Conservation, Current Issues, Events, Scott, Sustainable Living, Wildlife

What is Earth Day?

Climate Activism

Earth Day is an annual series of demonstrations and events that push engagement with issues surrounding the environment on a global scale. This year’s events focus on climate action. In a year where we’ve been inspired by individuals like Greta Thunberg and groups like Extinction Rebellion its time to put plans into action and halt the growing crisis.

When is Earth Day?

Earth Day takes place every year on April 22nd.  

Important Dates

April 22nd 1970 marked the first Earth Day. It acted as a voice for growing environmental concern in a world that was beginning to consume more and more. The Paris Agreement was signed on Earth Day 2016; this is perhaps the most important declaration for change that has occurred for the environment. Nations have pledged to hit strict targets for lowering carbon emissions, protecting ecosystems, investing in green businesses and a whole host of other topics. 

Green Energy - Off Shore WInd farm

Why is 2020 so important?

Earth Day 20202020 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth day. Since 1970, the event has grown to include millions of people across thousands of organisations. That’s people and nations all over the world who have pledged to do their part and take action. In a year that’s already seen the damage created by extreme weather the time for action has never been clearer.

How can I get involved?

There are many things you can do as an individual to help celebrate Earth Day 2020. Below are just a few ways you can engage with the day this year:

  1. Research the history of Earth Day and the many achievements they’ve helped bring about. Spread the word about the day and its importance in the world today.
  2. Charities all over the world are dedicated to tackling the issues that Earth Day engages with. Supporting these charities with your time or your money is a great way to ensure their work continues.
  3. If change is going to come about it has to come from the organisations and business that affect are day-to-day lives and the best way to bring this about is with individuals holding business to account. Contact the businesses you regularly engage with and question their green credentials; let them know that you take their effects on the environment seriously.
  4. World wide change can start in your own back garden. Local wildlife is essential for healthier ecosystems. You can set up habitats and feeding stations or plant a wildflower meadow to help your local environment out; a small action that if done collectively can make a difference nationwide! 

Wildflower Meadow

Scott at PrimroseScott Roberts is a copywriter currently making content for the Primrose site and blog. When at his desk he’s thinking of new ways to describe a garden bench. Away from his desk he’s either looking at photos of dogs or worrying about the environment. He does nothing else, just those two things.

See all of Scott’s posts.

 

Birds, Bulbs, Flowers, Gardening, Gardening Year, Gardens, Grow Your Own, Planting, Plants, Scott, Wildlife

With Spring truly on its way now and the clocks going forward, there’s plenty to be doing in the garden. March gardening is all about setting yourself up for the return of warmer days. With a little preparation, you’ll have an outdoor space filled with colourful blooms and happy wildlife. This is an important month for wildlife when insects start becoming more abundant, birds begin working on their nests and smaller mammals come out of their winter hibernation.    

march garden

General

  • Mulch to protect soil: bare soil is in a vulnerable state as it’s coming out of frosty weather and heading into drier, warmer days. This means water will start evaporating from the soil; to ensure that doesn’t happen too much, a good layer of organic mulch can keep water in and also help stop the growth of unwanted weeds.  
  • Begin mowing the lawn: grass will now start growing more steadily. A lawn will stay greener the less you take from it each time you mow so little and often is ideal this time of year. 
  • Plan your summer planting: start thinking ahead to summer and begin planting your summer flowering bulbs.
  • Protect plants from pests: warmer weather means more pests will be coming into the garden. Try to stick to natural pesticides where possible and if chemicals are required be sure to use it late in the day when the majority of beneficial insects will have made themselves scarce. 

garden mulch

Plants

  • Plant summer bulbs: you may be enjoying some colour from spring bulbs but now is a great time to think about summer planting. Plan out your arrangments now to ensure you get the full benefit of their colours come summer. 
  • Plant in containers: lots of plants can successfully be grown in containers; a great option for when space is limited to perhaps just a balcony or patio area. Hardy plants like roses can be an excellent choice for providing dramatic colour without taking up lots of space. 
  • Relocate shrubs: if you want o re-arrange the layout of your garden a little, now is a great time to move evergreen shrubs. The shrub will not have begun taking water from the soil yet so moving it now will give it time to recover and prepare for a good growing season. 
  • Control weeds: use a fork or hoe to get ahead on clearing garden weeds. This can help prevent more serious outbreaks later in the year.

