To Weed Or Not To Weed?

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Weeds are conventionally known as the bad plants of the garden and there is certainly a known dislike for weeding itself. If you were to track every hour spent in your garden getting rid of these ‘unwanted’ weeds, you would probably find that you do an inordinate amount of digging and pulling things out of the ground. While the first few weeks of tearing up these intruders can prove mildly satisfying, the chore soon wears thin.

A question you may then ask yourself is ‘should I remove all of the weeds in my garden?’ or perhaps ‘what weeds I should keep in my garden? Well, while weeds can be a pest as we know and can take up valuable flower space, some weeds can be good to keep growing on your patch! Here’s why:

A Weed Is Just A Plant That Grows Where You Don’t Want It To.

Sure, they can ruin your beautiful display by sprouting where you don’t want them to, however, weeds can be a good indicator of the soil and environment. For example; Blind weed thrives in compact soil, whereas Chickweed is a sign of high fertility. Dandelion (a weed which we’re sure you’re all familiar with) thrives in acidic soil, Horsetail can be found where there’s damp and poorly drained soil.

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Why Should I Keep Weeds In My Garden?

If you’d like to transform your garden but it’s covered in weeds, then consider the following reasons why you should keep some weeds growing there; weeds protect your soil by covering the ground and keeping it safe from the elements, weeds fertilise and condition the soil, weeds also attract insects that are looking for habitat or nectar.

The Best Weeds To Keep In Your Garden

Weeds are nature’s healing remedy for sites that are in a wounded, plant less state, but weeds and gardeners have different ideas of what makes for a good garden. Armed with a better understanding of weeds and the strategies outlined here, you can prevent and keep certain weeds, giving you more time to enjoy your well-groomed garden. As mentioned above, Chickweed is a sign of high fertility! This weed will enrich the soil as it goes through its life cycle. Dandelion is another weed which we think has great benefits of remaining in your garden – not only are dandelions a natural medication for a stinging nettle sting, but they also attract ladybirds and bees.

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How To Control The Unwanted Weeds But Keep The Good

We’re not suggesting that you let your garden get overrun by weeds but having a little bit extra knowledge about what these weeds are trying to tell you might help you grow the plants you really want! You can also bear in mind when preparing your garden for spring that close plant spacing chokes out emerging weeds by shading the soil between plants. You can prevent weed-friendly gaps from the get-go by designing with mass plantings or by planting closely spaced plants rather than widely scattered ones. You can usually shave off about 25 percent from the recommended spacing. If you do this in the early stages, you will prevent the bad weeds from growing in between your beautiful flower patches.

If weeding is something you don’t enjoy because of the time you waste, why not install a ColourFence to reduce the time spent maintaining your garden even further! Tick off those unwanted jobs from your list and begin doing the things that YOU want to do.

Low Maintenance

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Up-cycle Your Old Furniture Into Garden Treasures

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Sick of old, lifeless furniture taking up valuable space around your home? Why not transform these into beautiful treasures for your garden and create accessories that can tell a story? Everyone has an old piece of furniture that they simply can not part with so here are a few starting points on how to upcycle that old, unwanted garden furniture!

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Old Wooden Pallets

Now, these wooden pallets can be a pain to dispose of, so we have a few ideas on how you can use them to your advantage. Why not create vintage centrepieces for your patio or even a modern-day picnic table for the grandchildren? Create stunning vintage couches from the pallet themselves and set up mini garden parties – simply add a few cushions and patterned throws and your garden will be fit for a summer gathering.

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Old Tyres

Old car tyres hey, we know they can be used for fitness equipment but have you ever thought instead of just shoving old tyres on a pile behind the shed, that you could actually be using them to add a burst of life to your garden? All they need is a little TLC, a splash of paint and a few budding flowers – easy! They can be used as hanging baskets, plant pots, modified swings or seats surrounding the patio (just add a circular cushion on top so that you don’t fall through the hole –  obviously!).  You could even get the grandchildren involved by letting them help paint a few.

