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 an 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 It was originally made to replace grass in sports facilities as sports usually requires the ground to be in great condition and artificial turf was a great option.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.

Competitions, Decoration, Garden Design, Make over, Zoe

As many of you know, during the summer we ran a care home competition in which the winner won £1000 cash to use towards renovating their communal garden. However, alongside the cash we also wanted to offer some practical advice on how they could transform their space in the best way. The care home discussed how they wanted to make their garden space a place where all the residents could go out and enjoy  the outdoors and wildlife, so our team of experts put their minds together to create the plan below.

Care Home Garden

Design Plan

As you can see from the above design, we wanted to create safe, smooth pathways for the residents to walk on compared to walking on the grass, and make it easier for wheelchair users to navigate. We suggested that the care home may also want to install railings alongside the path to provide extra support for those when walking in the garden.

The next important thing was to provide ample seating so the residents could relax and enjoy the garden comfortably. As you can see from the design, we have incorporated a number of wooden benches between the two central areas so that residents are able to sit and talk to each other, whilst also viewing the focus points.

Bird bath

On the left hand side we have a tiered water feature bird bath that will encourage the wild birds to come and bathe and drink from. This was a particular requirement from the care home, as they try and engage the residents in recognising the wildlife in the garden and discussing this as a group. The other benefit of having a water feature is the soothing sounds of trickling water. Alongside the noise of birds chirping, the calming sounds of water can soothe a busy mind.

It was also vitally important to include planters and raised beds in the design so those residents who were more able could still enjoy light gardening. The height of raised beds often helps those who are elderly or disabled because it puts less pressure on the back from bending down. A recent survey found that 79% of people believe access to a garden is essential for quality of life,  so we thought it would be great to have the residents engage with gardening in a positive way.

In terms of which plants would work in this area we thought something fragrant would help engage the senses. Plants such as lavender emit a calming scent, known to improve cognitive function in dementia sufferers  and also jasmine which is a natural remedy for relieving feelings of depression and stress. We believe the planting of these flowers would help to improve the residents’ wellbeing whilst enjoying the garden.

Lavender

On a summers day when the sun is shining, we also wanted to provide areas of cover for the residents so they do not suffer from sunburn. In the design you can notice our plan to install two sail shades in the different seating areas. These sail shades are also waterproof so provide cover in rainy weather if they get caught in the rain! Should the residents want to be in the garden in all weathers, they may also enjoy sitting whilst the evenings get darker enjoying the dim light from the solar fairy lights installed.

Next steps

The design process is still in progress, and we will be sure to update you with the latest changes in the development of the care home garden. Fill us in with any garden designs you are planning over the winter too by commenting below or tagging us on Facebook. We can’t wait to show you the finished result in summer 2018!

Zoe at PrimroseZoë works in the Marketing team at Primrose, and is passionate about all things social media.

After travelling across Europe and Asia, Zoë is intrigued by different cultures and learning more about the world around her. If she’s not jet setting, Zoë loves nothing more than curling up with a good book and a large glass of red wine!

She is an amateur gardener but keen to learn more and get stuck in!

See all of Zoë’s posts.

Garden Design, Guest Posts, Infographics

Although every family is different yet most families face similar issues when it comes to privacy and personal space. It is important that any family member gets space when they need to unwind, work,or study, and the extra living space that garden rooms offer is exactly what your family needs.The comfort of a little space outside the house can allow you to pursue a hobby like learning to play a musical instrument or hone your skills at your craft.

Almost one-fourth of all garden rooms built are home offices. Having trees around the work space improves your mood, helps you to concentrate better, and work more and still feel more relaxed. Someone who has tried to work from home cannot deny the fact that they cannot work unless there is nobody else at home. Having an office pod away from the noise and stress of the house can work wonders for architects, photographers, web designers, online retailers, and writers besides many other professionals. Having such an office space helps self-employed professionals to avoid a stressful commute between home and office and also saves time. Working amidst nature in their own garden can help those creative juices flowing to boost productivity.

If you are a business owner who often gets clients and partners at home, a garden room can provide you with that buffer to separate home from work. You would be able to communicate your ideas better without any disturbance and avoid getting distracted because of home affairs. If you are concerned about its effect on the value of your property, you would be glad to learn that a garden room is likely to add value to your home and increase the chances of a quick sale.

