Garden Design, Gardening, Gardens, Tyler

The question that you ask yourself about the patch you have in your garden is; should I go for Natural Grass or Artificial Grass? Fear not as we have just the post for you! Here is a breakdown of both options and a evaluation of which is best for you.

artificial grass

Artificial Grass

First off we’re going to start with the placement holder of grass, Artificial Grass. Artificial turf is a surface made out of synthetic fibres to look just like the real thing. It was originally made to replace grass in sports facilities as sports usually requires the ground to be in great condition and artificial turf was a great option. Now, Artificial Grass is becoming more popular in residential gardens around the world! Here are the Pros on having Artificial Grass in your garden.

Benefits of Artificial Grass

  • There is little to no maintenance needed for artificial grass; There will be no need to cut it on a weekly basis!
  • If you have a pet that spends a lot of time in the garden, you won’t have to worry about your grass being worn down by them constantly going up and down the garden.
  • It’s season friendly! This means that at any time of the year, you can walk across your garden without the worry of carrying mud with you into your house.
  • Artificial grass won’t need to be watered. That means in the Summer, you won’t have to worry about watering the grass.
  • If there is a patch in your garden that doesn’t get much sunlight and always seems to be frozen or doesn’t grow, Artificial grass allows you to fill that patch!

natural grass

Natural Grass

Now if you’re looking to the more natural side of your garden, then stick with natural grass. All that is needed to grow Grass is you guessed it… Grass seeds. Grass seeds are best sown in the summer to mid autumn. This can be a long period but if grown properly with plenty of water and sunlight, it’ll be worth the wait. Here are the benefits of having Natural Grass in your back garden:

Benefits of Natural Grass

  • Having real grass in your back garden is all round better for the environment. Grass helps produce Oxygen like every other plant so it would help benefit us all!
  • Real Grass will give your garden a natural feel and look and will complement the beautiful flowers and plants in your garden. It also allows the wildlife to have more comfort too.
  • Once your grass has grown and looking great in your garden, you’ll have the moment  pride due to growing and maintaining your new green patch.
  • The smell of freshly cut grass; who doesn’t love the smell!

In summary, both options will bring out the green in your garden and have many benefits to consider so really it’s down to personal preference. If you’re looking to have grass that is maintenance-free and will look great all year round, then Artificial grass is a great option to go forward with. However, if you want that natural feel to your garden and have the time to maintain and grow grass then keep it natural with real grass.

Tyler at PrimroseTyler works in the Primrose Marketing team, mainly working on Social Media and Online Marketing.

Tyler is a big fan on everything sports and supports Arsenal Football Club. When not writing Primrose blogs and tweets, you can find Tyler playing for his local Sunday football team or in the gym.

See all of Tyler’s posts.

Bulbs, Composting, Gardening, How To, Planting, Victoria Giang

The cold winter weather is fast approaching. For gardening enthusiasts, this means that it will soon be time to put your hoses and tools away until the growing season returns next spring. However, your gardening tasks aren’t quite done for the year yet, as you still need to ensure that your beds and plants are prepared to handle the freezing temperatures. Preparing your garden in the autumn also helps to ensure healthy, more vigorous growth next year. With this in mind, we’ll now take a look at four simple steps to ensure your garden is ready for winter.

pruning shears

1. Shield Perennials and Bulbs from the Cold

Annual plants can simply be pulled up and tossed in the compost pile when they die. However, any perennials and bulb plants may need a bit of extra protection to keep them alive through the winter.

Before the first frost arrives, it is best to start cutting back on how much you water any perennials to help harden them up and better prepare them for winter. Once the plants have finished for the year, it is also a good idea to trim back the stems so that they’re only about 6 to 8 inches high. Doing so will help to shield the plants from the cold and also allow them to grow more vigorously when the warm weather arrives.

Any bulb plants that flower in the early spring can usually be left in the ground throughout the winter. However, any bulbs that flower in the summer should be dug up and stored inside to prevent them from being damaged by the cold. This includes freesias, elephant’s ears, cannas, calla lilies and other later-blooming flowers.

After gently digging the bulbs up, shake off any excess dirt and then allow the bulbs to dry in the sun for approximately a week. Finally, store them in a cardboard box surrounded by plenty of peat, sawdust or newspaper so that none of the bulbs are touching.

bulbs

2. Consider Some Last-Minute Planting

Autumn is the ideal time to plant any early-flowering bulbs such as tulips, daffodil, iris, etc. In fact, the only way to ensure that your bulb flowers will bloom in the spring is to plant them in the early autumn before the ground freezes. Most early-flowering bulbs need to freeze during the winter in order to grow in the autumn. This means they need to either be in the ground or stored in a freezer.

