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How to Lay an Artificial Grass Roof

How to Install an Artificial Grass Roof

Adding artificial grass to a flat roof is a great way to make sheds, garages, and outbuildings look brighter and more at home in the garden. Whether you’re covering up a felt roof, commonly used on sheds, or want to update a roof terrace or balcony, you’ll get the best results if you follow our installer’s guide to creating an artificial grass roof.  

What You Need

garden shed on fake grass with leafy trees

To install an artificial grass roof, you need:

  • A measuring tape
  • A sharp utility knife
  • Joining tape (if multiple pieces of grass are to be joined)
  • Artificial grass adhesive & a cartridge gun
  • Underlay or shockpad if working with an uneven surface.

Once you have your equipment together, you need to choose, measure up, and order your artificial grass ahead of installation day. Many builders’ merchants and garden centres can sell you artificial grass, and you can use our stockist finder to find your nearest Namgrass retailer.

To calculate the amount of artificial turf you’ll need to order for your green roof, measure the length and width of the roof and multiply the two numbers to get the total surface area. Divide this number by the width of the artificial grass you have selected to find the minimum length you need to order to cover this area.

Make sure you allow at least 10cm excess in each direction to ensure a good fit and easy installation, or you may struggle to get a professional finish. For example: if your chosen artificial turf is cut from 2m wide rolls, covering a 10m­roof would require approximately 5.2m of grass to allow for 10cm of excess in each direction.

Laying an Artificial Turf Roof

Once you have your tools and artificial grass ready, you can start installing your artificial grass roof:

1 – Ensure the roof you plan to cover is structurally sound, and in good condition. Check to make sure it’s not cracked or affected by rot, otherwise you may damage your roof further during installation.

2 – If your roof is uneven, slatted, or tiled, installing a layer of board, shockpad, or underlay can level out the surface to create an even finish.

3 – Work out where you need to cut your artificial grass to cover the full roof, ideally on a piece of paper before you start cutting. Only once you’re confident you’ve got this right should you start cutting the turf to size before placing it in situ. When cutting artificial grass, be sure to cut along the lines of drainage holes in the backing material, or your grass may begin to unravel.

4 – Once you’re satisfied with the fit, fold your grass back along the edges where any pieces meet each other, so that there is a gap between the two pieces of grass and the black backing material is facing up along both pieces of turf.

5 – Roll a strip of joining tape out along the full length of the join between the two pieces of grass, with the shiny side down and sticky side up. Apply a thin layer of artificial grass adhesive along the length of the tape, and fold the grass back down, fixing the black backing firmly to the glue and tape.

6 – When you’re happy with the fit and position of your artificial grass, and all the joins between each piece are secure, roll your turf up to one end and lay an even bead of artificial grass adhesive around the perimeter of the roof.

7 – Unroll your artificial turf carefully, making sure the edges lines up properly with your original fit. Lift the edge you rolled the grass away from up and apply a bead of adhesive along this edge and press your turf back into position.

8 – Once the adhesive has dried and your turf is firmly secured, give it a quick brush over with a bristle brush to raise the pile and lift any flattened grass.

joint tape rolled out to join artificial grass
glueing artificial grass with glue gun

After a few hours, your artificial grass roof will be firmly secured in place and looking fresh, green, and natural. Now you can relax and enjoy your handiwork, without the added fuss of maintaining a natural green roof.

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Can you use Artificial Grass on Decking?

Can you use Artificial Grass on Decking?

Have you ever wondered whether you can lay artificial grass onto your decking?

The short answer is yes! The long answer is that it requires a slightly different installation technique to artificial grass ground projects. Don’t worry, though. It’s not complicated. You may have installed decking a few years ago when garden makeover shows were all the rage, and they couldn’t wait to get the two by fours out. Now, it’s a little bit dated. Perhaps even looking a bit worse for wear. Or maybe you just want to transform your garden quickly and easily. Artificial grass is one of the best ways to do it. Read on to find out how.

Benefits of using artificial grass on decking:

  • Artificial grass is easy to install on decking, and can completely change the look of your garden
  • You don’t have to worry about drainage because water will drain however it drains normally
  • Namgrass is durable and practically maintenance free!

