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Small Garden Design Tips

neat and tidy fake lawn

Small Garden Design Tips

 

It’s instilled in us that bigger is always better but is it really? The belief that something on a larger scale is better is questionable. The truth is that there is no singular nor straightforward answer to this. There is no end to the differing ways in which homeowners can use and enjoy their garden, and therefore there are so many ways in which ‘beautiful’ could be interpreted.

However – if we are to keep things simple, then there is no doubt that small can be beautiful when talking gardens. Ten of the most important points to consider when designing any outdoor space, especially small spaces are:

 

1. Proportion


When considering the design for a small outdoor space some careful consideration needs to be given to not only the shapes, but also the size of the areas you are going to create within the area i.e. creating a large terrace or patio is all well and good, but if you end up with a tiny grass lawn area crammed in a corner or at the far end of the space then this could upset the balance of the garden.
Artificial grass around tapestry hedging

2. Shape


Whether it’s a ‘square’, linear or a curvy ‘fluid’ design you are proposing it’s important to keep an eye on the space as a whole, and whilst focusing on one element, make sure you are considering the other elements at the same time. This way it ensures that you do not miss anything throughout the process.
artificial grass with stone paving

3. Continuation


With small spaces in particular, it’s important to let materials blend as seamlessly as possible for instance, if you are designing a curved, fluid shaped patio, continue the shape through into the grass area, so you don’t have two separate shapes, but one continuous shape which is made up of 2 different materials or textures.
Artificial Grass Circles with paving

4. Materials


As ever, the materials you choose for your garden are incredibly important in ‘making or breaking’ the look and feel of your space. Ultimately it comes down to the particular style of garden you have chosen – modern and minimal, or a more rustic and traditional theme.
stone paths with fake grass in between

5. Paving the way


The choices of paving types is endless, and it can become quite confusing if you are unsure on the particular style you want to adopt, so it is important to choose this first. You can then hone down the other variations such as texture type, colour until you are left with a ‘wish list’, this will then make it much easier when flicking through suppliers brochures to make that choice.
artificial grass infront of summer house

6. Test run with purpose


One crucial piece of advice when choosing your paving type – always try to see if you can see an area of the material laid before you finalise your choice. It’s all well and good at looking at samples and images in a glossy brochure, but to see the actual product in situ is the best way to make a choice, and even better if you can see it when wet as well as dry – you could be looking at this for a long time, come rain or shine, so don’t make a mistake and regret it later.
artificial grass with stone paving

7. Colouration


Colouration is important for paving, you need to consider if the space is naturally dark or light, do you need to add more light by using a light colour to reflect light, how will the paving sit with other elements in the garden i.e. it’s nice to have a good contrast with a lush green lawn, and pick up the same texture in the edging of the lawn… there’s lots to think about!
Artificial grass lawn with paving

8. Planting


It goes without saying that in a small space garden, you don’t want to go about filling it with huge trees and shrubs, that in time will become overpowering and take away all the natural light. Again, it very much depends on the theme, but I always feel that in small well-formed spaces, using plants and shrubs that have a nice natural structure always works well.
luxury artificial grass

9. Traditional planting ideas


For a traditional themed garden, the use of some shaped Buxus can add some great features to a garden i.e. using Buxus spheres, in different sizes, clumped together or randomly spaced out can be a great, simple effect.

 

 
artificial grass next to summer house and wooden decking

10. Modern planting ideas


Having a basis of woodland type shrubs such as Pieris, Azaleas, Photinia, Skimmia, Euonymous is great, but broken up slightly with some more architectural styled plants such as Phormium, Ferns, Cordylines, and some ornamental grasses to give it a bit of an ‘edge’.

fake grass with hot tub
So coming back to the title ‘small is beautiful’ – beauty will always be in the eye of the beholder, but if you take on board at least some of the points above, you will certainly be on your way to creating something ‘beautiful’.
 
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Outdoor Space Matters

smart fake grass laid around hedge arch

Outdoor Space Matters

There is no doubt that a garden can ‘make or break’ a house. You could have the most beautiful house in the world, in the most exquisite location, but if the garden is nothing more than a ‘postage stamp’ sized concrete mess its desirability, saleability and ultimately its value will be vastly diminished. Understandably the garden will of course not be as an important factor as the living space itself, but I think it comes in at a close second for some people, it is after all the aspect you will look out onto from your living space through out the time you live there. With this in mind, there are some points to consider in the garden of your potential new purchase.

Aspect and orientation

I think if we all had the choice, we would opt for the garden with the sunny aspect and stunning vista across the sea. But the reality is not very many of us can afford to be that ‘picky’ over such ‘wishes’. However, there are a few things to bear in mind when looking at a new house and its garden: a north facing garden, surrounded by trees is never going to get much light, and as a result of this, plants, natural grass and the alike will suffer. So what if you have found the perfect house, but the garden is facing the wrong way, or you are surrounded by huge trees and shrubs which are zapping all the light away, obviously you can’t do anything about the orientation of the house, but you can investigate further to see that anything can be done to improve the amount of light coming into the garden or house e.g. removing or cutting back of trees (always check for TPO’s first – Tree Preservation Orders, you will need to ask your local council for this information). Or can the garden be modified to enable a usable area to be created in a sunny spot? If done in the right way, making improvements like this will inevitably add value to the property also – so it could be a ‘win win’ situation.

