How to lay garden sleepers

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 range of different colours and styles so you are sure to find a sleeper suited to your garden project. How to choose garden 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. Avoid skin contact and don’t use in public or play areas. Treated Brown Softwood Sleepers: are lighter in weight and easy to use. These sleepers are pressure treated for long lasting protection. 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. New Treated Brown Hardwood Sleepers: are made of Alder, Aspen or Birch and are less likely to split than oak sleepers. Rounded Garden Sleepers: make a great lightweight, decorative sleeper option. They are ideal for borders and planters How to lay garden sleepers When using sleepers for a retaining wall, or for steps or terracing, firstly, make sure your area is clear of debris and vegetation and dig down a shallow trench. Concrete the sleepers in on a 100mm deep bed. Haunch at the back end of the sleeper and if possible, the front end too. This will help fix sleepers to the ground so they remain stable. If using sleepers for a low border or planter...
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 March 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         Rusty Slate Natural Rusty Slate with its varied colour tones makes 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 Grey Sandstone Trade Pack We love how the grey tones...
The Kebur pre-seal service

The Kebur pre-seal service

Our pre-sealing service was set up in November 2017 and has been going from strength to strength ever since. Our customers are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits that having your natural stone pre-sealed with high quality Dry-Treat™ sealant can have in protecting their investment and saving money in the long run. The rapid rise of porcelain paving has threatened the marketplace for higher end natural stone. However, at Kebur we still love natural stone and have extended our range this season. Porcelain isn’t to everyone’s taste and is perhaps not suited to all settings. But by pre-sealing your natural stone, customers can have a product with outstanding natural beauty and character along with reduced maintenance. Antony Vincent is the head technician at our dedicated pre-seal facility and describes the pre-sealing process. “In short, the crates of stone are unwrapped. The slabs are checked for damage and marks, cleaned up if necessary and left in racks to dry”. He continues, “Once dried, the slabs are moved and prepped on the sealing table. A mist coat, followed by two or three heavier coats are then applied at certain periods depending on the type of stone. The slabs are moved back into the drying racks to cure for 24 hours before being packed ready for dispatch”. Antony goes on to describe the main challenges in his role being, managing the working space he has and the length of time it can take some of the slabs to dry before he can seal them, a problem exacerbated by cold and damp weather. The advantages from having your stone pre-sealed by Kebur start at...