Making changes to your garden?

Looking for inspiration for your next garden project, or simply don’t know where to start? Read our top tips and case studies to help you choose garden materials and decide what to do next.

See also our installation guides.

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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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.... read more

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... read more

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,... read more

How to lay garden sleepers

Why use garden sleepers? Sleepers are hugely versatile and can be used in a wide variety of building and landscaping projects. Whether you are making sleeper steps, planters, edging, terracing, screening or benches, our timber sleepers come in a choice of materials so you are sure to find one suited to your garden project. This guide is to help you decide which sleeper is right for you, and to give you some basics on constructing with sleepers and design ideas for your garden. How to choose garden sleepers New Oak Sleepers Planed Treated Green Softwood Sleepers Treated Brown Softwood Sleepers Treated Brown Hardwood Sleepers New Oak Sleepers: are surprisingly good value. Made from European Oak, they provide a neat modern look and have become the most popular choice in our range. Planed Treated Green Softwood Sleepers: are made from redwood that is pressure treated for long lasting protection. These sleepers are planed with rounded edges, giving a smart and smooth appearance. Treated Brown Softwood Sleepers: are lighter in weight than hardwood sleepers and easy to use. These sleepers are pressure treated for long lasting protection. New Treated Brown Hardwood Sleepers: are made of Alder, Aspen or Birch and are less likely to split than oak sleepers. Reclaimed sleepers: are the sleepers that have been on the railway. They provide an attractive rustic look but caution must be taken when handling these as they can be very heavy. The chemicals used in them also make them unsuitable for use in play areas or where they may come into contact with skin.   Shop garden sleepers How to lay garden sleepers... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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... read more