Gardening, Gardening & Landscaping, Gardens

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a big impact on the horticultural industry across the globe, and here in the UK, the biggest blow has been felt by the garden centres and nurseries who saw their supply chains shut down overnight.  It also saw the closure of the Chelsea flower show and the cancellation of the Britain In Bloom competition. With all this going on you’d think it would be an empty year for plant lovers across the county, but not quite – one thing we’ve learned about gardeners this year is that they always find a way. 

2020 has seen a coming together of gardeners across the country who have been using the internet to show off their outdoor spaces and wow everyone with their designs – here are some of our favourites.

 

Flower Show

Virtual Chelsea Flower Show

Despite going digital in 2020, fans of the flower show still got a busy schedule of things to look forward to this year with interviews and panels still happening virtually, but the most interesting part was the garden tours led by some of the biggest names in horticulture. It’s your chance to look round the gardens of Alan Titchmarsh and Monty Don to get some inspiration from the greats. 

Click one of the below to enjoy a virtual highlight from the Chelsea Flower Show:

Adam Frost Garden Tour

Lee Connely, Attracting Wildlife

Diarmuid Gavin, Garden Tour

Tom Massey, Garden Meadow

The National Trust

The National Trust has also been opening its doors to digital visitors this year, so that even though you may have been in lockdown you can still experience the great gardens of British heritage.  There isn’t a complete list of these beautiful panoramas available, but we’ve put together some of our favourites.

Click one of the below to enjoy a virtual tour of a National Trust site:

Hidcote

Giant’s Causeway

Sissinghurst Castle

Gardens Illustrated 

This mainstay of the gardeners coffee table has taken the opportunity to shine a light on some great garden design, This series of tours takes a deep dive into the history and design of the gardens it showcases. The whole list can be found here.

Around the World

There are great gardens all around the world, and a few of them are opening up their gardens to the internet, giving you the chance to see some of the world’s best gardens without leaving your living room.

Click one of the below to enjoy a virtual tour of a garden from around the world:

Monet’s Garden, France

Chicago Botanic Garden, U.S

Keukenhof, Holland

Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, Hawaii

 

https://www.primrose.co.uk/?utm_campaign=1934163_virtual_garden_tours_uk_20200710&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter-UK

Decoration, Gardening, Gardening & Landscaping, Plants

Our Favourite Fast Growing Climbing Plants

Fast-growing climbing plants are a great tool for prettifying parts of your garden that you may not be so fond of. Within months, gardeners can see walls, fences, trellises, and pergolas transform into botanical displays.

All hardy, and with beautiful foliage and flowers, read on for our favourite fast growing climbers for your garden. 

What is a Fast Growing Climbing Plant?

A fast growing climbing plant is a vine that will quickly envelop a large surface with their stems and foliage. With some varieties capable of growing over a dozen feet per year, climbers are a favourite amongst those with a passion for decor and gardening. 

How Does a Climbing Plant Climb?

To avoid the sun, a climber will initially creep along the ground. However, once a climbing plant touches a new surface, chemical changes will prompt a new growing habit. From this point onwards, these vines will grow in an upwards direction. 

Climbing genuses can have differing methods of climbing, such as:

  • Twining: Twining plants, such as a Clematis, will twist around surfaces via their stems or leaves.
  • Tendrilling: Tendrils deriving from the plant’s stem will wrap around a surface, mirroring a coil.
  • Clinging: Stems produce clusters of roots that cling to a variation of surfaces; examples include Hydrangeas.
  • Scrambling: Scrambling plants, such as vigorous Roses, have long, vine-like stems that require a degree of support in order to climb.

Chinese Wisteria

Characterised by their pendulous flowers, Wisterias are one of the most popular climbing genuses. Commonly called Chinese Wisteria, Wisteria sinensis is a particularly vigorous variety, which can exceed 40 feet in height. As such, this variety will happily reach the second story of a home, and can blanket a fence within a single growing season.

