All you need to know about garden rooms

It can be rather primal to have a quiet space outdoors to have coffee, read or just finish off office work in the peace and quiet of your garden. Here are some ideas that will help you plan your new garden room and avoid the climate spoiling your plans to enjoy your alone time.

Planning permission – In most states, you will not need planning permission to built something that is less than 4 meters high. However, it is best to consult your local planning officer before you decide on your space.

Insulation – You should consider getting insulation on your floors, walls, and roof, as it will ensure that you are more comfortable.

Power- You will need a pre-wired garden room with a few sockets and lighting. Most often you will receive designs from suppliers who will offer an option of exterior lighting, audio-visual cabling, and data cables. However, check with your supplier if they will connect your garden room to your main supply. Often prices will depend on the distance the garden room is to your main home. You should make sure that your electrical work complies with current building regulations.

Heating – It is nice to have the option of heating for colder days and cooling on hotter days. Therefore, look for air-conditioning units that offer both options.

Plumbing – Adding a loo, shower or kitchenette will depend on how far your garden room is your main home and how much time you intend to spend in it. Adding these options will also give you the advantage of being able to offer this space to guests or for travelers on rent.

5 easy to grow flower plants and seeds for beginners

Article Written by: California Mailboxes

If you want to have flowers in your garden, but don’t know what kind of flowers to plant, here are five easy to grow flowering plants and seeds for beginners.

Sunflowers – Sunflower seeds can be planted straight into the ground, and they bloom within a few months. Apart from being easy to grow, these plants look spectacular.

Sweet Peas – These plants look beautiful and smell delicious. Sweet peas can be difficult to sow in seed form. Therefore look for sweet pea plug plants at your local gardening store. Plant them near a fence that gets plenty of sunlight, and you will see them flourish.

Nigella – Nigellas are easy to grow and just require you to scatter the seeds on bare soil, and within months they will bare jewel-like

Aquilegia – For the best results plant Aquilegia in small pots and then transplant them into the ground. Once the plants grow, they will make new plants and spread quickly. They grow best in sun or semi shade and come in a variety of colors.

Californian poppy – For those who don’t have the time to water their plants, California poppy is a good option. These plants thrive in dry soil and sun. They can be scattered and left to their own devices. They will set seed each year and bloom in summer.

3 of the best plants for your summer garden

People will naturally spend more time outdoors in the summer months. For those looking to entertain and impress your guests in summer, planting some summer-friendly plants in your garden can be a easy way to make your garden more welcoming. Here are some summer-friendly plants that will liven up your garden.

Salvia – If you are looking for a low maintenance plant that attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, Salvia is a wise choice. Salvia is a long flowering plant that will add color to your garden all summer long. Plant your Salvia by mixing flower fertilizer with water and soil. Plant Salvia in a sunny area of your garden to ensure your plant flowers.

Yarrow – If you want to increase the health of your garden and brighten up your space, consider planting Yarrow. This plant is a pollinator and will bring in beneficial bugs to your garden. Plant your Yarrow on a sunny day and leave ample space between plants for your Yarrow to grow.

Cone Flower – Add height to your garden by planting Coneflower. Coneflower will is a long lasting plant and will continue to grow into fall. Cone Flower is perfect to add dimension to beds that are shorter. Look at planting them in areas that receive at least six hours of sunlight during the day. Coneflowers prefer to grow in lean soil or poor soil that is not rich in nutrients. If you receive very small flowers, look at fertilizing your plant sparingly.

Seed tips that will save your garden favorites

Gardner’s all around the world consider seed saving a wise habit. This is mainly because you can save seeds of plants you love and regrow them often. You may say that you could always buy the seeds you love from your local garden center. However, in some cases, your favorite seeds may be discontinued for newer varieties.

Seeds can only be saved from open-pollinated or heirloom, self-pollinated plants. These plants will ensure that their seeds are exactly like their parents. Self-pollinated plants are the easiest to save and include plants like, Beans, Chicory, Endive, Lettuce, Peas, and Tomatoes. Heirloom flower seeds include flowers like cleome, foxgloves, hollyhock, nasturtium, sweet pea, and zinnia.

To prevent cross pollination you will have to physically separate each plant species from each other.  This can be done by;

Planting only one variety of a species – Ensure that you plant different varieties with a substantial distance from one another. Each plant variety will require different distances from one another.


Plant varieties that flower at different times – If you grow flowers, you can separate each variety with a physical barrier like a row cover or a bag.

You should choose good seeds of good quality plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables to save. Choose plants that are disease resistant, taste great and grow quickly. To catch your seeds, cover seedpods as they are about to begin opening by placing a bag over the seed heads.

How to compost?

Composting can reduce your home’s waste and help you refresh your beds, while you help the environment. Most homes will have approximately 25% of food waste, and this is what can be used to compost.

Start with a bottomless plastic, metal, or wooden container that holds roughly 80 gallons. Place your container on the ground in the shade in your yard. You will also need to place a container with a lid to put on your kitchen counter to collect your kitchen waste.

It is important to note that you can only compost fruit peels, coffee grounds, eggshells, and vegetables. You should also avoid adding meat, cheese, or fish, as they will attract animals.

Other organic matter such as torn-up newspaper, twigs and dead leaves, can also be added to your compost bin. It is best to follow a three to one ratio of dry to wet matter to get the quickest results.

Always watch the moisture levels of your compost. If your fertilizer is too dry, add a little water, and if it is too wet add some newspaper or wood chips. To reduce the smell, add a thick layer of dry, dead leaves to the top of the pile.

Most compost piles will take at least six months to compost. You will know your compost is ready when it is a dark brown or black and when it smells subtle and earthy.


