Charlie, Heated Clothing

Last year, our very own buyer for our Warmawear range of heated clothing, Alena, being the thoroughgoing professional that she is, decided to take a trip to Iceland herself to test out our range and ensure that our customers are being sold the kind of quality products Primrose is known for.

This is Alena:
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And this was her packing list:

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As you can see she went all kitted out for the cold, with everything she needs to keep her warm, including Primrose’s Warmastone, which not only keeps your hands warm but quadruples up as a torch, powerbank and even a phone charger.

Alena touched down in Reykjavik – soon to be heading into the wilds to experience Iceland’s sensational natural beauty, the geyser, waterfall walk and ice lakes, while camping out in a tent in the cold nights.

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What came in handy first of all was the gloves. Whale watching close to the arctic circle was always going to be a battle with the elements, but the Warmawear heated gloves and glove liners did just the job at keeping out the cold.

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The gloves also came in handy back on land: “I could easily use my camera with these gloves on and could respond more quickly because my fingers were warm!” said Alena, speaking about the ladies glove liners. She added that they were even great for camping. They were slim enough that much of the setting up of a tent could be done with them on.


Another essential part of Alena’s Warmawear toolkit were the disposable heat packs. Since they can be put under clothing, they were great for keeping out the cold during the Icelandic nights. “I used it not just as a hand warmer but as a foot warmer, and also put some on my back under my thermals. I could still feel the heat when I woke up in the morning!”

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Alena using the Warmawear Disposable Heat Packs.


The Warmawear thermal socks were also a big hit, especially when combined with the above heat packs. Alena explains: “We were having a competition to see who could stand in an ice lake the longest. Naturally this led to our feet getting a little cold! I don’t know what I would have done without the thermal socks and heat packs we took along. They allowed me to get my feet warm and toasty again in no time!”

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The Warmawear Thermal Socks with Stripes, as worn by Alena

And of course who could have done without the most versatile piece of equipment in Alena’s pack, the Warmawear 4-in-1 Hand Warmer. This great item also functions as a torch and a portable powerbank. “We didn’t have much chance to charge our phones, cameras or other digital devices, so this power bank was priceless. It also worked fantastically as a torch and extra hand warmer!” This item in particular seems to have been very useful in the wilds, where access to a mains power supply wasn’t an option.

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The Warmawear Warmastone


So thanks to Alena’s travels across Iceland – you can rest warm and easy this winters with Warmawear’s range at your fingertips – even if you don’t go as far as Iceland!

You can view the full range of Warmawear products here.

 

CharlieCharlie works in the Primrose marketing team, mainly in 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.

 

 

Charlie, Garden Tools, Gardening, Gardening Year, Grow Your Own, How To

One of Primrose's many fruit storage solutions.
One of Primrose’s many fruit storage solutions.

Following on from David’s post about the harvest, I thought I’d share with you Primrose’s top tips for keeping your fruit fresh all winter.

  1. Throw away bruisers. Despite the old saying, the truth is one bad apple really can spoil the bunch. Segregate any apples with bruises or rot on them. Storing them with healthy apples can lead to the good apples rotting as well.
  2. Space the apples out. Another way to prevent rot spreading is to space your apples out so they are not touching. It also helps to keep different varieties of apples on different shelves, as they tend to decay at different rates and you don’t want your faster spoiling golden delicious apples spoiling your long lasting cox apples, for instance.
  3. Wrap your apples. Following on from this, one piece of advice is to wrap your apples in newspaper – this will prevent contact and stop any rot from spreading between apples. Be sure to use plain black and white newspaper or paper as coloured ink contains poisonous elements that you don’t want in prolonged contact with your apples.
  4. Don’t let your apples freeze. Frozen apples are spoiled apples. This is why it’s best to store apples in a cool cellar, but don’t worry, you can always bring your apples into your conservatory or kitchen for a few nights if you know it’s going to be below freezing for extended periods.
  5. Don’t forget – here at Primrose we have a great range of fruit storage solutions. Check out our range of fruit racks here. They’re perfect for keeping out rodents and other pests and keeping your fruit off the ground and fresh through the autumn.

And that’s our top five tips for keeping apples fresh. But what to do with those rotten apples I mentioned? Well they’re perfect for making cider…

 

CharlieCharlie works in the Primrose marketing team, mainly in 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.

