Garden Design, Gardening, Gary, New Products, Planters

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. 

Fibrecotta Planter in Garden
Fibrecotta Planter in Garden

 

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.

Why Fibrecotta?

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.

Set of terracotta coloured Fibrecotta planters from Primrose.co.uk

 

Gary at PrimroseGary 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.

See all of Gary’s posts.

Awnings, Current Issues, Guest Posts, New Products, Watering

smart technology garden

When smart technology first arrived, many just thought it was something that controlled thermostats and helped save on HVAC costs.

Then it morphed into motion detectors, smart doorbells and security systems. As you know, smart technology applications continue to grow at a rapid pace, and if you want to keep your garden growing also, check out the latest innovations:

Smart irrigation

Whether you live in an apartment in Eugene, Oregon or a penthouse in London’s Notting Hill neighborhood, we know you can get your plants to grow and keep your grass green by simply standing outside with the hose and watering by hand, but by using a smart app, you can control when you water and why you water.

A good smart system that is integrated with your sprinkler configuration can tell you when it is the best time to water. Those in hot climates know that random watering done during the heat of the day is wasteful since there is a lot of evaporation, and a smart app can pin down the correct times to give your plants a good drink. The best innovations can interface with the weather so that you don’t water when it is raining.

smart irrigation

Smart mower

Wouldn’t it be great to just sit on the lawn chair while you grass is being cut? This is now possible with robot lawn mowing systems, and of course, these can be controlled from your mobile device.

Here’s how it works; available for lawns of all shapes and sizes, robot lawn mowers are relatively easy to set up and program. They’re powered by rechargeable batteries, so you don’t have to keep buying fresh batteries. Plus, they’re super quiet, which means you can turn them on at any hour of the day without bothering the neighbors. You’ll use bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity, and a mobile app to get them set up and get to work. Remember, if you have a large lawn, you’ll need to purchase a model that can handle larger areas and things that get in the way such as flower beds, trees, and bushes.

smart mower

Smart garden hub

These gizmos, such as GreenIQ, put it all together:

  • Soil temperature
  • Garden lights
  • Smoke alarms
  • Motion detectors
  • Personal weather stations

A smart garden hub will capture this information, interpret it, and allow your app to dictate plant watering cycles.

GreenIQ Smart Garden Hub, specifically, supports various Smart Home Integrations such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Nest, and Apple Watch and allows you to complete your Smart Home with a full Smart Garden experience.

The system factors in weather data from public weather stations or private like ones, Netatmo and Davis. It detects pipe leaks and clogs when connected to a flow meter. If you want your GreenIQ to factor in the soil moisture level, add a soil sensor to your system.

The possibilities are endless with smart garden hubs like GreenIQ!

Soil condition

Do you want to know your soil moisture content, fertilizer readings, temperature, light intensity, and what to do about it?

A soil sensor like Spiio can provide all of this information and your app can advise you of any corrective action that may be necessary.

With a good soil sensor and an integrated app, you will no longer have to guess about which fertilizer will adjust your lawn’s pH to the proper level for the type of plants you are growing.

smart soil

Smart awnings

Electric awnings have transformed the garden shade experience into something that can be managed with ease. You can extend your awning at the touch of a button and retract it the moment the conditions become too blustery. But now electric awnings have entered the modern age with the adoption of smart technology – you can set them up to be controlled from you mobile phone.

Camera

This is simple, but totally necessary if you go on vacation. A friend of ours was a great gardener but lived in the hot southwest and was afraid to go on vacation in July because three days without water would be a disaster for his garden.

One year, he had to leave for a wedding and primitively set up a mechanically timed DIY sprinkler system. It was set to go on twice a day. Our friend left for a week and hoped for the best. When he came home, he found out that while his concocted sprinkler system worked, it had also rained every day, and our guy came home to a flooded backyard.

With a simple camera, he could have seen from his mobile device that the sprinkler system needed to be turned off, and he could have asked his neighbor to help. Since he didn’t know what was going on, he had to clean up the mess.

The moral? Even if you don’t want to invest in a smart watering or gardening system, at least set up a smart camera so you can see what your yard looks like when you are gone, and subsequently take action where needed.

garden camera

RadbilSam Radbil is the lead writer for ABODO Apartments, an online real estate marketplace with available apartments from small towns like Eugene, Oregon to big cities like New York City. ABODO’s research and writing has been featured nationally in Curbed, Forbes, Realtor.com, HousingWire and more.

Charlie, Gardening Year, Gazebos, Lighting, Marquees, New Products, Outdoor Heating, Solar Lighting

The great British weather. Nothing compares. Particularly not this year, with a freezing March and early April, going into the hottest early May bank holiday on record you can safely say the weather has been up and down this year. A part of this is the indian summer we experienced in late April and early May. But what exactly is an indian summer?

