Decoration, Garden Design, Garden Furniture, Gardening, How To, Water Features, Zoe

It can be difficult to make the most of your space in a small garden without the effect feeling claustrophobic. There are a number of reasons your garden may feel small:
• High imposing walls or fences surrounding your garden
• Lack of natural light making the space feel dark and small
• No interesting colour incorporation to brighten the area
• Oversized garden furniture that overpowers the area
• Abundance of overgrown greenery
• Or simply a very small space to work with

This guide can help you with some space saving and trendy ideas that will help transform your small garden into a light and relaxing place to be, that still offers plenty of opportunity to test your gardening skills.

Mirrors

The use of mirrors in a small garden can really help to create a sense of space as the light reflects off the glass and into the outdoor area. There are many options to suit your individual style, whether it is a country garden or modern social space.
One way to incorporate mirrors is to have two identical mirrors facing each other; this will create the feel of an infinite garden and prov
ide a great opportunity to make the most of natural lighting.

 

Alternatively, you can use an ornate garden window mirror that adds character and charm. If you’re feeling crafty you could create this yourself with recycled window shutters!
The use of mini mirrors can incorporate light into the garden in a more subtle way, whilst creating a unique texture. The combination of outside fairy lights trailing along your mirrors can also create a lovely atmosphere in the evening.

If you want to learn more about the safety aspects of garden mirrors check out our previous blog post!

 

 

Stainless Steel Planters

If you’re not keen on using mirrors, stainless steel planters offer an excellent alternative. These will help to make the surrounding space seem bigger, and do not pose the same risks as mirrors do outside.
Try creating some depth in your small garden by adding plants of different heights in your planters, this will create a layered effect and also make the space appear larger.

Water

A water feature can be a great way to add some personality to your garden, and is a great tool to carry through a theme in your garden whether it is a classic country style, oriental theme or an ultra-modern layout.

However, the fantastic thing about water features in small gardens is the opportunity to incorporate light into a space, similarly to mirrors and stainless steel. The water from the feature will reflect the sky, and is a more natural way to reflect light into your garden. One bonus of this is that this may encourage wildlife too!

Trees

In a small garden the addition of trees can create the illusion of space. You can cleverly train certain trees to grow in a particular direction to help cover an ugly wall, and make the space seem less imposing. This may require a bit of patience in order to achieve the desired results however!

Vertical Planting

There are many other little ways you can make the most of your secluded spots through the use of vertical planting. This can be
achieved through Trellis’ and climbing plants, which will grow upwards and help hide walls.

However, for an easier option you could purchase a wall mounted planter that can attach easily to a wall and still optimise vertical space.

Screening

If you have dark walls or fencing surrounding your garden, this may be another reason the space feels so small. Sometimes the colours can have the effect of feeling gloomy or oppressive, but one easy way to brighten your garden is the addition of some screening.

This is easy to put up, and can also cover any broken brickwork or blemishes. There are a range of materials and colours to choose from, but a natural style bamboo screening could really help to boost the feeling of space by brightening the whole area and adding some personality.

Storage Solutions

If you’re short of space in your garden but still want to have a chill out area there are a range of storage solutions that can help you do that.
Seating with storage space built in is one particularly clever way to create more space in your garden as it is not visible. This gives you the option to have an area to relax but also be able to store away things such as blankets, cushions etc. when they are not needed!

You could also use coffee tables with storage built in as an alternative to bulky sheds and storage boxes, this would be a great addition to a social space so your guests can relax with a couple of drinks after you’ve stored away some of your garden necessities!

Hopefully this guide has inspired you to make the most of the space you have, and if you want to explore design tips for lighting your small garden be sure to read our advice on this too!

Zoe at PrimroseZoë works in the Marketing team at Primrose, and is passionate about all things social media.

After travelling across Europe and Asia, Zoë is intrigued by different cultures and learning more about the world around her. If she’s not jet setting, Zoë loves nothing more than curling up with a good book and a large glass of red wine!

She is an amateur gardener but keen to learn more and get stuck in!

See all of Zoë’s posts.

Composting, Gardening, How To, Laura Bennett, Weeding

The constant gardening struggle: weeds. Weeds are a problem that casual and advanced gardeners have struggled with. You are not alone with this problem. The good news is, you no longer have to be in a constant battle with weeds in your garden.

how to win war against weeds

So, how are you supposed to stop them from growing and taking over your garden? Can I really get rid of weeds without using harmful chemicals? Yes, you really can!

Weeds cause your plants to become overcrowded. They deplete the soil of nutrients that the plants you are trying to grow need. They also compete with your plants for the much-needed water and sunlight your garden receives.

