Alice, Celebrations And Holidays, Outdoor Living

Bank holidays offer a great respite from the demands of work and school, and the long weekend allows the opportunity to visit family or take a trip somewhere. But if you’re stuck at home this year never fear, there are plenty of fun games you can play in the comfort of your own back garden. Here are some garden games for the bank holiday that you can play to make the most of the sunshine.

garden games for the bank holiday

Hide & Seek

Hide and seek is a simple fun game that you can play in the garden on a sunny afternoon without having to purchase any additional equipment. Typically, one person closes their eyes and counts to a specified number, and other players must hide and the other person must then try and find them. There is also a variation called “Kick The Can” where unfound players can kick a can placed in the middle of the garden to free captured players.

Blind Man’s Bluff

Originating from Tudor and Victorian England, Blind Man’s Bluff is a fun variation of “tag”. One player wears a blindfold and must try and tag the other players. If another player is tagged, they then become “it” and must try and tag the others. Make sure to play this game in a clear area free of obstructions and hazards to ensure safety.

Giant Chess

Think chess is a game reserved for rainy days indoors? Think again. Our Giant Garden Chess Set can take the game to a whole new level. Playing chess offers some surprising benefits, including improving problem-solving skills, focus, and memory, and even helping to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. The giant chess pieces add a fun, dynamic element to the game, and you can enjoy the benefits while making the most of the sunny weather.

Rounders

A playground favourite, rounders is a game that provides fun for all the family. This simple game requires a bat, ball, and four bases, and team members take it in turns to hit the ball then aim to run around the four posts and score a “rounder” before the opposing retrieves the ball and throws it back to the bowler. It is a fantastic form of aerobic exercise and interval training, and can also help develop hand-eye coordination. The Muddy Puddle Traditional Wooden Rounders Set has everything you need to play the game in a handy string bag.

Swingball

Swingball is a simple yet fun activity that can provide hours of entertainment on a sunny day. The game consists of a portable pole where a ball attached to a string swings around, and players must bat the ball to keep it swinging in their direction until it reaches their end of the swinging track on the top of the pole. The Mookie All Surface Lite Swingball Set can be used on all surfaces. Just be careful of the swinging ball! 

Frisbee

An old-school classic, a frisbee can provide fun for all the family on summer days- including dogs! A highly versatile activity, you can play a simple throw and catch game, see who can throw the frisbee the furthest, play “piggy in the middle” or a whole host of team games. The Aerobie Pro Flying Ring by Smyth’s Toys is an aerodynamic design that was allegedly used to set the Guiness World Record for the farthest frisbee throw.

Parachute Games

A parachute can provide an afternoon of fun for all the family. People typically stand around the edges, holding onto the handles, but there are a whole host of games you can play, that can include ruffling the parachute, one person sitting in the middle, or creating a bubble of air that allows everyone to sit inside. These games encourage co-operative play while building upper body strength. The Newitts Play Parachute comes in various sizes and rainbow colours.

If you fancy a break from all the activity, check out our post on how to build an outdoor cinema in your garden.

What games are you playing in your garden this bank holiday? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

 

 

 

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.

 

Awnings, Gazebos, Marquees, Outdoor Living, Sail Shades

All year, we long for the glorious summer days. Sometimes, however, the full heat of the sun can be overwhelming, and there is a need for a shady spot. There are a whole host of shade solutions that can provide shelter for your outdoor space. You can sit comfortably with your family and friends, having protection from UV rays. Read on to discover the top shade solutions for your garden.

Gazeboes

Gazebo for shade

gazebo is an outdoor structure perfect for entertainment. It offers a roof for shade and gives a wide view of your surrounding garden. They provide both protection from rain and shaded comfort on those hotter days. They are perfect for social parties but can also be used as permanent structures to create a covered seating area for use year-round. 

Awnings

Awning for shade

Awnings are versatile shade solutions for your garden. They are generally made from canvas or other material that is stretched onto a frame. They are ideal for giving shade to a patio or seating area. Many of these are retractable, so you can wind them in or out depending on your changing needs. Visit our sister site Primrose Awnings for our full selection.

Parasols

Parasol for shade

Not just for the beach, parasols are a great way to add instant shade to your garden. Their portable nature means they can be placed anywhere in your garden to create shade over a seating area or patio. The options on the market today are more advanced than the standard beach parasol, with variation in colour, shape, and leaning. The Norfolk Leisure Geisha-Style Cantilever Parasol is an elegant style that can be adjusted and tilted as required.

Shade Sails

Shade Sail for shade

Shade sails are essentially large pieces of fabric that fit onto buildings, fences, or poles to add shade over a section of your garden. They are perfect for patios, or seated areas of your garden. Easy to install, they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They are handy for all kinds of uses from giving shade to social areas, children’s play areas or even creating a spot in your garden for more shade-tolerant plants. Check out this post for some inspirations shade sail setups.

Arbours

Arbour for shade

An arbour is a great way to combine plant life with shade offering. These handy structures are both delightful seating areas and a framework for climbing plants to grow over. You can train a variety of climbing plants onto an arbour to create a truly special place to relax and unwind. 

