George, How To, Water Features

Concerns about power sources and the safety of electricity around water are key for people choosing a water feature. There are various different power options available and garden water fountains are safe for general use.

Do Water Features Need Electricity

Do water features need electricity?

Yes, water features need electricity to pump the water round. Water features can be wired into the mains or solar powered. Many do not need to be plumbed into mains water and simply run off an internal reservoir.

Mains powered water features

Water fountains running on mains electricity can be placed almost anywhere in your garden, depending on the length of the cable. Of course, you can use outdoor extension leads if the supplied cable is not long enough for your desired location. Run the cable to an outdoor plug or a socket inside a shed or garage, then you can switch on your water feature whenever you desire or leave it running all the time. You can even bury the wiring underground, just be sure to use armoured cable trunking to prevent digging into it.

Solar powered water features

As well as being eco-friendly, the main benefit of solar water fountains is that they are completely self contained and free from cables. They take in sunlight through a panel which is either built in or placed beside the feature, and use this to power the flow of water. In order to run, these water features do need to be in direct sunlight, which may limit where you can place them in the garden. It’s also important to note that they do not usually store power, so the water will only be pumped round while the sun is out.

So whichever model you choose, your water feature will need a supply of electricity to keep the fluid pumping round. But you have the option of wiring your fountain into the mains power source or have it powered by the sun’s energy.

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

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.

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