Barbecues, Dakota Murphey, How To, Make over

If you’ve renovated your home to maximise its value, don’t neglect your garden. Property experts claim that great outdoor space can add up to 20% to the price of your property. So, let’s take a look at the top 3 ways you can grow the value of your garden.

add value to your garden

1. Add a garden room

The humble garden shed is now more popular than ever. In fact, Cuprinol even run a Shed of the Year competition. However, contemporary sheds bear little resemblance to those of old. Today, the common garden shed has morphed into a much grander and useful garden room.

These extra rooms can be used for a multitude of purposes, such as:

  • Additional living space
  • Home office
  • Gym
  • Teenage den
  • Relaxation room
  • Studio or workshop

garden room

Making the most of any underused space makes sense, particularly if you are squeezed for room in the main house.

What’s more, there is a new breed of garden room, with something to suit all tastes. If the traditional design of the summerhouse is not for you, what about a log cabin, garden pod or minimalist contemporary box design, with plenty of glass.

Also gaining in popularity are shepherd’s huts. Back in the 19th century, these were placed in fields to allow shepherds to keep watch over their flock. Designed to allow the shepherd to live out in the fields for long lengths of time, they had kitchen, sleeping and storage facilities. The huts were built with hinged stable doors and strong cast iron wheels so they could be easily moved when necessary.

Built using traditional methods and placed in a modern garden, a shepherd’s hut is a romantic alternative to conventional garden rooms. They can look lovely placed close to fields or wooded landscapes.

2. Add an outdoor kitchen and entertaining area

Cooking is now one of our favourite pastimes. If you enjoy entertaining friends, an outdoor cooking and entertaining area can be a valuable addition to your home.

Where once there was the portable or, if you were lucky, built-in barbecue, today things have moved on apace. Outdoor kitchens can now include wood-fired pizza ovens, over-sized grills and granite worktops. The addition of plumbing and electrics allow you to add an outdoor sink, task lighting and electrical sockets, which all make conjuring up your culinary finest a real joy.

Once you’ve set up your outdoor dining and lounging furniture, an outdoor kitchen makes a great extension to your living space and a wonderful area to entertain friends.

If you love barbecuing, maybe a BBQ hut will appeal? This is a round wooden construction with a central smoke stack, chimney and grill. There is a removable table built around the grill and circular benches for sitting or sleeping on. Designed for nomadic herdsmen living in Arctic Lapland, they look great styled with faux fur hides, fairy lights and lanterns. They are the perfect place to cook and relax with friends, whatever the weather.

hot tub

3. Add a hot tub or swimming pool

Having a place to unwind and have fun in the garden can also be a valuable asset. The addition of a hot tub or, if you have the room, a swimming pool, can transform your life in a number of positive ways.

Hot tubs offer the benefits of both health and relaxation. A great antidote to stress and insomnia, a hot tub is a great way to upgrade your outside space. You will need a cover to keep out any debris and it’s a good idea to install it under roof protection. This will make it weatherproof and guard your privacy.

But the most luxurious addition to your garden has to be a swimming pool – it’s hard to name a more glamorous feature. A pool will increase the amount of quality time you spend with your family, provide a glorious location for exercise and be a great place for entertaining family and friends.

What’s more, a swimming pool can be quick and easy to install. With contemporary designs and materials, the number and quality of fast pool builders has increased, so you can be up and swimming in no time.

Dakota Murphey

Dakota Murphey is an independent content writer who regularly contributes to the horticulture industry. She enjoys nothing more than pottering around her gardening in the sunshine. Find out what else Dakota has been up to on Twitter, @Dakota_Murphey.

Amie, Barbecues, Celebrations And Holidays, Clocks, Events, Garden Furniture, Gardening, How To, Primrose.co.uk, Sail Shades

Top Bank Holiday Gardening Products

With the bank holiday weekend just around the corner, and the sun set to shine down on us, we’ve highlighted a handful of products perfect for your garden this August.

Firefly­™ Black Lampshade Heater with Beech Wood Effect Stand
So you’re relaxing in your garden, but the sun is starting to set and you start to feel a bit cool. A perfect solution is a patio heater. Not only are they stylish and cheap to operate, but they will keep you and your guests warm long into the night.