How to install:

Adding artificial grass to decking is very similar to attaching carpet to a wooden floor.

  • Clear the area of debris and furniture
  • Clean the decking with a pressurised hose or a scrubbing brush
  • Apply a damp-proofing treatment (optional)
  • Allow to dry for 48 hours
  • Apply marine plywood or shockpad over the decking. This helps to smooth the surface if you have deep grooves in the decking
  • Lay the grass out for at least an hour so it can settle
  • Secure the corners by spot gluing or using screws

Things to note:

Make sure that your decking is in good condition before installing artificial grass. If your decking is rotten or particularly uneven, then it may not be the best candidate for artificial grass installation. You may need to replace or repair your decking. Alternatively, you could dig out the entire area instead, and install the artificial grass on the cleared area. If you’re worried about drainage, you can drill through both the ply and the decking to add extra holes.

Bonus: Artificial Grass on Paving

Installing artificial grass on paving is very similar to installing it on decking. The only difference is that you can’t screw into your patio, and should use glue. As above, you could remove the patio completely and instead use timber edging to secure your new artificial lawn.

Have you installed Namgrass over decking? Show us your project on Twitter or Facebook @NamgrassUK.

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How to Clean Artificial Grass

How to Clean Artificial Grass

While an artificial lawn needs nowhere near as much maintenance as a natural lawn, there are things that you need to do to make sure that your lawn looks its best for as long as possible. Here we’ll tell you everything you need to know about cleaning your artificial grass.

What you need:

  • A leaf blower, a non-metal flexible lawn rake or a stiff broom
  • A hose
  • Mild detergent and warm water

Keep it Beautiful

Whether it’s a quick brush to get rid of dry debris or a quick splash with the hose, just spot clean the bits that need it, as they need it. A regular check makes sure that any build-up of leaves, twigs and dust or dirt doesn’t start to decompose or encourage moss growth – neither of which are good for your lawn! A brush with a stiff broom (or even a garden vacuum!) keeps the pile looking perky, as well as clearing any debris. If there’s anything stubborn or you feel like your lawn needs to be washed down, a blast with the hose works well.

namgrass-ref-140

Pets

If you have pets, and they like to use your artificial grass as a toilet, then you’ll have to do some extra cleaning. Namgrass is great for pets because it doesn’t discolour, but you don’t want pet waste to build up. Hose down the area after use, and if there is a lingering smell, use washing up liquid and warm water or an artificial grass cleaner.

Other Occurrences

As you enjoy your garden, you’re bound to spill things. Whether it’s sticky foods as you enjoy the warm weather or an accident while your kids play, artificial grass is easy to clean. A damp sponge and a bit of water is usually enough to get rid of any spills. If it’s dried on or just a bit stubborn, a half-and-half mix of vinegar and water will usually do the job.

What Not To Do

  • Don’t use sharp objects that might cut or tear the artificial grass. If you’re trying to lever something off your grass that’s stuck or dried on, then use a putty knife or something blunt.
  • Don’t use harsh chemicals on your grass to remove sticky stuff – this could damage the plastic. Instead, use washing up liquid, half-and-half of vinegar and water or specialist artificial grass cleaner. This goes for pesticides too! Just use a hose to wash away any critters.
  • If you are tempted to use something a bit stronger on a stubborn patch, then try a patch test on the corner of the grass or somewhere that’s not visible to see if the chemicals react with the grass.
  • Don’t apply heat to your lawn. It will dry naturally after a hose down.
  • Don’t use a domestic vacuum on your artificial grass. This may not work well for the grass or the vacuum, and in fact may damage them both. Use a garden vacuum instead.

All this will keep your lawn looking beautiful all year round, with much less maintenance than a natural lawn.

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Our 5 Favourite Gardening Blogs

Our 5 Favourite Gardening Blogs

One of the best ways to get inspiration for garden design, information about care and maintenance and a sense of community is through garden blogs. With information on everything from encouraging wildlife into your garden to growing veg to figuring out your new design, you can discover everything you need for a happy, beautiful garden with blogs.   Here at Namgrass, we have a few gardening bloggers that we love, and we want to share them with you.

The Middle Sized Garden

As the name suggests, this blog caters to those of us with gardens that are bigger than a courtyard, but smaller than an acre. Aimed at people who need a bit of inspiration, or who are in need of hints and tips to help them turn their garden into a space they love.

