14 articles Tag garden

Gardening and DIY with Kids This Spring

When it gets to this time of year, where the weather is a bit more clement, my mind is always full of all of the DIY and garden stuff that I’d like to do and now that the kids are older and a little more able to get involved (don’t worry, I won’t let Burrito Baby hold any power tools!) I’ve been thinking about things we can do together. Luckily, my friends from the blogging world are the BEST source of inspiration, so I thought I’d share some brilliant posts with you of my favourite projects that they’ve done.

How to Make a Tardis Wardrobe

I’ve you’ve got a gaggle of mini Whovians living in your house then this guide to making a tardis wardrobe is perfect for you. Husband and I really encourage the girls to have their interests and try to indulge them as far as possible so I absolutely love the fact that Penny at Parentshaped has nurtured her daughter’s love for all things Doctor Who with her bedroom furniture.

CD Fish Bird Scarers

CD fish bird scarers

I absolutely LOVE this idea for DIY bird-scarers that Liz over at Me and My Shadow made with her daughter to protect their home garden patch. As well as upcycling and making use of old CDs, thus keeping them out of landfill, they look really pretty too. Such a great project to do with kid as you can be as creative as you like with how you decorate them.

DIY Matchbox Drawer Chest

Red Ted Art DIY matchbox drawers

Something that we ALWAYS need more of in our house is storage, so I love the idea of making ourselves some storage solutions out of other things. These cute little drawers from Red Ted Art are the perfect place to keep art supplies and school stuff, and I’ll definitely be making some of these with the girls.

Top Tips for Gardening With Children

At the risk of going a bit meta, Carolin at Mummy Alarm has put together another rundown post, sharing a whole load of other posts about gardening with kids. It’s a real wealth of information which will be useful in the months to come and I’m going to go through and read all of it with interest.

Bedroom in a Box

Dulux Bedroom in a BoxMaking design decisions can be really tricky, especially when you’re trying to stick to a theme, which is why Dulux decided to make the “Bedroom in a Box”, which Sian at Helpful Mum reviewed. She chose a jungle theme for her kids and takes us through exactly how she dealt with the makeover, as well as giving her opinion on the results.

Five Easy Foods to Grow with Kids

If you’re planning on growing veg this spring and summer with your kids, Emma at The Syders has got some excellent suggestions of what you can grow. When I was a kid, I loved nothing more than helping my grandad to pick the peas and runner beans he’d grown in the garden and I think it’s really important for kids to see where food comes from…plus, NOTHING tastes better than strawberries grown in your own garden!

Planting and Sowing

Emmy’s Mummy has got another great gardening post about how to get the kids involved with the planting and sowing stage of gardening, perfect for this time of year. They’re growing a whole variety of different fruit and veg which will be a fabulous crop once they’re all grown and ready for harvest.

Easy DIY Crepe Paper Tulips Craft Tutorial

Tulips are one of my favourite flowers (have you ever seen the black ones?!) and this tulip craft is absolutely perfect for this time of year when the flowers are starting to bloom. As Katie says, they’d be the perfect centrepiece for an Easter dinner, but I also think they’d be ideal for Mother’s Day too, especially if your Mum has allergies and can’t have real flowers.

Use Your Garden to Make Extra Space

Our GardenAs you can see from the picture above, our current garden is pretty vast (paddling pool for scale!) and although it has a huge amount of potential, there’s not really a lot going on out there at the moment. Our house has three bedrooms and when we moved in Sausage and Burrito Baby were determined that they wanted to share, but how long this will continue, I don’t know! This means there’s a good chance that Husband and I will need to use his office as a bedroom and give one of the girls our room.

Having a home office might seem like an unnecessary luxury, but when you’ve got two freelancers in the house, it becomes pretty essential. I tend to bash my work out amongst the chaos, but Husband is definitely in the “no distractions” school of thought, so sacrificing the office altogether isn’t really an option. Oeco Garden Rooms are a fantastic way of adding space to a house without needing major building work or planning permission, and if you’ve got the space are a really excellent option. cuberoom1

One thing I love about the Cube Room is that it’s actually really beautiful – a lot of “added space” looks incongruous and not hugely attractive, but Oeco Garden Rooms have clearly made it their mission to make practicality and looks an equal priority.

The best part of all is that all of the rooms are designed specifically so that you don’t need to obtain planning permission, cutting costs even further:

“All our garden rooms are specifically designed and installed to meet the requirements of the current planning permission permitted development rules and building regulation requirements. Our garden rooms comply with the 2.5m maximum height requirements. Garden rooms up to 15m2 internal floor area (5.5m x 3m) are installed 0.5m from any boundary. For construction purposes the installation teams require a minimum of 0.5m around the garden office. Garden rooms over 15m2 internal floor area (5m x 3.5m) and up to 30m2 (8m x 4m) internal floor area are installed 1m from any boundary. It is our responsibility to install our garden rooms to the above guidelines.”

