A Place for Pets to Shelter

 

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Cat Enjoying the Garden

A veranda provides a great place for pets to shelter. Cats and dogs can avoid the rain or too much sun.They can play happily and safely outside, and have easy access to food and drink without having to be inside all the time. Providing covered space outside a back door means pets can dry off before coming inside which really helps to avoid muddy paw marks everywhere.

 

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Dog enjoys his shelter

Nige the dog, is very happy to shelter outside under a newly installed vernada.

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Cat Using a Pergola as a Climbing Frame

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Comfort items for cats and dogs such as baskets and toys, can easily be stored and used outside under the shelter of a veranda. This gives pets more time out of doors. If you like to be outdoors, they will too!  If your cat uses a litter tray, or large scratch posts, having a covered space to put them outside can be a real bonus.

A Place to Cook Pizza

outdoor kitchenpizza-430065_640 (1) A veranda or covered pergola create a great space for outdoor cooking. Pizza ovens can easily be installed under a covered space allowing outdoor cooking in all weathers.  Wood burning ovens are growing in popularity  because they are easy to use but create fantastic food to wow family and friends.

Wood fired pizza ovens cook quickly and efficiently. Heat from the open fire within radiates across the dome giving temperatures up to 600 degrees. Pizzas are cooked in a matter of minutes!  The crust of a pizza cooked in a wood burning stove is thin and crispy with a delicious soft centre. The addition of a variety of toppings create a mouthwatering  experience that can not be achieved in a  conventional oven. See the video below to see how it is done.

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A Place for Growing Grapevines

grapevine-verandaVerandas and pergolas provide the perfect structure to grow climbing plants which add the wow factor to your garden. Covered spaces particularly create a micro climate that enables more tender plants such as grapevines to thrive.  Create a Mediterranean feel in your garden within a very short space of time.

Choose an outdoor variety which will survive our winter weather.

Chasselas Rose Royal – this rose red grapes which is good for both eating or for making rose wine is a good choice for gardens in the South . It is late in ripening and therefore needs a longer growing season.

Tripmph d’Alsace – this sweet flavored grape  is robust  and grows with vigour. Excellent disease resistance make it a winner for those who have  Northern gardens. It ripens early which is great for areas where temperatures dip early into autumn/winter.

Boskoop Glory – even for beginners, this vine is easy to grow. It is safe to leave out in the winter . Grapes are sweet and well flavored. It ripens early , is disease resistant and almost seedless.  Autumnal colours are excellent for that final vibrant display.

Muscat Bleau – this is a new black desert grape which is a great outdoor vine. It is reliable and has large sweet grapes. Disease resistance is good too.

First time grapevine growers often worry about soil conditions. Worry no more – grapevines will grow in most soils including even chalky, sandy or clay soils.  The most important thing is to ensure conditions do not become waterlogged. Add grit to aid drainage. If the soil is too fertile you will get more leaves than fruit!

Choose a spot for your verandah or pergola that is warm and sheltered to help your Grapevine to thrive.    If it is to be grown outside then choose a warm, sheltered spot that gets plenty of sun.  The soil must have good drainage.  If it does not, then dig in a bucketful of grit to aid drainage.

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When constructing your Verandah or pergola, leave a large hole around the post you wish to be the main support for your vine.  Place the root ball in the hole, angle the main stem of the vine towards the pgrapevine-pergolaost, and it to the vine.  The vine should be planted at, or just below, it’s original soil level.  Water well and make sure the vine is kept well watered during the first year.

If your verandah or pergola posts are going onto a patio or decking , grow your vine in a container. Choose a wide bottomed pot and add a good layer of broken crocks  to provide sufficient  drainage.  Fill the pot with a compost  ( John Innes No. 3. Is suitable). The pot needs to be very large so that the plant can become established and continue to get enough water as it develop. The stem of the vine needs to be angled against the post so that you can tie it in and train.  Grape vines can be planted at any time, but planting in late spring avoids the frosts and gives the best chance of strong growth in its first year.

The u tube clip below tells you how to plant a grapevine against a fence, so if you are growing against a veranda or pergola post, skip to the planting section. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5Dyy_b0usk