What You Will Need:

• Landscape Fabric
• Landscape Fabric Pins
Organic Mulch or Soil
• Boiling Water
• Natural Weed Killer
• Decorative Rocks
• Plants of Your Choice
• A Shovel

De-weed Your Garden

The first step in keeping your garden free from weeds is to remove them from the area you want to work with. Use a shovel to get rid of perennial weeds with their roots to prevent regrowth. If you do not remove the roots along with the weed, the weed will just regrow.

de-weed your garden

Lay Down the Landscape Fabric

The next step is to lay down and prepare your landscape fabric. Make sure the fuzzy part of the fabric is face down. This helps the fabric stick to the ground and not move. Use the landscape fabric pins to hold the landscape fabric in place.

You can use more than one sheet of landscape fabric for a larger area. Make sure the pieces of fabric overlap here and that the edges are secure and leave no spaces for weeds to grow through.

Pro-Tip: A common mistake is not using enough fabric pins. Make sure to use them frequently. There is no such thing as too many here.

landscape fabric

Mulching

After the landscape fabric is in place it’s time to place down your mulch. Make sure you use a layer of mulch that is between 1-2 inches. The mulch prevents sunlight getting to the dirt below. This also helps to stop weeds from growing.

Pro-Tip: Some mulch may accidentally contain weed seeds, so make sure your mulch is coming from a nursery you trust to be weed free.

mulching

Pour Boiling Water

The next step is to pour the boiling water on top of your mulch. This will help kill any weeds that might be in your mulch that you are unaware of. This is also a good time to use your natural weed killer.

boiling water
Using Natural Weed Killer

Most weed killers only require you use them at the beginning of the planting season (Spring) and again at the end (mid-Summer) if you plan to grow in fall as well. If not, there is no need to reapply your weed killer until the next time you plan to plant. You are now ready to start planting.

natural weed killer

More Tips and Tricks

• Pick one day a week for de-weeding if you find the occasional weed still growing from your mulch.
• You can make a mixture of vinegar and water (in equal amounts) to use on weeds. Be careful not to get this on your other plants though.
• Plant close together to not allow weeds any room to grow.
• You can suffocate weeds and decorate your garden by placing decorative rocks on top of them.
• Drip irrigation systems can be used to provide only your plants with water and eliminate the concern of the water evaporating.

Conclusion

The prevention of weeds is the best method of treating them. Anyone can have a beautiful garden free of weeds. It does take some time and effort but is worth it. There are a lot of ways to help keep your garden free of weeds, which can motivate you to garden even more. With nicer weather on the horizon, it is a perfect time to get ready and give gardening a try.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Please share your thoughts about the article in the comments, and share it with your friends if you enjoyed this.

Laura BennettLaura is a graduate of Horticulture and loves nature especially when it comes to flowers and different kinds of plants. She has been a blogger for some years now at Humid Garden.

Events, Gardening Year, George

A new year means another twelve months packed with events to entertain every type of gardener. From flower shows and expert demonstrations to art exhibitions and plants to buy, there’s plenty to do in 2017. Now’s the time to book your tickets, grab the early bird discounts and fill out your calendar.

gardening events 2017 calendar

2017 Gardening Events

January

28 – 30 Big Garden Birdwatch – be part of the world’s largest wildlife survey by seeing what you can spot in your garden this weekend.

February

4 – 5 Mar Kew Gardens’ Orchid Festival – this year’s theme is the vibrant plants and culture of India.
14 – 15 RHS Early Spring Plant Fair – get cracking on the gardening season with expert advice and plants to buy from award-winning nurseries.
24 – 25 RHS Botanical Art Show – Lindey Hall hosts a collection of world class botanical art that is not to be missed.

March

29 – 30 RHS Spring Plant and Orchid Show – be dazzled by displays of exotic orchids and spring flowers in full bloom.

April

7 – 9 RHS Cardiff Flower Show – Wales welcomes a spectacular array of show gardens and plants to browse.
20 – 23 Harrogate Spring Flower Show – the perfect gardener’s day out with 100 nurseries, show gardens and community plots to admire.

May

11 – 14 RHS Malvern Spring Festival – visit the Malvern Hills for a great day full of crafts, food, plants and fun.
23 – 27 RHS Chelsea Flower Show – the gold standard of flower shows returns with garden designs to get the world talking.

June

2 – 4 Gardening Scotland – the epic national gardening show returns for three days packed full of inspirational plants and products for your garden.
7 – 11 RHS Chatsworth Flower Show – a new show that promises to showcase innovative garden designs.
15 – 18 Gardeners’ World Live – be part of everyone’s favourite show for talks with top experts, flower shopping and designer show gardens.
23 – 25 RHS Garden Harlow Carr Flower Show – bright, colourful plants pack out this magnificent summer gardening festival.
24 – 25 Woburn Abbey Garden Show – visit the stunning abbey gardens for guided tours, tea, demonstrations and expert advice.

