Monthly Archives: September 2014

Conker spiders

These scary spiders are perfect for Halloween and will delight children of all ages. They’re really easy to make using conkers from a horse chestnut tree (get youngsters to collect the biggest they can find in the local park) and some prunings from the garden, along with other items you might have tucked away at the back of a shed. When they’re finished, they could be decorated with tiny stick on eyes or left natural, like these. Conker spiders make the perfect garden ornament or could be left dangling from the frame of your front door to greet trick-or-treaters.

Creating Conker spiders for halloween decorations. Using bradle to create holes - © GAP Photos

Creating Conker spiders for halloween decorations. Using bradle to create holes – © GAP Photos

Pierce holes
Take a conker and make four holes on either side of the ‘body’ for the spider’s legs with a bradawl or skewer. Twist the pointed end in gently to avoid cracking.

Conker spiders. Cutting legs from willow - © GAP Photos

Conker spiders. Cutting legs from willow – © GAP Photos

Make legs
Gather up some twigs from the garden to make some legs – you can use anything but willow, dogwood or any other flexible shoots are best. Cut to length with secateurs.

Creating Conker spiders for halloween decorations. Bending legs to shape - © GAP Photos

Creating Conker spiders for halloween decorations. Bending legs to shape – © GAP Photos

Bend legs
Carefully bend all of the twigs in half to give them a distinctive shape, then push each end carefully into the ready-made holes until they are firmly held in place.

Creating Conker spiders for halloween decorations. Threading fishing line through centre hole - © GAP Photos

Creating Conker spiders for halloween decorations. Threading fishing line through centre hole – © GAP Photos

Thread twine
Make a hole in the centre of the conker using a bradawl or skewer. Take a length of twine, string or fishing line and thread it through the hole. Knot in place.

Conker Spiders for Halloween - © GAP Photos

Conker Spiders for Halloween – © GAP Photos

Finishing
When you’ve finished making your conker spiders tie the loose ends of twine around the branches of a tree, shrub or garden structure, or put in another prominent place.

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Dazzling Dahlias

Many autumn flowers have good attributes but if you’re looking for plants that really have the X-Factor, the choice must be dahlias. Treasured for their flamboyant blooms, this huge tribe of perennials are the star turn at this time of year, providing bold splashes of colour until the first frosts.

Originating from Mexico, these sun-worshippers have been grown in British gardens since the early 1800s. Breeding work has led to thousands of different varieties, ranging in height from 30cm to 3m, with flowers in many shapes, colours and sizes. Among the most striking are ‘Othello’, a semi-cactus type with slender, dark red petals and ball-shaped ‘Kaiser Wilhelm’, which was first introduced in 1892. ‘Tally Ho’ is a dwarf dahlia with simple, single red blooms.

Sadly, the eye-catching show draws to a close when temperatures drop. After frost has blackened the foliage, lift the tubers from the ground and remove the soil from around the roots. Cut back the top growth to around 15cm and allow the tubers to dry before placing them in seed trays filled with dry compost. Store in a frost-free place. Those in mild parts can leave the tubers in the ground, covered with a thick layer of bark mulch.

Small garden? Handy ways to maximise space by Timco Wood

For some, space may well be the final frontier but for many garden owners space is absolutely apparent or, more aptly, the lack of it. Many people can feel somewhat restricted by their gardens and how much physical space they have to work with. However, no matter the size of your garden there are always ways in which you can make use of the space available and not feel so restricted.

Vertical planting - pouches filled with spring bulbs - © Hanneke Reijbroek/GAP Photos

Vertical planting – pouches filled with spring bulbs – © Hanneke Reijbroek/GAP Photos

The only way is up
The most obvious way to make use of less space is to build up. There are many different ways that vertical gardening can enable owners of small gardens to both have a range of plants and flowers that they would not be able to have otherwise and also make full use of the limited available space.

From trellising to A-frames, wall climbers to thin trees there are many ways of adding height to your garden that will not impact on the overall space restrictions in your garden but allow you to enjoy the maximum space available however little it might be.

Wooden deck and stairs made from old scaffolding planks - © Elke Borkowski/GAP Photos

Wooden deck and stairs made from old scaffolding planks – © Elke Borkowski/GAP Photos

Decking
Using decking is a great way of making the most out of a small garden space.

The visual aspect of decking, whether raised up or laid directly against a flat surface can add a new dimension to a small space in terms of both texture and the use of visual space.

Decking can be used to add definition to a small lawn, to freshen up plain concrete steps and to create defined spaces for sitting, sunbathing or barbequing (weather permitting of course). A raised deck can be used to increase the sight lines in a small garden and create a different level of interest rather than viewing a flat area. A flat deck can also add a colour contrast to a garden area giving the impression that a garden is bigger than it actually is.

Timco Wood also has interlocking deck tiles available which are a handy alternative to decking without the need to build a wooden sub frame.

A mosaic mirror with shells, pebbles and tiles is surrounded by Hedera 'Goldheart', Polemonium caeruleum, Fatsia japonica and Ficus 'Brown Turkey' - © Clive Nichols/GAP Photos

A mosaic mirror with shells, pebbles and tiles is surrounded by Hedera ‘Goldheart’, Polemonium caeruleum, Fatsia japonica and Ficus ‘Brown Turkey’ – © Clive Nichols/GAP Photos

Sight Lines
It is possible, even in a small garden to give a sense that the space is bigger than it is by playing with the dimensions of sight lines.

Decking can be used in this way but it is not just with vertical gardening that this can be achieved. Simple ideas such as laying slabs or stones in patterns, creating a diagonal rather than a horizontal or a vertical path leads the eyes to believe the garden is a bigger area than it actually is.

Even old parlour tricks can be used to add the feeling of space in a small garden. You can use reflections to your advantage such as with a hanging mirror or a well-placed reflective pool to create depth and dimension to your small outside space. Reflections can be emphasised with well-placed lighting or solar candles that can enhance the atmosphere of a garden at night.

A quick fix that can be done to add dimension and increase space very quickly is by adding a splash of colour, either by using paint on fences, sheds, or ageing wooden features can bring new life and add contrast and therefore a feeling of space to

You will see a difference to your space whichever of the methods you use. With a relatively minimal amount of work a small space can be transformed with height, depth, texture and colour to truly make the most of a small garden.

Timco Wood

Timco Wood

Timco Wood

Timco Wood is a UK based company which produces environmentally friendly composite wood products that are FSC® certified and fully recyclable. The range includes decking, fencing and  cladding to provide durable and sustainable additions to any garden area.

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