Garden Design, Gardening & Landscaping, Gary, Stuart

In celebration of International Women’s Day 2021 (Monday 8th March), we’re taking a look at some visionary women who’ve had a huge impact on the modern garden. Read on if you’d like to learn more about some of the great women in gardening and some of the things they’ve brought to the horticultural world, from the British Isles’ past to fabulous present.

Gardening Greats from the Past

Gertrude Jekyll
1843 – 1921

Gertrude Jekyll ft. Begonia

Modern gardens have a lot to thank Gertrude Jekyll for. Her partnership with Edwin Lutyens lasted over 25 years and she was a key influence in Georgian garden design, while her simple approach championed colourful, easy to maintain borders and brought plants like the rose, begonia and hosta back into fashion. The way she used colour is still taught as a basic tenet of garden design today, and we can thank her for the trend of creating sections in a garden. You can still see some of her creations at Lindisfarne Castle or West Dean.

Norah Lindsay

1873 – 1948

Norah Lindsay x Cliveden

This Oxfordshire socialite made great strides in the world of gardening to become one of only a few female garden designers of her time. She was a pioneer of seasonal planting and creating gardens that would bloom all year round. The traditional country garden combination of mauve, pink and white were a signature of her design style. Her work and influence can be seen at the Blickling Estate in Norfolk, as well as at Cliveden in Buckinghamshire, Chirk Castle in Wales and Mottisfont Abbey in Hampshire amongst many other private country house gardens.

Margery Fish
1892-1969

East Lambrook

Image from Wikipedia by Ray Beer, CC BY-SA 2.0, Index

Our love affair with perennials and the traditional cottage garden can all be traced back to Margery Fish. Her design ideas became so popular that she released two books in the 1960s and had a column in Amateur Gardening magazine. Margery championed simple planting schemes, and the use of ground cover to save on labour. She was also one of the first to make extensive use of silver foliage. She was also a big fan of snowdrops and her gardens at East Lambrook have over 60 named varieties of the plant growing in them.

Vita Sackville-West
1892-1962

Vita Sackville-West and white Digitalis

Image from Wikipedia by DHRUVA SRINIVAS – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Index

A prolific fiction writer, poet and gardener, Vita Sackville-West is the brains behind the gardens of Sissinghurst Castle. A poet and writer, she was known for her art and flair. Her early career was dominated by multi-layered planting and bright colours, but her real influence on today’s design was her White Garden –  a blend of traditional colours and textures that is still very much in fashion.

Kitty Lloyd Jones
1898 – 1978

A White Astilbe, a flower from the bog garden

Born to a doctor in Swansea and the ninth of ten children, Kitty was among one of the first professional female horticulturalists. Before her, most female gardeners found work through social connections, but in 1924 she graduated with a degree in horticulture from the University of Reading – one of the first women to ever do so. Kitty gradually built up a network of clients. Her best-known work was the redesign of the gardens at Upton House where her impressive bog garden still survives today.

Gardening Greats from the Present

Ann-Marie Powell

@myrealgarden

An award-winning garden designer and writer, Ann-Marie Powell is a modern garden great who shares garden inspiration on Instagram as @myrealgarden, as well as on her own site. With her innovative ideas and designs bringing gardening greatness to the country’s aspiring gardeners, and all while being a Greenfingers charity patron, we think Ann-Marie is the bees knees!

Paula Sutton

@hillhousevintage

A fashionable city girl turned country lady, Paula Sutton has moved from the fast-paced world of London, modelling agencies and fashion magazines to the quieter climes of the English countryside, and now shares her interior and exterior designs and inspirations through her blog and on Instagram @hillhousevintage. We think her use of British design to suit all budgets crossed with her country house chic is one to watch out for, ideal for anyone who wants to bring the feeling of the UK’s great green spaces to their own back garden.

Tania Compton

@taniacompton

An accomplished landscape and garden designer, Tania Compton is a garden expert who followed up on 12 years as Garden Editor for House & Garden magazine with moving to Wiltshire, and 6 acres of clay-filled land that she transformed into romantic and naturalistic gardens. Her Spilsbury gardens are sometimes open to the public and at Longford Castle you can see her redesigned parterre. Or, if you have a spare £4m handy, you can buy Reddish House when it comes back on the market and own some Tania Compton gardens of your own!

