Alice, Celebrations And Holidays, Christmas, Decoration, Indoor, Uncategorized

Originating from the Pagan festival of Yule, Christmas trees have long been a part of our festive traditions. From decorating your tree with Christmas music playing, to coming downstairs on Christmas morning and finding your presents under the tree, without one Christmas just isn’t the same. Buying a Christmas tree can be a complex minefield with a lot of options. However, our handy Christmas tree buying guide will walk you through the process to help you pick the right one. 

Artificial or Real?

The tradition for yuletide used to be buying a real pine tree which is then adorned with fairy lights and other decorations. However, in recent times there has been a shift towards buying artificial trees, with people believing they are better for the environment (and less hassle). Different things work for different people, so here are the benefits of each:

Real Christmas Trees

  • The authentic texture and scent of a real Christmas tree can be difficult to replicate and adds to the festive feel
  • Help provide jobs and sustain the rural economy
  • No need to store for the rest of the year
  • Plenty of beautiful trees to choose from

You can shop our full range of real Christmas trees here

Artificial Christmas Trees

  • You can save money in the long run by using them year after year
  • Low maintenance- no need to water or take care of them
  • Easy to assemble and store away
  • No need to sweep up pine needles from the floor
  • Flame resistant; real Christmas trees can be flammable when they dry out
  • There are a variety of great options to choose from: you could go for something realistic, such as our Fraser Grande model, or a more contemporary style such as our Starburst Gold Tree design

You can shop our full range of artificial Christmas trees here

What About the Environment?

It is typically believed that artificial Christmas trees are the environmentally-friendly option. However, this is not always the case. Most artificial trees are made of plastic, which comes from oil, and industrial emissions are produced when the tree is manufactured. The Carbon Trust states that a 2m artificial tree has a carbon footprint that is twice that of a real tree that ends up in landfill, and 10 times that of one which is burnt. So you will need to reuse your artificial tree for at least 10 Christmases on average to keep the environmental impact lower.

Species of Christmas Tree

The most common species of Christmas tree in the UK is the Nordmann Fir, which accounts for an estimated 80% of trees sold each year. The second most common is the Norway Spruce, and there is a selection of others to choose from. Here is a quick overview of the trees we sell at Primrose:

Nordmann Fir

The distinctive stately pyramid shape of the Nordmann Fir comes with defined layers. The glossy dark needles have a thick, waxy coating which makes them softer to the touch; perfect for households with children or pets. These trees don’t shed needles as often as other varieties, making them a great lower-maintenance option.

Primrose has a selection of Nordmann Fir trees, including this versatile classic 5ft Nordmann Fir Field Mix

View Our Range Of Nordman Fir Trees

Norway Spruce

The traditional Norway Spruce used to be the most popular Christmas tree. It has an attractive broad triangular shape with a pointed top, which is incredibly strong and sturdy. The short green needles of the Norway Spruce are very fine and spiky, so it may not be the best option for families with young children or pets. They also tend to shed more often than the Nordmann fir. 

Primrose has a great selection of Norway Spruce trees, including this adorable 4ft Premium Norway Spruce.

View Our Full Range Of Norway Spruce Trees

 

Other Considerations

Before buying a Christmas tree, there are other things you should consider:

  • Allergens: according to Haymax, one-third of the UK population suffers from an increase in itchy skin and cold-like symptoms, known as “Christmas Tree Syndrome”. If someone in your household is allergic to Christmas trees, an artificial tree could be a better option.
  • Timing: Christmas trees are typically cut at the same time, so if you are buying a real tree, there’s no benefit in leaving it until later in the season to buy. Most places start selling them from late November; it’s best to buy yours by mid-December.
  • Seller: plenty of retailers sell Christmas trees but think twice before buying from a pop-up tree seller, so there’s no way of getting advice or a refund if there are any issues with the tree.
  • Size: make sure to measure the height of the room of the tree is going to be based in before you buy, and factor in the size of the tree stand to make sure it fits!
  • Fire safety: If you are opting for a real Christmas tree, make sure it will not be placed near a heat source, such as a fireplace or heat vent. Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near the tree. If you are using fairy lights, make sure to switch them off when not in use and avoid placing anything near them that burns easily, such as paper. 

