We all want to give the perfect Christmas gift; but how do you choose the gift they’ll love? The options can be overwhelming in the search for that special something so here at Primrose, we’ve made things simple. Whether you’re shopping for wildlife lovers, dedicated home growers or social entertainers, you can find the perfect gift at Primrose.
For Wildlife Lovers
As a nation of animal enthusiasts, our gardens can be havens for wildlife. Welcome all varieties of birds, insects and small mammals into the garden with a selection of our houses and feeders.
A wonder to watch and a great way of increasing the variety of garden flowers. A bee or butterfly house will bring important pollinating insects into the garden and these pretty houses can sit discreetly in any space.
Nothing beats the presence of birds in a garden. The UK has a wide variety of birds that are beautiful to see and fun to watch. You can encourage great diversity into the garden with the Christmas gift of a bird feeder or table.
A wildlife-friendly garden can attract a whole host of animals from squirrels, rabbits and hedgehogs. Encourage these furry friends into the garden with houses and feeders so you can enjoy watching their antics year-round.
We love seeing how our customer’s gardens take shape throughout the year and how the sense of achievement from cultivating a garden brings so much joy.
Great gardeners deserve great tools. From handheld trowels and forks to more specialised bulb planters and weed removers, a garden can really take shape having the right tool for the right job.
Garden planters are ideal for gathering together favourite blooms and we think our fuss-free, frost-resistant, fibrecotta planters can make a great Christmas gift.
Give a gift that will keep on growing! A Christmas gift that will last for years and provide endless moments of joy, trees can transform a garden and we have a variety of species that can be gifted for any garden space.
Our gardens are the settings of wonderful moments; times we’ll treasure throughout our lives. At the centre of those moments will be one person organising it all and for them, we have a range of gifts they can be proud to display.
Extend the time spent with friends and family when the nights draw in with our range of lighting solutions. Fairy lights can add magic to any space when hung about a gazebo or strung through the trees, whilst lanterns can add a warm glow to keep everyone comfy on the sofas.
A fire pit can bring out the best of an evening – it means time spent gathered together, time spent swapping stories and jokes, time spent enjoying the warmth of a glowing fire, maybe toasting a marshmallow or two. A centrepiece befitting any keen host we have a range to suit every garden space.
For the evenings you wish can go on and on, keep everyone cosy and content with our winter blankets and throws. So whether it’s snuggling up warm with a loved one or setting down with a good book, give the gift of a relaxing evening this Christmas.
There are a lot of different planters out there, with styles to match every garden design and climate. With so much choice it can be hard to know what to buy; a stone planter may look nice but might be too heavy, a zinc planter may give you the sleek look you want, but not be strong enough. If you are looking for a catch-all planter material we would recommend you consider Fibrecotta.
What is it ?
Fibrecotta is a compound material made from layering cellulose fiber and clay with fiberglass. Once shaped, the finished material is then set, rather than fired. This manufacturing process leaves very little waste when compared to other materials and because it is set rather than fired it is more environmentally friendly.
Lightweight – Fibrecotta is a lightweight material that lets you easily position even large planters wherever you want in your garden.
Durable – Because of their fiberglass content, Fibrecotta is a strong material that can cope with everything the weather can throw at it. Importantly, it is frost resistant so you can leave the planter out all year. It will also not corrode with the natural acids and alkalis in the soil.
Easy drainage – Like it’s heavier cousin, Terracotta, Fibrestone is porous, meaning that water will naturally filter through the planter providing you with drainage without having to drill holes.
Good for soil – the porous walls of this planter not only allow for easier drainage, but they have a great effect on the soil too. As the water drains it takes the soils naturally present minerals with it helping your plant to thrive
Ages naturally – The passing of minerals through the planter means that it ages at the same rate as Terracotta. If you are looking for a planter that matures alongside your garden, Fibrecotta is the ideal choice.
There are many benefits to planters made of this material. Not only is durable, lightweight and good for your plants, but it comes in many shapes and colours. Sound like the type of planter for you? Shop the range now at primrose.co.uk.
Gary 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.