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Upcycle Your Old Bed Posts

So you’ve had a massive re-decorate of your bedroom and treated yourself to a brand new king sized bed and are now you’re left with old bed posts taking up space in your shed. This calls for one thing – upcycling! Ever thought of painting them and using them as ornaments?! We hadn’t either! Check out this stunning, vintage butterfly made from an old bedpost. Paint it whatever colour you like and hang it on a brick wall or on your garden fence. Cheap and super, super cheerful!

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Old Kitchen Chairs

Everyone has those old, spare chairs lying around the house with ironing just piling up on top of them. Why not put these to good use and transform your old wooden chairs into stunning, unique plant pots? Sand the chairs down, give them a lick of paint and you’re basically there! These will not only add character to your garden but they will also save you a trip to the skip – bonus.

If you would like information on how ColourFence can transform your garden, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.Upcycle

Pet friendly.

6 Ways To Make Your Garden Pet Friendly

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Having a pet is a responsibility and part of that responsibility is keeping them safe.  Your garden should be a small paradise for your pet, space where they can relax, play and explore. But is your garden safe enough for your pet?  Here are six ways to make your garden more pet-friendly.

Keep Your Garden Secure

“UK police forces dealt with 1,774 dog thefts in 2016 according to figures obtained from a Freedom of Information request, which works out to just under five a day.  The equivalent of 1.5 million people in Britain – have had a dog stolen in the past five years.”

Now, until you read stories about this you don’t believe it’s true – but it is. Five dogs are stolen every day but only one is recovered and returned to their rightly owners – heartbreaking, right?

To try and avoid this happening we recommend keeping your garden as secure as possible with ColourFence!

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Colourfence is made from Colour Bonded Galvanised Steel and can withstand gusts of wind up to 130mph, so trust us when we say this fence is going nowhere! It lasts for 25 years so you can be rest assured that your pet won’t be escaping through a broken fence panel or jumping over fences that simply aren’t tall enough.

If you have a big breed of dog, you should think carefully about the type of fence you need to keep him safe. Look for a fence that is pleasing to the eye but one that will also stop your furry friend from escaping and going on adventures with his doggy pals.  Before purchasing, just remember… big dogs need big fences. Not so much with little dogs but the fence needs to be sturdy and secure either way. Six feet should be sufficient. Height isn’t the only factor—a large dog is also a strong dog. With ColourFence being made from Galvanised steel, your dog won’t be knocking this one down!

Non-Toxic Plants

There are quite a few plants that can be harmful and sometimes fatal for your pets. When planting new plants, you should be aware what can be dangerous and what isn’t. Some plants that are harmless to your pet and a great addition to any garden are:

  • Gerber Daisy
  • Orchid
  • Pincushion Flower
  • Rose
  • Sunflower
  • Thea Japonica
  • Tickseed
  • African Violet
  • Zinnia
  • Petunia
  • Lavender
  • Marigold
  • Snapdragon
  • Impatiens
  • Spider Plant

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Water Features

Keeping your pet hydrated during the hot summer months is extremely important, because if you’re outside sunbathing all day, then so are they! Pets love drinking out of things that aren’t theirs, so purchase a low water feature and ensure its topped up with fresh water. Your water feature will also create a soothing atmosphere for your pet to enjoy.

A Range of Materials

Pets like to explore and having a range of materials in your garden can help stimulate their senses and make it much more fun for them. Some great materials to have in your garden are bark, gravel, non-toxic sand, grass and stone. When choosing different materials though, be aware of their paws as you don’t want them to get cuts or splinters.

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A Personal Spot

If you’re trying to train the cute new addition to your family, then ensure he’s got a breakout spot to call his own. Most dogs prefer to do their business in private or on grass. If your garden doesn’t have an area for your dog, then simply make one! Plant some grass or use turf. Artificial grass is easy to maintain, just like your new fencing could be! It only needs a hose down to get it looking brand new again. In the summer make sure your dog does not lie down in direct sun light. Dogs dehydrate very quickly, and it can leave them with severe fatigue. To avoid this happening, buy a fixable shade cover and attach it to the side of your house. You can then simply pull it out so he has somewhere to lie that is shaded.

