Decoration, Garden Design, Gardening Year, Grow Your Own, Guest Posts, Lighting, Make over

Spring is a time of new beginnings and your garden is a great place to be, as long as you pay it a little attention of course. From hanging fairy lights to planting seasonal blooms, you can transform your garden with some creativity and effort. Yes, you’ll get a little dirty, but as long as you know how to get grass stains out that shouldn’t put you off working on the garden with enthusiasm. Now, let’s check out four ideas to spice up your garden this spring.

spice up spring garden

1. Fill your garden with flowering shrubs

Without a doubt, the best way to transform your garden from nice but plain to beautiful and spectacular is to fill it with colourful blooms. Not only will you get to enjoy an array of colours and tones that’ll really transform your outdoor space, you’ll get to benefit from sweet scents too. Evergreen shrubs, colourful pansies, pretty snowdrops, lilacs, crocuses, daffodils… all these flowers and more love the spring and you will love the way they make your garden look. Just make sure you research how to plant and care for your chosen shrubs and you might just get to enjoy them over and over again.

2. Grow your own veg

Developing stunning borders full of seasonal blooms will no doubt look and smell amazing, but what about using your garden for more practical needs? Growing your own vegetables is a very satisfying project and you’ll get to enjoy all of that hard work by eating it! Choose an area in your garden that you can section off, raise if need be and sow produce that flourish in spring. Certain vegetables love growing in the spring, and following advice about what to plant in April and May should see your vegetable patch thrive:

  • April: Potatoes, beetroot, carrot, cabbage, peppers, tomatoes, spinach, leeks and cauliflower.
  • May: Sweetcorn, courgettes, pumpkins, runner beans, cucumbers and squashes.

spring garden

3. Light it up

Just as lighting can alter the look and feel of any room in your home, it can spice up your garden too. A few strategic wall lights, a string of fairy lights or some garlands hung on a tree will help bring focus to different areas and allow you to enjoy the fruits of your labour when the sun goes down. Speaking of the sun, solar lighting is a really good solution – cost effective and environmentally friendlier too.

4. Sit and relax

A new piece of furniture plays two roles when it comes to re-styling your garden. One is to act as a feature and two is to create an area where you can kick back and relax. Whether it’s a comfy outdoor sofa to chill out on, a hammock to laze away sunny afternoons or a love seat to enjoy with your partner, they’ll give you the chance to enjoy what you’ve accomplished in comfort.

Put these four tips into action to freshen up your garden this spring and enjoy!

Eleanor CainesEleanor is a freelance writer. She loves to write about everything from gardening to travels. Her favourite part of her outside space is the fairy garden she created with her daughter.

Current Issues, How To, Lighting, Lotti, Make over

Snoezelen Room

Sensory rooms, also known as “Snoezelen” (a compound of the Dutch words ‘snuffelen’, to snuggle, and ‘doezelen’, to doze) or, more scientifically, a “controlled multisensory environment” is a kind of whole-room therapy for children and adults with developmental disabilities, autism, dementia or other brain injuries. Developed in the 1970s in the Netherlands specifically to treat disabilities and injuries, sensory rooms are now a popular feature of nurseries, schools and residential care homes across the world. Sensory rooms can be beneficial for anyone, from the smallest babies to OAPs, from students to CEOs.

Unlike other forms of therapy, Snoezelen is designed not to have a measurable outcome or goal but to encourage the client to gain as much enjoyment as they can from the activity. Users of sensory rooms often report feeling more relaxed or “sleepy” and suffering less from the effects of depression and anxiety. This kind of therapy can also improve pro-social behaviour and encourage users to relate better to each other. Some research has even shown that sensory room therapy can decrease your heart rate!

It’s clear, then, that Snoezelen therapy is a great way to support both children and adults with developmental disabilities or brain injuries as well as toddlers, babies and those who are suffering from stress, anxiety or depression. However, setting up a sensory room – especially in your own home – can be a difficult and time consuming project, especially when searching for specialist equipment.