Tips for creating a stylish contemporary garden design

If your interior matches a sleek modern plan, you may want your garden to follow suit. Here are some tips to help you create a stylish contemporary garden.

Opt for white – White is an excellent base color, and it matches well with greenery. You can also add texture by painting brick walls and fences white, which will also create a uniformed look.

Use repeat patterns in your planting – Plant small trees, box bushes, shrubs and place them at regular intervals to give order and uniformity to your space.

Create contrast with shapes – Use lawns and paths to create uniformity within your garden.

Plant “glue plants” – These are plants that look good all year round and form a base for your seasonal plants.

Avoid fads – Avoid fad garden designs as they will not match a pared-back contemporary design.

Furniture and ornaments – Look at garden furniture made from natural materials which provide a contrast to a crisp white surface.

Lighting is vital – To complete your contemporary garden consider light fixtures that are hidden from immediate sight. Look at spotlights that bring attention to individual plants or areas of your garden.

Keep up-to-date – Every year or so look at changing up your design look by adding different plants or by changing your lighting.

How to get your garden ready for the new year?

As the year comes to an end, you may be wondering if your garden is ready for the new year and the changing of seasons. Here are some tips on how to get your garden ready for the new year.

Start seeds indoors – If you are planning on planting some new plants for the new season, look at starting your seeds indoors to give them a chance to grow. Seeds will also be a lot cheaper than buying plants, and if you start planting your seeds in December, they will be ready in time for the new year.

Sharpen your tools – Sharpen your pruning shears, shovels, and other tools, so that you can use them with less effort in the garden. Look at even sharpening your lawn mower blades to make it easier to cut your lawn.

Try beginner gardening projects – If you are new to gardening and want to try your hand at it in the new year, look at starter gardens like container gardening. These types of gardens are low maintenance and will help beginners to understand gardening basics.

Get your soil ready – To get your soil ready, you will have to add potting soil to your soil beds to up the nutrients to help your plants grow. Remember that too many nutrients can cause your plants to dry, so add small quantities at a time.

Make compost – Making your compost is a great way to enrich your soil and use your kitchen waste in an environmentally friendly manner. However, it is best to read up on how to make your compost before starting this project.


5 Common houseplant conditions and how to cure them

Plants need a lot of care, and it can be hard to judge what your plant needs when it starts not looking its best. Here are five common houseplant conditions and how to cure them.

You’ve instantly killed your plant – Remember that if you repotted your plant, your plant would be in shock for at least 2-3 weeks. It is best to water your plant as usual and avoid using fertilizer until after a few weeks.

The leaves are dropping off – If your plant is dropping leaves from the center, it may mean that your plant needs more light. Look at moving your plant closer to a sunny window or buy a plant light.

Your plant is paling from green to yellow – If your plant is going yellow in the center and going soft, it may mean that you are overwatering your plant. Firstly check if your plant is draining properly. Have a look at your pots draining holes. If they are too small or clogged, consider increasing the size of the holes or unclogging your pot. You can then consider using good potting soil to encourage your plant to drain better.

Your plant is turning brown – If your plant is turning brown from the tips, it may mean that your plant is drying out and will need more water. Often plants near an air duct will dry out, consider moving your pot to a cooler area of your home and assess its health for a week or two.

Your plant has other things growing on it – If you see webbing, bumps or bugs, it may mean that something is eating your plant. Look at the insect that is eating your plant and determine what it is using the internet and then determine the best treatment for your plant.

Five ways to get your dream garden

If you are new to gardening but still want a garden space that makes a statement, here are a few tips that will help you create your dream garden.

Start seeds indoors – Starter plants can be expensive, so look at buying some seeds and growing your starter plants. Always be gentle with your seeds and look at spritzing water on your plants instead of pouring.

Sharpen your tools – Sharper tools will work better and also let you be more precise when digging and shoveling. Even your lawn mower blades will need sharpening and tuning up. The best way to keep your tools in tip top shape is to clean them after every use.

Try beginner gardening projects – Container gardens are easy and can give you a feel for how to take care of plants.

Get your soil ready – You want your soil to be nutrient rich to ensure that your plants have enough nutrients to grow. Start off by checking the PH levels of your soil. Do this by handing over a soil sample to your local nursery. You can also buy pre-made soil bags from your local nursery.

Make compost – Compost is the superfood for plants, and you can make your own by using food scraps, leaves, lawn clippings, and other green waste. You will need a compost bin, or you can dig a large role in your garden but remember that it should be covered securely.


Your ideal outdoor living space in 3 easy steps

In summer and on warmer days, it’s nice to spend time in your backyard to enjoy the outdoors. Here are three simple steps to creating an outdoor space that is inviting.

Set boundaries to define your seating area – If you have a small space, look at keeping your space intimate with small close seating. Create boundaries for your outdoor space by using plants or grass to section your space. For larger spaces look at adding decking and comfortable seating that can sit and entertain many. Frame your space by blocking unwanted views and frame desirables ones. If you live in the city and have a lot of tall buildings around your property, look at placing umbrellas, canopies or roofing to create privacy.

Flooring to suit your space and budget – To sit comfortably outside you will need your furniture to be placed on stable flooring. For a natural appearance look at using stone, brick, pavers, concrete, or gravel. Always keep in mind your intended use, maintenance, and your budget to guide your choices. If you have the budget, wood decking is also a good choice. However, remember that wood decking will require maintenance and cleaning to ensure that it doesn’t rot.

Soften edges – If you have a small space and want to create the illusion of space, look at changing your window glass to mirrors to reflect the garden and create space. To soften a stark wall or fence look at growing a creeper that will grow on the space and soften edges.