Gardening · Life

Top 10 inspiring gardening projects in 2017

If you’re looking for inspiration for new gardening projects, you’ve come to the right place! From investing in a polytunnel for indoor gardening to installing a water feature, here are the top 10 exciting outdoor ideas for this year.

1. Create A Walkway

If you have a larger garden, or just want to create an easier and more convenient way to cross from one side to the other, or to get around flowerbeds, why not create a walkway? You can use bricks, flat stones or even cut wooden pallets to create an attractive effect.

2. Invest In A Polytunnel

The Telegraph recommends investing in a polytunnel to extend your growing season, especially if you’re planning on growing vegetables. These flexible tunnels are a great way to grow your own salad all year round and are a perfect choice for organic gardeners.

3. Create An Outdoor Room

The Royal Horticultural Society suggests turning your garden into an outdoor room by choosing the right garden furniture. By investing in a stylish rattan sofa and chairs, you can have a living space that you can use on warm days and which adds an extra room to your home.

4. Set Up A Tree Swing

Whether you have children, grandchildren, or whether you just like the idea of reliving your childhood, a tree swing is a fun addition to any garden. Decorated with comfortable cushions, you can create a cosy and attractive place to relax in your outdoor environment, but always take care to choose a large and sturdy tree.

5. Make A Vertical Garden

If you despair of ever being able to do anything exciting with your tiny garden, worry no more. A vertical garden is the ideal solution. Build shelving from reclaimed wood and lean it against an outdoor wall or balcony and then add pots of your favourite plants for a beautiful thriving garden.

6. Install A Bird Bath

Nothing is more lovely than watching birds in your garden, and what better way to encourage them than to install a bird bath. Not only is a bird bath a gorgeous water feature that adds visual appeal to your outdoor space but it’ll also delight your local wildlife.

7. Make A Fairy Garden

This cute project is especially good for families with small children and is something that can be worked on all together. Planting a miniature garden in small flower pots, buying toy furniture and fitting fairy doors to trees is an attractive way to add extra interest in your garden and is sure to enthral the kids.

8. Brighten Your Patio

If you have a dull and colourless outdoor space, this year is the time to brighten it up. Simply by investing in a few planters and pots of various shapes and sizes, you can fill them with your favourite flowers to bring colour and vibrancy to your plain patio.

9. Install A Water Feature

Water features come in all shapes and sizes, from traditional ponds to miniature waterfalls, so there’s sure to be one that suits your garden. Listening to the sound of running water is wonderfully relaxing and can also help to distract from road noise if you leave near a busy thoroughfare. Dig your own bespoke pond to your own specifications or buy a ready-made fountain that will bring extra beauty to your garden.

10. Let There Be Light

Bringing more light into your garden is a great project to tackle for 2017, and is simple and easy to achieve. Battery operated or solar powered string lights can be strewn around a trellis or pergola to create a twinkling effect, while solar lanterns at regular intervals around your lawn can add shape and style to a plain garden.

These are just some of the exciting garden projects that could inspire you to get more out of your outdoor space in 2017. Be inspired and use your creativity!

First Tunnels is a leading supplier of high quality polytunnels for both commercial and amateur gardeners. Contact us today and find out more about how our innovative products can help to create a perfect growing environment for you. 

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Cheap Renovation Ideas That Will Boost The Value Of Your Home

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Renovating your home can be a costly process, but it needn’t be. There are plenty of ways to add value to your home without taking out a loan. Here are just a few examples…

Go green

Green properties are becoming more sought after, not just because they help save the environment by lowering your fossil fuel usage, but because they also lower the costs of bills. As a result an eco-friendly property can often sell for more than a non-eco-friendly one.

There are countless methods to eco-vate your home. Windows can be fitted with double glazing to keep your rooms warmer and prevent having to use as much gas. Draft protectors can be added to doors to stop heat escaping (you can buy these and do this yourself!). You can also insulate your loft relatively cheaply with thermal wool to stop heat escaping here.

Some green renovation ideas can be costly such as replacing a boiler, adding cavity wall insulation or installing solar panels, although they will reduce your bills dramatically if you plan to live in the house for a few more years before selling up. Look out for renovation specialist companies such as Bright Green Homes that can offer extra ideas.

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Have a bath

If you’ve just got a shower, adding a bath to your bathroom could up the value of your property significantly. Bath tubs aren’t particularly expensive, and you can get dual purpose bath/showers from companies such as Bathshop321.

The only concern may be space – some bathrooms are too small to fit a tub. You may also struggle to get a tub into the bathroom in some cases without knocking down a wall or removing a bannister.