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Banquet™ Jamaica Masonry Charcoal BBQ
There is nothing better than serving up sausages on a BBQ for your friends, family or even yourself. What better feature for your garden than a masonry charcoal BBQ, ready to deliver you a delightful, authentic taste.

Wheel Metal Garden Clock by About Time
A brand new addition to Primrose’ clock range, this stunning clock will be the perfect focal point for your guests who need to tell the time. It’s very easy to lose track of time when you’re having so much fun.

Kookaburra™ Shade Sail Frame
Need a break from the sun? Perhaps you have had enough of putting a hat on. A shade sail frame, along with a shade sail can be set up almost anywhere, and fit a range of shade sail shapes and sizes to create an idyllic shady area.

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Tortola Nautical Outdoor Garden Hammock
For when you want to just laze and imagine you’re basking in the tropics of Hawaii, hoist up a hammock and shut your eyes, imagining the ocean is behind you. Read a book, listen to some music or just watch the clouds pass.

Outdoor Rugs and Carpets
Spread out for breakfast, lunch or dinner with this gorgeous all-purpose rug. Great for relaxing upon, or setting up picnic with the family, you don’t have to worry about an outdoor rug getting ruined.

Bruce the Bull Recycled Steel Cooler
What better way to keep your drinks cool than with a recycled steel drinks cooler. Bruce the Bull is a best seller, and it’s easy to see why. Ample space for beers, wine or soft drinks, and a stylish design.

No matter what you get up to this bank holiday weekend, we’d love to know so send us in your photos in the following ways;

AmieAmie 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.

Amie also writes restaurant reviews on  Barnard’s Burger Blog.

Amie, Barbecues, Celebrations And Holidays, Events, Gardening, Primrose Gardens, Primrose.co.uk

The Best BBQ Food for a Brilliant Summer Party

The sun is out (let’s ignore the brief drizzle) and Euro 2016 is in full swing, which means plenty of BBQs and gatherings for people throughout the UK. There will be impending celebrations for when England win the competition (we can live in hope) so we’ve compiled a handful of the best BBQ food (and some extra party essentials) to get you started.

Ribs
With a vintage, smoky flavour, ribs make a great treat for any BBQ. Cover in sauce or keep dry; either way they make an excellent handheld treat.

Burgers
Perhap  the ultimate classic when it comes to a BBQ, burgers come in a host of varieties, accompanied with any possibility, inside a range of buns. Brioche or seedless buns work well, and beef burgers larger than the palm of your hand make for a textbook combination.

Kebabs
You should stick to kebabs on a skewer, as these are much more convenient at a BBQ. Mix up your kebab with chicken, lamb and vegetables. The possibilities are endless.

Sausages
Another classic addition to any BBQ, sausages in a hotdog bun make a perfect BBQ snack. A Bratwurst sausage can give your BBQ a German feel, but my personal favourite is a traditional pork sausage, dolloped with some ketchup.

Wings
To finish off the list, wings/ drumsticks make a great choice. Similar to ribs, when placed on a BBQ they produce a tantalising smoky flavour and can easily be held (although sometimes your fingers can get sticky).

So you have done the shopping, but you need some additional items to help you throw your superb summer party. Primrose have a great selection to choose from, and with next day delivery, these can be here in time for the game against Wales if you order before 2pm tomorrow!

  1. Shade sail
    https://www.primrose.co.uk/kookaburra-triangle-ivory-party-sail-shade-woven-water-resistant-p-63044.html

  2. BBQ
    https://www.primrose.co.uk/banquet-essential-charcoal-bbq-p-80302.html

  3. Patio heater
    https://www.primrose.co.uk/firefly-21kw-free-standing-adjustable-height-halogen-bulb-electric-infrared-patio-heater-p-22422.html

  4. Party tent
    https://www.primrose.co.uk/9ft-29ft-budget-party-tent-p-11328.html

  5. Furniture set
    https://www.primrose.co.uk/hectare-mallory-seater-superpolytex-garden-furniture-set-with-parasol-p-79695.html

All you need now are the guests and for the rain to hold out…

So what are you waiting for! With many an excuse to have a knees up, dust off the BBQ and serve up a summer treat.

AmieAmie 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.

Amie also writes restaurant reviews on  Barnard’s Burger Blog.

