Guest Posts, How To

How to Create an Eco-Friendly Haven in Your Back Garden

As the warmer weather arrives, so does the desire to spend more time outside. We all want to enjoy a beautiful garden, but gardening activities like watering plants and mowing the grass can sometimes harm the environment if overdone. Simple changes to your gardening habits can have a big impact on the environment and creating an eco-friendly outdoor haven is easier than you might think!

Here are some tips to help you create an eco-friendly and sustainable garden.

Collect rainwater

Collecting rainwater is a simple way to make your gardening activities more sustainable. Put the damp British weather to good use by using a container/water butt to collect rainwater. You can then use the recycled water you harvest to water your plants and flowers. Try to use a watering can as they use much less water than a hose or sprinkler.

Harvesting rainwater reduces water waste and helps to converse this precious natural resource, which can also save you up to 50% on metered water costs according to experts at Tanks for Everything.

Leaves and sprinkly water over veg patch crops

Add a water feature

If you have space, then adding a water feature will boost the visual appeal of your garden and help you create a relaxing outdoor space. A water feature will attract a wide range of insects and amphibians like frogs and newts. It will also give birds a valuable water source and attract more wildlife into your garden. And if you make it solar, there’s no drain on the electricity grid.

water dropping into a pool

Make your own compost

Making your own compost is a great way to recycle food waste and reduce the volume of waste ending up in landfills. Another big advantage of composting is that you will be left with a high-quality fertiliser that will do wonders for your garden. Follow these steps to make your own compost at home:

  1. Buy a compost bin in the size and style that you need
  2. Place your compost bin in a location where worms can get to it easily e.g., in a shaded area at the back of your garden
  3. Place food waste like fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells, and beans into the container
  4. Wait for the waste to decompose and then use it to feed your garden

A compost scoop on a table with compost littered around

Sustainable Garden furniture

It might be tempting to go out and buy a brand-new garden furniture set when the weather gets warm, but there are loads of great sustainable furniture options available that will keep you and your garden happy for years. Popular furniture materials such as Teak, ensures that your furniture has been organically grown and made in an environmentally friendly way.

You can easily give old garden furniture new life by sanding them down and giving them a fresh coat of paint. Tired furniture can look brand new again with some TLC and elbow grease! Read this article for tips on how to transform weathered garden furniture into something beautiful and personal through your own paint collection.

Feed the birds

You can easily attract more birds and other wildlife like squirrels into your garden by leaving out food. Hang a bird feeder from a tree in your garden or simply scatter seeds and other food on the grass. There are lots of creative ways to create a bird feeder at home using recycled materials like old bottles or scrap wood. Check out this blog by the National Trust for ideas.

Two bird feeders hanging amongst trees and a wall

Grow your own vegetables

Growing your own vegetables has loads of great benefits. Firstly, you will have access to nutritious, organic fruit and vegetables that will keep your family fit and healthy. Starting a vegetable patch in your garden will encourage you to spend more time outdoors and help you develop your gardening skills.

Producing your own fruit and vegetables will lower carbon emissions and food package waste. You should also save money as you won’t need to buy as much fresh produce from supermarkets and grocery stores. You can grow different vegetables in your garden including carrots, broad beans, potatoes, onions, and pepper.

carrots and onions in a box

Plant colourful flowers

Planting colourful flowers will make your garden look vibrant and beautiful. Flowers will also attract bees, butterflies, and other wildlife into your garden. Some of the best flowers to attract insects and wildlife are foxglove, primrose, and roses. Avoid using pesticides and chemicals on your flowers and plants as these can harm your garden’s inhabitants.

A pinky-orange rose

Summary

An eco-friendly garden is one made with sustainability in mind. Sustainable gardening focuses on nature itself and avoids products or activities that cause pollution and environmental harm. These ideas will inspire you to create a garden that is beautiful and kind to the environment.

 

By Olivia Wood, an Avid Book worm and social bean whose best decision in life was building a bar in her back garden!

Header Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash  

Decoration, Garden Furniture, Outdoor Living, Stuart

Hadleigh Garden Furniture, Cosy at night

Let’s be honest – it’s too hot. We love the summer, but 33 degrees celsius is too high for these British Isles. So, we look to shade and the cooler evenings to make the most of our gardens. Then we add an ironic firepit when it gets too cold.

Coretn steel firepit, aflame
Toasty irony

Here’s some tips on how to upgrade your garden dining game, creating a cosy outdoor dinner party your guests will remember for ages. Until the next time you have them round at least!

The set in these shots is our reclining Hadleigh 6 seater – this one’s grey, but it’s available in several different colours to suit your style. And the fire pit is corten steel, but there’s plenty of others that will give the same effect.