Check out this infographic put together by ModernGardenRooms to learn about other uses of garden rooms and what the specifications that need to be considered are.

garden room
Ade Holder, Current Issues, Garden Design, Gardening, Planting, Plants

Rain gardens

A rain garden in its simplest form stands as “a shallow depression, with absorbent yet, free draining soil and planted with vegetation that can withstand occasional temporary flooding”. Such gardens can be a very effective -a small scale community-led step towards preventing risks of flooding within homes and residential areas. A guide to rain gardens has been provided by raingardens.info for those interested in installing a rain garden within their property, together with further information on the benefits and effects of installing one. There are however much larger rain gardens being implemented in many urban and communal spaces.

The plants on the surface of the gardens act not only as an aesthetically pleasing aspect to the design, but as a natural flood defence to which water may infiltrate – slowing the rate of surface water build up on the roads. Beneath the surface of the gardens a water tank is fitted, which is backed up by an additional overflow pipe connecting it directly to the sewer or run off system.

These innovative garden designs have become ever more popular in recent years, as urbanisation continues to diminish our natural green spaces. This year’s Chelsea Flower Show also saw its first rain garden – designed by Dr Nigel Dunnett. His garden, named the ‘New Wild Garden’ is now situated in Gloucestershire. Here the idea of building a rain garden was promoted because not only could it primarily prevent flooding, but also allow wildlife to thrive as well as keeping plants hydrated without the need for watering as often – ideal for gardeners who prefer a low maintenance approach. Rain gardens can additionally be both inexpensive and sustainable, with Dunnett’s garden being built with emphasis on just this. According to The Guardian “many of the hard materials used to make the New Wild Garden were gathered from skips and charity shops. Insect habitats were made using old water pipes, bits of bark, drilled wood and the cross section of an ivy stem taken off a house. Dry-stone walls feature old books and toy cars, while the granite used to make the path was salvaged from outside the Natural History Museum”. Dunnett has even produced a book with Andy Clayden about rain gardens and their sustainability.

As highlighted by Dunnett’s rain garden, alongside many others, the concept itself invites innovation and creativity while remaining entirely flexible in fitting to its surrounding environment. Simple provisions still need to be considered however, such as ensuring the garden isn’t situated on too steep a slope or close to building foundations– as these factors can lessen the garden’s permeability.

Rain garden planting

Further note can be taken from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, who have put together a webpage on which plants are native to, and thrive most, in each American state. This allows for gardeners to adapt to their local environments in ensuring that the plants they stock their gardens with conserve water at a level in sympathy with the shortages in the area. For instance the use of drought tolerant crops are encouraged in various states such as Arizona. When putting together a rain garden in the UK, it is important to stock it with plants native to the area, which can tolerate as much surface water as possible in order to resist flooding rather than drought. The Royal Horticultural Society have similarly put together a webpage on trees and shrubs that are native to the UK, which can be useful in considering the practical design for a rain garden.

Kent County Council will soon be implementing the very first series of seventeen ‘rain gardens’ in Folkestone, in order to combat flooding. Flooding in this area has proved hazardous in the past, where both roads, houses and businesses are vulnerable.

According to Kent County Council “this inventive initiative will increase the amount of water captured on Dolphins Road and provide storage below the rain gardens that then control the rate that water flows into the sewer. The tank lets the water out into the sewer at a much slower rate than conventional highway gullies and so won’t overwhelm the network.”

Folkestone

Southern Water has also become involved in the initiative, partnering with Kent County Council on researching further options to reduce flooding risks across the area, possibly through the installation of additional water storage facilities. However, while the implementation of these particular gardens remains more complex and high-tech, the concept of rain gardens isn’t entirely new and a return to more traditional flood control methods is becoming more common.

Flooding is becoming more and more of an issue in many parts of the UK and the world. British companies like UNDA provide an ever increasing number of flood risk assessments across the country as the need to know about the potential of flooding grows. The government and councils are rightly putting pressure on developers to make sure houses are being built in areas that are not likely to flood or are capable of dealing with flood water. Rain gardens are just one of many measures both the government and individuals should be thinking about. Not only do they look wonderful but hey provide a service to homes and those around them. Larger rain gardens like those planned for Folkestone should be employed in a number of areas to help protect surrounding properties.

Flooding

Of course, the reasons there is even a need for flood protection are many but most agree it is related to climate change. So as well and looking at mitigation devices like rain gardens it is important everyone continues to try to reduce their carbon footprint to stop things getting any worse over the coming decades.

Ade HolderAde Holder was once primarily a motoring writer but with a background in Zoology and Environmental Science as well as a deep passion for all things living and growing he found himself writing on a much broader range of topics. As well as writing on various topics Ade has also been called to speak on BBC radio on a number of topics. In his spare time he can often be found covered in mud on a mountain bike somewhere on the South Downs.

Share!