Decoration, Garden Design, George, How To

Can You Put Mirrors Outside

Taking the indoors outdoors is a long running trend, and many of us are constantly looking for fresh ideas to make their outside space more homely. From garden furniture to outdoor lighting and cooking, transforming your patio into an open air room is great for socialising and relaxing in comfort. A question we’re often asked is: Can you put mirrors outside? The answer – of course you can!

But what’s important is obviously how the chosen mirrors will fair in the conditions outdoors. If you take regular mirrors out, they will generally weather and stain over time. You can, however, buy a range of specially made garden mirrors which are weatherproofed to survive the wind and rain.

The next question is why would you want to put up mirrors in your garden? Particularly for smaller gardens, mirrors reflect back so much light and space it can make them seem much larger, brighter and airier. Besides that, there are so many ornate and decorative mirrors that simply enhance your garden by being there on a fence or wall.

Acrylic Sheet MirrorsSheet mirrors

The simplest form of outdoor mirror is the acrylic sheet, similar to what you might see in a gym or dance studio. These are much stronger and more durable than glass, and can often be cut to the perfect size or shape for the spot you desire. Coloured versions are also available if you want to jazz up a corner of your patio.

 

Illusion mirrorsGate Illusion Mirror

Of course, a garden mirror can be a purely decorative feature. Some of the most intriguing are illusion mirrors. These are cleverly designed to look like slightly ajar windows or gates, with the mirrored surface behind appearing to lead to another part of the plot. You’ll find these more effective than you’d imagine once in place, with the glimpse of an unreachable garden opening up your outdoor space.

Which material is best for outdoors?

Garden mirrors can be made from either glass or acrylic. Traditionally mirrors are made from glass, which is a very hard material and resistant to minor scratches – useful when exposed to the weather and wildlife outside! But acrylic can actually produce mirrors that are 10 times stronger than glass, making them much more shatterproof. They are also a lot lighter, so perfect for attaching to fences without straining them. Acrylic mirrors can be glued or screwed to a flat surface, and it’s often possible to cut them to any desired size or shape yourself.

So what are you waiting for?

The great thing about outdoor mirrors is how flexibly you can use them. A small arched mirror could be a subtle reflector on the fence, brightening up a corner patio, while a dramatic illusion gate could become the talking point of your garden. We’d love to see how you’ve used mirrors outside in inspiring ways!

Read our follow up article: Are Garden Mirrors Safe?

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.

Garden Design, Garden Screening, George, How To, Sail Shades

If you live in a city or terraced house, you know how difficult it can be to relax in your garden without the feeling you’re being overlooked by neighbouring windows or passers by. With summer fast approaching, now’s the time to prepare your outdoor space so that you can make the most of it without the fear of prying eyes. We’ve put together a list of garden privacy ideas that you can easily try out at home to stop your garden being overlooked – without compromising on the natural aesthetics and your outdoor designs.

Garden Privacy Screen

1. Garden privacy screens

Garden screening is a simple, quick and attractive way to shield off part of your garden. It’s great for terraced houses with low fences or wire dividers between gardens. Choose the type of screening that suits your taste – bamboo, willow or artificial to name a few – and attach it to an existing fence or trellis for a privacy boost. Creating a beautiful enclosed area to relax in has never been so easy!

 

 2. Hanging sail shadesSail Shade

Of course, often you won’t be exposed necessarily by the fences in your garden, but by overlooking windows from the houses next door. This is especially common in city streets, where the houses are packed so tightly together that it’s hard to find somewhere to sit in your garden where you don’t feel watched. Hoisting up a sail shade or two over you patio is an ingenious solution. The best part is you can easily just put them up for the summer months, when you want to sit outside under a little shelter from the sun – and any prying eyes.

 

Living Wall

3. Living wall

It’s a classic solution but one of the best: put up a border of trellis and allow some climbing plants to grow up it. This will create an attractive, organic barrier between you and any gaps where people can peep through into your garden. If you’re overlooked by any upstairs windows, then combining the trellis with a pergola over your patio, decking or seating area will give you a perfect private enclave once the plants have grown across. Clematis or ivy are good climbing vines to choose.

 

Hedge

4. Privacy planting

If you need a free standing barrier to shield off part of your patio, try making a wall out of tall planters. Choose any such pots in the style you like and fill them with big plants or trees for maximum shelter. Growing your own screening is another age old solution to the problem of being overlooked. Add height to your fences with an additional border of fast growing hedges like the evergreen yew. Or for an alternative that lets in a bit more light, plant some bamboo. Of course, bamboo can often spread out of control but clumping varieties are known for being more contained, or just plant the bamboo in containers.

 

Water Feature

5. Sound barriers

In the modern age of urban living, we are often so crammed that when you’re outside in the garden you end up hearing every word from your neighbours – and knowing they can hear you too. A great way to create some psychological shelter is by using a water fountain or two so the sound of their running water will mask your conversation as well as the noises from next door.

