Interiors

A Mental Overhaul: How renovating a home can impact your emotions

Renovating a home can be a mixture of emotions. Whether you are renovating a home to sell it on, or you are building your forever home, you can still be subject to the many worries and burdens, and enduring the hard times so you have a property that’s worth it in the end. But you have to think about how it can impact your emotions in the long run.

Renovating A Home Can Impact Your Emotions

Trust

When you think about it, you’re putting a lot of trust in the builders and the development companies. This is especially true if you’re building your own home. While there are numerous companies out there, it can be a lot of anxiety on your part to put your faith in these people to get the job done within a specific time frame. And when you’re building your own home, there can be a significant amount of issues that can fall through. But it’s worth researching the reputable suppliers, in conjunction with the type of home that you want. Companies like Mark Saunders Luxury Homes can work with you to realise your vision, and at least, with a luxury home, there is a little bit of extra care and attention put into the final product. When you compare this to a cowboy builder or someone doing a minor renovation to the property, and they don’t come recommended, you’re putting a lot your eggs in one basket.

Stress

You want your home to be perfect, and as such, it can be a lot of strength to get it just so. And when we’re living in a home that’s being renovated or having an extension, that’s feeling that it’s never going to finish, and the fact that when we get up in the morning, we see an unfinished home means that we can feel that stress, but also that sense of defeat. Maybe it will never get finished? But when we suffer stress, it’s because we don’t have any sense of control over what happening. As such, are there things you can do to take the law into your own hands? If you are working with the builders and there is a deadline which they promise you, then something falls through, it’s can feel like the world is caving in, but what can you do to help the process along? There will always be problems that come up, but we need to deal with these effectively because this is what will make us proactive, but also minimise our stress.

Hope

Building our dream home is about the final product, looking at what we’ve created, and being more than satisfied with the home we’re going to live in forever. When we see the house being shaped from nothing into a fully-fledged entity that we can raise children  and live our lives in, this fills us with a lot of hope. And then this home can be an heirloom that we passed down through the generations, and that’s when we can realise that all the stress and anxiety is worth it. Renovating a home can have a major impact on your emotions, but for all the bad ones, there are so many good feelings.

 

How to make your garden low maintenance

If you look out to your garden and see a huge mess, then you will know how frustrating this can be. You may feel as though nothing you do works, and that you just don’t have time to stay on top of everything. If this is the case then you have nothing to worry about because you are most certainly not alone. So many people find themselves in the same situation that you are in right now, but there are things that you can do to make it easier.

How to make your garden low maintenance

Keep plant variety to a minimum

It’s really simple math. The fewer plants you have, the less time you have to spend maintaining them. If you want to take things to that next level, then it is very easy for you to remove all plants and then put down some artificial grass. Gravel is also another great alternative because when you’ve put it down, zero maintenance is required. If you do want to have some plants in your garden, then it is possible for you to plant some evergreen shrubs. This can include euonymus or even lavender. Colour can be added by having a few plant containers or decorated plant pots. To keep work to a minimum, don’t have more than two types of plants. This will simplify your garden, while reducing maintenance.

Leave your lawn

Lawns really do demand a huge amount of attention. If you don’t want a lawn but you want your garden to look fresh and exciting, then you need to pick a species that won’t interfere with the roots of any trees that are in your garden. This can include spring bulbs, or even plants like crocus. Gravel paths can be put down, but make them around 4ft wide. This will prevent plants from growing, and it will also help water to drain away faster. Flagstone can be put down for a patio area, and this makes it more than possible for you to have an outdoor dining set. If you still have too much lawn left, then invest in some wide plant beds. This will give you that all-year look and it will also help you to keep complete control over what you grow and what you don’t. It also makes weeding, way easier.

Minimal effort

The art of having a low-maintenance garden is trying to get the most out of your space with the minimum amount of effort. In order to do this, you need to add garden features that you will interact with the most. It doesn’t matter whether it is a vegetable patch, or even whether it is a water feature. You need to focus your efforts on one particular thing, and then minimise the amount of work that is required elsewhere. You can do this by replacing the lawn that you have with paving. Swap out any needy plants for shrubs, and also place any big or heavy plants near to your home entrance or even outside your shed. This will reduce the amount of time it takes you to carry water to them.

Stop Weeding

Think about it, all the time you spend weeding can easily be saved if you were to replace some of those lovely flowers. Shrubs are easier to plant if you were to do it through a weed-suppressing membrane, and they do not require watering either. When you have done this, all you need to do is add a layer of mulch on top. This can be bark, or even gravel if you’d prefer. When you have this done, you can then spend the next few seasons not having to worry about such invasive weeds or even watering.

