Gardenproud Blog

Archive for March, 2011

Flowerpedia for your i-phone

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

If you love flowers then this is the application for your i-phone!

Flowerpedia has nearly 1500 super colour photos that can be used as backgrounds, emailed to friends or enjoyed. The app includes over 100 families of flowers with information on how to identify them.

It takes a while to download, but it’s worth it!

You can browse by floral rating, by random order, by floral family, and by genus. The background information on each variety is superb!

They say that there are gardening tips and medicinal updates to come soon. And once down loaded (which explains the  download time) you don’t need the internet.

Expect to pay £2.99  for the download.

Unusual Gardens – Jarn Mound Wild Garden

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

If you are ever in Abingdon and are interested in unusual gardens then pop up to Old Boars Hill.

Most people will probably never go to Abingdon in their lives! Once famous for the home of MG, Abingdon sits in the Vale of the White Horse, just off the M40 close to Oxford.

We were recently visiting relatives and after a delightful lunch, they suggested we all decamp for a walk. Well I was all set for a quick nap but alas this was not to be!

It was suggested we drive up to nearby Old Boars Hill. Go to Ordinance Survey Get-a-map and enter map reference SP486022.

We dutifully drove there and left our cars in a lay-by. Our guide pointed out that the gardens were created by the archaeologist Sir Arthur John Evans (1851-1941), a graduate of Balliol College, Oxford, and famous as the archaeologist who unearthed the palace of Knossos in Crete.

Apparently he was a particularly wealthy chap.

Anyway apart from having a rather palatial pad nearby he and his wife set about creating a wild garden area for the benefit of locals.

This survives to this day albeit it has a slightly faded charm about it.

The walk was fascinating and I can recommend it to you.

You walk along what appears to be a track among the woods and the first interesting thing you encounter is a grouping of rocks among the fallen leaves.

Because we didn’t know what we were encountering we couldn’t quite believe these rocks were naturally placed. This assumption is confirmed when you discover there are ammonites among the rocks, so then the picture unfolds of a highly imaginative garden that was created.

Further steps along the pathway reveal stone benches among the ivy, small lakes and a huge earth mound with an observation point that emerges amongst the undergrowth.

For more information about Jarn Mound and Wild Garden go to http://www.abingdonwalks.co.uk/boarshill/intro.php

For more information about Sir Arthur John Evans go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Evans

Floral Pictures by Carolyn Towers Wood

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Agapanthas 47 x 57 cm oil and oil pastel, pale wood frame

From 2000 to 2002 Carolyn studied painting with the Open College of Arts and its tutor John Hicks. She also studied 20th century British artists and she says, “particular artists who were of interest to me!”

Her passion for learning and improving her techniques continues in the short courses and workshops with experienced artists she attends regularly.

Carolyn’s main areas of interest are colour, pattern and texture. She works with oils, acrylics and mixed media, usually on a surface which she has built up with collage and gels.

Her work has been exhibited in many shows throughout the south and south-west of England and in 2008 and 2009 she took part in the Hampshire and West Berkshire Open Studios scheme. In November 2009 an article appeared in “Picture Review” magazine promoting her work.

Carolyn’s paintings have been purchased by private collectors in the UK, France, Germany and the USA.

We are now delighted to offer a select group of Carolyn’s floral and landscape paintings through Gardenproud. They retail from £180, plus despatch.

Lilies with cherries 48 x 57cm oils and oil pastel, gold frame

To obtain a pdf of this selection of her paintings please contact us at:

info@reallygardenproud.com

Why Is Decking So Popular in Garden Landscaping?

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

1. Decking can be used to cover unwanted surfaces. The deck is strong enough to ensure that foot traffic is supported. An area which previously was of little use, can be turned around and used for socialising.

2. Decking can be used to give the impression of uniformity by creating steps and levels. In doing so, it has the ability to counteract uneven landscape.

3. It has the added benefits of making the garden easier to navigate around. Garden design is often focused on making better use of space and decking can help achieve this goal.

4. Decking which has been well designed can add value to a property. Decking can be seen as an extension of the property thereby making it look bigger.

Which Materials Are Used For Decking?

There are two popular alternatives, wood and composite. The attraction of using composite originates from its maintenance free characteristics and its lifecycle. On the other hand, wood enjoys a reputation of been resistant to fire (in the case of Cumaru and Ipe woods which have the same fire rating as steel) and a positive interaction with staining, a process which can rejuvenate the wood to make it appear new again. Before choosing one instead of the other, talk to Gatdenproud about the best options for your particular garden.

●      Reasons to consider composite – Low maintenance required, long life and affordability.

●      Reasons to consider wood – Fire resistant, no need for preservatives and sealants, and unaffected by insects, fungus and acids.

Is Decking Hard To Maintain?

By now you know that composite decking requires little care which means that this section is intended for those who have wood decking fitted, which incidentally is also the most popular type of decking in the UK.

Wood decking maintenance takes just a few minutes and revolves around regular cleaning. The more frequent you clean the wood, the less time it will take next time around. Start by making sure that the decking surface is free of any clutter, obstacles and garden furniture. When doing so, do not drag furniture on the surface of the wood as it might scratch the wood. Using a stiff broom brush the area to get rid of any dirt which has accumulated over time. If you have a jet washer wash the wood ensuring that you cover every plank and every edge. Now that the decking is completely clean, you will need to treat the wood. The best result is achieved by using decking oil, which will seal the wood by penetrating the surface leaving a natural looking finish.

Bonus tip – After the winter months, the surface might contain stains from debris, food or any other material. To remove these stains, use soda crystals in conjunction with warm water. Spray warm (not boiling!) water on the surface of the deck and then spray soda crystals. Allow the deck to dry naturally and wash away using a jet wash. This treatment will do wonders and is often cheaper compared to commercial cleaning solution.

If you are considering fitting garden decking, talk to Gardenproud. There are almost endless combinations and very few limitations when using decking, which is why you will benefit from a professional service.

Article kindly provided by Wood and Beyond, vendors of wood products, from solid wood flooring to engineered wood flooring.