinii and Berberis Stenophylla, Hollies will also make an excellent prickly hedge albeit more slowly. Suitable deciduous hedging species include Quickthorn, Blackthorn and most Roses. A mixture of plants can be equally effective, Mixed Native hedges are excellent for security as are simpler mixes such as Hornbeam and Quickthorn which combined are prickly and leaf retaining for winter.

SCREENING HEDGES
There are many situations where a screening hedge would be desirable, ugly or out of keeping buildings may spoil the view, overlooking windows may compromise privacy or a busy road may require evergreen hedging not just to improve the view but to filter noise and pollution. Visual screening hedges should give good coverage all year and may be trimmed in a way that preserves the desirable part of a view. High level screening can be achieved with ‘monster’ hedges but the maintenance is likely to be difficult and expensive. If space allows it is better to keep the hedge at a manageable size and plant a belt of trees and/or large shrubs away from the hedge to achieve high level screening. Hedges to screen noise and pollution should be deep and dense, the best species are Leylandii or the broad leaved Cherry Laurel hedge ideally planted in a double or triple row if space allows.

How to install Artificial Grass

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Posted by guestblogger | Posted in Lawns | Posted on 16-10-2010

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When installing artificial grass, consideration should be given to the weight of some of the materials required. This article details some essential hints and tips.

Measuring
When measuring the quantity of artificial grass required it is essential to incorporate an overlap of 100mm over each edge for coverage of the timber perimeter.

Survey
Undertake a ground survey to ascertain whether or not the terrain is subject to poor drainage, thereby retaining surface water. In such cases, in order to ensure a satisfactory base for EverLawn® artificial grass, measures should be taken to install appropriate and adequate below surface, drainage. We would advise the crushed aggregate followed by a sand infill method as in step 4.

Installation Guide
Installing artificial grass can be carried out by most able bodied DIY enthusiast; however, consideration should be given to the weight of some of the materials required. Either remove the existing turf manually or hire a turf cutter to save time and labour.

Crushed aggregate followed by sand infill method
Use treated timber stakes or treated tile batten, purchased from your local builder’s merchants to hammer into the ground. Each stake should protrude from the ground approximately 3inches or 90mm and at a distance no greater than 20inches or 500mm. Then using 4inch x 1inch or 100mm x 20mm treated timber, (always pilot hole the timbers to prevent splitting)  screw to the outer edge of the stakes leaving the stakes on the inside of the perimeter. If artificial grass meets a concrete path or wall then position the 4 x 1 flush with the surface height and by using 10mm temporary timber fillets pack the timber away to enable the artificial grass to tuck between the timber and adjoining material at a later stage. Then position the stakes against the inner perimeter timber edging and hammer in to the ground ensuring the stakes are slightly lower than the timber edging. After creating a pilot hole screw the two timbers together.
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Recipe Section – Courgette Soup

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Posted by jennyandrew | Posted in Recipes | Posted on 20-09-2010

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I’m sure it’s not a surprise to see a courgette recipe on this blog! Personally, I could eat grilled courgettes with every dinner, I think they are gorgeous, but then that doesn’t use enough up, so soup is the obvious.

1 small onion
1 stick celery
courgettes (1 large or 2 medium or 4 normal) – cut into quarters length ways then into cubes
1/2 clove of garlic
a sprinkle of fresh or dried red chili
a sprinkle of dried italian herbs
veg or chicken stock
salt and pepper

Saute off the courgettes in a bit of olive oil until slightly tender. Remove from the pan and add the onions and celery. Cook until soft and sweet.
Add the garlic, chili, herbs and all but a handful of the courgettes (these will go into the soup after blending for texture). Stir then add the stock so only just covers the courgettes.
Simmer for 10 minutes.
Blitz in a liquidiser or with a hand blender and then add the remaining courgettes, add salt to pepper to taste and serve. A spinkle of chopped fresh parsley or basil would be nice.

Recipe Section – Carrot Salad

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Posted by jennyandrew | Posted in Recipes | Posted on 15-09-2010

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It may sound a bit plain and boring but this really easy salad is great with lamb in any form or as part of a moroccan starter plater. More importantly, it’s another way to help use up a glut of carrots.

Into a bowl, grate 3 average sized carrots and finely slice 1 on the diagonal to give a different texture.

Add 1/2 tsp of ras el hanout (the Seasoned Pioneer one is the best – the pieces of rose petals show up in the carrot), salt, 1/2 tsp sugar and juice of half a lemon (this is to taste though and dependent on the size of the lemon so more may be required)

New recipe section

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Posted by jennyandrew | Posted in Recipes | Posted on 14-09-2010

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I thought I may as well include a few recipes in this blog. Some using ingredients from the garden but some just because I fancy writing them down. There may be some guest recipes featuring as well.

Courgette Update

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Posted by jennyandrew | Posted in Vegetables | Posted on 14-09-2010

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It’s a survivor! It hadn’t completely up rooted but I was fearing the worse due to it’s bedrabled state but over the weekend fresh courgettes were growing. The only problem now being the strong winds we have yet again. I’ve had more that average fruit production from it so I’m not complaining.

Courgette Tradegy

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Posted by jennyandrew | Posted in Vegetables | Posted on 06-09-2010

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The very plant that has not only yielded the most courgettes but has been the one producing the largest and tastiest has become a victim of the 60mph gales we have had today and over night. I’m also fearing for the plant behind it especially as this wind is forecast until tomorrow!

Why choose a garden office?

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Posted by guestblogger | Posted in Garden Sheds and Buildings | Posted on 06-09-2010

Garden offices give breathing space, are highly insulated and are an alternative to a house extension.

When having a garden office constructed in a garden there is no disruption to the home and no need to move house. Designed and built to last a lifetime using housing quality standards and regulations, garden rooms and offices are double-insulated and a solid investment for the future.

Garden office rooms, are designed for three purposes: -
To keep you, your paperwork, books and office equipment dry and condensation free.
To be used and enjoyed all year round.
To give your house back to your family, so that they can make lots of noise whilst you are working.

Giants…

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Posted by jennyandrew | Posted in Vegetables | Posted on 03-09-2010

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It’s happened 5 times now. I’ve gone out the check the courgettes, picked the ones that are ready and left the ones I deem to need a bit longer. I’ve then gone back 2 days later to find full on marrows! I’ve put a 500ml water bottle next to this specimen to convey the size. I could use this for weightlifting it’s that heavy. So, I wonder what we’ll be having for diner next week…..

Cougettes fitters…..courgette soup…..courgette pasta…..griddled curgettes…..stuffed courgettes

Sunny Saturday

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Posted by jennyandrew | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 21-08-2010

It’s a not a cloud in the sky, beautifully sunny Saturday over here in West Cumbria. Gosforth agricultural show on today so I’m going to check out the veg comp entries. I know already that I’m going to be extremely jealous of what people have grown but I’m just going to have to cope! Will hopefully get some good pics to post here.