Building DIY Gardening


Green wall system

Turn London into an urban park? What a great idea. This is not really some crowd concept, it has to come from legislation on:

  • green aspects of new developments (mostly, green features in the initial artist’s impression stage, all removed when built)
  • front gardens and conversion to drives and mini car parks (use grass-crete, or grass paving, or just ban drives now, since a road parking space is removed by having a drive)
  • build links and pathways between green areas to make wildlife corridors
  • ban toxic pesticides on green principles
  • ban plastic artificial grass (which is appearing everywhere, and was even in The Times gardening section)
  • use more green walls, green roof technology (yes we know is expensive for return)
  • practical steps rather than nice websites and magazine articles.

Promote green building to increase biodiversity and reduce carbon by absorption.

Check out our GREEN BUILDING section >

Here is the website for London Urban Park >

I was in Central London recently and had a walk around the new development next to Victoria Station SW1. Very impressive. They blend in well with the old buildings by contrasting rather than emulating. Some nice touches in the street furniture and smaller details.
See our section on Steel Buildings here >

Here are some Nova SW1 photos (click to enlarge):

Nova SW1 London

Nova SW1 London

Nova SW1 London mystery object

Nova SW1 London mystery object

Nova SW1

Nova SW1

Nova SW1 Victoria London

Nova SW1 Victoria London

Nova SW1 Victoria London

Nova SW1 Victoria London

Nova SW1 London

Nova SW1 London

Nova SW1

Nova SW1

03 Mar, 2017

Construction toys – vehicles and plant

Posted by: Geoff Davis In: Education|Toys

Toy tipper truck or crane

Toy tipper truck or crane

Found this toy in the kid’s toy box – a rather nice chunky tipper truck at about 1/72 scale or a bit smaller.

Interesting graphics, placed in a factory in China presumably.

We have a great section on educational toys with construction themes such as Lego, Betta Bilda, SimCity, and more. Have a look at
Building DIY Construction toys here >

We have a large green building section in this website. There have been a lot of stories about plastics ending up in the oceans, polluting and killing birds and animals. See our green building section here >

Plastic recycling

Plastic recycling

One issue is that plastic is itself a recycled byproduct of the oil industry. This means it is very cheap, almost free, so gets used everywhere, and more and more. For instance, individual pears and fruits are now routinely packed in clear plastic. All this waste ends up somewhere.
Another issue is the plastic nodules that are the start point for injection moulding (I once worked in a plastics factory, a very unhealthy place!). These are tiny and get lost all over the supply chain, and they are so tiny (1-2mm) they are impossible to clean up. They just get in the water system and end up in the seas.

Finally a way has been made to recycle two of the most used plastics which do not blend together, so have currenlty to be sorted and recycled separately. A new chemical can be added to the materials so they will mix, so don’t need sorting out, saving a lot of effort.
Of course this has yet to happen, and is only for new plastic, when they get aroind to it.
Read more about the new plastic additions here (new page) >

Building DIY app screen1

Building DIY app screen1


I have made some useful files for my free white board app ‘Notes Story Board v 2.2’.
Get this for free here now >
Special summer offer, usual cost £1.99.
What is it?
Easy to use zooming ‘any size’ whiteboard app for Windows and Apple Mac*

Load text files, images, write new files, notes, ideas etc. Then arrange in order to suit. Use color to mark items or organise.

  • Gardens and Landscaping Monthly Year Planner
  • Year Planner (general use)
  • DIY and Building small project
  • Storage Locations (many uses!)
  • Building project (larger scale with BIM Building Information Modelling notes)

Be imaginative – many other uses too.
These files are useful for many projects. They can be fully edited for your own job, or something unrelated.
If you are using a larger system such as BIM, you can export from these as Word Processor, HTML Web, and image.

Many different blank templates are included, such as 4 boxes, 6 boxes, one large box, blank etc.

