Uncategorized, Will

Source: Kalin

The Berlin Wall famously divided families and enforced division for nearly thirty years, but strangely it also gave one man the opportunity to create a flourishing urban garden. This is the story of Osman Kalin, a Turkish immigrant who defied the authorities to turn a piece of wasteland beneath the Berlin Wall into an oasis of greenery beloved by his community. It’s an example of gardening at its best: a source of greenery and positivity during a darkly turbulent time.

In 1961 the Berlin Wall was erected quickly and haphazardly, and consequently a splinter of East Berlin land ended up on the wrong side of the dividing line. Given that it was inaccessible to its legal owners the land was used as an informal dumping ground, until 1982 when Osman cleared away the rubbish and started up a vegetable patch as a post-retirement project. In a nearby watchtower East Berlin guards spotted his activities and investigated to make sure he wasn’t digging a tunnel, but eventually allowed him to carry on with his green fingered endeavours. The West Berlin police also turned up and tried to move him off the land, but he stubbornly refused to budge.

Source: Kalin

Osman soon planted garlic and onions, along with several fruit trees, and he would regularly make gifts of his produce to the guards on the wall. They soon became comfortable with his presence and even began sending him a Christmas card every year. In 1983 Osman also began constructing a ramshackle shed that slowly evolved into a two-storey treehouse kitted out with electricity and running water, which soon became known as ‘Das Baumhaus an der Mauer’ or ‘The Treehouse on the Wall’.

The violence inherent in the Berlin Wall was never far away, as the garden was located at a popular crossing point for those desperate enough to make an escape attempt. Yet despite the presence of barbed wire and machine guns, Osman became famous for his cheerful friendliness, always happy to share his produce or invite visitors in for a cup of tea. Anarchist punks living in the area were especially big fans, holding him as an example of heroic resistance to political power.

Source: Kalin

In 1989 the Berlin Wall came down, and while this was a moment of great joy for most, it meant Osman had become an illegal squatter. There were attempts to evict him, but the local community rallied to his side. This included the Church of St Thomas next door, which helpfully tried to use a map from the 1780s to claim that the land actually belonged to the church. Faced with such widespread opposition the local council abandoned their attempts and the garden was allowed to stay.

Osman passed away in April 2018, but the garden is now tended by his son Mehmet and granddaughter Funda. People still visit the Treehouse on the Wall, inspired by Osman’s determination to create something special amidst the harsh realities of international power politics. As Osman showed, gardening can often mean much more than just a hobby; it’s a way of improving mental health, gathering people together, and bringing beauty to those that need it most. The Berlin Wall might be long gone, but the garden remains – surely that says something about what really matters?

Why not follow in Osman’s example yourself? Although you may wish to avoid requisitioning land that doesn’t belong to you, even a small space can be turned into a calming oasis of greenery, or a bountiful source of fresh fruit and vegetables. Have a look at Primrose’s range of outdoor sheds or tools for growing your own veg, and get started on creating your own outdoor escape.

All images have been reproduced with permission of owner.

Will at PrimroseWill is a Copywriter at Primrose and spends his days rattling out words for the website. In his spare time he treads the boards with an Am-Dram group, reads books about terrible, terrible wars, and rambles the countryside looking wistful.

See all of Will’s posts.

Evie, Garden Design

Garden Furniture Rattan

Interior Design Meets Outdoor Living

Designing the home and garden has taken on a whole new dimension this year as enthusiasts bring their interior style, outdoors. With a rise in popularity: garden sofa sets, patio rugs, and waterproof cushions are bringing a modern twist on traditional garden style this summer.

Garden Furniture RattanAs the garden party season is fast approaching, the entertainment value of owning a sofa set in your back garden is most certainly a luxury not only for you, but for your guests too. Just landed on the Primrose website is the Sherborne collection by Asha. Made from PE Rattan, this material is mould, UV, and weather resistant.

 


Grow Your Own Fruit & Vegetables

Growing your own is a trend that I can’t see leaving anytime soon, and rightfully so. There is great pleasure to be had in growing your own fruit and vegetables, especially when you get to devour them on your dinner plate or gift them to family and friends once harvested. From raised bed patio planters, mini greenhouses, or windowsill “grow your own” kits, there are many options available for everyone to get involved, no matter how big or small your garden is.

Grow Your Own Tomatoes


Multisensory Gardens and Outdoor Spaces

Creating a sensory immersive experience in your garden through plants is a trend on the rise. Garden enthusiasts are increasingly using horticultural texture, colour, and fragrance as core factors to delight the senses in their outdoor designs.

Herb Garden

Multisensory outdoor spaces encourage individuals to interact with nature, and they are especially great for children to explore. There are also therapeutic elements to this gardening style, with sensory meditation proven to be beneficial for our wellbeing and mental health.