1. Throw Shade

It’s easy to set up for dining outdoors, but a bit of preparation is key. A parasol is a near necessity if you’re day-dining into the evening, unless you can guarantee shade, as otherwise your guests or family are going to be served a side of sunburn along with whatever delicious meals you’ve cooked. 

Hadleigh Parasol above a garden dining setCool(ing)

Several of our dining sets have a parasol included so you don’t even need to think about where to get one. If you’re in the mood for something fancier a sail shade’s also a great solution for broader shade. There’s loads of sail solutions – read on here for a comprehensive shade solution list!

2. Let there be light

If you’re going to avoid the sun like the opening of this article suggested, then add a bit of boho to set a charming scene as the light gets lower. Table lanterns, string lights and candles are all great options to line up for longer evenings, and go for something solar to have them turn on automatically when the sun’s almost gone.

Hanging solar light on a string of lights
Beautiful Solar Boho

Candles are perfect for a touch of twinkly light, and candle holders will keep guests safe from brushing against any flames. With these ones we repurposed some battery-powered imitation candles to hold the real deal, but the electric ones provide a similar amount of light. Just remember the battery situation – you don’t want the lights to go out before you’re ready.

Candle holders with candles in them
It definitely wasn’t because we had no batteries to hand on the day

3. Creature Comforts

Throws will turn from decoration to cosy blankets for guests to use as they choose once the summer heat evaporates into the night, while adding a bit of extra comfort during dinner. You can go for complementing or contrasting colours (as we’ve done here), but try and avoid clashing colours. Most guests won’t care and just be thankful for the later warmth, but you just know someone’ll walk away thinking about your style instead of your meal. And do the same with any scatter cushions you add too.

Throws and cushions on hadleigh garden dining furniture
There’s no such thing as ‘too jazzy’, Barbara

4. Coaster-ing through

If your tabletop’s glass (as it is across the entire Hectare range), you’ll want to get some coasters and placemats out. (We don’t sell them, but any number of homeware retailers will see you right). They’re still a classy touch on wood and other tabletop surfaces, but you’ll be glad to get them involved during dinner. The tempered glass is designed to resist shattering, but that doesn’t stop it making a clattery sound every time someone puts their wine glass down or moves their plate a bit. 

Trust us on this one – this photoshoot would have been a much louder affair if we hadn’t!

Wine being poured into a glass on a coaster on an outdoor dining table
Wine optional, and also great

All together now

Put all the evening bits together and you’ve got an effect like this, a cosy garden dining room to keep guests cosy through the evening and into the night. We’ve got the seats upright for stimulating conversation, but you could just as easily recline back for some nightly stargazing. Just go easy on the wine if that’s your plan – it’s a bit hard to focus on them after a glass too many.

Hadleigh furniture set up in style around a lit firepit

The morning after, once all guests have gone and you’re feeling like continuing the vibe for yourself, grab a coffee table and a couple of chairs and get yourself a slice of cafe chic in your own garden.

Hadleigh chairs set up in a bistro-set style (a chair either side of a coffee table)

Lovely.

Want some garden dining for yourself? See the whole Hectare range at Primrose.co.uk

Decoration, Guest Posts

How to Up Your Garden Decor Game

Planting a few different breeds of plants for a change-up isn’t enough anymore. If you are really serious about upping your garden décor game, then it’s time to get adventurous! In this article, we’re not just talking about a few solar lights shoved haphazardly into the ground or settling for your faded seat cushions for yet another summer. 

Instead, discover creative lighting that a fairy princess would approve of, bright cushions bursting with fruity colours, ultra-stylish metal prints for the wall, and even more! Before you know it, your garden will be so gorgeous you won’t be able to stop yourself from sitting in it all year round – even when the snow starts to fall! 

Get creative with lighting

spiral dangly lights in a tree

First of all, lights, lights, lights! It’s surprising how just a few lights can make ALL the difference in your garden. From warm gold glows, bright white tones and even multi-colour options, you can really go to town when it comes to garden lighting.

Instead of opting for a few fairy lights hanging chaotically from your exterior wall, get creative! Experiment with shapes such as these Spiral Lantern LED Lights by Solaray. Spring-like and utterly twinkly, these round abstract lightbulbs remind us of cute beehives. Perfect for hanging in any tree or hooked onto hanging lantern hooks arranged in a row down your garden path.

If you are lucky enough to have a veranda seating area, why not get creative and twirl fairy lights above you so that you always feel like you’re enjoying a beautiful starry night sky? Or, why not dot a few unique lanterns around such as a solar metal elephant, faux lit branches, pink naked bulbs and more?

