The garden furniture industry is a great one to work in. It is all about the sunshine and how we can help you relax when the sun shines. Although the weather at the moment is not conducive to sitting outside it does give us a nudge, thinking ahead to warmer days and balmy nights. Well I am, and with the thought of lighter nights I like to play a little game called “what shall I have in my garden” this involves me looking at all our wonderful furniture and selecting my favourite items to pop onto my patio.
This year I have got to say my favourite is our new Kew range of furniture. It is officially fabulous. Sweeping curves on the arms of the chairs, with tiny details that unless you look closely you would miss, like the little square feet at the bottom of the chair legs, the small flower in the centre of the chair back and minute rivets on the seats. The table design is influenced by the intricate metal work in the Temperate House and I just love the pattern, it looks beautiful and my favourite bit of the whole set is the table centre which has the Kew stamp on it. Gorgeous.
The range comprises two dining sets, a deep seated lounger and bench, a large and medium lantern and the “piece de resistance” the pavilion. A generously proportioned cast aluminium free standing structure that if I could get on to my patio I would. It is just stunning and rather palatial. It will be our centrepiece at the Chelsea Flower Show this year and the whole stand has been designed around it.
The whole range is coated in riven black set off by very luxurious wheatgrass cushions.
We had a great time photographing this range for the brochure and website, Kew Gardens very kindly let us use the gardens after hours as a backdrop for our photography so the 6th September 2012 saw Anthony, Mark, Chris and myself all heading south towards Richmond for two days of photography in the sunshine.
We arrived at Oxen House Gate and were escorted through the park by Dee Wade, Kew Enterprises Administrator, who was to be our chaperone for the next two days. She cycled ahead and we followed her to the Temperate House. Cycling is the best way for the staff to get around Kew, as the park is around 300 acres in size so stilettoes would not be great work attire for Kew!
We arrived at the Temperate House to find that we were sharing it for the afternoon and evening with Status Quo who were filming part of a video there. Never ones to be deterred and to the strains of “Living on an Island” we took some fantastic pictures of the Kew furniture in and around the Temperate and the Palm House. We really hope you like them as much as we enjoyed taking them.
Take a look at our website www.hartmanuk.com/partner_kew_gardens.html
Don’t let it be said that working for Hartman isn’t varied, from one week to the next, you never know what you will be up to or where you will be.
This week for instance Phil and myself were at Birmingham University briefing 80 students on the requirements for the Hartman Prize 2013.
Unlike Phil, who is so cool and laid back when faced with an audience, I hate public speaking but I muddled through and no one threw anything at me so I couldn’t have been that bad!
Why were we putting ourselves through this? well, for the second year running we are working in collaboration with Birmingham University product design and textile students offering a cash prize for the students to design a set of dining furniture and a fabric to complement, for our 2015 furniture collection.
Last year was a huge success and two of the products designed by Amit Fox and Justine Woolley made it into our 2013 collection which can be seen on our website in the new year www.hartmanuk.com
The competition was so successful and produced such a fantastic array of designs that one of our customers, the Garden Centre Group have asked to get involved with the competition this time around requesting a fabric design for their furniture range which will hit stores in 2015.
So it’s over to the students now who will be working on the designs for us to choose two winners and three runners up in the new year. We cant wait to see what they come up with, watch this space…
Well we arrived, we built walls, we laid turf, we drank tea, we ate bacon sandwiches, we dressed sets and we won a Certificate of Commendation for the second year running.
Here are a few images to give you a taste of 2012 Chelsea Flower Show Hartman style!
It’s that time of year again when for three weeks during May normally sane individuals lose all knowledge of time and space as their world revolves around the event that is the Chelsea Flower Show. Hundreds of people descend on the 11acre site in the heart of London and get digging, planting and building some of the most amazing gardens you will ever see in your life. Year on year they just keep getting better and better and infinitely more beautiful, and no wonder really, because so much effort goes into each garden it is truly breath- taking.
This will be our 4th year exhibiting at the show and we have to admit it is one of the highlights of our year. It all begins in January when the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Manual hits my desk and then it’s all systems go, from Stand design to risk assessment right down to car parking and packing a watering can! Everything is organised well in advance so that the show week goes without a hitch.
Last year our stand won a Certificate of Commendation, which we were very proud of and now hangs pride of place in our reception area. This year we have pulled out all the stops and gone for a more romantic look and feel with soft planting in beautiful hues of purple and blues accented with white and green. We have added a little “Wendy House” in the corner of the stand just in case we need to hide from any showers that might come our way.
We will be showcasing the Jamie Oliver range of furniture as well as our popular Amalfi and Rocco ranges.
It’s an early start for us on Friday morning as we head towards London to begin the dressing of the stand ready for press day on Monday. We hope to see you there.
Special Thanks to …
Ant for designing the stand and organising the beautiful planting
Greg for building the stand
Allan and Neil for building my “Wendy House”
Brian and the guys for building all the furniture
Iain for organising the transport
Phil for funding the bacon sandwiches and tea
Gwillam, Anthony, Jonathan and Paul for manning the stand
Nicola and Clare for whipping up lots of PR coverage
And to you for visiting our stand
Aralia Sieboldii (Fatsia japonica)
Phormium Tenax ‘Variegatum’
Scabiosa Butterfly Blue
Lavandula Stoechas Papillon
Alcea Chaters Nigra
Phlox Clouds of Perfume
Polemonium Yezoense Purple Rai
Nemesia Fleurie Blue
Primula Denticulata Alba
Primula Denticulate Lilac
Nemesia Wisley Vanilla
Aquilegia Winky Blue & White
Lavandula Rega Slendour
Pittosporum ten Variegatum
Flowering Campanula Blue Pla
Veronica Gent Tissington Whi
Hedra Yellow Vari
Jamie Oliver Fire Pit Set
Jamie Oliver Dining Set
Jamie Oliver Bench
Jamie Oliver Lounger
Amalfi Oval Set
Amalfi Ice Bucket
Rocco Bistro Set
Rocco Round Set
David Domoney is to team up with Alan Titchmarsh in an ITV1 prime-time gardening show.
David is co-presenting ‘Love Your Garden’ with Alan Titchmarsh – which starts on ITV1 at 8pm from the end of June, in its new one hour commissioned series of six weekly shows.
Both David and Alan have a long history in the gardening world both in TV and with the RHS. The chemistry between Alan and David was much enjoyed on Alan’s ITV daytime show in which David teamed up regularly with Alan Titchmarsh on gardening items.
David, who recently hosted his own show Garden ER on Channel 5 , said: “I am so pleased to be working with Alan.”
“He has a great sense of humour and together we will transform gardens around the country with a bit of fun thrown in for good measure.”
“We are going to be busy filming over the next few months. There will be lots of exciting features. It is going to be a real treat for all gardening fans.”
“I had so much fun working on the afternoon show, it’s great that we are going to be continuing the partnership on prime-time.”
Featuring the most beautiful domestic gardens in the country and telling the stories of the passionate people behind them, Love Your Garden will celebrate Britain as a nation of gardeners and inform and inspire viewers on how best to redesign our own outdoor space.
David will be in charge presenting all the landscape and features on the series.