Celebrations And Holidays, Competitions, Current Issues, Decoration, Events, Flowers, Garden Design, Garden Furniture, Gardening, Gardening Year, Hampton Court Flower Show, Liam, News, Planters, Planting, Plants, Ponds, RHS, Water Features

The Primrose team attended this year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show to catch up with and discuss the latest gardening trends as well as engage with some of the nation’s favourite horticultural festivities. We endured the sweltering heat and odd glass of champagne to hopefully bring you the inspiration for your perfect garden.

Tropical

On display at this year were a vibrant showcase of exotic landscapes seemingly plucked from some far-off jungle and dropped onto the grounds of Hampton Court Palace. However, tropical gardening is something which is growing in popularity in the UK and not just the odd palm tree.

Tropical plants are, in fact, surprisingly hardy and many of them can tough it out through a British winter. Creating a tropical aesthetic in your very own garden provides a sense of exotic escape in what can be an otherwise cold and stressful routine. More and more urban dwellers are looking to bamboos, ferns, sarracenias and zantedeschias to create these backyard get-aways.

Many of these tropical varieties are used to battling it out below the canopy for little light and nutrients and so can thrive even in the heart of the concrete jungle. For gardens everywhere tropical planting offers height, depth and an abundance of life. Water-features and lighting perfect the ambience offering various tones and sounds.

Prairie Planting

A major trend at this year’s show was Prairie Planting; the combination of wild flowers and grasses in a seemingly loose planting scheme. Pockets of meadow teeming with wildlife were a persistent feature offering a wholesome, wild but almost gentle beauty.

There are an abundance of prairie plants which are native to the UK all of which are hardy enough to thrive in poor soils in times of drought and frost. Therefore, they make a perfect low-maintenance garden with a more natural aesthetic. Eryngiums, Echinaceas, Achilleas and Salvias among others offer a rich pallet of colours while various grasses deliver height and texture.

The prairie garden is also a fantastic way for you to join the noble crusade of saving our native bee and butterfly populations. Already an incentive which is sweeping  the country, prairie patches are being planted in local initiatives to save our ecosystems. With some bordering and creative features thrown in prairie planting also helps make an award-winning garden too.

Reclaimed

Here is a trend which certainly taps into the prevalent vintage culture of today. Adding a certain character to outdoor spaces it creates a more relaxing atmosphere allowing the mind to wonder amongst the assortment of bizarre objects strewn across the flower beds.  Big concrete planters, weedy patios, even bits of recycled car parts and vintage furniture make an appearance.

Once the hardware is in the garden is certainly easier to manage than a pristine and strictly coordinated garden while keeping a sense of style and purpose. Ground covering and climbing plants are encouraged to grow over. One may find a bike wheel or an old Coca-Cola sign amongst the wild grasses. There is certainly space to let your imagination roam.

Rust was a consistently strong contender throughout the show along with prairie planting and the reclaimed aesthetic is a natural ally to both these features.

Jorge at PrimroseLiam works in the buying team at Primrose. He is passionate about studying other cultures, especially their history. A lover of sports his favourite pass-time is football, either playing or watching it! In the garden Liam is particularly interested in growing your own food.

See all of Liam’s posts.

Amie, Current Issues, Gardening, How To, Plants, Ponds, Primrose.co.uk

The garden is our sanctuary, our area of peace, a place for personalisation, and with roughly 90% of households owning a garden, they’re a large part of Britain’s landscape. With over £4 billion spent annually on our gardens, they are unfortunately a prime target for thieves, with latest statistics showing roughly 1 in 7 households has an item stolen from their garden , and more gnomes (9.6% of thefts) being stolen than credit/ debit cards (8.2%). Only last month did someone have an elephant memorial (3ft brass ornament, chained and drilled to a post) stolen from their garden – it’s absurd the extreme lengths thieves go to.  Therefore, it’s more important than ever to prevent theft and we will show you some easy ways to do so.

Don’t put plants and ornaments in your front garden
One of the most common thefts are potted shrubs and trees from the front garden or door area, especially at night. Without a front gate or fence, it’s easy for passers-by to take them, and being fairly common, they’re even more tempting. So my advice is keep the plants and trees for your back garden, providing it’s secure. You can create a gorgeous front garden area without the need for plants (and gnomes).

Store valuable machinery and BBQs when not in use
It’s very easy for someone to enter your garden and remove an item, especially if not kept in a shed or outbuilding. For heavier items, it has been evident of people using machinery to remove such items. The best advice here is to simply lock all machinery and tools you have up, whether that be in your house or a shed. If possible, lock up the goods inside any outbuildings for extra precaution, and put a cover over them so potential passers-by can’t see what goods you’re storing.

Install security camera systems
Available for a reasonable low cost, CCTV and security systems are effective for two reasons; deterring and identifying. Many will be put off coming near your house if they saw a security system, with reports stating roughly 83% of burglars try to find out if there is a security system first. You could even be sneaky and put up a fake camera outside your house! If the unfortunate happens and you do experience a robbery, you have a greater chance of obtaining the thief with visual evidence.

