In the Spring, Summer, and for some of the Autumn, when the grey skies are more at bay, and bursts of sunshine are a common occurrence, we Brits love nothing more than to tend the garden, or to lounge out on the patio, and soak up the rays. It's an important area - the garden. It gives us that extra breathing space during the warmer months. It provides us with a relaxation area outside of the home, where we can escape for a few hours.

 

That's why, when you hear us talking about Unlocking Your Dream Home, we mean the garden, too. Don't leave it out - include it. Give it a refresh. Introduce some of 2015's latest garden trends. We've listed them out below.

 

Garden patio tiles

 

Tiles: A great alternative to decking

Decking does look good. For a month or two, at least. But it soon starts to fade under the sunlight - and no matter how much tread has been sawn into the wood, it's always dangerously slippery when wet. Those grooves don't do the decking any good, because rainwater sits in them, and before long, the wood becomes riddled with unsightly mould. Then you have to wash it all out, wait for a dry day, and re-treat the sun-faded wood to get rid of the stains. Decking isn't cheap, either. Wood is expensive. And then you need to account for all the labour of somebody who knows what they're doing to piece together the decking.

 

For a more affordable, lower maintenance option, with extra grip underfoot, choose an anti-slip wood effect tile! Using the latest HD technology, we can make a porcelain tile look just as realistic as natural wood. Apply an anti-slip finish, and there you have it - the perfect alternative to wooden decking. They're much easier to install than decking, too. All you need is a level concrete surface to tile onto.

 

So what types of wood effect tiles are available, when it comes to outdoor use? For one thing, there's our selection of Vintage Wood Tiles. They belong to our designer Louisa Charlotte Collection, and come in a selection of parquet effect designs. They have a realistic wood effect design, alive with wood-grain, and are available in various different colours.

 

vintage wood effect tiles for garden

 

Also from the Louisa Charlotte Tiles are these Vintage Plank Tiles. They come in a more familiar rectangular plank design - similar to the decking we are all used to. They, too, have a gripping anti-slip finish to help us keep on our feet when we're crossing our garden in the damp, drizzly weather. They can be laid end-to-end, or in a more interesting Herringbone design, which would make more of a feature of your patio area, and would act as a focal point for your garden.

 

vintage wood effecxt garden tiles

 

The Plight of the Bumblebee

This Summer will see the return of the nationwide campaign to help save the humble British bumblebee from extinction. Last year, it was made clear that the population of British bumblebees in the wild was at an all time low, to Brits were encouraged to create habitats in their gardens where colonies of bees could thrive.

 

One thing we can do is introduce plants that produce high levels of nectar and pollen - as both of these are needed to nourish the colony. Here's a list of bee-friendly plants.

 

Bumble bee on flower

 

Another thing you can do is to introduce habitats for them to adopt. You can buy a small wooden 'bee hotel' online for less than £30 - like this one from Plant Theatre...

 

Bee Hotel from Plant Theatre

 

Will you be inviting these garden ideas into your home? Let us know via Facebooktwitter or Google+. Better still, leave a comment below!

 

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