Visible during spring and early summer, a Chinese Wisteria’s flowers will give passers by a treat with their delightfully sweet scent. With this sensuous feature accompanied by swaying movement, these flowers will add a romantic touch to a wall-side border.

Chinese Wisteria is a non-fussy climber, where it will tolerate most well-drained soils, and will thrive in full sun or partial shade. Drought tolerant, this climber will make a reliable addition to your outdoor space.

Style Tip

Chinese Wisteria is a long-living plant, and if you are meticulous about your garden’s planting schemes, you must put careful thought into new additions for the years to come. When flowering, Wisteria will become a focal point, so keep nearby shrubs well-pruned to avoid a busy look.

Forming drooping clusters of delicate white flowers, Wisteria senensis ’Alba’ is great for a particularly colourful garden, where its luminous white flowers will harmonise with every shade, whether warm or cool. If you are worried about your Wisteria clashing with  other plants, this is the climbing plant for you. 

White Passion Flower

Our Favourite Fast Growing Climbing Plants

Native to South America, the Passion Flower will flourish in tropical climates, yet withstand freezing winters. Due to this hardiness, they will make a resilient choice for your garden. If you want to swiftly cover areas of your garden with exotic blooms, why not opt for Passiflora ‘Snow Queen‘?

Snow Queen is a highly vigorous climber that will bear white flowers, adorned by green and purple stamens. The complex scent of these flowers encompasses a mix of sweet, earthy, and tropical notes, which will capture intrigue from friends and family. 

Flowering from summer through to autumn, Snow Queen can quickly grow up to 20 feet long, and will make a beautiful addition to walls, trellises, and fences. This variety is particularly perfect for enhancing a Mediterranean garden, or adding tropical edge to a cottage garden.

Clematis ‘Pink Fantasy’

Our Favourite Fast Growing Climbing Plants

With an abundance of stellate flowers, each etched by darker stripes of purple across their petals, ‘Pink Fantasy’ will prove a pretty addition to your garden. Able to quickly reach 8 feet in length, this Clematis will form gorgeous cover for trellises and pergolas. Throughout early summer to early autumn, Pink Fantasy’s flowers will gradually mature from deep pink to near white. As such, you can enjoy a plethora of seasonal colour. 

Clematis plants are esteemed for their generous flowering periods, which often last a full season. Therefore, if you are after a long-running display,  Clematis is the genus for you.  

Shade tolerant, this Clematis is a great option if your garden is north-facing. Despite being fast growing, this climber also requires relatively little maintenance (mostly deadheading and regular pruning to maintain neat growth)

Bluebell Creeper

A quickly growing climber, the Bluebell creeper is wonderful for embracing cooler tones in your garden. The nodding, campanulate-shaped flowers boast a vivid blue colour, which stands out against their dark foliage.

Present all summer long, these vibrant flowers will become your floral fairylights for archways and trellises. However, even when these flowers disappear, your outdoor space will benefit from pretty foliage all year round. The lance-shaped leaves of this climber create a gentle silhouette, yet are organised compactly to provide generous concealment; covering areas with greenery even in winter.

Due to its noteworthy qualities, the Bluebell Creeper has achieved the Award of Garden Merit; assuring you that you will be planting an easy to grow, hardy, disease and pest resistant, and beautiful climbing plant. 

Garden Design, Gardening, Gardening & Landscaping, Gardens, How To, Scott, Wildlife

A garden pond is one of the best things you can create to encourage all sorts of animals into the garden. It will act as both habitat and water source to a variety of wildlife such as dragonflies, frogs and all sorts of birds. This guide will equip you with the knowledge to make a wildlife-friendly pond in your garden with minimal materials. 

Be sure to share how you go on with building your own pond over on the Primrose Instagram.

garden pond with water lillies

Tools & Materials:

  • Pond liner
  • String and pegs or stakes
  • Sharp knife
  • A long plank of wood
  • Spirit level
  • Garden spade
  • Bags of sand
  • Some large rocks

Method:

Locate Your Pond

  1. Identify the best spot for your pond. The ideal would be a spot that gets plenty of sun during the day and a little shade in the evening. If you can, avoid any overhanging trees as falling leaves can pollute the pond water.
  2. Mark out the edge of your pond with the string and pegs. Play around with different shapes and sizes until you’re happy. 