summer flowers

Produce

  • Prepare seedbeds: break down large clumps of soil before raking over to create a ridge effect. Apply an organic fertiliser two weeks before sowing any seeds and your bed will be ready for growing success.  
  • Plant shallots and onions: a perfect grow your own project that can be used in all sorts of dishes. Onions can begin growing in march and finish off in the summer. 
  • Plant early potatoes: seed potatoes can be planted in trenches with an organic fertiliser to get off to the best start.  
  • Sow herbs: hardy herbs like chives, dill, marjoram and coriander are perfect for sowing this time fo year. Plant seeds into drills and pant out when large enough o handle. 

herb garden

Greenhouse

  • Plant summer seeds: you can propagate summer blooms like marigolds in the greenhouse in preparation for warmer days in summer when they can be transplanted outside.
  • Clean the glass: with the warm weather returning you can give the glass a good clean to remove the marks left by winter and maximise the amount of light getting through.
  • Plant summer vegetables: courgettes, cucumbers, squashes and sweetcorn are ideal for planting in the greenhouse ready for transplanting to the outside when the summer warms the garden properly. 

summer saplings

Animals

  • Prepare for hedgehogs: hedgehogs will start coming out of hibernation. Having food and shelter in your garden as well as easy access in and out can make your garden a preferred hedgehog spot. 
  • Feed the birds: this time of year can see a scarcity of wild food for birds who will be working hard to build nests in preparation for chicks. Give them a helping hand by putting out appropriate foods. 
  • Provide a home: butterflies and bees will begin to emerge. Having bug hotels and feeding stations in your garden can make your space a sanctuary for these important pollinators.  
  • Top up birdbaths: make sure the birds in your garden have open access to water for cleaning and drinking. 

hedgehogs

Scott at PrimroseScott Roberts is a copywriter currently making content for the Primrose site and blog. When at his desk he’s thinking of new ways to describe a garden bench. Away from his desk he’s either looking at photos of dogs or worrying about the environment. He does nothing else, just those two things.

See all of Scott’s posts.

Alice, Animals, Celebrations And Holidays, Conservation, Valentine's Day, Wildlife

Conservation has become a hot topic during the past year, so why not try something a little different this Valentine’s Day and give a gift for the garden? Not only are these gifts bound to impress with their originality, but they can also help preserve wild birds and hedgehogs, and support eco-friendly initiatives. So discover our edit of our top garden conservation gifts.

Saltbox Bird House

garden conservation gifts

As holes in trees and buildings are disappearing due to maintenance work, natural nesting sites for birds are on the decline, so garden nest boxes are becoming increasingly important for conserving wild birds. Inspired by traditional coastal saltbox houses, our Saltbox Bird House in plum has a beautiful vintage saltbox design along with inbuilt drainage and ventilation. Purchase as a Valentine’s gift in order to put it up just in time for nesting season!

Kool Kombi Recycled Steel Ice Bucket Cooler

The Kool Kombi Recycled Steel Ice Bucket Cooler is a gift that will be highly appreciated come summer. This quirky drinks cooler is made in Vietnam using recycled oil drums delivering a unique design each time, and providing employment for local workers. Not only is it eco-friendly and socially-conscious, this heavily-insulated design has ample space and can keep drinks cool in high Australian temperatures for up to 4 hours, so will work an absolute treat here in Britain!

Woodland Bird and Ladybird Garden Gift Box

garden conservation gifts

Welcome both birds and ladybirds into your garden with the Woodland Bird and Ladybird Garden Gift Box. This handy set provides a bird nesting pocket, ladybird tower, wildflower seeds, and instructive guide that will enable you to attract diverse wildlife into your garden. These creatures are highly beneficial to your garden, as they help manage pests such as slugs, snails, and aphids to keep your plants healthy.

Igloo Hedgehog Home

Our Igloo Hedgehog Home is a great gift that makes a welcome addition to your garden. Surveys suggest that hedgehog numbers have declined by up to 50% since the turn of the century as hedgerows and field margins are lost to intensive farming, so providing sanctuary in your garden is increasingly important. This wicker habitat offers hedgehogs and other small mammals a safe haven from predators, pets, and garden tools.

