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25 August 2013

The Aggregate Garden - Advantages of Using Aggregates

There are many reasons as to why using aggregates throughout your garden is a wise choice; however, not all of these relate to your garden directly – choosing aggregates over other materials such as grass or wood can sustain local businesses and aid in the expansion and development of these businesses too. Here are some of the advantages to purchasing aggregates over the usual materials such as grass and wood chippings.


Environmental Benefits

By designing a garden that contains mostly aggregates such as gravel, slate chipping and slabs you will produce far less garden waste than that of your neighbours who will have to mow their lawn continuously and trim their hedges or shrubs.


It will also save you a lot of time and energy, as you will not need to use an electric strimmer or a petrol lawn mower; these are ways in which you will be saving valuable resources by utilising aggregates within your garden.


Using a small amount of gravel or pebbles within your soil will improve the drainage – in turn this will help your plants resist disease and various types of fungi; however, ensure that you do not use too much gravel as if the soil drains too well you could find that your plants do not have access to an adequate amount of water.



Economic Advantages

If you use aggregates throughout your garden you can cut your energy bills as you will not be using water to hydrate your lawn as you won’t have one; you won’t be using a large amount of electricity either as you will not have a need for power tools to maintain your outdoor area.


Purchasing aggregates also keeps companies in business and allows them to create more jobs that sustain the local community; by supporting these companies you’re also supporting your community and encouraging the growth of the economy.


Convenience and Comfort

There are also a great deal of personal reasons as to why you should utilise aggregates within your garden; aggregates can be used to create a very unique and homely style. Cobbles possess a rustic charm that can make your outdoor area feel less like a garden and more like a second room, cobbles also retain and reflect heat better than a lawn does, which makes your garden feel warmer during the warmer months.


Using gravel, slate or rockery with water features and other ornaments creates an individual focal point that you can centre the rest of your garden around, although you don’t have to have just one pint of interest within your garden.


Lastly, using aggregates is incredibly convenient as it means that you do not have to spend a lot of money on a landscaping project or a complete redesign of your garden; this money can then be used to buy garden furniture or ornaments to complement the style that you have worked to create.


For more information on using aggregates within your garden as part of construction or decoration you can get in touch with us here at Aggregate Shop, we’d be happy to provide you with expert advice and assistance.

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posted by Aggregate Shop at 10:30
21 August 2013

Creating A Contemporary Garden

There are plenty of ways in which you can update the style of your garden and make it modern; but how do you go about it? Decorative aggregates and various other construction materials can work wonders if you know how to use them properly, and with a little inspiration and a lot of time, you should be able to work a little miracle of your own. Here are some of the best ways in which you can work towards creating your very own contemporary garden.


Current Style and Cobble Paths

One of the best ways for you to create a big impression is through the use of a cobble path – when laid properly they can be incredibly beautiful and if you’re using a pale, washed out colour scheme they look very stylish too.


To create this modern path you will need a large amount of white, cream, beige or sandstone cobbles and even more precision – the most effective pattern for you to replicate is the diamond pattern. The diamond pattern is similar to the mosaic in its attraction, but is far less complex.


Utilising Gravel in your Garden

By replacing the majority of your grass with durable gravel you will be creating a low maintenance garden that can be used throughout the seasons – weather dos not affect gravel nearly as much as it would grass. Gravel will improve the drainage within your garden too, which means that you will not encounter as much mud after long periods of heavy rain.


However, designing your garden in a current style isn’t as simple as putting down a little gravel; there should be a technique to it.

One of the most effective ways to use gravel, and to get the most out of it is to line the edges of your garden path with white or grey gravel – try to use as few colours as possible to create a minimalistic effect.


Bricks can also be placed in patterns such as spirals, circles and diamonds; the gravel is then used to fill in the spaces between and around the patterns that you have put down.


Slate Chippings – Flower Bed Solutions

It’s suggested that you keep flowers within your garden to retain the comforting, peaceful atmosphere that every garden should have; however the flowerbeds should line the edges of your garden and slate chippings should cover the topsoil.


By using slate chippings you are preventing weeds from growing within the soil, but you’re also simplifying the look of your garden; stone, chrome and glass are ideal textures for a contemporary garden.


Paddle stones are often used as an alternative to slate chipping, but they can prevent water from reaching your plants and flowers – this is one of the reasons as to why slate chippings are more appropriate for the majority of flowerbeds.



Furnishing your Garden – Decorations and More

Your garden simply isn’t complete without a few ornaments and some fashionable furniture – the best materials for the garden that you are trying to create would be glass for tables, stone for ornaments and chrome for other types of furniture – don’t forget that black and white colours are essential due to their ability to complement other materials and colours.


For more information on decorative aggregates and using them to design or refine your garden you can get in touch with us here at Aggregate Shop, we’d be more than happy to help.