Gardening Greats of the Future

Could these be some of the gardening greats of the future to feature in next year’s collection of female horticulturist visionaries?

 

Conservation

World Wildlife Day Logo 3 March

World Wildlife Day has become one of the most important events dedicated to wildlife. In 2021 it’s taking place on the 3rd March, and here’s everything you need to know about what it is and how to take part.

What is World Wildlife Day?

Started by the UN on 20 December 2013, World Wildlife Day celebrates and raises awareness of problems facing wild animals and plants. Every year the day has a new theme that shines a spotlight on one area of environmental need.

What’s the theme of World Wildlife Day in 2021?

In 2021 the focus will be Forests and Livelihoods. Across the world, the spotlight will be on schemes and initiatives that help preserve our forests and support the 200 and 350 million people who live in or around them. In the Uk, the focus is on conserving and protecting our declining woodland species.

How big is the problem of declining UK species?

The 2019 state of nature report found that 41% of all UK  species have declined in numbers since the 1970s.

Of these, 26% of mammal species are at risk of extinction with the hedgehog seeing a 95% drop in population.

Pollution, loss of habitat and climate change are the biggest reason for the reduction in biodiversity, and it only takes small changes to have a significant impact.

What can I do to help?

Each garden is a part of the larger ecosystem around it. Looking after the plants and wildlife in your space will improve all the outdoor areas around you and create a place teeming with life. There are some simple steps you can take that will have a significant impact.

Help Pollinators

Pollinators are the natural world’s backbone; they keep plantlife growing strong, helping all the wildlife around them. But three bee species have gone extinct in recent decades, and the rest are at risk of extinction. Plant wildflowers and install bee homes or shelters to give your local pollinators plenty of food and places to rest.

Find out how to garden in a bee-friendly way.

Insect Habitat and Nectar Feeder

Browse Pollinator Care

Give a Hedgehog a House

Hedgehogs were once called ‘gardeners friends’ because they eat slugs, caterpillars, beetles and other pests. Having them in your garden benefits plants and crops, but they are in decline with estimated numbers dropping from 30 million to just under one million since the 1950s. The best way to help our prickly friends is to give them a space to hibernate and raise their little hoglets safely.

Hedgehog homes

Browse Hedgehog Care

Look After Wild Birds

Birds help to control pests, pollinate plants and keep our forests healthy by spreading seeds around. Like all wildlife, both native and migratory birds are at risk from urbanisation and pollution, but you can help them year-round by giving them food, shelter and water.

Bird Feeder, Bird Care Box, Bird House

Browse Bird Care

It only takes little steps to make a big change in your local area. Show us what you’re doing in your garden this World Wildlife Day on Facebook or Instagram with #MyPrimroseGarden for a chance to be featured.

Gardening & Landscaping, How To

A rising trend in our community is the unique ability to turn a small outdoor space into an impressive yard-ens: tiny gardens bursting with creativity and flair. We love seeing all of the compact areas being turned into sanctuaries of green goodness and hope that this trend will go well beyond 2021.

So whether you are sprucing up a balcony garden, a petite patio, or a tiny terrace, adding plants and planters of varying heights will enable you to enjoy your petite place of zen.

Create a ‘sleeper’ hit!

Here are some top tips when it comes to perfecting your tiny outdoor oasis.

Pacing, planting, and planning are key

It’s time to think like a gardening magician and plan the perfect optimal outdoor illusion. The best place to start is by thinking about what you need from your outdoor space and how to fit those elements.

When you can’t expand outwards, you have think about upwards! Walls, garages, the side of a fence—it’s all good space. Get blooms up high with containers like hanging baskets, window boxes and exquisite wall mangers.

Think about creating your own secret pockets of space within your garden using screens, trellises or walls of foliage.  Decorating each area with different plants, living wall areas and garden furniture will help differentiate sections of your tiny space.  These unique areas are perfect for hiding small seating areas and comfy garden getaways.

