Celebrations And Holidays, Christmas, Scott

Eco-friendly christmas

‘Tis the season to be wasteful. Or so it can seem, with millions of rolls of gift wrap thrown away every year. But change is upon us all and it begins with people like you. The little changes you make inspire us at Primrose to do better; did you know that we’ve started introducing more eco-friendly and recyclable packaging solutions, beginning with our new houseplant range? Growing awareness and some great television from David Attenborough has made us all realise a need to do better. We all need to reduce, reuse and recycle wherever we can and the Christmas season is no exception to that. Simple changes can help reduce Christmas waste and our guide below will give you all you need to start. 

Re-gift (wrap)

reduce reuse recycle

We tend to buy gift wrap throughout the year for every birthday that comes up. And what happens? We end up with scraps of leftovers that don’t quite make it around the oddly shaped vase we’ve bought for the newlyweds. Don’t throw those scraps away – save them! And any gifts you receive yourself, be sure to save the paper. Collect it all together and by the time Christmas rolls around you’ll have a collection of gift wrap that can be reused in a variety of ways. You can either wrap an entire gift or add decorative strips to plain paper. Gift bags are also perfect for holding onto as they rarely get spoilt and can be used again and again. 

Make it special

There are plenty of eco-friendly alternatives to standard paper gift wrap; material wraps are a great way of creating something special. Wrapping up a gift in a beautiful material such as linen, gives it an extra special touch and the wrapping becomes a gift in of itself! It’s also something that can be used again and again. Be sure to source material that’s 100% natural and plastic-free where possible. An alternative to this is using materials you already have – you can easily add a Christmassy flare to any gift by wrapping it in a Christmas tablecloth, teatowel – even a Christmas stocking could double up as the perfect wrap for a wine bottle! 

Get creative

eco-friendly gift wrap

You can avoid buying gift wrap by using readily available items. A newspaper may seem an unsightly idea but actually, a text-heavy monochrome print combined with a colourful ribbon or string can look wonderful under the tree. And just because you go simple on the gift wrap doesn’t mean you can’t splash out on the extras. Using printer paper to wrap smaller items, and decorating it with some natural flourishes like some holly or a sprig from your Christmas tree can look both traditional and thoughtful. You could even take a trip to your local art store, buy some stamps and get the kids involved with decorating some plain paper with some stylish patterns.

Shop sustainably  

If you want to do your bit for reducing waste but haven’t got the time for the ideas outlined above, then the best thing you can do is shop as ethically as possible. That means buying gift wrap that is plastic-free and fully recyclable. Simple brown craft paper is a cheap and recyclable product that’s eco-friendly and easy to dress up. You could even go the extra mile and shop from companies which support natural causes. The RSPB or the World Wildlife Fund are excellent charities to start with. 

Are you planning to get ahead with your Christmas wrapping this year? Why not tag us in an Instagram post showing us your eco-friendly ideas for gift wrapping! We may even feature you on the Primrose feed.

Scott at Primrose

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.

See all of Scott’s posts.

Conservation, Current Issues, Organic, Scott, Sustainable Living

world soil dayWe’re experiencing a climate emergency. This message has finally found a voice in society and awareness of the issues facing our planet are beginning to be discussed with the attention they deserve. One of the most pressing but unreported of these is the condition of the Earth’s soil. You’ll know how important soil is to the health of your garden; the same is true for our nations soil and the soil of our planet. The 5th of December marks World Soil Day, an international project started by the United Nations to promote awareness and action over soil erosion. 

So what is soil erosion?

world soil day

When we think of the climate emergency we may think of large blocks of ice falling into the sea or freak weather showing on the news but soil erosion is an issue that is just as catastrophic whilst remaining widely unknown. Soil erosion is a wearing down of the most fertile layer of soil. This is the layer of soil that contains all the best nutrients and organic matter that’s suited for growing everything from forests to garden plants and vital crops. 

