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.

Amie, Decoration, Events, Garden Furniture, Gardening, How To, Make over, Media, Primrose.co.uk, Sail Shades, TV

Our Kookaburra Shade Sail on Love Your Garden!

Did you watch Love Your Garden on ITV last night? If so, did you spot our shade sail?

Last night’s episode featured a garden renovation in Eastleigh near Southampton, whereby an ‘uninviting patch of uneven lawn’ transformed into a wonderful cruise ship-inspired heaven for Rosie and her husband Tony; the theme truly fitting for the location given Southampton is the cruise hub of the country.

Rosie has spent over 38 years looking after and nursing sick and ill children, so is rightly deserving of this makeover, whereby she can spend hours relaxing in her retirement. The idea behind a cruise theme transpired from her and her husband’s love of cruising in her spare time, and as she says ‘it was the only time I felt I was able to relax’.

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One of the key features of this new garden was a shady seating area for relaxation, and what better accessory for this than our very own ‘Kookaburra Shade Sail‘ – Alan has great taste. The ultra-tight weave of the fabric has been independently tested to UPF34+ making these sail shades near impenetrable by sunlight. More than 96.5% of harmful UV rays are blocked out as a result, making it a perfect spot for Rosie and her family to spend many a summer day under.

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What a great end product I think you would all agree?

Watch the full episode now to see the finished garden.

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, Decoration, Events, Gardening, How To, Media, RHS

This week has seen the RHS Chelsea Flower Show enter its 104th year at its current Chelsea location, and it’s once again proved to be an absolute corker, with plenty of unique and stylish designs, an array of colourful flower arrangements and a competitive edge from the gardening community. If you have been fortunate enough to attend, you would have witnessed some wonderful displays , or perhaps you have been following the show on BBC.

Although there are still two days left (with the show finishing tomorrow), we’re here to highlight some of the best photos thus far from the show, with a small appearance from Prince William.

  1. To kick start this collection is the winner of the ‘Best Show Garden’ award, with this lovely garden created by Andy Sturgeon. Inspired by geological events over a number of years, this garden took 10 months  to design, and is a worthy winner.
    Best Show Garden - Andy Sutrgeon - RHS facebook(Photo taken from RHS Facebook)

  2. Another winning photo from Sarah Eberle (who has won more categories than any other designer at the show), winning ‘best Artisan Garden’. It resembles a tranquil garden area, that you could immerse yourself in on a warm summers evening. Best Artisan Garden - Sarah Eberle - RHS Facebook(Photo taken from RHS Facebook)

  3. The Chelsea Barracks Garden, designed by Jo Thompson, is a modern day triumph incorporating elements of the Barracks site next door to the Royal Hospital in Chelsea. With roses being heavily featured , assumingly with their links to British heritage, the bronze sculpture pays tribute to the Barracks’ former residents. The Chelsea Barracks Garden - Chelsea Barracks Site - RHS Instagram(Photo taken from RHS Instagram)

  4. This wonderful sculpture has been designed by Rosy Hardy, and forms part of her Brewin Dolphin Garden, entitled ‘Forever Freefolk’. Inspired by Freefolk, Hampshire and the industry of high security paper-making, this is Rosy’s first time making her own show garden at the show.
    Rosy Hardy Brewin Dolphin Garden - Sarah Cuttle(Photo taken by Sarah Cuttle)

  5. Perhaps one of those most British photos at the show this year, the Senri-Sentei Garage Garden designed by Kazuyuki Ishihara is a simplistic design, featuring a Mini and a colourful rooftop shelter. Even the average Joe could take inspiration from this design.The Sneri-Sentei Garade - Kazuyuki Ishihara - Jack Taylor(Photo taken by Jack Taylor)

  6. Our last photo for you is of the Royal couple Kate and William, observing the poppy (5000 of them) display surrounding the Royal Hospital in Chelsea on Tuesday. It is reported Kate said to Will ‘Babe, we’ve got loads of those’. Cute.Will and Kate 'Babe' 0 Express - PA(Photo taken by from express..co.uk)

Did you go to Chelsea this year? Did you follow the coverage on TV? Let us know!

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.

Decoration, Garden Design, George, How To

Are Garden Mirrors Safe

We’ve already talked about the decorative potential of putting mirrors outdoors, as well as brightening up dark corners of the garden. But some readers expressed concern, asking ‘Are garden mirrors safe?’. Mirrors make a great decoration outside, and as long as they’re used sensibly they are completely safe. But of course, everyone would rather relax and enjoy their garden, free from worries about hazards around their family, children and wildlife. So we’re going to address any potential issues to ensure you use outdoor mirrors safely.

Which material is best?

Like regular indoor mirrors, external ones can be made from glass or plastic acrylic. The surface of glass is much harder than acrylic, which makes it less likely to scratch from passing animals or foliage. It is also a lot heavier, so better suited to fixing to an outside wall than a less secure surface where it could fall from. Always make sure it is fixed tightly as outdoors it will be exposed to much more intense wind and rain than in your average living room!

As acrylic is around 80% lighter than glass, it is much easier to fix to fence panels and other surfaces, as well as walls. It can be screwed or even glued to keep it firmly in place. The acrylic sheets our mirrors are cut from are 10 times stronger than glass, which prevents them shattering if knocked in the garden. This is well worth bearing in mind if you have small children running round.

Looking out for the birds

The top concern people have about putting mirrors outside is for birds flying into them. Clearly, this wouldn’t be a nice surprise for either party involved – but it happens a lot less than you might think. Some suggestions include sticking a bird image on the mirror, frosting the surface or allowing the material to weather without polishing over time. But ultimately, the best defense is in the placement of the mirror.

You know your garden best, so choose a spot where birds aren’t likely to be flying towards. Patio corners and within climbing plants and hedging are good places to start. Often these are points that will benefit most from the additional light mirrors will bring too.

Avoid direct sunlight

Another important point to bear in mind when hanging your outdoor mirror is to be careful about reflecting direct sunlight. Just as indoors you have to be wary vases and windows don’t set your sofa on fire, outdoors you need to make sure the mirror won’t focus the sun directly onto anything that would burn easily. Simply put the mirror in an area that’s more shady or at an angle to the most intense spots of sunlight.

Sit back and relax

From our experience, problems with garden mirrors are extremely rare but hopefully this post has alleviated any remaining worries. Just remember to position them sensibly, avoiding flight paths and direct sunlight, fix them firmly in place, and they should be perfectly safe. Now you can simply relax and enjoy the magical extra dimension and glow outdoor mirrors bring to your garden.

Plus, we’d love to see some pictures of them on Primrose Gardens!

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.