Garden Design, Garden Screening, George

Natural fencing ideas

Every garden needs fencing – to mark the boundaries, divide up spaces and provide privacy. But there’s no need to settle for standard wood slatted fences. There are plenty of natural fencing ideas to give your garden borders an edge, fences that stand tall and stand out from the neighbours’.

Let’s kick off with a few alternative fencing ideas.

Willow Hurdles

1. Hurdle fencing

Hurdles are a form of freestanding fence made from handwoven wooden branches, usually willow or hazel. They offer a very rustic look, perfect for a countryside style garden. Willow hurdles are woven from younger, thinner wands, while hazel use thicker branches for a more sturdy feel. Ideal for bordering off any piece of land, they can bring a slice of rural design to even a compact urban garden.

Garden Screening

2. Garden screening

Screening is a great way to refresh your garden look. It’s light and flexible enough to be fixed to existing fences, so you can easily bring a more natural aesthetic to any space. There are many different materials to choose, from rustic bark and willow to modern bamboo and reed. As well as being more interesting and decorative than regular fences, screening can provide additional privacy in overlooked spaces.

Living fence

3. Living fences

If you’re looking to achieve something a little more ambitious, try living fences or ‘fedges’. There are many different forms (aside from the standard hedge!) but one of the most common is woven willow. Plant a row of willow where you’d like your fence and then weave the branches together as they grow. This requires a bit more skill and patience than the other ideas but pays off with a truly unique border.

The benefits of natural fences

Aside from the organic visual appeal that will set your garden apart, there are a number of other benefits from natural forms of fencing. Many kinds are very sustainable. The wood for willow and hazel hurdles is coppiced, meaning branches are cut from new growths on the plant so they’ll regrow by the next year. Because of the natural air gaps in hurdle fencing, it also serves as a better windbreak than standard fences. Wind is dispersed through the gaps, alleviating the risk of the fence toppling over in blustery weather.

Natural fencing maintenance

Generally natural fences will age more than regular ones over time. If you like, you can treat the wood with fence preservative to maintain the initial colouring, or let it fade naturally. Provided they are well secured and not exposed to too much harsh weather, hurdles can last up to 10 years.

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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 Edging, George, How To

Lawn edging ideas

Borders shouldn’t be boring.

Whether you have unruly flowerbeds, weeds creeping out from the grass or simply want a designer divider, edging is a great addition to any garden. It’s easy to add a swish surround to your lawn for decoration or just to keep things in check. The hard part is choosing which option to go with. So we’ve made a list of lawn edging ideas to help you lay down the law on your lawn.

Lawn edging ideas

1. Hidden edging

When you want to hide the divide between the lawn and flowerbed or path, inground edging is best. Dig out the shape that you want and bury the edging strips in line with the surface. Roots and weeds cannot grow through, leaving you with crisp curves or straight edges to your lawn. Most inground edging is made from metal or plastic, and can be mown straight over – saving the need to strim!

Inground edging

2. Mini fences

If you’re less excited by weed transfer and more interested in finishing off your flowerbed with an attractive surround, then fencing is worth thinking about. Low-height hazel hurdles or a pocket-sized picket fence will make an adorable addition to your garden.

3. Recycled materials

Look no further for cheap lawn edging ideas than the bin at the bottom of your garden! Recycling unwanted objects into borders is not only eco-friendly but opens up unlimited options for innovation. You can use almost anything to cordon off your patio or beds – from old glass bottles, bricks and pallets to rocks, logs and shells.

4. Wooden borders

A solid roll of wooden edging jutting out of the ground offers both protection from plants growing out of control and an appealing aesthetic. Bamboo edging is a great finishing touch for an oriental garden, while willow would suit a classic English countryside design.

Wooden border edging

5. Plastic edging

Plastic is one of the easiest materials to bend round and create flawless curving patterns in your lawn. Sitting above ground, plastic edging strips can be slotted together to flexibly fit just the right area. A solid piece of plastic should be durable enough to keep the lawn in check and survive against weather, damp, rot – and your lawn mower. Some makes are even made from recycled materials.

6. Flat border strips

A simple way to get the flush ground-level divide of paving is with flat edging strips. Available in metal and terracotta effects, these lock into place on the ground, forming a barrier against encroaching growth on either side. Surprisingly, you can also position them in curved formation.

Flat border strips

Hopefully these landscape edging ideas will give you some thoughts for your own garden. From inground barriers to rolls of wooden borders, there are plenty of flexible options. Learn how to edge your lawn and let us know if you have any more tips or inspiration!

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, George, How To

Are Garden Mirrors Safe

We’ve already talked about the decorative potential of putting mirrors outdoors, as well as brightening up dark corners of the garden. But some readers expressed concern, asking ‘Are garden mirrors safe?’. Mirrors make a great decoration outside, and as long as they’re used sensibly they are completely safe. But of course, everyone would rather relax and enjoy their garden, free from worries about hazards around their family, children and wildlife. So we’re going to address any potential issues to ensure you use outdoor mirrors safely.

Which material is best?

Like regular indoor mirrors, external ones can be made from glass or plastic acrylic. The surface of glass is much harder than acrylic, which makes it less likely to scratch from passing animals or foliage. It is also a lot heavier, so better suited to fixing to an outside wall than a less secure surface where it could fall from. Always make sure it is fixed tightly as outdoors it will be exposed to much more intense wind and rain than in your average living room!

As acrylic is around 80% lighter than glass, it is much easier to fix to fence panels and other surfaces, as well as walls. It can be screwed or even glued to keep it firmly in place. The acrylic sheets our mirrors are cut from are 10 times stronger than glass, which prevents them shattering if knocked in the garden. This is well worth bearing in mind if you have small children running round.

Looking out for the birds

The top concern people have about putting mirrors outside is for birds flying into them. Clearly, this wouldn’t be a nice surprise for either party involved – but it happens a lot less than you might think. Some suggestions include sticking a bird image on the mirror, frosting the surface or allowing the material to weather without polishing over time. But ultimately, the best defense is in the placement of the mirror.

You know your garden best, so choose a spot where birds aren’t likely to be flying towards. Patio corners and within climbing plants and hedging are good places to start. Often these are points that will benefit most from the additional light mirrors will bring too.

Avoid direct sunlight

Another important point to bear in mind when hanging your outdoor mirror is to be careful about reflecting direct sunlight. Just as indoors you have to be wary vases and windows don’t set your sofa on fire, outdoors you need to make sure the mirror won’t focus the sun directly onto anything that would burn easily. Simply put the mirror in an area that’s more shady or at an angle to the most intense spots of sunlight.

Sit back and relax

From our experience, problems with garden mirrors are extremely rare but hopefully this post has alleviated any remaining worries. Just remember to position them sensibly, avoiding flight paths and direct sunlight, fix them firmly in place, and they should be perfectly safe. Now you can simply relax and enjoy the magical extra dimension and glow outdoor mirrors bring to your garden.

Plus, we’d love to see some pictures of them on Primrose Gardens!

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, 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.

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