A few of my favourite methods to engage the senses include planting bunches of fragrant lavender, bold and blooming hydrangeas, or aromatic herb gardens.

 


The Bee-Kind Pollination Promise

90% of all plants require cross pollination from bees and insects to reproduce and thrive. A third of the world’s food sources are dependent on pollination. So whilst bees and other pollinating insects have been in decline for a number of years, the disappearance of these crucial animals will directly impact the human race and our survival. It is our duty to help these insects just as much as they help us.

Bumblebee

A bee travels from flower to flower feeding on its nectar, it transports pollen from plant to plant as it sticks to the tiny hairs on the insect’s body. Planting bee friendly plants in your garden will attract and encourage cross-pollination and aid the survival of bees in your local area.

Head Gardener of The National Trust’s Wordsworth House in Cockermouth, Amanda Thackeray says: “When the golden marjoram is in flower in high summer, the entire borders seem to be humming. Our globe thistles are bee magnets too.” It has since been recorded that seven different species of bumble bee have been sighted at Wordsworth House. What bumblebee species have you sighted in your garden?

 Popular bee-friendly plants include:

Back to Basics – Relax & Unwind in the Great Outdoors

Child in Hammock

A trend perfect for those who struggle to switch off! As many of us now lead such busy lives with technology connecting us here, there and everywhere, converting your outdoor space into an idyllic setting is a trend thriving this year. As wellbeing and health trends rise in popularity, yoga and mindfulness have become techniques used by millions to relax and unwind. What better location to practice your warrior yoga pose or quietly read a book than outside in your own sunny back garden?

 

Primrose recommends comfortable hammocks as the ideal way to soak up some sunshine in the great outdoors. Simply roll out your hammock from its easy storage bag, and tie it up using the rope supports between two trees or wall hooks. Ta-dah! The perfect reading, mindfulness or snoozing location!

The rain won’t last forever, get ahead of the season with Primrose’s Garden Party Savings, over 1000 products up to 20% off, including garden furniture, sail shades and water features. Click here.

 

Evie at PrimroseEvie works in the Primrose Marketing Team.

Growing up in the English countryside, she likes nothing more than to be surrounded by nature’s peace and quiet, with the addition of the family pets of course!

Evie is passionate about all things digital marketing and loves the challenge of combining creativity with online content.

When not at her desk, you’ll typically find her in the gym, posting on social media, or watching a popular series on Netflix!

See all of Evie’s posts.

Evie, Garden Design

Garden Colour Scheme

Garden Colour Schemes

Become the artist behind your summer garden. Has the combination of the idyllic summer sunshine and the recently passed Chelsea Flower Show got you feeling inspired enough to add a colour scheme to your outdoor space?

Here are a few recommended considerations to help get you started:

  • Consider the architectural style of your home. Contemplate the style of your building, and how you could emphasise or pay tribute to its history.
  • You can also take into consideration the materials used to construct the building. For example, an orange/red brick would be beautifully complimented by cool blue hues. As you can see in the photo above, the yield of ruby red roses make a bright statement against the white surface of the house.
  • It’s best to choose complimentary colours for your colour scheme. I’m sure you’re already familiar with how a colour wheel works, but matching the opposite colours on the wheel outline which colour best compliments the other. For example, purple and yellow are complimentary, as are blue and orange, and red and green.
  • Warm colour schemes, such as bright reds or yellows, provide vibrancy to an outdoor space, while often making a space feel fuller and happier.
  • Cooler colour schemes, such as pastel tones, provide a soft and romantic feel to your garden. Due to the lighter tones, cooler colour schemes often make a space feel bigger.

Blue Garden Colour

English Cottage Garden

White tones will add light to shaded areas, add in pastel blues and lilacs and you’ll have a very elegant and soft looking garden. If bright tones are more your style, bold reds, yellows and oranges will offer vibrancy and cheerfulness. Plants will likely be the biggest part of your garden design but try not to think of just the flower heads when putting your colour scheme into action. Leaves, stems, bark, seedheads and berries all carry colour just as petals do, so be sure to make use of this too.

Amongst garden foliage, you may wish to include a little garden decor.  Add relaxation to your garden with the perfect place to sit, or transform it into an ideal location to entertain friends and family!


Add a little relaxation

Garden Patio RugMake your patio area a little more homely with an outdoor rug. Intertwine classic and contemporary prints into your outdoor space by adding the above, Amalia Indoor/Outdoor rug. Available in beige, this style will suit a variety of colour schemes. However, if you’re looking for something a little more bold, you can view the full Primrose outdoor rug range here.