Many varieties of perennials also work well when planted in the winter due to the drier ground and lower temperatures. If you’re growing a vegetable garden, planting onions and garlic during the autumn allows them to be harvested several months earlier the following year.

adding compost

3. Compost Garden and Flower Beds

Adding compost during the autumn helps to provide additional nutrients to your plants the next spring. Composting during the autumn allows the nutrients more time to break down and infiltrate deeper into the soil, which in turn provides better growing conditions the following season. Generally speaking, you should spread a thin layer of compost over the top of the soil, and then work the compost deeper into the ground sometime around or just after the first freeze.

mulch

4. Use Mulch to Protect Your Top Soil

Another good idea is to spread a layer of mulch or dead leaves before the first freeze. Adding a layer of mulch on top of your beds helps to protect any plants left in the ground from the freezing temperatures. In addition, the mulch will also help to prevent rain, snow and ice from washing away your top soil or leeching out its nutrients. However, the layer of mulch shouldn’t be much more than three to four inches thick as otherwise it could choke out your plants and make it harder for them to bloom in the spring.

If you are lucky enough to live in a fairly warm climate with milder winters, you probably won’t have to do much to prepare your garden. However, if you live in a place where it frequently freezes or where there is a lot of winter precipitation, it is essential that you take the proper steps to your garden. Winter can wreak havoc on your garden if you’re not careful, so it’s important that you do what you can to protect it.

Victoria GiangVictoria is a home working mom and the author of How Daily, a blog that shares her taste and experience on food, recipes, home & garden projects. These are ranging widely from quick cleaning of household appliance to planting and caring for garden favorites.

Events, Flowers, Gardens, Tyler

Gardens abroad can be the greatest thing that you and your family can witness while on your travels. There are hundreds and hundreds of beautiful gardens out there awaiting your arrival but it’ll take a lifetime to see them all… So here’s our 5 best gardens to visit abroad that you should consider.

Keukenhof in Amsterdam

Keukenhof, Amsterdam

Tip toe through the tulips at Keukenhof in Amsterdam! This particular garden is known for it’s tulips and there are A LOT of them (7 million approximately). There are 800 different varieties of spring bulbs and it is described as ’a sea of colour’. Keukenhof is located between Amsterdam and The Hague so transport will be needed to get there. If you don’t have a car, no fear as there are plenty of tourist coaches that are available. This wonderful garden of tulips is open between March and mid May so don’t miss out your chance to go visit and tick it off your garden bucket list!

Botanical Garden, Rome

While away at Rome, why don’t you go and enjoy the peaceful vibes at Botanical Garden. The Italian garden is full of blooming flowers that I’m sure die-hard gardeners will appreciate! The garden includes areas of all different types of plants such as a rose garden, a bamboo garden, a Japanese zen garden and many more. Explore the hills to witness an amazing view of the centre of Rome in all its glory! There is a entrance fee of 8 euros to enter the 30 acre garden but it is worth every penny.

wild orchids

Bali Botanic Garden, Bali

Next stop we have landed in Bali to visit Indonesia’s largest botanic garden. Bali Botanic Garden is located in the heart of Bali and 90 minutes away from Denpasar. Explore the peaceful garden and what it has to offer such as Bali’s largest display of wild orchids, the world’s biggest begonia collection or the cactus greenhouse. The rose garden will also be worth a visit to appreciate their beauty. Not only that, why not be adventurous and journey through the rainforest trail and if you’re a thrill seeker, try out Bali’s Treetop adventure park and zipline from on top of the park!

Jardin des Plantes, Paris

Here’s a local favourite, Jardin des Plantes in Paris. It has been described as, ‘one of the best parks in Paris’. Being home to four museums and a botanical school, you’re sure to have an educational yet fun experience in this fascinating garden. The garden was originally made for a medicinal herb garden for the French Royalty, but sooner or later it changed into the botanical garden that it is today. There are tons of different plant species to see such as the Japanese Cherry tree, sweet almond and plenty more to discover.

