Seven low-cost ways to get the best out of your garden this summer

Seven low-cost ways to get the best out of your garden this summer

As lockdown has reminded us, green spaces are crucial to our wellbeing, and more house buyers than ever are now searching for homes with gardens. If you want to add value to your outside space, or simply spend more time in it, why not make sure your garden is in good shape for the summer? These simple jobs will smarten up your space in no time and with very little budget. 1. Pep up your paving Nothing spoils paving slabs like black spot or algae. Cleaning up your patio or driveway is one of the quickest and most affordable ways to give your garden a transformation. Most paving cleaners require very little effort and time. Whatever your type of paving stone, find the garden cleaner best suited to you and enjoy that ‘newly laid’ look once again! Always check the label to make sure you are applying the right product in suitable conditions. 2. Give gravel a go A quick and easy way to add instant impact to a neglected patch of ground is to add a bit of shingle. With colours and sizes of stone to suit every garden, decorative aggregates are a great permeable surface too, so really help with drainage. You’ll find it’s much easier to keep on top of weeds if you use a geo-textile membrane underneath your stones. But if you’re after for a more informal look, you might prefer to do without. Alpines and drought-tolerant Mediterranean planting like lavender and euphorbias will find it easier to self-seed, rewarding you with a beautiful rustic gravel garden for relatively little cost. 3. Create a dedicated...

Coronavirus update

Update 06/07/20 We’re working hard to return to our usual level of service and delighted to be opening our doors again on Saturdays. From this coming Saturday 11 July, you’ll be able to visit us 8am-12.30pm. Thank you as always for your understanding and support. Update 11/06/20 Though we’ve extremely busy delivering our orders, we’ve really missed seeing our customers over recent months. So, we’re delighted to be re-opening our doors to the public from 15 June. This means you’ll be able to see our paving displays, purchase and collect goods from us Monday to Friday 8am-3pm. Like many garden retailers, we’re experiencing very high demand at the moment. Along with social distancing, this means you may have to queue if you visit us. If this is the case, please bear with us and be assured we’re doing our very best to give each of you excellent and safe customer service. To save time, you can still order over the phone for delivery or call and collect your supplies, subject to availability. Help us keep you safe in store To keep you and our staff safe, please do not visit us if you or anyone in your household has symptoms of Covid-19 follow all in store social distancing measures use hand sanitiser when you enter the premises come on your own where you can. Maximum two customers per household and no under 16s please   We look forward to serving you soon and thank you sincerely for your custom and your understanding. Our Covid Secure compliance Update 13/05/20 We’re very sorry, our Landscape Centre remains closed to visiting trade...
Easy projects for your lockdown garden

Easy projects for your lockdown garden

With no end to lockdown in sight, it’s no wonder there has been a surge of interest in starting a garden, whether in part of your plot or an empty shoebox. Our friends at the Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust set out three easy steps to get you growing, even if you have little more than seeds and compost to hand… 1. Choose what to plant Watching things grow can give us something to look forward to and pleasure in the process. Planning itself is a great activity with lots of plant pictures online to help you choose. If you buy seeds instead of seedlings, you’ll have more varieties to choose from. These should be easy to find online, as is compost. Check what’s best to plant at this time of year and start with things that are easy to grow: marigolds, nasturtiums and zinnias are brightly coloured and fun for children. Though magically beautiful, ignore tricky Himalayan blue poppies and opt for the less fussy ladybird variety instead. Beans, cucumbers, radish, salad leaves and tomatoes are all reliable for beginners: they germinate easily and you will soon be enjoying the fruits of your labours. 2. Prepare your containers If you’re short of pots, don’t worry; you can cut down on waste by re-using materials you already have.  Plenty of packaging can easily be repurposed to start off your seedlings. The flat side of egg boxes is ideal for sowing fine seed: bigger seeds, such as zinnias, could be started off in the individual compartments. Yoghurt pots are ideal for developing plants which have been pricked out for growing on....
How to landscape your build within budget

How to landscape your build within budget

A very common experience for us is being asked to landscape a building project or extension that is finished or nearly finished. With so much to think about, it’s easy to leave garden planning until later in your project. But this can cause problems. Our clients sometimes find themselves unable to achieve that zero-threshold they’d been dreaming of, walking mud all over their new flooring, or with very little budget left for hard landscaping. Time spent early on planning your garden will give you more options, so your new home will look great inside and out, and your money will go further. In this blog, Kebur Landscape Division‘s Craig Deeley shares his top tips on how and why to make your garden an integral part of your extension or new build plans right from the start. Why are gardens important? Outdoor living spaces can improve our quality of life, giving us a place to socialise, dine and have fun, especially in the summer months. As an extension of your living space, planning your garden is every bit as important as the inside of your home. With modern technology dominating so much of our lives, our gardens are also the ideal place to boost our wellbeing by giving us a fix of nature and a calming view every day from inside our home. Plants and trees are also essential for removing CO2 and pollutants like carbon monoxide from the air, so are vital to creating a healthier environment for us all to live in (see RHS Why should we green Great Britain?). Many studies show that money well spent on...
How to create a seamless flow between inside and outside

How to create a seamless flow between inside and outside

Are you planning improvements to your home or garden? If you’re looking for characterful flooring or have bi-fold, patio or French doors, why not create a seamless transition from your kitchen or conservatory through to your patio or terrace? Using the same natural stone or porcelain in your home and garden is the perfect way to create a feeling of space and harmony. Choose from our wide range of porcelain and natural stone paviours that are suitable for both internal and external use. Whether your home is contemporary or traditional and whatever your budget, look no further than our porcelain and natural stone paving. Outside inside porcelain Porcelain tiles are made by pressing and firing sand, clay and water to very high temperatures. This makes an exceptionally hard and durable product suitable for external and internal use. Many of our porcelain tiles are available in both a thinner tile with a smoother finish (9-11mm) for inside, and a slightly more textured 20mm tile for outside. Our porcelain is: ✓ Slip resistant ✓ Low maintenance and easy to clean including with a jet wash ✓ Frost resistant (external tiles) ✓ Fully rectified to ensure uniform size and squareness ✓ Resistant to stains, mildew and fading ✓ Easy to lay Discover outside-inside porcelain Timeless natural stone The individual texture, veins and details in natural stone bring unique character and warmth to any home. Smoother stones tend to be particularly well suited to indoor spaces. Our huge choice of high quality 20-25mm paviours is ethically sourced, and ideal for a wide range of contemporary and traditional styles. With the option to pre-seal your...
Working with natural stone suppliers

