Animals, Bird Baths, How To, Wildlife, Zoe

The long awaited Big Garden Birdwatch has finally arrived this weekend – hooray! With this handy guide we will teach you how to make an irresistible bird feeder no sparrow could refuse!

Many of us may notice our little visitors in the garden, but do we really know what kind of bird it is? Luckily for you, our beautifully illustrated infographic may help you identify even the most exotic of species! Top marks if you manage to spot a Chabert Vanga…

The best way to entice any guests is of course with a free buffet, and in this blog we suggest a fantastic range of treats and scrummy dishes no bird could refuse.

Dangerous Food for Birds

However if you want to feed wild birds be careful that it is safe, the following cannot be used to feed wild birds:

  • Spoiled seed – make sure the seeds you put out have not started rot. It should be dry without any strong odour.
  • Large quantities of bread – although filling, bread does not contain any of the lovely goodness that wild birds need in their diet.
  • Milk – Avoid leaving out milk for your birds, many experts claim this will make them ill.
  • Cooking fat, margarine & vegetable oil – These are all unsuitable for birds.

Ingredients Needed for Your Bird Feeder

Now for the fun stuff!

It is SUPER easy to make your own bird feede, and it’s a fantastic activity to get the whole family involved and share in the joy when you spot a red breast in the garden.

Firstly, you will need to get your hands on some lard. This is a great glue that will bond all your ingredients. You want one part lard to two parts of your bird seed.

Next, you can pick and choose what treats you want to include for your birds. We suggest the following, with a brief description of what birds love this treat the most:

  • Millet – sparrows, dunnocks, finches, reed buntings and collared doves
  • Flaked maize – blackbirds
  • Peanuts & Sunflower seeds – Tits and greenfinches
  • Pinhead oatmeal – All birds love this!
  • Nyjer seeds – goldfinches and siskins.
  • Cooked rice – All birds lap this up
  • Mealworms – excellent protein source for many birds

You can also add some grated cheese, dried fruit and much other variation of seed in your unique mix!

Now you have binded the lard and your bird seed you will be able to mould this into a variety of different shapes to catch the eye of birds or as a interesting activity for your children. This is a great alternative to shop bought fat balls that often come in nylon bags that are very harmful to birds that get their beaks or feet trapped in them!

Coconut Shell Bird Feeder

Mould Ideas for Your Bird Feeder

  • You can use a halved coconut shell to fill with your bird food; make sure there is no traces of coconut milk left in this shell however.
  • Orange peel! Remove the fruit from the skin of the orange and, like the coconut, fill to the top with the food for a vibrant feeder.
  • Pine cone – roll the pine cone in your lard and seeds for a more decorative feeding treat.
  • Toilet roll – yes really! Once you’re left with the toilet paper roll you can roll this in the seeds for an innovative feeder for the birds. (Be careful in wet weather as the cardboard will begin to disintegrate)
  • Cooker cutters – fill your cookie cutters with the mix and leave them to harden in the fridge.
  • Or be creative and create a shape of your own!

Once you’ve made your treats place them in different areas around your garden to attract a range of birds, and remember to consider the little birds that will need low hanging treats.

Have fun this weekend, and be sure to send us your photographs to photos@primrose.co.uk, we’d love to see them!

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.

Amie, Animals, Bird Baths, Celebrations And Holidays, Gardening, Grow Your Own, Herbs, How To, Mothers' Day, Planters, Plants, Primrose.co.uk

Mother’s Day is the perfect opportunity to show off your eternal gratitude to the one woman in your life who will always be there for you. Thanks to Primrose, there’s more to this day than just flowers and chocolates. We’ve compiled a list of gifts for the special woman in your life, to suit a range of budgets. With next day delivery available too, you can even afford to leave it until the last minute.

Carbon steel Weed Fork
Does your mother enjoy gardening? Is she eager to get out into the garden once the sun breaks through? If so, we’ve a great low cost solution with our weed fork. With an ergonomic grip, carbon material (lightweight yet strong) and a 5 year warranty, you can’t go wrong. She’ll be back out in the garden in no time at all, and it’ll be thanks to you.

LED Candles
Whilst the clocks are set to turn back at the end of March, there is still plenty of darkening evenings ahead of us. Considered a safe alternative (great if there are children in the household), with up to 48 hours runtime, LED candles are great for setting a mood, using as a table centerpiece or placed in the bathroom whilst enjoying an evening bath.

Herb Garden Windowsill Planter
Considered the perfect gift for a loved one (one of our best sellers), this beautiful herb planter will sit happily upon any windowsill or shelf. This planter contains three seed herb sachets and a dash of compost too, so this gift is ready to go as soon as it’s unwrapped. Or if you want to place your own message on one, we have a personalised option available also.