TOP TIP: Dogs also love lying on cool flooring or cooling matts! Buy a cooling matt and keep it in the freezer for those extra hot summer days.

Pet Friendly Weed Killer

Weeds are a problem for any garden and getting rid of them is essential, but many pesticides that you buy from the shop are harmful to your pet. You should consider homemade weed killers as they are non-harmful and still effective. Three homemade options that will still do the job are salt, vinegar and cornmeal. If you put them all together with a bit of soap you will have a much stronger pesticide, but they can also just be used separately.

 

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A useful guide (1)

A Useful Guide To Gardening

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We all want that beautiful garden with minimal stress, right? A garden that looks healthy and is blooming all year round can seem impossible when you have 101 other tasks to attend to. To help you keep on top of your garden we have put together a few useful tips & tricks!

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Tip 1

Epsom salt is a gardener’s saviour! Rich in magnesium and sulphate which are crucial for plants, it can help keep them beautiful and healthy. Simply add a few tablespoons to your watering can once a month and watch your garden bloom or add it to potting compost to help seeds germinate faster. And what’s more, this salt can also add to a plant’s green colour – brightening your gardening up instantly!

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Tip 2

Fed up of those pesky weeds sucking the life out of your garden? But also fed up of constantly buying expensive weed killer full of nasty chemicals? You can mix vinegar and salt to spray on weeds as the mixture will dehydrate them, this works particularly well when the sun is directly on them. If done carefully this won’t taint the soil so you can plant it again without harming your new plants

Tip 3

Fed up of lugging heavy plant pots around whenever you want to change the look of your garden? Try this! Fill the bottom quarter of your pot with something light and water resistant like packing peanuts or put your non-recyclable plastic food packaging to good use. This gives your flowers height without wasting compost, makes the pot lighter and easier to carry but it will also aid drainage and ground insulation, a win-win situation!

Tip 4

Create a plan! Now this may sound a little crazy for a gardener but trust us when we say it will help. Plan out where you want your flowers and space them accordingly depending on how far each one will spread. For example, perennials plants should be spaced approximately 18” apart. Then begin to place the tall ones at the back so that they don’t block the sunlight getting to the smaller ones. Same goes for the flowers that need more shade, be mindful of the areas where the sun hits the most and get planting. Sound like hard work? There are some products that do it for you, we love gardenonaroll.

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Tip 5

Ensure you water your plants effectively. Choose the right time of day, the right amount of water depending on the plant and keep this consistent. Newer plants will need to be watered more often than older ones because their roots aren’t completely developed. The best time of day is said to be the morning as the plant then has a good amount of time to soak up the water before it begins to get too hot. If they are watered during the hottest time of the day the plants can begin to grow fungus or diseases – not good news for any garden lover! If you are not an early bird, maybe invest in a sprinkler with a timer.

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If you would like to know how ColourFence can make your garden easier to maintain contact us today!

Maintain your garden easily

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Top Ten Features For Your Garden

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Decking

Perfect for those summer barbeques, decking can be designed to fit any garden big or small, making it clean and tidy with a sleek, modern look. You can customise with a different colour like deep red, silver grey or black but remember to treat it and clean it to prevent the wood decaying or getting too slippery.

Fencing

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Fencing may seem boring but is an essential part of your garden, providing privacy, security and a boundary for your garden. A fence is a big purchase, so it can be tempting to go with a cheap option but consider the maintenance required to ensure you have time to enjoy your garden. The right fence will bring texture, structure and appeal to your garden plus there are a range of colour and style options around now, so you don’t have to be stuck with a plain boring fence.