Working with natural stone suppliers

Cliff and Ian recently visited some of our granite, limestone and slate suppliers in Southern India to take a close look at their latest production methods and improvements in working conditions. In this blog, we’ll be asking Cliff about what he learned from the trip… Why the visit to India? Indian natural stone has long been a favourite choice for garden paving. The Indian market offers us a huge range of characterful stone for every style, from our popular Natural Sandstone Trade Packs to contemporary options like sawn Black Granite or Pearl White Sandstone. With so much competition in India’s stone regions, suppliers are under constant pressure to keep prices low. Over the years we’ve been importing natural stone, we’ve found it’s really important for us to personally visit the factories and quarries it comes from. Doing this allows us to work with suppliers to make sure our products are the best quality and ethically produced. The good news is that every time we visit India, we see improvements to working conditions and facilities in the whole of the supply chain, from the processing factories right through to quarries. Where did you visit?  We visited a number of quarries and factories in the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana regions where we source our Black Granite, Copper Slate and some of our Limestone paving. As the finishes vary on these products, we were looking at range of production processes, from machine cutting edges to brushing and flaming surfaces.   How do you make sure Kebur natural stone is high quality? Visiting the quarries and factories gives us the opportunity to scrutinise...
Which grout do I choose for my paving project?

Which grout do I choose for my paving project?

When it comes to laying a patio, there are many jointing compounds or grouts you can use to fill the gaps between your paving units: from simple sand and cement mortar, to two-part epoxy resins like GftK VDW. Each product has some important differences which means they are not simply interchangeable. When selecting the best grout for our own landscaping jobs, our team of installers always considers a number of factors: the type of paving, the base and bedding layer, aesthetics, lifespan, weather conditions and of course the budget. If this all sounds like a lot to think about, don’t worry. In this blog, Kebur Business Partner David Booton takes you through the pros and cons of each type of grout on offer, leaving you more confident in choosing the right product for your project. Some general rules about grout Each of the five types of grout below tends to have certain properties which we’ll go through. However, each manufacturer’s instructions will vary. So do always read these carefully before buying and applying a product. You can generally use any grout on a permeable sub-base, but only a few are suitable for a non-permeable base. Porous and sawn natural stones can be prone to staining and picture-framing when applying any jointing compounds or grouts. These problems can be very disappointing and costly to put right. We strongly advise that the best way to protect porous paving stones like honed sandstone and granite is to pre-seal your paving before you install it. 1. Single part polymeric compounds For a versatile option that you can use with most types of paving,...
Hedging your bets: top alternatives to box hedging

Hedging your bets: top alternatives to box hedging

Planting a hedge in your garden can have many benefits; shrubs and hedges can add privacy, security, visual interest and protection from the wind. Box has been a traditional choice to define formal garden areas. However, with the recent increase in box blight and imported pests, many gardeners are looking for other options. In this blog, our friends at the Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust share their ideas on wildlife-friendly alternatives to box hedging. Box plants are evergreen, slow-growing and can be clipped into neat shapes, such as balls, pyramids and spirals. This makes them a firm favourite in modern gardens where space is at a premium. However, blight and box tree caterpillars are proving an increasing problem. Box blight is a rapidly spreading disease that causes bare patches to leaves and stems.   Privet The humble privet is a great option instead of Box because its young growth provides valuable food for brilliant green privet moth caterpillars. These transform into one of Britain’s largest moths. If you hold back on cutting, you will be rewarded with small panicles of creamy white flowers which bees love. Later, birds will be attracted to the dark berries and they will also enjoy the cover of its twiggy growth. Even a neatly sheared privet hedge is loved by sparrows in suburban gardens.   Lonicera nitida Lonicera nitida offers similar advantages to garden wildlife. Known as ‘Poor Man’s Box’, its small evergreen leaves mean it can easily be shaped into neat edging or grown into eye-catching topiary shapes. Clipping will expose the tiny scented honeysuckle flowers and purplish/black berries as a food source. Lavender...
How to achieve a professional finish with porcelain paving

How to achieve a professional finish with porcelain paving

We often get asked by landscapers and garden designers about the finer points of finishing a porcelain project. Because of its superb durability, porcelain paving is low maintenance and doesn’t need any additional treatments such as sealants during installation. However, there are a few differences between laying porcelain and natural stone. If you’re thinking about laying porcelain paving, we recommend reading our porcelain product guide thoroughly to understand the basics. These include laying on a full bed of mortar over a compacted sub-base, using a slurry primer and ensuring a minimum joint width of 5mm. In this blog, we thought we’d expand on this and share some of our top tips for achieving that top-quality finish in your porcelain paving jobs. How do I cut porcelain paving? Porcelain is exceptionally hard wearing, but it can chip when being cut. You don’t want your attention drawn to unsightly dinks around the edges of your tiles. Our advice is to use a dedicated porcelain diamond blade. Score when dry, add water and cut completely through both ends. then work slowly through the rest of the cut. This way you should achieve a beautiful clean finish. Can I get a curved edge on porcelain paving? Curved edges are an all-important element of many great garden designs. But some people think that these can’t be achieved with porcelain. However, cutting on a curve is straightforward if you have a handheld grinder with the correct blade and are confident using it. Always let the weight of the tool do the work and never force it or it will crack. Alternatively, bespoke cutting services are...
Visit us at the Landscape Show

Visit us at the Landscape Show

We’ll be showcasing some of our favourite products at this industry-leading event on 17 and 18 September at Battersea Park. Why not keep abreast of the latest landscaping knowledge and join us for a preview of our collection of natural stone and porcelain paving and accessories the show’s extensive programme of free seminars up to date ideas on landscaping design and techniques your chance to meet with industry-leading designers and contractors   Register now for a free ticket and visit us on Stand F5! Follow Share Share Tweet Email...
Apply now to get your landscaping project recognised

