Animals, Bird Baths, How To, Wildlife, Zoe

The long awaited Big Garden Birdwatch has finally arrived this weekend – hooray! With this handy guide we will teach you how to make an irresistible bird feeder no sparrow could refuse!

Many of us may notice our little visitors in the garden, but do we really know what kind of bird it is? Luckily for you, our beautifully illustrated infographic may help you identify even the most exotic of species! Top marks if you manage to spot a Chabert Vanga…

The best way to entice any guests is of course with a free buffet, and in this blog we suggest a fantastic range of treats and scrummy dishes no bird could refuse.

Dangerous Food for Birds

However if you want to feed wild birds be careful that it is safe, the following cannot be used to feed wild birds:

  • Spoiled seed – make sure the seeds you put out have not started rot. It should be dry without any strong odour.
  • Large quantities of bread – although filling, bread does not contain any of the lovely goodness that wild birds need in their diet.
  • Milk – Avoid leaving out milk for your birds, many experts claim this will make them ill.
  • Cooking fat, margarine & vegetable oil – These are all unsuitable for birds.

Ingredients Needed for Your Bird Feeder

Now for the fun stuff!

It is SUPER easy to make your own bird feede, and it’s a fantastic activity to get the whole family involved and share in the joy when you spot a red breast in the garden.

Firstly, you will need to get your hands on some lard. This is a great glue that will bond all your ingredients. You want one part lard to two parts of your bird seed.

Next, you can pick and choose what treats you want to include for your birds. We suggest the following, with a brief description of what birds love this treat the most:

  • Millet – sparrows, dunnocks, finches, reed buntings and collared doves
  • Flaked maize – blackbirds
  • Peanuts & Sunflower seeds – Tits and greenfinches
  • Pinhead oatmeal – All birds love this!
  • Nyjer seeds – goldfinches and siskins.
  • Cooked rice – All birds lap this up
  • Mealworms – excellent protein source for many birds

You can also add some grated cheese, dried fruit and much other variation of seed in your unique mix!

Now you have binded the lard and your bird seed you will be able to mould this into a variety of different shapes to catch the eye of birds or as a interesting activity for your children. This is a great alternative to shop bought fat balls that often come in nylon bags that are very harmful to birds that get their beaks or feet trapped in them!

Coconut Shell Bird Feeder

Mould Ideas for Your Bird Feeder

  • You can use a halved coconut shell to fill with your bird food; make sure there is no traces of coconut milk left in this shell however.
  • Orange peel! Remove the fruit from the skin of the orange and, like the coconut, fill to the top with the food for a vibrant feeder.
  • Pine cone – roll the pine cone in your lard and seeds for a more decorative feeding treat.
  • Toilet roll – yes really! Once you’re left with the toilet paper roll you can roll this in the seeds for an innovative feeder for the birds. (Be careful in wet weather as the cardboard will begin to disintegrate)
  • Cooker cutters – fill your cookie cutters with the mix and leave them to harden in the fridge.
  • Or be creative and create a shape of your own!

Once you’ve made your treats place them in different areas around your garden to attract a range of birds, and remember to consider the little birds that will need low hanging treats.

Have fun this weekend, and be sure to send us your photographs to photos@primrose.co.uk, we’d love to see them!

Zoe at PrimroseZoë works in the Marketing team at Primrose, and is passionate about all things social media.

After travelling across Europe and Asia, Zoë is intrigued by different cultures and learning more about the world around her. If she’s not jet setting, Zoë loves nothing more than curling up with a good book and a large glass of red wine!

She is an amateur gardener but keen to learn more and get stuck in!

See all of Zoë’s posts.

Animals, Gardening, Guest Posts, How To, Wildlife, Zoe

How To Look After Hedgehogs
As the leaves are changing from green to golden and autumn seems to be surrounding us everywhere we know,
Wildlife from every nook and cranny is searching for somewhere to go.
As frost becomes bitter, and food becomes scarce, animals need a new home.
This guide will help you transform your garden into a safe haven, meaning no animal will be alone.

1 – Food, Glorious Food

Help our furry friends in the winter months by providing some scrummy food,
bacon rind, cheese, peanuts, seeds or fruit,
fatty foods make their tummies nice and full
but give them a mix of food and they will be grateful.

Once you’ve started please don’t forget to provide each day,
or our poor little birdies will waste away!
Keep in mind not all our birds can reach so high,
Leave treats on the ground for Robin’s so they don’t have to fly.

Our spiky friends often need a helping hand,
so leave out some cat food on a saucer if you can,
a bowl of water can will be good for a drink
for all animals looking to have a sip

How To Welcome Wildlife

2 – Hide and seek

These sweet little visitors might act a little shy,
and take cover in piles of leaves nearby,
so try to resist sweeping these up in a hurry,
or you’ll find that your visitors leave in a scurry.

