Thursday, 28 July 2011
Enjoying the benefits of the outdoor room in the summer sunshine is perfectly acceptable as long as you ensure you and your family have access to the sanctuary of some shade. There are a number of options available if you need to create a safe sun-free area in the garden but one of the most effective (and often dramatic) means is via a Shade Sail.
Shade sails are made from scientifically developed material which has been impregnated with both waterproofing and UV protection. The average UV protection of shade sails is around 85% making them suitable for preventing burning on all but the fairest of skins in temperatures higher than we are ever likely to experience in the UK. When you consider that Factor 85 is probably good enough for most people in the tropics, the level of sun protection afforded by a shade sail is more than sufficient for the UK climate.
A key benefit of a shade sail is that it can be cut to any shape or size and because of the treatments they are impregnated with, they are also tough and solid and retain an attractive shape. Shade sails can be used to cover driveways and paths; they can cover all or part of a patio; or they can make roof like areas for what effectively become outdoor dining rooms. Shade sails can be strung together in attractive groups to form staggered or larger shading areas and they can be attached to the sides of buildings or strung between poles.
A fact often not considered is that a shade sail need not necessarily be just for summer. Sails can become a permanent addition to the outside room since they also offer protection from rain and wind as well as from the sun. And let’s face it, in Britain we are likely to need more protection from the rain and wind than from the sun!
Thursday, 21 July 2011
Much as we might all revel in the joys of extended summer evenings, according to insurance company Aviva, the welcome additional hours of daylight can signal a distinctly unwelcome flurry of activity from opportunist thieves.
New figures from Aviva predict a 25% rise in the number of backyards, garages and sheds being targeted as soon as Britain’s clocks go forward for British Summer Time.
Bicycles, lawnmowers, garden tools and children’s outdoor toys represent the most likely targets, with the average haul at this time of year usually totalling around £900 worth of goods.
Aviva estimates that thefts from outside the house can increase as much as 10% once the evenings get lighter, compared with the dark nights of January. Household underwriter at Aviva, Jonathan Cracknell says “Extra light means that all those expensive power tools, bikes and golf clubs could now be on full show for everyone to see, including a passing criminal … Garden security or lack of it, is much more visible so we would urge all homeowners to make sure their sheds and summerhouses are properly secured and remember to clear up the garden every evening so there is nothing left lying around to tempt the opportunist thief”.
You have been warned!
Thursday, 14 July 2011
To make such a sweeping statement which effectively denounces the whole nation’s design credentials is not only insensitive, it is also wildly inaccurate. There are still garden owners for whom the choice of plants will always remain the focal point for the outdoor room, and yes, certainly there are also those for whom a garden is simply not a garden if it is devoid of lavender and a bed of English roses. But to infer that all British gardens are lacking in individuality, innovation and sheer style is a travesty.
As the Guardian states “Brits are a whole load more creative and eclectic than (some journalists) suggest”. This country celebrates a myriad of garden styles, ranging from über chic urban, essentially English, ultra modern and naturally eco-friendly. If we are so backwards in our design thinking, how come our garden shows enjoy such a prestigious reputation around the world? We would concur with The Guardian’s comment that “British gardening and design really is a rich and varied tapestry, and long may it remain so”.
The design for every garden is bespoke, geared towards meeting the individual needs and aspirations of its owners. No two gardens will be the same, let alone the gardens of an entire nation! If you are in need of some design inspiration for your garden, call Lime Orchard on 0845 539 1467 for a free, no obligation visit.