Flowers, Gardening & Landscaping, Outdoor Living, Stuart

In our last post we talked about how you can turn your indoor spaces into zones free from stress. Now that we can meet up outside, it seems fitting to share our tips on getting that same calm feeling outdoors.

A Soothing Garden Oasis

man in yoga-like pose in front of tropical waterfall

Waterfalls optional

If you’ve got any garden space, whether green or paved or big or small, you can turn it into a stress-free oasis. Make sure your furniture (if you don’t prefer sitting on the floor) isn’t wobbly so you can rest undistracted, and surround yourself with some flowery colour and scents.

Lavender (mentioned in our indoor stress awareness post) is just as good outdoors as in, with the added benefit of bringing in healthy pollinators to watch and while away the hours with.

Three roses in a row...ses

Begging to be sniffed

April’s also prime rose-growing time, and it’s easier to come up from hard times smelling of roses if you’ve been sitting amongst them. Pots, flowerbeds and arbours can all be used to fill your air with rosy scents, with the added benefit (if you’ve got enough of them) of hiding you away from the world for a spell.

An oasis is best when it’s just for you after all! If you’re interested in not being overlooked in your garden, check out our guide.

Put Your Feet Up

Person with feet up on wooden bench, branch in corner

Though maybe not higher than your head

Comfortable furniture is key if you’re after the fresh air and de-stressing power of the outdoors. Recliner chairs, footstools and comfy cushions are all great ways to increase your outdoor comfort, but you’ll also need to consider where they go.

Keep your furniture off slopes so you don’t have to worry about sliding off, and stay away from wind traps (corners of fencing and walls) unless you live for the wind in your hair. Alternatively, a picnic blanket or similar will do the job if you’ve got a squishy lawn.

Baby on a blanket

Just like this

However you like to take a load off your feet, it doesn’t take much to do it outside in the sun.

Fountains and Features

Two water fountains, one steel and one faux wood

Sort of like a babbling brook, if brooks were steel and polyresin

Just like with de-stressing indoors, water features can bring a soothing constant to your garden space. A lot of outdoor water features are self-contained so you don’t need to dig a hole for them to go in, or if breaking a sweat helps you de-stress you can dig a pond and get a water feature in the pool.

The main thing to consider for a de-stressing feature is to think about sound or the visuals. If sound works best for you, look for a feature that drops the water some distance to get a splashing sound. If it’s the visual, you may want a feature with lights or a calm cascade.

man stood in front of a waterfall again

Waterfalls stil optional

However you prefer to keep the stresses of the world at bay, April’s the month to take stock of all those things that get you down to see where they can be overcome. The Stress Management Society has lots of tips and advice to help wherever you may be struggling, so check them out if you’d like more information on stress – its causes, effects, and how to help deal with it all.

Oasis Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash
Feet Photo by Ales Maze on Unsplash
Baby Photo by Ryan Franco on Unsplash 

Garden Design, Gardening & Landscaping, Gary, Stuart

In celebration of International Women’s Day 2021 (Monday 8th March), we’re taking a look at some visionary women who’ve had a huge impact on the modern garden. Read on if you’d like to learn more about some of the great women in gardening and some of the things they’ve brought to the horticultural world, from the British Isles’ past to fabulous present.

Gardening Greats from the Past

Gertrude Jekyll
1843 – 1921

Gertrude Jekyll ft. Begonia

Modern gardens have a lot to thank Gertrude Jekyll for. Her partnership with Edwin Lutyens lasted over 25 years and she was a key influence in Georgian garden design, while her simple approach championed colourful, easy to maintain borders and brought plants like the rose, begonia and hosta back into fashion. The way she used colour is still taught as a basic tenet of garden design today, and we can thank her for the trend of creating sections in a garden. You can still see some of her creations at Lindisfarne Castle or West Dean.

Norah Lindsay

1873 – 1948

Norah Lindsay x Cliveden

This Oxfordshire socialite made great strides in the world of gardening to become one of only a few female garden designers of her time. She was a pioneer of seasonal planting and creating gardens that would bloom all year round. The traditional country garden combination of mauve, pink and white were a signature of her design style. Her work and influence can be seen at the Blickling Estate in Norfolk, as well as at Cliveden in Buckinghamshire, Chirk Castle in Wales and Mottisfont Abbey in Hampshire amongst many other private country house gardens.