But have no fear! We’ve put together a list of affordable resources that are quick and easy to buy to set up your very own sensory room. These items are by no means an exhaustive list but are a great place to start when looking for a way to support someone’s sensory needs.

Bubble Features

One of the most popular features of a sensory room is a bubble tube or wall. In fact, they’ve inspired this whole list! Bubble walls combine colour and the gentle (yet hypnotic) movement of bubbles to create a mesmerising effect which really grabs the attention of both children and adults alike. With integrated LED lights and a remote control, it’s possible to choose from a range of colours as well as strobe and fade effects. In Snoezelen therapy, the client is given control over the remote so they can decide what colour the wall is and which light effects are turned on at any time. Bubble walls are a great way to relax as the user watches the gentle flow of bubbles which shine in the light. You can also adjust the bubble speed, allowing for quick, small bubbles or larger, slower ones.

bubble wall

Bubble tubes are another great water feature for your sensory room. Bubble tubes are particularly engaging as they are wide enough to be able to put plastic fish inside, where you can watch them gently “swim” up and down the length of the tube as they get carried along by the bubbles. This sort of engagement is great for people who can have difficulty concentrating, and the changing colour of the feature keeps it feeling novel.

Mirrors

A sensory room can be easily enhanced with the use of mirrors. Placing a bubble tube in the corner of a room with two full-wall mirrors on either wall reflects the movement of the bubbles and creates the impression that there are more features than there really are. Large acrylic mirrors are usually the most suitable for sensory rooms as they are stronger than glass while being significantly lighter, making them easy to move around and safer for rooms with children. Acrylic mirrors are also available in a variety of colours, making them perfect for sensory exploration as they transform the room and the things they reflect. Small babies and toddlers can particularly benefit from playing with mirrors as they learn to recognise facial features and expressions. A sturdy acrylic mirror placed on the floor is also a great way to play and explore, from looking at yourself from different angles to drawing or painting on the surface and watching the reflection beneath. You can even cover a mirror in something fine like sand, chickpeas or flour and let users trace pictures using their fingers, marvelling as the mirror is revealed beneath.

Beanbags

It’s important to make sure there’s lots of space to relax in a sensory room. There’s no limits in a sensory room so users can sit, recline or even lie on the floor if that’s what they want to do! Placing a few beanbag slabs on the floor of a room provides a soft, malleable surface for users to sit and lie on, as well as being interesting to touch, scrunch and cuddle. Beanbag slabs have wipe-clean polyester covers which can also be removed for more thorough machine washing.

Hammocks

Lots of sensory rooms feature swings and hammocks to provide their users with a relaxing, weightless feeling. Hanging swing seats and cacoon hammocks are a great way to help users chill out as they gently swing back and forth. Cacoon hammocks are particularly effective as they provide a dark, enclosed space which can help people feel more safe and at ease. They also have fewer exposed ropes, making them great for children. Cacoon hammocks need to be attached to a sturdy ceiling beam or hung from a tripod stand. For extra safety, you can put a few cushions, bean bags or soft shapes beneath the hammock or cacoon just in case. For an extra sensory experience, you can fill the cacoon with soft cushions or even a furry rug and decorate it with lights.

cacoon chair

Lights

Typically, sensory rooms have very low lighting, often using fibre optic string or cable lights. Low lighting creates a more relaxed environment which can benefit children who struggle to keep calm. String lighting, especially coloured lights, can enhance the relaxed atmosphere as well as bringing more colour to a room. Being able to touch and manipulate light is important during Snoezelen therapy, so make sure that users can hold the lights themselves (with proper supervision). Battery operated lights are great for this, as they can be picked up, manipulated and even worn! Solar powered lights have fewer running costs and can be charged outside (or on a windowsill) when not in use, so are better for the environment. For sensory rooms designed for children, solar lights can also teach them about science and sustainability.

sensory lights

Spinners and Hanging Decorations

Another way to add sparkling colour and movement to a sensory room is through the use of hanging spinners. Hung around a room at different heights, these spinners twist and dance as they spin, creating stunning visual effects which are almost hypnotic to watch. Spinners should be hung low enough that users of the sensory room can touch and spin them themselves, and small children can be helped to reach them so they can watch the direct effect of their actions on the world around them. Lots of spinners come with integrated crystals, which when hung in a window or near a light source can beautifully refract the light in rainbows around the room.

