Ten Ways to Use a Garden Shed


People often think of garden sheds in Auckland and imagine yard items and other items to be stored. These buildings can be used for a variety of other purposes, however. Following are a few suggestions, although there are numerous others.

Ditch the gym membership and use a garden shed as a home gym. Take care, however, as the shed will need a solid foundation if it is to be used for this purpose.

Get the kids’ toys out of the way. Many families are now turning to garden sheds in Auckland and using them as playhouses for their children.

Don’t allow others to see and covet a hot tub in the backyard. Convert a garden shed into a home spa where the family can relax without the neighbors gawking.

Operate a home-based business out of a shed in the backyard. This increases the living space in the home and keeps home and work areas separate, which is something the family will appreciate.

Individuals who work for someone else also benefit when a shed is converted into a home office. Here calls can be made and work completed without interruptions.

Has the garage been taken over by tools for the handyman in the home? Convert cedar garden sheds into workshop and this problem is resolved.

Family life can become overwhelming at times, which explains the rise in she-sheds and man caves. Not every home has room for a space of this type, and steel sheds in New Zealand offer the perfect solution.

Convert a shed into a game room. It’s perfect for poker night and can be used for craft night for the ladies as well.

Cinema ticket prices continue to skyrocket. Consider having a home cinema in a shed in the backyard. Friends and family can gather to see the new releases for the cost of refreshments.

Artists are known for their creativity. Why not be creative and use a shed as an art studio? The space can be customized to meet the needs of the artist, and this will help creative ideas flow.

You are hopefully now more inspired about the possibilities that come from buying garden sheds for sale in New Zealand. These buildings may be used for a variety of purposes other than what they were originally intended for. In fact, they are so useful, you may find that you want two or three on your property. Visit us at Riverlea Group (www.riverleagroup.co.nz) to see the many options available.


How to Build Your Own Rock Garden


A rock garden consists of a mixture of rocks and select plants, usually small colourful flowers. Rock gardens have been around for centuries, and were especially popular with the Japanese because of their calming effect. The hard ruggedness of the rocks is seen as balancing the delicacy and soft beauty of the flowers. If you want your own rock garden in the backyard, here are a few easy tips to follow.

1. Prepare the site

Do not just dump rocks on the ground and plant your flowers between them. You need to have a proper site ready. The first step is to clear out the site of any existing vegetation and fallen leaves. Use a hoe to dig out any deep-rooted plants.

Once cleared, prepare a raised bed, which will clearly separate your rock garden from the rest of the garden. One common piece of advice when preparing the bed is to slightly slope it or build the bed on an actual gentle slope. This provides good drainage, ensuring your rock garden will never be clogged with water, which could damage the flowers.

2. Layering your bed

Experts recommend that your layer your rock garden in a specific way for the best results. Start with a drainage layer at the bottom consisting of small rocks, bits of brick or broken pieces of a clay pot. This layer allows excess water to drain through. Next, pour a layer of sand on the bottom layer. This layer should be around 7 centimeters in thickness. The purpose of the sand layer is to hold up the top soil while also allowing excess water to pass through.

Finally, place the fertile top soil on top. Mix in soil from your garden with humus or compost to create a fertile layer of top soil. Or you could buy already prepared top soil from a local gardening store. Place a thick layer of top soil on top, making sure it is thick enough to allow flowers to grow to their potential.

3. Selecting the rocks

Time to plant the rocks. Decide what kind of rocks you want in your garden. There are many varieties to choose from; flat stones like those used for footpaths, big boulders or coloured rocks. If you do not have any rocks in your garden, check your local home or gardening store, they are likely to sell landscaping rocks.

For a more unique look, consider mixing in a variety of rocks. You can create a mini walkway using flat rocks, put in some colour with coloured rocks and create a wild look using boulders.

4. Plant your flowers

After placing the rocks, let the garden settle in for a week or two. When planting, experiment with various types of flowers to see those that do best in that environment.

Quality outdoor products

For avid gardeners, having a tool shed in New Zealand is a must. Riverlea Group supplies high quality outdoor products including garden sheds for sale in New Zealand. Visit our website at www.riverleagroup.co.nz to see our wide variety of garden sheds New Zealand and place your order.

Ways to Make the Most of Outdoor Living in Your Home


If you have an outdoor space but are not using it very often then it could benefit from a few creative touches to encourage you to spend more time out there. Spending time outdoors is good for your health and general well-being. Create an area that you will love to spend time in, a comfy entertaining space or somewhere cosy to relax with a good book.

