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Top Tips for your garden

Tuesday 16th July 2013

A new survey for Gardeners’ World magazine shows that gardening makes most people happier, as it can help to ward off depression, improve your mood and make you feel life is more worthwhile. Thankfully, the warmer weather has finally arrived in the UK, after a long cold winter.

An additional survey commissioned by Banner Homes, British people place gardens within the top three key ingredients for a happy home.

The study of 2,000 people in the UK found that almost half of people consider that a front and back garden makes us happy about our homes.

Having a garden shed was also considered important by just over a quarter of people surveyed along with trees and a well maintained garden.

For those who enjoy entertaining in the warmer months, one fifth of people surveyed felt a barbeque and patio were vital ingredients to a happy home.

Piers Banfield, Group Sales and Marketing Director of Banner Homes, said: “As a nation we love our gardens and its evident when you see the number of people flocking to garden centres on a spring or summer day and the surge in demand for barbeques when we have a heat wave. Gardens are also considered to be good for your stress levels as well as a great exercise platform for all the family.

“As a company we place a great deal of importance on designing our homes, both the inside and out, to create the most appealing home possible to potential purchasers and one that can easily accommodate outdoor entertaining.”

Neil Hodgkins of PGE Landscaping also commented, “Over recent years gardens have become an increasingly important part of peoples’ lives, providing an entertaining space to spend summer days and evenings with family and friends or a quiet, calming place to simply sit back and relax. Families can benefit from having a safe outdoor space for children to play, whilst front gardens can improve curb appeal.”

Top Tips for your garden

+ Make the most of the space you have – A small garden has the advantage of requiring little maintenance, and even a limited amount of outdoor space is better than none. If your garden is on the small size you should consider whether grass or paving is more important to you. You should also try to keep your garden clean and tidy and ideally, incorporate at least some plants and flowers.

+ Stain your fence - Fences may be practical things, but there’s no reason they shouldn’t look good too. Ordinary wood can look dull and dingy when it’s not properly treated, but a bit of wood stain breathes new life into your fence – as well as giving it protection from the elements.

+ Stain or replace garden furniture - The same principle applies to garden furniture – as well as making it look better, staining helps it shrug off the effects of the weather. However, if furniture gets beyond repair, it could be the perfect excuse to go shopping for some new kit.

+ Decorate your garden - Hanging baskets, little statues and ornaments, interesting paving slabs and even a water feature – how complex you want to get is up to you, but all gardens can be improved with a few fun and quirky features here and there. Less is more with garden ornaments – it’s best to just choose a few rather than crowding the space.

+ Feed the birds - There’s nothing better than sharing your garden with local wildlife, so why not set up a bird feeder or nesting box? Don’t be discouraged if nothing moves in right away – it can take a few months or even years before birds decide to call your garden home, but once they’re in you’ll find they’re very loyal and trouble-free tenants.

+ Improve your lawn - As well as mowing the grass, lawns can benefit from being aerated – this means using a special tool to pierce holes in the grass to loosen the soil and allow better circulation, leading to richer and more vibrant grass. Leaving your grass clippings on the lawn can help to restore nutrients to the soil, or use a suitable lawn feed available from your local garden centre.

+ Get weeding - It’s hard work, but the rewards are always worth it. A bit of regular weeding means less hard work in the future and reduces your dependence on weed killers, which can damage other plants in your garden. Always try to get the roots if you can, unless you want to be pulling up the same weeds next week! A 2 to 3 inch layer of organic mulch over your beds can have a number of benefits, including retaining moisture within the soil to improve plant growth and to keep weeds at bay.

              

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