Artificial Grass — The Solution for Your Garden?

  At Ashbrook Garden Centre & Landscaping, we have been installing steadily increasing areas of artificial grass in our garden landscaping projects. Customers have been coming to us and requesting ‘AstroTurf’ for their back gardens to maximise the use they can get from their outdoor areas. To call artificial grass ‘AstroTurf’ is a bit erroneous, as Astroturf is only one brand of artificial grass (it’s like calling a vacuum cleaner a ‘hoover’). Artificial grass is becoming ever more popular because it has properties that make it superior to a traditional lawn in many ways, and eminently suitable for Ireland’s cooler, moist climate. Cash advantages Artificial grass is extremely low maintenance. Laid on a gravel and fine sand base, it is...
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The Dandelion: Getting Rid of a Victim of its Own Success

  “And over that potato-field A lazy veil of woven sun, Dandelions growing on headlands, showing Their unloved hearts to everyone.” From: Spraying the Potatoes, by Patrick Kavanagh The dandelion is one of Nature’s great colonisers and survivors. Thriving in a range of soils, it is a ubiquitous sight in Irish meadows and along our roadsides, as well as on waste ground. Unfortunately, however, it is more than happy to colonise your flowerbeds and your carefully mown lawn, dashing any hopes of producing a Wimbledon-like front garden. And once dandelions take hold, they’re not exactly easy to get rid of! However, though dandelions might be somewhat unloved, as Kavanagh wrote, they are far from useless. And a little knowledge of...
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Garden Landscaping: The Appeal of Imported Natural Stone

    Natural stone flags and slabs have been used for paving for thousands of years. Paving the courtyard or pathways of a country house with stone flags was once viewed as a sign of considerable wealth, as each flag had to be dressed by hand to achieve the requisitely flat surface of the stone. A good compromise today is to use imported natural stone.   Traditional stonework Producing stone flags and slabs in the days gone by was an incredibly laborious task. Limestone flags, for example, had to be quarried carefully (to avoid breaking) in a quarry as close to the customer as possible to reduce transport costs as much as possible. They were then dressed by hand by...
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Ashbrook Landscaping: The Meath Garden Centre

    There are very simple reasons why more and more people are making Ashbrook their Meath garden centre of choice. From our wide range of products here in the garden centre to our vast garden landscaping experience, dropping in to Ashbrook Garden Centre and Landscaping means you’ll be talking to someone with a wealth of experience in gardens. And to someone who cares about your garden.   As the leading Meath garden centre, we have happy customers coming from all over the Leinster region for their gardening needs, especially with respect to garden landscaping.   Customer care   For the team at Ashbrook, the customer is at the centre of everything we do. We’ve been working hard in recent...
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Caring for Cobblelock Driveways

    Cobblelock driveways and paths are great additions to any home, presenting your house to passers-by and welcoming guests. With regular care and maintenance, they will look well for a lifetime. It’s a true shame to let something so beautiful fall into disrepair, so here are some tips for caring for cobblelock driveways. In Ireland’s moist, fertile climate, a lack of maintenance can lead to the growth of moulds and algae, with grasses, mosses and dandelions between the cracks. Over time, this organic matter settles in the cracks, providing a fertile seed bed for all kinds of weeds. Another factor is that our repeated heavy rainfall will cause the blinding sand to be washed out or down into the...
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Garden Landscaping: Cobblelock Driveways

  Cobblelock driveways have become very popular in recent years, as many homeowners have come to recognise them as an excellent way to make their home far more attractive and impressive from the outside. Well-thought-out cobblelock driveways complement the property and increase its value considerably, as they serve as a de facto ‘Welcome mat’ for anyone approaching your house either by foot or by car, day or night. Colours and hues Before deciding on a certain colour or finish of cobblelock pavers, make sure to call to a good garden centre where they have an extensive range to choose from. Take some pictures of the colour scheme of your house on your phone, including the brickwork, the pathways, the doors...
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Shovel & spade: choosing the right digging implements

