David Coton was delighted to recently meet with Frank Honald, President and Owner of Henri Studio USA, who had flown in from Chicago to discuss the opportunity of bringing their products back into the UK next year.
Traditionally placed on gate posts and piers, stone finials can be significant garden ornaments in their own right as well as embellishments. David Coton provides a guide to Haddonstone stone finials designed in the UK and manufactured to the highest standards from top quality cast stone.
Stone finials include classically traditional as well as more contemporary styles, all of which will decoratively enhance your garden landscape and features.
Overflowing with pomegranates, pears, grapes and an impressive cornucopia of other ripe fruits, the Basket of Fruit finial is a succulent finial that could also be used as a table centrepiece. There is a smaller version and also one with the fruit contained in a fluted vase rather than wicker.
A perennial favourite, the pineapple symbolises hospitality and should be placed near an entrance. Based on a design dating back to the early 1700s, the Pineapple and Base and Ham House Pineapple are a substantial pieces and will warmly welcome all your visitors.
There are several cast stone urns of which the Newlands Urn Finial is a good example iconic swagging and elaborate decoration. These are finials festooned with drapery, ribbons and fruit, the opposite of contemporary minimalism, grand designs that have every surface ornately adorned.
Although highly decorated, the Lyme Hall Urn together with the Vine House finial represent a more elegant period of history. With a slimmer, less rotund, profile, this is the type of urn that would feature in a Jane Austen country house.
Birds of prey and other animals have always been favourite finial subjects and the Aquila Eagle is a particularly powerful example, that takes its name from the mythical creature who carried Jupiter's thunderbolts. It's available in left and right hand versions for each side of an entrance.
A cast stone lion sejant is a formidable sight, especially the Lion Finial which is so boldly sculptured. This majestic creature will stand guard at the entrance to your house or can be a fearsome prospect located in the landscape or even inside the home.
The handsome bust of a horse will prove to be a notably graceful and prominent Equine Head Finial. Based on a Roman original that was displayed at the Medici palace in Florence, it incorporate all the vigour, grace and strength associated with a centurion's stallion.
Five different sized cast stone Balls and Bases, smooth and round, weighing from 10kg (22lbs) to 64kg (141lbs). Even without ornamentation, the balls add interest and a certain gravitas to their location, resting on plain square bases. All these balls, and the others in the collection, are available in three classic colours: portland, bathstone or terracotta.
There are three distinctive Balls and Collared Bases in this selection, 13ins, 17ins and 21ins. Again the balls are undecorated cast stone, but this time sit on collared bases. Located on an entrance pier, the impression given will be very imposing, adding a certain dignity to what may be an ordinary gateway.
An Acanthus Leaf Ball is decorated by the foliage of the eponymous Mediterranean plant which is so popular in classical ornamentation. Found on architecture, statues, textiles and friezes, the acanthus is a conspicuous form of elaboration, and here its large leaves emanate from a collared base, enveloping the lower half of a plain ball.
In normal circumstances with warmer weather and Easter coming along soon, you should be stocking up on bedding plants to fill planters, borders and hanging baskets. However, even though the garden centre is currently closed, we are still trading online and, while you may be confined to home, there are plenty of garden jobs for you to tackle during April. David Coton has these suggestions.
Sustainability and a growing awareness of wildlife are two of the key gardening trends identified by the Royal Horticultural Society for 2020, with gardeners in a position where they can make a substantial impact regarding environmental issues.
Robert Hall explains how getting out into the garden can help us to exercise, get out into the open air, enjoy time with nature and to help keep our minds occupied during these overwhelming Covid-19 times.
There's no doubt that television provides gardeners with inspiration, sound advice and good ideas, that's why we're all looking forward to new programmes and the return of old favourites during 2020.