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There is no doubt that a shed can provide significant storage space, making it an ideal place to store all gardening odds and ends. However, sheds can have their disadvantages, too – they consume outdoor space, your things may be more difficult to locate in a shed and, well, sometimes a shed just doesn’t fit the outdoor garden design that you’re going for.

Fortunately, there are alternative storage solutions that are not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing. These are smart storage hacks that garden designers in Kent will love.

Use Storage Boxes and Hanging Baskets

No matter the size of your outdoor space, storage boxes are the perfect storage solution. They are functional, versatile and easy to use. You can put anything and everything inside these, from gardening tools to pool toys. You can even decorate them to blend with the aesthetic of your garden.

Get a Storage Bench or Table

Storage benches are a great two-in-one storage solution. It is ideal for smaller gardens without much space. When closed, they provide comfortable garden seating for your family and guests – but when you pull up the seat, you get a storage space that you can use to square away accessories like outdoor pillows or blankets.

The same goes for storage tables, which offer two kinds of storage; you can put things both on it and in it. These multipurpose pieces of furniture are invaluable for small gardens.

Upcycle Your Old Furniture

Think twice before you throw out old furniture. A good paint job, for example, can give an old chest of drawers new life! Now you can use it in your garden as a place to store your patio paraphernalia or gardening essentials. Old ladders can be used as shelving to display potted plants. Old tin cans hung on the wall can be used as containers to store paint brushes and other small tools.

There are truly no limits to what you can create when you upcycle. Upcycling provides an innovative, cost-effective option for garden storage.

Utilise Wall Space with Shelving

Think vertically and make use of your walls! Even the smallest wall areas will do. Putting up outdoor shelving or installing hooks can not only free up valuable ground space but also provide spots to place or hang garden tools and more. You don’t even have to use traditional shelves – inexpensive garden crates can easily be attached to the walls as shelving. You can place a wide array of items in them, like potted plants or herbs.

As you make use of these four smart storage ideas, you can also expect the outdoor storage market to bring more innovative product designs in the near future. According to a market study, there is a surge of trendy designs coming from outdoor storage product manufacturers, made to adapt to changing consumer needs. You can be sure that Oakleigh Manor will be on top of those innovations with our functional, beautiful and top-of-the-line garden designs. We have been creating bespoke landscapes for our clients since 1996. Get in touch with us today for more information.

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Spring is finally here and summer is right around the corner. Celebrate the end of the shivering Kent winter by bringing out the old barbie and start grilling some fresh sausages. If you’re more adept at using the oven, you’re probably excited to bake some pork pie. What better way to do this than to set up your very own outdoor kitchen to soak up some sun while you’re cooking the food or enjoying it with your guests afterwards.

The Space

You can’t just start putting appliances on your garden without modifying the space first. You may want to pave some of its areas so your equipment doesn’t touch the grass. Think about your guests, as well. Do you want your garden to have a picnic style layout or are you planning to bring chairs and tables into the mix? If it’s the latter, then you have to invest in more tiles or concrete to support them. For this kind of work, you may have to enlist the help of concrete contractors and garden designers.

It doesn’t hurt to spruce up your garden, either. The perfect plants to decorate your kitchen are ornamental herbs like silver thyme and salem rosemary. They don’t just look great, but you can harvest and cook them, too. Talk about double purpose!

Great Cookware

The essential outdoor cooking appliance is the grill. You can never go wrong with a simple charcoal grill. Just load up your tinder, light it up, and you’re good to go. This type, however, burns at high temperatures so it’s ideal to cook thick meat like steaks and sausages here. You have to babysit your veggies on this grill to prevent them from over-cooking.

If you’re looking for a fast and more controlled way of cooking your barbecue, go with a gas grill. This runs on propane or natural gas. They’re easy to use as well. You only need to turn a knob to get some heat going. You lose out on the smoky flavour that charcoal grilles bring, though. They’re more expensive, too.

When it comes to outdoor ovens, you need to hire a pizza oven contractor to set one up for you. You have to shell out a couple of pounds, but it’s worth it when you’re enjoying backyard baking activities with friends and family.

Comfortable Seats

When it comes to choosing your outdoor seats, you want something that is low maintenance but doesn’t look cheap. If you want a rustic vibe for your outdoor kitchen, rattan or wicker chairs are great choices. They’re lightweight, comfortable, and beautiful. It’s also easy to clean. Some mild detergent and water can do the trick. Plastic, in hindsight, might look cheap. But it also comes in designs that look like wooden lawn chairs. If you want to have a laid-back feel for your space, this material is perfect. It’s also low maintenance, stackable, and affordable. Though wood and steel have their advantages, they need extra care to stand up against the elements. In any case, let your garden design dictate your kitchen design.

