Water tips for the garden…

As our summers are getting hotter and hotter our gardens need more and more water, but the cost can soon mount up. There are many ways to save water in the garden that will not only help your plants stay fresh but also save you money!

It’s all in the soil

The trick to soil is that the more organic matter it contains the better it will hold the moisture, so a lot of well-rotted manure and compost is a good start. It is also a lot easier than you think; in spring simply spread a layer of compost across your borders and let the worms mix it into the soil. If you are still struggling with keeping moisture in the soil why not create a wide planting hole and line it with perforated polythene and then add your plant to the hole and surround by compost. This will help improve the water retention and keep the moisture in the soil.

Adding mulch

Simply cover your well composted soil with things like gravel, pebbles and bark chips to help reduce the amount of water evaporation. This is also a great way to help reduce the amount of weeds that will grow through. It is best to apply through autumn and spring while the soil is still very moist. It can also look very pretty.

How you can collect water

Collecting water is very easy to do and is completely free not to mention it helps the environment. All you need to do is position a water butt where it can get the most water but also where they are easily accessible.

It’s all about when you water

In the mornings before the heat of the day sets in, especially during the long summer days. By watering in the mornings it will help to reduce the amount of water that is lost through evaporation. It will also mean that your plants are able to dry off before the evening to also reduce the amount of slug damage! Always water at the base of the plant and don’t waste the water on the foliage. A good watering every few days is better than a little but often as it encourages the roots to grow deep into the soil.

Not everything needs water

Water the fruit and vegetables most often as they are worth the attention. However plants like grasses don’t need as much water; even if they turn brown simply let it grow a little longer as they can cope without loads of water.

A simple guide for creating a herb garden.

If you want to spend more time in the garden but don’t know where to start, or even if you simply want to improve your cooking, a herb garden could be a great start! This is a simple guide for planting a herb garden as well as their uses and some quick tips.

Basil

Basil helps to make a delicious pesto for pizza/pasta when chopped finely and added to olive oil or why not try it as a garnish for a salad?

When planting bsil it is best to use well drained, rich soil so a normal plant pot is usually the best option. But remember that basil does love the sun, so a patio in the summer and a sunny window in the winter is a good start.

For planting it is best to sow around May/June in seed trays to start, then once the seedlings are around 3 inches tall start to place into individual pots. Then start hardening off the plants by leaving them outside during the day and then bringing them inside at night, just remember lots of liquid feed! Around July time the leaves should be ready for harvest.

Mint

Mint is great to be used in teas or added to roast lamb, and even to be added to a salad.
It is usually best to grow in a pot simply due to the fact mint can get a little out of hand in the garden. Use a good rich moist soil and you should be good to go. Just remember to put it in a sunny spot for the mornings.

Mint typically grows to around 1 or 2 feet tall, and requires minimal attention and therefore is a good plant to start with, just be careful as it will spread and takeover unless placed in a pot. A nice idea is to plant by a path so when you walk past, your feet brushing the leaves to release the fragrance.

Coriander

Coriander is mostly used in indian recipes and adds a very fragrant element to spicy dishes; it is great for use in curry dishes, or why not add some carrot and coriander for a great soup.

Usually coriander struggles in constant sun and so it’s best to plant in a pot so you can move it around but make sure the pot is quite deep to allow for the tap root. A nice shaded spot at midday is ideal.

When growing in beds outside it is best to start off as seeds and then keep the soil moist as coriander does not like dry conditions. It is known to lose the foliage if transplanted out of seed trays.

Chives

Like mint, chives are a very diverse herb and can be widely used in cooking, they are similar to garlic and onions and so work well with risotto or hummus.

The best conditions are full sunshine and well-drained soil, but can also grow in partial shade and heavier soils. If used often it is best to use some sort of fertiliser. Even though the flowers do look pretty, the plant will grow a lot more if the buds are removed.

Parsley

Very common in french cooking with fish dishes, or can also be used with potatoes.

Very chalky soil is great for growing parsley in the garden as they love the neutral-alkaline soils. If your soil is not chalky then a plant pot where you can actually manage the soil is great too. Placing in the sun or even a partial shade will help it to thrive.

Sage

Sage can be used sparingly for many different recipes. You can also partner sage with onion in a stuffing or use when cooking pork.