Paint over controversial colours

Believe it or not, the colour of your property can add or reduce value. Some colours are worth avoiding if you’re thinking of selling up, as they could limit interest from buyers. Pink is one colour to avoid as it can be overtly feminine. Black can also put a lot of people off and be difficult to paint over.

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Tidy your garden

An unruly garden can also take value off your home. If your back yard is looking scruffy, it may be time to put your green fingers to use and cut back some of that shrubbery. It may even be worth hiring a gardener. Consider planting flowers and adding aspects such as patio paving or decking that could increase the aesthetic appeal of the garden.

Convert your loft

Ok, so a loft conversion isn’t cheap, but relatively speaking it can be worth the boost in value. Converting your loft into a livable space essentially adds a new room to your property, turning a three-bed property into a four-bed.

It’s much cheaper than building a new room via an extension, as the walls and groundwork is already there. Not all loft spaces can be converted as easily – if you have to raise the roof or knock out another room to add a staircase, the conversion cost may not be worth the rise in value.

However, if you only need to add electrics and insulation and can fit a staircase without disturbing masonry, it’s well worth investing in.

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Adding value to your home

We are thinking of moving house in the next year or so, so we are trying to add a bit of value to our house without spending out loads on it. 

Our main plan is to ensure the interior is in high decorative order, the lounge in particular needs a lot of work. There is something wrong with the wall which means the paint work has blistered so we think the best plan is to get a professional decorator in who knows why this has happened and who can fix the problem. 

It has been recommended to me to use Bidvine to find a local, trustworthy professional. It’s ever so simple to search for an interior painter on bidvine:

  • Select the service required and your postcode

  • Answer a few simple questions to describe the job a bit more
  • Enter your email address to receive the results and hit continue

  • You will receive the results by email and can contact your chosen professional directly. 

We are also planning on getting a new carpet in our lounge and cleaning the carpets in the kids rooms (these are also options on bidvine if you search). 

A conservatory is a high value addition to any house, check out our post here about conservatories. 

Declutter! Dig out everything you don’t need and car boot it, or sell some of it online and then sort out everything you still want but could do without for a while and put it in a storage unit, the more minimalist the house looks the bigger it looks. 

Enhance the garden (again you could use bidvine to find a landscape gardener!) make both the front and back gardens look stunning, it really adds appeal to your house. 

I hope this gives you a few ideas to try to increase your home’s value and don’t forget you can find a trusted professional to help you out with the work on
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Secret Garden

When you have kids, it’s pretty important to encourage them to get outside and be as active as, and one way of doing this is to make sure that your garden is a pleasant space to spend some time in. In fact, if you create a real secret garden type place, that is a little magical, you will probably have trouble keeping them indoors! So keep reading to find out just how you can create a create magical garden space for all of the family to enjoy.

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Of course, the first thing that springs to mind when we think of a garden is the plants that it contains. But how can you use planting to your advantage when creating a magical style garden that your little ones will enjoy?
Well, first of all, you need to consider safety. Some plants are pretty dangerous for small children and even household pets. So always be sure to avoid things like foxgloves and dogbane to ensure that you keep your family healthy. 

Then you need to consider colour and texture. For texture, plenty of shrubs and bushes around the edge of the garden can make it seem old and well established, even if you have just moved in.
In terms of the colour, it’s nice to get the kids involved in choosing the shades that they would most like in the outside space. Although, generally, anything bright like daffodils, daisies, and hydrangeas tend to be a good choice.

Water features 

Now, something else that you can include in a secret style garden for the kids is a water feature. Although it is vital to consider safety again here. That means any body of water that you do decide to have in your garden space needs to be cover with an iron grate or cloche. Which actually come in the very decorative versions now.

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Of course, you may choose to have plants, and even smaller animals such as fish and frogs in your pond, which the kids will find fascinating. But be sure to keep the water well aerated with pumps like the ones you can get from Oase Aquamax so your aquatic friends can thrive.

Away with the fairies 

Now, a very magical element of a secret style garden that you can create for the kids is to give them the suggestion of fairies. You can do this in a few different ways such as installing fairy doors in some of the trees and pots. Or you can position solar lights at the bottom of the garden that change colour, so there appears to be dancing lights.

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You can even string fairy light from trees and fences to give off a magical glow when the sun goes down to finish off the look. The kids will love it.


Lastly, a magical garden for the kids is one where they will have as much space as possible to run around in. This usually means having a large surface area of your outside space taken up with lawn.
To keep your lawn in top condition, ensure to mow it regularly when it’s dry and try and avoid chemical weedkillers that could be dangerous to those using the space.