Let us know if you have any more suggestions for making your garden more private and we hope you find these tips helpful!

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.

Gardening, George, How To, Planting

How to Grow Moss in Your Garden

Is your garden in need of a design shake up? Do you dream of smooth rolling lawns, but without the hassle of maintaining them? Then perhaps a moss carpet would be a great alternative for you, either across the whole of your garden or for a particular area. Contrary to popular belief, many types of moss can actually grow in the sun as well as the shade, so there’s no need to limit where you can place your moss garden. The key is to look for moss that’s growing in similar conditions to your chosen location when you’re picking samples to transplant. In this guide you’ll learn how to grow moss in your garden with just a few simple steps.

Preparing the area

Pretty much all soil types are suitable for growing moss, except the most sandy soils as these might not be stable enough. Begin by clearing the intended area of any remaining grass, leaves and other debris. Smooth out the soil but feel free to leave curves, bumps and ridges in as desired. Remember that moss clings very closely to the shape of the ground, so any landscaping will be clearly visible. Lightly scratch the earth with a rake to make it easier for the transplanted moss to gain a grip.

Gathering moss

In order to grow a new moss lawn, we’re relying on the natural ability of moss to grow outwards and cover a horizontal area. All you need are samples of living moss to expand and cover your chosen ground. As mentioned earlier, the best way to pick the type of moss that will grow best is to look for some growing in similar conditions – soil type, shading and access to moisture. Obviously ask permission if you’re going to take samples from somewhere outside of your own garden. Scrape some moss from the ground or trees at the original location using a trowel or spatula. This will be easiest when the moss is slightly damp, so go out after a rainfall or spray it with some water yourself. Once you have your sample split it up into lots of small pieces – enough fragments as you can to get good initial coverage of your intended area.

Transplanting Moss

Transplanting the moss

Start by wetting the earth you’ve prepared, though be careful just to make it damp to the touch rather than completely waterlogged. Then push the small fragments of moss into the dirt, not spread out too sparsely but enough so that the whole area is fairly well covered. If you’re worried about the pieces shifting, you can secure them in place with netting or pins to start with.

Settling in

After the transplant it’s important to water the moss regularly – at least a few times a day. Spray the whole moss lawn lightly with water, using a fine head on the hose or a spray bottle for smaller areas. Keep pressing the fragments down, either with your hands or by walking over them. Be aware that it will take some time for the moss to acclimatise and expand to fill in all the gaps. But soon enough you will be enjoying a rich, smooth, spongy lawn all year round.

Moss has great potential to really enhance your garden and differentiate it from a standard turf lawn, which can often be a struggle to keep looking healthy and trimmed. Whether you want a natural secluded cove at the end of the garden or just a place to lay out in the sun, a moss lawn is definitely worth considering. You can transplant the moss any time of year, just keep in mind any falling leaves and adjust your watering depending on the weather. Remember to choose moss suited to your intended place, and you can find varieties that will thrive in shade or sun. A lot of moss is also drought tolerant, all it needs to grow well initially is constant moisture and a lack of competition from other plants.

If you do decide to take the plunge and try out growing moss in your garden, please get in touch and let us know how you get on!

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.

Awnings, George, How To

How To Clean Awnings Fabric

Maintaining your awning will not only keep it looking bright and at its best all year round, it will also prolong its lifespan. The great thing is that awnings are generally quite easy to look after, so follow our tips on how to clean awnings fabric and frames and you won’t go wrong!

How to clean awnings fabric

Step one – Use a long handled broom to brush off any debris from the top of the awning – dead leaves, twigs, moss and any other debris. This will make it easier to wash later.

Step two – Fill a spray bottle with some warm soapy water and spray over the top of the awning fabric. Scrub with a soft bristle brush to clean off any marks or dirt. Be careful not to scratch the fabric, particularly if it has a waterproofed coating.

Step three – Rinse off the awning with a hose until all the dirt and soap has gone.

Step four – Leave the awning extended, to allow the material to dry out naturally in the air.

Step five – Use a feather duster to sweep out the underside of the awning, getting rid of any dust and cobwebs.

Washing Awning

Top tips

  1. You only need to clean your awning about once every six months. This should be enough to keep it looking fresh each season.
  2. After washing the fabric it’s worth treating it with reproofing spray to ensure the material remains waterproof and stain resistant.
  3. Here at Primrose Awnings we sell bottles of cleaning and reproofing spray for awnings.
  4. Don’t put the awning canopy or valance in the washing machine as this may remove the waterproofing.
  5. To clean the awning frame use a wet cloth and mild detergent to wipe it down. Never use a scouring pad as this can scratch the casing.

Hopefully this guide will set you up for sparkling clean awnings this year. Let us know if you have any advice for maintaining that brand-new look!

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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