As part of a project designed to sow ideas, grow inspiration and cultivate futures, 300 London schools are growing their own picnic this summer and their reward could be a £500 voucher from GardenSite.
Looking to buy a timber planter but not sure what to purchase? David Coton provides some helpful advice on the many different designs that are available and how they can transform your patio and garden.
Wooden planters are decorative and practical additions to the garden. As a natural material, timber blends very well into the landscape, attractive, robust and available in various designs from simple containers to more ornamental designs.
There's a selection of elegant square planters with profiled sides and sturdy posts at each corner. Others forgo the posts and have interlocking timbers or half logs for a chunkier look in various sizes. The Grange 'Elite' and Forest 'Ludlow' are individual planters, deep and tapered with plenty of room for root development, while Rowlinson manufacture a rather unusual pyramid shaped planter. Their innovative range also includes a 'Barrel Planter' that features smooth half timbers and would roll over if it wasn't for sturdy supports that keep it steady.
Troughs are many and various, four square or based on traditional animal feeders with cross legs to provide a secure footing. These are quite mobile and will make for a striking display of colour in any location whether in full sun or in a position that needs brightening up. Deep troughs can be planted with vegetables and all are particularly useful if you physically have trouble bending too far,
The 'Wishing Well' planter uses interlocking logs and a wooden six sided roof to re-create a covered well with plants as the central feature and edging seats. There is also a semi-circular version that can be positioned neatly against a wall.
Forest have a range of sturdy 'Caledonian' raised beds, the tiered version of which can contain an eye catching display of plants on three levels. The same company's 'Three Tier Cascade Planter' is an engaging cottage garden style from which plants teem over the sides of boxes on different levels and there is a similar product from M&M. Also multi-levelled is the three compartment Grange 'Corner Planter', that is intelligently designed for maximum impact in a confined space.
The sectionalised hexagonal herb wheel is practical as well as ornamental. The eye-catching geometric design looks extremely smart and functional, with the different beds clearly delineated to keep in check any invasive herbs such as mint. The wheel is sure to become a useful and impressive display of kitchen herbs as well as an eye-catching garden feature.
Other shapely products include tree seat planters, practical for people who like to relax in the shade with the fragrance from adjacent, carefully selected, scented flowers. Able to be fitted around fairly sizeable trees, they can be treated as any normal raised bed and the colourful planting will certainly brighten the base of any tree.
Interlogs produce a window seat planter, while several manufacturers have planters with trellises which range from the ornamental to ones that accommodate climbers including the Rowlinson square or rectangular planter with lattice or the Grange 'Bella Rosa Planter' that will fit neatly next to a door, in a corner or a confined space.
All timber products should last for many years with very little maintenance. Most now come pressure or dip treated with a 5, 10 or 15 year guarantee and there is a very wide selection of planters on GardenSite.
Building a Hutch Company Starter Chicken Coop is easy by following the detailed instructions that are supplied, it is a practical design that uses excellent quality wooden panels and requires only a screwdriver for assembly.
With a view to introducing their impressive range of timber products to GardenSite, David Coton recently visited Churnet Valley Garden Furniture to look around their manufacturing facility.
GLEE is the garden retail industry's annual show, David Coton took the opportunity to visit this year's event at the NEC in Birmingham to catch up with the news, visit current and potential suppliers and evaluate new products we can offer on GardenSIte in the coming year.
With a La Hacienda chimenea or firepit providing light and heat whatever the thermometer says, David Coton discovers that you can continue savouring an outdoor lifestyle even in late summer and the cool of an autumn evening.