Awnings, George, How To

Do Awnings Need Planning Permission

The need for planning permission is a concern for many considering an awning for their home or business property. We’ve shared some simple advice below to help you work out whether your project will require permission. It’s worth sharing your plans with your local authority if you are in doubt, and be aware that it generally takes between 4 and 5 weeks to get approval.

Do awnings need planning permission?

For residential buildings, generally awnings do not require planning permission. Commercial properties like shops usually need full planning permission as they may extend into public areas or cause health and safety issues. Branded awnings must also pass advertising regulations.

Residential awnings

One of the general rules for planning regulations is that if you aren’t creating a usable space then you don’t need permission. The exception would be if the awning extends over or encroaches on your neighbour’s boundary. When planning where your awnings will go, it’s also worth bearing in mind any rain that might potentially run off into your neighbour’s property. It’s always best to spot issues like these in advance!

If your property is a listed building, however, or you live in a conservation area, then you may require approval. Speak to your local authority about your plans before beginning any installation.

Commercial awnings

In most cases a business will require full planning permission to install an awning on their property. Clearly this is necessary for high street buildings like shops or cafés where the awning would extend over the pavement and pedestrians. There are also various regulations to do with health and safety when members of the public use the property. The key is to always check with the planning department of your local authority as policies do vary.

If you are replacing an awning on your commercial property, then you do not generally require new planning permission as long as the replacement is like-for-like. Otherwise, you will need to get full permission once more.

Most businesses, especially shops, will want to feature branding and logos on their awnings. Since the canopy will be on public view, this usually falls under advertising regulations and will also require approval from the relevant authority.

Primrose Awnings offers a wide range of patio awnings that are easy to fit in residential homes, as well as bespoke commercial awnings. Please contact customer service if you need any advice about choosing your awning.

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.

George, Greenhouses, How To, Pest Advice, Pest Control, Slugs & Snails, Spiders

Greenhouse Pest Control

Greenhouses are wonderful tools for keen gardeners, offering a much needed space to tend to gardening projects outside of the usual summer season. But while protecting your plants from the elements, greenhouses can also be prone to sheltering pests and diseases that will ruin all your hard work. Armed with our top greenhouse pest control tips, you should be well equipped to give your plants the best protection possible.

1. Keep your greenhouse clean

As with any form of disease or pest prevention, cleanliness is the number one priority. As part of your general upkeep, it’s worth thoroughly emptying and cleaning out your greenhouse once a year. This involves washing down the windows and surfaces, hosing off the floors and cleansing all the pots. Doing this should give you a fresh, pest-free start for growing each year.

2. Inspect your plants

It’s vital to check over all your plants before they enter the greenhouse in order to prevent pests spreading inside. Just as flowers and crops love the warmth of a greenhouse so too do bugs, and they multiply in the heat. So give any new plants a thorough inspection for signs of insects or larvae on the leaves or stem before bringing them inside.

3. Disinfect your tools

Most gardeners will regularly use the same tools all round the garden, transporting them around the shed, flowerbeds, lawn, vegetable patch, compost heap and greenhouse. This means they can pick up pests from the soil outside and infest the plants inside the greenhouse. So to be extra careful, it’s worth giving your spades, trowels and other tools a good clean every now and again – a soak in soapy water should do fine.

4. Use insect catchers

Chances are, insects will always find a way into your greenhouse. Catch them where they fly, with simple greenhouse pest control products, like hanging fly papers and wasp traps, or using spider spray at the door.

5. Use netting

Obviously, greenhouses need good ventilation and it’s never worth sealing them up completely to stop incoming pests. But you can easily cut down on the number of large flying insects entering by hanging netting across open windows or other vent points.

6. Move pots outside in the heat

In the summer months, greenhouses can often become hot and dry throughout the daytime. Moving potted plants outdoors not only helps cool them down but also reduces the build up of spider mites on the plants. Spider mites increase rapidly in number in dry heat so it’s worth keeping the greenhouse ventilated and also using a mister to keep the humidity up. If you’re going out for the day a good trick is to dowse the floor with water, which will evaporate into the air throughout the rest of the day.