Apply now to get your landscaping project recognised

We’re delighted to be sponsoring the Hard Landscaping category in this year’s Small Project Big Impact awards. These awards celebrate the talent that goes into creating beautiful gardens for under £25k. Smaller projects often get overlooked in the industry media. Yet these landscapers tend to face real challenges from limited space and/ or budgets. Hard Landscaping only category Excellent core skills A lovely finish Excellent value for money Efficient use of products A great level of technical ability Under £25k   If any of your projects match these criteria, enter this category. As well as industry recognition for your hard work, winners receive a prize package supported by leading suppliers in the industry. These include a generous £1000 worth of Kebur materials! Hurry, applications end 30 August.   Enter now Follow Share Share Tweet Email...
Create a bug hotel

Create a bug hotel

The estimated 24 million private gardens in Britain are thought to cover an area bigger than all of our national nature reserves combined. But many newer properties simply don’t have all the natural nooks and crannies that our insects need. And pollinating insects like bees are vital to the survival of many plant species. So even if your garden is small, it can be an important link to the countryside, and offer a much needed home for wildlife. Our friends at the Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust have been checking out the bug hotels created by children at RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival. Here are their ideas on how you can create your own at home. A perfect project to keep children busy in the garden this summer… Walking round Hampton Court Flower Show, it was cheering to see that today’s youngsters are definitely getting the garden bug – in more ways than one! Schools’ insect hotels were certainly drawing the crowds. The ingenuity which had gone into the construction was admirable and every house was certainly different. The basic principle was the same; to build a shelter for insects in order to improve the biodiversity of the garden. How to create your own bug home Start with a box frame filled with different layers of material. Kebur pallets are ideal (our yard usually has a good supply that you can pick up for free) Cover it with a waterproof roof Create insect holes from objects you have at home. Whatever you use, one end has to be sealed. The young architects at Hampton Court were experts in recycling all...
High quality fencing to suit your needs

High quality fencing to suit your needs

Do you need new fencing panels for your garden? Whether it’s to keep your pets secure, block an unsightly view, shelter from the wind or give your garden a bit more privacy, the right choice of durable fencing will make a huge difference to your garden. At Kebur we’re proud of our wide selection of fencing supplies, and are keen to give our customers the very best value. High quality fencing and timber structures We’re excited to be stocking KDM’s range of treated fence panels and timber structures, which are superb quality. We’ve chosen KDM because of their exceptional range of products and their commitment to sustainability. As well as our classic European fencing panels, trellis, picket fence panels and gates, you can now try some of our stunning new options like the heavy-duty Tongue and Groove Lattice Top panels (pictured above). This durable fencing is great for privacy and looks the same from both sides. If you’re looking for a bargain, we’re also offering up to 15% off our Grange fencing and timber products while stocks last. Fencing to suit all tastes and budgets Here is a glimpse of some of our favourite KDM fencing products…   For a contemporary and versatile look, our slatted panels are quick and easy to install and are available in six sizes including 1.8m wide. You can now design your own pergola to create your perfect spot for shade or to link different parts of your garden together. All you need is these ready to assemble pergola components. With a range of horizontal rails that fit easily into slotted posts with corner...
How to plan a new driveway

How to plan a new driveway

Planning your perfect driveway The value of kerb appeal is not to be under-estimated. The front of your house creates an important first impression, adds value to your property and makes a huge difference to the welcome you get when you return home. Whilst you may need to include a parking space and room for dustbins, you’ll also want to think about creating the right look for your home, as well as that all-important budget. Design Start off by looking at your essential routes out of the house; how will you get from your front door to the road and any side gate or garage? Consider what design will best complement your home. Straight lines can look formal and contemporary, while softer curving edges suit a more traditional or informal property. Parking Where do you want to park your car and will you need space to turn? Positioning your car away from your front door and window will give you a better view from inside your house and leave your front doorway clear. Planting A really easy way to inject character and style to the front of your property is using plants, yet nearly 5 million front gardens in Britain have none in them. Plants offer helpful privacy and shade, not to mention benefits for wildlife. If you are tight for space, consider pots or plant some ground cover amongst decorative aggregates (below). Native hedging like beech that holds its leaves in winter can be great for privacy while silver birch can create a dappled shade and perfect screening for bedroom windows. And if time is an issue, go...
Reflections on a Hampton Court show garden

Reflections on a Hampton Court show garden

This summer has seen Kebur scoop a coveted Silver Award at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival, our first year being involved in a show garden. The garden, A Place to Meet, was designed by Cherry Carmen for the landscape industry body, the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL). As well as supplying the hard landscaping materials for the project, our professional team of installers also led the build, with 18 APL member companies involved. We talked to Craig Deeley, our Contracts Manager, who led the build, to reflect on the experience… What materials did you use? We worked with Cherry Carmen on a design that would demonstrate excellence in landscaping skills and highlight some different ways of using natural stone including a raised patio, plunge pool and wildlife pond. As we were keen to use some of our new contemporary natural stone, Cherry’s idea was to show how our Black Granite and Pearl White Leather Sandstone could be softened with naturalistic planting.   Naturalistic planting Contemporary black granite steps The inviting plunge pool How was the experience? Manic! I found it really positive from a personal point of view. It’s great to see how designers use planting schemes to complement hard landscaping. You have to put your life on hold the whole time you’re there. It was realistically an 8-week project so we worked 12-14 hour days for 17 days to get it done. There was very little time at home!  I loved doing it though and would love to do it again. What were the highlights? Coming together with other talented members of the Association of Professional Landscapers...
How to make a mini pond for your garden