Heart Shaped Cast Iron Bird Bath/ Feeder

valentines day gardening gifts

Food supplies often run short for wild birds, particularly during the winter, and fresh water for drinking and bathing can also be hugely beneficial for them. The Heart Shaped Cast Iron Bird Bath/ Feeder is perfectly-themed for Valentine’s Day and adds a quaint touch to your garden. This versatile piece can be used either as a bird feeder or birdbath.

Diamond Blanket/ Throw

valentines day gardening gifts

Get nice and cosy this Valentine’s Day with our Diamond Blanket/ Throw. This stylish blanket is made from 100% recycled plastic bottles, an innovative and eco-friendly alternative of reusing waste. The geometric diamond design is finished with tassels for extra flare, and is perfect for cuddling up under both indoors and outdoors.

Wildlife Natural Rock Pond-In-A-Pot Kit

garden conservation gifts

Create a wonderful watering hole for wildlife with our Wildlife Natural Rock Pond-In-A-Pot Kit. One of our top garden conservation gifts, this model creates a great home for frogs, newts, and insects, and provides drinking water for birds and small mammals. This no-hassle kit has everything you need to create a pond in four easy steps, filled with beautiful, wildlife-attracting plant life.

Check out our guide to find out more about how to help wildlife in your garden.

What are you getting your loved one this Valentine’s Day? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!

 

Animals, Gary, Wildlife

Bees are the most important pollinator in our ecosystem. One-third of our food supply and 90% of our wildflowers are dependent on the work these animals do, but the loss of habitat and the increased use of pesticides have seen populations decline in recent years. 32% of bee species in the U.K are in decline or threatened and 40% of U.S beekeepers have reported a drop in numbers. Losing any of the UK’S 250 species would have a knock-on effect across the food chain, so it is important to give them as much help as we can. This guide has some great tips on how you can create a garden that is great for bee conservation.

What can I do to help?

It can sometimes feel like there is nothing you can do to have an impact on large scale problems like this, but there are some simple and easy steps that can help to sustain your local bee populations.

Plant Native Wildflowers

Native plants are generally easier to grow because they are already acclimatised to the climate. They are also the plants that your local bees have evolved to pollinate. Having a good variety of native plants is the key to good nutrition in your local bee population and it also encourages them to pollinate the area around your garden, making all the gardens around you healthier and livelier. Native plant seeds can sometimes be found at local farm shops or you can look online for specially selected selections of meadow seeds or specific species seed packs 

Let Your Lawn Grow Naturally 

A bee’s natural habitat is a wild meadow, and some of their favourite plants to pollinate are dandelions and clover, but these don’t grow on well-manicured lawns. Consider letting a portion of your lawn grow naturally – You’ll spend less time mowing, the bees will love it and you might just end up bringing more wildlife into your garden. 

Avoid Chemical Pesticides and Herbicides 

The chemicals in many pesticides and herbicides are harmful to bees, and the rise of commercial food production has had a big impact on their welfare. Avoiding the use of chemical pest control in your own garden can have a big effect on the bee population in your area. Consider using some natural options like a homemade soap and oil spray 

Leave Water Out 

Bee’s get thirsty too, so leaving out water will be a massive help for them. Put out some small bowls of water with pebbles in for them drink from will have them visiting your garden more often, pollinating more and helping your garden. 

Don’t Put Honey or Sugar Water Out

It’s a common belief that you can help by leaving out sugar water or honey for bees, but by doing this you may be inadvertently harming them. Bees are very food at finding what they need to survive, and if they find an easy source of food they will go to it more often and in bigger numbers. Unfortunately, these food sources don’t provide much nutrition and can end up being the source of disease in a hive. The best food you can give a bee is a garden full of flowers 

Build a Bee Hotel

When we think of bees we often think of a thriving hive. But, of the 270 species of bee in the U.K, only twenty live in hives, the rest are solitary. These bees tend to nest in small enclosed areas. You can buy a pre-made habitat for them or if you want to be a bit more hands-on you can build your own bee hotel. It’s easy to do and is a big help to wild populations. 

Helping our pollinators is really important for the health of the natural world around us, and there are a lot of small things you can do in your garden that can have a big impact in overall bee conservation. 

 

Let us know what are you doing to help? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

 

 

Gary at PrimroseGary works in the Primrose product loading team, writing product descriptions and other copy. With seven years as a professional chef under his belt, he can usually be found experimenting in the kitchen or sat reading a book.

See all of Gary’s posts.