7. Use potting soil

Often regular soil from the garden will be packed full of creepy crawlies, insect eggs and other pests. So for the container plants in the greenhouse, it’s a good idea to pot them in shop-bought potting soil or compost. This should be sterilised free from any pests or diseases and well as being rich in nutrients to help the plants grow.

8. Rotate crops

If you plant directly into the ground inside your greenhouse, clearly you won’t have as much control over the spread of potential pests within that soil. A method of combatting this is crop rotation – each year vary what type of plant you are growing in that piece of ground. This tends to prevent the buildup of pests in the soil, as similar plants usually encourage the same types of pest.

9. Freeze the pests

This is an extreme measure that you could perform once a year if you believe your greenhouse is truly infested. During the winter, allow your greenhouse to enter a chilling period by opening up all the doors and windows for a day or two. The temperature will drop right down, killing off any pests inside, including their eggs and larvae. As long as it’s not cold for too long, the plants should survive this. Obviously, any tropical plants or those that require constant warmth should not be left out for this.

10. Use biological pest control

Many common greenhouse pests, such as vine weevil grubs, whitefly and spider mites can be fought with biological control. Each pest has a corresponding organism that you can introduce to the infested area and it will feed on the pest, keeping its population under control. If the pest is eliminated then the control dies out too due to lack of food source, so you don’t need to worry about them destroying the plants instead. Some of these biological controls are available to purchase.

Hopefully by putting these tips into practice, your greenhouse will remain pest-free and your plants will thrive. Let us know how you get on or if you have any greenhouse pest control advice of your own!

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.

Decoration, Garden Design, Garden Edging, George, How To

How to Keep Lawn Edges Neat

While many people like a natural, untamed garden, others prefer precise and ordered design. Stately homes and modern show gardens usually have highly manicured and maintained flowerbeds, trees and lawns. Something many gardeners – both professional and home enthusiasts – struggle with is how to keep lawn edges neat and tidy. Turf never seems to stay in a straight line, grass always grows over into the flowerbed and plants spread back onto the lawn. But there are a few easy methods for reigning those lawn borders back in.

Manually cutting neat edges

To create a firm, precise boundary for your lawn you can dig out the edges. This is at most an annual job, which will then only require maintaining when you cut the grass. Using a half moon bladed spade, dig out a sharp border round the flower beds. Mark the edge you want to create with a plank of wood for a straight line or string for a curve.
Once the edge is formed, dig out a slight trench on the flowerbed side, pushing the excess soil back onto the bed. This will allow water drainage and keep plant growth back from the border.
Finally, mow the rest of the lawn as normal and trim the grass sticking out over the new edge with shears to get it all straight.

How to maintain a sharp edge

Whether you’ve dug out a new border or are tending to an existing one, it is relatively simple to keep up tidy turf edging. Every time you mow the lawn, make sure to trim the edges too. Use long handled edging shears or an electric trimmer for the easiest ways to cut the border grass without even having to bend down. Otherwise, a simple pair of shears will suffice.
For grass that has grown over paths and paving stones, use a sharp knife to dig out the offending chunks of turf and trim overhanging grass with small shears.

Try permanent lawn edging

If you don’t want the hassle of having to dig out trenches and restructure the boundaries of your lawn each year, then installing garden edging may be the best option. Lawn edging is available in metal, wooden and plastic varieties which all give a different feel to your garden. These rolls of edging are fixed to the turf border and will prevent it shifting over time or grass and weeds growing across the boundary. Some are placed inground and soon become virtually invisible, other sit above ground and have more decorative designs, like woven hurdles or bamboo rolls. They are a great way to complement the style of your garden, while enforcing the neat lawn edges.

Check out our guide to installing lawn edging.

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.

