Amie, Gardening, Heated Clothing

Heat packs – the most underrated heating accessory that is guaranteed to keep you warm this winter.

These useful little heat packs are the ideal way to keep warm on the go and maximise warmth. Simply shake and pop in pockets or gloves for a quick and portable source of heat – it really is as simple as that. However, they’re hugely understated and their versatility means they can be utilised for a range of activities. We’ve chosen a few of our favourites below for you.

  1. Football game
    Standing in the crowd on a cold day, these are a life safer for popping in your pockets or gloves and keeping your fingers from falling off.
  2. Fishing
    Sitting on the windy shore, wrapped up warm, these help to get a firm hold of your rod – rumour has it wearing heat pads brings you in an extra large cod for supper.
  3. Fireworks
    It’s often really chilly when we chose to stand outside in awe of the lights, so give yourself some extra warmth.
  4. Walking the dog
    When Scooby wants a run in the snow, you need to keep warm (and it’s not like you have a thick layer of fur).
  5. Snowboarding
    Not much beats hitting the white stuff on the slopes, but it can be pretty cold so layer up.
  6. Romantic walks
    When the snow is falling, there’s nothing more romantic than a walk, but why not hold your lovers hand with an extra bit of warmth and spice?
  7. Camping
    Whether you’re sat around a campfire, or cosying in your sleeping bag for breakfast, heat packs help keep you extra warm.
  8. Gardening
    Now is the perfect time to start planning how you want your garden to look this summer. Don’t be afraid to get out there now and get mucky.
    de-weed your garden

Next time you’re doing one of the following activities, just think about picking up a little packet of warmth and you’ll have yourself thinking why you never encountered them before!

AmieAmie is a marketing enthusiast, having worked at Primrose since graduating from Reading University in 2014.

She enjoys all things sport. A keen football fan, Amie follows Tottenham Hotspur FC, and regularly plays for her local 5 a side football team.

Amie also writes restaurant reviews on  Barnard’s Burger Blog.

Amie, Heated Clothing

The winter is nearing, and the nights are darkening. The temperatures are plummeting and  the snow will soon be falling. Whether you’re tucked up in bed, or out for a scenic walk, we’ve all been there where our feet feel as though they’re close to dropping off. So we’ve compiled a list of 5 ways to keep your feet warm.

winter-boots

  1. Place heated inner soles into your shoes
    Great for when you’re heading outdoors, heated insoles add an extra layer of warmth for inside your shoe. Many heated insoles provide a heating element running down the entire length of the insole meaning your whole foot will be kept toasty, even those pinkies prone to the cold.What’s better is heated insoles will often fit into any shoe as they are easily trimmed down to size.
  2. Layer up with socks
    Whether you’re tucked up in front of the TV, or you’ve ventured out for an explore, choosing the right socks can benefit the warmth of your feet greatly. There are socks on the market with external heating elements (battery heated/ heat packs) which provide a gradual warmth to your legs and feet. These are a great option if you’re skiing, hiking or walking as they provide extra warmth in colder conditions.Alternatively, cosy thermal socks are great for lounging around the house and help maintain core body temperature also. They’re also perfect for long-term use, with very little maintenance or hassle.It’s important here that you don’t wear socks that are either too tight, or that don’t fit comfortably if you’re wearing shoes as this can cut off circulation to your toes.

  3. Put your slippers in the microwave
    You heard right. Cozy Body slippers are microwavable, and in only two minutes, you can benefit from instant warmth and relaxation. A short term solution, they are ideal for those cold mornings when making a brew or late evenings after a bath.With Christmas around the corner, they make a great gift too! (I will admit I did buy my Nan a pair and she loves them).
  4. Massage your feet
    Who’d have guessed that a soothing foot massage would improve circulation to your feet? Aiding blood flow, a massage helps to circulate the blood to even the nippy toes.Next time you have cold feet, nudge your boyfriend or girlfriend, and blame the cold!
  5. Top up with soups and stews
    With winter around the corner, forget the salads and ice cream and turn your attention to warm, heart foods. Stews, soups, vegetables, potatoes etc will help to keep your whole body warm.Also, avoid the caffeine! I know a morning brew is a staple part of most people’s routine, but caffeine is a vasoconstrictor which means it limits blood flow around the body.socks1small

Hopefully you’re now covered  in knowing 5 ways to keep your feet warm!