Expand your interior living space by adding french or sliding doors from a bedroom onto a patio for a private space to sit and relax. Adding easy access from your kitchen to an outdoor area creates an al fresco dining experience for the family or is perfect for entertaining. Just remember to install a suitable lock if your outside area includes a pool for increased child safety.

The climate throughout most of New Zealand allows for comfortable use of outdoor areas for many months a year. A well-designed home will have outdoor areas sheltered from prevailing winds but positioned for maximum sun. Consider a shelter, roof or shade sail to protect you from the harshest of the suns rays though. If strong winds are an issue you can build or grow windbreaks to improve your outdoor experience.

Comfy chairs are essential for spending time outside so choose wisely. If you have removable cushions to store and protect from the weather then there are numerous designs of garden sheds to choose from. Adding plants in pots or growing vines across a pergola will enhance the area, but don’t obscure the view of your garden too much. It is easy to create an outdoor room as an extension to your indoor living space with careful thought and planning.

Many New Zealanders enjoy cooking and entertaining in their outdoor living spaces. From a simple barbecue to an outdoor chiminea pizza oven there are many options for preparing food outside. Some barbecues would rival many indoor kitchens with full spits for roasting and multiple grilling surfaces!

For chilly evenings an outdoor fireplace can extend the length of time you can sit outside without resorting to jackets and blankets. A fireplace is cosy and relaxing to look at as well as providing warmth. To add to the cosy atmosphere of a fireplace, outdoor lighting can also help you enjoy your outdoor living space more often. Lights don’t have to be reserved for Christmas decorations only. Enjoy the twinkling of exterior lights all year around. Solar powered options will save on your electricity bills too.

To really take the indoors outside look at installing external speakers so you can listen to your favourite tunes whilst entertaining or relaxing. You can get wireless outdoor Wi-Fi antennas to enable your family and guests to stay connected whilst getting outdoor time. You could even turn your outdoor living area into a temporary home office if you desire.

The Riverlea Group is able to supply you with an outdoor fire pit in New Zealand. Check out their website www.riverleagroup.co.nz for gallery images and information to help you select the right outdoor pizza oven for the New Zealand environment. While you are there be sure to check out their range of New Zealand garden sheds.

Gardening Tips for a Small Outdoor Space


Even a small outdoor space is worth a lot more than not having an outdoor space at all. It gives you the option to create your own bit of outdoor magic by letting you set up some really beautiful living areas and gardening patches. All you need to do to make the most of it is some efficient planning.

Vegetable gardening in a small space

It can be done, but you should think outside the box to find ways to increase your productivity. This can be done by planning a good mix of seeds that will give you rich produce in a smaller area. If done well, even a 3 x 3 metre vegetable bed can give you enough good quality produce. Raising the beds of your vegetables is one of the best ways you can improve the quality of your produce.

This leads to better results and convenient gardening as raised beds are more space-efficient. You should try to plant your vegetables in triangular patterns rather than square patterns to make better use of the small space. Care must be taken so that the plants are not packed in too close to each other. This will lead to overcrowding and the plants may not reach their optimum yield.

Growing plants vertically

Use netting and sturdy supports to create artificial walls that can hold some vine-style plants that grow perfectly well on a trellis. Tying the plants to the trellis will secure them in place and help them grow vertically, thus saving precious space. Don’t worry about the plants collapsing, as they will themselves grow thicker stems to provide support for fruit and to support their own growing weight.

Also, mounting the plants on wall-designed beds will help them get better sunlight and keep them protected from a variety of fungal infections. You can spray water on them to keep them hydrated and growing. The vertical design is not only space efficient, it also gives a nice look to the garden.

Outdoor living in small spaces

Even if the garden area in front of or at the back of your home is a small one, there is a lot you can do about it. Start with some basic garden furniture that you can install in these areas. A small swing, a vintage tea table for two, or maybe a small playhouse for your kids are some great options. Light it up with some nice lamps and paint the fence with a light shade, preferably white, to give your garden a larger appearance.

Garden and tool sheds for small spaces

Sheds are useful in every garden, especially in smaller ones that might look more cluttered with tools and gardening equipment strewn around. Cedar garden sheds look beautiful and are more durable than other types of sheds available. There are also some timber and semi-timber sheds available that provide storage but also look good.