With gorgeous imagery and a mix of helpful articles, you can read about gardens you should see if you’re travelling, garden design trends and even decoration for garden parties. If you have questions about your garden – from which hedge is the right one to how to find a gardener – then this blog should be your first port of call. www.themiddlesizedgarden.co.uk

Veg Plotting

With over ten years under her belt, Michelle at Veg Plotting is an experienced gardening blogger. More of a personal blog, she tackles a number of different subjects, ranging from her experimental “try it and see what happens” allotment to her weekend wanderings in London in search of green walls.

She’s like a friend updating you on the latest she’s been up to with #mygardenrightnow, interesting things she’s discovered and any gardening insights she thinks might help you too. vegplotting.blogspot.co.uk

Wildflower Hour

Wildflower Hour is a blog, a podcast and a twitter hour with the mission of helping everyone love wild flowers. Every Sunday between 8 and 9pm, the people behind Wildflower Hour encourage everyone to share photos of the flowers that they’ve found in Britain and Ireland.

Whether it’s to share the beauty, to find out if anyone can ID the flower you’ve found or just to enjoy a flood of wildflowers in your feed each week, we love the idea. Do you know how to recognise a basal rosette, for instance? They also create a half hour podcast where a group of enthusiastic botanists talk about wildflowers and nature in general. You don’t have to be a plant nerd to listen either! www.wildflowerhour.co.uk

Rusty Duck

Each post of Jessica’s, the lady behind Rusty Duck, reads like a story. She’s been documenting her adventure in the country with wildlife that has no concept of a garden boundary, and a cottage renovation.

Relatable (how many of us have chased squirrels away from the bird feeder like a banshee?), funny and always entertaining, Jessica’s blog posts never fail to evoke a reaction, whether it’s laughter or understanding. Rusty Duck has won many accolades which proves that her blog really is as good as we say it is! www.rustyduck.net

Wildlife Gadget Man

Did you know that the hedgehog population of the UK is falling dramatically? Your garden can provide hedgehogs with food, a safe place to sleep, and help them hide from predators.

Wildlife Gadget Man’s website can help you turn your garden in to a haven for wildlife. His website is a really useful resource if you’re interested in that Venn diagram between attracting wildlife, technology and gardening DIY. It even has a section on wildlife blogging if you’re interested in starting up your own blog. From building birdfeeders and making hedgehog homes to nest box camera guides and more, it’s filled to the brim with helpful information to make sure that your garden is ideal for wildlife. wildlifegadgetman.com

Do you have any favourite garden bloggers? Do you have any that you love that you don’t see here? Let us know on Twitter @Namgrass

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The Ultimate Guide to Buying Artificial Grass

The Ultimate Guide to Buying Artificial Grass

The popularity of artificial grass is growing. More and more of us are opting for the ease of artificial lawn over the maintenance of a natural one.

We’ve put together a comprehensive guide for buying artificial grass so when you come to buy yours you’ll feel armed with all the right knowledge to make the best choice for you.

Why Choose Artificial Grass?

The reason you want artificial grass will inform all the decisions that come afterwards, so it’s important to know why. There are a number of reasons why you might want an artificial lawn, including:

  • To look beautiful all year round – no messy mud!
  • To save yourself the effort in maintaining a natural lawn
  • To stand up under the stress of kids and pets

Your Budget

The first thing you should do is to set your budget. This will be a deciding factor on the type of grass that you look at – you don’t want to fall in love with a type of grass that you can’t afford. Most grass will be sold in metres squared, so knowing how much you can afford per metre will help you filter out grass out of your price range.

  • Measure the space you want covered by artificial grass. Our How to Measure Guide and Plan Your Project tool explains how to do this in full.
  • Decide whether you’d like to install it yourself or have an installer do it for you. Watch this video for the process to help you decide. You will have to pay for an installer, but it will be usually be smoother than doing it yourself. If you do opt for DIY, take a look at our How to Install Guide
  • There are a few factors that can increase the cost of installation, including how much work needs to be done to prepare the ground. Artificial grass is a permeable surface, so any water will go through into the soil below and drain away. However, if your soil is very dense, like clay soil, then you may need more aggregate in order to make sure that water doesn’t pool when it rains.
  • If you’re doing the install yourself, you’ll need to consider whether you are able to remove the material and introduce the aggregates you need easily (the average job of 40 sqm is around 5-6 tonnes of aggregate).

