New Year – New Conservatory?

Well, if you’re reading this we guess the answer is ‘yes.’

After the festivities over Christmas and New Year January is often the month that many people start think about the next bit of home improvement for the coming year.

And often a new conservatory is top of the list.

It maybe they’ve realised over Christmas that they need more space to cope with the influx of an ever growing family unit or it may simply be the fact that there are some cracking offers to be found on conservatory builds and furnishings in the January Sales.

If it’s simply new conservatory furniture you’re looking for then you’re in the right place as we have a massive range of conservatory furniture with plenty of discounts available.

However, it may be you haven’t got as far as the furniture yet, so below are a few new conservatory ideas to get the creative ideas flowing …

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christmas decorations

Christmas Ornaments made from Upcycled Shipping Drums!

WARNING – these are not your usual Christmas Ornaments!

We really have thought outside the box with these little beauties.

It is a fact that retailers can tend to bang out the same old hum drum Christmas ornaments and decorations during the festive period – almost as if some of them have run out of original ideas.

And this just leaves you, the shopper that’s looking for something truly different and full of Christmas spirit, a little deflated.

Know the feeling?

If the answer is ‘yes’ then you need not feel deflated any longer …

Why? Because we’ve got an absolute, ‘Christmas Ornaments,’ treat for you …

What, we hear you ask?

Our Christmas Ornaments of course made from upcycled shipping drums!

Santas Sleigh Drinks Cooler

And they truly are in a league of their own.

Genuinely hand finished in funky designs and coated with a tough lacquer paint meaning they can be used both indoors and out these nifty little novelties won’t fail to impress friends and family this Christmas and create a real talking point.

From Christmas Tree Ornaments to Frosty The Snowman and the stunning Santa’s Sleigh Drinks Cooler, we even have a couple of reindeer as well.

christmas tree christmas ornaments

Garden Gnomes – the little known truths …

Garden Gnomes – the little known truths …

Let’s face it any self-respecting garden retailer will have a selection of Garden Gnomes.

And, as a retailer, we’re no different but our garden gnomes Larry and Lionel are slightly different from the norm. Hand made from recycled scrap metals in highly bespoke designs, you could say they buck the trend slightly.

Larry and Lionel the Garden Gnomes

Larry and Lionel the Garden Gnomes …

But one thing is for sure they come from the same background and have the same quirky history as any other garden gnome out there.

Garden Gnomes – a few interesting things you may not know …

Most people love garden gnomes because they’ve got character, they’re cute or simply just because, well, they’re garden gnomes.

But when we actually stop and think about it what do we actually know about gnomes?

Here’s a few facts you may not know …

  1. The garden gnome is quintessentially British. This was all down to a certain Charles Isham who originally brought a number of terracotta figures back from a trip to Germany – these were then placed in his garden and became the original garden gnome.
  2. After settling in the UK in the early 1400’s they then decided to expand their horizons and take a trip to the USA with Christopher Columbus in 1492 – they just couldn’t resist the large expanses of greenery available to explore.
  3. Gnomes do carry knives! However, for very peaceful purposes like helping animals out of traps and removing splinters from paws!
  4. They bring good luck – in fact our ancestors often used to place them near livestock to watch over them.
  5. They kiss by rubbing noses and are also vegetarian with a particular love of nuts, mushrooms, berries and fruits.
  6. They have a general life expectancy of around 400 years and their mortal enemies are trolls.

And the reason no one has ever seen a real live garden gnome? Because the sleep during the day and are only active at night of course!

To find out a few extra random facts from our very own Larry and Lionel in person please feel free to click here.

Jack O Lantern

What’s the story – Jack O’ Lantern?

It’s that time of year again when summer draws to a close, August Bank Holiday is a long and distant memory and the next milestone many of us turn our thoughts to is Halloween.

Although not a public holiday it is still a time of fun and laughter with scary fancy dress, tales of the night and, of course, the age old pumpkin decorating.

So, when the manufacturer of our recycled metal garden ornaments offered us some Jack O’ Lanterns with funky hand-made designs we jumped at the chance to allow our customers to spice up their Halloween in 2016.

Jack O Lantern ornaments sold in three sizes

Our great Jack O Lantern ornaments are sold in three sizes …

But have you ever stopped to wonder where the tradition of pumpkin decorating originally came from?

Where did the Jack O’ Lantern come from and why?

Believe it or not, the term actually originates from an Irish Myth about a man who was nicknamed, ‘Stingy Jack.’

As the myth goes Jack invited the Devil for a drink and, true to his stingy ways, tricked the Devil into forming the shape of a coin to pay for the drink. Being such a miser that, obviously he didn’t want to pay for the drink himself!

Apparently, the Devil duly obliged and then to add further insult to injury good old Jack then decided he wanted the coin for other purposes and so proceeded to place the coin in his pocket next to a silver cross so the Devil couldn’t change himself back!

Confused yet? So were we but it doesn’t stop there …

Anyway, eventually Jack did free the Devil but only on the condition that he didn’t bother Jack for a year and didn’t steal his soul when he died – there’s always a condition where Jack’s concerned obviously, I’m sure we all know someone like that!

And how does this relate to jack O’ Lantern we hear you ask?

Well, at this point it doesn’t to be honest.

But just under a year later Jack apparently then proceeds to trick the Devil into climbing a tree to fetch some fruit and then promptly carves a cross into this tree so the Devil can’t get down.

And yes, you guessed it he only agrees to let the devil down on the proviso that he doesn’t bother Jack for ten years or nick his soul when he dies.

Sorry this does have a connection with a lantern – honest!!

Don’t go to sleep on us just as we’re getting to the good bit, please.

Before the ten years are up, good old Stingy Jack dies only to find that God won’t let him into Heaven and, of course, the Devil won’t let him into Hell – unsurprisingly really after being turned into a coin and confined to tree.

Instead, Jack was sent into the eternal night with only a burning coal inside a carved out turnip to light his way.

Hence, Jack of the Lantern became Stingy’s new nickname and this was eventually abbreviated to Jack O’ Lantern – probably because it rolls off the tongue better and sounds a little more impressive.

And, finally, there you have it.

Original Jack O Lanterns were carved from turnips, suedes and beetroots ...

Original Jack O Lanterns were carved from turnips, suedes and beetroots …

Halloween is apparently the time when the dead can be seen walking the earth and so it makes sense that Jack of the Lantern would be associated and remembered at this time of year as well.

Good old Stingy Jack!