The Best People

You shouldn’t celebrate the dawn of spring alone. Use your outdoor kitchen to serve delicious dishes to your friends and family. Enjoy the sun with nice outdoor cooking activities like pie or pizza making. Ask your grill veteran friends or family members to teach you how to set up and cook on your grill. If you’re the pitmaster of the bunch, teach some of your guests how to cook the best steak and sausages.

There’s nothing quite like spending time outdoors with friends and family. The designs and appliances you chose are for their enjoyment, after all.

The Garden You Deserve

An outdoor kitchen wouldn’t look as great if your garden is a mess. Here at Oakleigh Manor, we provide garden designs for every taste. Our team of experts offers complete design services for gardens of every size — from a tiny backyard to several acres of land. We also offer landscaping, garden lighting, grounds maintenance services, and more.

Contact us now to know more about our services.

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Isn’t it ideal to have a garden you spend less time taking care of and more time relaxing in? Ask any garden designer in Kent and they’ll tell you that striking a balance between aesthetic value and functionality is the key to creating a garden you’d love to spend time in.

The catch, however, is that the basic component of most any garden is the plants that fill it—living things that require constant care. Most plants, left untended for too long, will wither and die. Of course, no one wants a garden of dead plants.

But, what if you’re too busy? Is there a way to create a beautiful garden while keeping it low-maintenance? You’re in luck. There are actually various ways to keep a low-maintenance garden that beautify and add value to your property.

1. Scale Down Your Lawn

If you have a large patch of grass in your garden, you’re likely spending a lot of time mowing, watering and fertilising it. Apart from time, it takes a lot of effort to maintain this kind of garden. So, for a more fuss-free garden, consider scaling down the size of your lawn.

You have a lot of options on how to reduce the size of your lawn, such as sod cutting and rototilling. After the process, you may replace the previous lawn space with paved pathways and other hardscapes. By cutting the size of your lawn, you’re also minimising your water consumption, yard waste, and pesticide use.

2. Create an Outdoor Living Area

Another way to make your garden easier to manage is to turn it into an outdoor living area. You can even do this after reducing the size of your lawn.

To create a beautiful outdoor space, place paving slabs atop the soil to prevent weeds from springing up. After you’re done with paving, position comfortable couches and chairs in the area. Add a canopy overhead to protect you from intense heat or rain. You can also install an outdoor fireplace so you have something to keep you warm on colder days or nights.

The existence of an outdoor living area adds much value to your property. Even if you’re not selling, though, your new outdoor space is a comfortable and refreshing place to unwind and relax.

3. Box Up Your Plants

No, this doesn’t mean putting your plants inside cardboard boxes. Instead, try to compartmentalise your garden space into boxed areas and keep pebbles, pavers or crushed stones in naked patches of soil.

You may also opt to let go of flower and plant beds and install hedges instead. Garden hedges don’t require seasonal display maintenance. You can just run a hedge trimmer over them every once in a while.

4. Choose Plants That Don’t Wilt Easily

If you have neither the time nor a green thumb but want a garden anyway, you may choose plants that don’t wilt easily.  Among these plants are anthuriums, which add a splash of bright colour, bamboo and orchids. Perennials such as lavender may also add colour and delightful fragrance to your garden while requiring minimal care to grow and bloom.

Design the Perfect Low-Maintenance Garden

If you’re ready for a low-maintenance garden, don’t hesitate to phone Oakleigh Manor. We offer different gardening services and a free one-hour initial site meeting to discuss your requirements and review your garden area.

Book your free site meeting with Oakleigh Manor today.

 

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A driveway isn’t only meant to accommodate a vehicle or two. A driveway is the introduction to your property. Its design influences the initial impressions of guests and people who walk by your house. If you plan to sell your home in the future, the driveway is also the first thing potential buyers see; a beautiful driveway increases the potential value of your property.

Looking to build and design a driveway that will turn heads? Here’s a basic improvement guide in creating or re-constructing a driveway to improve your property’s curb appeal.

Choose the surface wisely

Many homeowners choose gravel, asphalt or concrete due to the high costs involved with paving slabs; but if your budget allows more wiggle room, there are a variety of other options for driveway surfaces, like natural stone. Natural stone provides driveways with inherent hardness and timeless aesthetics. The unpredictable shades, patterns textures and rich colour variations add a hint of luxury.

If you want long-lasting durability, granite’s robustness justifies its cost. Granite, a volcanic rock, is stain-resistant and resilient against the worst of weather conditions, including acid rain. Additionally, this material offers a great aesthetic advantage because of its unique and natural pattern. Whether it’s granite chip gravel, flag surfaces or cropped granite setts — laying this surface will give your driveway strength and beauty that withstands the test of time.

