There are two main methods of constructing ground floors. The first is to lay a solid force of reinforced wet concrete directly onto the ground (known as solid floors). The second is a much more sustainable method as it uses blocks with recycled materials; with a lot of site advantages it has better thermal values. This second method is known as block and beam (suspended floors).
The importance of drainage on your driveway is an often largely overlooked design feature, yet it is extremely important! As a homeowner you should be aware that water could potentially be your homes worst enemy through its damaging potential.
Whether you’re embarking on some serious redesigning of your garden or commercial landscape or just want to brighten up your driveway, there are a thousand ways to go about it. It can be hard to know where to start, so we’ve compiled some resources to help you along.
You’ll often find reruns and new episodes of gardening and landscaping shows such as Ground Force or Gardeners’ World. They can help provide ideas and tips, and you’ll get a good idea of what it takes to fulfill a landscaping project.
Staff at your local B&Q, Homebase or independent garden centre will be able to help you out with various queries and ideas, so head down there at the weekend to see what’s on offer!
Flip through magazines such as BBC Gardeners’ World, Gardens Illustrated, Garden Answers or Grow Your Own for inspiration, tips and tricks. You’ll find advice columns, features and much more.
Social media site Pinterest is an incredibly visual, interactive ‘pin board’. A simple search for ‘beautiful gardens’ will bring up a plethora of different gardens, while ‘small garden design ideas’ could help you out with designing your own small landscape.
Garden shows are held throughout the year, and it can be hugely helpful to speak to industry professionals about landscaping best practices.
There’s no better way to get a feel for different landscapes than by walking through them! Make a beeline for Royal Horticultural Society gardens, country houses or even just your local park. Places like RHS Hyde Hall Gardens, with their highly cultivated plants, themes and techniques, will really inspire you to try something new in your own landscape.
Hedgerows are an integral part of the UK countryside, and if you own or regularly use a large landscape, you’ll be familiar with them. Hedgerows might at first glance just be long rows of bushes and trees dividing up fields, but they are far more important and magnificent than most people initially realise.
History of Hedgerows
There’s about 450,000 kilometers of hedgerow left in the UK, according to the National Trust, and about 190,000 of that is thought to be ancient or ‘species rich’; as around two thirds of English land have been hedged for a millennium, older hedgerows can be found near archeological sites or the remains of medieval boundaries.
Importance of Hedgerows
Hedgerows tend to be made from a mixture of tree and plant species, including oak, haze, hawthorn, ash and honeysuckle. They attract wildlife including dormice, voles, hedgehogs, butterflies and bats, and provide food and protection from predators. They also help prevent soil erosion, capture pollutants that run off fields, and store carbon – all of which are integral to a healthy environment.
Unfortunately, hedgerows have been in decline since roughly the end of the Second World War, when farming fields began to get bigger to accommodate industrial farming. Increasing – and often excessive – use of pesticides has weakened the hedgerows that are left, which in turn leaves fields vulnerable to flooding and soil erosion. There has also been a terrible impact on the wildlife that rely on hedgerows, which impacts the UK’s wider ecosystems.
How You Can Help
If you’ve got hedgerows on your landscape, avoid using pesticides unnecessarily and research which chemical sprays are harmful. Don’t crop plants while birds are nesting, and encourage wildlife by planting more native plants and trees along your existing hedgerow. Try the Wildlife Trusts for more detailed information!