How to make a mini pond for your garden

If you liked our blog on how to create a pond, and maybe didn’t have enough time or space, this post is for you. Our friends at the Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust give some top tips on how to create mini pond. Using a small container like a Belfast sink, which can be picked up easily from reclamation yard, you can make a small water feature, ideal for a patio or compact garden.   Seven simple steps to make a mini pond Make your sink watertight. If the plug has gone missing, don’t worry, a small blob of concrete will quickly make it watertight Put in a layer of gravel or stones on the bottom. This will hide your plug hole and provide habitat for small insects If you can, fill the pond from a water butt. Otherwise let the water stand for a couple of days Introduce aquatic plants. Try to choose one plant for height, such as a Cyperus or Iris Pseudacorus. Most garden centres now stock a range of plants, including vital oxygenators. For preference put plants in aquatic baskets, but just a simple pot will be enough to stop plants spreading. Put a couple of staggered bricks inside the sink to help creatures to climb out and go searching for slugs. This one also has a ramp to ground level and has been quickly colonised by frogs. Raise the sink on bricks to give toads and newts a damp and dark space to enjoy underneath. This will be especially popular if it’s surrounded by dense planting, such as wild strawberries, scented hardy geraniums or ferns....
Three minute guide to choosing topsoil

Three minute guide to choosing topsoil

The nature of your soil can make all the difference as to whether your plants and lawn fail or flourish. If you’re wondering what topsoil to buy, start by understanding a few basics about soil and organic matter. This will make your choice much easier. What is topsoil and when to use it? Topsoil is the very top layer of soil, which is high in nutrients and organic matter and provides the structure for plants to grow. You may need to add topsoil into your garden if you’re making new beds or borders or as a base for a new lawn. This is especially important where the natural soil is poor or non-existent. If you have a new-build home, for example much of the topsoil may have been taken away during construction. What to think about when buying topsoil? Your plants and soil: Your choice of topsoil will depend on what you are planting and what kind of soil you already have in your garden. Lots of plants and vegetables will do well with plenty of organic matter because it provides important nutrients for their growth. Other plants like wildflowers, do well in poor soil without compost. Most plants like a neutral pH that is not too acid or alkali. You can test your soil pH with a simple kit from a garden centre or online. If you are planting acid-loving plants like rhododendron, azalea or conifer, they will benefit from a slightly acidic ericaceous topsoil. Level of screening: Screened topsoil has been sieved to remove larger lumps of soil, roots, stones and other debris according to size. For...
Seven ways to use decorative aggregates and how to choose them

Seven ways to use decorative aggregates and how to choose them

There are lots of reasons why you might consider using decorative stone to transform your outdoor space. From driveway shingle to rockery boulders, pebbles for ponds or a black basalt border, decorative stones and garden aggregates are versatile, great for drainage and easy to lay for quick impact.  This guide helps you think about which products are most suitable for your landscaping needs, so you can choose the right aggregate for your garden project. What can I use decorative aggregates for?   1. Improve drainage As decorative aggregates allow water to run through into the ground, they can be great for reducing the risk of your garden flooding. Use shingle or chippings as an alternative to paving or set paving stones within them to make an attractive path.   2. Create a drought-tolerant garden Rockeries, alpine gardens and gravel gardens are great options for low maintenance and well suited to poor soils and the uncertain weather patterns we’ve experienced in recent years. Most decorative aggregates can be used in this way and rockery boulders can provide dramatic structure, especially well-suited to sloping gardens. See the RHS advice on how to create a gravel garden.   3. Landscape a pond If you’re creating a pond, aggregates can be perfect for creating a ramp for wildlife and to soften the edges. Pebbles and cobbles can re-create the feel of a river or beach. Be careful to choose an aggregate suitable for fish. Some natural stone such as that with lime content will affect the PH of the water and make it unsafe for aquatic life. Although most suppliers provide pre-washed stone,...
How to look after decking

How to look after decking

Timber decking is a beautiful asset to a garden. It can be a great way of levelling out an uneven garden, creating a roof terrace or extending an inside space at the same level. Decking can provide the perfect platform for eating, entertaining or relaxing. However, like many landscape products in British weather, it can get start to fade and get slippery from damp and organic growth. In this blog we look at how you can revive and maintain the timber decking in your garden. Check your deck Firstly, it’s a good idea to check the condition of your decking regularly so you spot any problems early. The lifetime of a timber deck will vary. This can depend on how well it has been installed and looked after, how heavily it’s used and its position (eg. if near water or in a damp, shady area). A well-maintained timber deck can last for over 10-15 years. Is it safe? If left too long, leaves and other debris can hold moisture and start to rot timber boards. Look carefully for signs of structural deterioration in your boards and joists. If you need to replace any, we have a range of pressure treated timber deck boards and joists. These will match up with the most commonly used decking If your decking is beyond repair and you think you may need to start again, consider composite decking. This is a great long-lasting alternative to timber. Made of wood pulp and plastic from reclaimed or recycled sources, it is 95% recycled, anti-slip, and has a 10 year warranty (with an expected lifespan of 25...
6 ways to make your garden safer for hedgehogs

6 ways to make your garden safer for hedgehogs

At Kebur we believe we have a responsibility to care for our local environment and help our customers learn about the many ways we can support wildlife in our gardens. We were delighted last month to become Hedgehog Champions. Britain’s only spiny mammal, hedgehogs have changed little over the last 15 million years. One of our first steps as champions has been to stock hedgehog friendly gravel boards which help our prickly friends get around between gardens and reach vital sources of food and water. Hedgehog numbers in UK towns and cities have fallen by a third in the last 10 years, and by half in the countryside. One of the main reasons is that gardens are so often enclosed and don’t have enough wild spaces where the creatures can find food and shelter. This Spring is the perfect time to make your garden friendlier for hedgehogs. Start with these quick ways you can make your garden safer… 1. Link your garden with a simple hole A 13cm diameter hole in fencing or a gravel board is enough to allow hedgehogs to pass from one garden to another. The mammals typically travel one mile a night in search of food and a mate so getting around easily is really important to their survival. You can easily cut a hole in a timber fence or gravel board, or use a ready made hedgehog friendly concrete gravel board. 2. Make an escape route from a pond or pool Although hedgehogs can swim, they can become trapped in ponds or pools and drown. Make a gentle ramp from stones, wood or chicken...
Splash out on a pond!

Splash out on a pond!

