Alex, Current Issues, Decoration, Halloween, Heated Clothing, How To

It is Halloween again and for many of us this can be a scary time of year. I am not referring to the fear inflicted upon us by small children wearing strange costumes knocking on your door threatening to perform some sort of no doubt dastardly trick unless we immediately hand over confectionary items. No, not this doorstep intimidation racket or even the B list horror flicks that emigrate from their usual late night spot onto primetime viewing hours. It is the terror of the annual pumpkin carving ordeal.

Thankfully, we have some ideas for you. Some inspiration gathered from the great minds of the interweb. If that wasn’t enough we follow this up with a few handy tips to ensure you achieve pumpkin perfection this Halloween.
Here are 5 pumpkin designs we found particularly inspiring/amusing:


Pumpkin Pi
Pumpkin pi – For the intellectual carver


Star wars pumpkin
Episode 8 – Attack of the pumpkin


Sick Pumpkin
November 1st


Weird baby pumpkin
This is just weird…


Scary Turnip
Turnips are genuinely terrifying

Tips for Carving your Pumpkin:

  1. My number 1 tip is cheat – Download a template from the internet and trace it on to your pumpkin. No one has to know, there are so many great ones out there. Simply trace the template onto your pumpkin and carve carefully around the outline.
  2. Use the right tools – Don’t spend hours hacking away at your pumpkin with a desert spoon. Take a minute to plan ahead and utilise the best tools for the job. A sharp knife is a must. A hammer and chisel may be too far, but saying that there are those on the internet who swear by using power tools for this task.
  3. Clear the area – This task is always more difficult, dangerous and messier than you remember. Don’t start the dissection in your lounge on that new rug you got just last week. Lay down some newspaper, give yourself some space and make sure you’re in appropriate clothing and you will be much better off.
  4. Preservation – If you want your pumpkin to last a while and not go all mouldy and horrible there are a few techniques that will do the job. I’ve read about using Vaseline and similar products but apparently it can be a slippery, dangerous process with mixed results. You can use vinegar but surprisingly the most effective solution is to soak your pumpkin in 1 tsp. bleach/ gallon of water solution for around 8 hours. It may seem a bit excessive, and you will want to keep any children away during this phase, but the results can be great prolonging your pumpkin’s display time by up to 10 days!

Make sure you send in pictures of your finished article via our Facebook page. Points will be awarded for originality, design and overall effort. The winner stands to win one of our brand new Warmawear ™ hand warmers, perfect for the winter months, and of course will be awarded the prestigious accolade of Primrose Pumpkin of the Year 2015! Good luck!

AlexAlex works in the Primrose marketing team, mainly on online marketing.

As a psychology graduate it is ironic that he understands plants better than people but a benefit for the purpose of writing this blog.

An enthusiastic gardener, all he needs now is a garden and he’ll be on the path to greatness. Alex’s special talents include superior planter knowledge and the ability to put a gardening twist on any current affairs story.

See all of Alex’s posts.

Celebrations And Holidays, Charlie, Garden Design, Gardening Year, Halloween, How To, Ponds, Water Features


Halloween is fast approaching! The time of year when it is said evil spirits are allowed to roam all over the earth and cause mischief and upset to decent honest folk. The etymology of halloween is all hallow’s eve, being the day before the Christian festival of All Saints’ Day (1st November) and All Souls’ Day (2nd November). But even before Christian influence this time of year, after the harvest is over and when winter begins to draw in, was often seen as a liminal period, where the boundaries between this world and the next were weakened and the souls of the dead could return to visit the living. In the Christian tradition, the spirits visiting on Halloween were the spirits of lost loved ones on their way through purgatory. The origin of trick-or-treating was in the poor going door to door and collecting “soul cakes” from families in return for praying for their dead relatives to speed their journey through purgatory.
Halloween today has evolved to be something other than its origins, with less of an emphasis on praying for and remembering the dead, and more of an emphasis on fun and fright and of course, tricks and treats! So why not bring out that halloween staple, the jack o’ lantern, to give pause to any trick or treaters looking to come to your door? Originally carved in this country from turnips to ward off evil spirits, these symbols of halloween (now more often carved from the American pumpkin) are still today a common sight in the windows of people’s homes and in front gardens and its distinctive orange colour gives halloween its current livery.

Whether you want to create a friendly welcome, a spooky scare or a goofy character follow these simple steps to create a jack o’ lantern of your very own:

Step 1. Find a pumpkin. (Or turnip!) This step is easy, you can find one in any supermarket around Halloween, alternatively you could opt to get one from a farmer’s market.

Step 2. Start by cutting a hole in the top of your pumpkin, around the stalk. You’ll want it to be large enough to be able to reach in and hollow out the pumpkin.

Step 3. Hollow out the pumpkin using a spoon or similar instrument (or if you don’t mind getting a bit messy your bare hands). You can either dispose of the seeds and flesh, or perhaps recycle them for a Halloween recipe.

Step 4. Using a marker, sketch out the design you want for the face of your pumpkin. This could be anything from the classic halloween grin to something more zaney. You’ll find some interesting examples in the image below.

Step 5. This is the tricky part. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut away the design you want from the pumpkin. You might want to have a spare pumpkin or two in case of slippages!

Step 6. Place some regular or LED tea lights inside your newly made jack o’ lantern and place in a prime location to scare any trick or treaters brave enough to knock on your door.

