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Exteriors, Lifestyle, Homes

Garden Hydration: Clever Ways to Water

Screen Shot 2021 07 28 at 13.29.48

There is one essential job to do in your garden as the temperatures rise, and that is to make sure your garden gets properly watered. Water does not always have to come out of your garden tap: there are ways of conserving water during wetter periods to prevent overuse of clean household water and ensure that when you water you do so correctly. 


Get the soil right:

adding quantities of well-rotted farmyard manure and garden compost by lightly digging it into the soil in the winter and early spring months will help retain moisture during the dryer months. 

Apply a mulch:

Before the temperatures start rising and the ground is damp from the winter and early spring rainfall, apply a 10cm mulch of garden compost or bark chippings over the ground to prevent evaporation.  

Install a water butt: 

Huge amounts of water run away down downpipes but it could be harvested in correctly positioned and fitted water butts. They can collect water from your house, garage, shed and/or greenhouse. Rain water stored in a butt is warmer than tap water and many plants prefer it.  

Add water-retaining granules:

When planting pots and hanging baskets and other containers, simply mix some water-retaining granules to the compost. Doing so helps the plant’s roots draw moisture from the granules as they grow and helps prevent the soil drying out so quickly. 

Make a channel for your plants:

 Simply cutting the top off a plastic bottle and inserting this end into the soil allows you to fill the container with water which will slowly drain into the root system. For pot grown tomatoes, bury a flowerpot into the soil and fill that with water. Again, it will slowly drain into the roots. 

Capture water from your kitchen tap when waiting for hot water: We can waste a considerable amount of water running the tap waiting for it to run hot. Collect it in a bucket, jug or watering can and use it in your garden. 

Get your timing right:

 Just because your plants are looking hot and thirsty in the middle of the day or whenever the sun is hottest, don’t be tempted to water then. Watering should preferably be done early in the morning or in the cool of the evening. Containers and hanging baskets will probably need watering twice a day and make sure you’re not filling your containers to the brim with soil otherwise water runs over the edge. 

Where to water: 

Don’t be tempted to sprinkle the plants leaves although in a well-packed border this can sometimes impossible to avoid. Instead, water the base of the plants so it can soak down into the roots. Give each plant a good soak, a water can full, every two to three days, particularly in extremely hot weather. Roses need to be watered this way otherwise they can get blackspot and mildew if water collects on their leaves. 

Invest in the right equipment:

there are many different watering systems available, so we picked a selection to help get you started. 

You will need a good watering can with a rose attachment, particularly useful when you need to feed your plants and for containers. A large plastic milk carton with holes pierced in the lid can also do the job very effectively. 

For larger areas you will need a quality hose pipe with a spray gun with a controllable flow rate attached to the end that can be turned off at the attachment end when you are moving around to prevent water wastage. NB: Ensure that your hose is correctly fitted to your tap and does not leak. 

When you have spent money on a good quality hose, invest in a hose reel or a wall-mounted box. Look for a decent length hose which rolls up evenlyand offers 360o turning. The advantage of such fittings is that you can simply pull the hose out to your desired length at short interval stops. When you have done, a short tug on the hose triggers the automatic roll up at a steady speed. 

If you are without an outside tap, don’t despair as we found a new Tap Connector from Gardena for indoor taps which allows a hose to be easily connected to any household tap. Once fitted it can remain in place as it is heat-resistant to 60oC and continues to provide a light water stream. 

Scheduled automatic irrigation systems can be determined by soil moisture at the roots and by soil temperature. Irrigation is only carried when required, preventing over-watering. By fitting such a system, both your plants and lawn can be kept looking good. With a large measuring range, the sensor can be placed in flower beds, vegetable patches and deeper areas of the lawn and at shallower depths in flowerpots. 


New build houses
Thu 18 Jul 2024

Congratulations! Buying a new home is such an exciting moment. Whether it is your very first home or you are upgrading your current property for something a bit nicer, there is no feeling like it. New build homes are such a great investment. Not only are they brand new for your family but you can feel confident that they have been designed with the future in mind. Many properties come with eco-friendly features which are great for safeguarding your family. Financing a new home can be a bit of a minefield. Let’s take a look at how you could buy your new home as well as some things to look out for along the way. Mortgage Mortgages are the most common financing option when buying a home. Buyers of new builds can benefit from mortgages designed for the intricacies of the new build process. Lenders may be a lot more critical when looking at your application as there is less security for them with a new build. As construction timelines can be subject to delays and issues, be sure to keep in touch with your lender and see if you can extend your mortgage in principal agreement. You may be able to get some help with buying a new build home. If you are a first-time buyer, look into whether you are eligible for a discount under the First Homes Scheme. Incentives from builders It is in the best interest of building developers to sell their new homes, so some may offer you incentives. You may be offered cash towards your deposit which will be transferred to your solicitor on completion. If you do take advantage of this, remember to inform your mortgage lender. For people who have already purchased a home, developers may be able to help you sell your old house. A developer-assisted sale is one where they will aid you with independent valuations, appropriate deals or the actual sale. This is often free, and they may pay for your estate agency fees. Hidden costs Buying a house can come with hidden costs such as stamp duty and moving costs. Delays in the construction of your new build can often be costly too. When thinking about your moving budget, it is wise to incorporate a buffer zone for additional expenses. Advice The home-buying process is not a straightforward one, so seeking help from professionals is prudent. A lot of the process includes legal intricacies which will be beyond your capabilities. Mortgage brokers, for example, will be invaluable when it comes to getting you a mortgage in principle that works for your situation. Not only will you be able to get the best deal and save money, but a broker will save you so much time. Instructing a firm of solicitors will also be worth the expense. They can do land searches, deed transfers and keep everything above board for you going forward.

Endellion Lycett Green - you drifted by
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This summer the Laura Lopes Gallery presents works by botanical artist Endellion Lycett Green in the Tithe Barn at Thyme. Through her art, Lycett Green pays testament to the inspiration she finds in the natural world.

Lydia Millen
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For anyone who hasn’t come across Lydia Millen, she is an influencer-turned-writer who has embraced a life of bucolic bliss. Her debut book, Evergreen: Discover the Joy in Every Season, came out last autumn and encourage readers to be inspired and soothed by connecting with the natural world.

Urban winner   Danny Kidby Hunter
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