When you buy garden sheds, make sure you choose one with a comfortable height that can house everything you need without much fuss. It should also be spacious enough for you to stand in and look for items inside. When buying a garden shed, always remember that it is a capital investment, so you should plan in advance. Buy one that is slightly bigger than the one you need right now, in order to preempt your future needs as well.

If you are using the shed more as a working space or kids play area then it makes sense to keep it well-insulated and install sufficient lighting and safety options. If you are interested in buying a garden shed or tool shed or any other outdoor products like outdoor fireplaces in New Zealand, just visit www.riverleagroup.co.nz for some inspiring options for outdoor living. They have a variety of garden sheds and outdoor furniture for sale so you can make the most of your outdoor space – no matter what size it is!

How to Grow a Vegetable Garden

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One of the best things you can do with your garden is to plant a vegetable patch or flower bed. Growing some greens is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the things you can do with an outdoor space. You can maximise your garden’s potential, as well as learn a new skill, and enjoy eating the fruits of your new hobby!

Vegetable gardens are fun and interesting things to build. They keep you engaged, give you the sense of creating something new, and also give you the satisfaction of saving money by growing your own vegetables. Since you sow the seeds and take care of your plants, you know that what you are eating is 100 percent organic. When starting to build your own vegetable garden, it is best to start small. Here are some tips to get started.

Deciding what to plant

Plant only as much as is easy for you to maintain and is enough for your family. Planting too much might actually adversely affect the growth of your crop and also lead to wastage. While choosing the plants, go for some of the easy-to-grow plants first. Choose some vegetables that you and your family actually enjoy eating!

Tomatoes, squash, and peppers provide produce throughout the year, so they can be good options to start with. Make sure you know which vegetables are seasonal and which can be grown throughout the year and then plan your garden around that.

Allotting space for vegetable gardening

Once you have decided on what you are going to plant, you need to decide on how much space you need to put aside for your vegetable garden. Generally, a well-maintained 3 x 3  metre garden space gives pretty good results. If you are planning to grow your veggies in small containers, then you might not even need to dig out a vegetable patch in your garden.

Preparing the soil and the beds

You should ensure that the soil you are planting in is rich in nutrients so you end up with good produce. Raised beds that have fertile soil in them not only enrich the produce but also make vegetable gardening an efficient process. Raised beds use less space and give the vegetables more space to grow. Try to plant your plants in triangular patterns instead of square ones. This will allow 10 to 14 percent more plants to fit into the same bed.

Finding the right spot

Look for a spot which gets good sunlight, is convenient to water and easy to access. If you can, keep the vegetable patch close to your house so you can easily fetch the vegetables while you are cooking.

Setting up garden sheds in New Zealand

A garden shed gives you the perfect space to store your gardening equipment and keeps it safe from the elements. Garden sheds house all your gardening necessities, keeping them neatly arranged and easy to find. There are a variety of garden sheds available in New Zealand and you can choose from different sizes, colours, styles and materials such as cedar garden sheds or aluminum ones.

If you would like to check out some garden sheds or kitset sheds for your home garden just visit www.riverleagroup.co.nz to find some really beautiful and affordable garden shed options to choose from.

Making the Most of Your Outdoor Area


Having a beautifully landscaped outdoor space is just as important as having a charmingly decorated home interior. Your outdoor space is rich in sunlight, greenery and is a great place to have a barbecue, a party or for the kids to have fun in the summer.

Ideas for making the most of your garden

Your garden or outdoor space is the first impression your guests get about the house. This doesn’t just mean a cleanly mowed lawn and a few garden gnomes. The flower beds, vegetable patch, garden shed and other garden accessories speak volumes about you and your living style. A well-maintained and clean outdoor spot brings lots of good energy and positive vibes into your abode. Here are some ideas for you to spruce up this amazing space in front of your home.

Gardening is not all about horticulture. Landscaping the garden using rocks and stones or constructing small fish ponds are some of the other options you have when creating your garden landscape. Make the most of your garden by having a good mix of beauty, recreation and storage space.

Building a wooden garden shed is one of the best ways to increase the storage space in your home. You can store your hardware, wood chips and gardening materials in a shed and it would also be an ideal space to store your barbecue grill to protect it from dust and rusting.  Don’t let your garden space sit there doing nothing when there is the potential to turn it into a piece of paradise.

