Posts by kate

House Maintenance

Posted by on Sep 1, 2014 in Building | Comments Off on House Maintenance

Patio’s ~ If you have broken slabs or crumbling pointing it is prudent to have the repair work done before frosts. Penetrating  water and frost action will only further damage the slabs/pointing and even the base Chimneys ~ An area we tend to ignore. This takes the full brunt of all weather and is prone to damage. If it does break and fall the damage can be roof tiles, gutter  or worse …a passer by. Get any pointing /cowling checked and repaired along with any loose tiles. Masonary ~ Render and exterior painting is a great way to protect your property. However a small hole can allow moisture in , where it will sit and start to damage bricks , especially the softer varieties.Damp decomposing bricks/masonary lead to rot and damp problems. We can check to see if any of the is ‘live‘, hack off the problem area, repatch and repaint. Soffits and Fascia’s ~ these often get overlooked but they protect the roof rafters so maintenance is really vital. For any Estimates on the items above please contact...

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Bulbs – Autumn/Winter 2014

Posted by on Sep 1, 2014 in Garden | Comments Off on Bulbs – Autumn/Winter 2014

Be sure to plan ahead and buy from a good supplier .It really makes all the difference. It is important to look at heights too. The best time to plant is when you are removing Summer Bedding as you may find young corms from previous bulbs. At the same time as planting add a good compost mixed with a little silver sand to stop rot. Think of colour combinations such as plain orange pansies and Black Parrot tulips with purple or white Hyacinths. Plus violet Pansies and maroon violas with large double pink Angelique Tulips …and for contrast some dwarf conifers inbetween .Some primulas dotted around too for emerging nectar feeding insects. If planting in containers go for Frost Proof not Frost resistant. It just is so worth spending that bit extra for say Fibracotta (Terracotta mixed with Fibre glass ) to really know your pots will survive some of our bitter cold winters. Planting/Transplanting Take photos of your exiting garden in season. When it all dies back you then know where some flourished and where others didn’t. Location can be key in a successful garden, but also a good well drained well composted base too. New shrubs. Think carefully of the height and spread of the plant else it will smother its neighbours or regularly have to be chopped back ~ not good. Before planting soak root ball for 15min before digging in .be sure you have fully agitated the planting hole else water will sit in it and rot the roots. Blood Fish and Bone Compound added to the planting hole is always best. Keep dead heading your summer plants and they will perform well up to the first frosts .A few minutes well spent. Snails will be laying eggs to over winter. If you put damp slates or bricks or even planks in your flower beds they will lay them on there. Then simply transfer and scrape off to under a wild hedgerow. Great for hedgehogs and birds. Fruit Harvest. Pick fruit carefully to avoid bruising. For Plums /Damsons. If there are too many and Jam seems too time consuming this is what I do. Parboil cleaned stoned fruit in a very tiny amount of water (just cover bottom of pan). Allow to cool. then package up in portions in Freezer Bags. Then all through winter you have them to hand for Crumbles/Pies/Compotes ~ really is worthwhile. At the end of the season be sure to prune fruit trees and add Coddling Moth bands .Pruning is vital to ensure disease resistance and done correctly enhances crop yield immensely. Raspberries. Summer raspberries ~ remove only the shoots that fruited the previous year, along with suckers . Autumn Raspberries ~ cut back all shoots to just above ground...

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Your ‘Outdoor Room’…..

Posted by on Jul 1, 2014 in Garden | Comments Off on Your ‘Outdoor Room’…..

Now is the time to really appreciate your garden. If it isn’t ‘up to scratch’ then ask us to come to visit and create vision within a realistic budget. With our know-how and 17yrs of experience our multi-talented team can; Create/extend/redesign Patios. Make-over your garden or upgrade with raised beds and built in irrigation systems. Install soft mood enhancing Garden Lighting and Water Features and fit ultra efficient Patio heaters   (see supplier website Primrose London for ideas and supplies). We also now make your home more enjoyable by supplying and fitting full flyscreen units . These are a sealed unit with retractable pull-down screens so the breeze and cool night air comes in …but the Bugs/Wasps stay OUT! Making your garden a place of calm and solace with low maintenance (membrane and cotstone shingle) irrigated (timer weeping-irrigation system) with soft lighting and low running cost Patio heaters ~ is a lot easier than you think. Gardening need not be a chore if the correct forward planning and design is used. Enjoy summer. Enjoy your garden. Enjoy …The Other...