July

4 – 9 RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show – enjoy unforgettable floral displays in this magical setting.
12 – 13 RHS Summer Urban Garden Show – get inspired to start growing at home, no matter how much or little space you have.
19 – 23 RHS Flower Show Tatton Park – at the height of summer take a trip round gardens created by some of the country’s top designers.

August

3 – 6 RHS Garden Hyde Hall Flower Show – spend a summer day taking in plant stalls, photography, art and shopping.
12 – 13 The Great Comp Summer Show – jazz music, Pimms, plants and a splash of local craftspeople – what more do you want this summer?
17 – 20 Southport Flower Show – come down for a day of entertainment, demos, a food festival and garden roadshow.
18 – 20 RHS Garden Rosemoor Flower Show – visit Rosemoor’s first ever flower show to see the best gardening of the South West.

September

5 – 10 RHS Garden Wisley Flower Show – a floral extravaganza packed with plant nurseries for you to browse.
15 – 17 Harrogate Autumn Flower Show – return to Harrogate to get stuck into the autumn gardening season.
23 – 24 Malvern Autumn Show – celebrate the countryside with this spectacular show where you can buy seasonal food and plants.

October

3 – 4 RHS Harvest Festival Show – marvel at giant vegetables and buy some autumn produce to take home with you.
25 – 26 RHS Autumn Garden Show – enjoy the rich colours of the autumn season with these beautiful plants on show.

November

29 Wollerton Old Hall Garden Christmas Lecture – garden designer and TV presenter Chris Beardshaw returns for another inspiring talk.

December

7 Chelsea Physic Garden Tour – take a look behind the scenes of this botanical garden led by head gardener Nick Bailey.

So there we have a great selection of gardening events coming up in 2017. We hope you enjoy them and be sure to let us know if you have any more suggestions!

George at PrimroseGeorge 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.

See all of George’s posts.

How To, Pest Advice, Pest Control

Most gardeners might find the presence of birds in their garden very relaxing and interesting. It’s lovely to hear them singing and they are a great help with insect control.

But sometimes birds can become pests themselves, causing more harm than good! Tired of big birds scaring away other wildlife? Fed up of cleaning bird mess off your patio? Here are some helpful precautions you can take to be free of birds in your garden.

 Keep birds away from garden

1. Removing Food Sources

Stop attracting birds to your garden by removing or protecting any food sources. If you grow your own fruit or have put down seeds recently, consider covering your crops with netting so birds can’t ruin your efforts.

If you’re still keen on regular visits from smaller birds, try using hanging feeders. Larger birds such as pigeons find it  difficult to get the food so will give up. Alternatively, if you are using a flat table feeder, try putting a hanging basket dome upside down on the table so only smaller birds can reach the seeds.

2. Ultrasonic Repellers

One modern and very effective way of scaring birds away is by using an ultrasonic repeller. They give out an output that birds can hear and will deter them from resting in the area. Different ultrasonic repellers allow you to change the frequency of the ultrasonic output meaning it will not affect people or any pets within the house, but will still stop the birds.

pestbye bird repeller

3. Anti Bird Spikes

Anti bird spikes are easy to lay and can be placed anywhere such as window sills, guttering and fencing. It will stop larger birds from perching and soiling the garden. They are long lasting and and are blunt at the tips so will not cause any harm to birds. Anti bird spikes can be made from different materials, the most popular being a translucent polycarbonate which helps with blending into the surroundings so they don’t cause too much of an eye sore.

4. Bird Proof Gel

Bird proof gel is a tacky substance that can be applied to anywhere that birds will try to rest such as fence tops and window sills. Gel works similarly to anti bird spikes in that it makes perching on ledges very uncomfortable to birds due to the sticky effect. It does not harm the birds and is very discreet compared to spikes, so could be used as a more efficient alternative.

bird in garden

5. Bird Distress Calls

Another way of keeping birds away is to play recordings of bird distress calls or predator calls. Birds are very sensitive to sound so when they hear these calls they instinctively leave the area as they think they are in danger.

6. Visual Deterrents

Decoys and scarers such as figures or statues of larger birds or animals might intimidate birds into leaving the area. You can also use objects that move in the wind such as scare rods or wind chimes, simply hang them up and the wind does the job.

bird scarer
Have a go at making your own windmills or wind chimes! It is a fun activity for children and is very effective in scaring birds away, with a bonus of adding a bit of colour and decoration to your garden.