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.
With the summer holidays upon us and children in the garden, you'll need somewhere to store their toys, footballs and other play equipment. Andy Taylor has been looking at what garden storage solutions are available for these and more expensive items such as mountain bikes and motor bikes.
Children tend not to be very good at tidying up, and various items littering the garden look untidy and will also deteriorate fairly quickly if left outside. That's why a garden store made from timber, plastic or metal can come in very handy.
The Halls Tool Chest is perfect for small to medium sized objects including a small child's bicycle. The felt roof is watertight and, as it's dip treated, a 10 year guarantee against rot is offered. There's an overlap and shiplap version with a detachable front for easy access.
Rowlinson have an attractive wooden Garden Chest with a removable front panel and lifting lid. The 12mm shiplap cladding has a dipped honey-brown finish, and the roof covered with roofing felt. Their waterproof and lockable Mini Store is also useful for garden tools, as is the Halls Mower Store and Maxi Garden Store.
Plastic storage is also offered by Rowlinson in the form of their Utility Cabinet and Cushion Box / Bench, and Suncast has a range of cabinets and garden furniture such as the Patio Seat and Wicker Garden Seat. Their Outdoor Bench has a large capacity and there's also a wicker coffee and side table with storage underneath.
Metal storage boxes of various capacities are manufactured by BioHort, large enough for bikes and fully weatherproof due to the use of hot dipped galvanised steel with a polyamide coating. Their Leisure Time boxes have a gas operated spring opening system, excellent ventilation and cylinder lock for security.
TriMetals have Storeguard, Stowaway and Sentinel garden stores, with PVC coated galvanised panels, rust free fixings and an attractive range of colours. Fire resistant and maintenance free, they are guaranteed for 25 years.
As the cost of bicycles and other outdoor items increase, so does the threat of theft. Fortunately there are specialist storage facilities designed to be extremely secure.
TriMetals have been manufacturing quality garden storage solutions for over thirty years and their products' unique design emphasize strength and rigidity. They are made from precision made PVC coated galvanised steel and come with a 15 year guarantee.
They offer four storage solutions including a specialist Bicycle Store that has ample width and height for all types of mountain and racing bikes. Depending on their design, there's usually enough room for three adult bikes.
In addition to bicycles, TriMetals stores can be used for lawn mowers, barbecues etc., and feature a spring assisted opening action that allows easy access and two padlock points for extra security. Larger 'Titan' garages are designed to accommodate motorcycles.
Asgard is another UK supplier of metal storage sheds and lockers. Again made from painted galvanized steel, their range features 3 point, pick resistant locks, designed to be attack resistant and exceptionally secure.
If you have limited space, Asgard have a twin and vertical bike locker, in addition to a double ended locker suitable to be located at the side of a house. The latter has two independent doors and internal locking points that ensure the two bikes can be secured independently of each other inside the same unit.
Asgard also have two Motorbike Secure Garages that can of course also be used for quad bikes and sit on lawn mowers. These have a five point locking system and are ventilated to allow exhaust fumes to escape.
Alternatively, the larger models in the Biohort StoreMax range of utility storage boxes, with coated aluminium roll up shutters are big enough for a scooter or bicycle, and Forest manufacture wooden bike stores to a slim design that allow the owner easy access.
Whether the reason is security or protection from the elements, it makes sense to keep your large and expensive purchases under lock and key, and these specially designed lockers and sheds are just what you need.
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.