Isn’t soil erosion natural?

world soil day

Soil erosion is a natural process but it’s normally a slow one. As is so often the case in these stories, it’s the actions of humanity that have accelerated the issue to near breaking point. Intense farming, singular crop use, deforestation and expansive building of disruptive infrastructure are all things that have caused this process to accelerate. Dealing with the natural causes involved a shift in the way farms operate, due to human action, these shifts in behaviour need to happen on a global scale to help mitigate the damage.

How serious is the problem?

Time is running out to make such changes with the UN claiming we have less than 60 years before the planet runs out of fertile topsoil; a disaster considering this is where 95% of the world’s food is grown. Soil erosion is a silent symptom of the climate emergency but it can make its effects known via food shortages, lack of crop diversity, higher carbon levels in the atmosphere and accelerated climate catastrophe…  

What’s being done?

Word is beginning to spread and actions are being taken. The formation of Groundswell in 2015, the UK’s leading agricultural conservation event, is a sign of farmers recognising the problem and vowing to make a change in how they work that will benefit everyone. 

There are lots of practices that farms can introduce to regenerate their soil. Dropping the use of chemicals such as pesticides and insecticides, turning away from tilling machinery, planting more diverse crops and changing grazing practises can ALL contribute to healthier soil. The end result can be more nutrient-rich, varied and organic produce for us as consumers, farms that are more likely to stand the test of time and a healthier planet.  

organic produce

What can I do to help?

The best thing you can do to support the soil crisis is to be informed. Arm yourself with the know-how of what’s going on with our world’s soil and spread the word! This basic step will help you make more informed choices about where your food comes but also lend you a voice when it comes to communicating these ideas to those with the power to change them and stop bad practices causing soil erosion.  

soil

See our quick list below for ideas on how you can celebrate:

  1. Get out in the garden and test your own soil.
  2. Get a local school involved with a soil health workshop.
  3. Shop your local area for organic farms to try and locate fresh produce.
  4. Plan a sponsored run or walk to raise awareness of soil erosion and wider climate issues.
  5. Share this blog post and spread the word!

For more information on World Soil Day see this handy infographic from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations: Click here 

 

Scott at Primrose

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.

See all of Scott’s posts.

Christmas, Decoration, Fire Pits, Gardening, Planters, Scott, Trees, Wildlife

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.

Christmas Gifts

 

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.

 

Christmas Gifts

 

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.

 

Christmas Gifts

 

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.

 

 

christmas gift guide

Wildlife World Bee Hyve

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christmas gift guide

Hedgehog Haus (Hogitat)

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christmas gift guide

Dovecote Cream Bird House

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For Jolly Gardeners

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.  

Christmas Gifts

 

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. 

 

 

Christmas Gifts

 

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.

 

 

Christmas Gifts

 

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.

 

 

christmas gift guide

Dig For Victory Hand Trowel

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christmas gift guide

Kensington Framed Trough Planter

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christmas gift guide

Ornamental Trees

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For Social Entertainers

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.   

Christmas Gifts

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. 

 

Christmas Gifts

 

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. 

Christmas Gifts

 

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.

 

 

christmas gift guide

White LED Fairy Lights

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christmas gift guide

Woodland Scene Fire Bowl

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christmas gift guide

Pink and Cream Throw

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Halloween, Outdoor Living, Scott

Bonfire night is very special to my family. We always skip the big show at the park in favour of our own display. It’s a chance for everyone to get together in the garden; wrapped up in coats, hats and scarves. There’ll be a large pot of chilli in the kitchen to keep everyone warm; why chilli I’m not sure, but it’s always there. Rockets and fountains are set off to variable oohs and ahhs. It’s a night of big thrills and traditions and a night when it’s very important to keep safety in mind. Fond memories of bonfire night can soon be tarnished when mistakes are made. Below are some important tips on staying safe alongside my family experience of bonfire night;  I hope they inspire you to try your own party and create some memories of your own.