Get a few quotes to compare prices and decide whether an installer doing it for you is within budget.

The Qualities of Artificial Grass

The next bit is the fun bit – choosing the right grass for you.

Pile Height

Artificial grass comes in a variety of pile heights, depending on it’s intended use. Longer grasses, around 30mm mark, will give a lush, luxurious look, whereas shorter, 16-27mm grass will look neater, and is more suitable for kids or pets.

Weight

Good quality grass should be weighty, with a weight of 2-3kg per metre square. The weight is particularly important if you’re installing it yourself, as you will have to lift and move the roll around.

Colour

Because there are two elements to an artificial lawn, the grass blades and the thatch, there’s a vast range of colour combinations to choose from. You could go for a natural look, but whether that’s a light or a dark green is up to you and what looks natural in your garden. We’d recommend ordering samples and going out into your garden at different times of the day to see how the sunlight makes it look. Make sure that the pile is facing the house or the main viewing point. This is how your lawn will be placed and it makes a difference to the way your lawn will look.

Samples

When comparing samples, it’s important to look at the quality of the yarn and the backing. As well as the right colour, the yarn should be UV stabilised so it won’t fade in the sunlight. It should feel like natural grass too. The backing should be permeable, so water can drain through, as well as containing holes in case it rains heavily and there is a large volume of water.

 

Things to Consider

A few other questions to ask include:

Where is the grass made?

The quality of artificial grass can vary depending on where it’s made. Chinese manufacturers, for example, use C4 materials (as opposed to C6), which could be recycled polyethylene that’s sensitive to temperature and potentially unstable when it comes to UV light. This means that the product is cheap, but the quality is poor too.

Namgrass is manufactured in Belgium, using high quality, C6 materials. This means that your artificial grass is stronger, less sensitive to temperature, UV stable and softer to the touch.

What is the warranty like?

When looking at samples, or comparing manufacturers, it’s important to look at the warranties in detail. How long does it last for and what does it cover?

Namgrass’ warranty is for 10 years. Being part of Europe’s largest manufacturing group we have a very close working relationship with them so we can comfortably offer warranty on our grasses. It covers UV stabilisation or colour fade and the general integrity of the product.

If you have any more questions, feel free to get in touch or ask your installer – they’ll be able to answer any questions that you may have specific to your project.

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Your Year of Gardening Jobs

Your Year of Gardening Jobs

The joy of gardening is that it changes throughout the year.

Whether you’re tending to an ornamental garden or you’re growing your own vegetable patch, no two months are the same.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy guide on what to do each month in the garden, then you’re in the right place. Read ahead for our breakdown of monthly tasks to keep your garden looking beautiful.

January

In the depths of winter, the weather can be bitterly cold. It makes it a great month for planning, sorting and getting your seeds and plants in order. Put out food and water for birds and leave your garden uncut to provide shelter for wildlife.

If you’re considering an artificial grass lawn, now is the time to get planning. Use our Project Planner to spec out what you might need.

Your Must-Do Jobs for January

  • Clean pots and tidy the shed and/or greenhouse
  • Dig over any vacant plots
  • Plan your fruit and veg crop and order your seeds
  • Start your veg. Onions, leeks and garlic should be planted now
  • Prune apple and pear trees.

February

The days are getting longer and the temperatures are rising, it looks like spring is definitely on the way! Preparation for the next season is key, as well as helping your garden come back to life.

Your Must-Do Jobs for February

  • Prepare veg seed beds and sow seeds under-cover
  • Net any fruit and veg crops to keep the birds off
  • Prune winter-flowering shrubs, wisteria and hardy evergreen hedges
  • Chit potato tubers.
Year of Gardening - Spring-min

March

Spring finally says hello in March and the arrival of slightly warmer, sunnier days means that you can get out tidying the garden and sowing seeds.