 

Pond

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Ponds can be a lovely addition, they attract wildlife garden and create a sense of calmness and serenity. For the gardener up for a challenge, aquatic plants are considered one of the hardest forms of gardening and flourish in spring and summer, so get planting in time for the bloom! Worried about safety? There are a range of options from super strong netting to grids that sit just below the water that mean everyone can enjoy the garden safely.

Water features

Not up for a full-on pond? A water feature is another option, chose one from your local garden centre or you could design your own but they are a lovely focal point for any garden. Starting at under £50 for small solar powered designs, there is a water feature out there for every budget and every garden.

Custom flower beds

For the more creative gardener, different shapes and designs for flower beds bring a creative edge to your garden. Create a Tudor style garden with geometric shapes or a cottage garden with softer shapes and bursts of colour. You can create paths or sections; the only limit is your imagination and how long you want to dig for! Don’t forget to consider the heights of plants when you arrange them, you want glorious technicolour, not shrinking violets!

Climbing plants

These majestic plants come in many different forms and colours. A personal favourite is the fragrant and colourful Sweet Pea. Climbing plants need training and a good support structure, but whether you choose pots, trellis or walls, they will be a definite boost to your garden!

Sculpture

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Not for everyone, but a distinct way to personalise your patch. Whether you go traditional or modern, tall or small, person or animal. There are plenty of options to consider when buying a statue, but to stick with a theme is a good idea. If you are looking to bring a fantasy feel to your garden, then a fairy or gnome is a good idea. whether you go for ceramic animals or stone Buddhas, a sculpture will become a talking point with any visitor.

Swinging furniture

Why not supplement the patio set with a hanging chair, seat or hammock, perfect for relaxing in the sun, reading a book? Forget the floral sofa-style pieces that graced our gardens in the 80s, there are some gorgeous pieces available in different styles and materials, you will be sure to find something to match your garden this spring. Remember to invest in a cover as well for when the winter comes.

Lighting

Essential if you want to enjoy your garden into the evening, lighting can be installed in many ways. It is generally best to stick with softer lights to highlight key features, think fairy lights on a tree or coloured spotlights under bushes.  Always buy lights rated for outdoor use and solar power is a good option to avoid having to hardwire to a power supply.

Outdoor Fireplaces

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Perfect for entertaining and outdoor living, outdoor fireplaces are an essential for the modern garden. Anything goes, from traditional fireplaces to fire pits, built in barbeques to wood fired ovens, go through your address book, prepare the guestlist and get ready to enjoy those long summer evenings coming our way.

If you are looking to replace your garden fence or gate before the warmer weather hits, please contact Colourfence today!

Low Maintenance

Best Website Finalist in the Franchise Marketing awards 2017

Colourfence Reach Finals of Franchise Marketing Awards 2017

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Exciting news as Colourfence have reached the finals of the Franchise Marketing Awards 2017. The team are finalists in the “Best Website” and “Best Overall Marketing Campaign” categories.

Last year, the Colourfence website had a complete overhaul. The new platform was designed to showcase the company’s key products and unique selling points. The site had to be easy for head office and franchisees to manage and update. It needed to be device responsive and easy to navigate. Strong branding and lead generation were the final requirements.

Consultancy with key stakeholders – including management, franchisees, customers and marketing professionals yielded the perfect design.

So how was the judging criteria met?

Innovative Design

With a clean, innovative design that enhances the visual aspects of Colourfence.

  • Publication of prices to ensure transparency for customers who may have misgivings about less scrupulous companies.
  • Long term product guarantees – which distinguish Colourfence an ColourRail from inferior fencing products.

Finally, a time-lapse video shows the installation process on several pages, with a link to the video on YouTube here:

 

 

Branding

Clear, consistent branding across the site and franchisee sub sites. Franchisees have the autonomy to update their own content while adhering to corporate branding and guidelines. This ensures a clean, cohesive website.

The sub-sites feature detailed, personalised information about each individual franchise. This includes areas covered, completed jobs, biographies and testimonials. This helps to reassure customers and reinforce franchise credentials.

A Distinct USP

Colourfence is a unique product with multiple USPs.

