Timber garden decking never seems to lose its popularity, and why should it, when it's such a useful way of extending your living and entertaining space. Andy Taylor explains why decking is so easy to install and how best to look after it.
Robert Hall, Senior Partner at GardenSite has been selling Barlow Tyrie furniture since the 1960's and so has had his fair share of experience of Barlow Tyrie's products, including the popular Equinox range. Robert shares his review of the Equinox garden furniture range for those interested in knowing a little more about this collection before purchasing.
It immediately tells you something when you know that the Equinox is Barlow Tyrie’s best selling range of garden furniture, and for good reason.
The original chairs and tables were first introduced around the millennium (do you remember that?) although new tables have been added much more recently.
The Equinox range combines the traditional elements of teak with stylish polished stainless steel and the comfort and durability of Textilene slings. It looked good when it was first launched and even though the combination has been copied by many, it still looks good today.
The first thing that strikes you is the high-quality packaging. The chairs double up and stack two in a box with plastic stocking sleeves attached to the legs to stop any rubbing in transit.
The legs are packed inside the table which is contained in one single heavy duty box that has external hand straps to allow you to manoeuvre the box (which is pretty heavy) and triangular cardboard inserts inside the box to protect the corners from collapsing. It’s packed to be exported around the world, and you can tell.
The frame of the chairs and loungers is the highest quality marine grade stainless steel which means it will not only withstand the rain but also sea water.
The armchair has the option of teak detail if you want it on top of the armrests just to add that touch of class and as a nod to Barlow Tyrie’s heritage as being producers of the finest teak garden furniture.
The seats are generous in size and clothed in Textilene slings for the back support and the seat. All teak seat and back versions, instead of Textilene, are also available for those that prefer.
The Textilene slings are available in a range of colours with charcoal being the most popular.
The slings themselves are extremely comfortable as they wrap around your body shape giving excellent support to everywhere that touches.
With use, over a period of years, I thought these slings, particularly in the seat, would start to stretch, but I’ve lived with a set for 15 years and there is no sign whatsoever of stretching.
If you are looking for some patio furniture to lounge in, rather than for sitting at a table there is also a whole matching range of Equinox Deep Seating furniture available. Comprising a Deep Seating Equinox Chair, two Settees, a Conversational Table and an Ottoman, this allows you to configure your patio or deck area exactly to suit you. Relaxing with a good book with your feet propped up on the Ottoman sounds like heaven to me. Again there is a range of cushions available, with the standard cushions being shower proof only but the weatherproof cushions are more durable. So contemporary and stylish is the Equinox Deep Seating range I have even seen it inside in the atrium or waiting areas of large company offices.
There is also a High Dining Pedestal Table (in two sizes) available in the range with matching chairs and stools to sit around the table. I always imagine these set up on a large stone circle to catch the last rays of the evening sun as it bathes the back of your Spanish villa. Decorate with chilled Champagne, local olives and some good friends for the perfect end to the evening.
The original Equinox tables, though eminently practical were designed with sophistication in mind, without question. The bed of the table is made up of a series of slats (no wider than the width of your thumb) laid into four quadrants that are divided up with strips of stainless steel. It looks very elegant for a garden table, particularly when you add the stainless steel to the legs with the teak detail at the feet. I really love this table, but it is teak, and it can stain if you allow spilt red wine to lie there all night. What I recommend is to dab up any excess with an absorbent cloth and then leave to dry. Use a fine grade sandpaper and lightly sand the mark and the surrounding area. Then re-apply some teak oil to the affected slats.
Perhaps recognising this, Barlow Tyrie has now introduced a range of Equinox tables with ceramic tops and with HPL (high-pressure laminate) tops. The ceramic top tables look very smart and modern particularly with the stainless steel added to the legs.The Ceramic used is very weather resistant and incorporates high colour stability as well as being easy to wipe clean. It also has a scratch-proof finish. Very appealing, particularly if you have a red wine left in that bottle.
HPL does not sound nearly so appealing until you actually see it. The initial appearance is of slate, but without the roughness around the edges.Again the laminate is set into quadrants, divided by slender ribbons of stainless steel. Built into the centre of the table is a lazy susan which again is circled by a ribbon of steel. As you might imagine it is scratch resistant and highly durable. Add in the stainless detail on the legs and it makes the choice of Equinox table top a very difficult choice.
And that is why this range is so appealing. There is a variety of choices within the Equinox range that means it has a wide appeal as it can be combined in so many different formats to suit individual tastes. The styling is contemporary but with traditional references and it is built to a quality that you know will stand the test of time.
Many manufacturers run a range for a year or two and then it is gone. You cannot always add to that range in the future or replace any damaged lines but you can have the confidence that even if the Equinox range should be discontinued in the next few years (which I doubt) you will still be able to get replacements, even if it means a special order. That confidence in the product and the manufacturer is what helps make the Barlow Tyrie Equinox range unique in today’s disposable world.
View the complete range of Barlow Tyrie Equinox garden furniture.
Robert Hall reviews the new Halls Qube Greenhouse, stating that; this is a major evolutionary step in greenhouse design. Read his full review of the new range here.
GardenSite were once again pleased to support the Boldmere Community Festival which took place on 18 November, with the Christmas Lights switched on by Alan Gardner, well known for his appearances as TV's Autistic Gardener.
Whether it's a bleak December or the more mild weather we are becoming used to, you can still spend useful time in the garden during the last month of the year. David Coton suggests some garden jobs that can occupy the short days.
An iced over pond will have a detrimental effect on animal and plant pond life, although fish and amphibians will survive under a frozen surface for some time, ice traps gases escaping from decaying material and prevents oxygen from entering the water.