Halloween Pumpkins

Another way to amaze and frighten your friends is with a Primrose mister. Place one in your pond to create the spooky effect of mist pouring over your garden. Or use one of our mini misters inside to create a spooky display indoors for that halloween houseparty. What’s important is that you use a float to keep the mister just the right amount below the water line – misters work by vibrating at an ultrasonic level creating waves of mist, not smoke, that creeps around the surface of the water and the surrounding area, creating a startling effect. For added ambience, you could opt for a mister with colour changing LED lights to really give some atmosphere to your home on Halloween.

We here at Primrose hope the above will help you make this Halloween one to remember.

Happy Halloween!

CharlieCharlie works in the Primrose marketing team, mainly on 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.

Cat, Celebrations And Holidays

Here at Primrose we love Halloween and we love ghost stories!

Originating from Devon, the Legend of the Hairy Hands first started spreading in the early 20th century. It is an attempt at explaining a set of unusual accidents on a road between Postbridge and Two Bridges.

Our very own and very talented Anna made a beautiful animation of it a few years ago. Grab a cup of tea, sit back and enjoy:


wedding-meCat works in the marketing team and is responsible for online marketing, social media and the newsletter.

She spends most of her time reading about a variety of interesting facts, such as oddly named Canadian towns, obscure holidays and unusual gardening.

She mostly writes about Primrose news and current events.

See all of Cat’s posts.

Celebrations And Holidays, Halloween, Kathryn

It’s October, and it’ll soon be time to dress up in silly costumes, eat a tonne of children’s sweets and carve out pumpkin faces. Here’s a little seasonal reading to inspire your own stories ready to relay on the 31st.

The Lighthouse

Photo by Vicente W. Aizpurua
Photo by Vicente W. Aizpurua

It had been a sunny afternoon in Torquay on July 15th 1962, and John Rothwell and his young son Christopher had been fishing out at sea. They had caught a tremendous batch of herring and after a hard day’s work they were readying their load to head back to the distant harbour.

Maybe it was the warmth of the weather or the intensity of the remaining sun which distracted the pair from the incoming weather, whatever their reasons, neither man nor boy predicted the blackening clouds and the hurricane winds which would soon set upon their miniscule vessel. Before they could gain any advantage on the distance between them and the safety of the harbour, a gale had picked up the waves, and the little boat was soon off-course.

John had always been a keen sailor with an unbeatable sense of direction, but the insurmountable waves, wind and relentless rain removed all sense and skill from the man. John and Christopher battled through the storm long into the night, trying desperately to find their way back to land. Hours passed and by the time the weather began to calm, the little fishing boat was far beyond unknown territories.The blackness surrounded the father and son and although the wind had died down their terror had not. Soaked, freezing and alone, the pair could only be thankful that their lives had been spared and that their boat had survived the storm albeit with irreparable damage.

In the darkness of their cabin they lit a lamp and tried to decipher which direction of the inky abyss would lead them back to Torquay. Stepping out into the icy rain, John suddenly noticed a distinctive flash in the distance: the familiar beam of a lighthouse had presently started to scour the sea.

“My boy, we’re saved!” cried John, pointing out to the yellow light across on the horizon. “Quickly! To the far left of it! There’s land!”

The pair mustered all their strength and eased the boat to the safe, sandy shore with the help of the lighthouse beams guiding them carefully from the rocks. Pulling the boat onto the shore and collapsing on the sand, the pair lay exhausted until the light of morning interrupted their damp rest.

Climbing to his feet, John gazed around the beach, the wreck of his boat, and his son sleeping soundly in the sand. Leaving him to rest, he cast his vision upon the lighthouse, standing tall and strong atop of the cliff.
John began to climb the rocks and shingle, making his way slowly up the headland from the beach below. Limping with a bruised body along the cliff top he gazed upon the red and white striped building which had saved his life the night before. He reached the red door and knocked heavily, unaware of the early hour. An elderly man met him at the door, gazing upon him with tired eyes and a mug of coffee, quite surprised at the intrusion.

“Oh thank you, my man! You saw us last night, and your light saved me and my boy. We were so lost and thanks to your lighthouse we’re safe and alive. Thank you!” John beamed, stealing the man’s hand to shake it heartily.

“Goodness!” gasped the man, a look of confusion upon his face. “I’m certainly glad to see that a fellow man is indeed alive and well, but you must be mistaken. My wife and I have been away, we returned from Dartmouth but a half hour ago. The lighthouse was empty last night, and its light hasn’t operated in over thirty five years. Surely you are mistaken”

John could only gaze into the man’s truthful eyes whilst the smell of his coffee oozed into his nose, disarming his enthusiasm and sparking a cold sense of intrigue within his being.

“Come in, man, you look a fright. At least get warm and tell us exactly what happened to you last night,” offered the man.

“I shouldn’t, my boy is on the beach, John muttered as he walked away, his mind elsewhere. “The lighthouse hasn’t been used in thirty fi…” He looked back at the man and the lighthouse. “Where am I?”

“This is Guernsey, the west coast to be precise. Take care old boy!”

With this knowledge and the smell of the sea in his hair, John stumbled away to the beach, stopping for one last searching glance at the top of the lighthouse, at those blank panes of glass, at that lifeless great light bulb.

KathrynKathryn works on the marketing team and spends most of her time making our website read better.

She has a degree in English & Creative Writing and loves classic cars, 1970s music and ginger beer.

She writes our fictional stories and seasonal posts.

See all of Kathryn’s posts.