Refracted light

Making a sensory room doesn’t have to be a huge project – in fact, it can often be beneficial to have just a few items which are brought out and set up as a treat. Larger features like bubble walls are a great way to start and can also be just as effective when set up in a bedroom or living room where everyone can enjoy it. So let’s turn down the lights, put away our phones, turn off the TV and instead turn to the bubble wall for an evening of rest and relaxation!

Jenny at PrimroseLotti works with the Primrose Product Loading team, creating product descriptions and newsletter headers.

When not writing, Lotti enjoys watching (and over-analyzing) indie movies with a pint from the local craft brewery or cosplaying at London Comic Con.

Lotti is learning to roller skate, with limited success.

See all of Lotti’s posts.

Celebrations And Holidays, Christmas, Decoration, Gardening, Gardens, How To, Lighting, Tyler

As Christmas is edging closer and closer by the day, it’s that time to start decorating your home with colourful, festive decorations and lights! Remember our 20 DIY Outdoor Christmas Decorations blog? Well here at Primrose, we have decided to go further and try it out for ourselves and this is how we did it…

Terracotta Snowman

First off to get your living room looking more Christmassy, make your own Terracotta Snowman! To make this snowman without the hassle of waiting for it to snow, all you need is 3 painted terracotta pots. Start by placing the 3 cups on top of each other, add a hat and scarf and then glue together. Paint on the face and you’re done! Sit your new homemade terracotta snowman outside to add the festive feeling to your garden.

Pine Cone Christmas Tree

The Pine Cone Tree is a great alternative to your traditional christmas tree. All that is needed to create one is a terracotta pot and a suitable sized pine cone. We recommend that you talk a nice walk with family and friends and find a pine cone along your travels! Now paint it with Christmas colours and make a star to place on top of it. The pine cone tree will be perfect on your outdoor table or around the house.

Lighted Hanging Basket

Hanging Basket aren’t quite the same if there isn’t any lights added onto it… This is why our hanging basket stands out more. You can make your own hanging basket a Christmas alternative decoration this year by filling it with spare ornaments and nature. You should then proceed to wrap coloured or white lights around the basket. Hang it outside your front door to embrace the Christmas spirit.

Glass Bottle Lantern

Similar to our glass jar lantern, the glass bottle lantern is another beautiful ornament to have as christmas decorations on your desk or on the dinner table at home. As you may have guessed already, the supplies you’ll need for this particular Christmas decoration is an empty glass bottle and lights, pretty simple right? Wire in the lights into the bottle and then you’re set to have a magical looking lantern wherever you please!

Clothes Peg Star

clothes peg star

If you’re left stuck without a star to add on your Christmas tree this year, no fear! You can create your very own star by using your spare clothes pegs. On ours, we decided to paint it red to go with the rest of our decorations around the office so we advise you paint it to your preference.

 

 

Be sure to send us over the decorations you’ve created this year on our Facebook and Twitter; we’d love to see them!

homemade christmas decorations

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.

Amie, Barbecues, Fire Pits, Lighting, New Products, Outdoor Heating

The sun is setting, and the evening is cooling.
The sausages upon my BBQ have left me drooling.
With water and squash, and a dash of fizz,
Topped off with cake, this evening is bliss.

The wood upon the pit is crackling for hours,
Alongside the beauty of the summery forest flowers.
Easy to construct, robust and sturdy,
We’ll be sitting by the firepit until at least 1130.

The next morning has come, and it’s time to clean,
Which is easily done, now my firepit is pristine.
Back into it’s zipped bag, stored away for now,
My Primrose Firebowl has been has been nothing short of wow.

Get yours for only £39.99, with next day delivery available.

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.

Amie also writes restaurant reviews on Barnard’s Burger Blog.

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