The Forest Log and Tool Store is a handsome garden structure and, now that winter is approaching, a very useful acquisition. Martyn Loach purchased one recently and here he explains how it is assembled.
Now that the sun shows signs of emerging from behind the clouds, David Coton's children are itching to play outside, here he reviews a selection of playhouses that will entertain your children and their friends throughout the summer.
Timber playhouses of various sizes and specifications will enthral any child, holding their interest for hours. All are manufactured by leading companies to high standards with safety in mind.
Rowlinson are particularly adept in creating imaginatively shaped and designed structures that are the perfect play environment.
Their Hideaway House has four styrene safety glazed windows to create a bright internal environment that has a mezzanine, the finish is an attractive honey brown, there's a verandah and even window boxes.
The garden will be alive to the sound of children playing if you have a Swiss Lodge playhouse. It has a beautifully scalloped sloping roof, tough tongue & groove floor and waterproof mineral roof felt. Inside the children will enjoy climbing the short ladder up to another paly area. The Playaway Lodge exudes the same high quality workmanship.
Hall's Fantasia Playhouses are again substantial and well designed structures, attractively constructed with tongue & groove throughout. The cute door with its diamond window leads through to a roomy, pleasantly light, interior, so it's up to the children whether they want to play inside or out.
More modest in ambition is Forest's Parsley playhouse, with a stable door and the verandah attractively surrounded by a picket fence. Similar to other playhouses, this is a very safe environment built and certified to high standards.
Plum Products' Role Play House is imaginatively designed to encourage children to play inventively. There are colourful themed panels depicting a post office and ice cream parlour to stimulate role play and interaction amongst budding character actors.
Finally, the Premium Aventure Playhouse is elevated with a robust timber play deck and supports. It's reached by way of a wooden ladder, and a heavy duty wave slide is ideal for a fast escape.
Everyone thinks that it's better for children's health and well-being for them to play outside rather than stare at a computer or TV screen from an early age, and these playhouses provide them with an excellent opportunity to play, interact and learn.
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.