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How are you getting on in the garden? It's been a surprisingly warm Easter holidays, making me feel less guilty about sending the kiddiwinks outside to play. We've been bathed in wall to wall sunshine with only a light Northerly wind which has enabled me to make progress this week. Our garden also doubles as the photoshoot location for our garden ranges which can put me under a teensy bit of pressure at this time of year...
April is the start of our garden year at Bowley & Jackson and new pieces arrive weekly all of which are styled and photographed by us at home. It is one of my favourite bits of my job, but as I get to choose the garden pieces inevitably quite a bit of it never leaves our garden.
When sourcing the garden range I look for classic design that won't date and pieces that will be enhanced by foliage and flower. I also like pieces that can work at different levels of complexity. For example our best selling Dolly planters add instant impact when planted with a simple box topiary, but equally it can be planted with contrasting heuchera, grasses and salvia to create a layered and interesting look. It is also important that it works as it should, buying a plant pot with no drainage holes and thus killing the plant is frustrating, I like to road test stuff before it's added to the range (or that's my excuse!).
Our willow hurdles are a perrenial favourite, we've fought tooth and nail to secure these for this Season and our new deilvery lands next week, I'm using these at home to protect a newly constructed raised bed from bantams... pretty though my lavender pekins are they're hooligans when presented with a finely raked seed bed...Willow hurdles are a lovely way to edge raised beds and kitchen gardens and are so easy to use and create an instant vintage garden look.
I've also started to plant up hanging baskets, I'm looking forward to adding these to our Malton shop front, the new shop colour (which is about to be applied to Helmsley) is the perfect backdrop for a splash of bright floral colour. Back at home I also grow tumbling tom tomatoes in hanging baskets, it creates a bit of extra capacity while keeping them out of child range!! The Alexander hanging bracket is a really good sturdy support for larger baskets whilst creating a decorative vintage look that only adds to the overall picture.
I also have quite a selection of poppy head plant stakes, they're not only useful when it comes to staking taller plants but also provide sculptural interest especially in the winter months, I place them in amongst Phlomis Russeliana and verbena bonariensis seed heads where the rust provides a lovely contrast.
Having a cup of tea while admiring your handiwork is quite an important part of the process too...well mine anyway, and this bench was one of the aforementioned pieces that looked too at home to possibly move, I can atest it's very comfy with its shaped wooden seat....
So, that's a little bit of what's been happening, we've got lots of exciting new pieces coming in for the garden including some amazing wooden garden chairs and we've also got a bit of an offer on later this week. If you'd like to take advantage of our special offers make sure you're signed up to receive our newsletters (we promise not to bombard you, just a couple a month)...Alex x
Naughty Lavender bantams....