Gardening Year, Guest Posts, How To

Preparing garden building for winter

As autumn draws to a close, many of us have become accustomed to the colder weather and shorter days, opting for relaxing indoors rather than outside in our gardens. But just because the warm, pleasant days of summer are long gone it doesn’t mean we should abandon our gardens all together – especially as cold, wet weather can wreak havoc with outdoor buildings.

From underfloor heating to essential maintenance, this article will shed light on the steps you can take to prepare your garden buildings for the colder months ahead – creating an outdoor area that’s still usable, even when the temperatures drop.

Keep the weather where it belongs

Winter inevitably brings wind, rain, ice and snow that can cause significant damage to outdoor buildings – particularly if they’re built with timber. Therefore, it’s vital to take appropriate weatherproofing measures to keep the elements at bay – prolonging the life of your garden buildings, as well as protecting what’s inside.

From fixing leaking roofs and checking window and door seals to installing guttering and water butts to keep excess water away from the structure, weatherproofing should be a top priority to avoid damp and rot setting in.

Clear the area

When winter hits, it can be tempting to lock up outdoor buildings and items, forgetting about them until the following spring. However, it pays to get things organised before then to make better use of the space all year round.

Taking the time to remove low-lying branches, trim back nearby shrubbery and clear fallen leaves away from the building will prevent potential damage outside and improve the appearance of your garden building. On top of this, making sure the inside is organised and clutter-free with shelving and storage will offer up more floor space – meaning you’re more likely to use it in winter.

Sheds in winter

Create a winter haven

Garden sheds offer a perfect opportunity to add extra living space, but if you want guaranteed use of this building throughout the year, you could consider adding a heating system to keep this space warm and cosy.

A free-standing electric heater or wood-burning stove are both potential options, but underfloor heating could add a great level of warmth and insulation. Whether you use floor tiles or wooden planks, underfloor heating is easy to install and provides a cost-effective heating solution, too.

Add a fresh coat of paint

Applying a fresh coat of paint can go a long way in protecting your garden buildings against adverse weather – working to minimise the effects of damp and rot. However, it isn’t just the exterior walls that can benefit from a lick of paint or varnish – you can do wonders with the inside, too.

From adding a splash of colour with seasonal tones to simple, neutral shades, your garden building is the ideal place to experiment with interior design styles – projecting a warm and welcoming ambiance to enjoy, whatever the weather.

Furnish with flair

To make your garden building extra snug over the winter months, think about updating the interiors. From comfy sofas and soft cushions to fluffy rugs and faux-fur throws, using a variety of different fabrics, colours and textures will create a plush and relaxing atmosphere.

Whether you intend to use outdoor buildings simply for storage or as living space the whole year through, our essential maintenance and interior design tips will help you ensure these spaces are well prepared for the harsh weather this winter might bring.

SuhaylSuhayl Laher works at Tiles Direct, one of the UK’s largest independent tile distributors and retailers – bringing design inspiration to homeowners, architects and developers.

Animals, Bird Baths, Composting, How To, Megan, Ponds, Wildlife

How To Care For Wildlife in Winter

As we approach the winter months, it is time for a lot of wildlife to find a cosy spot somewhere to hibernate. Species that do not hibernate prepare for harsh weather and a lot struggle to find food. This is where your garden can come in. By learning how to care for wildlife in winter you can save the lives of some wildlife that otherwise wouldn’t make it through the harsher winter months.


how to care for wildlife in winter - hedgehog

In order for hedgehogs to survive their winter hibernation, they need to have a substantial amount of fat stored. You can help boost their fat reserves by leaving out small plates of meaty pet food, along with crunchy pet biscuits, which will help take care of their teeth. Once hedgehogs are ready to hibernate they like warm spots under piles of leaves and in logs. We suggest when collecting leaves, instead of composting all of them, place some underneath hedges at the edge of the garden. This creates welcome places hedgehogs can make a home for the winter. Talking of compost heaps, hedgehogs often like to nest in them so ensure you check your compost for hedgehogs before turning it over. Alternatively you could buy a ready-built hedgehog home for hedgehogs to settle in to.


how to care for wildlife in winter - bird on a branch

As birds do not hibernate, it is important to provide them lots of food and a water source over winter. Food in the wild can be scarce over the colder months. To help prevent starvation, have a variety of foods available to them over a number of feeding stations. Feeding stations range from bird tables to hanging feeders to ground feeding stations. The more variety of bird food you put out, the more diverse a species of bird you will find in your garden. Peanuts, bird seed mix, fat balls as well as any leftover dried fruit are all good choices and will attract blue tits to robins to goldfinches. To find out more about what bird food to put out check out our article here. It is also important to make sure birds have access to fresh water. Keep your birdbath topped up and ensure it doesn’t freeze over by placing a table tennis ball at the surface of the water.