Bird Bath
The perfect gift for those who have a delightful presence of wildlife in their gardens, bird baths not only look great in your garden, but they actually keep birds hydrated.  With minimal effort to set up (you just need to fill with water), you can sit back and watch the birds flock to your garden, surrounding with the cheeky chipmunks on the bird bath body.

Planter
Add a stylish touch to your garden with our 4 tier solar water feature / planter.  Powered by the Great British sunlight, this requires minimum maintenance, and is both environmentally friendly and safe to use. The water cascades down the tiers, and your mum is free to personalise it with her own flower choice. Being self-contained, there is also minimal set up effort and easily  moved around.

Statue
Why not push the boat out, and treat your mum to this extravagant ‘Mother and Child’ statue. It would be a great addition to any garden, and can symbolise your love for one another. Consisting of mostly bronze, this statue will be the envy of your neighbours, and your mum won’t hesitate to show it off, especially with this generous price tag..

So there you have it. Plenty of options to choose from if you wish to break away from the tradition of flowers and chocolates. Don’t forget the date – Sunday 6th March.

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.

Bird Baths, Celebrations And Holidays, Charlie, Chimeneas, Chimineas, Decoration, Guest Posts, LED Candles, Lighting, Outdoor Heating, Planters, Ponds, Solar Lighting, Valentine's Day, Water Features

The feast day of St. Valentine is fast approaching! St. Valentine lived in the 3rd century A.D. and was executed for clandestinely marrying lovers contrary to Roman law – over the centuries he has become an international symbol of true love. So whether you’re looking to woo that special someone, or enchant the one you’re with, look no further than Primrose for that special Valentine’s Day gift.

Water Features

From our tabletop fountains to elaborate structures for your garden, you’re sure to find something to make your loved one smile. Why not check out our bestselling Kendal Three Tier Cascade Water Feature, or for something a bit more exotic with a bit of life in it take a look at our Easter Island Head Solar Water Feature and Planter. For a more quirky feel you could buy one of our gnome helper water features – perfect for a home or office space. You could even opt for a bird bath water feature, and make our feathered friends welcome in your garden. Feel free to browse our full range of water features, with other 1000 to choose from, you’re sure to find something to say “I love you” to that special someone.

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Planters

At Primrose we have a wide selection of planters, great for sprucing up an indoor space with some greenery, or for your patio or garden, our planters are of the best quality. So if your partner is green thumbed, give the gift of a planter this Valentine’s. Choose from our great range of metal, wooden or fibreglass planters. We even have personalised planters – so you can personalise a gift to your loved one. Another great gift idea from us at Primrose is to invest in a Pond in a Pot, these innovative additions to your garden can be bought in complete packs with water flowers to help your love bloom all year round.

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A stunning Pond in a Pot from Primrose. Order yours in time for Spring!

 

Garden Mirrors

Why not buy a mirror to accentuate the size of your garden and your love! Our stunning range of garden mirrors are sure to leave a positive reflection on your love life. Choose from acrylic mirror sheets if you don’t mind a bit of DIY to our spectacular gothic mirrors to give that fairytale feel to your garden.

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A Beautiful Gothic Mirror

 

Chimeneas

Perfect for getting your love life to the right temperature, Primrose’s range of chimeneas are great for warming toes and creating a perfect ambience for your garden or outdoor space. Choose from clay, cast iron or steel – not forgetting to properly cure your chimenea if it’s clay! Whichever material you opt for, you’re sure to set hearts racing with this quaint and exotic source of light and heat in your garden.

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Weathervanes

Whichever way the wind is blowing, your love is sure to weather any storm with our weathervanes. Choose from a variety of attractive figures to sit atop your home and let you and your neighbour know which way the wind is blowing.

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Candles and Lighting

Finally, why not take a look at our selection of lighting to brighten up your love life. From solar border lights to our range of flameless candles you’re sure to find something to give your home or garden that special something.

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We at Primrose wish you a very happy Valentine’s Day, and hope you find something from us to make it extra special.

 

CharlieCharlie 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.

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

 

Animals, Bird Baths, Garden Design, Garden Tools, Gardening, Gardening Year, George, Greenhouses, Heated Clothing, How To, Planting, Plants

Gardening in Winter

When the cold winds blow and snow begins to settle on the lawn, it’s tempting to close the backdoor and spend the winter curled up by the fire. But if you’re an outdoorsy person then there’s no need to give up on the garden for a whole season every year. With our guide to gardening in winter you’ll find plenty of projects to crack on with before the spring, how to protect your plants against the cold and top tips for making the most out of your time outdoors.

