Vialii Garden Trends for 2020

We all know that gardening is not just for the retired. Trend setters everywhere are looking to create their own cool places to relax outdoors. They want to have their own home allotments to grow organic, healthy veg and do their bit for the environment. You can do that AND be on trend. So if you want to make your garden as trendy as your wardrobe here’s what you need to know with the Vialii Garden Trends for 2020…

Vertical Gardening

Vertical gardening has been round for many years now and will continue to be a strong trend for 2020. It’s a great way to soften a wall or to  create extra gardening space in a small courtyard garden. Or you can also grow plants that don’t need deep roots (perfect for growing salads!) Even high end fashion stores are backing this trend with their own green walls in store. You can buy a bespoke system making it an easy way to give it a try this year.

The green wall in Anthrapologie

The green wall in Anthrapologie

Pantene Colour of the Year 2020

We can reveal that the pantene colour for 2020 is Classic Blue 19-4052, perfect for gardens! From blousy ceanothus to towering delphiniums there are lots of beautiful planting to give cool, blue tones to your garden this year.

Upcycling

As we continue to have the Climate Crisis at the forefront of our minds, it’s important we consider every purchase and if it is really necessary. We love a bit of upcycling at Vialii and love rescuing old furniture and giving it a makeover or creating something new and  beautiful from leftover materials. Take a rusty old table and chairs, and give them a makeover with some on-trend chartreuse paint for a new, cheap garden furniture set.

Upcycled bistro set

Upcycled bistro set

The Garden Kitchen

More and more clients are wanting to spend more time in their gardens and that includes cooking. Whilst the good old garden BBQ is still the most popular outdoor cooking option, more and more clients are looking for full on outdoor kitchens with grills, ovens, sinks and more! We can design the perfect kitchen to suit your outdoor space, get in touch to let us know what you are looking for.

Secluded Places

As we want to spend more time in our gardens, creating secluded, private areas where we can relax is becoming more important. Even in smaller gardens we can use clever design skills to create a secluded corner where you can get away from the outside world.

We created this wonderful oasis in a corner of a city garden

We created this wonderful oasis in a corner of a city garden

If you need some helping transforming your garden in 2020 get in touch to arrange a free garden design consultation. Make 2020 the year of the garden transformation!

Vialii

Make Your Own Bird Feeder

It’s been a busy start to 2018 for me as I turned 6 and started going to Beavers. On my very first week there we made a cool bird feeder from an old bottle which made me think I should show you how to make your own bird feeder using some things from around the house. It’s still really cold outside so our feathered friends need as much help as possible and it’s a great craft activity for half term!

Lulu's bird feeder

You will need:

Sainsbury’s Bank Guide to Building a Bottle Bird Feeder

Original image from Money Matters blog (www.sainsburysbank.co.uk/money-matters/ )

To make:

1. Carefully add 2 pairs of holes in the bottle where the pencils will be pushed through. Make sure that each pair of holes are the same height. You may need a grown up to help with making the holes as it can be tricky.

2. Push your pencils/sticks through to make perches for the birds.

3. Add some small holes above each perch so that the birds can access the bird food (not too big though or the seeds will fall out)

4. Tie string round the top which you will use to hang it up

5. Fill with bird seed and put your lid back on (to keep your seed dry)

6. Now it’s ready to hang outside!

 

We have ours hanging in our apple tree and can see it easily from the house and watch birds coming for their tea!

Enjoy making yours.

Lulu x

Vialii Review of 2014…

The recent cold weather has given us plenty time to stay nice and warm inside and think over what a year 2014 was (aided by a cuppa or two!) Here is our Vialii Review of 2014 and what 2014 was the year of to us…

Provost's Park

It’s great to see the community utilising the re-designed Provost’s Park

The year of even more up-cycling

You know us, we’re always on the look-out for ways to utilise items that would otherwise make their way into landfill.  In the past we’ve even been known to create an outside lounge for a client, just to utilise a Victorian cast iron fireplace that was found in the house renovations! Back in April we blogged about some other up-cycling ideas we’d tried out at Vialii Towers. We used our old trailer wheels and tyres to make unusual planters. We made a quirky container to display potted plants and encouraged wildlife into the garden by making a bird table from left over timber. We also thought we’d give you step-by-step instructions on how to make your own planters out of pallets. The herbs we planted in ours were a great success last year.

