Let there be light….

Garden Solar Post Lights

After laying our new patio at the bottom of the garden last year we have decided that the bottom of the garden looks very dark a compared to the Christmas grotto at the top. To address this, we have invested in some new solar post lights. After all, they’re in a shadier part of the garden so they shouldn’t make our garden look like a landing strip and we have the ideal place for them. Just at the edge of the border in the patch we have named ‘Pooh Corner’ for reasons that I won’t go into — suffice to say that we have five cats. After all, who wouldn’t want lights there?

Garden Solar Post LightsSolar Post Bubble Lights
Having deliberated over the merits of solar versus wired, we decided to take the lazy option. However, if we want to install a water feature there (it really is the only possible place in our garden, although yes I do have concerns about its possible use as a cat bidet), then we will have to install electricity at some point.

For now however, we have plumped for ease. Never one for patience, I am struggling to wait until the weekend to install them. They are on a spike, wire-free and the solar panel is concealed in the top of each light. Perfect!

It turns out to be a quick and easy job. The spikes slide easily into our clay that is still damp from the torrential rain and I can’t wait until it gets dark. The cats seem to like them too although there is very little for them to damage, unlike my fairy lights which one of the furry five decided to snack on one morning.

Solar light posts in the garden
As the sun sets, I’m bitterly disappointed. They haven’t been out long enough to charge up, my husband informs me. (Once an engineer, always an engineer). Day two dawns bright and sunny. I have high hopes and I’m not disappointed.
Seen from space? Our garden at night? Well, I never!

Lou C

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Easter Competition – Win an Easter Island Head!

Easter Island Head Solar Water Feature from Primrose

We’ve got an exciting event going on over at our Primrose Facebook page – a prize draw for this lovely and unique Easter Island statue water feature!
Easter Island Head Solar Water Feature from Primrose
To enter, just visit our Facebook page and follow the instructions. Hurry, the competition closes on Friday the 13th of April!

Just what is an Easter Island Head, though? The statues on Easter Island are known as Moai and have been standing on the island for over 500 years. The statues are made of tuff, a type of volcanic rock, and the largest statue weighs 86 tonnes! Of the 887 statues known, a number have been transported off the island, including two on display the UK – one at the British Museum in London, and the other at the World Museum in Liverpool.
Easter Island moai statues on hill Rapa Nui
The statues sit on the island of Rapa Nui, known as Easter Island in English – so called because it was discovered by a Dutch explorer on Easter Sunday, 1722.

Now that you know a little bit about Easter Island and its statues, enter in our Easter competition to win one of your own! The competition is open to UK residents over 18, and it ends at noon on Friday, 13th April 2012.

Show Your Appreciation This Mothers’ Day

A big day is coming up – the day when men and women across the country will be spending their time with good old Mum, showing their appreciation for the woman who took care of them throughout their childhood and beyond.

If you are looking for a special gift to show your mother how much she means to you, Primrose has lots of fantastic gift ideas to give you some inspiration!

Why not give her a gift that will light up the fresh, spring sky, with some beautiful solar lights? From path markers to guide your way through the garden, to sparkling light strings to brighten up any tree, these delightful solar lights are eco-friendly, cost nothing to run and would make an ideal gift!

If your mum is a keen gardener, consider buying a grow kit so she can grow her own produce – our herb kits sit neatly on the window sill and come with everything needed to grow a range of fresh herbs such as parsley and basil, perfect for use in everyday cooking. Or let her try growing her own delicious strawberries with a strawberry barrel kit! There is a lot of fresh produce you can grow yourself, from tomatoes and herbs, to potatoes and beans, all easy to grow, tasty and satisfying!

And why not cook those home-grown potatoes and tomatoes, along with some burgers, sausages and kebabs, on the barbecue, or for something a bit different, consider grilling them over the fire in a chiminea! Chimineas are both useful and decorative garden features – use one for warmth and cooking on sultry summer evenings.

A garden clock is a fantastic gift idea – these smart, practical items come in a range of styles and will look elegant fixed to any wall. Some even light up in the evening so it is easy to read no matter what time of day.