Smart Furniture

This is where the tiny garden experts set themselves apart from the novices. When thinking about small spaces, most people shy away from incorporating furniture as they fear space will become cluttered. But in reality, furniture can be used to significant effect in a yard-en; you just need to make smart choices. Instead of large benches or bulky seating, go for more compact options.

Attract Wildlife

You don’t need acres of land or a countryside garden to be at one with nature.

A perfect way to breathe life into your tiny garden is by creating a home for wildlife to thrive in. Bird boxes, feeding stations, and even insect hotels are a beautiful way to build a tranquil outdoor oasis for both you and wildlife to enjoy.

Offer birds a place to drink, butterflies a place to feed and don’t forget the other insects. Many garden plants need pollinating insects to produce fruit and flowers (even in a tiny garden) But their numbers are in decline, partly due to a loss of habitat. Make your garden a safe haven for essential solitary bees, ladybirds and lacewings.

Keep It Bright

Brightly coloured plants and features can make your petite patio, or city balcony seem lighter and brighter than it appears.

Golden or light-yellow colours are perfect for brightening up dark patches, or opt for bright displays of foliage and shrubs to grace your garden with a burst of eye-catching colour.

As a general rule, hot colors like reds and dark yellows make a space feel warm and intimate, while if you want your garden sanctuary to feel larger opt for cooler light purples, whites, and blues.

And even though our garden getaways are growing in the UK, don’t shy away from tropical textures to help give you a sense of holiday romance when you step away into garden retreat.

Ready to start cultivating your tiny dream garden getaway? Share the progress with us and of course the beautiful end result on social media using #MyPrimroseGarden. We can’t wait to see what you create!

 

Mothers' Day

Mums around the country have embraced gardens as an opportunity for some peace and quiet and respite from everyday life. It’s also become a money-saver for some families, as they spend money on seeds, they are starting to notice a slight save in groceries. Gardening is the gift that keeps on giving, so why not share the infinite beauty of it with your Mum this Mothering Sunday.

As we know, every mum is unique and special, and that’s why we have curated gifts for a selection of gardening personas, so there really is something for everyone.

Dedicated and practical: Here’s A Plant Care-Routine Fit For A Mum

There’s nothing more important than keeping your plants fed, watered and well-cared for. So why not fancy up your mom’s plant-care routine with a pretty watering can as she tends to her vegetable patch this spring? Don’t overlook the variety of humble watering cans: choosing an essential gardening tool for your Mum will help make her life more comfortable and be a timeless gift that she’ll get use from for years.

Are you looking for something a little more unique? Why not give the best of both worlds and choose a special primrose watering can with its very own blossoms!

Primrose watering can

Browse Garden Tools

Practical yet fun: Gift Your Mum Flowers That Will Last

Your mum is pretty special, so why not show her that you care and give her a rose that will last? Opting for a pretty pink colour represents gratitude, appreciation, and love, so it will bloom with meaning. The ‘Mum in a Million‘ is a pretty hybrid tea rose. It blooms from summer until autumn, producing large, highly fragrant, vibrant-pink flowers that contrast beautifully against the glossy foliage.

If you can’t wait for the summer and want a blossom that lasts until winter why not choose an Evergreen Azalea. Displaying large stunning red flowers throughout April and May, this is a beautiful Mother’s Day present. It’s relatively easy to take care of but does require some extra attention during the colder months, making these a perfect fit for a mum who is a natural protector.

Pink Tea Rose

Browse Mother’s Day Gifts

Zen Focussed: Layer Up Your Mum’s Garden With Accessory Love

If your mum is more inclined to invest in the garden accessories that help her garden become a unique outdoor oasis, why not give her items that will add the “wow” factor to her outdoor getaway. Help her unwind with garden features that provide a sense of peace and help fuel her creative expression.

We have it all at Primrose, from cascading water features to outdoor circular mirrors that glisten and gleam, all along with plants galore. Whatever your mum’s gardening persona, you can trust that our carefully curated plants and gardening items are of premium quality and only the best to gift this Mothering Sunday.

Browse Mother’s Day Gifts

Header photo by Liana Mikah on Unsplash