Jenny, Spiders, Wildlife

Spiders are cute.

Wait, hear me out! Ok, “cute” might have been pushing it a little but spiders are essential little creatures you should be thrilled to have about.

why spiders are good for your garden
Look at this little guy. Oh, or don’t. Sorry!

Here are the ten best reasons to love having spiders around your home and garden.

  1. They might make you rich. According to legend, finding a money spider in your hair means you will gain riches beyond your wildest dreams. According to my own experience, finding a spider in my hair meant lots of flailing and screaming beyond my previously wildest screams but hey, who am I to question folklore?
  2. MAY THE ODDS BE EVER IN YOUR SPIDER’S FAVOUR! They fight to the death. They aren’t fond of each other as they are territorial. If another spider gets in your spider’s space they fight. Winner eats the loser. The best way to control spider numbers? Use more spiders. Like fighting fire with fire but with more legs.
  3. Fancy having royalty in your home? Spider blood contains a chemical called haemocyanin which turns blue when it carries oxygen so they have “blue blood”. Basically like having the Queen round for tea right?
  4. Spiders are efficient predators and prey on all manner of insects. They protect your garden from a variety of pests that would otherwise feast on your flowers and other delicate plants.
  5. Spiders protect you too. They hunt and eat many household pests that can transmit diseases to humans such as mosquitoes, fleas, bedbugs, cockroaches and a host of other disease-carrying little beasties. You’re welcome!
  6. Forget the bee’s knees. Spiders are fascinating little creatures which most of us know have eight legs and eight eyes. Did you know that a spider has six joints on each leg? That gives them a whopping forty eight knees.
  7. Full of festive cheer! Eastern European legends tell of a poor family who had no money to decorate their Christmas tree. They put up the tree anyway and when they woke on Christmas morning the tree was full of sparkles from the sun’s early rays caught on beautiful spider webs. I can’t tell if this is magical or horrifying but either way you’ll probably feel a little different about tinsel from now on.
  8. Spiders are super strong. They can carry up to 170 times their own body weight while scuttling across a ceiling. That would be like a human being carrying a double decker bus… upside down… Think comic book heroes but more ridiculous.
  9. Most spiders are not capable of biting through human skin. They can chomp away on household and garden pests but trust me! You’re safe.
  10. You might as well like them, they have us seriously outnumbered. With approximately 670 species of spiders in the UK alone it is estimated that for every individual in Britain there are 500,000 spiders.
cute spider
Cute or creepy, they do have their charms

Convinced? Great! Now how do you go about encouraging spiders to come stay in your garden? Fill your garden with tall plants for spiders to cast their webs on. Flowers will also encourage spiders to settle in your garden. Leaving a small portion of the garden mulched, for moisture and cover and will create a place for the spiders to lay their eggs, a great way to achieve this is to start composting. A great way to encourage spiders to stay in your garden is to plant a beneficial insect border or row in early spring. You can encourage a host of beneficial bugs, from teeny tiny predators to big and beautiful pollinators, there are lots of habitats on the market to help encourage these beneficial bugs to set up shop in your garden.

Not convinced? Don’t worry. You aren’t alone. Studies have shown that up to 18% of Brits admit to being afraid of spiders. Really afraid! Fear not, we have alternative solutions too.

Jenny at PrimroseJenny works in the Primrose Product Loading team working on adding new and exciting products to the website. When she’s not writing, proofreading or drinking the strongest coffee possible Jenny loves to climb and can often be found halfway up a wall at the local climbing centre.

See all of Jenny’s posts.

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.

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