To be honest, the idea of having a space to retreat to, not just for work, but for five minutes of peace and quite is lovely too! I’m already imagining myself sitting in our garden room, reading a book, watching the bird coming and going and enjoying the view. Having read more about them, it seems that Oeco Garden Rooms are idea for use in winter too, as they’re fully clad and insulated, meaning that it’s not like a draughty old shed, but a proper room which will keep you warm.

And the best part? When we’ve got a 12 year old and a 17 year old in the house, we can banish one of them to the garden room to stop all the bickering!!

Tips for the Garden Any Parent Can Achieve from Award-Winning Landscape Architects Liz Lake Associates

landscape-architect-2Your garden may be looking a little dog-eared after winter, and you’ll want to improve it so you and the family can get the most out of it this summer. Whether you’re making a few minor improvements or giving it a complete makeover, there’s a lot you can do yourself without it costing too much. And perhaps the kids can have fun helping.

Landscape Architecture

Landscape architecture may sound rather grand, and it can certainly apply to massive projects. At root, though, it simply means planning how the various parts of, or any open space, such as a garden, are going to be used and adapting them to fit.

This could be a patio for entertaining, a lawn for the kids’ games and flower-beds to provide colour and scent. In a big garden, they can be equivalent to separate rooms indoors, but if you don’t have much room, you can make the most of your garden by multi-tasking each area.

For ideas and inspiration, why not check out award winning landscape architect Liz Lake?

Some Ideas

  • Your patio can reflect your own style as much as any indoor room. Besides the choice between decking and paving (certainly paving if you plan on having a barbecue or fire-pit), a few simple touches can make your patio traditional or modern, chic or natural. House to Home offers a number of patio suggestions.
  • Your flower display can be as simple or as complex as you choose, depending on how much work you want to put into it. The Telegraph has some ideas on how to make flowers and shrubs architectural, but if you want to reduce the workload, stick to plants that cover a lot of ground without needing too much maintenance, such as evergreens and hardy perennials.
  • If you have young children, the garden will be their playground, and to make it child-friendly you have to think like them. Their games will need focal points that can be transformed in their imaginations — trees and water features are ideal for this.
  • Speaking of the kids, they’ll also want a lawn to play on, but if you don’t want to spend all your time mowing, keep the shapes regular and the edges straight, or else go for artificial turf.
  • If your garden is small, make every space do double or triple duty, such as placing flower urns around the patio. The Guardian describes how one couple made the most of their small garden.

If you need advice, feel free to get in touch with Liz Lake Associates – professional landscape architects for London and the surrounding areas. www.lizlake.com

7 Ways To Spruce Up Your Garden On A Budget

gardenGardening is one those occupations that doesn’t require a fortune. Like many passions you can spend a lot of money on expensive tools, plants and landscaping, but alternatively you can simply spruce up your garden with the minimum of equipment and stay well within your budget. Here’s how:

1. Plant hedges

If your fencing is looking shabby but you still have to protect your garden’s boundaries take a look at some of the hedges on offer from ashridge nurseries.

Jasmine, for example, is wonderful as it will reward you with sweet smelling blossom in the summer and still act as a sturdy partition in the autumn and winter months. You can also plant hedges to separate one part of the garden from another in order to make your garden look more attractive.

2. Tools – keeping your costs down

Those bright new shiny tools at the garden centre may look magnificent but most of them also carry a hefty price tag. Expert gardener, Alan Titchmarsh suggests that you can save a fortune by scouring car boot sales and other outlets in order to track down some essential garden equipment.

You will need some shears, secateurs, a spade and a fork, but you don’t need to invest in expensive power tools. Just remember to keep your blades free from rust by giving them a good clean after use.

3. Plants for the summer

Instead of buying your summer plants during the months of June, July and August, buy them as seedlings or plugs in the spring. This is far more cost effective, and as long as you nurture your baby plants throughout the spring you should be able to sit back in the summer and enjoy the fruits of your labour. Invest in perennials; they will give your garden colour for years.

4. Seeds are wonderful

Another way of sprucing up your garden is to get rid of any plants that haven’t done well the previous year and replace them with seeds. You can grow the seeds in trays in your greenhouse, and then plant them in your borders or you can plant the seeds directly into the soil.

Always mark the area where you have planted the seeds and keep them happy with a good layer of compost as plant food.

5. Garden furniture on a budget

Eating outside during the summer months is an annual pleasure but old garden furniture can be expensive to replace. In order to get over this problem, instead of investing in brand new furniture look out for second hand tables and chairs on Gumtree.

Always store your furniture inside over the winter months; this will prolong its life. You can always strip your wooden varnish and then colour and re-varnish your furniture in a bid to give it a new lease of life.

6. Check your pots

Some pots are damaged by the frost, so it’s a great idea to ensure that all of your containers have survived the winter. The magazine Yours suggests painting your pots to give them a makeover.

7. Pruning is good

It’s surprising how much smarter your garden will look after a bit of pruning. As long as frost isn’t forecast give your shrubs and hedges a vigorous session with the shears. This will promote growth and make your garden look a lot smarter.