Current Issues, Events, Gardening Year, George, Hampton Court Flower Show, News, RHS

Now that the Christmas madness is over, it’s time to settle down and turn to the year ahead. Whether you want to plan an outing or stock up on plants for your own garden, there are plenty of upcoming gardening events to suit you. We’ve put together a calendar of garden events in 2016 so every month this year can be packed full of horticultural days out!

Gardening Events 2016 Calendar

2016 Gardening Events

January

30-31 Big Garden Birdwatch – contribute to the RSPB’s annual survey by recording the birds you spot in your garden over an hour this weekend.

February

6 – 6 Mar Orchid Festival at Kew Gardens – visit the Princess of Wales Conservatory as it is transformed into a paradise of tropical Brazilian plants.
16 – 17 RHS London Early Spring Plant Fair – get your garden going with colourful winter and early spring flowers at Lawrence Hall.
26 – 27 RHS London Botanical Art Show – view the world’s best botanical masterpieces on display and meet the artists at Lindley Hall.

March

11 – 13 The Edible Garden Show – be inspired to grow and cook your own produce with this event at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire.
12 RHS On Tour at Wimbledon Farmers’ Market – pick up expert gardening advice and locally produced, quality food at this free event.

April

1 – 2 RHS London Spring Plant Extravaganza – find exciting new plants and see magnificent orchid displays from the experts at Lindley Hall.
15 – 17 RHS Show Cardiff – visit the stunning show gardens at Bute Park and Cardiff Castle, take part in family activities and browse many gardening product stalls.
21 – 24 Harrogate Spring Flower Show – take in the show gardens, live entertainment and displays in the plant pavilion before a bit of shopping.

May

5 – 8 RHS Malvern Spring Festival – explore gardening workshops, fabulous show gardens and family events in the stunning Malvern Hills.
24 – 28 RHS Chelsea Flower Show – visit the most famous gardening exhibit with world-class show gardens from upcoming and established designers to inspire and amaze.

June

3 – 4 RHS London Rose Show – admire displays by specialist rose growers and pick up tips on how to grow your own at Lawrence Hall.
3 – 5 Gardening Scotland – sample all that Scotland has to offer in gardening and outdoor living at the national gardening festival, held in the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh.
16 – 19 Gardeners’ World Live – hear talks from your favourite Gardeners’ World presenters, be inspired by a variety of show gardens and pick up gardening gifts at the NEC in Birmingham.
25 – 26 Woburn Abbey Garden Show – hone your gardening skills with advice from experts and browse a selection of wonderful plants from UK nurseries in the abbey gardens.

July

5 – 10 RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show – wander through a butterfly dome, let the kids enjoy space-themed activities and explore the show gardens.
20 – 24 RHS Flower Show Tatton Park – get ideas from the show gardens to inspire your designs and witness up-and-coming talent in industry competitions.

August

13 – 14 Great Comp Summer Show – enjoy a summer day out browsing local art, plants from nurseries and ornamental gardenware.

September

16 – 18 Harrogate Autumn Flower Show – join live talks and demonstrations, visit the show gardens for autumnal inspiration and be wowed by the giant vegetable competition.
24 – 25 Malvern Autumn Show – enjoy the best of the season’s country food with live demonstrations and stalls, view the floral displays and pick up gardening advice for winter from RHS experts.

October

4 – 5 RHS London Harvest Festival – celebrate autumn with live music, apple bobbing, seasonal food, giant vegetables and gardening advice.
28 – 29 RHS London Shades of Autumn Show – explore horticultural art and design reflecting the best of autumn colours, with planting ideas to brighten your own garden too.

November

12 – 13 RHS London Urban Garden Show – buy beautiful tropical plants and learn how to care for them all year round at this new event in Lindley Hall.

December

17 – 18 RHS London Christmas Show – grab a few last minute Christmas gifts at this new event at Lawrence Hall, featuring plants, seasonal food and gardening sundries.

So there are plenty of wonderful days out for gardening enthusiasts coming up in 2016. A lot of these events have discounts and offers for early booking, so now’s the time to check them out and buy your tickets. We hope you enjoy these outings and have a fantastic year!

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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