Decoration, Decorative Features, Garden Design, Garden Furniture, Gardens, Outdoor Living, Scott

Is your garden a space you haven’t had the time to really enjoy before? Perhaps this is the first time you’re wondering how to make outdoor space work for you and your family. Below we have a basic guide to garden furniture for anyone looking to get started with creating a living space outside for the first time.

Finding A Use For Space

The first thing to think about is how your space will be used. Don’t be put off by thinking your garden is too small.  A lot can be done to make a nice spot to relax, dine, play or grow. If you want to be eating outside with the family, for example, invest in a good dining set and some cover like a gazebo or parasol. If space is limited maybe consider a bistro set? You could be enjoying breakfast and coffee surrounded by plants taking in the morning sun; a good start to the day for most of us!

Garden Furniture

Bigger gardens can have multiple functions sitting alongside one another. For smaller spaces, it’s best to pick one main function and create your design around this. Start with the primary function of the space and invest in something that will deliver just that.

Details That Make It Your Own

Look at the rooms that fill your home. What are your favourite things about them? What bits spark happy memories or facilitate something you love doing? Is it a comfy chair in the corner of the living room where you love to settle down with a book? Maybe the crate full of games you dive into with the kids each weekend? Or the kitchen table where you serve up dishes to family and friends?

Garden furniture

Think about the items of furniture which allow these moments of happiness and how they can translate outside. You could create a reading nook for warm summer evenings filled with weather-resistant cushions, or a play area dedicated to mayhem filled games with the kids, or maybe a fire pit where you can take your cooking in new directions. Find the items that will transform your outdoor space into an extension of your home.

Decorative Flair

Final aesthetic details can really make a space feel special and this doesn’t need to be anything expensive. A simple set of solar-powered fairy lights are cheap, hassle-free and can add a new layer of interest. So when looking for accessories for your outdoors try to keep in mind the temperamental weather and shop for items that are weather resistant. Items that can stay outside year-round or quickly packed away are ideal and will make life outside that much easier.

Garden furniture

There are so many things you can add to help inject your personality into your space and make it special to your purpose. Mirrors, lights, wall art, water features, screening and garden ornaments are all things you can consider when setting up outdoor space. When picking anything out, think back to the original function you identified and think about how this accessory elevates that experience.

I hope this quick guide has got you thinking about your outdoor space. Continue to explore the blog for more resources on getting the most from your outdoor space.

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.

Decoration, Flowers, Garden Design, Gardening, Gardening & Landscaping, Gardens, How To, Indoor, Indoor Plants, Mothers' Day, Plants, RHS

The Best Climbing Plants to Grow in Pots

The use of climbing plants within both your garden and home can forge stunning depth, create floral interest, and even conceal unsightly fences and walls. Climbers are additionally commended for their ability to attract and accommodate wildlife, whether they are nesting birds, butterflies, or bees. 

The use of pots in growing climbing plants is often fundamental, particularly if you are seeking to adorn your patio, terrace, or balcony space. Pots will further enable you to retain greater control over the soil pH, drainage, and positioning that your climbing plants will receive. A garden with soil that is rich in fine clay particles will likely experience poor drainage, nevertheless, planting climbers into pots will mitigate these risks and ensure hospitable growing conditions. 

Within this post, we will detail five climbing plants considered most suited to being grown in pots. This post has been structured to reflect differing gardens, and possible themes that you may wish to evoke; covering the cottage garden, the urban garden, the simplistic garden, the creation of interesting arches, and concluding with how climbing plants can be utilised indoors. 

The Cottage Garden

The Best Climbing Plants to Grow in Pots

Within the traditional cottage garden, you can expect to see lupins, dianthus, delphiniums, lavender, and campanula, to name a few examples. Nevertheless, a rose’s abundance of large, scented petals that are so neatly tied together will always offer a classically graceful feel. Aside from this variety’s monumentally beautiful appearance, this ‘Giardina‘ climber rose will happily grow in pots; ideally on a sunny patio adorning the front of your home, or arranged around an archway. 

A pretty modern climbing rose, this variety will bear large, pale-pink blooms with delicate petals that increase in vibrancy towards the centre of each flower. Repeat flowering, this rose will display stunning blooms from Summer through to Autumn; gracing your garden with a long-lasting display. Each flower will boast a fresh scent with delicate floral undertones, and will make a stunning cut flower, which will keep for a generous period of time when placed into a vase.

