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Entries in garden decking ideas (5)

Sunday
Sep022018

A Stone Patio or Wooden Decking - Garden Design Ideas - Garden Planner - Home Garden Design - Garden Patio Design - Hornby Garden Designs - Garden Decking Designs - Shrewsbury - UK

GARDEN DESIGN CLINIC - Which would add more value to your home: wooden decking or a stone patio?

What to do? You’re fortunate enough to have some space outdoors, but how to make the most of it? Decking seems like a great idea, if a little obvious. While a patio you suspect, could be a little pricey. On top of this, it would also be great to know which option would add the most value to your home when it comes time to sell.

First things first.

The good thing is that you’ve already realised that with your space outside, you can in effect, create another living area, weather permitting. What this means is that you’re already looking at adding value to your home. You now need to weigh up potential future returns against what it could cost you tomorrow.

A report from the US based National Association of Realtors found that a patio or decking could recoup around 85% of the cost of installation, compared to a new bathroom which recovered just 78%. More importantly, having a well-designed outside space is one of the top ten features that home-buyers want, and one that they would pay a premium for. So, as long as you do your maths right, not only can a patio or decking pay for itself in the long term, it will allow you to get more enjoyment from your garden.

So what else do you need to consider?

Well, as you would expect, both have their pros and cons.

Quality, professional decking has a natural style that means it can often be the perfect complement for a garden and home. However, while installing decking can be relatively quick, it does need to be maintained. Apart from regular cleaning with moss and algae inhibitors, it may also need oiling every other year. While if you’ve used a softwood, you may even find that you need to replace some or all of it in a few years. An additional cost consideration.  


Patios on the other hand can be fairly maintenance free, apart from the occasional cleaning. They can also work well with virtually every style of house. From hard edges and a more contemporary look and feel, to a more rustic style more suited to cottages. There’s an appropriate paving material for almost every home. It’s not all good news though.


The issue with patios is the cost. Because they require more work, from laying a compacted hardcore base so the stones stay level, to positioning a weed-proof membrane, it’s all extra work.

So, if you’re thinking about renovating the space that you have, don’t rush into it. There’s a lot to consider. But rest assured, that whichever option you choose, you’ll be rewarded with a lovely new space that should give you years of pleasure. And that in itself has must be worth something.

Tuesday
Feb172015

50 Shades of Grey in the Garden - Garden Design - Garden Ideas - Garden Planner - Hornby Garden Designs - Large Garden Design - Shrewsbury UK

50 shades of grey in the garden

A tale of how to get dark in the (flower)bed

Right. It’s time to unleash your naughty inner horticulturalist. The gardener in you who loves to take risks. Who says just because everyone likes to do things the nice, safe way, doesn't mean it's right. The part of you that loves to take risks.

Because 50 shades of grey isn’t just for the bedroom, it’s also a great way to spice up your flowerbed.

OK. So let’s get serious, for a moment. Why should you consider using a silver, grey or for that matter, black palette in your garden?

Simple aesthetics for one. The use of monochromatic plants will compliment nearly every garden and it’s a great way to make a statement. If you have an area that is predominantly grey and then have a splash of colour in the centre of this, you are instantly creating a focal point that’s sure to grab attention. Likewise, an area of grey plants can be an excellent contrast to green and breaks up the monotony of single coloured gardens.

The use of grey plants in a specific area can also be used to create a feeling of sophistication and tranquility. So if you’ve got a corner of your garden or an area of decking where you like to sit to get away from it all, highlight this sense of serenity by planting a few monotone flowers.

This takes me on to the second very good reason for grey plants. If this area is shaded and dry, using silver-leafed plants may also be very practical, as a large number of plants with grey and silver foliage are native to drought-like environments. The main reason for this is their hairy foliage or the waxy texture that some silver leaf plants have. Both of these characteristics enable them to reflect sunlight and conserve water. Which means not only less work for you, but they can also be a good way to ‘lift’ a previously dark area.

No matter how or why you decide to use grey plants in your garden, I’m sure that it’s a decision that you’ll be glad you’ve made as this neutral colour will ‘spce up’ your garden and will help you to reassess a space in the most simplest of ways.