For more tips and advice on how to keep warm this winter, we’ve a host of blog posts to read over.

AmieAmie is a marketing enthusiast, having worked at Primrose since graduating from Reading University in 2014.

She enjoys all things sport. A keen football fan, Amie follows Tottenham Hotspur FC, and regularly plays for her local 5 a side football team.

Amie also writes restaurant reviews on  Barnard’s Burger Blog.

Amie, Heated Clothing

It’s the middle of October, the bitterness is starting to hit and I have decided to go camping for a couple of days. ‘You’re mad’ everyone is saying, but I enjoy the sense of adventure, and I’ve never been camping past summer before. Camping in the autumn makes for a delightful setting too, with the fallen, golden leaves and the crisp morning views (makes for wonderful walking scenery too).

One of the buying team recently went to Iceland, so I thought I would test a few new products on my trip. Alongside my normal camping gear, I decided to take some Warmawear heated clothing items with me, to keep me warm late into the night and provide extra warmth come the frosty morning.

My packing list:

all1small

The socks were great, and kept my toes warm throughout the night. Truth be told, I didn’t take them off again! In the morning, they kept my feet nice and warm when preparing breakfast. I took size M/L, which designed for size 7-13 fit my size 8 feet perfectly. They had a soft, fluffy lining, great for retaining heat and were quite stretchy too with their spandex/ acrylic material blend, so were great for wrapping around my trousers to keep the heat in. They also look pretty stylish too I am sure you will agree.

socks2small

The multipurpose muff was very useful for camping. Pop in 3 AA batteries and it warms up in no time. Acting as a warming tube, it was ideal for when sitting around the campsite, and at one point my friend was adamant she wasn’t going to give it back to me! The muff flattens into a warm, comfy pillow too, so I got a great night’s sleep. It was lightweight and compact so perfect for taking camping.

muff1small

The scarf was perfect for the morning cook, when I was waiting for the spaghetti hoops to boil, as well as the early morning walks in the bitter October cold. With handy pockets situated on the end of the scarf, it kept both my fingers and neck toasty when it felt rather breezy. Operated with 3 AA batteries, this 150cm long scarf wrapped around me perfectly, and being made from super soft polyester fleece material, it was more than snug.

socks1small

So whether it’s a camping trip in the middle of winter, or a cold bonfire night and you are looking to wrap up warm, I can not recommend Warmawear heated clothing enough.

AmieAmie is a marketing enthusiast, having worked at Primrose since graduating from Reading University in 2014.

She enjoys all things sport. A keen football fan, Amie follows Tottenham Hotspur FC, and regularly plays for her local 5 a side football team.

Amie also writes restaurant reviews on  Barnard’s Burger Blog.

Animals, Bird Baths, Garden Design, Garden Tools, Gardening, Gardening Year, George, Greenhouses, Heated Clothing, How To, Planting, Plants

Gardening in Winter

When the cold winds blow and snow begins to settle on the lawn, it’s tempting to close the backdoor and spend the winter curled up by the fire. But if you’re an outdoorsy person then there’s no need to give up on the garden for a whole season every year. With our guide to gardening in winter you’ll find plenty of projects to crack on with before the spring, how to protect your plants against the cold and top tips for making the most out of your time outdoors.

Winter Gardening Jobs

  • Pruning. Some plants are best cut back and pruned over winter, such as roses, shrubs, fruit trees and deciduous hedges. This will encourage healthy new shoots to grow when the weather warms up again.
  • Cleaning. While the life in your garden is less demanding, it’s a good opportunity to sort out a bit of general maintenance. Hosing down your paths and patios will not only spruce them up, but also ensure they’re free of grime which could become slippery in the cold, damp conditions.
  • Checking for structural damage. If you have a greenhouse, conservatory or shed then winter is the best time of year to give them a good inspection. Most of the surrounding foliage will have died back, leaving a clear path to see any cracks in the frames or broken window panes. Fixing these now is crucial for protecting any plants inside from freezing draughts.
  • Ordering seed catalogues. Get prepared for the sowing season by choosing seeds and plants to buy. It’s a good time to sit back and plan how you might like to redesign your planting or reflect on which flowers grow best in your garden.
  • Cutting the lawn. You won’t need to mow the grass anywhere near as frequently as in the summer, but if the weather is mild it will need doing every now and then. The grass won’t grow as fast, so you can leave it longer than normal.

