Ornate water features and fountains are familiar sights particularly in stately gardens and formal locations. David Coton reviews some alternatives that will add distinguished elegance to your home.
To coincide with the release of Jurassic World on 11 June, Nathan James Dodd describes how you can create your own theme park with dinosaurs produced in fine detail and with enormous precision by Toscano and Borderstone.
You don't usually come across prehistoric animals ambling through your garden but, with these fearsome dinosaur ornaments in cast stone and high quality resin, long extinct creatures of varying scariness can inhabit the undergrowth and stride across your lawn..
With a name meaning 'Tyrant Lizard', Tyrannosaurus Rex had powerful legs and a huge skull, a world class predator that Borderstone have cast in stone.
You would probably not want to bump into a Ankylosaurus in real life either, luckily this Borderstone version is another excellently crafted reproduction in cast stone. Their Triceratops lives up to his name, that means 'three horned face', with an armour plated appearance but underneath he's just a cuddly herbivore.
Reaching up to browse in the tree tops is the giraffe necked Brachiosaurus, his signature small head indicates although he may have been one of the tallest but perhaps not the brightest.
Toscano have reproduced in resin their own T. Rex but this time a ferocious life size resin version measuring 11ft tall and 22ft long! It's hand painted and entirely convincing.
Their Parasaurolopus has clearly recently used his crimson red beak for al fresco dining and, like all the creatures in the life size collection, is reproduced entirely realistically at just under 8ft, as is a 6ft tall Allosaurus.
The extremely frightening Velociraptor, again life size, would have Richard Attenborough on his bike cycling in the opposite direction. This carnivorous speedster has terrifying claws and teeth dripping with blood.
Looking not entirely dissimilar to a rhino, the Toscano Triceratops has three horns and a head so large it takes up a third of its body behind a backward pointing frill. However, as far as necks go, the longest must belong to the Brontosaurus, 7ft tall and 12ft long, this will stand head and shoulders above you.
And if anyone doubts that your Jurassic World isn't for real, you can have the bones to prove it. Life size dinosaur remains that any paleontologist will be proud to discover. No-one will guess they're made from resin.
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.