Silver plants:

  •       Lambs ears (Stachys byzantina)
  •       Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)
  •       Faassen’s catmint (Nepata x faassenii)
  •       Siver Mound (Artemisia schmidtiana)
  •       Edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum)
  •       English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
  •       Woolly thyme (Thymus pseudolanuginosus)

Black plants:

  •       Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens'
  •       Sambucus nigra 'Black Beauty'
  •       Scabiosa atropurpurea 'Black Knight'
  •       Dahlia 'Black Narcissus'
  •       Alcea rosea 'Nigra' (Hollyhock 'Nigra')
  •       Black bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra)
  •       Aquilega vulgaris var. stellata 'Black Barlow'

Monday
Feb032014

Speaking a secret language with flowers - Garden Design Ideas - Garden Design in Shropshire - Landscape - Hornby Garden Designs - Garden Makeovers - Wem - UK

THE SECRET MESSAGE OF FLOWERS

When you next choose a bouquet of flowers for someone special, it’s good to know what you’re really saying

As pure white as the driven snow, or as flaming red as the sun. There is a cornucopia of colours and scents that range from the heady to the sublime. In fact, for every flower there’s an occasion and for every occasion there’s a flower. Whether they’re siting in a humble milk bottle for a vase, are worn in the hair by a bride, given by an expectant lover or are simply left to blossom in the garden. So it should come as no surprise that something so simple yet captivating has been used throughout the centuries as a means by which to imperceptibly communicate true feeling and intent.

Take the wedding bouquet for instance. Considered as a sign of happiness that was initially used to ward off bad spirits, a posy of flowers was used during The Black Death for this exact purpose, this tradition was then extended in Victorian times with both the bride and groom wearing garlands to signify new life, hope and fertility. Today, in the same manner that a knight would have worn his lady's colours, so too does the groom wears a flower from the bouquet in his buttonhole as a declaration of his love.

And with our attention still on weddings, daisies that are joined together and worn in the bride’s hair, convey a love that conquers all. 

But sometimes the messaging cannot afford to be open and flagrant. During seemingly circumspect Victorian times, lovers would send secret messages to each other using flowers or small "talking bouquets," called nosegays or tussie-mussies.

So while you may be aware that the rose signifies love, you might not be aware that a flower with deep pink petals signaled deep appreciation, whilst a white blossom conveyed a secret romance. Iris the promise in love and the red tulip, perfect love. Lavender with its wonderful fragrance and purple flower signaled devotion, whilst a bloom with another wonderful scent, chamomile, indicated romantic interest. But if the flowers were taken in a left hand instead of a right, then the recipient was politely declining the offer.

The intrigue in using these ‘floral dictionaries’ captivated Victorians, but to our more direct modern attitudes, their subtlety may feel quaint.

However, if you’re thinking of indulging in some floral messaging, or floriography, it’s good to know what you’re really saying.

  • Asters are considered to be a lucky charm
  • Iris a promise in love
  • Magnolias with a resplendent display of colour are linked to the love of nature
  • Stephanotis to marital happines
  • The climber Honeysuckle with bonds of love
  • Baby's breath which we see in lots of flower bouquets, conveys purity of heart
  • Pink carnations say "I'll never forget you"
  • Yellow roses symbolise friendship
Friday
Jan312014

Japanese Garden Design - Garden Design Ideas - Garden Design Shrewsbury - Garden - Landscape Design - Garden Plans - Hornby Garden Designs - Shropshire - UK

Japanese gardens are landscapes in miniature, which are often passed on from generation to generation. There are four main types of Japanese garden: hill and pond gardens, dry gardens, tea gardens and courtyard gardens.

They were often said to contain the elixir of eternal youth, and in the Western world we level the ground for a smooth lawn, however in Japan they add contours to the land for depth and perspective.

Tuesday
Nov052013

The Perfect Present - Garden Design Services - Garden Designer - Garden Design Plans - Garden - Garden Services - Hornby Garden Designs - Shrewsbury - UK