Top Tips and How To
Sure, a stuffed-out, summer-flowering hanging basket in full flow is a joy when hanging from a secure bracket on a well-maintained fence. But once autumn arrives, the plants fade and are consigned to the compost bin, what happens then? Of course, you can replace it with a winter basket. And that will last until spring, then begin to look a little tatty before summer bursts back on the scene. Or...you can plant up one basket to last the whole year round.
A good-sized basket is best. The compost doesn’t dry out as quickly and you can get more in there! Then a little bit of planning and planting and a 12-month-of-the-year display is possible:
Everyone likes the idea of a bit of GIY (grow it yourself) but some are put off by lack of space. And a shortage of time. After all, allotment waiting lists can be long and a dedicated two days a week to keeping a plot ship-shape unfeasible. Never fear - if you have a fence panel you can be a top GIY-er. Honest.
A sturdy fence panel is the perfect support for runner beans. Planted in the ground or into large pots, plants will scramble and twirl in and out of slats and sections of a fence panel. Same thing goes for climbing French beans. Oh, and cucumbers, pumpkins and indeed anything that either climbs or usually flops on the floor.
You’ve done it, I’ve done it - everyone’s done it. I’m on about buying a plant when you know that your garden is full. The plant is delivered and then you have to find a home for it. Or you may have a patio garden. All concrete and paving slabs. No greenery to be seen within the confines of your brick enclosure. Someone buys you a plant as a gift. Help! The answer to both these scenarios is, of course, containers. Any plant will grow in a container given a few principles.
- Match the size of the container to your plant. Not the size it is when you plant it but research (read the label!) the eventual size. Plan acco
Fences are the backdrop for our gardens. Like a canvas, our plants, trees and other garden features create a picture – all framed by our garden fence.
There are lots of fence styles to choose from – from traditional overlap fencing to undulating Paloma style fence panels. But for some, the usual choices aren’t enough to satisfy their creative vision.
If you want to make a bolder statement with your fence line, we’ve gathered lots of creative fencing ideas for how to use your fence to add something extra special to your garden.
Here are some ideas for your next garden makeover:
A simple way to spice up your garden fence is to give it a splash of colour. From softer greens and blues to bright pinks and purples, there is a shade for every taste. Plus, if you fancy a change next season, just grab the paint brush and you can match the latest trends.
During winter, there aren’t as many gardening jobs to be done. The ground - frozen solid. The flowers? Long gone. If you can brave the cold, what better time to get outside and give your tired, old fence panels a new lease of life?
The all-important preparation:
Firstly, check your panels thoroughly, especially if they’ve been around for a few years. Wicked winter winds could have caused damage: loosening fixings, snapping battens and cracking slats of wood. In a particularly bad storm this could cause your panel to go cartwheeling across the garden – no one wants that! A little bit of sprucing also doesn’t hurt: remove those pesky cobwebs, lichen and weeds.
Choosing your treatment:
Try and calculate how much treatment you’ll need. This will vary from product to product, and we’d also recommend sticking to reputable, established brand names. Picking the best colour for your panels f
Every wooden fence has a lifespan and that can, unfortunately, be shortened by a number of factors. If the fence has been damaged by the elements, or an errant football, or has been in constant and direct contact with the soil, things may rot earlier than expected. Repair is possible.
If a whole section of the panel is rotten, try easing it away from the supporting posts using a crowbar. Gently open up a gap between the post and panel to expose any nails. Then you can simply hacksaw through the nails to allow you, and a friend, to lift the damaged panel away. It can then be repaired by sliding out individual slats and replacing with new. Remember to hammer down the nails left in the post or pull them out using pliers before refitting the repaired panel.
Broken fence posts
Wobbly fence panels are often a sign that a fence post has given up the ghost – but it too can be repaired. Spurs (not Tottenham) can be fitted alongside the p
Earlier this month, we spoke with Lisa Fearn from The Pumpkin Patch to talk about the importance of getting children into gardening and the valuable skills they can learn from doing so. Lisa spoke to us about the classes The Pumpkin Patch run, favourite recipes for homegrown food, and seasonal cooking.
Our interview with The Pumpkin Patch
1. You have five children of your own who all love gardening. How did you get them into it to start with?
It wasn’t a matter of getting them into it, they just started helping in the garden. When they were very little they used to play in a sand pit just next to me in the garden. I’d dig the soil and they would dig in the sand! They soon started joining me in the garden and would help to plant up
Featured image credit: David Marsden
Earlier this month, we spoke to David from The Anxious Gardener about how he became a self-employed gardener, how other people can do the same, and some great tips for attracting wildlife to your garden. Check out our interview below.
Our interview with The Anxious Gardener
1. You started gardening 10 years ago, has much changed between then and now?
For me, the major change in the last ten years has been the smartphone. Not only does it allow me to interact easily with people on social media (in what can otherwise be a lonely profession), but more importantly it gives me immediate access to a whole world of gardening know-how. If I'm unsure or I've forgotten when to prune a particular shrub or the conditions a certain plant prefers, I can find out the answer instantly. I still keep a hefty RHS encyclopaedia at work
Need to know what to do in your garden but don't know where to start? We've looked at 4 key areas for gardening and provided 5 top tips for each to help you make a start on your garden. Our 4 key areas of focus are:
- Seasonal Gardening - we've covered tips for the whole year, not just the current season, but if you want to know more in detail about month-by-month gardening head over to Shedstore's blog
- Eco-Friendly Gardening - eco-friendly gardening is a huge part of making sure that you are doing your bit to help the environment while you enjoy your garden! Find out more about eco-friendly gardening here
- Growing Your Own - growing your own food is becoming more and more important,
A fence panel isn't complete without a sturdy gravel board. They protect the panel from moisture rising from the soil and will help retain aggregates stay in the garden. You cannot forget about them when putting up a fence.
Gravel board – why bother?
You can erect a fence without gravel boards. You can, of course, have a wish to replace that fence earlier than you otherwise do! Even when a wooden fence has a guarantee against rot, it will quickly get damaged either physically from stones and errant mowers and will rot quickly when on direct contact with the soil. A solid gravel board will always make a fence look better.
Types of gravel board
Wooden gravel boards look great and are easy to cut to size. Always include them with any fencing order. Make sure that each board has been pressure treated with a preservative to ensure longevity. Many people opt for concrete gravel boards, especially when fixing fence panels between c