If you’re looking to attract wildlife to your garden, you’ll be amazed by the difference a wildlife pond will make. Our friends at the Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust have some great ideas on how to create a pond, below… this could be the perfect project for a Spring weekend! Why create a pond? In the Spring you’ll find the tadpoles wriggling their way out of the spawn and sunning themselves in the shallows. Adult frogs are beginning to leave the water now. They’ll be hopping through the undergrowth looking for food and a damp place to hide. As the water temperature rises, you’ll recognise male smooth newts by their orange and black spotted mating colours as they slide over the stems of emerging plants. The water lilies are sending small glossy pads to the surface providing welcome cover from hungry herons. If you look closely, you might see strange circular cuts in the leaves of marsh marigolds. This is the work of the sedge caddis fly larvae. The larvae make protective cases to cover their bodies, leaving only their head and front legs exposed like a tortoise. The sword shaped leaves of flags (iris pseudacorus) begin to spike the air, ready for a burst of vibrant yellow flowers in May. Blackbirds have started to thieve the mud for nest building and the sparrows are lining up to drink or have a bath! Where is the best place for a pond? Ideally you need to locate the pond in a sunny spot away from overhanging trees. Netting in Autumn will help prevent leaves falling and decomposing in the water. Decide on...
Five ways to keep your patio clean and clear

Five ways to keep your patio clean and clear

Aside from the usual day to day maintenance, you may occasionally need to get rid of tricky patio stains or deal with weeds to keep your paving looking beautiful for years to come. Here are some of the most pesky patio problems and what you can do about them. Patio weeds A recently-laid patio shouldn’t have a problem with weeds coming through the cracks. Just to make sure you stop weeds growing in your patio, we recommend using kiln dried sand for block paving and where joints are needed, 3 parts building sand to 1 part cement. Or you can try Sika Setting Sand which hardens and acts as a weed suppressant or a brush in mortar such as EasyJoint. Drink stains Patios are there to be enjoyed and the occasional drink spillage is inevitable. If this does happen, act quickly to remove the stain as soon as possible. Scrub thoroughly with hot soapy water and a stiff brush and rise with clean water. Sealing natural stone can be a great way of protecting it against unexpected spills over time. Kebur offers a pre-seal service as well as sealers you can apply yourself. Oil The chances are, you’ll be wanting to enjoy eating al fresco on your new patio. If you should spill oil and grease, remove them as soon as possible to increase chances of success. Soak up with cloth, paper or an absorbent powder like talcum powder or cornflour. Scrub with strong detergent repeatedly and wash with plenty of water. Stubborn stains can be removed with Easy Grease and Oil Away. Leaf stains One of the most...
Keep bees buzzing in your garden

Keep bees buzzing in your garden

This is the first in a series of wildlife gardening blogs we’re publishing with the kind help of our friends at the Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust. We want to do our bit to help wildlife and share some of the simple things you can do to help nature thrive in your back garden. We start with how to attract bees to your garden… Now is the time that bees are out foraging for food and returning to the colony with pollen sacs clearly filled with bounty. You can help at this crucial time of year by planting trees and flowers that bridge the gap between bees’ winter hibernation and the initial search for spring flowers. This year the first magnificent bumble bees were already visible in the garden in mid-February. Only the queens over-winter and they will be searching for new sites to lay their eggs. Compost heaps are a popular choice, so be careful when you fork over your compost pile and keep an eye open for these furry giants. What kind of plants attract bees in early Spring? Bees enjoy the early pollen source provided by Christmas roses, or hellebores and are especially attracted to blue, purple and white flowers. The open faces of single paler blooms provide an essential food source. (Pretty hybrid doubles may have the pollen and nectar bred out of them, but a mix of varieties will be good for pollinators and look stunning for months.) The bees next port of call this year were the tiny white bells of the ling, or erica carnea alba, an evergreen heath. It bloomed just at...
New benefits for Trade customers

New benefits for Trade customers

As well as putting together this season’s stunning paving collection, we’ve been busy working on a new account scheme for our valued trade customers. This week we’re excited to be launching Kebur Trade Pro. Having listened carefully to our regular customers during the year, we have come up with a package of support to make it even easier and better value to do business with us. Building on a firm foundation We think this is great news! It further builds on the competitive discounts, quick delivery and personal service that trade account holders tell us they already enjoy. We wanted to make these benefits clearer with our new Kebur Trade Pro account.  And to provide additional support to reward loyalty. The new scheme is open to any trade customer and includes a next day delivery service on natural stone and porcelain orders by 12pm (subject to stock and delivery slots, Monday to Friday). Says Cliff Mosey, Business Partner, ‘the reality is that with our high levels of stock and large delivery fleet, we’ve tended to be very flexible with our trade customers anyway. Now we’ve decided to make next day delivery a firm offer that they can expect as standard’. Among other benefits, approved or accredited members of landscape trade bodies (such as the Association of Professional Landscapers and British Association of Landscape Industries) will have the option to include their profile on our website and access exclusive training and events. Going that extra mile We’re particularly excited about being able to offer an enhanced reward scheme, Trade Pro Extra, that goes that extra mile for our higher spending...
Monthly photo competition giveaway!

Monthly photo competition giveaway!

Each month we will be offering a free Ox Tool in our monthly photo competition giveaway. Simply post a photo of a landscaping project that you are most proud of and tag @keburgardens on Twitter or @keburgardenmaterials on Facebook to be entered into a draw. The competition closes on the last day of each month. Terms and conditions for the Kebur Photo Competition About the competition 1.1 Entrants who meet the entry conditions will be entered into the competition and one photo (winner) will be selected. 1.2 The competition will be drawn on the last day of each month and announced on Kebur Garden Materials’ Twitter and Facebook page in order to notify the winner. How to Enter To enter the competition, entrants will need to: For Twitter entrants: post a photo of a landscaping project that you are most proud of tagging @keburgardens in the post. For Facebook entrants: post a photo of a landscaping project that you are most proud of tagging @keburgardenmaterials in the post. https://www.facebook.com/keburgardenmaterials/. When and who can enter 3.1 The Competition opens at the start of each month, and closes at 11:59pm on the last day of the month. 3.2 Entrants can enter at any point between these dates. 3.3 Entrants can only enter the Competition once, but can like, share, comment, tweet and RT as many times as they like. 3.4 The Competition is only open to UK residents aged 18 or over, excluding employees and agents of Kebur Garden Materials and anyone professionally connected with the administration of the Competition. 3.5 Automated or bulk entries from third parties will be disqualified....
Create a sustainable space with your landscaping project

