Gardening, Greenhouses

Hi,

My name is Gill and I work for Primrose customer service and I am passionate about gardening. I have, over the last couple of years, started growing vegetables. I love my greenhouse as I can sow seed much earlier than outside in the veggie patch and so have a much longer growing season.

I am about to purchase a new greenhouse this year as I really need a larger one now. Last year I grew so many tomatoes, peppers and chillies that I ran out of space.

Now that the weather seems to be warming up, I thought it was time to sow my tomato and chilli seeds. I sowed six pots of different varieties at the weekend and have them in the greenhouse in a propagator. I keep the greenhouse heated at night with a paraffin heater. I also sowed lettuce and rocket which I will plant out in the greenhouse border .

Bird Baths, Celebrations And Holidays, Chimeneas, Clocks, Decoration, Gardening, Lighting, Mothers' Day, Solar Lighting

Show Your Appreciation This Mothers’ Day

A big day is coming up – the day when men and women across the country will be spending their time with good old Mum, showing their appreciation for the woman who took care of them throughout their childhood and beyond.

If you are looking for a special gift to show your mother how much she means to you, Primrose has lots of fantastic gift ideas to give you some inspiration!

Why not give her a gift that will light up the fresh, spring sky, with some beautiful solar lights? From path markers to guide your way through the garden, to sparkling light strings to brighten up any tree, these delightful solar lights are eco-friendly, cost nothing to run and would make an ideal gift!

If your mum is a keen gardener, consider buying a grow kit so she can grow her own produce – our herb kits sit neatly on the window sill and come with everything needed to grow a range of fresh herbs such as parsley and basil, perfect for use in everyday cooking. Or let her try growing her own delicious strawberries with a strawberry barrel kit! There is a lot of fresh produce you can grow yourself, from tomatoes and herbs, to potatoes and beans, all easy to grow, tasty and satisfying!

And why not cook those home-grown potatoes and tomatoes, along with some burgers, sausages and kebabs, on the barbecue, or for something a bit different, consider grilling them over the fire in a chiminea! Chimineas are both useful and decorative garden features – use one for warmth and cooking on sultry summer evenings.

A garden clock is a fantastic gift idea – these smart, practical items come in a range of styles and will look elegant fixed to any wall. Some even light up in the evening so it is easy to read no matter what time of day.

If you know your mum is a fan of nature and wildlife, why not help her get the most from her garden and both attract and protect the local animals? A bird bath or bird house is a great way to entice a wide variety of birds to the garden, while a bee box or hedgehog house will provide sanctuary for some of the UK’s more endangered species.

Gardening, Hiring Help in the Garden, How To

Hiring help in the garden

The worn out section at the bottom of my garden

Faced again with the problem of needing manual labour, this time in the garden to give it a revamp, I pondered. Gardeners cost £10- £15 per hour where I live, but I often just need the muscle power to dig, shift and lift. Then I had a novel thought.

I tried contacting the local job centre to see if there were keen people available at a more economical sum. Sure enough, it was really easy to dictate my needs to the man on the phone, be given a reference number and signed, scanned and returned a document which guaranteed I would pay the minimum wage. There was no charge for this and within an hour I started to receive calls.  There were in fact so many calls for the £6.50 an hour job of heavy digging in my back garden, I had to call the job centre again to switch off the advert having agreed to one person and recording a back list of another 4 keen types.

Now, it was not a gardener I had hired, even though he professed to have done a fair amount of landscape gardening for a local council. He needed tutoring on how to dig up roots, rather than chopping them of at the surface; and I had to explain and that digging up a patch of ground containing rubble required penetrating the soil rather than scraping the turf from off the top of it. But that was what I was prepared for, and I did get a good chunk of the work done for a fraction of the price. Well, I did have to deflect the request for more funds as “the work had been really hard”.

So for £50 I got two sections of the garden cleared and felt encouraged to jet wash my large balcony as he had carried all the planters off it for me. They now sit at the bottom of the garden ready to be potted up with the spring display that I will see from my kitchen window. I will spend time this weekend assessing the next stage of work, and when the pots are ready, the top soil ordered, I will call up the numbers on my list, or re post my job centre ad and complete the next stage of the garden revamp.      Hoorah!    Watch this space.      Wendy

The side bed covered in the ivy I had got as far as dragging off the wall.  Can you imagine the amount of roots to dig up?