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Build, Design & Construct Services – Spring 2014

Posted by on Mar 1, 2014 in Building | Comments Off on Build, Design & Construct Services – Spring 2014

Planning ahead now in the period of relative calm will reap rewards in the peak season. Having a good look at your space and really thinking about how to make the best use of it. Fruit and Vegetables are becoming increasingly expensive. Grown in raised bed where the tilth of the soil makes for easy growing and easier nutrient monitoring  is really easy to set up. And the rewards can be harvested right through the summer. Look at if you can increase the use and enjoyment of the garden by redesigning. A new terrace, bigger patio or even a water feature with additional lighting can really enhance your enjoyment of your garden. Handy hints for the Spring. Keep off of frosty grass to prevent ‘burn’ marks Tape up snow laden prone  branches on weaker trees Good time to remove Fungal  damaged  trees to prevent spores spreading (including stump) Fumigate greenhouses, but beware of nature’s  gardeners  ‘helpers’ (earwigs and ladybirds ) Prune the top foot of autumn raspberries Consider additional soft fruits and plant now Check and renew plant supports Plant good size well budded climbing roses on their existing frames in a good manure trench (these can then be slowly eased off frames onto your trellis /arbour/pergola Do not hesitate to contact us for free...

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Home & Garden – Autumn/Winter

Posted by on Oct 1, 2013 in Garden | Comments Off on Home & Garden – Autumn/Winter

Thankfully we had a very good summer …warm and just enough rain. TheGarden and Outdoors was the place to be. As my company name (The Other Room) suggests, your garden should ideally be just that, another room to your home. To fully appreciate it, ideally you should lavish as much forethought on its function and use in order to create the optimum space. In doing this is will be somewhere you look forward to using as the weather warms up and longer days keep us inclined to be outside more and more. This year in particular, it was so warm that outside entertaining hardly needed scheduling and even breakfast ‘al fresco’  was easily a regular event. If you haven’t, as yet, created the ideal ‘chillax‘ zone , then maybe it is worth thinking about. Planning now,in time for next year, means you can look forward to the summer with a whole new fervour. Patio area, Pergolas, Japanese Garden, Canopy area, LED lighting, Water features, Koi Pools,  built in Patio heaters, and large planters with Olive trees and LED starlights …It can be yours. Even if you don’t have Patio Doors/Bi-Fold doors  you can still make your garden feel like an extension of your living space. Call me to visit your garden and home and have a brief chat about these possibilities . Meanwhile …In the Garden In the garden, if you have space, create a shuttered area where you can store leaves/dead weeds and unused veg (cauliflower/cabbage leaves  carrot tops etc ). This waste, turned occasionally can create a medium to add to your garden to greatly improve the tilth and nutrient status. It really is great stuff …and free! Give roses a good hard prune of all leggy stems and sucker growth. (a sloping cut just above the leaf bud). It is an ideal time to add some well rotted manure (ask your local Farmer/Riding Stables) .Heel in well after to prevent wind rock. Keep Alpines clear of fallen wet leaves and debris to stop them rotting and top up shingle mulch. Infill any hedge gaps with young Hedge Whips and increase ground cover with more low growing semi dwarf shrubs. I recommend calling Merton Hall Nursery at Cottenham for a selection of very very inexpensive, good quality plants. Well worth the trip for an order between you and friends/neighbours. Now is a good time to plant trees .Be sure to check height /spread and how invasive it will be in situ. Be sure to Stake it properly with correct tree ties. On larger trees I recommend planting with a 5cm pipe alongside leading to below the roots. It ensures that in drought periods you can really get water to where it is needed. Divide and spread herbaceous plants or even swop with neighbours. If they have prospered well in your garden they will likely do well in neighbouring gardens. Planting these new divides should be on slightly drier days (to prevent root rot ), adding compost, heeling well in, and a watering in lightly. Keep on top of the persistent annual weeds. Particularly weeds in patios or and mortar joints. The moisture in them can accelerate frost damage. In extreme weather I would advise protecting with fleece more vulnerable plants and using bubble wrap on ceramic/clay planters (this will help the chill factor on the roots too). Give your mower deck/underside a good clean  and a light wash over with a brush of oil. This will keep rust at bay. On non frost days, give walls, steps and patio a good scrub with Patio Cleaner being careful...

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