  • Virtually Maintenance Free.
  • 25 Year Guarantee.
  • Professional Installation by Trained Franchisees.
  • No Pressure Promise.
  • Published Prices.
  • Local Franchises.

This makes a winning combination that really can’t be beaten.

Engaging Content

Colourfence’s brand ambassador Anna Ryder-Richardson greets you from the home page. A home improvement and gardening guru, her photo is welcoming, warm, and attention grabbing.

Further down the homepage are videos featuring the Alan Titchmarsh show, as well as testimonials from several satisfied customers.

There is also an engaging blog with videos, posts and graphics designed to inform, reassure and help customers.

Content has been kept brief, informative and accessible. Product pages extol the benefits of the product. The website itself uses images and video to showcase the visual impact of Colourfence and ColourRail.

Ease of Navigation

A floating top menu makes navigation easy. Both the menus and the contact details – a call to action – are always clear and visible.

Use of Technology

The website CMS allows franchisees to:

  • Update their own gallery and testimonials
  • Add customer information and generate guarantee certificates
  • Head office can log call leads and assign these to franchisees

The WordPress platform also contains custom plugins that enable franchise owners to easily set up new pages.

Accessibility

The site is designed to be accessible from various devices. The key content is clearly laid out. The company phone number features prominently in the same place on every page. In addition, because one of the main objectives of the website is to generate enquiries for local franchisees, a ‘call to action’ to find suppliers is placed centre screen.

Images are labelled with ‘alternative text’ to make them accessible to visually impaired users who may be using screen readers. Our video content has automatic closed captioning for the hearing impaired.

Ease of Use on Mobile Devices

The website is device responsive and works just as well on a mobile device as a desk or laptop computer. The two main product lines – Colourfence and ColourRail – feauture immediately on the home page, with a strong call to action. What’s more, the company phone number is at the top of every page, and the drop-down menus make mobile site navigation a breeze.

Search Engine Optimisation

Best Overall Marketing Campaign Finalist in the Franchise Marketing awards 2017

Colourfence works closely with a specialist web design and marketing agency, Natural Ranks, to help with SEO. The company assists franchisees with their own local pages, as well as optimising the corporate website on a national basis. Natural Ranks also undertakes PPC activities for the company and its franchisees. Colourfence’s website ranks 1st on 55 key search terms (see image below) on Google, Bing and Google Mobile. Furthermore, Natural Ranks have helped drive a 50% increase in traffic over the past 12 months, holding 93 top 3 rankings and 134 top 10 rankings. What’s even more impressive is the increase in contact forms being completed on franchisees’ own pages (i.e enquires) which have increased 530% from a 78% increase in site visitors.

Summary

The key criteria that are relevant to Colourfence’s website have been met. The new design is both fresh and engaging, with innovations such as the time-lapse video and publication of all pricing. Branding is strong and consistent, focusing on the core USPs of low-maintenance, weatherproof products with an ethical approach to sales and customer care. Technology has been embraced, the site is easily found and navigated, and encourages re-visits. Finally, it is delivering an uplift in enquiries and sales for Colourfence franchisees.

The winners will be announced at the Franchise Marketing Awards ceremony commencing at 5pm on Friday, 13 October at the NEC, Birmingham!

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Should a Neighbour Share the Cost for a New Fence?

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Walls and fences can often cause big problems between neighbours. More specifically, we’re talking about the on-going debate over who is legally responsible for what. This is often an issue of boundaries, which for a lot of people in the UK, is something that isn’t always clearly outlined when purchasing a property for the first time.

So what do we mean by boundaries?

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Boundaries between two gardens refers to the amount of land that is registered with a specific property. This is the area of space that you own and the area of space that your neighbour owns.

When you first purchase your home, you will be given lots of detailed paperwork with everything you need to know about the property. This will include a title plan drawing created by HM Land Registry, which shows the general boundaries of your land. These are your property ‘deeds.’

