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...