Friday, August 29, 2008
I've gone all Squidoo! Over garden furniture - poor girl, I hear you say! Well, this is rather special garden furniture with a wonderfully murky history that makes a good story.
Head on over to Adirondack Garden Chair - A History of the famous outdoor furniture and you will see what I dugg up with regards to its beginnings. I think it is rather a lovely story and its endearing to think that this attractive chair has stood the test of time.
Also check out our official blog at Garden Lifestyle UK, where you'll find articles, information, tips and hints so that you can make the most of your garden.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Back in 1903, a certain Thomas Lee used to spend his summers in Westport, New York with his large family of 22! The house was short on outdoor furniture and so Thomas began knocking together pieces of wood to make extra garden furniture that would give his family the extra seating he needed.
After much experimenting, he finally hit upon a design using 11 pieces of wood from one plank which made an extremely comfortable chair where the upright back and seat slant to afford better seating. This accommodates the steep slopes that abound in the region of the Adirondack Mountains in North-East New York State, giving the garden furniture a more luxurious feel.
One of his friends, Harry Bunnell was a carpenter down in Westport, so Thomas showed him his designs. Harry thought that there was tremendous potential for them amongst the summer visitors to the town and in 1904 applied for a patent for the chair, to be known as a Westport.
Unbeknowing to Thomas Lee, in 1905 Harry Bunnell secured the patent he needed. For over twenty years he manufactured the now famous slope-backed chairs in either a rusty-brown or green wood-stain, stamping the garden furniture with his signature.
Today, these original chairs can fetch as much as $3000 in antique shops, which goes to show the enduring appeal of these attractive chairs.
As more and more manufacturers copied the design, the chairs became known as Adirondack chairs, with a wide selection of benches, rockers and chairs being built from the original plan.
Today, using Polywood recycled plastic, this design for garden furniture comes into it's own in the Poly-Wood Adirondack chair. Eco-friendly due to the recycling of plastic milk bottles and the like, they are virtually maintenance-free and retain their good looks for a lifetime of pleasure.
Some people like to add cushions to their garden furniture, but with the Poly-Wood Adirondack design cushions are not required. A good Adirondack design should be comfortable without the addition of cushions.
The Poly-Wood Adirondack Chairs come in a range of colours including sunset red, pacific blue, lemon, lime, tangerine and Aruba.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Upgrading your lawn and garden furniture can be a daunting task these days. The seemingly endless choices of materials, colours and designs are enough to make your head spin and that's just from the research you've done online.
Once out into the real world of garden centres, more choices crowd in to confuse and disorientate even the hardiest of shoppers. And to cap it all, you have to deal with the crowds of noisy children and stressed parents.
A good place to start is in the quiet of the garden you wish to furnish, with a notepad and pen. Here are some questions you should ask yourself - questions such as what sort of style do I want? What type of material should the garden furniture be made of? How much maintenance am I prepared to do? How long do I want the furniture to last?
For instance if you are looking for a contemporary look, have you considered white garden furniture or coloured, or perhaps you are going for a more traditional look with wood.
These days there is another alternative to wood, metal and plastic and that is the furniture made from recycled plastic "timber" - so real to the touch and to look at, you are hard-pressed to believe that it is not in fact made from "real" timber from a living tree!
Millions of plastic water, milk and soft drinks bottles are dumped in landfill sites every year, clogging up our world's eco-system. Taking these bottles and turning them into "timber" planks to be fashioned into stunning lawn and garden furniture offers everyone a win-win situation.
Beautiful lawn and garden furniture made from polywood gives you a lifetime of quality and durability. Unlike the usual green and white plastic chairs of old which constantly blow away in the mildest of gusts and become fragile after a few months of being exposed to the elements, these attractive and comfortable tables and chairs are impervious to the effects of the weather due to the manufacturing process.
I don't know about you, but one of the most important elements of my garden has to be beauty that is as easy to maintain as possible and that includes the furniture! Precious time spent oiling teak furniture to keep it in top condition is for me, wasted time, when I can be relaxing and enjoying the sunshine. Equally distressing is the rain falling onto my lovely wood furniture, knowing that it is damaging it.
