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 gate might be seen as an add-on, with the accompanying fence in the starring role leaving the gate with only a bit part. But David Coton thinks they ought to be promoted to top billing.
Whether manufactured from metal or timber, plain or decorated, the garden gate provides a finishing touch, the final flourish, perhaps a fence's crowning glory.
Unpretentious wooden gates fit in well with fences that only have one function, that is to mark a boundary. However, even in these situations a domed top may introduce some interest.
Others, maybe with a trellis or lattice top are virtually indistinguishable from the accompanying fence, but an interesting finial on the gate posts will mark their presence.
Pale fences, particularly those that you lean over to open a latch, are perfect to create a country cottage effect. Again a dome top adds an attractive design alternative. The Tulip Palisade Gate is a good example of a charming variation.
Whether solid or with pales, the infill gate has a solid appearance yet you can see beyond, possibly along a gravel path that leads to a rambling rose covered door.
Metal gates have come back into popularity in recent years, they have a certain quality that adds elegance, lightens the effect of an adjacent brick wall, or handsomely complements adjoining metal railings.
Single or double, with spears, subtle decoration or more elaborate scrolls, there's sure to be one of these distinguished gates that ideally suits the ambiance of your garden and the image you want people to have of your house.
If you have reservations about the longevity of a metal gate due to rusting, there's no need to worry. With present day manufacturing techniques, galvanised metal with powder coating is highly corrosion resistant and the gates are easy to fix to brick, metal or wooden posts.
Whichever style you choose, the garden gate is possibly the first aspect of your house and garden that a visitor notices, with a well designed gate you can make sure their first impression is a favourable one.
You might not be familiar with the UK Men's Sheds Association but this is a fast growing organisation that, as David Coton discovered, encourages camaraderie and a sense of achievement among its members.
The Wildlife Aid Foundation recently purchased several animal ornaments from GardenSite and David Coton, one of our partners, thought that this charity carried out such terrific work that we made a charitable donation to assist with the cost.
With high winds increasingly affecting most parts of Britain, many people are likely to be contacting their insurance companies at some time regarding damage caused to sheds, greenhouses, fences and other garden property. Robert Hall explains how GardenSite.co.uk can help with an independent insurance quote and claim.
Here in Birmingham, the weather has been as changeable as ever, very warm just before Easter followed by a cold spell only last week. During May the threat of further frost will largely pass and, with spring well under way, Robert Hall is in no doubt that this is going to be a busy month in the garden.