Enhancing your soil

Sure, feeding your plants is very important. If you don’t feed your soil as well however, then you could be seriously missing out. If you can, you should always enrich your soil with compost. This will give the soil you have in your garden the chance to build up with minerals and it will also make it easier for your plants to thrive. One bonus of this is that you only have to do it once a year! Just scatter some mineral supplements underneath your yearly compost layer and before you know it, everything will be looking bigger and better than ever before.

Mulch

When you add mulch, you essentially add a blanket that is 5 inches deep. This serves more than one purpose because it will help you to suppress weeds and it will also help you to retain as much moisture as possible. If you want to get the best result out of this then rotted mixture is great. You can spread it once, and then leave it for a good amount of time. It doesn’t take long, but you would be surprised at the difference it can make.

Technology

No garden is low-maintenance unless you have some kind of sprinkler system. You can install it in any location that will benefit you, but it does help to make sure that you get as many plants as possible. The days of watering your plants will be long gone, and you can sit back with a beverage while that takes care of all the work. Just make sure that you do water them from time to time because this will help to make sure that no single plants are missing out.

Hardscaping

Hardscaping really does make sense. The more inanimate items you have in your garden, the less you have to maintain. Consider replacing your lawn with some paving and reduce the number of plant beds you have by adding some slate paths. Not every form of hardscaping is suitable however. For example, decking needs to be cleaned from time to time and with gravel, you have to make sure that you rake it to try and keep the surface nice and even.

Kitchen Gardens

Perennials do take quite a while to blossom, but they are very independent, and they can really take care of themselves. If you can, you should always opt for plants like this because you don’t have to worry about researching the soil that you have. If you want to use your garden so that you can grow your own vegetables, then this is great. You can plant sorrel, rocket, gooseberries or even lettuce.

Don’t Introduce Containers

It’s so important that you avoid having too many plants in containers. Sure, having a few big ones in plant pots is great, because it stops them from overgrowing. If you have every single plant in a container however then you will constantly have to feed them, water them and even re-pot after a few months. If you do have to plant in containers, then always choose a container that is bigger than the plant needs. This way, you don’t have to water them as often.

Tender Plants

Some plants need to be wrapped up in winter and they also need to be relocated. These are the plants that you need to avoid as much as possible. You also need to make sure that the plants that you are choosing do not require any kind of special treatment when they have been planted. By doing this, you can make sure that they thrive, and you can also avoid having too many jobs on your list when the seasons change.

Artificial support

Some plants need a good degree of artificial support. For example, delphiniums or even any kind of climbing plants. The reason for this is because they are very difficult to maintain, and they can quickly get out of control. They can suffocate any surrounding plants and they can also grow past the fence too.

Staining

Yes, staining your fence can look impressive and it will really improve the general appearance of your garden too, but it is also very impractical. You will find yourself having to refresh the paint time and time again and this will make it very difficult for you to stay on top of. If you want to get around this then you need to leave your fence as its natural colour. You also need to make the effort to invest in composite fencing too. This doesn’t require any staining but you can easily have that nice, bright, colourful look.

Snails

Plants can serve as food for snails. A lot of species are herbivores and they will devour any garden plants. For this reason, you need to avoid plants that have succulent leaves, such as broccoli. It also helps to have cyclamen, as this is a snail repellent.

Keeping your garden low maintenance is super easy to do. You would be surprised at how much time you could save by making a few simple changes and these tips are more than enough to get you started. Making your garden low-maintenance can also be a fantastic way for you to save money as well, so it is important that you keep that in mind when you plan out your garden structure.

 

My back garden paradise, keeping your garden lush during the Summer

Spring and Summer are a great time for a lot of gardens. With the sun in the sky, loads of insects buzzing around, and all of your favourite plants in bloom, it’s easy to see why people work so hard for most of the year to enjoy this space for such a small part of it. Of course, though, summer months have been getting dryer in a lot of places. As the global climate shifts, more and more people are experiencing weeks and months without so much as a drop of rain. Keeping your natural spaces looking lush during these times will be a challenge, but this post is here to help you out, and will be exploring some of the steps which can be taken to achieve it.

Keeping Your Garden Lush During the Summer

The Plants

Like most living things, plants need water to survive. Some are better than others at rationing this requirement, but they will all suffer if they are left for too long without the stuff, quickly wilting and looking unhealthy. Along with this, some plants are able to deal with heat for far longer than their counterparts. Finding options which will be happy all year round will be impossible, but you will still be able to start building a collection which won’t be phased by summer. Instagram can be a great place when you’re looking for ideas for this part of your home.

There are loads of sites around the web which are dedicated to selling plants. Some are better at providing information than others, and this means that you may have to go ahead and do some research for yourself. Thankfully, there are loads of places around the web where you can learn about this field. It’s gotten a lot easier to source plants from around the world, over the last for years, making it possible to find plants which are well suited to hot environments, without being limited to the options which grow naturally at home. It’s always worth being extra careful with the plants which you choose if you keep pets which are likely to try to eat them.