Buy good-quality tools and they’ll last you a lifetime: this craftsman’s adage still holds true today. So when picking out a shovel & spade, choosing the right ones can make your gardening life a lot easier for years to come. If you buy the right two ‘digging implements’, you might never need to buy a shovel again in your life, and there’ll be no job around the garden that you can’t handle. Don’t forget your shovel… Even if your garden is of modest dimensions, no gardener or DIY enthusiast should be without a good old-fashioned – and, most importantly, IRISH – shovel. While many hardware shops and garden centres will have a broad range of shovels, it’s not rocket science to...
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Building a traditional dry stone wall in your garden

  The traditional dry stone wall is a hallmark of the Irish landscape, and its inherent beauty and functionality make it the perfect dividing line in any Irish garden. Following a few simple steps and principles will help you to get started building a traditional dry stone wall, whether big or small, in your garden.   Partition The American poet Robert Frost once said that “Good fences make good neighbours.” Indeed, though many of the stone walls in the Irish landscape were raised after the Act of Enclosure in 1768, the Céide Fields in Co. Mayo prove that the Celts were using stone walls to manage grazing and land use in Ireland some 5,500 years ago. Traditional dry stone walls...
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How to use a shovel: Eliminating back pain

  How to use a shovel correctly is probably not a skill many of us have learned formally: it’s unusual to be shown how to do something so ‘simple’. We just watch grown-ups when we are children, and copy their actions. Or we just grab a shovel and get stuck in. However, we all know how common back injuries are, and how easy it can be to injure our backs if we use our bodies incorrectly. Know that feeling the next morning when you realise you “overdid it a bit” digging up the vegetable bed the day before? It doesn’t have to be that way.   The right shovel A good shovel will have a long, straight ash handle, and...
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Drainage: Avoiding a waterlogged garden

  After the recent heavy rains, many Irish gardens are waterlogged, with insufficient drainage meaning large lakes of water where the ground should now be firm with a white skin of frost. Drainage in the garden is a function of a range of factors, including the compositions of both the topsoil and the underlying layers, the slope of the garden, the water table in the area, and the topography of the surrounding area. If your garden is surrounded by fields or gardens at a higher elevation than yours, water will tend to run and seep downhill and into your garden. Soil has a tremendous capacity for soaking up and holding water, but if rain continues for days, the soil becomes...
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Pruning roses – it’s time to break out those secateurs…

  The best time for pruning roses is in February, in the very depths of winter. Many of the plants and trees in our garden need a touch of frost to help them recognise the warmth of spring – the cold acts like a trigger for growth. An old gardener’s tip says that when the Forsythia begins to bloom, it’s time to get pruning. Our aim is to start shaping our rose bush during dormancy and before any new growth starts, so the plant doesn’t waste energy in stalks that you then cut off. But a word of warning for young roses: don’t prune freshly-planted roses, and only lightly prune first-year roses to let them get established. If you are...
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Sod it—it’s Time for Laying Lawn

Autumn is the perfect time of year for laying lawn, and putting down cultivated turf is the quickest way to get a beautiful lawn. A turf-roll lawn will be grassy and green from day one, and is a quick and easy garden landscaping solution if you prepare the site and manage your time and space well. Start by measuring the area you need to cover, adding 4 or 5 percent to account for trimmings and wastage—especially on irregularly-shaped lawns. Find out what kind of grass cover is the right one for you, depending on how much traffic your lawn will have to bear (i.e. how many footballers you have in the family), or if it’s supposed to look like centre...
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Early Autumn Jobs in the Garden

