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Garden digest: March

Tips and tricks for gardeners indoors and out

Feathering their nest

With bird nesting season approaching, it is a good time to think about putting up nest boxes for our feathered friends.

The €19.99 Lausanne model (above) from Vivara has a sloping roof and a nice, modern look with its sleek design and attractive dark green roof contrasting with a white nest box body. It features solid construction and workmanship.

The 32mm entrance hole is particularly suitable for Blue Tits and Great Tits. Give these birds their own spot in your garden and enjoy watching the activity and hearing their calls as they establish a territory.


Bring the dark into the spotlight

In French fashion, trends in colour and shape evolve continually. So too in the garden, when certain colours get their chance to shine. Or, in the case of the major trend for Spring 2018, to be rather sombre and brooding. Dark blues and blacks are the colours de rigueur this season, so try blue and black sage, the black Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ or Festuca glauca.


Light and sound on show

As spring unfolds and evenings (in certain, more southerly corners of France, at least) permit a glass of wine or two in the garden, add a little atmosphere both visually and sonically with this Lumisky Play portable bluetooth light and speaker.

A remote control allows you to change the colour depending on the mood of the soirée, while the speaker brings 90dB of power. Simply hook it up wirelessly to your phone, tablet or PC.

Perfect, too, for the poolside or a terrace that turns into an impromptu dance floor! €99 from Amazon.


Shed tax hike

This year has seen a rise in the so-called garden shed (abri de jardin) tax.

According to an order published in the Official Journal on January 10, the flat-rate value used as the basis for calculating the ‘development tax’ introduced in 2012 has been increased by around 3%.

The payment relates “to all development, construction, reconstruction and extension of buildings or facilities requiring planning permission” – over 5m square, and also includes new verandas, swimming pools and loft conversions.

This flat-rate value amounts to €726 per square metre outside Ile-de-France (compared to 705 in 2017) and €823 for residents of Ile-de-France (compared to 799 last year). It is a one-off payment made during construction.

Calculate your tax here:

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