Taking the indoors outdoors is a long running trend, and many of us are constantly looking for fresh ideas to make their outside space more homely. From garden furniture to outdoor lighting and cooking, transforming your patio into an open air room is great for socialising and relaxing in comfort. A question we’re often asked is: Can you put mirrors outside? The answer – of course you can!
But what’s important is obviously how the chosen mirrors will fair in the conditions outdoors. If you take regular mirrors out, they will generally weather and stain over time. You can, however, buy a range of specially made garden mirrors which are weatherproofed to survive the wind and rain.
The next question is why would you want to put up mirrors in your garden? Particularly for smaller gardens, mirrors reflect back so much light and space it can make them seem much larger, brighter and airier. Besides that, there are so many ornate and decorative mirrors that simply enhance your garden by being there on a fence or wall.
The simplest form of outdoor mirror is the acrylic sheet, similar to what you might see in a gym or dance studio. These are much stronger and more durable than glass, and can often be cut to the perfect size or shape for the spot you desire. Coloured versions are also available if you want to jazz up a corner of your patio.
Of course, a garden mirror can be a purely decorative feature. Some of the most intriguing are illusion mirrors. These are cleverly designed to look like slightly ajar windows or gates, with the mirrored surface behind appearing to lead to another part of the plot. You’ll find these more effective than you’d imagine once in place, with the glimpse of an unreachable garden opening up your outdoor space.
Which material is best for outdoors?
Garden mirrors can be made from either glass or acrylic. Traditionally mirrors are made from glass, which is a very hard material and resistant to minor scratches – useful when exposed to the weather and wildlife outside! But acrylic can actually produce mirrors that are 10 times stronger than glass, making them much more shatterproof. They are also a lot lighter, so perfect for attaching to fences without straining them. Acrylic mirrors can be glued or screwed to a flat surface, and it’s often possible to cut them to any desired size or shape yourself.
So what are you waiting for?
The great thing about outdoor mirrors is how flexibly you can use them. A small arched mirror could be a subtle reflector on the fence, brightening up a corner patio, while a dramatic illusion gate could become the talking point of your garden. We’d love to see how you’ve used mirrors outside in inspiring ways!
George works in the Primrose marketing team. As a lover of all things filmic, he also gets involved with our TV ads and web videos.
George’s idea of the perfect time in the garden is a long afternoon sitting in the shade with a good book. A cool breeze, peace and quiet… But of course, he’s usually disturbed by his energetic wire fox terrier, Poppy!
He writes about his misadventures in repotting plants and new discoveries about cat repellers.
A video has surfaced on social media, reminding us of our great fear of spiders (scroll down to see it – it’s a great watch). In late summer/ autumn, there is an abundance of our eight legged friends, who seem to appear from nowhere. For the majority of us, these cause minor heart attacks, and we do anything to rid of them. Thankfully there are various ways to rid of spiders, so fear not. Also, if you’re reading this and you’re in the UK, the chances of you seeing a poisonous spider are very, very low so please don’t worry.
Electronic Repeller – a modern way to repel spiders, electronic repellers work through simply plugging the device in a plug socket and emitting sound waves to deter spiders. The ultrasonic wave frequencies (which are distributed per room) are uncomfortable for spiders, but inaudible to humans, children and pets. Electromagnetic wave devices operate throughout the whole house via the wiring of your house (but electric devices aren’t affected).
Hand held catchers – coming in the form of a hoover or a brush, hand held catchers are a humane, simple method to manually remove spiders you see hiding in the corners of your room or underneath furniture. Depending on which device you use, you simply extend the catcher arm, catch the spider and then release it elsewhere (say at the very back of your garden).
Sprays – used as a preventative method, sprays are an effective and humane way to form a natural barrier to prevent spiders from arriving in the first place. Ideally you should spray where you think a cobweb will form ie window frames or doorways.
Webs – similar to sprays, removing the source of the issue is a good preventative method. By removing the spider’s home, they will be forced to locate elsewhere (and yes this might mean elsewhere in your house if you’re really unlucky). If you notice a web with a spider on it, wear gloves and place both the web and the spider in the garden if you’re feeling brave.
