With gardens becoming smaller, neighbours closer and roads busier, we all suffer from different types of noise pollution. But, as Andy Taylor reports, Forest have now come up with a new kind of fencing that minimizes this nuisance.
A garden pergola combines elegance with functionality, the perfect place for you to relax and entertain. This is a guide to contemporary and traditional pergolas that can be freestanding, attached to your house or decking.
Whether you choose a modern or traditional design, there is no doubt your garden will benefit from the added structural interest and you'll have a fabulous area for entertaining and relaxation.
The Forest Ultima range are traditional freestanding pergolas and pergola arches that introduce height, structure and interest to a garden. With a light breeze and dappled sunlight they create a very pleasurable environment.
Rustic Rose and Contemporary pergolas from Grange are similar in design and, both these and the Forest pergolas, can be used to create an attractive entranceway or a covered avenue between two sections of your garden.
Many pergolas, such as the Grange Portico Arch, feature a trellis so that heavily scented plants such as roses, honeysuckle, jasmine or wisteria can be more easily trained. These can be planted in the ground at the base of supporting posts or in containers for fabulous colour and perfume.
For something a little different, consider the Forest Radial Pergola that will fit snugly into a corner. The Carousel Pergola from Grange is an arresting centrepiece with cross beams connected to a circular roof.
The Jac Flower Domed Pergola is another circular construction with heavy sisal ropes designed to carry climbing plants, while Grange's Apollo Pergola has featured on TV and is a superb contemporary design with curved beams and rafters. Both will transform a garden space into a modern picnic or seating area.
A Colonnade Pergola, Bowed Walkway or Jac Flower Rope Walk Pergola would be perfect for covering a path with climbing plants, wonderful garden features to stroll along during high summer - if you need inspiration, visit Hampton Court's Laburnum Walk.
The Flower Circle Walk might be familiar as it has also been featured on TV, made up of 'circles' of timber, there are connecting rods on which flower containers can be attached.
View all Contemporary Pergolas.
If you have a Oriental themed garden or wish to introduce some eastern interest, take a look at the Shanghai Pergola or Dragon Patio Pergola that will transform French windows or any other doorway for that matter. Extended and freestanding versions are available.
To avoid any rain delays, the Sienna and Verona canopies from Rowlinson, made from showerproof fabric and fully retractable, are good examples of how to avoid a sudden shower or provide total shade if the sun is too intense.
Finally, if you want decking and a pergola, Forest have the perfect product that will transform your patio completely. Their Patio Deck Kit includes a pergola and timber balustrade, so there is space for a table and chairs with the integral pergola offering a shaded area.
Pay attention to your lawn in the spring and Andy Taylor reckons you will receive dividends later in the year.
Looking to buy a timber planter but not sure what to purchase? David Coton provides some helpful advice on the many different designs that are available and how they can transform your patio and garden.
Log burners and open fires have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity over the past few years. Andy Taylor explains how you can have a continuous supply of dry, well seasoned, wood by investing in a log store.
With spring well under way, you may be considering buying a greenhouse, Andy Taylor tells you how this will increase your chances of successfully growing a wider variety of plants over a longer period of time.