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posted by Aggregate Shop at 11:37
17 August 2013

Tips and Tricks When Laying Cobbles

Laying concrete slabs and other types of pavement is a very tricky business; but what about when you are trying to lay cobbles? Concrete slabs are often put down in very regular, square patterns – this is nothing like cobbles which are generally strewn about with concrete in between; but there’s still a technique that you should follow when attempting to lay this type of path.


Determine the Use of your Cobbles

Before you can begin to lay down the cobbles, you must consider what it is that you will be using them for. If your cobbles are going to undergo heavy usage such as vehicles passing over them, or whether they will only be used lightly such as within a path, pavement or patio area.


If your cobbles are going to be used as part of a drive you need to use a bedding layer, a base layer and also a sub-grade; this is different to the creation of a path or patio as you would only need the bedding and sub-grade beneath your cobbles.


Patterns and Arrangement

There are three main types of arrangement that you can use when you are laying cobbles, each of these is satiable for different styles of garden and areas; the best pattern to use when paving a drive is the rough, parallel laid pattern.


Laying your cobbles in this style will make them stronger and more resistant to the weight of a vehicle as they will be laid on the side rather than flat, it’s also one of the best patterns that you can use for grip as the cobbles are so close together the overall surface areas is larger.


One of the most common patterns that is used throughout gardens in the UK and beyond is the random laid pattern, this combines cobbles of varying shades and lays them in a variety of ways, some on the sides, some flat and others at angles.

This type of paving lends a great deal of grip during times of cold weather where frost and ice are abundant, however it doesn’t always look appropriate; if your garden is of a modern or contemporary style, this may not be the pattern for you.


Coursed cobbles can be tricky to achieve, as they have to be in near perfect lines for the pattern to work; but it can be done if you take care whilst creating it. Coursed cobbles are ideal for almost any type of garden and look quite natural as moss and other debris begin to build up between the cobbles – it’s also a great method of incorporating drainage into your patio or path.


Decorative Cobbles

Cobbles can be bought in many different colours and shades, due to this they can be used to create mosaics and pictures; the diamond pattern in a white or sandstone colour can enhance a modern garden and will also add value to your house.


Mosaics are much more difficult to complete and take a large amount of time, care and precision; it’s essential that when you are attempting a mosaic through the use of cobbles you first draw out your pattern and practice laying the cobbles without the concrete before you begin the actual process of laying them.


There are any other ways in which you can bring about the use of cobbles within your garden, for instance water features and ornaments nestles amongst cobbles look very sharp and sophisticated.


For more information on cobbles, and other decorative aggregates you can enquire at your local garden centre or alternatively, get in touch with us here at Aggregate Shop, we’d be happy to help you with your enquiries.

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posted by Aggregate Shop at 13:17
13 August 2013

How to Use Grit Outside of your Pond

Grit doesn’t have to be reserved just for the pond within your garden, there are various other features of your outdoor area that would benefit from the addition of grit or gravel. Aspects such as the soil and flowerbeds in your garden can be improved through the use of grit without you having to put in a large amount of effort.


Water Drainage and Grit

The use of grit within your soil and flowerbeds can improve the texture of the soil and the way in which the water drains through the soil. As the water begins to drain better the chances of your plants developing diseases related to moisture and various types of fungi are decreased greatly; this will make your garden look healthier and saves you the job of caring for sickened plants.


If you improve the drainage within your soil through the use of grit you garden will also become less muddy after large amounts of rainfall, this means that less mess will be created if you have to walk across your lawn or flowerbeds after long periods of rain or general damp weather.


A herb garden or a garden that includes a large number of Mediterranean plants will especially benefit from soil that drains well as they grow efficiently in much drier weather – this is one of the reasons as to why they grow so well within hanging baskets and window boxes.


Grit and Garden Design

Grit can also be used within the design of your garden – if you’re looking for a minimal, low maintenance garden, gravel paths and borders can provide you with a serene, neatly finished space that doesn’t require continuous adjustment and care.


A garden designed using grit can also provide you with a garden that discourages insects – although for some this may be a negative aspect of a grit garden, for others an insect free garden is a haven and can be relaxed in without irritation.


Weed Prevention – An Alternative to Mulch

Weeds are one of the worst pests that can infect your garden and damage your flowerbeds – they spread rapidly and are tough to get rid of once their roots have developed. Spreading grit over the top layer of your soil can prevent the seeds from landing on the surface of the soil and accessing enough nutrients to grow – this is a way in which grit can be used as an alternative to mulch.


Using grit as mulch will also prevent problem pests from laying waste to your flowerbeds as they won’t have direct access to the soil in the flowerbed below them; this discourages the pests as they are less safe if they are out in the open


There are many other ways in which you can use grit within your garden; if you have any queries concerning materials such as sand, grit or gravel you can speak to a building or aggregate supplier near you. Alternatively, at Aggregate Shop we provide professional advice free of charge and are always more than willing to help.

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posted by Aggregate Shop at 13:25

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