Homemade – although one of the most common ways to rid of a spider you see, it can be a challenge for those with a huge fear of arachnids. You will need a piece of paper and a glass for this homemade method. Simply place a glass or cup over the spider, slip the piece of paper under the glass (ensuring the spider doesn’t escape) and carry until you reach somewhere far, far away from your house (or the back of your garden maybe).
Let us know how you plan to rid of creepy crawlies from your house!
Amie is a marketing enthusiast, having worked at Primrose since graduating from Reading University in 2014.
She enjoys all things sport. A keen football fan, Amie follows Tottenham Hotspur FC, and regularly plays for her local 5 a side football team.
Children are very sceptical when their parents try to get them involved in the gardening work. Instead of all the fresh herbs, salads and vegetables, most kids associate gardening only with the hateful broccoli and turnips which their mothers often serve for dinner and claim are very healthy. Adults may find planting and maintaining a garden satisfying and delightful, but kids truly dread it when they are made to do chores like weeding and pruning. Yet there are a couple of things you can do to introduce your child to the bright side of gardening and plant the love of nature in their heart. Take a look at the following ideas and learn how to make gardening pleasant and exciting for your little angels.
1. Provide Them with Their Own Garden
Kids are more confident when they have their personal workplace. Designate a small area of your garden or at least a pot or two where your children will be able to plant whatever they want and then take care of it. Go to a garden centre together and choose plants that are sure to grow in your garden – after all, there is no point in purchasing seeds because the plant is your child’s favourite colour if the conditions in your garden are not suitable for it to bloom.
2. Choose Plants That Will Be Interesting to Kids
The more interesting the greenery is, the more impatient your kids will be to plant the seeds and produce many cheerful veggies and flowers. Here are a few examples of plants that will be excellent for a child’s garden:
Nasturtiums. These pretty flowers have many advantages – they are not only lovely and edible, but will also attract plenty of butterflies and birds to your garden, which will surely please your angels.
Sunflowers. These are great because younger children will be really impressed by the speedy growing of the sunflowers. Take a notebook and a measuring tape to write down the height your plants reach on a weekly basis.
Vegetables. Fast growers are preferable as they will keep your kids’ interest and will not make them wait too long before getting results. Beans, tomatoes and potatoes are good ideas as they will bring lots of joy to the children when picked and cooked.
3. Give The Garden a Theme
Your kids will be much happier gardeners if they have the opportunity to plant things they personally love in their own garden. Veggies for pizza and salsa, or herbs like peppermint or basil are excellent choices. No matter what your children will choose to plant – tomatoes, peppers, onions or parsley, or everything in one place – as long as you can provide the growing conditions required for one of them, all the others will grow as well. Pizza herbs and veggies need the same temperatures and amounts of water and sunlight. Allow the kids to grow their favourites and you will see how happy and determined they will be to pick the healthy produce.
4. Prepare for Next Year
Once you have shown your kids how pleasant and easy hobby gardening can be, they will probably be interested in helping you around the garden next year, too. After they have learnt how to plant and grow their favourite greenery, you will do good to teach them how to collect their seeds. When the season’s end approaches, store the seeds in a dry and cool place to allow the children to practice their new hobby again next year. You can also ask them to join you when you are preparing your garden for the winter and explain to them every step of the process.
Everything is better and more pleasant when it is done with your favourite people, so share your affection for gardening with your kids and be proud of the devoted gardeners they will become under your guidance.
Heather Roberts is a freelance guest blogger from London, United Kingdom. She has got many published articles on various topics such as gardening, patio maintenance, home organizing, green living etc. She loves to spend her time with family and friends and she also tries to live an eco-friendly life.
Spring is upon us, and with the rising temperatures it’s time for your garden to come alive. With plants budding and trees spreading their leaves, what better time to add to the beauty and vibrancy of your garden by building a pond? A pond is a great opportunity to attract more wildlife to your garden and the gentle light, movement and sound it generates can create an oasis of tranquility in an otherwise busy world.
But setting up a pond can be a daunting task, so here is a helpful guide to guide you through setting up your own pond: 1) What is the purpose of your pond? Do you just want to keep plants in your pond, or do you want to stock it with fish as well? If you would like to stock fish you should ensure your pond has a depth of at least 3ft or 90cm for larger fish such as koi – or 45cm for smaller fish like goldfish.