Outdoor fire pit

Come winter, the dipping temperatures might lock you indoors but this isn’t strictly true if you have a beautiful fire pit or outdoor fireplace in your garden. Just perfect for roasting marshmallows! You can even build your own outdoor oven to make some homemade wood-fired pizzas. You can look forward to camping out in your garden and enjoying some outdoor parties when you have a fire pit installed.

Outdoor pizza ovens and barbecues

Kids love the outdoors and so do adults. Make the most of the outdoors with an outdoor oven or barbecue and spice up your dining experiences!

Garden furniture

Spruce up the look of your garden with some rustic or antique garden furniture. Many people enjoy the white-painted wrought iron tea table style which creates a vintage look in your garden space. If you would like to add a more rustic and countryside feel to your garden then wooden fixtures and fittings look great too.

Garden sheds

Set up a nice garden shed that not only adds character to your garden, but is extremely handy as a storage unit to keep your gardening equipment safe from the rain and sun. Go for a readymade garden shed option or try some DIY techniques to build one of your own. Cedar garden sheds in New Zealand look really classy and are built to last.

If you are in New Zealand and would like to set up a wooden garden shed in your outdoor space, you can visit www.thecedarshed.co.nz. Riverlea Group has a wide range of the best natural looking sheds that promise outstanding quality at an affordable price. Choose from a variety of options and designs to turn your garden into a great outdoor space.

Sustainable Gardening


Throughout the world people are discussing the concept of sustainability and it has become a catchword in various industries and for several things. In this article we will be looking at gardening in New Zealand and the ways you can set up a sustainable garden for you, your family and your community to enjoy.

What counts as sustainable gardening?

An easy way to start is to pick a variety of different plants which do not require a lot of water like traditional garden plants. By selecting plants that thrive in drier conditions you will reduce your water consumption and save fresh water. You can also save grey water (i.e. water from your dishes, laundry or shower) to use for watering non-edible plants.

Native New Zealand plants are actually ideal for sustainable gardening and grow extremely well. Another good tip to save fresh water is to cut your lawns slightly longer than how it is traditionally done in New Zealand. Finely cut short lawns require a lot of watering. Cut your lawns at least up to five centimeters and they will remain greener for a longer period of time without the need for watering.

Other sustainable gardening tips

  • Mulching also has a lot of advantages for your garden. It adds nutrients to your soil and helps sustain the soil moisture since it covers the soil up. Also, mulch is typically organic matter that has undergone processing (not dumped in a landfill). Therefore, mulch has several sustainability benefits when used in gardening.
  • Composting is also a technique to achieve sustainability in gardening. You can easily prepare a heap of compost for your garden at home. This can be done by composting the garden rubbish, pruning and weeds and you don’t have to transfer this matter to a landfill. Once composted, they end up making a brilliant additive or mulch for the garden which promotes the healthy growth of plants.
  • We benefit the environment when we grow our own vegetables. When you grow your own vegetables, you obviously eat healthy fresh produce. Also, you end up saving on fertiliser, transport expenses, fuel, insecticides etc. You need some basic tools to help you get started with planting your own vegetables and you can install a tool shed or kitset shed (made of steel) to store all your essential gardening equipment.
  • The use of fungicides and pesticides is one of the most controversial subjects in gardening and farming. Both these types of chemicals have the potential to kill both bad and good insects as well as fungi. The organic gardening movement is gaining popularity because of this. This is the reason why organic foods demand a premium price compared to non-organic foods. You can easily eliminate or reduce the use of such chemicals in your home garden by using healthy soil. You can create healthy soils with the addition of good quality compost to your soil.

Sustainable gardening makes obvious sense in today’s fragile world of extreme climate changes and consequent environmental damage. And doing this in your home’s backyard takes minimal effort. An increasing number of gardeners in New Zealand are discovering that each tiny step helps in creating an eco-friendly, sustainable garden which not only takes care of your plants but benefits the entire planet as well. Adopting the sustainable gardening approach will help you build a garden which you can admire, enjoy and also eat in the long run!

When setting up your sustainable garden, make sure you use one of the modern tool sheds available in New Zealand to keep your equipment organised. Riverlea Group is an established supplier of New Zealand-made outdoor products, including wooden garden sheds. Visit their website at www.riverleagroup.co.nz to view their wide range of outdoor furniture items and garden sheds. You will soon find one that suits your taste and budget!