It’s time to entertain

Garden Furniture SetThe glamorous yet sophisticated Colwell Five Seater Set is guaranteed to impress. Again, in a neutral camel and white colourway, the design of this five seater will blend in beautifully against any warm or cold tones. Taking inspiration from Colwell Bay on the Isle of Wight, the seaside inspired sofa set is ideal for reading a book in the sunshine, or inviting friends and family.

 

 


Reflect colour

Create an illusion with the art of reflection. Designed to be suitable for all weathers, Primrose’s range of garden mirrors has something for everyone, from illusion gate and window mirrors to gothic styles. Positioning your garden mirror opposite your colourful arrangements will accentuate your garden’s vibrancy and provide the illusion of a bigger space.

 

 

How to Use Mirrors in the Garden

What is Rattan Garden Furniture?

8 Tips For Entertaining Guests in Your Garden

Evie at PrimroseEvie works in the Primrose Marketing Team.

Growing up in the English countryside, she likes nothing more than to be surrounded by nature’s peace and quiet, with the addition of the family pets of course!

Evie is passionate about all things digital marketing and loves the challenge of combining creativity with online content.

When not at her desk, you’ll typically find her in the gym, posting on social media, or watching a popular series on Netflix!

See all of Evie’s posts.

Evie, Garden Design

Shuttered_Mirror

Extending interior decor into your outdoor space is a rising trend, and this includes the art of reflection. Using decoration in your garden isn’t only limited to your creativity with plants and planters. Placement of a weatherproof mirror within your outdoor space can completely transform a garden into a spacious and well-lit place of tranquility, ideal for relaxing or entertaining in. 

Our garden mirror range at Primrose has over 135 designs to choose from. I’ll run you through a few of my own favourites, but be sure to view the full range here.

Which style should I choose?

Gothic_Mirror

 

Bring a modern twist on traditional with a shabby chic, gothic design. Creating a unique illusion of space, this rustic style mirror subtly adds a touch of contemporary decor, while giving a nod to traditional bespoke designs. Consider your garden and its colour scheme when choosing your mirror. If you’re unsure, opting for a white or charcoal tone would keep versatility, and compliment near enough everything!

 

Ideal for transforming smaller spaces are illusion mirrors. You can either opt for a decorative design or add quirkiness and fun to your garden with a window or gate illusion mirror. 

Window_Mirror

Illusion mirrors are fantastic for adding depth to a garden, and making the most out of your plants through the art of reflection.

Window_Mirror_Illusion

 

As you can see in this photo, kindly sent by a happy Primrose customer, Mrs J has painted her wooden Open Gate Window Mirror frame to a cream tone. This looks very effective amongst her wall climbing flowers.

 

If you’re inspired by countryside style, our range of shuttered mirrors may appeal to you most. 

Shuttered_Mirror

Perfect for the English cottage garden, our shuttered styles look beautiful on any garden wall, with their quaint wooden frames.

Love_Your_Garden_Mirror

 

The Antique Garden Mirror design above was featured on Alan Titchmarsh’s Love Your Garden, where Alan and his team used more than one mirror to add depth and glamour to a smaller outdoor space. Due to the reflective properties, especially within illusion mirrors, garden mirrors add another dimension and make the space appear larger than it is.

 

 

Where should I position my garden mirror?

Once you’ve selected your garden mirror, you’ll face the tricky question of “where should I put it?” Ideally, you should place your mirror in a position where it reflects your blooming flower beds or vegetable patch greenery. For example, a bad positioning would be reflecting part of a building or a compost pile. You may also wish to angle the mirror to achieve the best reflection possible – a tip for this is using a wooden block behind the back of the mirror. You may require a mirror adhesive to attach your mirror to the wall, such as the one listed here. Ensure that you do not place your mirror in direct sunlight to avoid hazards. Also, avoid placing your mirror too high up, this helps prevent birds from being mistaken.

How can I compliment my garden mirror?

Be as creative as you like! I’ve always been fond of the idea of growing climbing plants around garden mirrors, so that they become naturally encompassed in the setting and beautifully compliment each other. Arched trellis mirrors are perfect for this. Lavender Wisteria or climbing roses in your favourite colour would look stunningly elegant surrounding a trellis mirror. The mirror’s frame would become disguised amongst the greenery and acrylic mirror types are 10x stronger than glass. Therefore, making it fantastically  weatherproof and shatterproof.

Evie at PrimroseEvie works in the Primrose Marketing Team.

Growing up in the English countryside, she likes nothing more than to be surrounded by nature’s peace and quiet, with the addition of the family pets of course!

Evie is passionate about all things digital marketing and loves the challenge of combining creativity with online content.

When not at her desk, you’ll typically find her in the gym, posting on social media, or watching a popular series on Netflix!

See all of Evie’s posts.