Create a bug hotel

Create a bug hotel

Follow Share Share Tweet Email PrintThe 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...
High quality fencing to suit your needs

High quality fencing to suit your needs

Follow Share Share Tweet Email PrintDo 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...
How to plan a new driveway

How to plan a new driveway

Follow Share Share Tweet Email PrintPlanning 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...
Reflections on a Hampton Court show garden

Reflections on a Hampton Court show garden

Follow Share Share Tweet Email PrintThis 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...
How to make a mini pond for your garden

How to make a mini pond for your garden

Follow Share Share Tweet Email PrintIf 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,...
Three minute guide to choosing topsoil

Three minute guide to choosing topsoil

Follow Share Share Tweet Email PrintThe 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...
Seven ways to use decorative aggregates and how to choose them

Seven ways to use decorative aggregates and how to choose them

Follow Share Share Tweet Email PrintThere 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...
How to look after decking

How to look after decking

Follow Share Share Tweet Email PrintTimber 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...
How to lay garden sleepers

How to lay garden sleepers

Follow Share Share Tweet Email PrintWhy 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...
6 ways to make your garden safer for hedgehogs

6 ways to make your garden safer for hedgehogs

Follow Share Share Tweet Email PrintAt 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...

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