Add details to the surface

Aside from an attractive surface, a great way to increase the appeal of your driveway is to add edgings. Driveway edging creates a stunning border that can either complement or contrast with the surface. For example, brick edgings form a traditional edge to your private road. Available in different rustic tones, you can choose a colour that harmonises with your driveway or your house brickwork.

If you want a softer and more decorative look, you may opt for sleeper edgings. They’re also highly functional because they retain higher soil levels so you can grow plants and flowers in them.

To avoid water logging problems, drainage systems with specialised recessed driveway covers are discrete and avoid the need for unsightly manhole covers.

Finish off with beautiful touches

Embellish your driveway by extending your flowerbeds. Low shrubs and small flowering plants are great for softening the edges of a driveway. The abundance of seasonal colours will entice visitors and set a pleasant atmosphere.

Recessed stainless steel LED lighting will illuminate your driveway during the night and create visually-striking effects. As well as a practical aid when parking, these outdoor lighting fixtures improve the ambience of your drive.

Enhance your driveway’s potential with Oakleigh Manor

Looking for the best craftsmen and designers to help you build an eye-catching driveway? Here at Oakleigh Manor, we have an expert team who design and construct beautiful driveways. From the initial site meeting to design planning and construction, we’ll work closely with you during the entire process to ensure that everything meets your specifications.

With successful projects and awards under our belt, Oakleigh Manor’s experienced team maximises the potential of outdoor space throughout London, Surrey, Sussex, Kent and Essex.

For more information and enquiries, contact us on 0800 023 1310 or send an email to enquiries@oakleighmanor.co.uk

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With its gorgeous flower beds and lush greenery, your garden adds a breath of fresh air to your property. It gives you pleasure when you spend time outdoors and lovely views when you peek from the windows. You’ll want to maintain or continually improve its beauty, especially with the New Year.

If you’re looking to further upgrade your garden this 2019, the design and aesthetic aren’t defined only by the area’s perennials, annuals, shrubs and trees. Structures like statues and various built elements impact the total look and character of the landscape.

Showcase your garden’s style with these additional features that will add more personality and functionality to your natural haven.

Garden walkways and gazebos

A decorative path blends harmoniously in a garden while also adding definition and functionality to your property’s landscape design. Walkways look inviting, especially when the creative patterns swirl to a door or any other entrance or exit. They also draw the eye and help accentuate other features of the property. For example, if you have a specific potted plant or flower bed as the focal point in your garden, walkways tell people where to look and where to walk. They act as visual guides so that certain elements in your garden do not get lost in the setting.

A gazebo improves your backyard by creating an ideal place to relax while also increasing the style of the outdoor area. It protects plants from both sun and rain, so they’re suitable for newly-potted plants that need to take root. A gazebo may also act as a garden workshop where you can work on your outdoor projects. Growing your own herbs and plants for drinks and other cocktails has become increasingly popular, and you can do this with a tiny storage space like a gazebo.

Statues and fountains

Statues are popular in gardens all around the world and for a good reason — they add charm to the greenery. If your yard has a particular theme, adding whimsical gnomes or a big stone Buddha amplifies the character of your landscape. The statues you place in your garden also reflect your personality. A sculpture of a deer, a dog or any other animal shows your love for the creatures. Statues of Greek gods and goddesses create a sense of antiquity, and the god or goddess that you choose can represent your personal virtues.

If you’re looking for something more spectacular this year, a fountain is a fantastic addition. A fountain is a beautiful centerpiece to any outdoor area, attracting attention for its enduring features and timeless design. It’s a dramatic element that provides soothing sounds and a relaxing ambience.

Pots and Planted Containers

This year, bright foliage will make a comeback and with so much greenery, you’ll need splashes of colour. Intricately designed pots and other planted containers enhance the overall landscape design when they’re placed in strategic spots. For example, a cobalt-blue pot creates a vignette in dark flower beds by adding height and colour. Pots and containers are also useful in adorning garden spaces because they add visual interest and functionality. A large earthen pot placed at the convergence of pathways becomes a focal point while also directing traffic and marking transitions.

Create stunning outdoor spaces with Oakleigh Manor

Planning to improve the aesthetics of your landscape? Incorporating structures to your garden is just the first step. There are other things to consider including planting styles, irrigation, type of flora and many more.

Here at Oakleigh Manor, we have a talented group of designers that provide stunning garden design services and stylisation solutions for homeowners, developers and property owners. With successful projects and awards under our belt, our highly-skilled and experienced teams maximise the potential of outdoor spaces throughout London, Surrey, Sussex, Kent and Essex.

For more information and enquiries, contact us on 0800 023 1310 or send an email to enquiries@oakleighmanor.co.uk

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