This can be very difficult to plant correctly as sage is very particular on the soil type and location. Usually you should keep it well drained or dry and in a neutral to alkaline soil. Best kept in full sunlight and does not like low light in winter.

A good tip is to be very generous when pruning this herb in the spring as this will encourage a fresh, full foliage.

It All Starts With The Base

One of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a new shed is the base on which it is going to stand. Without a decent base at its foundation your shed, summerhouse or garage is at serious risk of developing major structural faults, pretty much as soon as it has been built.

Without a sturdy level base underneath your building will start to lose its shape and develop large cracks and gaps which, besides being unsightly,  jeopardize its weatherproofing and in a worst case scenario can lead to the building collapsing.

This is due to the nature of  the construction which means that as soon as the building has been completed it gradually snuggles itself in to its new surroundings and settles wonkydown. Without a level base it will settle at an odd angle which is where the gaps will start to appear and doors will stop opening properly etc. This also applies to the strength of the base too, even the smallest 6×4 wooden shed has a considerable weight to it and it is essential to use materials in the base that can take the weight of the job, if the base is not strong enough you will again see gaps and jammed windows galore!

We always recommend either a concrete base or paving slabs.  By using one of these you can be confident that your building will remain in shape, be weatherproof and give you many years of trouble free service!

Here is a quick guide on how to lay these two different bases to give you an idea of the job involved and whether you can do it yourself (with someone to help of course) or use an outside party such as a landscape gardener.

For a concrete base you need the following;

  • Building Sand
  • Cement
  • Hardcore
  • Timber
  • Tape Measure
  • Pegs & String
  • Hardcore

Once you’ve picked your location, measure out an area that is 5cm larger than your building on all sides. Remove any vegetation from this area and dig down 6 inches (or less if you want the base to be raised above ground level).

 

building-shed-base

For the cement to take shape  you will need to measure and cut a timber framework to line the edges. Ensure that this is sitting perfectly flat on the ground and flatten out the entire surface using a spade and rake. Next put down a 3 inch layer of hardcore,  covering generously with sand.

 

 

For the concrete you can either mix 1 part cement to 5 parts ballast, or use a pre made dry concrete mix.

img_0406

  • Slowly add water to the mixture, ensuring that it does not become too sloppy.
  • Spread the concrete evenly into the framework, filling to slightly above the timber.
  • Use another long piece of timber to level off the cement, rest the wood against the framework and move across it in a slow sawing motion to level out all of the concrete.
  • If wet weather is likely cover the base with plastic or tarpaulin for 24 hours.
  • In particularly hot or dry conditions covering with damp sacks and topping up with water occasionally can prevent your base from cracking as it dries.

If you decide to build your shed base using paving slabs instead you’ll need:

  • Flat Face Paving Slabs
  • Building sand
  • Standard cement
  • Rake
  • Standard cement
  • Tape measure
  • Spade
  • Standard cement
  • Pegs and string
  • Rubber mallet

Choose your location carefully and measure out the area for your base as outlined above in the concrete base guide. Dig down to the required depth (about  2.5cm, but differing depending on the thickness of your paving slabs and whether you want a level or raised base).

Next combine one part cement with eight parts building sand to make a dry mixture. this needs to be spread evenly across the base area (about 4cm deep)  and levelled out with a rake. Working out from a corner lay each slab and tap into position using your  mallet, whilst regularly checking the flatness with a spirit level to ensure all slabs are in line with each other.

Installation of paving slabs

Do one last check with a long straight edge, making any adjustments to ensure a perfectly level surface, and brush away any excess sand or cement.

Starting out with a solid, level base will make things much easier when it comes to building your shed, and will protect the building from damp or muddy conditions. Even for relatively simple projects like this it’s vital that you choose the best selection of tools and materials. Our expert advice and comprehensive range of products will save time and ensure that your project runs smoothly.

By using the above as a guide you should be able to successfully create your base and be confident that it is adequate for your buildings needs. However, if DIY is not really your strong point we strongly recommend getting someone in to do the job for you – by doing this you are not only guaranteeing a professional finish but you are also supporting local businesses!

Base instructions were sourced from another website

10th July Is National Teddy Bear Picnic Day!