Alice at PrimroseAlice works in the Primrose copywriting team. She spends her days here writing gardening product descriptions and cracking blog posts.

Outside work, Alice is writing a fiction novel and runs her own blog. She also enjoys travel, good food, and tarot reading.

See all of Alice’s posts.

 

Indoor, Indoor Plants, Infographics, Plants, Scott

houseplant

Keeping house plants is a fun and rewarding hobby that can bring a host of benefits to you and your home. It may seem like there are lots of things to consider when starting out with indoor plants but actually, following a few simple rules will work wonders. Read on to discover our easy care guide.

Identify your house plant

The first thing you have to do is identify your plant. This should be made clear to you on purchase but for plants which are gifted to you or that you’ve inherited, the internet is going to be your best friend here. There are many plant ID apps that can recognise your plant from photos so this can be a quick and easy way to find a match. You can also communicate in online forums like the Houseplant section of Reddit to try and get an ID – this is also a great way of getting involved with a community of enthusiasts! 

Once you’ve successfully got the name of your house plant you can familiarise yourself with what it needs. There is a tonne of information out there to get lost in but you can focus on just two key things when setting up; light and water. Get these two elements right from the start and you’ll have a healthy and lush plant. 

Light

houseplant

All plants require light in order to kickstart photosynthesis. The process where sunlight is converted into sugars to aid the healthy growth of the plant. The main thing you need to concern yourself with is the amount of light that your house plant requires. A Yucca plant, for example, will love basking in bright sunlight for the majority of the day whereas some Calathea plants prefer to spend their days in the shade. 

We use terms like direct light, bright indirect and filtered light to describe the differences in light around our homes and this is your best indicator for where to place your plant. Take a look at the infographic below to see the typical breakdown of light levels

 

houseplant

 

Water 

Water is essential for a healthy plant and you’ll be glad to know that house plants are actually pretty good at telling us when they need water, we just need to know what to look out for.

houseplant

Check Your Soil

Your first and best way to see if your plant needs watering is to check the soil. Push your finger into the top layer of soil – what do you feel? If it’s still wet you can hold off watering; if it’s damp you can maybe top up with a little water; if it’s totally dry it will probably benefit from a drink. 

It’s much better to check your plants regularly and respond rather than watering to a strict schedule. Remember though that different plants will have different requirements. With a Snake plant its okay to let the top inch or so dry out completely between waterings but we shouldn’t do this with a Fern which should be kept relatively damp at all times. These distinctions will be made clear on the Primrose website when purchasing your plant. 

Check The Leaves

Other things to look out for are the activity of the leaves. If they are dry and curling at the edges this can be a sign of needing water. Some plants like the Peace Lilly will droop its leaves when in need of a drink and they’ll spring back up again once they’ve been watered! If your plant’s leaves begin to yellow and droop than this could be a sign of overwatering and you should hold off for a while to let it recover.   

Golden Rules Of Watering:

Here are just a few simple rules that will put you in good stead when watering your plants.

  1. Always check the top level of the soil to see if your plant needs watering again.
  2. Never let your plant sit in water. Allow water to run through the soil, out of the base of the pot and drain away before returning it to a display pot.
  3. Try and get close to the conditions of its natural environment; a cactus will want to be kept dry but a monstera can appreciate some moisture.
  4. Too little water is easier to deal with than too much water. Remember that it’s much quicker to kill a plant with over-watering than it is from forgetting to water occasionally.

If you are concerned about remembering to water your plants than you can always purchase a houseplant that can stand a little neglect. Many varieties such as the snake plant, yucca, aloe vera and more are pretty drought resistant, meaning they’ll forgive the times when we forget to water them and survive without too much help from us. 

Below are some other considerations that you can take into account when looking after your plant. These bits are good to know but remember, as long as you have the light and water right you and your plant will do just fine. 

Humidity

The easiest way to get the right humidity for your plant is to think of its natural environment. If it comes from dry desert locations then you’ll want to avoid placing it in a room where the air is full of water such as the bathroom. But if you have a plant that comes from tropical regions such as an orchid, then the bathroom can be ideal. Some plants like the monstera will prefer an increase in humidity only when temperatures begin to rise and this is easily addressed with a spray bottle of water.