The same can be said for your compost heap,
where frogs and toads like to sleep.
Remember to check your pond where frogs may be snoozing,
don’t let it ice over or you will be losing,
vital oxygen in the water! Melt this slowly and make a hole,
with a pan of hot water left to glow.

Other hiding places that can be used as a bed:
butterflies will use the corner of a shed!
Leave dry plant stems to stand tall,
and insects will begin to crawl,
into this place and not want to leave
until the sun appears on a summer’s eve.

Frogs In Your Garden

3 – Autumn Clean

The last thing you need to do, is get cleaning!
Make sure that your bird feeders are gleaming.
Your pond could do with a clear away at this time of year,
when activity has dropped and it is mostly clear.

Get ahead of the game and make your bird box clean,
so when spring comes birds can nest with ease.
One last tip we would like to share,
don’t cut back your hedges, so birds can live there!

Winter Garden Shed

Zoe at PrimroseZoë works in the Marketing team at Primrose, and is passionate about all things social media.

After travelling across Europe and Asia, Zoë is intrigued by different cultures and learning more about the world around her. If she’s not jet setting, Zoë loves nothing more than curling up with a good book and a large glass of red wine!

She is an amateur gardener but keen to learn more and get stuck in!

See all of Zoë’s posts.

Amie, Heated Clothing, Primrose.co.uk

It’s the middle of October, the bitterness is starting to hit and I have decided to go camping for a couple of days. ‘You’re mad’ everyone is saying, but I enjoy the sense of adventure, and I’ve never been camping past summer before. Camping in the autumn makes for a delightful setting too, with the fallen, golden leaves and the crisp morning views (makes for wonderful walking scenery too).

One of the buying team recently went to Iceland, so I thought I would test a few new products on my trip. Alongside my normal camping gear, I decided to take some Warmawear heated clothing items with me, to keep me warm late into the night and provide extra warmth come the frosty morning.

My packing list:

all1small

The socks were great, and kept my toes warm throughout the night. Truth be told, I didn’t take them off again! In the morning, they kept my feet nice and warm when preparing breakfast. I took size M/L, which designed for size 7-13 fit my size 8 feet perfectly. They had a soft, fluffy lining, great for retaining heat and were quite stretchy too with their spandex/ acrylic material blend, so were great for wrapping around my trousers to keep the heat in. They also look pretty stylish too I am sure you will agree.

socks2small

The multipurpose muff was very useful for camping. Pop in 3 AA batteries and it warms up in no time. Acting as a warming tube, it was ideal for when sitting around the campsite, and at one point my friend was adamant she wasn’t going to give it back to me! The muff flattens into a warm, comfy pillow too, so I got a great night’s sleep. It was lightweight and compact so perfect for taking camping.

muff1small

The scarf was perfect for the morning cook, when I was waiting for the spaghetti hoops to boil, as well as the early morning walks in the bitter October cold. With handy pockets situated on the end of the scarf, it kept both my fingers and neck toasty when it felt rather breezy. Operated with 3 AA batteries, this 150cm long scarf wrapped around me perfectly, and being made from super soft polyester fleece material, it was more than snug.

socks1small

So whether it’s a camping trip in the middle of winter, or a cold bonfire night and you are looking to wrap up warm, I can not recommend Warmawear heated clothing enough.

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.

Bulbs, Flowers, Gardening, Primrose Gardens, Sally

This week’s theme is Brilliant Blooms; we are going back to basics and focusing on the pure beauty of flowers. We have been loving your photos on Primrose Gardens and all the hard work you put into making them look spectacular, what could complete a  garden more than flowers in full bloom?

From the bright and friendly to the unusual and peculiar, here are this week’s flourishing flowers:

This beautiful Gazania is growing blooming marvelously in Summer Gardens
This beautiful gazania is growing marvellously in Summer Gardens
Nancy's Garden said that this Cacli only bloomed for one day - we are very happy that she caught it on camera.
Nancy’s Garden said that this cactus only bloomed for one day – we are extremely happy that she caught it on camera for us.
We love the unusual colouring of these Lilies in Potty's Garden.
We love the unusual colouring of these lilies in Potty’s Garden.
Madingley Gardens posts wonderful close-ups of flowers but these Lilies where a particular favourite of ours.
Every week Madingley Gardens posts wonderful close-ups of flowers in his garden, but these lilies are a particular favourite of ours.
 Dewy Dianthus-raspberry parfait in Junie's Garden.
Dewy Dianthus-raspberry parfait in Junie’s 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!

Sally primroseSally works in the Marketing team here at Primrose.

She spends most of her spare time looking into the latest developments in social media. Sally loves travel and wants to step foot in every continent in the world. When not travelling the Globe or working, she likes to relax with a bit of DIY.

She is a novice gardener and doesn’t claim to be an expert, anything she learns she will happily pass on.

See all of Sally’s posts.

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