If you don’t have your own small animal audience, store-bought is fine.
Exciting news folks! Primrose has recently got in awhole new selection of terrarium making tools, the first on the site made specifically for closed-system terrariums! Well since they’re so new, and terrariums are finally making the come back they deserve, I went and wrote up the journey through creating my own closed-system terrarium.
The sets we have online also include a very handy shovel and rake set that extends to reach the bottom of your jar, these are indispensable if you have a very deep terrarium! (Although you could always wrap some wire around a fork and a spoon, no judgement here.)
If possible, it’s recommended to find a piece of plastic mesh to help keep the stone and soil layer separate, but don’t worry if you can’t get hold of any, I didn’t use it in my terrarium.
A lot of newspaper to work on (it gets messy!)
A funnel (I made one out of a cereal packet)
Scissors (for pruning if needed)
Small hand trowel (for removing soil from roots)
And last but not least, the plants and accessories you want in the terrarium.
These are the two species I used, Tradescantia Purple Passion at the front and a Chlorophytum Comosum behind.
The idea of a closed terrarium is to create an ecosystem that will sustain itself. Both the plants and soil release moisture that becomes water vapour, and condenses against the walls of the terrarium during the warm daylight, falling back to the soil in the cooler evenings. This creation of an enclosed watering system is what will keep your terrarium growing, but just throwing dirt and plants at it isn’t going to work, an irrigation system is needed to stop the soil from rotting under too much water.
At this point you’ll want to grab the funnel, or if you’re on a budget, make one out of cardboard or paper to make for easier application of the materials.
First pour in a layer of small stones, pebbles, or gravel. There’s no hard and fast measurement as it depends on what size receptacle you’re using, a good rule to stick to is one-quarter stones to three-quarters soil. Remember this layer has to be deep enough to stop any pooling water from sitting in the soil.
Check your terrarium from all angles, sometimes it’s hard to judge the level of coverage with curved glass.
Next is activated charcoal. This is an integral ingredient in the tasty soup that is your closed terrarium. It absorbs chemicals in the soil, water, and air that could otherwise build up over time and damage the plants. Charcoal also cleans up unpleasant odours that are released from the decomposing soil and helps stop mildew forming.
You don’t need a whole layer of the stuff, but make sure there’s a good handful being placed in, it’s going to do a lot of work after all!
If you’ve been able to source some plastic mesh, now is the time to cut it to shape, fold it up and pop it in. You’ll need some long tools to push and pull it into place, and then you can add the substrate. (Note that the charcoal seems fine both above and below the mesh layer.) Again, if you don’t have a mesh layer don’t worry! You can still power on!
Okay, let’s layer up some soil! You’ll need a decent amount, remember we’re working to approx one-quarter stones to three-quarters substrate. Don’t worry if your measurements aren’t perfect, it’s all a learning process!
Make some small divots for the plants to sit in, and let’s move on to prepping some plants!
Easy as 1, 2, 3!
A closed terrarium is a specific type of environment. There’s a lot of damp warmth in there, and if left in direct sunlight, the refraction of the glass will cook everything inside. So we need moisture-loving, low light-thriving, quite small plants. Which admittedly cuts down our options somewhat, but here are some plants that I’ve discovered-
Small ferns will help fill out any space, and they’re relatively easy to come by. Try and find a miniature variety if you can, as some ferns can grow pretty big.
Some that come recommended:
Peperomia, Maidenhair fern, Pteris, and Adiantum. I chose a variegated fern to place in mine, the pot I purchased had three separate plants in it so I picked out the smallest to place in my also quite small terrarium.
Soleirolia variants are perfect as well, and have a variety of amusing names such as, mind-your-own-business, baby’s tears, angel’s tears, friendship plant and Irish moss. (It is in fact, not a moss, but a plant from the nettle family.)
Tradescantia- also known as Spiderwort, is another plant that does well in humid climates. There are a lot of variants though, and I’d recommend staying away from any that are flowering as they will wilt and die quickly in the terrarium. I chose a Tradescantia Purple Passion to place in mine.