Early autumn is the perfect time to start putting the garden to bed for the coming winter. Grass growth slows right down as September draws to a close, as shorter days with weaker sunshine mean that soil temperatures cool. This gives many garden plants the signal that summer is over, and the leaves begin to turn from green to a thousand beautiful yellows, reds and browns. While it has been milder later in the year in recent decades, the first frost could come anytime around the end of September in Ireland, so it’s important to get those autumn jobs done. It’s a good idea to start making space inside now, and to bring in the tender plants before the frost...
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Suburban Garden – a Modern Masterpiece

The suburban garden we are drawing on for inspiration today is from the Dublin area, and it’s truly a modern masterpiece. It was created by Alan Coffey, a landscape gardener that the team in Ashbrook sometimes work with! The house on this wide but shallow site is located in the middle, leaving a u-shaped area around the sides and back. A cobbled driveway was laid to the left of the house for parking, with a grassy children’s play area directly behind it. This is screened off from the driveway by a row of box ball hedging plants, and a herb garden. A colourful mixture of relatively mature trees, including Japanese Maple and other woodland perennials, were retained and used as...
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Introduction video to Ashbrook Garden Centre and Landscaping

Check out this introduction video to Ashbrook Garden Centre and Landscaping. We stock everything you might need to create the perfect garden, whether it is water features, garden sheds, fencing, pots and planters, shrubs, ever greens, all styles and designs of patio, we have it all. Check out the video and please tell us what you think....
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GARDEN IDEAS:Front Garden Landscaping by the Ashbrook Team

A Traditional Front Garden Design For this garden landscaping project the lady’s kitchen window is facing out onto her front garden. We couldn’t have a fence or a wall, and there was a hedge from the neighbours garden to take into consideration. As you can see from across the road they are allowed only small fences. She wanted a lovely garden in the front so we decided to do it in sleepers standing on the edge. They are all sleepers cut and they are up and down, she wanted a wave effect so that is what we created. There are some lovely shrubs in there as well. With the grass area, we put a circle in the middle and put...
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GARDEN IDEAS:Front Cobblelock Driveway

The client for this garden wanted the old cobblelock style, and this is the nearest to it availalbe. You can’t buy old cobble any more and as you can see when the driveway is empty of cars there is a nice circle in the middle so it’s not just one piece of cobble. Around the edge we have a border as well. You can easily park three cars – it went from a one car driveway to a three car driveway in a matter of days. We kept a bit of a grass border just to soften it as it was such a large area. The grass border area is very low maintenance for the owner, but does add that...
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GARDEN IDEAS:Front Garden with Paving Stones Circle

This garden started off as a piece of green area to the side, he had room to park his car, only one car and it was just a nuisance to mow, he had his back garden landscaped and his lawn mower broke down so he said he wasn’t going to replace it. He decided to take away the front garden. We took away all the grass and we put in two circles, one is two metres and the other is three metres as the grass area expands and we just covered the rest in stone. It’s just a nice feature; he’s an elderly man as well so it’s just less work for him. The circles were made of Indian sandstone...
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GARDEN IDEAS:Driveways and Paving with the Ashbrook Team

This front garden was in front of an older house in the Dublin area. The owner wanted something that was easy to maintain but that also looked attractive. The paving stones in this driveway are unusual for a couple of reasons. One is the size, they are over double the size of normal paving stones, and secondly there is the mix of colours. The shrubs in this garden are very easy to maintain and will only need a tidy up once a year, for half a day. They will provide colour in the garden all year round and add variety to the garden. The driveway can park three cars. Ashbrook Garden Centre and Landscaping are specialists in driveways and paving....
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GARDEN IDEAS:Large Front Garden with Tarmac Driveway

This project was a large garden where we did both the front and back gardens. The trees, shrubs, and plants all came from the garden centre. The drive way it self is a simple tarmac driveway, but as all the plants in the driveway mature this will become a very impressive front garden that will keep giving, year after year. Drop in the Ashbrook Garden Centre and Landscaping to purchase any materials displayed above (directions here), or call us if you would like to book a free garden design consultation on 0 1 8 3 5 4 3 8 1        ...
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