Our bird table was made from left over wood

Our bird table was made from left over wood

The year “Lulu’s Garden” grew it’s readership

Our 3 year old blogging daughter writes for our sister gardening company Vialii Garden Services on fun and informative aspects of growing your own veg and wildlife gardening. There were lots of outdoor activities and fun crafts featured in “Lulu’s Garden” in 2014 with the wonderful perk of getting a great array of tasty food to try and colourful decorations around the house and garden. Not to mention lovely Mother’s and Father’s day gifts! With our latest Vialii team member newly arrived (more on that later), Lulu has some help at present from her guest-blogging BFF Euan.  As a growing 3 year old boy his focus is always switched on to food so you can be sure there are always children’s cooking and baking ideas to use up home grown produce.

Blogger Lulu getting inspiration

Blogger Lulu getting inspiration

The year of weather extremes

Weather conditions made working in gardens last year challenging to say the least. 2014 had the hottest summer but was also the 4th wettest year on record. The hot weather didn’t affect us too much, we just had to take extra care ensuring new plants and lawns were well-watered (and of course use lots of sun cream and wear a hat!) The wet November however saw an already challenging sloped garden turn into a precarious working environment.  Not sure the team really saw the free mud baths as a perk of the job though!

Lulu's site inspection to check for muddy puddles

Lulu’s site inspection to check for muddy puddles

 

The completed patio and summerhouse

The completed patio and summerhouse

The year of a new look at Vialii Towers

Gardens of course never stay static.  They are constantly evolving, be that naturally or with a little help. We gave our own garden a simple but effective revamp last year. When we first designed our garden we built troughs around the deck and painted them white. Last year we felt Michael wasn’t being exposed to enough girliness with just a wife and one daughter so we decided to add a bright splash of pink to the troughs in a quick and easy makeover. We also added new pink pots to the patio area and a bright teal coat of paint to our bird table. New upcycled planters added more colour around the garden. Reports that it has helped Michael get more in touch with his feminine side are yet to be confirmed!

Added colour transforms our deck area

Added colour transforms our deck area

The year that the refurbished Provost’s Park opened

The opening of Provost Park in Bridge of Allan by our daughter Lulu was the culmination of almost 4 years of discussion and planning. The design remit was to transform an underused space in the town centre that is situated immediately beside the public toilet into an inviting park that could be used by all. The space needed to be accessed by families, couples and the elderly so path widths and surfaces were important. It also needed to fit in with the Victorian spa town and be easy to maintain. We created a focal point with a cast iron gazebo in the centre of the formal gardens. This was surrounded by symmetrical planting and topiary- both favourites of Victorians. Metal laser-cut screens displaying iconic Bridge of Allan features such as the Allanwater Bridge, the local celebrity heron, the Paterson Clock and a church window help camouflage the toilet block as well as creating a great back drop to the garden.

The completed Provost's Park

The completed Provost’s Park was officially opened

The year we went through a kitchen

Whilst it was a relatively small project, the build of one garden in Stirling was challenging and memorable due to the only access being through their kitchen. I think it’s a first for Vialli that the team were carting through materials whilst the client made macaroni cheese for her family. It did seem to make them work even faster so they could get to their lunch though!

This was the only access to the garden

This was the only access to the garden

It was a particularly satisfying build because prior to finding Vialii the client had been told by another uninterested landscaper that “if you ever get anybody to do your garden for you then they will be cowboys”. This was a red rag to the proverbial bull and we were chuffed to deliver the family a beautiful garden of which they are delighted with. And not a cowboy in sight! Yee-ha!

