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22 May 2018

Why You Need A Driveway

We all fall in love with our new driveways, weed free and perfectly new, one of the best attributes of a paved driveway is how little maintenance and care it will need over its lifetime. But no driveway including concrete is truly maintenance-free. Well maintained driveways show that you take pride in your home.

Block Paving
Block paving can look beautiful when it is first laid but for the first few weeks after being laid the joints between block paving will be relatively porous. Ingress of water from rain or other sources will consolidate the jointing sand and even flush it out particularly on sloping sites. It is important that these joints are topped up with jointing sand to prevent damage to your driveway but with these few simple steps, you can keep your driveway looking stunning for a lifetime. All your driveway really needs is a good clean with a broom and strong detergent also apply a weed preventative between joints of your block paving to prevent the weeds from growing. A general clean at the start of Spring is perfect.

You can also invest in a power washer, if you use a power washer, it should be angled at 30°and sprayed diagonally on a medium pressure. Re-sand and re-point any joints if necessary.

Concrete Driveways
Concrete driveways should be sealed every 2 years or when you notice that the finish is starting to show signs of wear. If your driveway is used for normal everyday traffic and you do not live in an area with the overly severe weather. If your concrete drive is at a business, you may need to seal more often. There are many good sealers on the market and we can advise you on the best one to suit your drive.

Gravel Driveways
A gravel driveway is one of the least expensive options when putting in a new driveway and more people are opting for them based on the prices of the materials. But, you must keep on top of the maintenance to keep it looking nice. Regular Weeding and raking need to take place to keep your driveway in tip-top condition. Raking will avoid potholes accruing where you regularly park. As soon as you see a hole, rake back the gravel and fill the hole with sand. Replace the gravel and you are good to go.

Resin Driveways
A resin-based driveway is an extremely minimal maintenance If you choose a resin driveway it should be regularly swept clean, removing leaves and rubbish to keep looking tidy. To keep your surface looking its best and to prevent any moss or weed growth it should be treated using an appropriate weed killer. Some quite common chemicals including petrol, diesel fuel, oil, and tar can damage resin-based products causing softening. All spills should be quickly removed and thoroughly flushed with water.

Driveways need tender loving care as much as your home needs maintenance and improvement. A sturdy and well-maintained driveway provides a great first impression of your home. Your driveway is the first section of your home that greets guests and entices passers-by to take a second look. You make a great impression by showing off a well-kept driveway that’s both functional and aesthetically appealing. Invest time, money and effort in your driveway because it adds value to your property.

Speak to SGL today about our Driveways that are tailored to your requirements.

17 May 2018

Paving your garden

So, you have an outdoor area, but you have no idea what to do with it? You know you want to enjoy long summer evenings socialising and dining with family and friends outside in your beautiful garden.

However, you work and have a family to care for not forgetting a busy social life. You don’t have time to suddenly grow green fingers. You’re also watching your budget, which means that you don’t have a whole lot of extra cash to spend on plants and flowers.

SGL has the answers.

Simple does it

With a little creativity and a dash of inspiration, paving slabs don’t need to be boring. Quite to the contrary in fact, Consider the wide range of exciting and diverse paving on offer to you, Here are just 3 of our most popular paving techniques

Crazy paving
Crazy paving is a popular technique used in many driveways and paths. It involves the use of irregular shaped bricks, delicately positioned together to make a unique surface. It requires a great level of skill to lay to ensure the surface is suitable for heavy loads, such as a vehicle and with 20 years’ experience behind us we know how you make a beautiful and bespoke driveway for you

The Benefits of Crazy Paving
There are several benefits that come with crazy paving: –

There is a wide range of styles, types, colours and sizes, hence there are also many design possibilities let your imagination inspire you.

These types of stones can be inexpensive. The design of the path can be creative and you can wind around planting and borders. It gives bland gardens a touch of decoration. You can add broken tiles and stones into the design or leave gaps for plants to grow.

Crazy paving is considered to be more attractive than basic, plain tarmacadam surfaces for driveways.

Individual blocks can be lifted and replaced if they are damaged, or stained with oil, diesel or petrol spillages

A well-designed path can add decoration and interest to your garden. It can also improve the kerb appeal of your property.

Block Paving
Block paved driveways are available in a range of different colours and styles, making them suitable for most types of home and property. Different coloured bricks and patterns can add a unique effect to your drive.

Block paved driveways are extremely durable, reliable and aesthetically pleasing. They have the added benefit of being easily repaired, as a damaged block can simply be removed and replaced.

The Benefits of Block Paving

Block paving is more attractive than basic, plain tarmacadam surfaces for driveways

One of the most appealing factors about using block paving for your patio or driveway is the long-lasting durability of the material

Once installed, block paving requires very little upkeep. The colour will remain the same as does not require any additional painting in future years.

Not only is this visually appealing, but it also ensures that the surface is strong and able to support any weight so that cracks will be prevented. In a concrete driveway, cracks may begin to appear over the years and this would need to be fixed.

Resin Driveways
Resin driveways are the modern looking driveway of choice and they stand out! They enhance the appearance of any home. A wide range of colour combinations are available, so it’s possible to either have a drive that blends in with its surroundings or create a driveway surface that gives a striking and visually stunning contrast. If you want the neighbours to gawp with envy – show off with a resin driveway!