Your Must-Do Jobs for March

  • Plant summer bulbs and protect your new shoots from slugs
  • Plant shallots, onions and early potatoes
  • If you have a natural lawn, it may need mowing now. Of course, an artificial lawn won’t need mowing at all!
  • Tend to weeds.

April

Spring is sprung as flowers start to bloom and trees start to blossom. Sunny days interspersed with April showers and chilly nights mean that outdoor planting can begin.

Your Must-Do Jobs for April

  • Sow hardy annuals, herbs and wild flower seeds
  • If you have a natural lawn, you’ll have to sow any new grass seeds now and repair bare patches
  • Feed shrubs, roses and citrus plants
  • Prune fig trees
  • Tie in climbing and rambling roses.

May

There are plenty of things to do in the garden as May gets underway. Spring bulbs will fade but the rest of the garden will start growing voraciously.

Your Must-Do Jobs for May

  • Earth up potatoes
  • If you have a lawn, you should be mowing on a weekly basis throughout summer
  • Clip hedges (though be careful to check for nesting birds)
  • Start to plant out summer bedding
  • Regularly get rid of weeds.
Year of Gardening - Summer-min

June

Summer is here, and all that light and warmth makes for lots of growth and an enjoyable time working on the garden.

Your Must-Do Jobs for June

  • Hoe in dry conditions to keep down weeds
  • Position summer hanging baskets and containers
  • Stake tall or floppy plants
  • Harvest early potatoes and salad vegetables
  • Use water sparingly so it doesn’t get wasted.

July

July is the perfect time to enjoy your garden and revel in the hard work you’ve put in! It’s one of the hottest months of the year, so plants need to be well tended to. Keep new plants watered and make sure you keep on top of those weeds.

Your Must-Do Jobs for July

  • Clear any algae and debris from ponds
  • Deadhead bedding plants and repeat-flowering perennials for continuous flowering
  • Pick courgettes, unless you want marrows!
  • Your natural lawn will need some summer feed
  • Water potted plants and tubs if dry.

August

As the temperature continues to heat up, watering becomes really important. It’s also holiday season, so you might have to get help to look after the garden if you go away.

Your Must-Do Jobs for August

  • Deadhead flowering plants
  • Collect seeds from garden plants
  • Harvest veg as it becomes ready
  • Feed the soil with manure
  • Keep an eye on water features so they don’t run dry.
Year of Gardening - Autumn-min

September

Autumn is creeping up in September as the temperature cools and the days get shorter. It’s the month for enjoying the spoils of harvest from your fruit or vegetable patch.

Your Must-Do Jobs for September

  • Net ponds
  • Dig up any remaining potatoes
  • Plant spring-flowering bulbs
  • Clean out the greenhouse.

October

The trees are changing colour from vibrant, lush greens to reds, oranges and browns. The temperature is decidedly chilly, and the threat of winter is on the horizon.

Your Must-Do Jobs for October

  • If the weather is still dry, this will probably be the last chance you’ll get before the wet weather to mow your lawn
  • Cut back on perennials
  • Move tender plants indoors or into a greenhouse
  • Finish collecting seeds from the garden.

November

It’s windy and it’s rainy, and it’s getting cold. Some plants will need protection from the weather, and birds may need help with food and water.

Your Must-Do Jobs for November

  • Clear up fallen leaves from lawns and ponds
  • Plant tulip bulbs for spring next year
  • Plant out winter bedding
  • Put out bird food.
Year of Gardening - Winter-min

December

There shouldn’t be too much to do in the garden this month. The cold will mean that you’ll be mainly checking winter protection and harvesting any winter veg.

Your Must-Do Jobs for December

  • Take hardwood cuttings
  • Harvest leeks, parsnips and any other root crop
  • Prune acers, birches and vines
  • Check greenhouse heaters.

How are you feeling about the year ahead? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook @Namgrass

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Great Grass Giveaway Garden

Family garden laid with artificial grass

Great Grass Giveaway winner

In celebration of the Queen’s 90th birthday last year we ran a competition to transform your lawn and giveaway 90sqm of Namgrass. To enter you had to tell us your best gardening tip and the public did not disappoint! Our lucky winners Joan and Bob Carr from Southend-On-Sea told us:

“Every day when I go out into the garden to put washing out etc. I always go out to the garden and get the weeds out, check for dead flies, and check the fruit trees so more can grow quickly”.

