David Coton was recently invited to the exclusive launch of Grange's new products for 2018, the result of significant investment that the garden structures and fencing firm have received from their Polish parent company.
Classic garden furniture is timeless and never goes out of fashion. As Andy Taylor explains, great design and high quality manufacture combine to ensure longevity, reflecting style and practicality that endures to the present day.
'Classic' can be defined in many ways, but perhaps the nearest we can get is ‘having lasting significance or worth’, this quality can be readily identified in the designs on offer today and will remain redolent for as long as we need to sit down to dinner or relax in the sun.
Barlow Tyrie are almost legendary in the world of garden furniture. Skillfully crafted designs, their teak range includes seats, tables, benches and loungers that are simply impressive.
The Adirondack chair was originally designed over a century ago, and the Newport Rocking Chair could be pictured on any New England porch. The same attention to style and comfort is continued throughout their collection, designs are both practical and handsome with the use of teak emphasising their natural elegance.
Perhaps the most graceful pieces are the Capri and award winning Commodore sun loungers. These will grace any pool side, deck or terrace and have been inspired by the classic transatlantic steam ship loungers. With or without wheels, and adjustable to suit different tastes, you can easily imagine stars of stage and screen sunbathing on them while crossing the ocean.
Similar loungers are made by Gloster furniture and Alexander Rose, the latter using cornis, a reddish brown tropical South American hardwood. Alexander Rose also produce an extensive range of classic designs including a colonial collection that oozes comfort and charm, using hand twisted rattan with man-made fibres to recreate the feel of a bygone era.
Their Hyacinth and Barlow Tyrie's Woven Collection are classy ranges of all weather woven seats, loungers and tables. Humid evenings in the colonies can be imagined when watching the setting sun in these lightweight but hard wearing and weather resistant pieces woven by hand using resin wicker.
Gloster's woven furniture transports us to a steamy Cuba in the days before the revolution. Their Havana range is made from high quality, soft to the touch, but highly durable man-made fibre, bringing the classic woven basket chair, together with tables, sofas and benches, completely up to date without losing their classic natural appearance.
Over the last twenty years, Westminster garden furniture has also earned a reputation for elegance and style. Although employing synthetic resin and fabrics, their woven range of dining furniture is handmade by craftsmen and designed for comfort, practicality and durability.
All the manufacturers so far mentioned have selections reminiscent of the 50s and 60s, well designed, crisply styled for all year use, their furniture evokes a time that gave us clean and geometric lines with either smooth curves or sharp, square edges.
Their products are described as modern classics, designed for comfort, practicality and durability.This is indicative that enduring designs can emerge from any decade to play their part in evolving classic furniture.
All these manufacturers have selections that are incredibly well designed and constructed, crisply styled for all year use, classic garden furniture that just won't go out of fashion.
There's no doubt that television provides gardeners with inspiration, tips and good ideas, that's why we're all looking forward to new programmes and the return of old favourites during 2018.
Although gardening activity in February may not be so frenetic as during the summer months, there's still plenty to be done and here at the Garden Centre we are already receiving new stock in readiness for spring which is just around the corner. David Coton suggests the jobs you should be tackling in the garden this month.
Although the days are short and the view from our Garden Centre is frosty and overcast, Andy Taylor suggests various jobs that can be done in the garden during the month of January.
Showcasing young musical talent, this year's Winter Concert at Arthur Terry School was an outstanding success and took place against the stunning backdrop of a Christmas Tree donated by GardenSite.