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.

Amie, Barbecues, Chimeneas, Events, Fireplaces, Gardening Year, Heated Clothing, How To, Outdoor Heating, Patio Heaters

We hate to admit it to ourselves, but the chill is slowly creeping upon us, and before we know it, winter will have reared its bitter head. The summer month of August wasn’t even that great, with lower than average temperatures. It was also the wettest August across south-east England since 1977! What ever happened to the great British summers? Thankfully we’ve the warm wintery months right? Oh..

Worried about throwing a party and leaving your guests to shiver in the cold? Concerned about getting frostbite when you walk the dogs? Fear not though people, for Primrose have the solution to all your troubles.

1. Patio Heaters
Although I definitely do not advocate smoking, outdoor heating has certainly grown and developed since the indoor ban in 2008, especially in pubs, clubs and bars.

Ideal for gardens, patios or even inside a gazebo, there is a huge range of gas and electric heaters to choose from; freestanding and hanging to wall mounted and tabletop. I’d personally recommend a freestanding patio heater. Not only do they look stunning in any garden setting, they are very versatile, with adjustable height settings, offering light and heat, can be used indoor and outdoor, and heat a large area, up to 15sqm.

They aren’t very expensive either; an ideal low cost way to maintain heat if you plan on being outside. Great for congregating round and having a chit chat over the latest episode of the Apprentice. Even better if you plan on keeping the grandparents warm whilst you let off fireworks this week.

2. Chimineas
Described as a freestanding fireplace or oven, usually with a vertical smoke vent or chimney, these great inventions originated from Mexico over 500 years ago. Another interesting fact for you; the Mexicans (and incidentally the US) refer to them as ‘chimeneas’. Us English folk like to be different don’t we?

Their original purpose was to keep families warm by burning bits of wood and sticks, with the chimney chute designed to keep the rain at bay. They were also typically made out of clay, a material which still remains very popular with a lot of chimineas you can buy today but the evolution of the design process has allowed for other materials such as cast iron (strong, durable, sturdy and a great conductor of heat) and steel (lighter than cast iron, but often very modern in design).

Primrose has over 100 chimineas to choose from, and they are a perfect solution for keeping guests warm and cosy during the long evenings of storytelling and wine drinking. What’s better is that they even look superb in any garden setting and you could even cook a burger on one if you fancy!

3. BBQs
Ok so this might be a tad ambitious given the time of year, but what better way to keep warm than to congregate around a warm fire, with the smell of freshly cooked food whiffing in the air. You can’t beat a proper, British BBQ, and with bonfire night nearing, they’re ideal for parties. Just grab your marshmallows for some delightful bonfire night s’mores.

You have a whole host of shapes, styles and sizes to choose from, the possibilities are endless. Charcoal BBQs are perhaps the most traditional style, and one of the most popular too. You get the authentic smoky taste that only a charcoal BBQ can provide and if you choose one with a lid, you maximise the smoky flavour by trapping the scents and flavours, giving you the extra oomph and zing.

Next time you find a cold, crisp, dry evening to spare and you’re looking for inspiration, why not choose a good old British BBQ and invite the friends and family round. Just make sure you bring the beer and buns.

4. Heated Clothing
Finally, we arrived at heated clothing. This is something which I cannot advocate enough. It was last winter and a group of friends wanted to go watch a firework display. Great I thought, I love fireworks. But oh no, standing around in the cold for an hour got the better of me. I wasn’t able to hold a sparkler as my fingers were turning blue. At that point, my friend leant me his heated gloves. This magical invention (which I had never actually heard of up until this point) was superb! My hands were very toasty, without the need to sit by a fire.

Gloves, insoles, scarves, jackets, gilets, socks, there are so many options. They’re really easy to use too. Simply insert a battery (in most cases) and voila, you’ll feel the instant warmth. Primrose have brand new heated insoles this year, which are controlled via Bluetooth through your smart phone. Clever eh?

Heated clothing is also great if you do any cold weather sports or activities such as skiing, motorcycling, walking or you just fancy a trip to Antarctica to see the polar bears (now who wouldn’t?!).


Never go cold again!

What measures do you take to keep warm over the winter months?

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.

To see the rest of Amie’s posts, click here.

Cat, Heated Clothing

Heated Clothing at Primrose

We’re seeing the first signs of spring, but winter isn’t over yet!

Whether you’re looking to stay warm on your daily commute or are planning a skiing holiday, your hands will thank you for keeping them warm with Warmawear™ heated clothing.

Shop our end of season sale with discounts of up to 80% off RRP now!

After using them for only two hours I immediately ordered a second pair.

Heated Gloves from £3.95Heated Socks and Insoles from £9.99Heated Scarves, Hats and Warmers from £2.99

Very good product that works really well and are at a very competitive price – I can recommend these without hesitation.

WarmawearIcebitersHeated Gilets and Jackets from

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.

Cat, Heated Clothing

Free heat pad with selected Heated Clothing from Primrose

Christmas may be over, but the cold weather is only about to start!

Free heat pad!Prepare for next week’s sub-zero temperatures with heated clothing.

Buy any of these four winter essentials and get a free heat pad. Made from fleece, it’s portable and can also help relieve cramps and aches.

Get yours soon. This offer is only available while stocks last!

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Great gloves! I bought a pair for my Dad’s birthday as he has Raynaud’s – he’s delighted. I also bought a pair for myself as I also have circulatory problems with my hands and I’m really pleased with them.

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Superb quality item really works well. Can tell straight away when switched on. Totally delighted with performance.

Warmawear™ Heated Clothing from Primrose

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.