Put up spikes (fence and thorny bushes)
Thieves like to climb over fences to enter the garden, especially if inaccessible from the front, so what better way to deter them than to give them a shock. Fence spikes are an easy, cheap solution which can be applied to fence tops, and are available in a number of colours (brown being a popular choice so it blends in with your fence).  Thorny bushes such as holly bushes are also a nuisance for thieves, but will require more time and maintenance.

Fence and Wall Spikes - Brown

Get to know your surroundings
This might seem a bit obvious (or perhaps inconvenient) but research the local area, especially if you are planning to move. Is there a high crime rate? Is it a hotspot for thefts? There are plenty of tools online to help research crime statistics and you can explore theft and crime in an area . Likewise, get to know your neighbours. If you are friendly with the locals in your area, they are more likely to keep an eye on your house.

Whilst the possibility of theft is ultimately low, it’s still better to safe than sorry. So follow these tips to ensure your garden is as safe as houses (excuse the terrible pun).

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.

Callum, Ponds, Primrose Gardens

Its that time again… Category of the week! I hope you all enjoyed last week’s flowers of the week. We had some excellent candidates and this week is more of the same. We have been loving all of your uploads and we hope you are enjoying the thriving community we have created. This week we are looking at the best ponds from across Primrose Gardens. Ponds often require inspiration to get as creative as possible so maybe some of these beautiful ponds will help inspire you.

A very picturesque pond in Lyndhurst's garden
A very picturesque pond in Lyndhurst’s Garden
A beautiful natural looking pond courtesy of The Kelly Wildlife's garden
A beautiful natural looking pond courtesy of The Kelly Wildlife’s garden
A quite stunning pond built over 25 years and now found in Lyndhurst's garden
A quite stunning pond built over 25 years and now found in Lyndhurst’s garden
A nice caged pond with some great background scenery seen in Stables Rest's garden
A nice caged pond with some great background scenery seen in Stables Rest’s garden
A well structured and nicely positioned pond in Happydays' garden
A well structured and nicely positioned pond in Happydays’ garden

Primrose Gardens allows you to create a beautiful pictorial record of your garden where you can show off your garden to family and friends to enjoy over the years. It’s also a community of garden enthusiasts and the perfect space to discuss tips and tricks, as well as getting plants identified!

Callum is currently on his placement year here at Primrose with his parents being huge garden enthusiasts.Callum

In the time he has free from his parents rambling on about the garden, he is being a typical university student experiencing life to the full and supporting his beloved Reading FC.

See all of Callum’s posts.

Charlie, Gardening, How To, Ponds

So, you’re the proud owner of a beautiful new pond, or perhaps you’ve just moved into some property with a pond already attached, in either case read on for some essential tips to keeping your pond looking its best.

It’s all about balance. What’s important about pond care is keeping the right balance in your pond. Too many plants and algae can choke the life out of a pond, and make it impossible for fish to live in it, too few plants and there won’t be enough oxygen for your pond to thrive.

You don't want your pond looking like this!
You don’t want your pond looking like this!

You can prevent this from happening by ensuring the correct balance is found between plant life and pond surface area. Algae thrive on sunlight, so if your pond catches too much it is possible your pond will suffer from a surge of algae growth. To prevent this, it is wise to cover the surface of your pond in floating plants, such as water lilies – ideally they should cover more than 50% of the surface area of your pond, particularly if your pond is in direct sunlight for most of the day. Another, complementary, solution is to use submerged oxygenating plants. These eat up the carbon dioxide and minerals that the algae need to live, so enough of these can prevent algae from growing in your pond. It also always helps to have a water feature of some kind in your pond, this helps to move the water around and oxygenate your pond.


Plant Care. Thankfully, aquatic plants usually don’t require too much maintenance, however it can be advisable to periodically dive them when they get too overgrown. This is best done in the spring or autumn.


Fish Care. The best thing you can do for your fish is to follow the helpful hints above to ensure that they have a sound environment to live in, as well as of course feeding them correctly. – a general rule is to only feed what your fish can eat in five minutes. There is no need to feed your fish when the water temperature gets too low, say about 4 degrees celsius, as your fish will naturally hibernate. Another big bonus when it comes to fish is that they will eat up many pests such as aphids that might otherwise  plague your pond.

Water Drainage. Another common problem with ponds is water drainage. Water can begin to drain from your pond for a variety of reasons, most of which occur at the building stage. The first thing to do is to check if your pond’s edges are level, as this can cause water to drain out. However if your pond is still losing water volume it is best to drain it and inspect the damage. Draining a pond can be time consuming, you’ll have to ensure fish and plants are kept safe in tanks while you drain the water and will need an electric pump for the job, this can be either bought or hired.

Don’t forget to check out our pond care in winter guide for the autumnal and winter months.

 

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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