Not only were they super excited about having their lawn transformed, it was perfect timing! Having recently moved from Stevenage to Southend-On-Sea they didn’t have time to focus on the garden as much as they’d like to. The new family home boasts three generations of the family from grandparents Joan and Bob to two young grandchildren, they really wanted a garden that was fuss-free and that the kids can enjoy all year round and not get muddy. Namgrass artificial grass was the perfect solution! The product we used was Meadow for its deeper colour and trying to keep it as close to the colour of their natural lawn. Watch their story and find out more about the lovely winners.

We had thousands of entries to the competition, each with a useful tip so we’ve compiled a few gardening tips for you to try. Rachael Buckley A lovely garden can be ruined by pests that munch on your plants! Deter them by sprinkling left over coffee grounds on your beds! Keeps the pests away and enriches the soil! Katy Hanson My top gardening tip: If you like wildlife to visit your garden. Bees and finches are particularly attracted to lavender! If you also ensure you have some daisies, as these are important as they have nectar in their centre. Claire Dainty My gardening tip is don’t stress about it, your garden is there to enjoy!! Do what you can and gets the kids involved! My son loves to pick fruit and veg.

Bird feeder hanging from a tree
Grandmas garden sign hanging from a tree

Debbie Tunstall My top tip to keep your garden in bloom. Make sure you dead head morning and evening this helps the plant to produce more flowers. Carley Smith My mum’s top tip was ifyou’re not sure whether it’s a weed or a flower ask yourself do you like it? As long as you love your garden that’s all that matters. Karen Scammell I use pop bottles with the bottoms cut off to use as mini cloches for my sunflower seedlings and to keep the slugs off while they grow. Joanna Blyther My best tip is to invite everyone over for a ‘garden party ‘ and when they arrive get everyone to do some gardening for you.

Coleen Collins Let all flowers seed & then swap seedlings with friends & neighbours. Great variety of plants for free! Ruth Mears Put Vaseline around all your plant pots fancy containers, it stops the snails or other bugs from getting to your plants. Frances Newton My gardening tip is I keep my plants in pots which stops my 3 dogs digging them up and I can move them around which makes my garden more interesting. We hope you find these tips useful, we sure did! Keep your eyes peeled for more gardening tips coming soon.

Glass bottles hanging from tree
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How to Keep Your Artificial Grass Looking Newer for Longer

neat and tidy fake lawn

How to Keep Your Artificial Grass Looking Newer for Longer

Artificial grass is probably one of the best investments you could make to your home. Gone are the weekends spent trying to tame your lawn, or telling your children (or dogs) to wipe their muddy shoes (or paws) from the garden. Instead, you will have extra precious time to spend on what you love to do and you’ll have the added benefit of having more space in your garden or garage – you won’t need to store a lawnmower anymore! With this in mind, you want your grass to look as perfectly manicured as it was when you first had it installed, and we have a few tips to make your grass last longer.

1. Protect heavy traffic areas


Think of your artificial grass as outdoor carpet. And just like the carpet in your home, your artificial lawn will have heavy traffic areas. The impact of heavy traffic can quickly cause the fibres of your grass to sit in different directions, which makes it look flatter than the rest of your lawn. So just as with natural grass, we recommend we recommend having a paving slab or two to step onto right under the stepping point from your home or any other heavy traffic areas.

2. Rotate heavy equipment


If you have a lovely set of garden furniture, planters or even some goal posts resting on your lawn it may be time to consider a layout shift. Just like natural turf, the fibres of artificial lawn will sit flatter due to being in more use and under more impact. Fear not! A good brushing with a stiff yard brush will help to stimulate the grass pile, resulting in a fresher looking lawn. Changing the layout of your lawn will also result in even wear, keeping it in better condition for longer.

3. Consider placements of decorative pieces


More often than not, once you have artificial grass laid, you tend to want to ‘finish’ the garden using additional plants and decorative pieces. What you need to consider is whether there are any mirrors, shiny features or any glass adjacent to the area you are installing – even a garden shed window.

It is quite common to have these in a garden, but the placement of the grass and the shiny objects are an important consideration. If they are in full sun for the majority of the day, the sun’s rays can be reflected and magnified onto the grass causing it to burn. Therefore, the layout is really key in ensuring that doesn’t happen.

