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 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 paving...
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,...
Natural Stone Paving Finishes

Natural Stone Paving Finishes

When it comes to durability and aesthetics, there’s no match for natural stone; every piece is unique, with a huge range of stunning colours and textures determined by millennia of geological processes. And it’s so strong it will outlast us all, making it a sound investment. There are many different types of natural stones commonly used for paving projects such as; sandstone, limestone, granite, basalt and slate from countries such as India, China, Vietnam, Brazil, Egypt, Morocco, Turkey and Portugal to name just a few. So if you’re choosing natural stone for your garden, how do you decide on the right product? You’ll need to think about its position, appearance, colour and the finish. The processes and finishing applied to a stone can mean that a completely different look and effect can be achieved using exactly the same type of stone. Some finishes are better suited to certain types of stone. How the finish can change the look In the example below, Fossil Mint Indian Sandstone which is an extremely popular option for paving is finished in several different ways. The most common and cost effective is the natural finish, the tumbled antique finish gives a softer, time-worn look whilst the honed and sandblasted finishes create a more modern look and a completely flat surface, with the sandblasting providing greater grip. When stone such as this is honed or sandblasted many of the markings (which some may view as blemishes) in natural stone tend to disappear and a more even colour tone is achieved. 2. This next example illustrates how different Asian Blue (Vietnamese) Limestone can look depending on the finish...
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...
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...
Porcelain Paving Production: An Overview

Porcelain Paving Production: An Overview

Cliff and Ian recently visited Kebur’s porcelain suppliers in Italy and Spain to check out the manufacturing process, the product ranges and to strengthen our partnerships. In Italy most of the many producers are based in or near the Sassuolo area, just south of Modena in the province of Emilia-Romagna. In Spain it’s very similar with a high concentration of factories in the Castellon area just north of Valencia. Whilst there are many tile producers, a relatively small proportion currently produce the 20mm thick tiles suitable for exterior paving. In all the factories we visited, the manufacturing process is very similar. Technicians scan real wood, stone or concrete pieces that they want to recreate as porcelain tiles. The scanned images are then manipulated or “photoshopped” to produce a series of designs for the tiles. The carefully selected raw materials of clay, sand and other minerals are mixed and stored in silos. Different colours are produced to form the appropriate coloured bodies for each specific type of tile. The silos then feed large presses that press the tiles in molds at around 600kg per cm². At this stage the formed tile is solid but can be snapped like a biscuit. The tiles are then dried to remove the moisture, before moving on to a conveyor system where a glaze is applied and then digitally printed, with the ink penetrating through into the top layers of the paving. This relatively new digital printing technology has hugely improved the quality of the final appearance of the tiles in recent years. Robots transport the tiles in giant racks from one stage to the next....
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 shift...
Celebrating our forests on FSC Friday!

Celebrating our forests on FSC Friday!

To mark FSC® Friday, we thought we’d share this short video, which is a great reminder of how many products are timber-related and why we should think about protecting our forests. Choosing responsibly sourced timber is a small action we can all take to protect the future of our forests and the wildlife in them. We at Kebur are proud to be offering all our Grange products – including fencing, trellis, gates and structures – as fully FSC® certified. Next time you are looking for a timber-related product, from construction or landscaping timber, to paper or toys, remember to look for the FSC ® logo....