Install beautiful prints onto the walls

wallsauce metal print

Are you a huge fan of artwork and stunning prints inside your home? Don’t just limit these to the indoors. Instead, why not show your sense of style outside with a gorgeous metal print from Wallsauce.com? Choose from vintage-inspired illustrations of jungles, white-sanded tropical beaches, whimsical tree folk, utterly pretty florals and much, much more. Whatever the theme of your garden, you can really bring it to life with outdoor wall art. We think that this Elephant Elegance metal print from their Sir Edward range brings a gorgeous vintage factor to this garden…

Perfect for any sheltered outdoor area, place a metal poster on your exterior wall next to your al fresco dining area. Bring to life a blank space on your garden wall or create a style statement underneath your weatherproof veranda! All of Wallsauce.com’s fabulous metal prints are currently only available in the UK but come in a wide range of sizes and finishes for a high-quality custom finish. Where will you install yours?

Keep things private with screens and fencing

papillon willow screening

If you really value your privacy and have been socializing with your neighbours a little bit more than you’d like to, then screens and fencing are key. And we’re not just talking about your typical panel fencing. We’re talking about on-trend, rustic screens like this gorgeous Willow Fencing Screening Roll

Totally on-trend with the ever-growing popularity for all things organic, this beautiful willow screen perfectly mirrors more of a natural and sustainable lifestyle. Simply roll it out between you and your neighbours so that you can achieve that all-important sense of privacy. 

Why not install screening in one section of your garden to create a room within your outdoor space? Place rolled out fencing in a circle and place a seat in the middle for the perfect reading nook! Or section off a corner of your garden for the children and place a mud kitchen in there!

Make your own water feature

bamboo dripping onto a rock

If you have the space to have a water feature in your garden, do it! Whether you have a small backyard or a humongous football pitch of land, a water feature will notch up the relaxation factor in your outdoor space. Did you know that just looking at or being near water can aid towards a wide range of health benefits such as reducing anxiety and stress? Not forgetting lowering your heart rate and increasing your happiness. If that hasn’t persuaded you to get a water feature, we’re not sure what will!

There are so many beautiful water features available to be purchased, from quaint birdbaths, rocky cascading fountains and totally zen water spheres… 

Are you DIY friendly? Then why not have a go at making your own water feature? With just a fountain pump, plant pots and pebbles, you can create your own mini fountain.

Splash in some colour!

Orange and white patterned cushion

Many of us have dreary garden seat cushions that are so discoloured and ragged that they look like they’ve lasted since the 1980s. Well, it’s time to scrap those and repurpose them as gardening knee pads. Instead, it’s time to inject bright and bold colours into your garden! From funky patterned throws that you can cuddle into when the breeze gets chilly, bright yellow shade sails and fruity-orange cushions such as this retro Scatter Cushion in Orange! Placed on a bench, a swinging chair, on your picnic blanket or bistro chair, you won’t be able to stop yourself feeling cheery when you see this gorgeous orange cushion!

In conclusion

When it comes to garden décor, you can really go as big or as small as you like! Remember to choose things that make you happy, suit your sense of style and bring your outdoor area to life! By following these 5 steps, your garden will go from workable to wonderful in no time!

 

About the author

Written by Amy Hillary. Amy is a Freelance Writer as well as the Content Creator at Wallsauce.com. Her work consists of creating website content, writing blogs as well as product descriptions. Her most popular topic focuses are interior design, lifestyle, education and retail.

 

 

 

Header photo by Jacob Thomas on Unsplash  

Media, Sail Shades, Stuart

Primrose’s Waterproof Sail Shades Selected Independent Best Buy 2021

That’s right – our Kookaburra Waterproof Sail Shades, especially the triangular style, have been chosen as The Independent’s Best Buy for 2021. If you want stylishly shaped garden shade to keep cool and dry this summer, Kookaburra’s the way to go.

Independent Best Buy Badge

The product tested, the Kookaburra® 3.6m Triangle Green Waterproof Woven Shade Sail, came out on top thanks to its 50+ UPF protection, waterproofing for unpredictable weather and  eye-catching nautical style. The stainless steel rings were a plus, allowing owners to attach their sail shades pretty much wherever they wanted, and the huge range of styles and colours means there are hundreds of best buys just waiting to be discovered.

What is a 50+ UPF rating?

UPF is a way of rating the effectiveness of sun protective fabrics, like SPF is for sun cream. SPF numbers are a kind of multiplier of the number of minutes sun cream is expected to be effective against UVB rays only.  So SPF 15 means you can stay in the sun 15 times longer than you could without sun cream. Progressively less effective the sunnier it is.

UPF numbers on the other hand describe a factor of how many of the sun’s harmful UVB and UVA rays are being kept away. Roughly, multiply the number by 2 to find out what percentage of protection you’re being offered – so UPF 50+ means upwards of 98% of burning rays are blocked by our waterproof sail shades. No matter how sunny it is.

Explore for yourself, and shop the Waterproof Sail Shade range at Primrose.co.uk