Long Wood Garden, Pennsylvania

Ranging up to 1,077 acres, Longwood Garden is a perfect garden for the whole family to visit. It has everything that a formal garden has as well as beautiful towering fountains and a children friendly area with indoor displays. You and your family can go for a three mile hike down a trail in the Meadow Garden where there are plenty of native species such as Wildflowers, vines, Sedges and plenty more to witness. Or you could experience an open air theatre at the Italian Water Garden. The best time to get the best experience will be during the winter for a whiter and snowy setting.

Tyler at PrimroseTyler works in the Primrose Marketing team, mainly working on Social Media and Online Marketing.

Tyler is a big fan on everything sports and supports Arsenal Football Club. When not writing Primrose blogs and tweets, you can find Tyler playing for his local Sunday football team or in the gym.

See all of Tyler’s posts.

Gardening, Grow Your Own, How To, Jorge, Planting, Plants

Growing your own goji berries is an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint, save money and provide a source of nutrients for your family. High in vitamin C, B2, A, iron, selenium and the antioxidant polysaccharides, they constitute a welcome addition to a balanced diet and are great as part of a smoothie, or served with oats. Growing goji berries is relatively easy as it is well adapted to the UK’s climate as with other himalayan species.

Growing goji berries from seed is not recommended as seeds are prone to rot and seedlings require warm conditions for 12 months, which is both impractical and costly. Hence, we recommend two year old plants that are winter hardy and ready to fruit. It you do wish to grow from seed, rot can be prevented through an irrigation system ensuring moist soil. Goji berries work well in containers and normal advice applies.  

Soil and Sun Requirements

Goji berries are from the solanaceae family and possess a similar nutrient requirements to tomatoes. Hence, as nitrogen hungry plants we recommend applying fertiliser at the start of the growing season. However, as they are sensitive to salinity, we recommend avoiding inorganic fertiliser, which contains soluble salts. Compost also contains salts, so should be a small proportion of the potting mix (20%). Goji berries require full sun, but also benefit from shelter. They work well as hedges and possess delicate white and purple flowers, so function well as an ornamental.

Planting

Mature plants can reach 3m high and 1.5m wide. Hence, we recommend they be spread at 1m apart. As with all potted plants, it is important to keep the soil ball intact and ensure it is planted at the same depth as it is in the container. (Using a spirit level or ruler can help you keep it is level.) This will ensure the roots are within range of the nutrient rich top soils, but not exposed as to lead to air pruning. We recommend you dig a hole bigger than the circumference of the container and fill it with a mix of fertiliser, compost and garden soil, which is superior in structure and nutrients to garden soil. Be sure not to pack the soil too tight or compress the soil as this will reduce retard root growth. Once this is complete be sure to water thoroughly.

Next, you are to remove all nearby plant life and mulch. By doing this you are reducing competition, allowing the growth of a healthy root system, and improving the soil’s structure, which gives the plant access to air and water. Mulch should not come into contact with the shrub’s main stem as to ensure it does not come diseased, and be level with a depth of 2 and 3-4 inches for fine and coarse materials respectively. Mulch can be replenished annually, depending on the material, and the area it covers should be increased as the shrub’s roots expand.

Pruning

The most important function of pruning is to remove old, dead and damaged stems to make room for new stems. (Flowers and berries are borne on stems grown in the spring and autumn of the year before.) By pruning stems you encourage the production of more laterals, leading to higher yields. Pruning has the additional advantage of increasing sunlight penetration and improving foliage drying, which is especially important with goji plants susceptible to verticillium wilt. Hence, it is also important to water at the base of the plant. We recommend watering thoroughly, every so often, rather than little and often, as this will encourage the formation of deep roots, which helps the plant endure dry periods. Pruning should take place in the spring, just as the plant starts to grow.

Harvesting

Goji berries produce the biggest yields in their fourth year, while at two you can expect a kilo of fruit. To harvest, wait till the fruit is deep red and fully ripe (usually midsummer), and then shake them onto a blanket. Handling can make them turn black. To dry goji berries, leave them on a sheet of baking paper in a cool, dry spot out of direct sunlight.

If you are interested in growing your own goji berries, Primrose offers two year old goji berry plants from just £4.99.

Jorge at PrimroseJorge works in the Primrose marketing team. He is an avid reader, although struggles to stick to one topic!

His ideal afternoon would involve a long walk, before settling down for scones.

Jorge is a journeyman gardener with experience in growing crops.

See all of Jorge’s posts.

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