Dig Your Pond

  1. Start digging. If you dig from the middle and work out you can adjust the shape as it develops. Things can look very different in perspective once a piece of lawn suddenly become a large hole. You don’t have to dig very deep; a shallow pond will still be very beneficial for wildlife. 
  2. Pile soil to one side of your pond to create a gradual slope. This will allow wildlife to access the water easily and get out of the water should anything accidentally fall in. 
  3. Once you’re happy with the size and shape, rest your plank of wood across the pond and use your spirit level to check both sides are even. Repeat several times at different angles. This step is very important. Having a pond that is higher on a certain edge could lead to water flooding out of the pond in heavy rain. Spend time making sure this part is as perfect as you can get it.
  4. Remove any sharp objects or stones from the bottom of the hole to avoid ripping the lining before covering the bottom of your pond with sand. A small layer of a few cm’s will do to offer a layer of protection for the liner.
  5. Dig a small trench around the edge of the pond for the excess liner to be tucked into. This will help give everything a clean finish.

Line Your Pond

  1. Place the liner into the hole ensuring it covers the entire surface. Take time to remove as many creases as you possible can pushing the liner into the surface of the soil so it fits the shape of the hole as close as possible. 
  2. Tuck the edge of the liner into your trench and weigh it down with rocks, removing any excess liner with a sharp knife.
  3. Use any remaining sand to create a small layer of sand in the base of your pond.

Fill Your Pond

  1. Fill your pond with water! Try to use collected rainwater if possible as this will be packed full of nutrients that are perfect for kickstarting wildlife. To stop the water from disturbing the sand you can empty it onto a surface like a plastic bag so that the force is spread out a little more.
  2. Once filled you can add your choice of aquatic plants; wildlife will soon flock to your new pond!

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.

 

Gardening & Landscaping

A garden path can transform your garden. Allowing you to highlight areas of your outdoors, make space look bigger and bring people on a journey to an end destination like a social space, a beautiful vista of plants, a garden pond, a secret seating area…the possibilities are infinite! In this blog post, we’re going to talk you through creating a simple stepping stone pathway.

Be sure to share how you go on with building your own pond over on the Primrose Instagram.

Lay A Garden Path

Tools & Materials: 

  • Stones
  • Chalk or string
  • Garden fork
  • Garden spade
  • Spirit level
  • Rubber mallet
  • Sand

Method:

Mark Out Your Path

  1. Mark out your path by laying where your stepping stones are going to sit. If you haven’t already designed this out, experiment with a few styles to see how it affects your space. You could place your stones in a straight line, on a curve or even winding through your flower beds. Once you’re happy, mark the perimeter of each stone with some chalk or string and pegs. 
  2. Start to loosen the soil where your stones will lay with a garden fork. Be sure to remove any weeds, roots or stones that could stop the stones from being even.

Dig A Hole

  1. Dig a hole for each stone. Measure the thickness of your stones and dig 2cm deeper than that. So if your stones are 6cm in height, dig to a depth of 8cm. 
  2. Use a spirit level to make sure the earth is even on all sides of the hole.

Place Your Stone

  1. Fill the hole with a 1.5cm layer of sand and pat this down.
  2. Place your stone into the hole. It should sit just below the level of the surrounding soil. This will make it much easier to mow the grass as the blades can pass right over the stones. Use a rubber mallet to tap each stone down firmly.
  3. Shake loose soil into the gaps around your stone, pushing the soil with your fingers so it’s compact.

Finish Up

  1. Depending on the location of your stones you can either sow the surrounding area with grass or else plant up with your choice of foliage.
  2. Repeat for each stepping stone and you have your very own garden path. 

Scott at Primrose

Scott 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.