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.
With warmer weather and an early Easter, the garden centre is busy at the moment with customers stocking up on summer bedding plants - snapdragons, cornflowers, cosmos, verbena, phlox, petunia, As well as filling planters, hanging baskets and borders with colour that will last all summer, there are always plenty of jobs to do in the garden during April and David Coton has these suggestions.
Every gardener must have noticed a decline in the bee population over recent years. Intensive farming that demands the use of toxic chemicals, climate change and parasite infestation have all been put forward as potential causes, it's a worrying trend but one that we can all help to reverse.
As an excellent alternative to conventional products, Trimetals' storage solutions blend top quality manufacture with contemporary style. Their range has now been extended to include two new maintenance free sheds and Robert Hall has all the details.
Zest 4 Leisure manufactures a large variety of timber garden furniture, fencing and leisure products, David Coton visited their brand new nine acre site near Chester last week to find out more about current development and future plans.