Amie, Barbecues, Chimeneas, Chimineas, Events, Fireplaces, Gardening Year, Heated Clothing, How To, Outdoor Heating, Patio Heaters, Primrose.co.uk

We hate to admit it to ourselves, but the chill is slowly creeping upon us, and before we know it, winter will have reared its bitter head. The summer month of August wasn’t even that great, with lower than average temperatures. It was also the wettest August across south-east England since 1977! What ever happened to the great British summers? Thankfully we’ve the warm wintery months right? Oh..

Worried about throwing a party and leaving your guests to shiver in the cold? Concerned about getting frostbite when you walk the dogs? Fear not though people, for Primrose have the solution to all your troubles.

1. Patio Heaters
Although I definitely do not advocate smoking, outdoor heating has certainly grown and developed since the indoor ban in 2008, especially in pubs, clubs and bars.

Ideal for gardens, patios or even inside a gazebo, there is a huge range of gas and electric heaters to choose from; freestanding and hanging to wall mounted and tabletop. I’d personally recommend a freestanding patio heater. Not only do they look stunning in any garden setting, they are very versatile, with adjustable height settings, offering light and heat, can be used indoor and outdoor, and heat a large area, up to 15sqm.

They aren’t very expensive either; an ideal low cost way to maintain heat if you plan on being outside. Great for congregating round and having a chit chat over the latest episode of the Apprentice. Even better if you plan on keeping the grandparents warm whilst you let off fireworks this week.

2. Chimineas
Described as a freestanding fireplace or oven, usually with a vertical smoke vent or chimney, these great inventions originated from Mexico over 500 years ago. Another interesting fact for you; the Mexicans (and incidentally the US) refer to them as ‘chimeneas’. Us English folk like to be different don’t we?

Their original purpose was to keep families warm by burning bits of wood and sticks, with the chimney chute designed to keep the rain at bay. They were also typically made out of clay, a material which still remains very popular with a lot of chimineas you can buy today but the evolution of the design process has allowed for other materials such as cast iron (strong, durable, sturdy and a great conductor of heat) and steel (lighter than cast iron, but often very modern in design).

Primrose has over 100 chimineas to choose from, and they are a perfect solution for keeping guests warm and cosy during the long evenings of storytelling and wine drinking. What’s better is that they even look superb in any garden setting and you could even cook a burger on one if you fancy!

3. BBQs
Ok so this might be a tad ambitious given the time of year, but what better way to keep warm than to congregate around a warm fire, with the smell of freshly cooked food whiffing in the air. You can’t beat a proper, British BBQ, and with bonfire night nearing, they’re ideal for parties. Just grab your marshmallows for some delightful bonfire night s’mores.

You have a whole host of shapes, styles and sizes to choose from, the possibilities are endless. Charcoal BBQs are perhaps the most traditional style, and one of the most popular too. You get the authentic smoky taste that only a charcoal BBQ can provide and if you choose one with a lid, you maximise the smoky flavour by trapping the scents and flavours, giving you the extra oomph and zing.

Next time you find a cold, crisp, dry evening to spare and you’re looking for inspiration, why not choose a good old British BBQ and invite the friends and family round. Just make sure you bring the beer and buns.

4. Heated Clothing
Finally, we arrived at heated clothing. This is something which I cannot advocate enough. It was last winter and a group of friends wanted to go watch a firework display. Great I thought, I love fireworks. But oh no, standing around in the cold for an hour got the better of me. I wasn’t able to hold a sparkler as my fingers were turning blue. At that point, my friend leant me his heated gloves. This magical invention (which I had never actually heard of up until this point) was superb! My hands were very toasty, without the need to sit by a fire.

Gloves, insoles, scarves, jackets, gilets, socks, there are so many options. They’re really easy to use too. Simply insert a battery (in most cases) and voila, you’ll feel the instant warmth. Primrose have brand new heated insoles this year, which are controlled via Bluetooth through your smart phone. Clever eh?

Heated clothing is also great if you do any cold weather sports or activities such as skiing, motorcycling, walking or you just fancy a trip to Antarctica to see the polar bears (now who wouldn’t?!).


Never go cold again!

What measures do you take to keep warm over the winter months?

AmieAmie 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.

To see the rest of Amie’s posts, click here.

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