When rainwater falls on a paved surface, it needs to drain away. Conventional solid surfaces are impermeable, water flows across the surface or forms pools, adding to flood risk. Gravel surfaces avoid this problem water flows freely through the small stones and into the ground. But gravel surfaces can be messy and difficult for pushchairs or wheelchairs.

Benefits of a Resin Drive

The rough textured finish provides anti-slip qualities which are perfect for slopes and public walkways.

It is easy to install. A gravel or concrete driveway can take days to install. A resin driveway, on the other hand, takes only a few hours.

This is a very resilient paving system with a life expectancy of up to 15 years depending on the specification and design you choose

It’s affordable, Resin driveways are among the most affordable driveway options. Thanks to its durability, both the initial and long-term costs are extremely low.

It requires very little maintenance, which further adds to your savings. Unlike loose gravel surfacing, the resin bonded paving doesn’t lose particles of stone or get washed away during wet weather.


If you think about transforming your driveway or garden here are just a small option of what we can offer you. Contact us at SGL with over 20 experience we can design and plan a garden to suit all your needs.

16 May 2018

Chelsea Flower Show 2018

It’s that time of year again when the sun is shining and the crowds flock to the Chelsea Flower Show. The dates to note this year are 22nd – 26th May 2018 and you will find SGL paying close attention to what is on display this year.

Some fun stuff about the Chelsea Flower Show:
Behind the scenes…


If you visit the show this year and have gathered some inspiration call SGL on 01733 860587 and learn how we can transform your garden.

14 May 2018

Bespoke summer houses

Having a summerhouse in the garden has endless potential for personality and character and will almost certainly create a focal point to complement your garden’s theme. It will also give you additional living and relaxation space, as well as storage space.

A summerhouse is an ideal feature to add to any garden. Functional yet pleasing to the eye and all our garden summerhouses are built to the highest standards in every way.
Summerhouses are available in all shapes and sizes for what you want to use it for. The space available and your budget will dictate what size you should buy.
There are lots of thing to consider when investing in a summerhouse but below we have tried to focus on the main considerations that might influence your choice.

You will need to think about what you are going to use the building for? If you want to use it purely for relaxation or whether you will combine storage? It would be a useful exercise to lay everything out. This will help you to visualise what space you might need. Partitions are great for larger buildings to create a multi-use space for storage and relaxation this is a fantastic way of making best use of the space available.

Location & Position
It would be a clever idea to consider the path the sun takes across your garden throughout the day and what you are going to use the building for. If you work full time and use your summer house for leisure you may want to position it to take advantage of the evening sunshine.

Building the Right Base
Preparing a good base for your summer house is paramount. This can be in the form of a concrete slab, paving slabs or timber frame. We can be your guild on making the right choice depending on your needs. We would dig about six inches of soil out and replace with sand and hardcore if laying slabs we would use a waterproof membrane before pouring concrete.

You should go for the best quality that you can afford. Although the initial cost will be more, investing in good quality and craftsmanship will result in a building that could potentially last decades and more than pay for itself.

Planning permission
In general, most timber summer houses that are carefully positioned within a back garden do not need planning permission, however, there are a few legal and visual considerations to be aware of. If in doubt, always check before buying and installing a summer house. The best place to read up on planning permission rules is your local council’s website. Most councils are now very good about explaining the rules for planning permission in clear, comprehensible language, so you should not have to wade through too much legal jargon.

SGL can work with you to create the summer house of your dreams and create a space to make memories that will last a lifetime, call today for more information.

10 May 2018

Winning ways for winter

Come winter, the crutches that we rely on to make our gardens look good – frothy annuals, lush herbaceous perennials, screens of rampant runner beans – are gone. What’s left – the bare bones of the garden – can leave the most dedicated summer gardener inclined to turn a blind eye until spring.

But some plants come into their own during the colder months. The place to go for inspiration is a garden that really comes alive once the days shorten and the leaves fall. Anglesey Abbey in Cambridgeshire boasts a winter garden based around a winding path: the scale is far beyond domestic plots, but it includes many vignettes that would be easy to replicate in the average flowerbed.

Anglesey’s assistant head gardener David Jordan took me on a guided tour of some early winter highlights in the hope of pinpointing plant combinations that will stand out in the average garden border.

Start with a tree
The winter garden recipe runs something like this: a tree with colourful or tactile bark – try Tibetan cherry (Prunus serrula), paperbark maple (Acer griseum) or Arbutus unedo, the strawberry tree – acts as an anchor for the rest of the planting; then add a mid-level shrub with scented flowers, coloured stems or interesting leaves (dogwoods, euonymus, daphnes, viburnums or sarcococcas); finally, there’s the option of a low-growing ground cover (snowdrops and hardy cyclamen, or foliage such as bergenias or pulmonarias).

One of Jordan’s favourite combinations is the shaggy-barked paperbark maple teamed with the variegated evergreen shrub Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’ and the pink, scented blossoms of Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’. At Anglesey, the euonymus is cloud-pruned in summer to create a sinuous shape, but as Jordan points out, “It has adventitious roots, so you could grow it up the walls of a house and have it as a backdrop.”

Jordan also recommends the crab apple tree Malus ‘Evereste’ as a centrepiece to a winter border. “You get long, persistent fruit, and you can underplant with dogwood in red or orange that works with the colour of the fruit. Underplant with snowdrops, then daffodils, and this takes you through to May when you get the flowers – that gives you a long window of interest.”

Story Courtesy of The Guardian