Unfortunately, when it comes to features such as fences and walls, it can sometimes get confusing. These are referred to as ‘boundary features’ and are more than likely not included within these documents. Sometimes information provided by previous owners will indicate who owns what, but this may not always be relevant once they have moved out.

So who is Responsible for Maintenance?

Discovering that your garden fence is in need of an upgrade can sometimes be an annoyance that you didn’t need. It can be especially frustrating for those who have fences that sit between two different properties – who does it officially belong to? Who is responsible for paying for a new one?

When trying to work out whether fence maintenance is solely your responsibility, you should first refer to your property deeds. If you’re lucky, it will clearly highlight whether it’s yours, your neighbours or joint ownership. Unfortunately, as we mentioned above, in a lot of cases there isn’t a definitive answer. This is where the problems arise.

Has Anyone Assumed Responsibility Previously?

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The first thing to determine is whether anyone has previously assumed responsibility for the fence. Did you originally purchase the fence? Has your neighbour paid for repairs in the past? If either of you have done any of these things, that person is technically responsible for the fence. However, without legal documents, neither party can legally be forced to do anything.

If no one is officially responsible for paying for the fence, then any changes, such as purchasing a new one, needs to be agreed beforehand.

It’s worth noting that in this case, your neighbour is not legally obliged to pay any money towards purchasing a new fence. If you do pay in full for the fence, you should then ensure that this is erected on your property line to avoid these issues from arising again in the future.

What Should You Do?

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We believe that the best (and easiest) thing to do is to simply speak to each other. By having an honest conversation about who should be responsible for repairing or replacing a fence, you could easily settle an issue that could become messy.

We suggest going into the discussion fully prepared to contribute to the costs of maintaining the fence – whether old or new. This is will go a long way to making them more willing to do the same AND help to avoid any unnecessary arguments over who pays what.

Even if you are fully prepared to pay the costs yourself, it’s always best to inform your neighbours of your intentions before carrying out any work.

If you are looking to replace your old or damaged fence, please contact Colourfence today for an alternative fencing option that is strong and durable.

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How Gardens Have Changed in the Last 100 Years

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Gardens have always been an important part of our homes – whether we’re looking at 100 years ago or 1 year ago. These days, many people see their garden as another room, serving as an extension to the main house.

Nowadays, a garden could be the reason why a house is sold quickly or left on the market for years – but has this always been the case?

How much have gardens changed? Do they serve a different purpose now? We’ve taken a look at just some of the many ways that gardens have evolved over the past 100 years.

Gardens Were Used as a Food Source

In the past, it’s fair to say that gardens were mainly used as a way to provide food for the entire family. Whilst growing food is now viewed as a hobby for some, if you look back over 100 years ago, having a food source in the garden wasn’t a choice, it was essential.

This was especially true during the years that the country was at war and food was hard to come by. People needed to rely heavily on anything they could grow themselves, more specifically potatoes and vegetables. This was vital in keeping their loved ones healthy.

These days, gardens tend to be more decorative and ornamental. Of course, some people still enjoy growing their own food, but this is something that is becoming a lot less common.

People Now Have More Leisure Time

Spending time in the garden has definitely become a leisure activity for a lot of people. People have a lot more spare time than was available to previous generations, which makes gardening for fun a lot more viable. This is definitely evident in the way that garden design is now very much influenced by interior design.

Take a look at gardens around you and you’ll find that they are now a lot more stylish and modern. Fountains, ponds and statues are seen a lot more frequently, proving that with more time on their hands, people are turning their land into something a lot more attractive.

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A Wide Variety of Plants

Although plants grown today are very similar to those grown almost 100 years ago, there is now a much wider variety available, thanks to advanced plant breeding and selection. This means that our gardens are now a lot more colourful – people have the choice to be more selective, choosing the plants and flowers that they prefer.

Advanced Garden Machinery & Technology

Machinery and technology has undeniably adapted to suit our needs over the past 100 years. People want technology that will make their gardens easier to maintain without having to put in hours and hours of hard labour.