Margery Fish
1892-1969

East Lambrook

Image from Wikipedia by Ray Beer, CC BY-SA 2.0, Index

Our love affair with perennials and the traditional cottage garden can all be traced back to Margery Fish. Her design ideas became so popular that she released two books in the 1960s and had a column in Amateur Gardening magazine. Margery championed simple planting schemes, and the use of ground cover to save on labour. She was also one of the first to make extensive use of silver foliage. She was also a big fan of snowdrops and her gardens at East Lambrook have over 60 named varieties of the plant growing in them.

Vita Sackville-West
1892-1962

Vita Sackville-West and white Digitalis

Image from Wikipedia by DHRUVA SRINIVAS – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Index

A prolific fiction writer, poet and gardener, Vita Sackville-West is the brains behind the gardens of Sissinghurst Castle. A poet and writer, she was known for her art and flair. Her early career was dominated by multi-layered planting and bright colours, but her real influence on today’s design was her White Garden –  a blend of traditional colours and textures that is still very much in fashion.

Kitty Lloyd Jones
1898 – 1978

A White Astilbe, a flower from the bog garden

Born to a doctor in Swansea and the ninth of ten children, Kitty was among one of the first professional female horticulturalists. Before her, most female gardeners found work through social connections, but in 1924 she graduated with a degree in horticulture from the University of Reading – one of the first women to ever do so. Kitty gradually built up a network of clients. Her best-known work was the redesign of the gardens at Upton House where her impressive bog garden still survives today.

Gardening Greats from the Present

Ann-Marie Powell

@myrealgarden

An award-winning garden designer and writer, Ann-Marie Powell is a modern garden great who shares garden inspiration on Instagram as @myrealgarden, as well as on her own site. With her innovative ideas and designs bringing gardening greatness to the country’s aspiring gardeners, and all while being a Greenfingers charity patron, we think Ann-Marie is the bees knees!

Paula Sutton

@hillhousevintage

A fashionable city girl turned country lady, Paula Sutton has moved from the fast-paced world of London, modelling agencies and fashion magazines to the quieter climes of the English countryside, and now shares her interior and exterior designs and inspirations through her blog and on Instagram @hillhousevintage. We think her use of British design to suit all budgets crossed with her country house chic is one to watch out for, ideal for anyone who wants to bring the feeling of the UK’s great green spaces to their own back garden.

Tania Compton

@taniacompton

An accomplished landscape and garden designer, Tania Compton is a garden expert who followed up on 12 years as Garden Editor for House & Garden magazine with moving to Wiltshire, and 6 acres of clay-filled land that she transformed into romantic and naturalistic gardens. Her Spilsbury gardens are sometimes open to the public and at Longford Castle you can see her redesigned parterre. Or, if you have a spare £4m handy, you can buy Reddish House when it comes back on the market and own some Tania Compton gardens of your own!

Gardening Greats of the Future

Could these be some of the gardening greats of the future to feature in next year’s collection of female horticulturist visionaries?

 

Gardening & Landscaping, How To

A rising trend in our community is the unique ability to turn a small outdoor space into an impressive yard-ens: tiny gardens bursting with creativity and flair. We love seeing all of the compact areas being turned into sanctuaries of green goodness and hope that this trend will go well beyond 2021.

So whether you are sprucing up a balcony garden, a petite patio, or a tiny terrace, adding plants and planters of varying heights will enable you to enjoy your petite place of zen.

Create a ‘sleeper’ hit!

Here are some top tips when it comes to perfecting your tiny outdoor oasis.

Pacing, planting, and planning are key

It’s time to think like a gardening magician and plan the perfect optimal outdoor illusion. The best place to start is by thinking about what you need from your outdoor space and how to fit those elements.

When you can’t expand outwards, you have think about upwards! Walls, garages, the side of a fence—it’s all good space. Get blooms up high with containers like hanging baskets, window boxes and exquisite wall mangers.