Winter Gardening Jobs

  • Pruning. Some plants are best cut back and pruned over winter, such as roses, shrubs, fruit trees and deciduous hedges. This will encourage healthy new shoots to grow when the weather warms up again.
  • Cleaning. While the life in your garden is less demanding, it’s a good opportunity to sort out a bit of general maintenance. Hosing down your paths and patios will not only spruce them up, but also ensure they’re free of grime which could become slippery in the cold, damp conditions.
  • Checking for structural damage. If you have a greenhouse, conservatory or shed then winter is the best time of year to give them a good inspection. Most of the surrounding foliage will have died back, leaving a clear path to see any cracks in the frames or broken window panes. Fixing these now is crucial for protecting any plants inside from freezing draughts.
  • Ordering seed catalogues. Get prepared for the sowing season by choosing seeds and plants to buy. It’s a good time to sit back and plan how you might like to redesign your planting or reflect on which flowers grow best in your garden.
  • Cutting the lawn. You won’t need to mow the grass anywhere near as frequently as in the summer, but if the weather is mild it will need doing every now and then. The grass won’t grow as fast, so you can leave it longer than normal.

Winter Gardening Tips

  • Don’t compact the soil. During wintertime, the ground will likely be saturated from excess rain and freeze due to the plummeting temperatures. It’s best to avoid treading on the earth too much as you will compact the already dense soil, making it even more difficult to work in the spring. So try to step lightly when you need to go over it.
  • Maintain tools. There won’t be many labour intensive jobs to do in the garden over winter so it’s a good opportunity to show your tools some TLC. Oil any machinery that requires it and sharpen the blades of your trimmers and secateurs. Then you’ll be all set for cracking on when the frost thaws.
  • Keep watering. It’s easy to overlook watering your garden when the weather’s so rubbish this time of year. But it’s still important to go outside and give your plants a quick water every now and then, particularly if it hasn’t rained in a while. And don’t forget to water your indoor flowers too!
  • Plan ahead. Winter is a great time to plan your garden design for the coming year. Most of the plants and trees have died back, leaving the core layout of your plot clear. Take advantage of this by mapping out new paths or patios, or deciding where to put that new shed or greenhouse.

Trees in Winter

Winter Planting

  • Winter loving plants. Surprisingly, there are a few plants that defy nature and come into their own in the chilly months. Besides evergreen trees, these include witch hazel, winter jasmine, winter honeysuckle and viburnum. Add a few of these for a colourful flowerbed all year round.
  • Winter vegetables. If you have an allotment or kitchen garden, then there are plenty of hardy vegetables that will keep you going over winter. In early summer you can sow broccoli, leeks, winter cabbage and brussel sprouts, which are all capable of enduring the frost – and perfect for a Christmas dinner!
  • Frost protection. As any gardener will no doubt be aware, most plants don’t take well to frosty nights and freezing temperatures. There are many methods to protect your plants against frost, from cloches and fleece blankets to careful watering and layering mulch.
  • Indoor gardening. Perhaps the simplest way to get your gardening fix without having the brace yourself against the chill is by planting inside. Not all plants will grow well indoors, so make sure you do your research. Most plants will grow best in rooms full of light and insulated against draughts. For the most effective indoor growing, it may be worth investing in specialist lights and a grow room.

Winter Wildlife in the Garden

Wintertime can be harsh for animals in the wild. Food is scarce, conditions are icy cold and shelter is hard to come by. You can help out the creatures that come to your garden by providing a little assistance. For the birds, leave out extra food in your birdfeeder and keep your birdbath topped up with water – though make sure it doesn’t freeze. A tennis ball in there should do the trick. You can also plant berry bushes, which will provide a source of winter food and a place to shelter.
For other creatures, make sure there’s somewhere for them to bunker down and sit out the winter months. Simply leave out a pile of leaves or uncut grass for groundlings to nest in.

Bird in Winter

What to Wear Outside

Obviously the priority when gardening outside from November to February is keeping warm. Wrap up as much as you can with hats, gloves, scarves and coats, while allowing enough ease of movement to be able to get on with your digging and pruning. A great way to cut back on the layers while retaining the warmth is with heated clothing. You can use heat pads for your hands or even battery heated socks and gloves for long-lasting toastiness. Just make sure that you don’t spend too long outside at a time, especially if you’re feeling unwell. There’s nothing like a regular tea break to warm yourself up!

One Year Ends, Another Begins

So don’t let the cold weather and long nights dishearten you too much – there’s still plenty of opportunity to get outside and enjoy your garden in winter. From protecting the plants you’ve tended all year to planning new features for the next, winter is the perfect time for reflection and inspiration. Take a brisk walk through the grass before huddling up inside with a hot drink and admiring your garden through the window. Treat someone special to a book full of gardening ideas for Christmas. And most of all get ready, for spring will soon begin!

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.

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