The finished garden

The finished garden

The year of the staycation

We were lucky enough to have 2 family holidays in 2014.  We headed to Northumberland and to Kingussie in the Scottish Highlands. That gave us great opportunity to visit some lovely gardens in the UK. Up in the Highlands we visited Blair Castle Gardens. The extensive grounds contain a wooded grove, a walled garden, a babbling burn (Banvie Burn), a ruined kirk, a sculpture trail and a red deer park.

The Banvie Burn is a gorgeous water feature!

The Banvie Burn is a gorgeous water feature!

The year of the “green extension” trend

With the summers of 2013 and 2014 being particularly good, a lot of our clients have been looking to make their gardens into an extension of their houses.  They’ve been especially keen to ensure they had outdoor spaces where they could play, relax, entertain, dine and have fun. Summerhouses, offices, pergolas and large dining patios have all been created.  All members of the family have been catered for with new lawns (both real and artificial) created for kids and pets to enjoy.

The pergola gives added privacy in this family garden

The pergola gives added privacy in this family garden

The year that Tilda joined Team Vialii

Our biggest highlight in our Review of 2014 has to be the arrival of baby daughter Tilda at Vialii Towers in November. Lulu’s proving to be a wonderful big sister and is looking forward to Tilda being able to get outside and start gardening. Keep your eyes peeled for a cute pic of all the family in their Vialii t-shirts coming to your screens soon 🙂

The youngest Vialii team members

The youngest Vialii team members

We can’t wait to see what this year is going to bring…

Here’s to a wonderful 2015 everyone.

All at Vialii

Upcycled Garden Ideas

Regular readers are well aware that we love a bit of upcycling and are always turning unused items into wonderful new features in our garden. So far we have told you about our garden shed, pallet planters and a pallet sand pit and gate which grace our back garden. Here are some of our latest upcycled garden projects in our ever evolving garden…

The upcycled garden bird cage is a great place to display alpines

The upcycled garden bird cage is a great place to display alpines

 

1. Upcycled garden bird table

We love attracting wildlife into our garden and we felt that our birds deserved a posh table to dine at. So Mr Vialii set about seeing what he could create from various left over pieces of timber. Once the main carcass was created the table was given a coat of lovely bright turquoise paint. The roof was clad in some cedar shingle samples which we were sent from a supplier and the house was finished off with some fancy lead flashing, courtesy of our next door neighbour who was clearing out her garage! If that doesn’t entice our local feathered friends then we don’t know what will!

The upcycled bird table has a cedar roof and lead flashing!

The upcycled garden bird table has a cedar roof and lead flashing!

2. Upcycled trailer wheels

We had some old wheels from our trailer which had been replaced. Never ones to throw anything way we decided to put all parts to good use. The tyres were painted bright colours and stacked to create a contemporary planter for some cloud topiary.

Old tyres can become an eye catching garden feature

Old tyres can become an eye catching garden feature

The wheels were filled with compost and our clever Lulu has sown some butterfly friendly flowers in them to create a colourful entrance to our veg patch soon. You could paint these funky colours too but we decided to go rusty at this end of the garden.

The old rims were planted with wildlife friendly flowers

The old rims were planted with wildlife friendly flowers

3. Upcycled garden bird cage

We had acquired a vintage bird cage which looked beautiful in its own right. But we decided we could make it even more beautiful by adding some pots (a wonderful array, again donated by our neighbour during her clear out!) and a selection of alpines.

Some pretty pots and alpines give this pretty bird cage a new purpose in life

Some pretty pots and alpines give this pretty bird cage a new purpose in life

4. Upcycled cheese boxes

This was a lovely project which we did for Mother’s Day. To find out how to make your own, visit Lulu’s Garden Blog for a step by step guide…

Pansies in cheese boxes makes a lovely gift

Pansies in cheese boxes makes a lovely gift

We have a few more upcycling ideas up our sleeve which we will tell you all about soon.

If you want to commission us to make any of these upcycled garden features for you or would like to discuss how we can help you transform your garden using some upcycling tips then please get in touch.

