Friday, 13 July 2012

Freestanding contemporary water features

Hampton Court flower show has recently finished and there are hundreds if not thousands of gardeners poised and ready to perform a garden makeover.   I wonder how many will actually follow their ideas through?   The work and expense involved may cause those gardeners to shelve their projects for a rainy day.  With the weather as it is that means they will be seeing them again soon!   How about a water feature of two?   Don't like the idea of all that soil removal and upheaval?   Then take a look at these instant versions:

Just place the pond units and water walls on a suitable flat surface and the peace and tranquility of a water feature is yours for the taking.

Take a look at the ponds and further products here:

Monday, 9 July 2012

Plant Heritage awarded silver medal at Hampton Court Flower show 2012

Plant Heritage is the world’s leading garden plant conservation charity. Formerly known as the National Council for the Conservation of Plants & Gardens, Plant Heritage brings together the talents of botanists, horticulturalists and conservationists and the dedication of keen amateur and professional gardeners in order to encourage the conservation of cultivated plants in the British Isles.   Plant Heritage supports and publishes research into these plants, their origins, their historical and cultural importance and their environments, and helps to educate the public in the importance of cultivated plant conservation.   Garden designer Claudia de Yong was asked to design a water feature based on the five continents and as the garden was judged by the RHS it needed to be scientifically accurate.   The water feature included a selection of our artificial rocks, with the largest rock incorporating a small waterfall.

Plant Heritage silver medal winning garden based on the five continents.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Katy B - Nike Training Club Live

Katy B starred at the first Nike Training Club Live Festival on Saturday 7th July at Old Billingsgate hospitality venue in the City Of London.   According to many posts and comments the event was a fantastic success and it was all free.  Yes, free!   The free Nike Training Club events employ instructors and master trainers so that women can exercise to the level of fitness they require.  There are no targets or limits: make yourself whatever you want to be.   The Billingsgate event also featured massage, nutritionists and Yoga.   To help create a feeling of wellbeing and serenity, Nike arranged for fifty tall flowing palms to be arranged around the venue and supplied all of these on hire.   There was plenty of manpower available to help locate the plants around the building and the efficiency and speed at which these guys worked was outstanding.   If the country was run by these guys it would be so efficient.    Well done to all who took part. This event was arranged by who specialise in bringing brands and consumers together through brave, innovative experiences. Their approach is Brand Inspiration; to inspire anticipation before the experience, inspire interaction with the brand, and inspire conversation and buzz long after the experience has finished.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012


Even with years of experience in a trade,  you can still make the odd silly mistake.   I need a quantity of bark for use as a top dressing for some plant displays that were going on hire.   I was at a well known DIY store and though I may as well pick up the bark there.   There it was with a lovely printed image on the outside of each bag showing meaty chunks of bark in amongst a few fines.   It was a bit of a struggle picking up the bark as the bags weighed a ton, figuratively speaking that is.   That should have been enough of a clue to make me leave the bags where they were and make a trip to a trade supplier but no, feeling pleased with a four for three deal I carried on.    When I later opened one of the bags I was most disappointed to find very few meaty chunks of bark spaced apart in a thick black soup of soaking wet fines (tiny pieces of wood).
I'm pretty sure that within a short time this would have degraded to nothing more than compost.   Great if you want to replenish nutrients in the soil but not suitable for decorative use.   Annoyed at my error I promptly returned the bark chippings and primed myself for the "You can't have a refund for that as you have opened it" conversation whereupon I would have quoted the sale of goods act, misdescription of goods, not of merchantable quality, etc, etc.   The sales assistant would still not have been impressed and I would have to ask to speak to the manager and a similar conversation would ensue, adding that the senior management would not be pleased with the poor publicity as I told the world how poor the product was.   I think I got a little carried away with thoughts of the potential exchange of words because the pretty assistant smiled when I asked for a refund and said "Of course sir!"

I did what I should have done in the first place and purchased the bark from a trade (and retail) outlet: Thompson's of Crews Hill.   The difference in products could not be more extreme.   The Thompson's bark is nothing but meaty chunks, and it smells pinetastically good. It's ideal for decorative use as it is attractive, clean and lightweight.   If used as a weed suppressant it is better than a mulch with loads of fines as the larger pieces won't retain moisture.   The mulch type of 'bark' will retain moisture giving a toe-hold for weeds.

Don't be fooled by the image on the bag when you see bark for sale at DIY stores.   If it's almost too heavy to lift then it won't look like this when you open the bag:

Thompson's bark.   The right stuff.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Rocks at the Royal Highland Show 2012

Sukuki GB used some of our durable Boulder G rocks ( available in a range of colours) to display their mighty King Quad ATVs at the Royal Highland Show in 2012.   As the rocks are so tough they will be used time and time again at other shows.   The rocks are probably the only part of the display stand that won't need polishing and tidying before re-use as the dirtier they are the better they look!

Suzuki ATVs on our artificial rocks at the Royal Highland Show 2012

Beautiful bike shelter

Most bike shelters are a little bit industrial looking but one manufacturer has managed to design something a little different: a bike shelter with style.   This modernist curvy shelter can also be used as a smoker's skive hut, sorry, shelter.