The Best Climbing Plants to Grow in Pots

With Mother’s Day merely a matter of weeks away, this rose variety would prove a wonderfully sentimental gift, that can be appreciated year after year. It can be ordered here

The Urban Garden

The Best Climbing Plants to Grow in Pots

Whether they are  located in London, Bristol, or Manchester, it will never be unusual for urban homes to have smaller-sized gardens, and, when paired with residents who may lead busier lives, ensuring an interesting, flourishing garden can entail an inconvenient compromise on time. 

A climbing plant considered low-maintenance, visually-impactful, and suited to pots, consists of our jasmine climber (Trachelospermum jasminoides).  This jasmine plant will grace your outdoor space with delicate, luminous-white blooms that will release a beautifully sweet and relaxing scent. The shape of each flower somewhat resembles that of a wind spinner, which will form enchanting silhouettes within your garden. Accompanying these blooms is glossy green foliage, which will evolve into a bronze shade during Winter, and as such, you can enjoy elegant seasonal displays with very minimal effort.

The Best Climbing Plants to Grow in Pots

This jasmine plant can be ordered here. 

The Simplistic Garden

The Best Climbing Plants to Grow in Pots

Making floral additions to your garden can necessitate plenty of thinking, specifically, ‘will this work with my other plants?’. If you also live with those who have tastes that differ to your own, you may ponder even more. This is often why a simplistic approach is so convenient. For this theme, we have selected a climbing plant that we believe will satisfy every possible taste.

Clematis is often the first climbing plant that will spring to a gardener’s mind when considering container or pot growing. Even when planted into a very small pot, clematis plants will provide a magnificent flowering display- with the colder months included.  

The Best Climbing Plants to Grow in Pots

This ‘Miss Bateman’ variety of clematis will produce a rosette of large, oval-shaped petals in a crisp-white shade, contrasting beautifully against a delicate yellow and maroon centre. Vigorously-growing, this plant will flower in Summer, and again in early Autumn. They can be ordered through this link

Forming Interesting Arches

The Best Climbing Plants to Grow in Pots

Aside from adding charming structure to your garden, arches are a wonderful means of allowing scents to linger, and varying colours to intersperse with one another. Benefitting from an excellent growing habit, and relishing more sheltered areas, our ‘Blue Passion Flower’ plant is a fitting option for enhancing your garden’s arches or archways.

Displaying maroon, violet and white operculums that delicately rest on large white sepals, passion flowers are arguably one of the most unusually-structured plants around. Hardy, and with a vigorous growing habit, this passion flower will flourish within a pot or container; ideally placed in pairs beside each side of an archway for a subtle, yet highly exotic edge.

The Best Climbing Plants to Grow in Pots

This passion flower plant , which can be ordered here, proudly carries the Royal Horticultural Society’s ‘Award of Garden Merit’; affirming its reliable performance, availability, stable form and colour, good constitution, and resistance to pests and diseases.  

The Use of Indoor Climbing Plants

The Best Climbing Plants for Pots

The use of climbing plants need not be confined to the outdoors; the benefits of accommodating climbing plants within your home do not differ from those of house plants. This monstera plant will absorb harmful gases via its leaves and roots, contributing to a healthier environment for you and your loved ones. Studies have additionally linked the presence of indoor plants to reduced stress, enhanced creativity, and also productivity. Interestingly, the latter benefit has been evidenced by the reaction time of employees increasing by 12% when in close proximity to house plants.

One of our favourite climbing plants that will happily grow indoors is our ‘Monkey Leaf Monstera’, which features large, oval-shaped leaves that display unusual perforation, resulting in an appearance comparable to Swiss cheese. This plant will arrive bound to a moss pole, enabling it to form interesting shape within your home. 

The Best Climbing Plants to Grow in Pots

This charming Monstera deliciosa can be purchased through the following link

If you wish to know more surrounding the air-purifying abilities of plants, you can find additional information here

Alice, Garden Design, Gardening, Gardens, Grow Your Own, How To, Planting

Fed up of bending over while you weed, or struggling to grow in poor-quality, claylike soil? A simple raised bed can offer an array of benefits to your garden, and thankfully, they’re not difficult or costly to build. Read on and discover how to build a simple raised bed, and you’ll be reaping the benefits in no time. 

how to build a raised bed

What is a Raised Bed?

A raised bed is a flowerbed or planting space that has been raised above ground level. It functions similarly to a large planter, however, it has no bottom or top; it simply consists of additional soil held in place by wooden plants, concrete blocks, or similar.