Create a sustainable space with your landscaping project

Thinking about how you can create a sustainable space with your landscaping project? At Kebur we strive to improve the sustainability of our business. We are continually looking at ways we can support landscapers and gardeners to have a positive impact on the environment. We want to share some ways you can select your materials carefully and boost your environmental credentials… Use recycled materials You may be surprised to know how many landscaping products are wholly or largely recycled in content, which is great news for those looking to reduce, re-use or recycle. For example, you can choose decorative stone such as slate paddlestones or marble chippings that are sourced from previously unused waste or by-products from industry. If you’re creating a deck, Saige composite decking is produced using 95% recycled materials and comes with a 10 year warranty. And we offer some stunning contemporary paving solutions using largely recycled content. Choose FSC To ensure you are able to enjoy forest products for years to come, look out for timber products with the FSC® logo. The timber used in these products is harvested to promote responsible management of forests. All our timber garden products supplied by Grange are FSC® certified, meaning you can enjoy fencing and garden structures with a clear conscience. Consider life-span Paying a little more for quality can mean your products last a lot longer. When choosing a lap panel, cheaper panels may have only three or fewer vertical batons to support them and may be more vulnerable to the wind. Paying a few pounds extra for a 6 foot lap panel with five vertical batons...
Find patio inspiration right on your doorstep

Find patio inspiration right on your doorstep

Are you planning a patio project and don’t know where to start? This early Spring weather may be inspiring you to look for garden and patio ideas. If so, you need look no further than your doorstep. As we’ve been compiling our Kebur Porcelain and Natural Stone Collection brochure for this year, we’ve been bowled over by the quality of photos we’ve received from our very own landscaping customers. We wanted to share some of our favourite images of these landscaping projects with you. We think you’ll agree they show just what beautiful gardens can be created when you use the talents of your local landscaper. Black Limestone The intense darkness of Black Limestone contrasts beautifully with the white render to create a striking and contemporary look. The deep colour of Black Limestone can be achieved and maintained using a colour-enhancer sealant such as Dry-Treat Intensifia. Photo courtesy of RE Landscapes           Andhra Grey Limestone The subtle colour variation of Andhra Grey Limestone adds interest to this low maintenance garden design. And we like the way the 900x600mm paving slabs create a linear look that really work to lengthen the space. Photo courtesy of Winslade Landscapes         Natural Slate Natural Slate such as this Rusty Slate or the similar-looking Copper Slate has varied colour tones. This make for a stunning backdrop for naturalistic planting in this characterful garden. Because it is designed on the diagonal, the paving and path create a feeling of space that invites you to explore. Photo courtesy of Poison Ivy Garden Design           Silver...
New granite options for your garden

New granite options for your garden

This Spring, we’re excited to be adding three new choices to Kebur’s popular Natural Granite range. Black Granite, Arctic Storm and Arctic Mist are all hard-wearing, versatile stones and will bring something unique to any back garden:   Arctic Mist Granite: this stone has a light grey colour with smokey veining. Available in a 600x600mm size format Arctic Storm Granite: a stunning natural stone, this has a dark grey colour with white streaky veining. The 1000x500mm size format really shows off its character Black Granite: is a consistent dark graphite colour throughout. It retains its colour well. You can choose from three standard Contempo sizes (900×600, 600×600 and 600x400mm), a linear plank format (900x200mm) and matching sawn setts (200x00x50mm and 100x100x50mm). Due in stock from early March.     All the new granite paving is 25mm thick with sawn sides and a flamed surface. Mix and match them to give a contemporary look. The black granite setts will define edges or features beautifully. We expect these to be popular when used alongside our porcelain paving as well. Just a reminder that we offer a professional pre-sealing service for all natural stone. Although granite is really durable, we highly recommend sealing it with a breathable sealer to prevent installation problems. We can take away the hassle and worry of doing this yourself and pre-seal your stone with Dry-Treat Stain Proof ready for laying straight away. Follow Share Share Tweet Email...

Indian sandstone with luxurious leather finish

We’re so pleased to be introducing a truly individual flamed and sawn quartzitic Indian sandstone to our Kebur Contempo Natural Stone Collection this season. We think you’ll love Pearl White Flamed and Leather Sandstone, a smooth natural sandstone paving, as much as we do. Brexit may be on the horizon (or not) and in these uncertain times, some may be sitting back waiting to see what will happen. Whatever this summer holds, we will still want to enjoy our gardens. So we are determined to continue bringing new natural paving stones to our collection so our customers can enjoy a great choice and really add that wow factor. Hardwearing Indian sandstone paving Quartzitic Indian sandstone like this is hard to come by in the UK yet it offers a fantastic and durable alternative to a honed or riven sandstone. Available in a choice of finishes and size formats, the contemporary Pearl White Sandstone will bring warmth and character to any garden: Pearl White Flamed Sandstone has a predominantly beige colour with subtle veining that adds character and retains its colour well over time. Available in the three Contempo sizes (900×600, 600×600, 600x400mm), these paving slabs have sawn sides with a flamed finish for consistent texture. Pearl White Leather Sandstone is similar in appearance to the Flamed Sandstone but with a smooth, leather finish. It is available in a contemporary 900x600mm size format, perfect for a linear laying pattern. Pearl White Leather Sandstone is also available in matching sawn sandstone setts (200x100x40mm and 100x100x40mm), which will complement natural stone and porcelain schemes equally well. We love its neutral tones, variety...
Introducing new natural stone this season

