Ban­ish the plas­tic and take a nat­u­ral ap­proach to your gar­den

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY - Sally Coulthard

GAR­DEN­ERS – we’re a funny lot. We spend hours metic­u­lously plan­ning our gar­dens, hours pour­ing over seed cat­a­logues and plant nurs­eries, all in pur­suit of cre­at­ing our per­fect plot. And, when we’ve fi­nally com­pleted our out­door mas­ter­piece, what do we do? Plonk a ruddy great plas­tic gar­den set right in the mid­dle and com­pletely spoil the look.

Poor de­sign and lack of in­no­va­tion have long been a prob­lem when it comes to “gar­de­na­lia”.

Whether it’s plant pots or pergolas, ta­ble or tealights, there’s been lit­tle to com­mend the breadth of prod­ucts avail­able in most gar­den cen­tres up and down the coun­try.

I’ve never been a huge fan of plas­tic in the gar­den, for ex­am­ple. Plas­tic might be prac­ti­cal but I’ve al­ways felt that nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als such as ter­ra­cotta, glass and wood sit much more com­fort­ably among plants and trees. And so agrees Jon Hol­loway, founder of Gar­den Trad­ing, one of the biggest Bri­tish de­sign suc­cess sto­ries of the last two decades.

Two decades ago and spurred on by his wife Karen, a keen gar­dener, Jon de­cided to set up a com­pany spe­cial­is­ing in high qual­ity and well-de­signed gar­den prod­ucts.

Nowa­days, we take it for granted that we can buy gor­geous enam­elled wa­ter­ing cans or colour­ful com­post bins, but it’s not al­ways been like that. When the Gar­den Trad­ing Com­pany started in 1994 there was lit­tle com­pe­ti­tion. The mar­ket for nostal­gic, well-made gar­de­na­lia was a rich seam just wait­ing to be mined.

“I started Gar­den Trad­ing in a con­verted cow­shed next to a small farm house that I rented’ ex­plains Jon. “I took a stand at the spring trade fair in Birm­ing­ham in 1994 and the for­mula was well re­ceived; within a few months I was sell­ing to some large clients in the US, and Con­ran, Heal’s and John Lewis in the UK.”

At first, Gar­den Trad­ing sold prod­ucts solely for the gar­den –

GAR­DE­NA­LIA: ev­ery­thing from gal­vanised barom­e­ters to wooden ap­ple trays. It soon be­came clear, how­ever, that the bound­ary be­tween out­doors and in­doors didn’t have to be rigid and Jon brought Gar­den Trad­ing in­doors with a col­lec­tion of stylish home­wares.

Cus­tomers went mad for the com­pany’s trade­mark mix of con­tem­po­rary and retro de­signs whether it was out­door lamps or enamel bread­bins. In fact, if you see a wicker trug or a gal­vanised florists’ bucket for sale in the UK there’s a good chance it’s come through their ware­house.

A month rarely goes by when one of Jon’s prod­ucts isn’t men­tioned in a prop­erty sup­ple­ment or in­te­rior de­sign mag­a­zine. And with good rea­son. Gar­den Trad­ing has well and truly led the cam­paign for Bri­tish-de­signed, durable and prac­ti­cal gar­den prod­ucts.

Jill Atkin­son, who sells Gar­den Trad­ing prod­ucts in her Olive Branch stores, says: “Most things you buy have a com­pany’s name splashed all over them – one of the things I love about the things we sell from Gar­den Trad­ing is that they aren’t branded – the prod­ucts are sim­ple, tra­di­tional and al­lowed to speak for them­selves.”

You can find a wide range of Gar­den Trad­ing prod­ucts in the Olive Branch, Main Street, Ad­ding­ham 01943 830123 and Mar­ket Place, Eas­ing­wold 01347 823402.

Com­post­ing bucket £18 from the Gar­den Trad­ing Com­pany.

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