Other tropical foliage such as Dizygotheca and Neoregelia ‘fireball’ enjoy a humid environment, making them other possibilities for your display.
To finish it off I would recommend some moss. I took a trowel and dug some out of my garden. Moss is a great way to fill out your terrarium, it helps to cover bare soil and brings more diversity into the jar.
Trixie spent the whole time trying to eat my plants and the moss. Thanks Trix.
This section entirely depends on what container you’re using for your terrarium, but for brevity’s sake I’m going to assume you’re using the same line of terrariums that I am, and in that case you’ve got some trimming to do. The opening of the bottle is a lot smaller than you first think, so you’ll need to carefully extract the plants from their pots, and gently scrape or shake off most of the soil around the roots so you can fit it through the top. This is where having another container or a lot of newspaper down comes in handy to catch all the soil!
Move the plant around after it’s fallen inside, and make sure you push soil back around the roots when you’ve confirmed the placement.
Now is a good time to consider the layout of your terrarium. Instagram and Pinterest are great sources of inspiration, just make sure whatever you use is small enough to fit!
In my terrarium I used some old chunky sticks to create a divide in the middle, putting the fern one side and the tradescantia on the other, with moss liberally applied all around. To finish it off, I added some more height with a mossy stick reaching up through the bottle, remember to consider your layers to make for a more visually interesting display!
Here’s my finished terrarium! I’m very pleased with how it turned out, and it didn’t take more than about half an hour to put together!
Before adding the cork, make sure you give your terrarium a good spritz with a spray bottle, or pour a little water down the side. You don’t need to add the cork straight away – allow the bottle to stand for a day to let the plants settle, and for the first week or so, take the cork off for a few hours every day. This allows you to adjust the water, and allows the plants to breathe and accumulate to their new closed-system environment a little easier.
Keep your terrarium out of direct sunlight, and rotate it every day or so to allow all sides to soak up some heat.
And here’s my beauty after 2 weeks! The tiny wild clover in the moss are loving it!
Troubleshooting and the future
There’s always the fear that your terrarium won’t last the weekend. Fear not! If you’ve used the right plants and followed the guide you should be safe. One thing to bear in mind is the water cycle, moisture should build up over the day, then drip back down to the soil overnight. If there is too much condensation then plants might start to rot, so remove the cork and allow it to dry out a little. If there’s no moisture on the sides by late afternoon, it may need a spritz of water to keep the cycle going.
If it does unfortunately go wrong, there’s no shame in calling it a day, dumping it all out and starting again. We all have to start somewhere, and I’m sure your next terrarium will look amazing!
If you do make up one of our terrariums, be sure to snap a photo and send it in!
Bonus points for getting your pets involved!
Charlotte is a Copy Writer at Primrose, writing product descriptions and about anything else that comes her way. She owns 2 rabbits and 5 chickens that she loves very much. (Her garden is most certainly not tidy).
When not at her desk you can find her attempting to find her way back to Japan again, or drawing.
2019 promises to be a huge year for planters with many new trends emerging including a return to studio pottery designs and even more pots for your house plants. Learn to make the most of your garden/interiors with our planter ideas from using bamboo as screening to improving indoor lighting with copper.
Troughs remain ever popular, perfect for annuals or restricting the growth of bamboo. Try growing climbing plants or even a trained tree up a south facing wall to add colour to your patio. Planting bamboo is ideal as it can be used to provide privacy at awkward heights, either to delineate your garden or block prying eyes.
If you want to show off your centrepiece, cubes are the perfect shape as they won’t blow over in the wind. Cubes are primarily bought in pairs and used to line doorways. Olive trees and topiary swirls and obelisks all look great.
Our customers ask for bigger and bigger planters every year and we have recently launched our titanic range of 100cm2 cubes. As planters control the size of your tree and stop roots damaging patios/foundations, they are perfect if you want a large tree near your house.
Jorge works in the Primrose marketing team. He is an avid reader, although struggles to stick to one topic!
His ideal afternoon would involve a long walk, before settling down for scones.
Jorge is a journeyman gardener with experience in growing crops.