Alex, Events, How To, News

poppy

We’ve collected 6 little-known facts about the Remembrance Day poppy that you may find interesting:

1. The Royal Canadian mint issued a coin emblazoned with a red poppy in 2004 to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the start of World War. This was the first coloured coin to be released into circulation in the world. Strangely, once-classified U.S government documents reveal that in 2007 US army contractors were so shocked by the coloured quarters released by Canada that they suspected that they were being used for “espionage purposes”. They stated that they looked odd and were filled with “something man-made that looked like nano-technology”.

Canadian remembrance coin

2. The original British Legion poppies were designed so that veterans from the war could make them even if they had lost the use of one hand.

3. Poppies flourished on the battle grounds of the First World War I in France and Belgium as rubble from the fighting released lime into the ground causing the little red flowers to pop up around the gravesites of fallen soldiers.

4. “In Flanders Fields”, the poem from which the tradition originated, was almost thrown away. Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae was conducting the funeral of a fellow officer and looked around to see nothing but death, suffering and crosses marking the resting sites of his friends engulfed in a sea of poppies. He took some time and wrote the words of the famous poem but was unhappy with it and threw it away. A fellow officer picked it up a decided to send it to a handful of newspapers in Britain and later that year Punch decided to publish it.

Flanders Field Poem

5. Poppies are an international symbol of remembrance and are distributed in 53 commonwealth countries around the world including the UK, Canada and Australia as well as in non-commonwealth countries such as France, Belgium and The Netherlands.

6. In New Zealand, they wear poppies in April. This came about when the shipment of Poppies sent over for the first Armistice Day in November 1921 arrived late and so the soldiers decided to wait until ANZAC day (April 25th) the following year.

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Alex

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

As a psychology graduate it is ironic that he understands plants better than people but a benefit for the purpose of writing this blog.

An enthusiastic gardener, all he needs now is a garden and he’ll be on the path to greatness. Alex’s special talents include superior planter knowledge and the ability to put a gardening twist on any current affairs story.

See all of Alex’s posts.

Chimineas, Garden Design, How To, Sally

Chimineas are amazing additions to any garden. Not only do they provide warmth, but they look great and can be used for practical tasks like barbecuing. Clay chimineas in particular can be a real statement piece and bring the flavour of Spain into your back garden. If you are thinking about or have already purchased a chiminea, there are a few tips and tricks you ought to know. These handy hints will allow you to enjoy your clay chiminea for years to come.

Medium_Tortuga_Clay_Chiminea
Medium Tortuga Clay Chiminea

A clay chiminea must be cured before it is used for the first time; this will help prevent cracking and should give your chiminea a longer, happier life. It is a relatively easy process but can take a little time. I recommend making the most of a sunny Sunday afternoon to get this task done.

Step One: Place sand in the bottom of your new clay chiminea. Keep filling it up until the sand reaches ¾ of the way to the lip of the opening. We are doing this to ensure no flames touch the clay directly the first few times we light a fire. The main reason for this is we want to warm our clay chiminea without burning it.

Step Two: Start a small fire, using only bits of paper and kindling. I wouldn’t recommend any larger pieces of wood at this stage. Allow this fire to go out naturally after it has been burning for a few minutes.

Step Three:  Always allow your chiminea to cool after any size fire has been lit within it. Chimineas are great outdoor heaters because they hold and radiate heat. This means that they take time to cool and can remain hot even when the fire is extinguished. Touching a chiminea too soon before it has cooled can result in burns. Remember to empty out your chiminea of all remaining ash, once it has cooled, and do this before starting another fire. If you are an avid composter like me, this ash can be added to the compost bin or used around the base of plants. It is a natural source of potassium so it’s great to help even our acidic soil.

Step Four: Repeat the first three steps, each time allowing your fire to become slightly larger. I would suggest repeating six times. During the third time you light your fire add some larger pieces of wood. The sixth and final fire should be almost the size of the fires you will be regularly making.

And voilá! Your beautiful new clay chiminea is cured, so you can sit back and enjoy it for years to come, without the worry of it cracking or splitting.

Deluxe_Chim_Chimenea_Weatherproof_Cover
Deluxe Chim Chimenea Weatherproof Cover

Other Tips:

  • I would recommend always lining your chiminea with sand for any size fire even after it has been cured. This is an extra step, but it will help prevent cracking.
  • Keep your chiminea dry. Chiminea covers are your best bet if you are looking to leave it outside. If you do leave it out and it gets wet, let it dry completely before use as damp clay will crack under high heat.
  • Fires can be dangerous, be aware of where children and pets are when around any open flame.

 

 

You can also have a look at our video guide to building and curing a chiminea:

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.

Cat, Pest Control, Primrose.co.uk, Spiders

Primrose Spider Repeller

Experts say that “the number of giant house spiders creeping into UK homes is set to rise after the hot wet summer weather”. (BBC News, 22.08.15 – we’d link you to the article, but it’s full of graphic spider pictures!)

Our PestBye™ Advanced Spider Repellent clears your whole house through ultrasonic sounds and electromagnetic waves and carries a 45 day no quibble money back guarantee.

wedding-meCat works in the marketing team and is responsible for online marketing, social media and the newsletter.

She spends most of her time reading about a variety of interesting facts, such as oddly named Canadian towns, obscure holidays and unusual gardening.

She mostly writes about Primrose news and current events.

See all of Cat’s posts.

Flowers, Gardening, George, Grow Your Own, How To, Planters, Planting, Primrose.co.uk

There comes a time when most plants will outgrow their pots. You may notice the flowers beginning to wilt or roots poking through the bottom of the pot. This means it’s time for the plant to move.

Here are three easy steps to repot your plant, along with a few pictures from our own attempts with the office plants at Primrose!

1. Prepare the new pot
When you know your plant is ready for a bigger home, make sure it’s well watered – this will help to ease it out. Choose a new pot that’s bigger than the old one. Line the bottom of the pot with a layer of compost and dampen it with some water.

Plant For Repotting
The roots are showing so this plant’s ready to go!

2. Take the plant out
This can be the tricky bit. You have to be careful not to damage the plant, so try to keep your palm placed over the soil with your fingers round the stem as you ease the plant from the pot. Give the pot a tap on a table or step to dislodge the roots. You may even need to break the pot away if they’re really stuck!

Taking Plant Out
And after a little work, the plant should just slide out.

3. Put the plant in its new pot
If the roots are especially compressed, you may need to work them out a bit – just use your fingers to loosen them up. Then place the plant into the new pot. It should fit in easily, with some free space around. Add a bit more compost to fill the gaps and give it all a good water.

Plant In New Pot
All settled in its new home!

So that’s it – 3 simple steps and your plant is repotted!

We particularly recommend our Miracle-Gro compost – you’ll only need a little because it expands up to 3 times with water. If you’re looking for plant pots we have a great range, starting from just 99p! And of course, if it’s plants you’re after, we’ve got you covered.

For more, visit primrose.co.uk.

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.

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