10th July 2015 is officially “National Teddy Bears Picnic Day” and while we don’t sell much in the way of actual teddy bears we do have a nice range of Picnic Tables available.

The weather recently has been absolutely spot on for outdoor activities and looks to be remaining that way for a little while longer before the nights start to draw back in . This means of course that there is still time to grab yourself a bargain or two from Taylors and get some use out of it before the colder weather starts to appear!

We have a good selection of picnic tables for sale on our site and have models from the more traditional four seater type with built in bench seat to smaller versions in bright colours for your little ones (it is teddy bears picnic day after all!). In addition to that of course we also have a range of benches, we will take a quick look at one of these first..

Solid Garden Bench

Our most popular bench!

 

Without a doubt our most popular  bench is the Solid Garden Bench which is manufactured with slow-grown northern pine. This bench is a very sturdy model which is built to last  and has attractive finishings including a stylish leg design with smooth rounded timber. With a length of 5’11 (1.8m) and width of 1’10 (0.55m) this is sure to give many years of comfortable and trouble free  use in your garden.

 

Hardwood Junior Picnic Table

A colourful option for children

 

As I said we have a nice range of picnic tables to choose from with something for everyone of all ages, a popular one that we sell is the Hardwood Junior model which has a traditional look to it with a twist. It is designed to resemble the familiar 4 seater / built in benches variation that you often see in parks but as well as being a mini version for children it is also painted in bright cheerful colours which are very eye catching.

 

Children's Circular Picnic Table

Circular with 4 seats

 

If you are after another colourful bench for your kids how about our  Children’s Circular Picnic Table? Again with colourful built in seats, this model is circular with a brown table and is particularly handy if space might be at a premium.

 

 

Alice Children's Picnic Table

Seats 4 – 6 children

 

If the bright colours of those two might not fit in to your garden we also have a more traditional childrens version that is a natural wood colour, this model is called the Alice and seats 4 – 6.

 

 

 

Hardwood Picnic Table 210

For a large group.

For the grown-ups amongst us a popular picnic table is our Hardwood range. There are 4 sizes available in this collection ranging from the smallest at 160cm (5’3) in length up to the largest which measures in at 210cm (6’9). as the name suggests, these are manufactured in strong solid hardwood with sturdy 35mm planking. This table is suitable for use all year round and is sure to bring you many summers dining in the sunshine.

 

Superior Pine Picnic Table

Measures 3m in length!

 

The Superior Pine Picnic Table is another model we sell which has proven to be very popular, this beast of a table measures in at 3m in length (9’8) and has the added bonus of foldable seats. Due to its size, this table would be very handy for a large family or for a household that likes to throw parties and barbecues.

 

The Katie 80cm Round Picnic Table

Can be easily stored away

 

Of course, not everyone has a huge garden at their disposal (myself included!) so there isalso a nice smaller size selection  including some very stylish round models such as the Katie 80cm which can be stored away when not in use.

 

 

Picknick Easy Set

Easy to store away

 

Another worthy option is the Picknick Easy Set, this model has benches which are not fixed to the main table which allows you to be more flexible with the seating arrangements and as an added benefit the whole set can be folded away for easier storage. This model would be very good for people who like to go camping!

 

 

Take a look at our whole range!  A picnic table set is a highly attractive and functional addition to any garden and with so many sizes, colours and shapes available there is bound to be something for every style of garden in England!

Happy Teddy Bears Picnic Day!!

Garden and Outdoor Play

Happy Teddy Bears Picnic Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy your garden during the summer with a gazebo…

With summer upon us, there is a rise in sales to do with gazebos as they become a popular addition to our gardens.

Being a multipurpose shelter; it can shelter us from unexpected rain, shade you from the harsh sun or hide you from neighbours… What’s not to love?

Today we’re going to be talking about how to choose the correct gazebo to perfectly compliment your garden for years to come!

A gazebo makes for a perfect shelter for all occasions, making a great way to house an outside party or just a play area for your children so they are protected from the sun in summer. One thing you must remember though is to check what space you have to spare for a gazebo. There is not much point buying a gazebo that covers the whole garden!

What will you use it for? If you can justify a reason for buying a gazebo then it might be time for you to go out and get one, but depending on what you are using it for will determine what kind you may need. For instance they come in all shapes, sizes and designs. Below I will walk you through some of the more popular designs of gazebo and remember, buying a gazebo is supposed to enhance the house and garden you already have.