Battery powered garden machinery such as mowers and strimmers mean that almost anyone can keep their garden in good shape in an easy (and affordable) way.

Looking back, gardening was a far more physical and demanding job. Without the help of the machinery that we have today, a lot of gardening was done by hand. Therefore, it was done as a necessity rather than something enjoyable.

An Extension of the Home

As we mentioned at the beginning, many now view their gardens as being an extension of their home. This means they expect a lot more from it than people would have years ago.

The main example of this is privacy. The average back garden fence is now 6ft – providing people with a secure and safe place to spend time with their loved ones without the interference from neighbours.

This is the reason for why more and more people are choosing garden fence alternatives such as Colourfence. Available in heights of up to 2.1m, it’s the perfect option for those looking to keep the world from looking in. The entire installation process is also handled by a trained professional installer, saving you a lot of time and effort.

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So, What About The Future?

There is no telling how much gardens will continue to evolve over the next 10, 20 or 30 years. As more people look to save time on physical labour, it’s likely that we will see a bigger rise in cost effective garden solutions, such as artificial lawns, and cost effective products, such as Colourfence.

Modern and stylish features that incorporate colour, water and greenery are guaranteed to be the foundations of future gardens. We’re also looking forward to seeing what new technology comes along – it’s fair to say that technology will soon shape the entire way that gardening is carried out.

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How to Prepare Your Garden For Spring

By | Garden Tips | No Comments

For a lot of homeowners, gardening is something that isn’t even thought about until spring is well underway. But do you really need to wait until spring has sprung before paying attention to your garden?

We believe that when it comes to getting your garden ready for spring, preparation is key! With spring just around the corner, now is the perfect time to break out your tools, put on your gardening gloves and get busy outside!

There are plenty of things you can do to prepare for the upcoming months – here are just 6 of the things you could be doing right now!

Clean Up Any Mess Left From Winter

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Before you do anything else in your garden, it’s essential that you take some time to clean and tidy up any mess that has occurred during the winter months. Let’s be honest, it’s probably been a while since you’ve been out there for more than 10 minutes!

This means clearing away any unwelcome leaves and branches that have made their way onto your lawn or flowerbeds.

You should also remove clumps of soil or dirt that remains on your garden tools – these should be given a good wash before being used again. After all, they are going to be used a lot in the upcoming moths!

Trim Your Hedges

Ensure that your garden is looking its best by trimming back your hedges, and tidying up trees and shrubs that might be making your garden look messy and overgrown.

Getting rid of dead branches will protect your plants, whilst tidying up your plant beds will help to encourage a more robust growth of flowers and fruit going forward.

Remove Hibernating Pests

Garden pests often remain in your garden throughout the winter – you might not even realise that they are there. Although getting rid of these hibernating pests isn’t the most pleasant job, it’s definitely one of the most important ones and does need to be done early on in the year.

This involves looking out for (and removing) any slugs, snails, or aphids, which could potentially cause problems and damage your plants as they begin to grow.

Keep an eye out for pests that burrow into your compost and soil- if missed, these will have a field day with your plant roots.

Prepare Your Soil

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Healthy soil is an important component in any successful garden; it’s how your plants take in nutrients, air and moisture. Therefore it’s essential to start preparing it for the spring as soon as possible!

Spend time breaking up the dirt so that it’s able to take in a good amount of oxygen – you can do this by turning it over regularly. Adding plant food or compost will also ensure that the soil gets a generous helping of nutrients. Finish by adding organic fertilizer and raking thoroughly.

Remember; healthy soil leads to healthy growth!

Eradicate Any Lingering Weeds

Don’t let weeds become a problem in your garden – it’s essential that you keep on top of them as much as possible! This will save you a lot of time, effort and money in the long term.

By doing this before spring, you’ll eradicate them before they’ve managed to mature and take root.