Trees

Trees for shade

If you’re looking for a natural option to provide shade in your garden, the solution is simple: trees! Not only do they provide a long-term source of shade, but planting trees is also great for the environment. However, this is not an instant fix, as trees will take time to establish, and you will need to spend time researching varieties and choosing your spot as they are not easy to uproot. Good, relatively fast-growing, trees for providing shade are the American sweetgum, red maple, silver maple, and northern red oak.

Which shade solutions for your garden are you using? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!

 

Greenhouses

With January always marking a fresh start, now is the optimum time to begin preparing your greenhouse for the seasons ahead. 

As quiet as your garden might appear, its life will tentatively reemerge. It is therefore important to encourage your garden’s exciting return, and ensuring that your greenhouse is fully in check is the perfect starting point. 

Give your Greenhouse a Clean

Greenhouse Gardening Tips

Understandably not the most exciting of gardening activities, cleaning your greenhouse for the busier months ahead will prove a highly rewarding activity. A good clean will let in more light for your plants, and mitigate the risks of pests and diseases. 

Before the cleaning activities commence, make sure that your plants have been relocated to an area sheltered from the elements, ideally protected beneath a fleece. Once your greenhouse’s residents have been moved, brush away dirt and debris from your greenhouse’s floor; a broom will be perfectly sufficient. 

Once the floor is nice and clean, move onto the cleaning of your greenhouse’s panes; cleaning them both internally and externally. Add some glass cleaner into a bucket of warm water, and using a sponge, scrub the dirt of each pane, leaving them to dry naturally. For the most immaculate finish, use a scraper you consider best for the job to remove any trapped dirt between each pane.

Once your greenhouse’s panes are bright and clear, apply some rubber gloves and begin brushing away accumulated leaves and dirt from your gutters. Use a hose pipe to rinse out the remaining dirt, or, if you wish to be gentler, a watering can.

When rinsing, try to guide the flow of water into a bucket which can be disposed around your garden’s trees and shrubs. If significant, make use of the debris you have collected by placing it onto a compost heap. The removal of your greenhouse’s debris will help protect your plants from blight, mealy bugs, and mites. Besides from deterring pests, a sparkling and refreshed greenhouse may be the push you need into reacquainting yourself with your beloved garden, which is capable of bringing so much delight.  

Plant Strategically

Greenhouse Gardening Tips

The early weeks of the year is an ideal period for planting crops that entail a longer growing season, with chillies being the perfect example. If chillies experience a generous period of growing, they will grow and flower more significantly, and the larger the plant, the greater number of vegetables yielded.

Your chilli seeds should be thinly scattered over a tray of peat-free compost, which will retain moisture and release nutrients over their extended growing season. Water your compost sparingly; it is best for the soil to be moist, as opposed to overly soggy. 

To allow their successful germination, it is crucial to ensure that your greenhouse is suitably warm.  At Primrose, offer a diverse range of greenhouse heaters, available here.

The germination process can be very long, so do not be disheartened if no progress is apparent after several weeks. Once your chillies have developed some leaves, pot into 75 millimeter pots to ensure their continued growth. 

Growing your own produce can appear daunting, and even unpredictable at times. This can particularly be the case if you are new to the world of gardening. Why not browse our ‘Grow your own Extreme Chilli Kit’, which encompasses everything you need in order to grow your very own chillies at home.  

Prepare your Tools

Greenhouse Gardening Tips

Make use of your garden’s mid-winter quietness to be one step ahead by preparing your tools accordingly. A thorough mid-winter clean and sharpen will help them function seamlessly and prevent disease from being spread around your garden. 

Cultivation Tools

Cultivation tools, such as hoes, spades, forks, and trowels, should be cleaned by a scrubbing brush to remove soil. It is beneficial to wet them if they are particularly dirty, however make sure you dry them rigorously, if they are left damp, their metal could rust and their handles could swell. Once cleaned, particularly for older tools, we recommend that you apply a layer of oil to them with an old but clean cloth. The oil you apply need not be of a specialist kind; all-purpose oil will do an excellent job. 

Before you oil your tools however, a sharpening may very well be necessary. Using a whetstone or a file, sharpen the blade of each tool several times, before tightening any loose bolts to allow your tool to be as reliable as possible for the busy months ahead. 

An important tool to pay added attention to in terms of its care will be your secateurs, as they will help you guide and nurture the growth of your plants, shrubs, and trees throughout the year. Due to being multi-purpose, they are likely to become tired perhaps quicker than your other tools, so it is therefore wise to be extra attentive in their maintenance. 

Accompanied by a little bit of vigour, you can successfully remove the rust from your secateurs with some wire wool, before sharpening them in the same manner as you would for the aforementioned tools. Freshly sharpened secateurs will prove a pivotal asset to gardening, and will make pruning a walk in the park, or the garden, should we say. 

Cutting Tools

In addition to your secateurs, your wider collection of cutting tools, such as knives, loppers, and shears, are likely to have gathered sap on their blades from your pruning and cutting activities. We therefore recommend that you remove this residue by initially applying a displacing solution to loosen the sap, before cleaning it away with wire wool. Once you are satisfied with your cleaning, wipe away the displacing solution, before tightening loose bolts and placing a few drops of oil onto the inner blades, which can be opened and closed a few times for it to spread. Your tools can then be put away, to be used for the exciting months ahead.