2) Choose the site carefully. The first thing you should do is choose the right location – this is of critical importance in creating that perfect atmosphere in your garden. Choose a site that gets a lot of sunlight, your pond plants will thank you later. If possible, also try to avoid an area with lots of overhanging deciduous trees, as the leaves falling in autumn will leave you with a big job clearing them from the surface of the pond. If this is unavoidable, however, you could always invest in some pond netting to make this job far easier and prevent falling leaves from polluting your pond. While it can be great to have the pond as a centrepiece, to be good to frogs and other amphibious future denizens of your pond, it is advisable to have the shallow side of your pond up against, or near some cover. And of course, make sure the area you want for your pond is excavatable, and does not have any pipes or concrete running through it. 3) Installing a pond with a rigid liner. Stand the liner in the position you have decided upon and then mark the ground around with something. (Spray Paint is best for this, but sand or rope can work as well too.) Then mark again about 30 cm out from this, you’ll want to excavate an area larger than the pond itself if you want the plastic mould to fit. Dig the whole area out to the level of the shallowest part of your pond, plus a couple of extra inches. Then you’ll need to mark out the next shallowest areas of your pond, and dig again. Repeat until you have the correct space for your mold, it is good while doing to to ensure each “step” of your pond is level using a plank of wood and a spirit level.
At this point you might want to remove and protruding sticks or stones and fill in a layer of sand or pond underlay to stop any stones scratching your preformed pond ensuring it last as long as possible. Once the excavation is complete and you have your underlay, stand the rigid liner upon it and slowly add water to the pond from a hosepipe, while filling in any gaps between the edge of the pond with soil or sand. 3) Installing a pond with flexible liner.
Once again you’ll want to start by measuring out the area you want your pond to fill. Again you can do this with a rope or spray paint. To find out how much pond liner you’ll need for your pond, you can use the following formula:- Length = max length + (2 x max depth) + 1 (for overlap) Width= max width + (2 x max depth) + 1 (for overlap) So for a pond with a width of 3m, a length of 10m and a depth of 1m, you’ll need 13m x 6m Pond Liner. Using a flexible liner gives you a lot more freedom as to how you want to shape your pond, but it is still best to ensure that the shelves or steps of your pond are level and to have a gradient down from each step that is steep but not vertical, using the same technique as above for each level of your pond. Once you have dug out the area you want your pond to fill, and layered it with sand or pond underlay, it’s time to actually install your pond liner. Preferably on a warm day, lay it down over the area you have excavated. Weigh down the edges with stones and slowly fill the area with water – tugging at the edges to prevent creasing. Once it is filled to about 2-3 inches from the rim of the pond, leave for 24 hours to let the pond settle. Then trim the excess liner around the edge to around 6in from the rim. 4) Edging your pond. Whether you’ve gone for a flexible or rigid liner, the next step is to create your edging. What kind of edging you want for your pond depends upon the type of pond you want to create, rough stones and boulders for that rustic feel, or paving slabs and cement for a more formal look. What’s essential is that you cover up those unsightly edges of pond liner, and ensure your liner is held firmly in place. If people are going to be routinely walking around the edges of your pond, mortaring it securely in places may be required.
And there you have it, a pond in your garden. Of course, it’s little more than an oversized paddling pool at the moment, without any pond plants or fish. Next week we’ll show you how to make your pond come to life. Stay tuned!
Don’t forget, here at Primrose we have a variety of products to help you realise the pond of your dreams:
Pond Liner Thick and sturdy, here at Primrose only sell quality Pond Liner, with a guarantee of 10 years so that you can rest easy beside your garden oasis. We also sell underliner and joining tape, so you’ll have everything you need.
Preformed Ponds Primrose also supply a large range of preformed ponds. This can be a slightly easier option as you won’t have to measure out all that pond liner and underlay. Our preformed ponds come with multi-layering, so you can have different depths for your pond – important as different aquatic plants thrive at various depths. A great way to get your pond life started!
Pond in a Pot One of the innovations we’re most proud of here at Primrose is the Pond in a Pot. Perfect if you don’t have the space or the time to set up a regular pond, our Pond in a Pot kits come with everything you need to set up a pond in your garden, or even your balcony or patio.
Charlie works in the Primrose marketing team, mainly on online marketing.
When not writing for the Primrose Blog, Charlie likes nothing more than a good book and a cool cider.