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.
Walls, whether they mark a boundary or support your house, are on the whole functional and unappealing. Nathan James Dodd suggests using wall plaques and ornaments to improve their appearance.
Whether classical, contemporary or comic, these enhancements break up a wall's monotony, adding interest that will transform and add character to a garden or patio space.
Haddonstone's Parthenon friezes are the epitome of classical design. They are reproductions of originals that date from 443BC and depict the Panathenaic Procession. As can be expected, the detail is superb and the reconstituted stone will weather beautifully with age.
Also from Haddonstone are plaques reflecting the characteristics of the four seasons, each of them decorated with imagery of a particular time of the year with garlands of flowers, sheaves of corn, cornucopia of fruit and fire & ice, all finely captured in high quality stone work.
There are several masks to choose from. The fabled Green Woman, or a Cherub, and at the opposite end of the spectrum a Brelgian Wall Mask that is either grotesque or amusing depending on your disposition. From Toscano there's a Nightmare Wall Sculpture featuring a composite of three scary faces. Somewhat more spiritual would be a depiction of the Buddha or a Cham Plaque that originates from ancient south east Asian culture.
Toscano also have a Demon on the Loose and Gaston the Gothic Gargoyle who normally is seen taunting passers by from high up on the walls of European cathedrals.
More flippant and colourfully entertaining are Citron the Cockatoo and Phineas the Flapping Macaw, high quality resin depictions of exotic birds that will surprise guests even before their first mojito.
However, most appropriate would be Haddonstone's Tradescant Wall Plaque. This is a splendid portrait of King Charles II's gardener who introduced several new plant species from America. Based on a 17th century original, John Tradescant is pictured with trowel and spade at the ready.
Create a Halloween party in your house or garden with ideas and suggestions from David Coton that will keep your children and neighbours thrilled and spooked on the 31st October.
Looking for some advice on how to decorate your garden for halloween? David Coton has some great ideas to help you create a horror themed garden to scare your neighbours and any trick & treaters who come to your door.
Used originally to frighten away evil spirits, now placed near the front door to deter trick or treaters, carved pumpkins have been part of Halloween for a very long time. Here Martyn Loach explains the process of creating the scariest pumpkin in your street.
To grow the biggest, scariest pumpkin in time for Halloween isn't easy as they take some time to mature and prefer a warm climate. To have the best chance of success Martyn Loach recommends sowing seed indoors during April and then planting out in late May or June.