The Bonfire 

bonfire night

The bonfire was always a central element of our family firework night. Earlier that day we’d stuff an old pair of pyjamas with newspaper; maybe even making a Papier-mache head to complete the Guy that would stand in the fire. Getting the kids involved with these elements is a fantastic way of engaging them with some English history. Though thrilling to watch and gather around, a bonfire has the potential to be very dangerous and needs to be set up correctly. To enjoy a safe bonfire follow these 8 simple tips:

  1. Keep an eye on the weather. The wind is the main cause for concern as sparks and embers can drift on the wind and start a fire.
  2. Position your bonfire somewhere central with room to move around the entire perimeter, away from wooden fences, foliage or garden furniture.
  3. If you do not have a dedicated fire bowl, pit or bin create a circle of bricks or stones to contain the flames and build within that circle.
  4. Build your fire up layer by layer in a teepee shape using twigs, kindling and logs. You can also make use of a firelog; a safer way to add some heat and structure.
  5. One person should be responsible for the bonfire so that it’s always being supervised. It’s fine to get kids involved helping out but never leave children to supervise a fire alone.  
  6. Never use lighter fluids to help the fire along. 
  7. Keep a bucket of water or sand handy in case of any accidents. 
  8. After your party pour a bucket of water over the fire. Do not leave it to go out by itself. 

Fireworks

bonfire night

Soon it’s time to move on to the fireworks. In my family, we would have boxes of fireworks open in the conservatory. All of the kids will pick a firework they want to be lit next and hand it over to the parents who would take it into the garden to set up. This is great for getting the kids involved in a safe way as they never need to come into the area where the fireworks are actually being lit. Just make sure there is someone there supervising the selection of the fireworks. The fireworks are bonfire night tradition but they’re also the most dangerous thing you’ll use. Remember that you are dealing with explosives and as such, they need to be treated with care and attention. To make sure everyone enjoys your firework display follow these 6 simple guidelines. 

  1. All fireworks are categorised from F1-F4. The higher the number the more hazardous a firework is. For the purposes of a garden firework display, you should purchase fireworks categorised as F1 or F2. Anything higher than this is for professional use only. 
  2. Plan your firework display with the items you would like to begin and end with, aiming to finish your display before 11 pm.
  3. Make sure you have a place to position and ignite your fireworks at least 8m from the nearest spectator. 
  4. Read the instructions of each firework before using. 
  5. Light each firework at arm’s length with a taper, standing well back. Never return to a firework once it’s been lit.  
  6. Do not allow children to light or carry fireworks and never leave fireworks unattended with children around.

Sparklers

bonfire night

Towards the end of our family display, everyone would be given a sparkler and the frantic waving would commence as people attempted to write their names in sparkles. Poor cousin Jennifer never made it past the second n. You can try capturing these moments on camera; you can get some fantastic effects with the streaks of light caught in a photo. To make sure everyone enjoys their sparklers fully, use our 4 simple guidelines below: 

  1. Make sure young children only use sparklers with full adult supervision
  2. Wear gloves when handling sparklers
  3. Hold sparklers at arm’s length and away from the face
  4. When a sparkler has finished put in a bucket of cold water

Don’t Forget The Pets

bonfire night

Let’s remember our furry friends this time of year. Though firework season is a great time for us humans, it can be a scary time for pets. We would often find our dog hiding under the bed as soon as the fireworks started going off. But then our cat seemed fascinated by them and would sit happily watching them on the windowsill. A few simple steps can help reduce some pet stress and even if your pet doesn’t seem to mind, it’s a good precaution. See our 4 tips below:

  1. Lots of pet stores will sell chemical plugins or collars that can help keep your pet calm.
  2. You can play prerecorded sound effects of fireworks and loud noises in the run-up to bonfire night. Playing them quietly can help get pets more used to the sound of fireworks. 
  3. Make sure your cats and dogs have an area within the house they can retreat to if they feel nervous or overwhelmed. A quiet bedroom with comfy bedding and some favourite treats and toys can take a pet’s mind off the loud bangs outside!
  4. If you have smaller pets in an outside hutch consider bringing them inside for the week around firework night. A quiet room will likely be appreciated. 

Share your bonfire night celebration with us on Instagram! Tag us with @primrose.co.uk and we might feature your photos on the Primrose feed. 

 

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.