Made with stainless steel fixings all the maintaining this recycled plastic garden furniture needs is a wash with warm soapy water from time to time to remove dust and dirt - no painting, oiling, special winter storage even in the harshest of climates.
So versatile is the plastic "timber" that in traditional wood colours it is almost impossible to tell that your gorgeous furniture has not been made from traditional tree timber. Even the look and feel of the recycled plastic is that of tree timber.
For your chance to win some of this remarkable lawn and garden furniture, I invite you to contact us at Poly-Wood and see for yourself how beautiful it is.
Monday, August 11, 2008
No, I've not misspelt it! A Lapa from South Africa could be just the thing for your garden, giving you the perfect amount of shade and protection from the elements and a beautiful space for sitting, entertaining or even working on your laptop. How's that for garden lifestyle?
Traditionally in South Africa, these gorgeous thatched open timber-sided buildings add protection from the searing heat and are made from indigenous wood and thatch. Of course the open-sided nature has come into fashion more in recent years, but you must admit that they make a change from the more acknowledged garden shed!
By the way Lapa is pronounced "Larpa".
If you like the idea of one of these attractive buildings, why not contact The Lapa Company in Kent, who will create a lapa especially for you and the best thing is that our elegant furniture will look perfect with them!
I have to admit that I would not have thought when I started this blog that South Africa would feature so highly! One of my other passions in life is South Africa. Take a look at Tailor Made South Africa Travel for great ideas on how to go and see the lapa in the home of its birth.
Friday, August 8, 2008
I've come across a couple of great garden ideas that I thought you might like to look at that will enhance the look of your garden and help you enjoy the summer months. Firstly, why not light up your outdoor entertaining with these stylish Garden Gas Lights? Illumination at night is so romantic!
The Garden Gas Lights, are versatile mobile garden lights, conveniently fueled by miniature gas cylinders that are available in all DIY stores.
Constructed from high quality, super anodised aluminium they are lightweight, durable and rust proof. Free from wiring and extremely affordable to run (one gas cartridge costing £2.95, will last for up to 15 hours) the sleek design and simplicity provide a stylish lighting solution. Just perfect for parties!
I'm also rather into more permanent barbeques, like the ones we see in South Africa. They are slowly becoming available in the UK and so I was very interested to find this one, the Buschbeck Carmen Masonry Barbeque.
Not only is it a barbeque, but a stunning focal point, and acts as a fire pit and patio heater. A stylish addition to your garden, as well as being practical. Weatherproof so that rotting barbeques are a thing of the past, they are also maintenance free, one of my buzzwords!
As you can see in the picture, this barbeque is the wood burning one, but you can also get a charcoal burning one - the choice is yours!
Thursday, August 7, 2008
There's nothing quite like homemade lemonade to cool you down when things get too hot to handle!
Here's our favourite lemonade recipe which is just bursting with citrus loveliness which I guarantee will have you buying up the supermarket for fresh lemons on a regular basis!
- 6 lemons approx.
- 150g (5oz) granulated sugar 1.4 litres
- (2.5 pints) boiling water
First scrub the lemons in warm water, then thinly pare the coloured outer zest from 3 of them using a potato peeler or zester, taking care not to remove any of the bitter white coloured pith along with the yellow zest. Remove any white if necessary.
Put the zest into a bowl and add the squeezed juice of all the lemons and the sugar. Don't worry about pips at the moment, as we will strain the whole mixture later.
Next pour in the boiling water, stir well, cover with a clean tea-towel and leave overnight in a cool place. Next day, stir again and taste to check sweetness, adding more sugar if necessary. Now strain through a sieve to remove pips and zest.
Pour into a jug, adding a few slices of lemon for decoration if desired.
Serve the lemonade chilled from the jug with lots of ice. Or dilute with soda water for an extra twist!
The lovely photo at the top of the page came courtesy of Burnt Cookies, who likes to bake cookies! You can find her lemonade recipe here too, which is rather interesting, having the addition of milk! Go take a look, I think you'll like it.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Over the coming weeks and months I want to bring you food, games, garden products, ideas for how to use your garden space and much more, so that you can live the lifestyle you want.
So for now, just sit back, relax and forget about it! Watch the video below by clicking in the centre of the screen and imagine how your garden is going to look with our help ...