Attending Glee, the leading garden and leisure industry show, was a great opportunity for Nathan Dodd to spot trends and anticipate products that will come onto the market in the near future.
Ornate water features and fountains are familiar sights particularly in stately gardens and formal locations. David Coton reviews some alternatives that will add distinguished elegance to your home.
You needn't break the bank or have a garden the size of Chatsworth to entertain the idea of a decorative fountain whose design will add classical distinction to any landscape.
Haddonstone, with all their experience of producing fine cast stone ornaments, offer several opulent water features that are overflowing with grandeur as well as water.
The Neapolitan Fountain is a strikingly ornate creation on which a cherubic figure holds a dolphin from whose mouth water spouts and flows over the scalloped sides. Their Large Double Fountain is a sumptuous double tiered creation with a triple dolphin centrepiece. Other neapolitan styled fountains provide more compact but no less elegant alternatives.
Cherubs feature on many classical fountains, one is seen carrying a bowl on the Two Tier Cherub Fountain from Borderstone, and two form the beautifully sculptured Entwined Cherub Fountain from Chilstone who also produce splendidly statuesque water features such as the Oxford, Laskett and Bambury fountains.
Also from Haddonstone is the Bayeux Stone Fountain that has a Romanesque influence with columns and stylish leaf moulding. French sophistication is introduced by a Versailles Stone Fountain which is inspired by orinals at the Bosquet de la Colonnade - it will prove très charmant in many locations.
Borderstone's Large Circular Fountain is certainly an impressive size. 6ft in diameter, the two tiered centrepiece is nearly 7ft tall and is topped off with a pineapple. Easily assembled, three integral planters are also included.
A similar finial features on the more compact but still splendidly decorated Two Tier Pineapple Water Feature which is very elegant, slim and stylish.
Massarelli's are an American company producing fine cast stone ornaments, their classic Four Tier Fountain has a bottom pool that is 6ft across and water flows over four decorative tiers. The Windley Key Fountain's fibreglass bottom pool is even larger (8ft diameter).
Their other offerings include a sturdily proportioned Florentine Stone Fountain, the angular Three Tier Spade Fountain and the Two Tier Gabriel Cast Stone Fountain decorated with lions masks that spout water into the lower tier.
If you don't have the room for a large fountain, you can still introduce a classical ambiance with a wall mounted version of the Bayeux fountain. Also from Haddonstone, the Dauphin Stone Fountain is finely sculptured with water flowing from the mouth of a lion, or alternatively a Wood Nymph, into a pool below and then re-circulated.
With Christmas rapidly approaching, our New Oscott Garden Centre has just taken delivery of that most seasonal of plants – the Poinsettia. These are David Hall's tips on to how to keep these beautiful plants at their colourful best.
Our garden centre has been part of the local community for over 60 years, so when one of our partners, David Coton, received a request to donate a Christmas tree to a nearby hospice, he had no hesitation in helping them out.
Many people believe that Christmas would not have the same festive feel without the scent of a 'real' Christmas tree. They're naturally fresh, giving off a lovely aroma, and here Martyn Loach gives advice on which ones to buy..
There's a huge selection of Premier Christmas Lights, and it's no wonder why they are market leaders judging by the variety and innovation that's on offer. This is Andy Taylor's guide to their range of top quality lights and decorations.