Food

The majority of nutrients that your plant receives will be taken up from the soil they are potted in. It’s good to replenish this or give an extra boost during the growing seasons and one of the best ways to do this is with a plant feed. This is usually sold as a liquid fertilizer that can be diluted in water. It provides an extra hit of all the nutrients your plant needs and you’ll see the effects coming through in better-coloured leaves, more abundant flowers or extra spurts of new growth. Always follow the instructions when using fertiliser and remember that using it once in a while will have better results than using it constantly. 

Potting Up 

You’ll soon encounter the phrase “potting up” when you start keeping house plants. This simply means transferring your house plant from its current pot to a bigger one to give it extra room to grow into. You won’t have to do this very often. One of the obvious signs a plant may need potting up is if you find it “root bound” which simply means when the roots of the plant have run out of space and begun pushing out of the bottom of the pot. You may even take it out of the pot to see the roots have bound themselves into tight circles. 

 

Scott at PrimroseScott 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.

Indoor, Indoor Plants, Scott

House Plant Inspiration

A number of studies are linking time spent in nature to better health and wellbeing. Our gardens are one of the easiest ways to get some quality time outside. If you live in a flat or within a city however you may find your own outside space lacking. One of the easiest ways to bring nature back into your home is with house plants. 

The trend for potting up nature has created a huge increase in the number of house plants available to us. There’s never been a better time to start keeping indoor plants, whatever your level of expertise. We’ve handpicked 3 of our best indoor plants for beginners so you can start bringing nature back into your home.  

Variegated Sansevieria

house plants - variegated snake plant

When shopping for house plants you quickly discover their many names. We can introduce our first plant as the Snake Plant, Saint Georges Sword, the Mother in Laws Tongue or its Latin name, Sanseveria. Whatever you decide to call it, there are plenty of reasons for having this as your go-to house plant.

  1. It’s (almost) impossible to get wrong. If you’re a serial plant killer than the snake plant is an excellent way of putting some house plant success on your record. They can survive in many different levels of light so can be placed anywhere in your home. They’re also very drought tolerant which means they’re very forgiving if you forget to water them. 
  2. They can help you sleep. They are one of the few house plants to give off oxygen primarily at night. This makes them well suited for bedrooms where the fresh oxygen can contribute towards a good nights sleep. NASA has even named them as one of the top air-purifying plants.  
  3. Beautiful leaves. Though there are many kinds of Sanseveria that have a variety of shapes and colours; what makes the leaves of these particular snake plants so attractive is their variegated leaves. Variegation is just a fancy way of describing the light and dark ripple patterns on the leaves. Variegated leaves add extra character to all sorts of plants but the snake plant remains one of our all-time favourites.   

Aloe Vera

house plants - aloe vera

Used in a variety of hand-gels, shampoos and cosmetic products, the Aloe Vera is a plant many of us will have heard of before. Aloe plants have a long history of being used as a traditional home remedy. Combined with how easy they are to grow this house plant is a sure winner for anyone starting out in keeping plants indoors.

  1. Easy to grow. The Aloe Vera is another hardy indoor plant which can get along just fine with little help from us. It’s a succulent so can store lots of water in its leaves, making it like the snake plant, fairly drought resistant. You can feel an aloe has plenty of water when the leaves maintain a firm but fleshy texture.  
  2. A home remedy. Few house plants can boast of being able to help you in as many ways as the aloe vera. It’s been used for everything from soothing minor cuts and burns to clearing up acne. And on top of all that, it joins the snake plant on NASA’s list of top air-purifying house plants!
  3. Interesting shape. Among succulents and among house plants generally, these plants have very distinctive foliage that can add a bold focal point wherever you place it. They make great companions for your sansevieria whose leaves follow a similar shape. 

Monstera Deliciosa

house plant

The humble Monstera Deliciosa is one of our best large house plants. With leaves that slowly unfurl and darken in colour, perforations that appear on each leaf and the far-reaching shape that can fill just about any space, you’ll find plenty of reasons for loving this most popular plant. 

  1. Unique foliage.  The leaves of the monstera are what makes this plant so recognisable. The distinctive holes earn it the nickname “swiss cheese plant” and it’s been a popular indoor plant for decades.   
  2. Easy to grow.  A monstera can quickly fill out any space. Its easily maintained and vigorous growth is one reason why its a favourite for decorating our interiors. They make great moving in gifts thanks to this and their traditional associations with good luck.   