Thanks for reading,

All at Vialii

Make Your Own Upcycled Pallet Planter

Upcycling is all the rage just now. Not only does it help save money, it can turn something old and unwanted into something new and unique. We love a bit of upcycling at Vialii, whether it be creating an upcycled garden for clients or simply adding a few new features into our own garden – from containers and sand pits to sheds and gates, pallets have been put to good use at Vialii Towers! It’s cheap, it’s easy, it’s fun and it’s hugely satisfying. In our latest blog we give you a step by step guide to make your own bespoke upcycled pallet planter…

Personalised, bespoke upcycled pallet planter

Personalised, bespoke pallet planters

1. Deconstruct your pallet

Discard any pales which won’t be of use in the container you are building.

Deconstruct your pallet

Deconstruct your pallet

2. Get cutting

Cut your pieces of pallet to size so that you can start to create your uprights and your end panels.

Start cutting down your pallet to size

Start cutting down your pallet to size

3. Make your sides

Add pieces of pallet to make the sides of your upcycled pallet planter.

Make your sides

Make your sides

4. Make the bottom

Once you have your four uprights and sides secured you can create the bottom of your planter.

Make the bottom

Make the bottom

5. Sand your planter

Your carcass of your container is now ready for sanding down.

Sand your planter

Sand your planter

6. Personalise your planter

We like to add personalisation to our planters. We simply print the wording onto card then cut it out.

Personalise your planter

Personalise your planter

You can then use your template to spray the words onto your planter.

Spray your wording onto your planter

Spray your wording onto your planter

7. Line your planter

You need to line your planter with polythene to help protect your wood. Remember to add drainage holes at the bottom.

Line your planter

Line your planter

8. Add compost and plants to complete your upcycled pallet planter

Fill the planter with compost (and water retaining crystals if you wish) and then choose whatever plants you want to put in it.

Add compost and plants

Add compost and plants

And here’s the finished planter, perfect for growing herbs near the kitchen door.

The finished planter

The finished planter

There you have it. Our cheap and easy pallet containers. If you want more information on these containers, would like to commission us to make one or have any gardening queries please get in touch.

Best wishes

All at Vialii

Pallet Perfection

The landscaping side of our business gets a LOT of materials delivered on pallets. Lately we have been giving some thought to what we could use the leftover pallets for. Here are some of the items we have made from upcycled pallets so far:

Some old pallets ready to become upcycled pallets

Some old pallets being stripped ready for a new life

Planters

These pretty planters can be made to whatever size or shape suits your garden. We have made a few herb planters so far but we have a tray of alpines waiting to be re-homed into a brand new pallet planter at our front door. These can easily be personalised by spraying whatever words you want onto the front. To read how to make your own pallet planter click here. Or contact us to order your own bespoke planter.

Pallet planters

Pallet planters

Gate

We have been meaning to add a gate to our back garden for a while now, to help keep our little one from escaping. We decided to make a unique gate out of pallets and used a vintage garden tool as a handle. We will be adding some suitable wording to the horizontal slat soon.

Pallet gate

Pallet gate

Sand pit

Essentially, a large planter, the sand pit is proving to be a very popular addition to the range. Just make sure you sand down the pales well and you use a robust liner inside. Oh and add a lid so that local cats don’t use it as their very own outdoor litter tray! Again, this can be personalised and we have added a hole in one corner for a windmill 🙂

Pallet sand-pit

Pallet sand-pit

Shed

The main structure of our bespoke garden shed is made with some heavy duty pallets.

Pallets used to create the shed frame

Pallets used to create the shed frame

These were then covered in slats on the outside and a living roof added on. It wouldn’t be us without the quirky handle, alternative down pipe and loveheart hole in the door!

The completed shed

The completed shed

Next we are thinking about trying out a children’s bench. If you have ideas of other items that could be made from upcycled pallets we would love to hear them. Or if you want more information on ordering any of these items please get in touch.

Thanks for reading,

All at Vialii