Please download this Building DIY white board app and many files from here >

Building DIY year planner screen

Building DIY year planner screen

HELP to use the app is on the Notes Story Board site here >
Most commands will be familiar as it uses a conventional interface.
In the download Zip file, the installer is called

This should start automatically.
There are some files to open once you are running the app – they are in the same folder. There is also a pdf of a writing ebook.

There are other offers, including a bundle with how to write fiction and scripts, clipart library, etc, from website, on this link >

*Apple Mac version is available but is for older Macs, please email me to get a copy using info AT notesstoryboard DOT com


Mapleton Crescent London SW18 affordable housing new build

Mapleton Crescent London SW18 affordable housing new build

Wandsworth Council, a large borough in South London, has exceeded targets for affordable housing new builds. This means low cost, market cost, social rent and starter homes with shared ownership, where the tenants pay a part of the mortgage towards part-ownership, which can be traded.

There were 501 low cost homes newly built in Wandsworth 2015/16. This is over twice the previous year’s total. Wandsworth Council say there are 1742 more affordable homes on the way.

There is a huge amount of new build in the London area, and also conversions of office blocks allowed via relaxing of change of use, from office to residential, laws. There is a glut of so-called luxury 2 bed flats, all much the same, for the overseas market so it is good to see more affordable housing getting built.

Wandsworth Council housing news >

Pocket Living site for the Mapleton Crescent development >

estate agents signs banned

Estate agents signs banned

Estate agents use branded boards to advertise their sales or lets at the actual property. This is quite useful if you are moving to a new area, as you can walk around and collect up the various agents’ details.
Nowadays it is all done on the internet so this physical process is less important.

Boards are unpopular, especially on estates, where there can be many boards put up. They are an eyesore and Wandsworth Council in South Lindon has made a stand.

Boards are not banned as such, but now need planning permission in four areas – Putney, Clapham, Balham and Lavender Hill. There is also an online breach of rules form so you can report any naughty agents.

See Wandsworth Council planning for more details on estate agent boards >

Water in the morning, if required. Especially water any newly planted shrubs, plants etc.
If anything is getting too overcrowded, separate out (bulbs etc).
Plenty of growth and flowering going on, have to take off the dead heads when needed.
Add supports for any tall growing plants.
Vegetable gardens going strong. Keep an eye out for pests like black aphids (see pictures below, from Hampton Court vegetable garden).
We have been quite busy this year so will provide more photos than text this month!










Vegetable gardens

Vegetable gardens

Zero Carbon Homes UK new development

Zero Carbon Homes UK new development

Cherwell District Council have opened a large scale zero carbon development, due for completeion in 20131.

This has 400 completed properties with an estimate of 6000 by the end.
There is also a school and 250 care homes.

Robin in May garden looking for worms after digging

Robin in May garden looking for worms after digging

The weather has been very variable this year, from hot sun to snow!

Spring bulbs are dying back and flowers are appearing. This year there have been many heavy rain showers, so the ground is more wet than usual.
Butterflies brighten up your garden.

Your garden can start to look like a proper garden at last!


Sweetcorn courgettes, runner beans can be sown. So at regular intervals to ensure a constant supply later in the year.

Overgrown grass - time to cut

Overgrown grass – time to cut


Remove any weak plants. Strawberries need netting to stop bird attacks.

Frosts might appear, although since we are now in climate change, this is rare in southern England. If frost, use fleece or protect buds etc.


Make sure there is enough shading for young plants as they can overheat.
Water well, especially tomatoes and leafy plants.
Spray cucumbers with water.

Pinch out tomatoes to make them swell more.

Trees and Shrubs

Prune trees, shrubs, clematis. Cut out any green shoots or they will take over the plant.

Water newly planted tress and shrubs, in the evenings.


New grass should be watered in the morning if required.


Butterflies and bees appear.
Remove dead foliage from places, ponds, etc. Leave around for a day or two to let creatures escape, do not place straight into rubbish bags.

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