 

 

Charlie, Gardening, How To, Ponds

So, you’re the proud owner of a beautiful new pond, or perhaps you’ve just moved into some property with a pond already attached, in either case read on for some essential tips to keeping your pond looking its best.

It’s all about balance. What’s important about pond care is keeping the right balance in your pond. Too many plants and algae can choke the life out of a pond, and make it impossible for fish to live in it, too few plants and there won’t be enough oxygen for your pond to thrive.

You don't want your pond looking like this!
You don’t want your pond looking like this!

You can prevent this from happening by ensuring the correct balance is found between plant life and pond surface area. Algae thrive on sunlight, so if your pond catches too much it is possible your pond will suffer from a surge of algae growth. To prevent this, it is wise to cover the surface of your pond in floating plants, such as water lilies – ideally they should cover more than 50% of the surface area of your pond, particularly if your pond is in direct sunlight for most of the day. Another, complementary, solution is to use submerged oxygenating plants. These eat up the carbon dioxide and minerals that the algae need to live, so enough of these can prevent algae from growing in your pond. It also always helps to have a water feature of some kind in your pond, this helps to move the water around and oxygenate your pond.


Plant Care. Thankfully, aquatic plants usually don’t require too much maintenance, however it can be advisable to periodically dive them when they get too overgrown. This is best done in the spring or autumn.


Fish Care. The best thing you can do for your fish is to follow the helpful hints above to ensure that they have a sound environment to live in, as well as of course feeding them correctly. – a general rule is to only feed what your fish can eat in five minutes. There is no need to feed your fish when the water temperature gets too low, say about 4 degrees celsius, as your fish will naturally hibernate. Another big bonus when it comes to fish is that they will eat up many pests such as aphids that might otherwise  plague your pond.

Water Drainage. Another common problem with ponds is water drainage. Water can begin to drain from your pond for a variety of reasons, most of which occur at the building stage. The first thing to do is to check if your pond’s edges are level, as this can cause water to drain out. However if your pond is still losing water volume it is best to drain it and inspect the damage. Draining a pond can be time consuming, you’ll have to ensure fish and plants are kept safe in tanks while you drain the water and will need an electric pump for the job, this can be either bought or hired.

Don’t forget to check out our pond care in winter guide for the autumnal and winter months.

 

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, Charlie, How To, Ponds, Wildlife

Last week, we talked you through the building of a pond, from measuring out the area, to digging and laying down the pond liner and filling with water. This week, we’ve got a handy guide to making your pond come alive with aquatic plants and even fish.

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A Guide to Pond Plants

No pond would be complete without some aquatic plants, otherwise it would just be an oversized paddling pool! The good news is that most pond plants require little maintenance, but some thought must be put into what kind of plants you want for your pond, depending on its depth and surface area. Follow this guide and you’re sure to create a beautiful oasis of tranquility at all times of year.

Lillys and other floating plants are great for the ecosystem of any pond. They can prevent algae from forming over the top of your pond as it cuts down on the amount of sunlight entering the water.

As well as floating plants, there are two other key types of pond plant: submerged and marginal. As the name suggests submerged plants are submerged in the water – marginal plants live the the shallow areas on the shelf of your pond and protrude from the water.

It is important to have plenty of submerged plants in your pond as these help oxygenate your pond. Good choices include Callitriche Stagnalis, Marsilea Quadrifolia and Sagittaria Graminea if you want something that flowers. For a smaller pond, it is best not to include varieties that spread too vigorously, and keep the plants in containers rather than allowing them to root down in the sediment.
For marginal plants, Blue Irish, the Chameleon Plant and Brookline are all good choices. Many varieties of marginal and pondside plants are good at attracting wildlife as well as shading and protecting the edges of your pond. Be sure to read the specifications as to what kinds of plants are best for what depth of water.


Fish

Once you’ve filled your pond with vegetation it‘s time to fill the pond with fish. Now fish aren’t necessary for a beautiful pond, in fact for smaller ponds and the miniature pond in a pot it is advisable NOT to stock with fish as the space may be too small, and for larger fish such as coy or carp quite a large pond is required if they are to lead a healthy life. In addition it is best to wait around a month to allow the vegetation to settle before adding your fish. When you do add fish, ensure they’re given enough room to grow and move about – for pond with a surface area of 10m squared, for example, you should really be adding no more than around twenty fish. Obviously, with smaller fish you will be able to add more and with larger fish, less.

In the next installment, we’ll cover the basics of caring for your pond and its inhabitants once it’s set up.

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.

 

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