Let’s start with Pop-up Gazebos.

Pop-up gazebos are a quick way and efficient way to enhance the average BBQ or even get some shade from the sun while you set up a car boot. The best part is that it is completely portable and can be erected in 10 minutes or less (depending on size).

Ensure the gazebo is secured firmly to the floor because it has a lightweight portable frame and if caught by strong winds it may have a tendency to take flight.

Next we will talk about a Pavilion Gazebo.

A pavilion gazebo is perfect for large garden parties that you may be expecting in the hype of summer.  With its large and spacious design, it makes the perfect protection from the seasons alike, with an added bonus of being a beautiful feature in your garden.

Lastly we will talk about fixed gazebos.

There are two types of fixed gazebo, semi-permanent structures and permanent structures.

Semi-permanent gazebos are designed to perform perfectly all year round, through all seasons and weather but can be dismantled to be put away if the space is needed for something else. This is a great option for someone with the smaller garden and doesn’t want to commit to having a permanent gazebo instead.

A permanent gazebo is a structure that will last you year-in and year-out, often made of wood. A permanent gazebo makes a great area for social meetings or just a place to enjoy the weather in the shade. The best part about a permanent gazebo is that you can buy box standard or you can have a bespoke design made for your back garden that can include inbuilt seating areas or maybe even have your BBQ built into it!

Gera Log Cabin  (2.4m x 2.4m)

With every addition to your garden or house, you have to consider health and safety.

If you consider building a gazebo, health and safety is paramount. Make sure the gazebo is properly constructed and if you want to include a BBQ then you have to make sure the material is flame retardant. Any hanging objects like loose rope should be secured so guests or children don’t hurt themselves.

And above all, have fun this summer. You deserve it.

Hot Summer Days

Hot Summer Days

bg_weather_sunny_day

Gorgeous Sunny Weather

Today is the 1st of July, according to news articles on the TV and internet it is set to be the hottest day so far this year notching up a glorious 30°!

 

 

 

We are sure may of our customers will be outside today enjoying the lovely warm weather and soaking up a few rays, many of them will undoubtedly be using their benches and patio furniture that they have bought from us in the past few months.

 

Outdoor Sports and Games

Outdoor Sports and Games

Today would be a good day for some outdoor fun too! How about a game of Dominoes or Snakes and Ladders? We have these and other popular games especially designed for use outside complete with extra large pieces and playing boards. Of course we also have a  more traditional range of playthings available – croquet anyone?

 

 

Stainless Steel 6 Burner Gas Barbeque

Stainless Steel 6 Burner Gas Barbeque

Barbecuing is another popular outdoor activity in the warm Summer months as all our wannabe Jamies and Nigellas fire up and knock out burgers, steaks and jacket potatoes. The range of barbecues and accessories on offer on our site is considerable with a whole plethora of different items available with everything from top of the range gas barbecues to toasting forks!

 

 

I’m  not going to keep you any longer!

Whenever we get a day as wonderful as this we need to take advantage of it so get out there and enjoy yourselves but please remember to take precautions and slap on some sun cream first!

b709449c-250-FOR-TRIDION_tcm18-100015

Slap It On

 

Enjoy your garden by selecting and maintaining your furniture…

With summer around the corner, you’ve bought some new garden furniture to impress but have no idea how to maintain it… Today we are going to be talk about how to properly maintain your garden furniture so you can keep it in good nick for next summer!
These tips and tricks are suitable for all garden furniture made from plastic, hardwood, softwood and metal materials. The maintenance of a piece of furniture completely depends on the furniture’s material. In this guide we will be talking about the four most common kinds of material.

Plastic furniture by far is the easiest to maintain. Just make sure to clean it regularly to avoid water marks on the plastic. This should be especially done with light coloured or white plastic furniture to avoid discolouration or yellowing of the plastic.
The only downside to using plastic furniture is if it is left out in the cold weather or very hot weather for extended periods of time it can become brittle, so it is best to store it immediately after using them with a protective cover for those cold winter months!