Introducing new natural stone this season

  As we move into a new year and the new landscaping season approaches us quickly, we are pleased to announce some exciting additions to our natural stone paving collection. First let’s start with our popular Sandstone and Limestone Trade Pack Range.   Indian Sandstone and Limestone Trade Packs When we first launched this product range five years ago, it was always with the view to offer a budget range of sandstone and limestone patio packs to give our trade customers more choice when it came to price. We learnt a lot quickly and realised after visiting our suppliers in India that we could really offer a competitively priced product that did not compromise on quality. We looked at how our suppliers processed the stone and even changed suppliers that we felt did not come up to standard. This meant we had to pay more for the product, but it also have us peace of mind that we were getting value for money and could pass this on to our core customers.   The Kebur Trade Pack range quickly developed a reputation for quality that could be relied on. The range now consists of six different sandstones and five different limestone patio packs with many of the popular colours now available to buy in single slab sizes as well. New to the range this month are: Tumbled Black Sagar Sandstone, which has warm mid and dark grey colour tones with a soft tumbled finish Kota Blue Limestone, which has cool blue/ green colour tones Coming next week is also the Antique Yellow Limestone, which has a warm yellow/ grey appearance...
Choosing our Kebur products

Choosing our Kebur products

How we maintain a great range of quality landscaping materials Kebur’s Director, Cliff Mosey, is responsible for sourcing all our landscaping materials, ensuring they meet our customers’ needs. Fresh back from international stone and porcelain trade fairs in Italy, and supplier visits in the UK, we asked Cliff what this work involves.     What are the main things you look for when sourcing garden materials for Kebur? When we choose and monitor suppliers, we’re always thinking about three things. The first is value; finding products that offer excellent value for money whilst meeting our customer’s needs. Key to this is understanding our supply chain and each product’s technical specification so that we can ensure quality is good and prices are fair. This also includes thinking about the wider impact of production. For example, all our Grange fencing has Forest Stewardship Council certification, and we work personally with our stone suppliers to monitor their working conditions and practices. Secondly, we expect our suppliers to be reliable; this means holding good stock levels so they can be responsive to demand. In the last couple of weeks, for example, we have been talking to our fencing suppliers to make sure they have sufficient stock and manufacturing capability to cope with any severe weather this Autumn or Winter. Finally, our aim as a company is to always offer our customers plenty of choice. We know it’s really important for landscapers and home-owners to put their own stamp on their garden project, from the design and size format of paving, to different laying methods. We are look for suppliers who can fulfil a...
4 reasons why you should care about soil structure

4 reasons why you should care about soil structure

Despite what you might think, the most important part of our soil could be the space between the soil particles. About half of the total mass of soil is made of up interconnecting cavities or holes. These holes fill with both air and water. The amount of air and water in these spaces varies by season and location, but averages about 50% each.       Maintaining the spaces between the soil particles is essential for healthy  plants to grow because they: Allow mineral nutrients dissolved in water to reach the roots of plants Support the structure of the plant Allow water to pass through so the plant can take it up through the roots without sitting in water and rotting Hold oxygen that sustains the bacteria and fungi so they can break down organic matter, making nutrients available to the plants With all that in mind, it’s no surprise that one of the biggest risks to plant health is compaction of the soil. To give plants the best chance in your garden, here are three simple steps you can take to avoid over-compacting and protect those spaces between the soil particles: Avoid trampling on wet soil and be careful about driving vehicles or heavy machinery across it, especially if the soil is clay. If you are a hard landscaper, be mindful that your repeated footfall or machinery could harm the health of soil when you work in wet weather. Make sure you have plenty of organic matter. This helps to create larger soil particles so the spaces between them become larger too. Adding a regular layer of mulch...
How to pressure wash properly

How to pressure wash properly

Yes, you might think this is obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people get it wrong. Of course, jet washing can make light work of cleaning your patio, driveway or decking, and let’s face it, that’s not everyone’s favourite job. But done incorrectly or too often, jet-washing can cause costly damage to paving and joints.   So let’s brush up on the basics… A stiff brush and soapy water is usually enough to clean stains, so it is always a good idea to use this method most of the time and jet wash only occasionally.   Before you go near your paving with a pressure washer… Always check it is suitable for jet washing and test a small discrete patch first. Avoid jet washing natural stone as it can damage joint pointing and loosen the natural layers of some stone. Light jet wash concrete paving only occasionally to avoid damaging the surface of the paving.   10 pointers for a perfectly clean patio Make sure your hose is fastened securely to the tap and attach the appropriate fitting Turn on the tap, making sure water is running freely before you turn on the power Always point the hose at a 45o angle to the ground. This is enough to loosen dirt, but not enough to pound the surface Hold the washer 30-40cm from the surface you are washing Always use the fan spray. A small nozzle will increase the power significantly which can dislodge jointing material and cause water to get into and eventually break up some surfaces Avoid joint lines Never use a rotary nozzle on block...
The Kebur story

The Kebur story

How we started In the 1950s, after serving in the Second World War, local man George Bursey saw an opportunity to set up a landscaping and tree surgery business in the Aldershot area. He was quick to notice a gap in the market for good quality landscape products. In 1961, he and his wife Iris put their life savings into purchasing machinery to manufacture concrete slabs, which were growing in popularity at the time. Starting with just five colours, they soon needed more space for a growing product range and to meet demand. By the late 1980s, George had recruited young slab-maker, Tony Lane, as well as other staff to help in the yard, and Kebur had re-located to its current location in Lynchford Lane, where the old tram line once stood. Iris and George Bursey Slab making in the yard Partner, Tony Lane earlier in his career Over the following years, George’s stepson, Alan Booton, became more involved in the business and Kebur expanded to include more land, which now totals over an acre. The Fir Tree pub next door had become unviable after the Blackwater Valley Road was built, and provided the perfect place for extra offices in the early 2000s. Today, Kebur supplies a wider range of landscaping materials than ever, to professionals and retail customers locally and nationwide. Of course, things have moved on since the limited range of concrete slabs of the sixties and we now stock over 2900 products including fencing, paving and aggregates. We source from well-known landscaping suppliers, and also import our own natural stone and porcelain collection directly from Europe,...
How clean lines and an open layout transformed this Hampshire garden

