Garden ponds: great for wildlife
The classic garden pond is a long-standing favourite and it’s easy to see why. Not only can it transform the look and feel of any garden, it also attracts wildlife. From frogs to dragonflies, herons to newts, garden ponds are enormously attractive to birds and beasts looking for a drink or a swim. If you are planning to create a pond in your garden, a spot that is partially sunny is ideal. Avoid positioning it next to trees or you could end up with the daily chore of fishing out fallen leaves.
Gardener’s World has a useful guide on building a garden pond. To get a natural look for your pond, go for a gently curved outline, avoiding straight lines or a perfect circle. Make it about 90cm deep in the centre to provide wildlife with shelter for the winter and build in sloping sides to prevent wildlife from falling in. A flat shelf around the edge will create a border for plants.
Child friendly water features
Unfortunately, ponds can be dangerous for small children but that doesn’t mean you have to rule out having a water feature for a family garden. A shallow stream on a gently sloping garden is safer than a pond and children will love paddling in the cool water as it cascades over rocks. Your Home magazine has an excellent guide to building a stream in your garden.
If you don’t have the space for a stream, an alternative is to go for a fountain. A bubble fountain is a great idea for a family garden and is fairly easy to make using a large pot, filled with decorative pebbles, and a pump. Even a small fountain will generate a lovely relaxing sound and fascinate small children.
Hot tubs: what do you need to consider?
Hot tubs have really taken off in the UK in recent years and there is now a huge choice of different styles and brands: from inflatable hot tubs that can be moved around or packed away to permanent in-ground hot tubs.
A hot tub is an investment so it is worth spending time researching different options, including where it will be positioned. A hot tub needs a level surface, which means your old patio may well not be suitable. If you are looking to build a new surface for a hot tub, you may have decided that slippery decking is not a good option for wet feet. Gripsure Aquadeck could be a great solution. As with all Gripsure decking, it is non slip, so stays safe even when it is wet. Thanks to its rubber infills it is soft underfoot– perfect for padding out to your hot tub. In fact, one of the UK’s most exclusive spas, Titanic Spa, chose Gripsure Aquadeck for its outdoor hot tub. You can now buy Gripsure Aquadeck through our online shop.
A swimming pool in your garden
Not many of us could accommodate an Olympic size swimming pool in our back yard, but more people are choosing to have pools in their gardens. As with hot tubs, there are many options and it is important to spend time researching and considering before making such a major purchase.
The cheapest type of pool is an above-ground outdoor pool, which is also easier to remove than an in-ground pool. This is still a major investment, though, and anyone thinking about the cost of a pool would also need to allow around £5 a day for running and heating costs. If you are planning on employing a pool installer, ensure they are a member of SPATA (the Swimming Pool and Allied Trade Association).
Safety is a very important consideration for anyone looking into adding a pool to their garden. That is why many people choose to invest in a safety cover for their pool. As with hot tubs, the area around your pool is also a key consideration. Cold paving is not always pleasant to walk on with wet feet, gravel is clearly a no-no and a lawn means regularly cleaning out grass from your pool. Decking provides a lovely contemporary look around a swimming pool, but for safety it is important to go for non slip decking. As well as being anti slip and soft for barefoot use, Gripsure Aquadeck also has built in drainage, so any water will soak straight into the ground below, preventing flooding.