If you know your mum is a fan of nature and wildlife, why not help her get the most from her garden and both attract and protect the local animals? A bird bath or bird house is a great way to entice a wide variety of birds to the garden, while a bee box or hedgehog house will provide sanctuary for some of the UK’s more endangered species.

How To Deal With Moles In Your Garden

Moles can be quite a blight on a gardener’s life. You’ve spent a lot of your time and energy on maintaining a smooth and beautiful lawn and garden, only for little mounds of earth to be pushed up higgledy-piggledy… Clear evidence that moles have taken over your garden!

Naturally this is very frustrating, but there’s no need to worry – there are a number of methods you can use to get rid of the moles from your garden:

Moles Traps

One solution is to use mole traps. These are galvanised metal traps which are placed into the tunnel, set and ready to catch the moles. They provide a fast solution and are safe for the environment unlike poisons. One benefit is that they can be used year-round, in all weathers, and can be used over and over again. Mole traps are a quick and efficient solution to your problem, but  are not very humane and there are much better alternatives.

Smoke/Powders

If mole traps don’t appeal to you, you may like to consider mole smoke or mole repellent powders. These are simple, humane solutions that are also cheap and effective. Simply place the lit smoke or the powder into the mole tunnel and let them work their magic – soon the moles will head off to another garden! Obviously, once the smoke or powder has been used up, there is the chance that moles may eventually return, meaning this isn’t a permanent, guaranteed solution to rid yourself of moles.

Ultrasonic Repellers

A final solution is to use ultrasonic repellers. These are placed into the ground and work by vibrating. The moles interpret these vibrations as the movement of nearby predators, and will begin to leave the area in fear. To get the best use from the repellers, you should use two or more to ‘herd’ the moles away from the garden, rather than place them in the middle of all the holes. Doing this will result in the moles becoming confused, and they may scatter in all directions. So, for example, you may want to start off with the repellers very close to your house, and gradually move them down the garden to herd the moles away.

These ultrasonic repellers are a great, humane alternative to mole traps, although they may need longer to take full effect. It is possible to purchase solar or battery-powered repellers; the benefit of solar repellers is that they are completely free to run, although their performance may decrease during the winter months due to the decrease in sunlight. Battery-powered mole repellers will work year round, though obviously the batteries will eventually need replacing.

Spring Time And Solar Power For The Garden

Solar Butterfly Garden Lighting

At last, the sun is shining! We’ve had a couple of weeks of wonderful weather already lately, which I have been thoroughly enjoying, as I hope you are. Now is the perfect time to get planting ready for summer and strawberries are a great investment of your time at the moment. Not only do you get the satisfaction from seeing them grow well, but once the berries are ripe, they are also delicious (particularly in a cheesecake!) This year we are growing our strawberries in one of these strawberry
barrels
, although we’ve also got some in a couple of hanging baskets. Fingers crossed they’ll be a success, we’ll let you know!

Of course, gardens are more than just a place to grow things, they’re also places to sit down, relax and enjoy the beauty around us. At this time of year, one of the best ways to enhance your garden’s natural charm is by taking advantage of solar power. Many garden features and decorations can be powered by the sun and this has a lot of knock-on benefits, for example lower costs as solar energy is free unlike electricity. Solar products can also be placed anywhere outside (as long as the panel is in the sun) whereas mains powered products need to be placed near the house to be connected to the electricity.

Solar lights are one of the most attractive and varied solar garden products available. Some, like the colourful butterflies in the picture, are very pretty and unusual, but if you prefer something a little less extravagant, this set of four lamps is classy and also ideal for lighting up a path or patio area. From table lights to light strings with 50 LEDS, there is such variety available that there will be something for anyone’s taste.

Solar doesn’t just stop with lighting, however. Many water
features
come with a solar option, but if you already have a water feature that runs off the mains, you can still save some money (and the environment!) by turning it solar with a solar pump kit.

In addition to decorative items, energy from the sun can also be used to run more practical items. An outdoor clock is perfect when you need to keep an eye on how much time you’ve spent in the garden, but solar clocks that absorb the sun’s rays can often provide an extra power supply for LEDs on the clock, so it can still be used on balmy nights when the sun has gone down. Even pest control devices which chase away those pesky cats or moles can be powered entirely by solar energy!

So versatile, so eco-friendly, so cost-effective – have you tried solar yet?