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.
With Christmas and the New Year celebrations over with, it’s time to think about gardening trends for 2016, here’s what Nathan James Dodd foresees in the coming months.
With hotter summers forecast I can see the trend towards outdoor living continuing.
High quality garden furniture, contemporary designs manufactured with weather resistant materials now mean that you can transfer your lounge outside. Sofas, tables and chairs combine comfort and style with durability.
These impressive pieces of outdoor furniture will allow you to live in your garden, moving your interior to an outside space. The range of furniture on offer will only increase in quality and choice over the coming year.
Barbecues are the obvious example of how we enjoy the outdoors life, Built In BBQs are becoming ever more popular and joined by many more products including pizza, fridges and wood fuelled ovens.
New and innovative lighting techniques will also increase the amount of time we spend outside. Energy efficient LED technology will brightly enhance your outdoors lifestyle at a much lower cost, both to your pocket and the environment.
To accompany this surge in outdoor living, advancements in artificial grass will mean that it remains a popular alternative to the real thing with many advantages, particularly if you have a small garden. Extremely hard wearing, it’s perfect if you have children who like to play outside.
There are many other contemporary landscaping alternatives, such as decking and decorative gravel, that will continue to be best sellers to people who want a garden that is easily maintained.
Protecting the environment and encouraging wildlife will continue to be popular with our customers. That means people will increasingly choose insect friendly plants from our Garden Centre. These are single flowered, nectar and pollen rich, perhaps traditional cottage garden varieties.
The creation of wildlife havens in our garden is certainly a welcome trend. Allowing an area of the garden to get overgrown can only be good for local wildlife.
There's many wildlife care products on GardenSite including insect and animal nesting boxes, bird baths and feeders. Artificial habitats can really help a diverse range of wildlife including hedgehogs, bats, butterflies and bees.
With time at a premium for many working families, plants and shrubs that need little attention will continue to sell well. Traditional proven varieties that are practically guaranteed to give a good show throughout the summer months and that require little attention even through dry spells.
Innovative ways to grow vegetables will prosper, many look, and taste, good when grown in flower beds with their ornamental qualities adding texture and interest. Planters and window boxes are also ideal, especially when placed near the kitchen and container gardening, whether flowers or vegetables, will continue to thrive.
If you have a compact garden, or just a balcony, growing productive and colourful plants, even fruit trees, is now very realistic. Seed producers and nurseries increasingly cater for this trend for smaller spaces, so that everyone has the opportunity to grow their own and cook fresh produce whatever their domestic limitations.
Nathan James Dodd
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.