4. Keep it Clean


After a while, common debris such as soil and twigs can find their way onto your lawn. Although these things will not directly affect your lawn, this matter does encourage the growth of weeds – the dreaded plant life for all lawns, both artificial and natural! Give your lawn some TLC from time-to-time with a good brushing, using a stiff brush or plastic rake. Alternatively, turn your neighbours’ heads by giving your lawn a vacuum – after all it is your outdoor carpet!  

5. Artificial Grass and Pets


Artificial lawn is a great option for pet-owners. While our furry friend’s business can leave natural lawn discoloured, creating an overall patchy effect, this does not happen to artificial grass. However, it is still a good idea to apply an artificial grass cleaner, this will not only freshen up the appearance of your lawn it will also reduce the build up of odours.  

By taking these steps on board you’re sure to have a luscious lawn for years to come!

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Keeping the Kids Entertained this Summer

Keeping the Kids Entertained this Summer

Keeping the kids entertained can be difficult at the best of times, especially during the summer break. Are you struggling with inspiration and wanting to make the most of your garden this summer? We have some fun ideas that will get the whole family involved and in the garden!

The Classics

Games played and passed on from one generation to the next. These games are timeless.

1. Swingball – need we say more? Hours of fun – even if you’re playing on your own!

2. Making dens – there is something quite magical about building dens in the garden. It’s an adventure in itself trying to find materials to make the den out of – old sheets or curtains, battered logs or simply some cardboard boxes. Once it’s made comes the fun part – decorating. Do you have old furniture lying around which can be used in the den?

3. Piggy in the middle – a simple but fun game for all the family. Even the dog can get involved!

Kids playing in their paddling pool
senior man with his grandaughter planting a seedling on allotment. Man and a small girl gardening.

For Those Who Like to Explore

There are many things to find in the garden – natural or otherwise. The look of satisfaction on your little ones faces will be totally worth the muddy fingers.

1. Play the archaeologist – plant some toys or treasures around the garden for your children to find. They will have hours of fun digging to see what hidden treasures they can find. If your children are younger you can use a sand pit table and hide toys in the sand for them to dig out. You may even have a mini Indiana Jones in your midst!

2. Something for the brave – try and find as many insects as you can. Children love this game and are not shy about getting dirty and stuck in. This game is also a great numbers game as the children can count each one they’ve managed to find.

3. For nature lovers – show your children some pictures of various flowers and plants in your garden and ask them to find it. For each they find, reward them with a fun fact or a healthy treat (or not!).

Get Moving

If you’re sporting types, then why not hold your own Olympics? Whether it’s a one-day event or you spread it across the summer, there’s no better way to get little ones moving.

  1. Length-of-the-garden race. However long your garden is – get your kids and their friends to run the length and back.
  2. Football. If you’re lovers of the sport, then consider a tournament! If not, a how-many-can-you-get-to-the-back-of-the-net competition will do.
  3. Bowling. Grab a lawn game set and have a see if you can knock over the skittles!
  4. Jumping. How high, how far. Get the tape measure out and see who wins!
Cute little blonde hair boy enjoy blooming lilac in the domestic garden in warm day.
Father and son playing soccer in the garden

Take the Heat Off

There’s nothing kids love more, than a water fight on a hot day. With that in mind, why not transform your garden into the ultimate waterpark complete with hosepipes, sprinklers and a paddling pool. Create your own slip n’ slide using a large sheet of tarpaulin and hosepipes – then see who can slide the longest! Fill balloons with water, to create a water balloon pinata, which is sure to bring fun and a much needed cool down to all the family!

Gardening

Help the children understand the garden from a young age and get them to help you with planting flowers, herbs or seeds. By planting themselves they’ll have more of an interest in its progress. You could even hold sunflower races to see which sunflower grows to be the tallest.

As you can see the garden really is a great playground for you and the family. However if you have a lawn which is more Sahara Desert than play-pit then it might be time to consider artificial grass so your lawn is play-time ready all year round.