How clean lines and an open layout transformed this Hampshire garden

Mr and Mrs Collins asked us to redesign their Hampshire garden which they found overgrown and enclosed due to the position of a number of large shrubs and the poor layout. The brief was for a low maintenance two-tiered patio with a contemporary look, clean and simple lines to suit the house and a high-quality finish. Our clients chose Kebur’s Contempo Thunderstorm porcelain, in a large format 900×450 for the top tier and a complementary, lighter grey Contempo Waterfall porcelain in the same size tiles for the lower tier. Both are finished with sawn graphite granite setts as an edging around the perimeter of the patio. Contrasting bullnose granite step treads were used with a porcelain insert. Twinning Kebur Contempo porcelain with natural stone accessories created a sleek and striking effect. When we visited Mr and Mrs Collins a year on, they were delighted with the end result and now use their garden more than ever. ‘Because the patio is easy to keep clean and the garden is designed with low maintenance in mind’ Mr Collins said, ‘I am finding I now enjoy gardening more than I did before’. Before: a small eating space Now: Plenty of space to eat and relax Before: enclosed and overgrown Now: Contemporary lines in keeping with the house Before: poor sight lines from house to garden Now: A calm spot to look over the garden During the works After: porcelain steps with granite treads Follow Share Share Tweet Email...
The power of outdoors

The power of outdoors

With National Gardening Week in full swing, it’s great to see so many activities celebrating our outdoor spaces. We are hearing more than ever about the power of green space and gardens to improve our social, physical and mental wellbeing. School gardening projects have been shown to boost confidence and creativity, and to break down social barriers for children with learning and/or behavioural difficulties. Studies also show that stress levels and mood are directly related to the amount of green space in people’s area. And for those with stress and depression, garden-oriented rehab programmes have been shown to significantly reduce the number of GP visits. Gardening is not only great for boosting endorphins, the body’s natural ‘feel good’ hormone, the physical activity means it burns the calories too. No wonder then that doctors are starting to recognise ‘horticultural therapy’ as an effective prescription. As you might expect, we at Kebur are passionate about helping people benefit from gardens and nature, so it has been a great privilege to help some recent local projects to do just this. This March, we donated materials for a forest school canopy at St Peter’s Primary School in Farnham. The canopy allows children from across the school to benefit from learning outdoors in a natural environment whatever the weather. Last month, we were impressed with the number and range of nominations for the Kebur Community Challenge, our annual competition, in conjunction with Eagle Radio, for £2000 worth of materials. It has been great to see local groups wanting to improve their green spaces for so many reasons; for healthy eating, play and risk-taking, contemplation...
5 low budget ways to spruce up a tired outdoor space

5 low budget ways to spruce up a tired outdoor space

You don’t have to spend a fortune or all your spare time on your garden. If yours needs a pick-up in time for Christmas, these easy weekend projects won’t break the bank and will still leave you time to enjoy a cosy Sunday roast…   1. Paint your fencing The British weather can have a damaging effect on any garden so all timber needs a bit of TLC from time to time. A simple coat of wood treatment can prolong the life of your fence and leave it looking much fresher. With a range of colours on the market, you can transform the look of your garden, all for relatively little cost.   2. Refresh with decorative aggregates Make your garden easier to maintain by replacing grass with decorative aggregates. This space has been given a contemporary facelift by switching lawn for a local gravel and elegant grasses, which are great for drought resistance and don’t need regular mowing!  Gravel provides better drainage than paving and is a great value option for large spaces. Photo by Oxford Garden Design – More exterior ideas 3. Add a garden structure for a focal point Focal points help guide your eyes through your garden, entice you into the space and add your personal character and style. Sit and stand in places where you are most likely to look at your garden and visualise where you would like to lead the eye. Consider statement planting, a winding path and seating or timber structures. This path leading to a pergola creates an appealing place to relax.   4. Clean up your driveway or patio Natural stone can be prone to build up of stains, mould, algae and residue that can be difficult to...
Why my garden is special…

Why my garden is special…

Creating the perfect garden requires careful thought about the look and feel you want, working with your existing space, light and budget, and usually over-coming the odd challenge to make things happen! We asked Christine from our sales team what makes her new garden special… What were your main considerations when designing your garden? We moved to our new home December 2016.  The only room that needed any attention was the outside room, better known as the garden. It was unkempt, unloved with no real appeal. There were many discussions about what we wanted from our garden. As it’s southeast facing it attracts sun most of the day. We discussed our ideas with Dan Grimes, a landscaper who uses Kebur.  We wanted an open feeling, somewhere to sit, sunbathe and most importantly relax in the evenings and weekends. Nothing too fussy and reasonably low maintenance. Each time Dan came around, our planned patio area was getting larger – we’re really glad it did! Why did you choose the products? The slabs we wanted needed to be low maintenance, bright and good looking. We had a budget, discussed and weighed up which would be the best options to suit our requirements. Kebur had just launched their new porcelain range. Although they were at the higher end of our price bracket, we liked the fact that they didn’t need sealing, are very easy to keep clean, hard wearing, anti-slip and keep the same appearance from new. We chose the beautiful Thunderstorm porcelain which has a lovely detail that looks very like veining in natural stone. What was it like having the work...
Keep kids happy this summer without leaving home!

Keep kids happy this summer without leaving home!

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to keep your children entertained this summer, why not create a place for activity and adventure right in your own back garden? Who doesn’t love a sand pit? Using railway sleepers, you’ll have one built in no time. Build a sandpit from railway sleepers You will need: Untreated railway sleepers Timber-fast landscaping screws Play sand Fabric membrane to stop weeds from growing into the sand and allow water to drain if it rains Choose your spot Make sure your sandpit it is positioned somewhere flat, away from hanging trees that could drop leaves in the sand, and that it is visible so your children can be supervised. If you want to build the sand pit directly on to decking, make sure that the area is strong enough to hold the structure and as well as sand and children. Five simple steps Dig up any turf and flatten the area using a rake so that the sand pit can sit straight on the top of it. Measure and cut the railway sleepers to size using a circular saw, hand saw or chainsaw if you are confident enough and lay the pieces around the perimeters of the area you have prepared. Be careful and get help because the sleepers are heavy. Fix the sleepers together using Timber-fast landscaping screws. Depending on the size and depth of sandpit required, the railway sleepers can be placed on edge or laid flat in two layers, with staged joints in a brick bond pattern. Screw them together to ensure that the structure is firm enough for children to...