After you have dug up and removed any early signs of weeds that have taken up residence, you should then take measures to ensure that they don’t grow back. You can do this by putting down a layer of cardboard onto the ground and adding a 3-inch layer of mulch. This will discourage weeds from making an unwelcome reappearance.

Carry Out General Maintenance Tasks

Identifying and fixing any general maintenance jobs in your garden is the final thing you can do to prepare your garden for spring.

You’re more likely to spend time in a garden that is aesthetically pleasing, which is why carrying out mundane jobs such as painting or cleaning can really make a difference.

This could also include finally getting around to replacing that faulty fence or gate that you’ve been putting off for a good few months. Creating a safe and secure place for your whole family to spend time in should be your number one priority.

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If you are looking to replace your garden fence or gate before the warmer weather hits, please contact Colourfence today!

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Top 5 Garden Trends for 2017

By | Garden Tips | No Comments

Choosing the right design for your garden is becoming just as important as decorating the interior of your house. Modern gardens are now seen as an extension of the home and therefore you need to give the design careful consideration before making any decisions.

Just like with interior design, garden trends change often and quickly. What’s “in” one year might be “out” by the next.

If you’re looking to update your garden before the warmer weather arrives, we’ve put together our top 5 picks of the garden trends that are guaranteed to be popular this year.

The Natural Look

This year is set to see the return of the more “natural” looking garden design, but what does this really mean?

For a lot of people, the natural look is favoured for its use of more traditional materials such as timber and wood, instead of the usual man made composites. Soft and warm colours are being used to create paths and patios.
Whilst it boasts a DIY look and feel, this style is carefully designed to look this way. The idea is to create something authentic and organic that will hopefully be timeless too!

 

Outdoor Kitchens

Outdoor kitchens are a trend that has never really taken off in the UK, mostly due to the British weather having a reputation for being fickle and unpredictable. However, could 2017 finally be the year that outdoor cooking becomes a real thing? Those in the know certainly seem to be think so!

It seems that more and more people are now looking to create an area in their garden that is solely dedicated to cooking and eating(and entertaining!) We don’t just mean a fancy BBQ either – people are investing in high quality outdoor sinks, fridges, pizza ovens and beautiful work surfaces.

If this is something you’re interested in creating, we suggest adding an outdoor seating area too. It will be the perfect place to socialise with your friends and family during the warm summer months.

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Colour Blocking

Colour blocking is a term that is often used when discussing fashion trends, but has now made its way into the world of garden design. It’s an inexpensive way to add something a little different to garden.

It involves using blocks of colours to make a bold and visual impact to an otherwise traditional outdoor space. There are a number of different ways in which this trend can be incorporated into your garden, such as coloured tiles, colourful plants and flowers, or even by specially painting a specific area to highlight it.

The colours you use are completely down to personal choice, with yellows, greens and pinks being by far the most widely used.

 

Lighting

With pubs and restaurants making lighting a huge part of their outdoor space design, it’s not surprising that it’s going to be huge in home garden design this year. And the best thing? Picturesque lighting doesn’t have to be expensive!

With energy efficient lighting becoming the norm, you can turn your outside space into a magical wonderland for half the price. From solar powered to rechargeable, there are plenty of options to choose from to ensure that you choose what works best for your garden.

Fairy lights are our favourite option by far. Whether hung over trees or perfectly arranged across your patio, fairy lights can give your garden a soft and glowing makeover that will WOW all your loved ones.

 

Coloured Garden Fencing 

A garden fence is an important fixture in most gardens, whether for security, privacy or aesthetic reasons. For homeowners that still have standard wooden fences that seem to cause them nothing but trouble, this 2017 trend might be the one you should really consider following.

Coloured fencing, such as the fantastic product offered at Colourfence, is set to be huge this year. Offering garden lovers something a little more modern than the traditional wooden styles, you can choose an attractive and contemporary style that fits in better with your personality.

From cosy creams to rustic greens, you can find a fence that blends in perfectly with the design of your garden – or one that really stands out!

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If you would like more information on our modern and high quality fencing collection, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

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