We all want to give the perfect Christmas gift; but how do you choose the gift they’ll love? The options can be overwhelming in the search for that special something so here at Primrose, we’ve made things simple. Whether you’re shopping for wildlife lovers, dedicated home growers or social entertainers, you can find the perfect gift at Primrose.
For Wildlife Lovers
As a nation of animal enthusiasts, our gardens can be havens for wildlife. Welcome all varieties of birds, insects and small mammals into the garden with a selection of our houses and feeders.
A wonder to watch and a great way of increasing the variety of garden flowers. A bee or butterfly house will bring important pollinating insects into the garden and these pretty houses can sit discreetly in any space.
Nothing beats the presence of birds in a garden. The UK has a wide variety of birds that are beautiful to see and fun to watch. You can encourage great diversity into the garden with the Christmas gift of a bird feeder or table.
A wildlife-friendly garden can attract a whole host of animals from squirrels, rabbits and hedgehogs. Encourage these furry friends into the garden with houses and feeders so you can enjoy watching their antics year-round.
We love seeing how our customer’s gardens take shape throughout the year and how the sense of achievement from cultivating a garden brings so much joy.
Great gardeners deserve great tools. From handheld trowels and forks to more specialised bulb planters and weed removers, a garden can really take shape having the right tool for the right job.
Garden planters are ideal for gathering together favourite blooms and we think our fuss-free, frost-resistant, fibrecotta planters can make a great Christmas gift.
Give a gift that will keep on growing! A Christmas gift that will last for years and provide endless moments of joy, trees can transform a garden and we have a variety of species that can be gifted for any garden space.
Our gardens are the settings of wonderful moments; times we’ll treasure throughout our lives. At the centre of those moments will be one person organising it all and for them, we have a range of gifts they can be proud to display.
Extend the time spent with friends and family when the nights draw in with our range of lighting solutions. Fairy lights can add magic to any space when hung about a gazebo or strung through the trees, whilst lanterns can add a warm glow to keep everyone comfy on the sofas.
A fire pit can bring out the best of an evening – it means time spent gathered together, time spent swapping stories and jokes, time spent enjoying the warmth of a glowing fire, maybe toasting a marshmallow or two. A centrepiece befitting any keen host we have a range to suit every garden space.
For the evenings you wish can go on and on, keep everyone cosy and content with our winter blankets and throws. So whether it’s snuggling up warm with a loved one or setting down with a good book, give the gift of a relaxing evening this Christmas.
Although summer garden parties are now a fond distant memory, there’s nothing stopping you from enjoying the most comfortable time of year outside in your garden. We’ve handpicked a selection of items designed to transform your outdoor space into a cosy place of sanctuary that you can enjoy, even during the Autumn nights.
You may be thinking, “Garden furniture? What about the rain?” but that is precisely why I have selected Teak furniture as this month’s bench of choice. Known for durability and its strength to withstand extreme weather conditions, teak furniture is ideal for anyone who seeks a comfortable bench with very little maintenance required.
Due to its durability, teak is unlikely to suffer from rotting, termites, and many other damaging wood conditions. In fact, choosing teak with high quality wood and a high oil content is set to be your greatest investment all year. Warm and golden in colour, a teak bench is an Autumn garden essential, and usually big enough for nearly the whole family to share. Of course, if you’d like to give your teak bench more protection, you can opt for a furniture cover during non-use.
Does anything scream Autumn like toasting marshmallows by the fire? The best part is, you don’t need a big bonfire to do it. Let the natural elements keep you warm outside this Autumn with an outdoor fire pit. In cast iron, this classic firebowl ties in traditional tones with hard-wearing construction. Whether it’s the warmth you like, or simply the sound of the fire crackles as the wood burns, a firebowl is guaranteed to set the mood for your Autumn garden.
It wouldn’t be a cosy evening without fluffy blankets now would it? It’s time to get the kettle on and wrap up under a big woven throw while you enjoy the crisp fresh air. Many gardeners will say, Autumn and Winter is when you work hard in your garden but Summer is when you get to enjoy it. With these additions, you can enjoy it all year round.
With Autumn, comes darker nights. Don’t let poor visibility stop you from getting outside and enjoying this season. Light up your garden into a magical magnificence with luxurious outdoor lighting. You could place these above your garden bench, by your back door, or even perfectly placed along your walkway. If traditional styles are to your taste, popular lighting options include decorative wall lights, stylish lamp posts, and glowing pedestal lights. Whereas, a favourite amongst modern gardeners are sparkling string lights and eye-catching hanging lanterns.
It’s been a long hot summer, and we’ve been rushing to rescue our barbeques from the depths of the shed. With the heatwave finally on its way out, but a warm autumn predicted we have a few more weeks of pink sausages and overcooked burgers to look forward too. But does the barbeque risk becoming a bit – samey? Is it time for a new way of cooking outdoors? Perhaps one that has been sitting there unnoticed all along – the humble fire pit.