Hardwood furniture is one of the more complex materials to clean and maintain but it is also the more durable. Some of the most common of the hardwoods would be teak, courbaril, roble, cumaru, iroko and eucalyptus, what are all contain high levels in natural oils, making them weather resistant!
The only maintenance that is required on is to wash off any dirt or algae that may be accumulating from it being in a damp space. This should only need to be done a couple times a year if the wood you have bought is of good quality!
A good piece of advice would be to keep the wood away from anything damp to avoid algae from growing on the wood. A protective cover would be a good option.

Softwood furniture is the cheaper but more demanding version of hardwood furniture and requires a bit more attention in the winter months. To keep softwood furniture in good nick it requires regular checks and cleaning with a recommended wood cleaner. Do not use soap and water because this can remove a layer of protective paint or preservative.
Preservative should be added at least twice a year to make sure that the wood stays the same colour and keeps to the same shape as softwood tends to warp when exposed to moisture too often.

Metal furniture needs to be cleaned about once a month, checking for rust and repair it by removing any rust and applying rust preventing paint. Metal furniture should be repainted every 1-2 years to make sure the weather barrier is well maintained. It’s also a good idea to keep a bottle of WD-40 in the shed if it has any joints or fixings that require free movement. I would include oiling the joints in the monthly cleaning of the furniture.
If you follow these simple tips and tricks then you will be able to keep your garden furniture going for years to come!

Wheelie Bin Storage

One line that constantly sells well for us is our line of wheelie bin storage units.

Compared to some of our other more traditional ranges, these storage units are somewhat new to the market as the use of wheelie bins and recycling boxes has only been introduced in the past decade or so for a majority of households.

 

wheelie bin storage

Gone!!

Long gone are the days of our round dustbins which was the only outlet for all of our daily refuse. The modern UK household now has to separate all of its rubbish in to plastics, glass, paper and food waste. This is all collected separately and in a majority of cases is re-used, recycled and pressed in to service again. This does wonders for the environment  as we all know, as a nation we are all much more aware of our surroundings and are taking better care of it to ensure a better future for all.

 

bin storage

Times past

 

Lets not forget our bin men either – long gone are the days where they had to struggle and heave huge metal bins around, our new ones have wheels and are so much easier to transport around.

 

 

Mixed Recycling Containers

Modern wheelie bin storage

The average household now has two large wheelie bins and three smaller boxes in their outdoor space as well as a smaller  lidded box for food waste. Not exactly the most attractive features in a garden they can unfortunately  quite often take up a lot of space. One obvious solution to this is to hide them away from view which is where our wheelie bin storage units come in to play.

 

 

Double Wheelie Bin and Recycling Box Chest

One bin and four box combination

We have several models available to buy while many of them also have different combinations to choose from (as we all know different size families have different amounts of recycling containers allocated to them). An example of this is the Double Wheelie Bin and Recycling Box Chest which is available in either a one bin and four box combination or a two bin, two box.

 

garden storage

Predator!

They are all manufactured in  wood and many have the option of being locked if required, this is more to keep out unwanted predators more than for actual security but is effective none the less. You would be surprised just how cunning the chap on the right can be when trying to get in to a bin!

 

 

With a decent sized range available we are confident that we will have something for everyone, click here to see the whole range. 

 

The Taylors Journey May 2012 – May 2015.

It is now just over three years since we took over the running of this company.

The previous owners of the business had changed their focus, wishing to explore new avenues and made the heart wrenching decision to sell Taylors Garden Buildings on. We purchased the website in May 2012 and immediately set about catching up on deliveries which had unfortunately been set back by a few days due to the handover.

The early days were very fraught to say the least, the phones were literally ringing off of the hook with customers chasing orders (news of the change over had spread very quickly and many people were now panicking that they had lost their money and would not be getting the items they ordered). The first thing we had to do was to contact all of our customers to inform them of the situation and give them some peace of mind. Some people requested to have their money refunded while a vast majority were happy to continue with the order they had made and wait just a little longer for the delivery to take place.

It was a stressful time for all in the Taylors office, starting a brand new job is never easy but to literally hit the ground running is even less so. Gradually we began to make progress and get ourselves caught up. We are pleased to say that all orders got sorted out  and, thanks to all of the patience and support from our customer base, we were soon able to move forward and begin doing what we had aimed at doing in the first place – selling garden buildings.

This was where it started getting exciting, with the old orders sorted and completed we could now focus on moving the business forward and start to repair the Taylors name in the marketplace.