The phrase actually was actually coined in 1770 in what would become the United States of America and is not – as many assume – anything to do with India or the days of the British Raj, but is actually a term used to describe the weather by Native Americans to the settlers of New England. It was a phrase used by the settlers to describe the unseasonably warm weather in spring and autumn when otherwise the climate was very similar to what they were used to back in Europe.
In the UK the term did not actually get much usage until about the 1950’s – and is largely more associated with a warmer autumn than a warmer spring. Here’s hoping the term will get lots of usage this autumn.

But what can Primrose do to help you out with the indian summer we’re experiencing and the indian summer that, hopefully, lies ahead of us? Well, we don’t stock suncream, but have a great range of garden shade to keep the heat off your back. We’re especially proud of our new lines of canvas indian tents which are new in this season and sure to wow the neighbours – even if its a different sort of indian to the “indian summer”.




We also have a great range of lighting, which is perfect for elongating the warm evenings, especially as the nights begin to draw in again, but the temperature remains warm.

 

 

 

We also have a dizzying array of sail shades and awnings to suit almost any garden, and don’t forget to check out our range of water features to get the relaxing sound of trickling water in your garden even in the long, dry summer months.

All in all an indian summer is something to be celebrated. Many artists have used the term as a metaphor for prolonged good fortune and here at Primrose we certainly believe that good fortune with the weather is something to be cherished.

And if an indian summer doesn’t materialise, you can always create your own with our great range of outdoor heating solutions.

 

CharlieCharlie works in the Primrose marketing team, mainly in online marketing.

When not writing for the Primrose Blog, Charlie likes nothing more than a good book and a cool cider.

To see the rest of Charlie’s posts, click here.

 

 

George, New Products, News, Press Releases, Water Features

We’re thrilled to announce the publication of our first book, The Primrose Water Feature Book: Inspiring Stories to Transform Your Garden. It’s the end of a long and rewarding journey, so we’re delighted to finally be able to share it with you.

The book contains a number of case studies to see how some of our customers have used water features to turn their garden into something wonderful. There’s a whole range of styles, from minimalist modern centrepieces, to relaxing bubble tubes in an allotment. Alongside interviews and gorgeous photography, we have articles to help guide you through the process of choosing a water feature, installing it, lighting it and more.

Primrose Water Feature Book

If you’d like to see the final result, the book is available to buy in paperback or view online for free!

Recently I was lucky enough to chat with the author, Kim Stoddart, about what she does and the process of writing the book. Over to Kim:

1. Tell us a bit about yourself!

I’m a gardening journalist for a range of national publications (including the Guardian) and run courses from my smallholding and training gardens in beautiful West Wales. I have a passion for wildlife friendly gardening and believe that everyone would benefit from the many therapeutic benefits of spending time in a green outdoor space. As such I believe water has an incredibly important role to play in the garden, providing relaxation and much more besides.

2. What appealed to you about taking on this project?

As a gardening writer I’ve been aware of Primrose for a number of years now and really like the company. They have a good reputation and an extremely wide selection of water features, so I was delighted to help bring the subject alive for them.

3. What was the process of researching and writing the book like?

Being a gardening enthusiastic (aka geek), the opportunity to immerse myself in a particular subject is always appealing. Researching the book involved looking up everything to do with the subject past and present as well as working closely with the excellent team of experts at Primrose who know everything there is to know about water features.

4. What surprised you most from talking to our customers?

I think just how much their water features have enhanced their lives as well as their gardens is probably what came across most strikingly. Once you have a water feature you’re absolutely smitten with it.

customers in garden

5. What was your favourite featured garden?

That’s very difficult to say as I think they all had virtue and areas of interest. What I liked most was hearing from each Primrose customer about what their garden and water feature within meant to them. In all cases it was an extension of their own personal tastes and lifestyle and therefore fascinating to capture the many ways a green space can be enjoyed.

6. What would be your dream water feature?

The truth of the matter is that since writing this book, I’m now on a mission to include as many water features as possible within my training gardens. It’s an addictive but hugely beneficial hobby.

7. Has the project changed the way you look at gardens?

Well ask me anything about water features and I can talk for hours! Otherwise, I’d say I notice the beauty of natural water sources much more now and am inspired to recreate as many different features as I can at home. There’s nothing quite like the sound of a gently bubbling feature, it’s good for the soul.

8. What’s next for you?

Aside from the usual gardening writing in magazines and newspapers, I’m working on expanding my training courses through my social enterprise www.greenrocketcourses.com which help fund therapeutic opportunities for people on the autistic spectrum. My courses for the general public provide lots of time saving advice, tips and inspiration for people interested in growing their own food in particular. I also cover climate change gardening a great deal. There are also a few book projects on the horizon.

Kim Stoddart

Don’t forget, you can now buy the book or read it for free online. Let us know what you think or if you have plans for water features in your garden.

George at PrimroseGeorge works in the Primrose marketing team. As a lover of all things filmic, he also gets involved with our TV ads and web videos.

George’s idea of the perfect time in the garden is a long afternoon sitting in the shade with a good book. A cool breeze, peace and quiet… But of course, he’s usually disturbed by his energetic wire fox terrier, Poppy!

He writes about his misadventures in repotting plants and new discoveries about cat repellers.

See all of George’s posts.