The Pests

While a lot of the insects which summer brings to your garden are very important, they can also be incredibly damaging. Slugs, for example, are great at disposing of waste, but they also like to eat fresh plants, making it hard to keep a garden looking good while they are around. It’s always best to try and deal with pests in a non-destructive manner, if you can. In a lot of cases, this will mean simply removing them from your space when you find them. Of course, though, it’s not always this simple, and a lot of gardeners resort to using mild poisons to keep the pests in the garden under control.

There are some tiny invaders which pose a slightly different threat to your garden. Wasps, spiders, and other venomous creepy crawlies can cause a lot of pain with their bites and stings, even causing death in extreme cases. When you have an abundance of dangerous creatures like this, it’s always worth looking for professional help to deal with them. Even if your life isn’t on the line, it’s never worth hurting yourself just to be able to use your garden, especially when you can get help without having to spend a small fortune.

The Sunlight

Most plants need a healthy dose of sunlight if they’re going to grow properly, as they use this resource to create the energy which they need. With too much sun, though, some plants will dry out, and won’t be able to make proper use of the water you’ve given them. A little bit of research is the best way to solve an issue like this, giving you the chance to learn what each of the plants in your garden will need. The sun will always take the same path through the sky, making it easy to tell which parts of your garden will get the best light.

Of course, though, it can be hard to build the a garden which is filled with plants which you like when you’re limited by light. To help with this, creating some shade can be a great way to give plants which would usually be hurt by sunlight the chance to shelter from it. There are loads of products on the market which make this nice and cheap, but you might have to be creative to get the best results. There are loads of guides around the web which are designed to make this job even simpler.

The Soil

Like the animals which roam the Earth, plants need to get their energy and resources from somewhere. In most cases, this will be dragged up from the ground, and needs to come from the soil. Of course, though, when you’re not getting much rain, it’s hard for nutrients to be cycled around underground. This can leave your plants without the food they need, making them look unhealthy. Thankfully, solving this is incredibly easy, with nutrient packs available on most gardening websites. It also helps to research how much each of your plants might need, as some are far more hungry than others, and this can cause an imbalance.

The Water

Some plants may be able to survive for longer than humans without water, but none will be able to go forever without the stuff. Choosing plants which don’t need much water is perfect in places which regularly face droughts. This can tie into the research you did earlier, and is something which is usually quite easy to tell from the appearance of a plant. Of course, sprinklers and hoses can be great tools when you’re fighting to keep your plants watered, but these won’t always work out.

It has become very common for hose pipe bans to be put in place during times with very little rain. Preserving water is crucial to ensure that everyone is able to get enough of it, and these sorts of bans make sense, even if they can be frustrating. Water tanks can be a great way to solve this sort of issue. By collecting water when it rains, you can store it on your property until you need it. This sort of investment only has to be made once, and you’ll get decades of use out of the product you choose. This makes it a great route to take when you’re struggling to keep your garden moist.

The Maintenance

Finally, as the last area to consider, it’s time to think about the maintenance work which has to be done on your outdoor space to keep it looking lush. There are loads of little jobs which need to be done to maintain a garden. Of course, though, this will always depend on the plants which you have, so you will have to do a little bit more research here to get it right. Below, you can find some examples of the sort of work you can expect to find yourself doing.

Mowing: Keeping grass at a reasonable length is a bit of a battle during summer. It doesn’t take much to trigger a big burst of growth, and this is something which most gardeners will work on every week or so. It doesn’t take too much time to go through this process, and it will be well worth doing, as grass will simply keep growing until you cut it down to size. Gardens never look good when they are overgrown.

Raking: During Autumn and Winter, a lot of plants like to shed their leaves. They won’t disappear by themselves once this has happened, though, and this is something which a lot of people ignore. When you have debris filling your garden, though, it will be hard to make sure that the living plants are healthy. If you want to use these materials, creating a compost heap can be a great way to put them back into your garden.

Trimming: Like grass, there are plenty of plants out there which need to be trimmed if you are going to keep them under control. Buddleias are a great example of this, as they can easily double or triple their size over the course of a few years. You should be able to learn what your plants will need before you buy them, ensuring that you have as much of this covered as possible. You may need to invest in some tools to make this work.

With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to get started on preparing your garden for the perfect summer. A lot of people struggle to consider all of these elements when they are choosing what they want for their outdoor areas, taking a similar approach to the one which they took indoors. This will almost always result in an unhealthy looking garden, though. Overcoming this is a simple matter of being creative and doing your research, and it’s well worth it for the benefits you get in return.