Ready Built Shed Range

Ready Built Shed Range

 

One of the first big moves we made was securing a contract with a very large shed manufacturer who would deliver and install their garden buildings all for one price. This is of course UK Garden Buildings, they are the suppliers of our Ready Built range which has gone from strength to strength and is now one of our biggest selling lines.

 

 

Woodmeadow Garden Centre

Woodmeadow Garden Centre

The second major step we took was to purchase a local garden centre. Woodmeadow had been trading since the early 1970s and the previous owner had decided to move on to a new chapter in life. This came at a perfect time for us, it was obviously meant to be! With the purchase of Woodmeadow we now had a display site to showcase some of the buildings, this not only made us a more physical presence but it also enabled us to offer a more personal service by allowing us to meet our customers face to face.

Since those early days Taylors has continued to grow and now, three years later, we have revived the Taylors name and once again become a more prominent force on the internet.  We have a much bigger team  now too, some people have come and gone down the years, some have moved to different areas of the business while others have decided on a different career path, but we now have a team that is bigger and better than it has ever been!

Due to the increase in staff we re-located our sales office to bigger premises, this was our third big step in the growth of our business and happened in July 2013.

Thanks to our social media platforms (Facebook in particular) we have had a lot of positive feedback from our customers – some of those customers by the way were with us in the beginning and have stuck by us since then.

A huge thank you to them for giving us the chance to grow and standing by us!

In the past three years we have managed successfully to breathe fresh new life in to an ailing business and restore it to former glories, we have done the same to a local garden centre which has seen a dramatic increase in sales and now has a solid loyal customer base.

Movember 2012

Movember 2012

 

We even managed to do our bit for charity too, long term followers of our blog will remember that we did Movember in 2012 and raised over £1600.00!!

 

 

 

We have many plans for the future which will be mentioned on here as and when they happen – there are still exciting times ahead so watch this space!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not Just For Grown-ups……

It’s not just the grown-ups who can find something at Taylors.

As well as a vast range of Summerhouses, Sheds, Garages and Storage Solutions we also have a range of Playhouses, Games and Vehicles for your little ones. It may well be the ideal time to start looking for something for the summer to keep your little ones amused, especially as the dreaded summer holidays are rapidly approaching!

My KIngdom

My kingdom

One of my favourite things when I was little was my wendy house, it was  very flimsy looking back (it was basically just a push together plastic framework affair with a cover over the top). It wasn’t the grandest of houses but it did have a plastic window and pair of flaps acting as a doorway (it was very similar to the one pictured on the right except mine was vinyl – with the added luxury of a real chimney I might add!). I loved it and spent a lot of time in it with my action figures recreating key scenes from the latest Doctor Who episode or Star Wars movie (that little yellow house was everything from the TARDIS to Jabbas Palace on the inside at various times!).

How times have changed!

We have “Wendy” houses on our site but long gone is the need to weigh them down with rocks and stones on a windy day, also long gone is that searing temperature inside that shot up in the summertime as the hot sun penetrated the plastic covering. The houses available nowadays are often made of wood and have all the luxuries such as real doors and windows, felt roofing and even, in some cases, stairways leading up to a second level (oh to be a child again!).

 

Swiss Cottage Playhouse

Swiss Cottage Playhouse

We have many Playhouses available on our site starting from as little as £200, we have designs that range from the classic apex style with forward facing window and door all the way up to Swiss Cottages and Dutch Barns. Many of our playhouses can be painted a colour of your choice (quite often more than one colour if need be). We have playhouses that are raised up on a platform with balustrades and ladders which provide safety and are ideal for wannabe pirates or space invaders!

 

The Jailhouse 8x8

The Jailhouse 8×8

We have a very nice range of Ready Built Playhouses which are very popular, for a set price you can have your building delivered and installed all in one go (depending on your location). This takes all the stress out of frantically trying to build the house while being hassled by a mini Darth Vader who is desperate to get inside his new kingdom to plot universal domination!

These buildings are long lasting , durable and guaranteed to give many years of fun and excitement for your children. Buying one of these can be  a real investment but not just in financial terms, money can increase and decrease in value all the time.

Childhood memories? They are always priceless!!

Childhood memories

Childhood memories