Think about creating your own secret pockets of space within your garden using screens, trellises or walls of foliage.  Decorating each area with different plants, living wall areas and garden furniture will help differentiate sections of your tiny space.  These unique areas are perfect for hiding small seating areas and comfy garden getaways.

Smart Furniture

This is where the tiny garden experts set themselves apart from the novices. When thinking about small spaces, most people shy away from incorporating furniture as they fear space will become cluttered. But in reality, furniture can be used to significant effect in a yard-en; you just need to make smart choices. Instead of large benches or bulky seating, go for more compact options.

Attract Wildlife

You don’t need acres of land or a countryside garden to be at one with nature.

A perfect way to breathe life into your tiny garden is by creating a home for wildlife to thrive in. Bird boxes, feeding stations, and even insect hotels are a beautiful way to build a tranquil outdoor oasis for both you and wildlife to enjoy.

Offer birds a place to drink, butterflies a place to feed and don’t forget the other insects. Many garden plants need pollinating insects to produce fruit and flowers (even in a tiny garden) But their numbers are in decline, partly due to a loss of habitat. Make your garden a safe haven for essential solitary bees, ladybirds and lacewings.

Keep It Bright

Brightly coloured plants and features can make your petite patio, or city balcony seem lighter and brighter than it appears.

Golden or light-yellow colours are perfect for brightening up dark patches, or opt for bright displays of foliage and shrubs to grace your garden with a burst of eye-catching colour.

As a general rule, hot colors like reds and dark yellows make a space feel warm and intimate, while if you want your garden sanctuary to feel larger opt for cooler light purples, whites, and blues.

And even though our garden getaways are growing in the UK, don’t shy away from tropical textures to help give you a sense of holiday romance when you step away into garden retreat.

Ready to start cultivating your tiny dream garden getaway? Share the progress with us and of course the beautiful end result on social media using #MyPrimroseGarden. We can’t wait to see what you create!

 

Animals, Gardening & Landscaping, Gardening Year, Indoor, Wildlife

Winter gardening; think all activity is halted? Think again! Now is the time to prep your landscape and watch it thrive. Tending to the foundation as you build your place of solace, will bring you so much joy in 2021. From city-dwellers to countryside lovers, green areas vary in size up and down the country, but we have curated the latest trends for 2021 to help you create a garden to get lost in. 

Tiny Gardens 

“It’s all about making the space look bigger.” 

You can update any compact space and turn it into a sanctuary of goodness. Whether you are sprucing up a balcony garden, a petite patio, or tiny terraces, we can help with small plants and Tall planters to compact furniture, helping you invest in greenery and lush items to help you enjoy your petite place of zen, and watch it bloom in full when Spring finally arrives. 

White & Grey Gardens

Over the last few months, white gardens have been growing in popularity, and there is no sign of them slowing down. The key to this trend is choosing a dark background, varying foliage and changing sizes and shapes, and finally adding some eye-catching white flowers to make your garden pop. 

Want to try something a little different and a bit more subtle? Why not opt for a grey garden? It’s an easy transition, with grey paving, fence paint or gravel and paths, this trend provides a  neutral backdrop which helps colours such as scarlet and purple pop.

House Gardens 

“Gardening provides a tranquil challenge with tangible results.”

You might not have a sprawling space, but that doesn’t mean you can’t grow fresh plants and flowers in your home. With so many of us now working from home, it’s been proven that plants can improve air quality and bring energy into your environment. A windowsill garden is ideal for growing plants that will add a little extra to your cooking — especially if you don’t have a garden. Think herbs, chilli, kale, baby beetroot, pea shoots, onion and spinach. Adding your very own home ingredients to your meals never tasted better! 

 

Wild Gardens 

Don’t be fooled, it may seem like an easy win, but wild gardens also need hands-on attention to get that mysterious, yet enchanting, unkempt look. However, It’ll be time well spent, creating the perfect ‘imperfect’ outdoor space. Invest in pieces to keep the wildlife happy and content within the beauty of your wild garden.

And a final trend that became none of us can ignore moving into 2021 is the online garden centre. Yes, it’s a different experience from venturing to a physical store, but it also comes with many advantages; comfort, doorstep delivery and variety. Why not try it out for yourself as you invest in one of our chosen trends and tag us in your garden of 2021.