Awnings, Gardening Year, George, How To

Can Awnings Stay Outside All Year

Once an awning has been installed, most homeowners are keen to leave it up all year round. The main thing that could cause an issue if the awning is left outside all the time is weather and the damage this can potentially cause. So can awnings stay outside all year? The simple answer is usually yes, depending on how the awning retracts and the extremity of your local weather.

Which types of awning can be left outside?

When an awning is left retracted outdoors, it will still be subjected to wind and rain. Standard and half cassette models leave the canopy material partially open to the elements, so their durability will depend on the fabric being waterproof. For extra protection, the casing can be covered with a storage bag to ensure no rain gets in. Full cassette awnings are fully sealed when wound back, so these are perfectly prepared for being left outside all year.

Awnings should never be left open in extreme weather like heavy rain or strong winds as the arms may snap or the fabric rip. If you leave your awning open unattended, you can use an automatic sensor to retract the awning when it detects excessive rain or wind. Note that these will only work for electric awnings, so with manual ones you will need to keep an eye on them.

Can awnings be used in the rain?

The great thing about awnings is the way they transform your patio into a much more usable space when the sun becomes too strong, but with the changeable UK weather it’s nice to be able to stay under them for the occasional shower. Awnings can be left open in light rain as long as the fabric is waterproof. Primrose Awnings are made from 300 gsm acrylic or polyester material which is waterproof tested, so is fine in a spot of rain.

If you are going to leave your awning open in the drizzle you should be aware of the pitch. In order for the water to run off, the awning must be sloped at a minimum of 14 degrees. Otherwise rainwater can pool in the centre of the canopy and the weight of it risks tearing the fabric.

If you wind in an awning during the rain, remember to unwind it fully during the next sunny day to let the material dry off completely. Most awning fabrics are treated to prevent rot, so should be fine stored damp for a little while.

Another consideration is the wind, which often accompanies a downpour. Wind can be even more harmful to the awning structure and fixings so make sure not to leave it open if it is too windy. The general rule is if it’s too breezy to sit outside then the awning should be retracted.

If you need any further advice about choosing your awning, where to install it or how to look after it, please get in touch!

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, Gardening, George, How To

Crisp, precise borders can really take your garden design to the next level. They’re tricky to get right and maintain by hand, which is where plastic or metal edging strips can be incredibly useful. It’s crucial to put your edging in properly to ensure turf borders resist erosion and your flowerbeds are free from weed and grass roots for many years to come. So we’ve put together a guide for how to install lawn edging in simple, clear steps.

How to Install Lawn Edging

1. Plan

Mark out the border that you want to edge – whether for a new flowerbed or to smarten up an old one. Measure it to work out what length of edging you’ll need to buy.

2. Dig a trench

For standard size in ground edging, you’ll need to dig a trough about six inches deep along the entire border. A regular trowel or spade should suffice for moist soil, but if the earth is dry then you may need a specialist border tool. You want sharp cuts without the dirt crumbling away from the turf.

3. Lay the edging into place

As rolled up, the strip should curve away from the lawn side of the trench. If there is a V-shaped lip at the base of the edging, this needs to be on the flowerbed side. Use a utility or serrated knife to cut the strip to size. If you are joining multiple strips, make sure each connector is evenly distributed in both pieces of edging, rather than being pushed into one during the connection. The strip should sit in the trench with only the very top visible. When it is set, this will be enough to prevent grass and weed roots crossing into the flowerbed, but not so high that it will get caught on your lawn mower. It will be obscured when the grass grows longer.

4. Pull down the soil

Use your hands to shift loose soil up against the edging from the bed side. The edging may not sit flat against all the curves in your lawn. Pull down more soil and stomp it into the edging with your feet to make sure it is held firmly in place to the turf.

Lawn Edging Pins

5. Hammer in the stakes

Starting three inches from the end of the strip, hammer the stakes into the edging from the flowerbed side. Make sure they are as close to a 90 degree angle to the edging as possible. This is to make sure they’re stable – if you pound the stakes straight down then the frost will eventually heave them upwards. You may need to scrape away some of soil to get the hammer and stakes in. Place the stakes every seven inches along the strip. If there are connections then also put them three inches on each side of the join.

6. Compact the soil

Push and stomp soil on the flowerbed side up ⅔ the height of the edging strip. Fill in any gaps on the lawn side with a bit of soil – eventually new grass should grow the cover these. Water the soil on both sides to compact it even more. Finally, top up with earth so that both sides are flat and level.

Hopefully this guide to using garden edging makes things clear. If you have any trouble, please get in touch.