Pond life

how to care for wildlife in winter - frog in a pond

Many of your fish will hibernate at the bottom of your pond during the winter months. It is vital that your pond does not freeze over during extra cold spells. This can trap poisonous gases, as well as suffocate frogs and the like. Help prevent this by placing a tennis ball at the surface or installing a pond heater. If it does freeze over, place a pan of boiling water on its surface to allow the ice to melt. Ensure you remove any fallen leaves and dead plant matter from your pond. If you leave this it can release harmful gases as it decomposes.


how to care for wildlife in winter - butterfly on leaf

Insects are often long forgotten when it comes to garden wildlife, but they are an important part of your garden’s ecosystem. Many play the vital role of pollination in your garden. Others are great predator control. One way you can help insects in the winter is by letting the grass on your lawn grow wildly. Try and resist mowing it until spring. This allows a place for butterflies and other insects to shelter from the harsh weather. Another way to provide shelter, as well as food for some creatures, is to create a log pile. You can also drill holes in the logs to create housing for solitary bees. Alternatively, buy a solitary bee pollinator house. Once you’ve built your log pile, be sure not to disturb it as not to interfere with the wildlife community inside.

Megan at PrimroseMegan works in the Primrose marketing team. When she is not at her desk you will find her half way up a hill in the Chilterns
or enjoying the latest thriller series on Netflix. Megan also enjoys cooking vegetarian feasts with veggies from her auntie’s vegetable garden.

See all of Megan’s posts.

Bulbs, Composting, Gardening, Guest Posts, How To, Planting

The cold winter weather is fast approaching. For gardening enthusiasts, this means that it will soon be time to put your hoses and tools away until the growing season returns next spring. However, your gardening tasks aren’t quite done for the year yet, as you still need to ensure that your beds and plants are prepared to handle the freezing temperatures. Preparing your garden in the autumn also helps to ensure healthy, more vigorous growth next year. With this in mind, we’ll now take a look at four simple steps to ensure your garden is ready for winter.

pruning shears

1. Shield Perennials and Bulbs from the Cold

Annual plants can simply be pulled up and tossed in the compost pile when they die. However, any perennials and bulb plants may need a bit of extra protection to keep them alive through the winter.

Before the first frost arrives, it is best to start cutting back on how much you water any perennials to help harden them up and better prepare them for winter. Once the plants have finished for the year, it is also a good idea to trim back the stems so that they’re only about 6 to 8 inches high. Doing so will help to shield the plants from the cold and also allow them to grow more vigorously when the warm weather arrives.

Any bulb plants that flower in the early spring can usually be left in the ground throughout the winter. However, any bulbs that flower in the summer should be dug up and stored inside to prevent them from being damaged by the cold. This includes freesias, elephant’s ears, cannas, calla lilies and other later-blooming flowers.

After gently digging the bulbs up, shake off any excess dirt and then allow the bulbs to dry in the sun for approximately a week. Finally, store them in a cardboard box surrounded by plenty of peat, sawdust or newspaper so that none of the bulbs are touching.


2. Consider Some Last-Minute Planting

Autumn is the ideal time to plant any early-flowering bulbs such as tulips, daffodil, iris, etc. In fact, the only way to ensure that your bulb flowers will bloom in the spring is to plant them in the early autumn before the ground freezes. Most early-flowering bulbs need to freeze during the winter in order to grow in the autumn. This means they need to either be in the ground or stored in a freezer.

Many varieties of perennials also work well when planted in the winter due to the drier ground and lower temperatures. If you’re growing a vegetable garden, planting onions and garlic during the autumn allows them to be harvested several months earlier the following year.

adding compost

3. Compost Garden and Flower Beds

Adding compost during the autumn helps to provide additional nutrients to your plants the next spring. Composting during the autumn allows the nutrients more time to break down and infiltrate deeper into the soil, which in turn provides better growing conditions the following season. Generally speaking, you should spread a thin layer of compost over the top of the soil, and then work the compost deeper into the ground sometime around or just after the first freeze.


4. Use Mulch to Protect Your Top Soil

Another good idea is to spread a layer of mulch or dead leaves before the first freeze. Adding a layer of mulch on top of your beds helps to protect any plants left in the ground from the freezing temperatures. In addition, the mulch will also help to prevent rain, snow and ice from washing away your top soil or leeching out its nutrients. However, the layer of mulch shouldn’t be much more than three to four inches thick as otherwise it could choke out your plants and make it harder for them to bloom in the spring.

If you are lucky enough to live in a fairly warm climate with milder winters, you probably won’t have to do much to prepare your garden. However, if you live in a place where it frequently freezes or where there is a lot of winter precipitation, it is essential that you take the proper steps to your garden. Winter can wreak havoc on your garden if you’re not careful, so it’s important that you do what you can to protect it.

Victoria GiangVictoria is a home working mom and the author of How Daily, a blog that shares her taste and experience on food, recipes, home & garden projects. These are ranging widely from quick cleaning of household appliance to planting and caring for garden favorites.


Every year, people up and down the country rock out their Christmas jumpers in aid of Christmas Jumper Day. It’s a time for everyone to unite, wear festive knits and take several snaps for social media to show off their silly sweaters.

But more importantly, it’s an opportunity to raise money for Save the Children UK – a great charity which promotes children’s rights,  provides relief and supports children in developing countries.

Primrose have done our bit for Save the Children so let’s see your sweaters!!

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Have a great Christmas from everyone at Primrose !

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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.