Winter Gardening Tips

  • Don’t compact the soil. During wintertime, the ground will likely be saturated from excess rain and freeze due to the plummeting temperatures. It’s best to avoid treading on the earth too much as you will compact the already dense soil, making it even more difficult to work in the spring. So try to step lightly when you need to go over it.
  • Maintain tools. There won’t be many labour intensive jobs to do in the garden over winter so it’s a good opportunity to show your tools some TLC. Oil any machinery that requires it and sharpen the blades of your trimmers and secateurs. Then you’ll be all set for cracking on when the frost thaws.
  • Keep watering. It’s easy to overlook watering your garden when the weather’s so rubbish this time of year. But it’s still important to go outside and give your plants a quick water every now and then, particularly if it hasn’t rained in a while. And don’t forget to water your indoor flowers too!
  • Plan ahead. Winter is a great time to plan your garden design for the coming year. Most of the plants and trees have died back, leaving the core layout of your plot clear. Take advantage of this by mapping out new paths or patios, or deciding where to put that new shed or greenhouse.

Trees in Winter

Winter Planting

  • Winter loving plants. Surprisingly, there are a few plants that defy nature and come into their own in the chilly months. Besides evergreen trees, these include witch hazel, winter jasmine, winter honeysuckle and viburnum. Add a few of these for a colourful flowerbed all year round.
  • Winter vegetables. If you have an allotment or kitchen garden, then there are plenty of hardy vegetables that will keep you going over winter. In early summer you can sow broccoli, leeks, winter cabbage and brussel sprouts, which are all capable of enduring the frost – and perfect for a Christmas dinner!
  • Frost protection. As any gardener will no doubt be aware, most plants don’t take well to frosty nights and freezing temperatures. There are many methods to protect your plants against frost, from cloches and fleece blankets to careful watering and layering mulch.
  • Indoor gardening. Perhaps the simplest way to get your gardening fix without having the brace yourself against the chill is by planting inside. Not all plants will grow well indoors, so make sure you do your research. Most plants will grow best in rooms full of light and insulated against draughts. For the most effective indoor growing, it may be worth investing in specialist lights and a grow room.

Winter Wildlife in the Garden

Wintertime can be harsh for animals in the wild. Food is scarce, conditions are icy cold and shelter is hard to come by. You can help out the creatures that come to your garden by providing a little assistance. For the birds, leave out extra food in your birdfeeder and keep your birdbath topped up with water – though make sure it doesn’t freeze. A tennis ball in there should do the trick. You can also plant berry bushes, which will provide a source of winter food and a place to shelter.
For other creatures, make sure there’s somewhere for them to bunker down and sit out the winter months. Simply leave out a pile of leaves or uncut grass for groundlings to nest in.

Bird in Winter

What to Wear Outside

Obviously the priority when gardening outside from November to February is keeping warm. Wrap up as much as you can with hats, gloves, scarves and coats, while allowing enough ease of movement to be able to get on with your digging and pruning. A great way to cut back on the layers while retaining the warmth is with heated clothing. You can use heat pads for your hands or even battery heated socks and gloves for long-lasting toastiness. Just make sure that you don’t spend too long outside at a time, especially if you’re feeling unwell. There’s nothing like a regular tea break to warm yourself up!

One Year Ends, Another Begins

So don’t let the cold weather and long nights dishearten you too much – there’s still plenty of opportunity to get outside and enjoy your garden in winter. From protecting the plants you’ve tended all year to planning new features for the next, winter is the perfect time for reflection and inspiration. Take a brisk walk through the grass before huddling up inside with a hot drink and admiring your garden through the window. Treat someone special to a book full of gardening ideas for Christmas. And most of all get ready, for spring will soon begin!

George at PrimroseGeorge works in the Primrose marketing team. As a lover of all things filmic, he also gets involved with our TV ads and web videos.

George’s idea of the perfect time in the garden is a long afternoon sitting in the shade with a good book. A cool breeze, peace and quiet… But of course, he’s usually disturbed by his energetic wire fox terrier, Poppy!

He writes about his misadventures in repotting plants and new discoveries about cat repellers.

See all of George’s posts.