Which Plants Can You Grow in Raised Beds?

You can grow almost any type of plant in a raised bed, however, they are particularly useful for vegetables; soft fruits such as strawberries and raspberries; small trees and shrubs; herbaceous perennial cuttings; and ericaceous or lime-hating plants such as heather or rhododendrons. 

Benefits of Raised Beds

  • Reduces the need to bend; great if you have limited mobility
  • Great solution for gardens with limited space
  • Best solution for poor-quality or claylike soil
  • Improves soil drainage which increases soil temperature
  • Longer growing season
  • Option of matching soil to the plant type
  • Deeper soil enhances root health
  • Fewer weeds
  • Keeps plants out of the reach of pets and small children

How to Build a Raised Bed

how to build a raised bed

You will need:

  • Edging material. You can purchase a ready-made raised bed from our range, which will save you time and hassle. If you would rather make your own, material you can use for the edges includes wooden planks, concrete blocks, wattle, or logs
  • Soil, plus organic matter such as compost or manure
  • A garden spade
  • Wooden stakes, nails or screws, and a hammer, if you are using wooden planks or similar for the edging
  • Newspaper or cardboard, if you are setting your raised bed on grass
  • String (optional)
  • Bark chippings, paving, or grass, if you wish to create a path around or between beds
  • A tamper tool, if you are using concrete edging (optional)

Step 1: Mark your edges

The first thing to do is to plan where you are going to place your raised bed (or beds). Raised beds are usually rectangular or square, however feel free to experiment with different shapes as you see fit. Choose a sunny area and mark the edges of where each bed will be using string. Alternatively, if you are using wooden planks, you can use the boards to mark out the edges of the bed. 

Keep your beds below 1.5m (5ft) wide; it is not advisable to stand on the beds so keep the width to something you can reach across. It is also best to keep them less than 4.5m (15ft) long. If you are creating multiple beds, allow at least 60-90cm (2-3ft) for wheelbarrow access. In regards to height, allow at least 25-35cm (10-14in) to accommodate strong roots, although they can be up to waist height to allow maintenance without bending over.

Step 2: Build the sides

Next, you need to fix the sides of your raised bed into place. If you are using a ready-made raised bed, this is pretty straightforward as all you need to do is follow the instructions for easy installation. If you are making one yourself using wood, insert stakes 30-45cm (12-18in) into the ground at the corners, then at least every 1.5m (5ft). Nail the planks to the stakes using nails or screws and a hammer; set the lowest board 5cm (2in) below ground level. 

If you are using concrete blocks, make sure to level the ground beforehand by removing the grass if it is uneven and using a tamper tool if desired. Make sure to place cardboard over any remaining grass under the blocks to prevent it growing into the beds.

Step 3: Prepare the ground

The next stage is to prepare the ground ready to create a raised bed. If you are building your bed over grass, line the bottom with sheets of cardboard or newspaper and wet it thoroughly. Ensure any staples are removed from the cardboard. If you are building the bed directly onto soil, dig the ground deeply, adding as much manure or compost as you can. If your soil is poorly draining, add a layer of course gravel, hardcore, or stones. If your bed is deeper than 50cm (20in) remove the top layer of soil and replace with subsoil, rubble or old inverted turves. 

Step 4: Fill in the soil

The final step to creating your raised bed is to fill your newly-created space with soil. Fill with a mixture of topsoil, compost, and organic matter such as manure, to create a nutrient-rich environment for your plants to grow in. You can adapt the soil to the types of plants you wish to grow, for example filling the beds with acid soil to grow ericaceous (lime-hating) plants. 

Once filled, allow the soil to settle for two weeks before planting. Soil in raised beds can dry out more quickly, so make sure to water frequently. 

Step 5 (optional): Build a garden path

A garden path can improve access and create a tidy look, particularly if you have more than one raised bed in succession. If you desire, you can use bark chippings, paving, or grass to create a path around or in between your raised beds. You can keep the edges tidy using flexible edging if necessary. 

 

Raised beds take a bit of setting up, however they can be done so inexpensively and without a huge amount of time and hassle. Before you know it, your plants will have a great home with improved drainage and quality soil, and you’ll have less bending down to do to reach them!

Looking to use your raised bed to grow vegetables? make sure to check out our guide to how to grow crops.

What are you growing in your raised bed? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!