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How to encourage wildlife into your garden

How to Attract Wildlife into your Garden

Your garden can be a haven to relax in and enjoy – but it can also serve as somewhere the local wildlife can feed, breed and shelter. It’s not difficult, and it doesn’t mean turning your manicured garden into a compost heap either. Read on to find out how you can attract wildlife into your garden.

Choosing the right plants

Bees, butterflies and other insects rely on flowers for pollen and nectar, and the flowers use them for fertilisation – it’s a happy symbiosis. So, if you want to get your garden buzzing, you need to plant some nectar-rich flowers. Choose plants that complement each other, so that you and your new insect-friends can enjoy them all year round. Try planting things that flower in sequence: for instance, Crocus and Mahonia flower from spring, Angelica and Buddleia flower in summer, Chrysanthemum and Ivy in autumn/winter. Together they’ll provide food for insects almost all year round. Likewise, a range of different types of plants – from flowers to shrubs through to trees – means that a variety of animals can live in your garden.

Boxes for birds, bats and more

The UK is a very urbanised country, and while a domestic garden can’t replace a wild one, providing places for birds and bats and other creatures to live will always be beneficial. Different size boxes provide homes to different birds, so get a variety – you can also buy boxes for bats to roost in. A bug hotel is a great way to attract insects to your garden – and you don’t need to buy anything fancy either, all you have to do is cut short lengths of hollow bamboo and tie them together. Leave on the ground for creepy crawlies or hang them up to attract flying insects.

Provide food and water

Birds are one of the easiest animals to attract to your garden. Over the winter especially, providing food and water for birds could mean that they survive the cold. A mix of food types is ideal, from fat balls to a blend of seeds and nuts depending on what birds your garden attracts. Try to keep feeding tables out of the reach of cats (who are a danger to birds) and squirrels (who just want to steal the food). Providing clean water will also be invaluable to birds over winter.

Create a woodpile

Woodpiles offer shelter to all sorts of species, from fungi, lichen, and mosses to creepy crawlies, amphibians, and even lizards. The dead and decaying wood are the beginning of an ecosystem that could bring insect-eating birds to your garden.

Leave woody cuttings from trees and shrubs on a soil bed, making sure that there is direct contact, ideally in a place that is mostly in shade, but does get occasional sunlight.

Start a compost heap

There are several benefits to a compost heap. Not only does it cut down your household waste and gives you a nutrient rich fertiliser to help nourish your plants, it also attracts a wide variety of animals. With slugs and snails and millipedes heading to the top layer of a compost heap for food, and earthworms, beetles and even mice attracted to the decomposing layers, there’s lots to look forward to with a compost heap. These animals will also attract larger mammals and birds too. When it comes to the compost heap itself, you have a choice of a closed bin or an open heap. An open heap will attract more wildlife, but a closed one is more aesthetically pleasing. All you have to do is make sure that any organic waste goes on the compost heap, such as vegetable and garden waste, hair, eggshells, tea bags etc. About a year later you’ll have a beautiful fertiliser and a wildlife rich garden!

Install a pond

A pond is probably the single best thing you could do in your garden to attract wildlife. Even a small pond could entice anything from frogs, newts, and ‘water boatmen’ to dragonflies and birds. Make sure your pond has shallow and deep areas. Shallow water is essential to the lifecycles of frogs, dragonflies and beetles, and birds and small mammals will bathe in it. Deeper water of up to 1m offer frogs a place to lurk when it’s cold. Plants around your pond will offer shelter from predators and shade from the sun, and make your pond look more naturalistic too. Plants that are submerged are good for newts and dragonflies, as they use them to breed.

Sustainable gardening

Sustainability is all about reducing the effect that the actions you take now have on future generations. In terms of gardening, that means thinking about the way your pesticides are produced, the way your outdoor furniture is manufactured, for example, and making the choice that is the best for the environment and the future.

Instead of using pesticides, you could plant certain plants together (for instance lavender is supposed to discourage weed growth, and marigolds are reported to counter black fly) or wait for nature to take its course. Ladybirds love to feed on aphids, birds eat snails, and frogs will eat slugs – you just have to give them a little encouragement to visit your garden.

Giving the local wildlife a place to feed, to shelter, and to breed not only gives you the opportunity to enjoy your garden, but it also helps the biodiversity of your area. There are a number of things that will make your garden more appealing, and there’s something you can do all year round.