The Pit vs the BBQ
The BBQ is as synonymous with a British summer as ice pops and Wimbledon. So, why would we want to change this staple of our year ?
It all comes down to adaptability- the pit is not only a way of cooking, it’s a social experience.You might just want to bask in its glow with a bottle of wine. On some nights, You might want to invite the family round and cook over the open fire – on the best nights you’ll do both. Cooking over an open fire is an inherently social and primal experience that lends itself perfectly to a party where everyone sits, talks and cooks their own food.
The versatility of food you can cook on a firepit is impressive. Anything that can be cooked over a grill can be cooked on a firepit and if your pit comes with a lid you open up the world of roasting . You can also sear steak, hot dogs, and burgers over the fire as well as throwing a pan over the flames to fry seafood, vegetables and more. Some fancier pits will come with a rotisserie bar which allows you to cook whole poultry and game-birds and if your pit is big enough – suckling pig and lamb.
Cooking on a fire pit is probably alien to a lot of people. It’s not something we are used to doing, and it can be daunting to consider learning a whole new way of cooking and everything that comes with it . If you are willing to give to give it a go you are in for a culinary treat, but as with all forms of cooking there are a few rules that need to be followed:
Keep Water Nearby – This one may seem obvious, but it always worth reiterating. Open flames can be very dangerous and unpredictable, you may have pets and children to consider and some wood has a habit of spitting . Make sure that you always keep a bucket of water within easy reach of the pit just in case of accidents.
Prepare the Fire Correctly – The instinct may be to begin cooking as soon as you see flames, don’t do this. The ideal fire for cooking over will be mainly made up of hot coals and a few logs of burning wood. Light the fire and wait for 30-40 mins for the fire to burn down and the coals to start glowing – this is when it’s ideal to cook on.
Use the Right Fuel – The best fuel for fire pit cooking is a combination of coal and wood. The coals will be your main heat producer and can be bought from specialist retailers. Your choice of wood will decide flavour: If possible, use shop bought almond, cherry, hickory or mesquite wood for the best burn time and flavour. If you can’t find these near you charcoal can be used as a substitute. Do not use artificial firestarters or logs.
Use the Right Equipment – Your new outdoor kitchen will need some equipment before you get started. If you are planning on a more traditional selection of food then this toolset is a fun place to start. However, if you want to be a bit more adventurous then this Dutch oven cooking set is ideal.
So, both you and the fire are prepared; the beer is cold and the family are nattering – it’s time to cook. As soon as the coals are red hot you’re ready to go. But how do we actually go about cooking on the pit?
The firepit can still be used to cook our garden party faves, this familiar way of cooking is the best place to start since you already know the basic timings and method. Some fire pits will come with a grill, but you can buy grill racks to fit over the top of your pit. Another option is to lay out the raw ingredients and let your guests cook their own food in a grill basket – it frees you up to host and provides a bit of theatre and socialisation to the evening.
We ’ve all seen it in the films – people toasting marshmallows on a stick over a fire. This quintessential camping practice is a great way to end an evening and get the conversation flowing. But smores are not the only thing you can cook with a skewer. Sausages are a given but small chunks of meat and veg are also great when cooked like this. This method of cooking is simple, you need nothing but the skewer – just make sure it’s metal.
This kind of cooking requires the most equipment, but really expands the repertoire of what can be made. With the right recipe, you can be cooking a variety of foods that would not be possible on a barbeque. This method is best utilised with one-pot dishes like stews or curries and is a homely way of serving pre-made dishes whilst keeping them warm.
Cooking in the pot can be done in a few ways:
For keeping food warm or slow cooking. Hanging your pot from a tripod is the best option – You keep the heat constant and serving is easy (this is a great way of making and serving mulled wine). Or, if your fire is cool enough you can put the pot directly on the coals.
For frying – Put a pan or pot on the grill and cook as normal.
For faster cooking dishes – Rake the coals and wood to one side of the firepit, and put your pot in the empty space. This is a good method for dishes that require boiling.
You can really let your imagination be free with this one. If you have a Firepit Table or a spare pan, why not have a fondue for afters, or bake bread on a quiet weekend.
This way of cooking has been around for over 8,000 years and strips cookery back to its core – fire and meat. Yes, it can be time-consuming, but as soon as you take the first bite of tender, slightly smoked chicken you’ll never want to go back to the oven. Spit roasting can be a complex way of cooking but guides can be found online.
Most firepits won’t be big enough to do a full hog roast, but some get close. You will get your best results from poultry and game birds to start off with, but as your confidence and skills grow you can attempt small suckling pigs and larger birds like turkey. Just remember to turn the spit regularly and adhere to standard roasting times and you’ll be fine.
Cooking on the firepit needn’t be something to fear or shy away from, and this is just a very basic guide on how to start. Once you gain confidence you will keep finding new ways to push your skills. Cooking on a pit is great but they are also great ways to just relax in your garden. For whatever reason a firepit may appeal to you Primrose has you covered.
Gary 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.
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.
Charlie 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.