Browse our range of lawn edging or get inspired by some lawn edging ideas.

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.

Amie, Clocks, How To, Make over, Solar Clocks

If you’re stuck on which garden clock to buy, be sure to consider these factors when making your next purchase.

1. Size of your outdoor space

A garden ‘station clock‘ would be ideal if you need a clock for a porch, entrance or small external area. A popular choice is the Paddington clock, measuring 27cm, ideal for perching in cosy spots, whilst adding traditional elegance to your garden. Many station clocks, such as the Paddington are easily fixable using screws, as they come complete with a mountable bracket.

Station Clock

However, if you’ve a large garden or perhaps an open area such as a school yard, where you need a much bigger clock to fill the space, you should opt for a large clock so you can easily tell the time without having to get binoculars out. A big time clock measuring 90cm in diameter would stand out and look great in a large open space

2. Indoor or outdoor

Most garden clocks will be used for the garden and outdoor space, but they often make a great addition to your indoor space too. Skeleton clocks look superb in a living or dining room area, as they are simplistic in design and will work with most colour schemes thanks to their neutral colours. Small clocks also work well in most indoor spaces too.

Indoor Clock

The best clock for a garden would be waterproof, made from a resistant material such as metal. This way, no matter what weather conditions the skies throw at your clock, rest assured time will keep on ticking by.

3. Want to know the weather?

Many people are keen to know the temperature in their gardens; perhaps to protect plants from frost, or to record a peak summers day. One might just be curious as to what the day holds in store for them.

Thermometer Clock

As such, many clocks now feature thermometers measuring in Celsius and Fahrenheit, which is the ideal solution. Double sided clocks will often show both time and temperature on either side of their faces, whilst single sided clocks often have a small temperature gauge near the centre of the hands.

4. Forget to change the clocks twice a year?

Spring forward, fall back; we all know the phrase but we still often forget to change the time. Radio controlled clocks, which automatically provides the correct time by synchronising to a time code via radio transition, are an ideal solution.

Radio Clock

Varying in size and design, outdoor radio controlled clocks are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. They are slightly larger than small station clocks, yet still look elegant in any space.

5. Colour of your garden scheme

Many of you will have a colour of clock which would suit your garden perfectly. If you’ve a white winter wonderland patio, then a white clock would look perfect.

White Clock

Perhaps you’ve a vintage ambience, so a copper garden clock would be more suitable.

If you have no colour scheme going on (which is perfectly ok too, as you may be planting spontaneously or experimenting with your palette), then a black clock is a neutral colour, which will work and fit in any garden.

Bell Clock

Many clocks also feature additional design features, such as cuckoos, horse and bell, other animals, sundials and so forth. If you’ve a garden set up to focus on enticing birds to your garden, then a cockerel and bell clock would be the perfect fit.

Browse our range of outdoor clocks today!

 

AmieAmie is a marketing enthusiast, having worked at Primrose since graduating from Reading University in 2014.

She enjoys all things sport. A keen football fan, Amie follows Tottenham Hotspur FC, and regularly plays for her local 5 a side football team.

To see the rest of Amie’s posts, click here.

 

Charlie, How To, Water Features

Winter can be a hard time for water features, in particular the ones that live outside. Follow this advice to protect your water feature against frost, so you’ll keep your fountain at its best for years to come.

How to Protect Water Features Against Frost

Never allow ice to form in your water feature. Ice forming can damage the pump and a deep freeze can even cause the structure of the water feature to crack in some cases. There are two ways you can achieve this, one is to simply pour the water out of your water feature when temperatures plummet and store it, perhaps with the help of a water feature cover. The other way is to use Fountain Frost Free from Primrose. Treating your water with this will prevent ice from forming and is not harmful to birds or wildlife, making it great for bird baths and ponds too. Fountain Frost Free works to as cold as -6 degrees, so in the UK climate you’re unlikely to have any problems – if you’re living somewhere with a really deep freeze however, it would be advisable to drain your water feature instead.

With birdbaths, it is particularly important to clear away any snow and not to allow ice to form, as this can prevent the bird getting access to the drinking water. You can simply break the ice when it forms, or use Fountain Frost Free – used in the correct quantities, this leaves the water perfectly safe for birds to drink from.

Follow this simple advice and you’ll be sure to have a pristine water feature and pump next spring.

CharlieCharlie works in the Primrose marketing team, mainly on online marketing.

When not writing for the Primrose Blog, Charlie likes nothing more than a good book and a cool cider.

To see the rest of Charlie’s posts, click here.

 

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