Artificial grass lawn with paving

How will you use your garden?

A pretty obvious one, but if you have lots of young children, or indeed you are elderly…A garden with lots of level changes and steps etc… is never going to make the most practical proposition. However, if you are a keen gardener, and would like the challenge of creating a space on differing levels and dividing the areas, then such a garden would be ideal.

 

father and son play football on Namgrass Artificial Grass Sports Surfaces

Is the garden overlooked?

It’s quite rare these days to find a garden which is not overlooked at all from at least one angle, but with the house you are prospecting over: is there space in the garden which is not overlooked, or can you do something to make it more private e.g. plant some nice trees that could add some interest to the space also (not just throw in a conifer hedged)?

 

artificial grass with stone paving

Ground conditions

Its always useful to have a good wander round the garden of your potential purchase, to see if there are any apparent issues with the ground for example has there been any settlement in the garden, does the patio or lawn appear to be draining well ? It’s quite common these days, especially with new developments for gardens to have been just ‘dressed over’ with a layer of topsoil, but underneath there could be a compact layer of soil or other debris from the building site that could cause not only issues with drainage, but also restrictions on what plants will grow well in the garden further down the line. So a soggy lawn or lying water anywhere in a garden is certainly something to look out for.

 

racking sub-base of artificial grass install

Potential

Ok so you have found your dream house, but it is let down by the garden, or there is not enough parking at the front. So then you need to assess whether or not the garden has the potential to be worked on and make the changes you need e.g. it’s a North facing garden, but you can clear an area to create a patio in a ‘sunny spot’, or you can remove some plants or trees to allow more light in. You may need to call on your imagination for some ideas, or even get some advice from a garden designer, to see what exactly is possible.  

Pool with artificial grass surround

So there’s a few points to consider when looking at houses, ultimately it always comes down to priority when choosing a house, as you will never find a house that ticks all the boxes, but by taking into consideration a couple of these points, you are at least giving some thought to your outdoor space. Follow our blog for garden design lawn ideas and artificial grass inspiration.

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How to remove creases from artificial grass

How to remove lines and creases from artificial grass

If you’ve unrolled your new artificial grass and discovered unsightly creases, dark patches or lines, you’re in the right place. Luckily, they’re all very easy to fix. Read on to discover how.

There are a couple of reasons why lines and creases occur in artificial grass.

The first is during the manufacturing process, where the grass is measured and cut. At this stage, a mechanical measuring wheel is passed over the top of the grass to ensure alignment of the rolls. This can sometimes ruffle the fibres of the grass, and cause lines. Then, as the grass is prepared for shipping, it’s wrapped tightly round a cardboard tube, before being secured. A small amount of additional pressure can cause dark patches or lines, so when the grass is then opened at its destination, the grass looks very flat and ‘lifeless’. The backing material will also contribute to any creasing, as once cool, it will mould itself to any shape underneath it.

The second is after installation, when a hot day can cause the backing to expand and contract, causing wrinkles.

What do I do?

Before installation:

First things first – there’s no need to panic. It is perfectly normal for creases and lines to appear, and they are easily remedied.

  1. Roll out your grass fully and leave it for at least an hour to warm through. Ideally it would be a warm day, as it will help soften the backing, and reduce the severity of the crease or line.
  2. If your grass is still creased, brush the grass on and around the affected area. If the creasing has occurred near the edge, pull on the edges to stretch it out. Leave it for another 10-15 minutes to settle.
  3. Then, flip the area over, and pull the area out again. Once you flip the area back over the creases and lines should be gone. Your grass is now ready to install.

An example:

Here you can see a particularly extreme case of creasing – created on purpose to show how easy it is to get rid of it. Also worth noting is how flat and lifeless the grass looks, and because it wasn’t particularly warm on the day that these photos were taken, the grass would not sit flat because of the stiff latex backing. It’s easy to see why someone might panic at this stage, and render the grass useless even before installation, but if you follow these steps, you can get rid of the creases with minimal effort.

In the image below, you can see how effective this approach is at removing even the heaviest creases. Simply allowing the latex backing to warm in the sun, and pulling it tight again, leaves your artificial lawn looking beautiful and ready to install.

After installation

Sometimes wrinkles can appear after installation. This is usually when it’s been particularly hot, causing the backing to become supple again, potentially stretching and then cooling again and leaving wrinkles. This is prevented with a proper installation, but if you do find these wrinkles occurring, contact a professional installer and they will be able to advise on a refit.