Can be trained. The only thing better than a house plant is a house plant that can be styled. The fast growth of the monstera makes it easy to control the overall shape of your plant. Moss poles are usually used to direct growth upwards, otherwise, you can let nature run free and have leaves shooting in all directions. 

More Posts You Might Like…

House Plant Care & Maintenance Tips

Adding Greenery to Rooms with Vertical Planters

Scott 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.

Container Gardening, Garden Design, Gardening, Guest Posts, How To, Indoor

While you may have had a good-sized home with great landscaping both indoors and out, now you have downsized and moved to a much smaller apartment. Outdoor landscaping is not your domain anymore, and you have to now deal with a small indoor space. You do want it to look larger, you don’t want to infringe upon your living areas, but you really want lots of plants. What’s the answer to this dilemma? An indoor vertical garden!

What’s a Vertical Garden?

A vertical garden is a garden that grows upward (vertically) using a trellis or other support system, rather than on the ground (horizontally).

There are many ways to install a vertical garden in your small apartments and following are some of our favorites. Whether you live in a small Auburn, Alabama apartment or a huge city like London, you can still find ways to make it work!

Pallet

While Mississippi John Hurt wrote a famous song called “Make Me a Pallet on the Floor,” we want you to use a recycled pallet and install in on a wall. Then, cut our small areas and insert plants. This won’t take up much space but will add a nice splash of green to the wall it’s installed upon.

Leather or Wood Garden

You construct this by using a piece of plywood and either leaving it natural or covering it with leather—or plastic if you choose—and installing it floor to ceiling. Then, add a triangular expanding trellis and place small potted plants at nice intervals. This really adds outdoor charm indoors.

Wall Frame Garden

An old square wooden frame can be fixed to a wall and succulents that don’t use much water can be planted in it. You may need some netting or a screen behind the frame, but a lot of multicolored succulents can help hold in the soil and add cheeriness to the room.

Mesh

Steel mesh that you buy at a big-box home improvement center is another great option. Just run this from floor to ceiling also, get some hooks, and hang pre-potted greenery wherever it looks appropriate. Even sparsely covered mesh adds green to your room.

Vertical Air Plant Garden

To make one of these, place a three-quarter inch piece of plywood on a wall. Then hammer in nails in a triangular or square pattern and connect them with string. Next, buy a plant like tillandsia that can get most of its nutrients from the air without being planted in soil. With this scheme, you’ll have living plants that need little care, hardly any water and little further maintenance, but they will make your wall come alive with beautiful green hues.

Shelves

Wooden shelves that look like outdoor planter boxes are a favorite of ours. If you have a little more space, you can extend these out a few inches. If not, they can be installed close to the wall with enough room for a couple inches of soil. Philodendrons will look very since in this setup.

Shoe-hanger Garden

OK, so you aren’t good at building things, you don’t do well with hammers, and you have no idea how to pound in patterned nails and attach string. Don’t worry, though, because something called a shoe-hanger that you can buy at a charity shop will come to your rescue. Instead of hanging shoes on it, however, fill the pouches with soil and plant appropriate indoor plants. You can get this job done in minutes and you’ll have a wonderful indoor garden.

Are You Crafty?

If you are, check out this idea. Buy some two-liter soft drink bottles, and after you emptied them, cut them off about four inches from the top. Place the cut-off bottles neck-down on a wood rectangle and fasten them with a modified twisty-tie to the wood. Make sure you leave some room between them. Next, place soil into the bottles—they should look sort of like a funnel—and plant herbs like cilantro and parsley in them.  Now, mount the wood on a wall and water very carefully so that you don’t get your floors wet. You’ve got an inexpensive and nice-looking vertical garden that will make you smile.

Vertical gardening is an excellent way to save space in your small apartment. Primrose can help you choose the right plants as you explain exactly what you are doing, and you’ll see that for a very small investment you can bring outdoor beauty indoors.

Love these ideas, but not the hassle of making them? Primrose has an excellent range of quirky indoor planters, in all the trendy colours from copper to matt white.