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Outdoor Cooking: Creating a Culinary Escape in Your Garden

Read how to elevate your outdoor cooking experience with our outdoor kitchens

Cooking outdoors might seem like a daunting task, however, it doesn’t have to be. Outdoor kitchens and BBQs are becoming all the range and at the Garden Furniture Centre, we are jumping on board the outdoor cooking train! From outdoor kitchens to pizza ovens, there are multiple ways for you to make the most out of our garden and turn it into a culinary dream. In this blog post, we will discover how outdoor kitchens can elevate your cooking experience as well as discussing the benefits outdoor cooking can bring.

What is an outdoor kitchen and how is it constructed?

It might seem obvious what an outdoor kitchen is, but there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. An outdoor kitchen is a functional area which acts as an extension to your home. It is also designed to be a setting for entertaining guests with its inclusion of cooking appliances, storage compartments, and even a designated dining area!

Depending on your available space, it is best to plan the preferred layout of your outdoor kitchen. This will help you visualise what you need to add or take away so you can get it right the first time. Our Bari Outdoor Kitchen range is the perfect solution for any outdoor kitchen needs with its autonomous components making it easy for you to construct your dream outdoor cooking experience. With its scratch-resistant ceramic surface and grade-A teak structure, our Bari range will provide elegance and sustainability to make your outdoor cooking experience unforgettable.

What are the essential components of an outdoor kitchen?

The main benefit of an outdoor kitchen is its versatile customisation! You can add your centrepiece cooking appliances such as a gas or electric grill with additional storage components making up the rest of the space. The key elements that make up an outdoor kitchen do vary depending on your preference; however, it is standard to have storage cabinets, a sink unit, a fridge unit and even a bar area. It is important to remember that your outdoor kitchen should cater to your personal taste and style, so don’t be afraid to go big or small!

What material is used for an outdoor kitchen?

When constructing your own outdoor kitchen, it is important to consider how durable and sustainable the components will be. With our Bari range, we have ensured that you will get quality and style combined! Crafted out of grade A reclaimed Indonesian teak and a scratch-resistant ceramic top, you are guaranteed decades of outdoor cooking with minimal maintenance. Complete with galvanised hinges and soft close doors, you can store all your cooking equipment safely and efficiently all year round.

Big Green Egg

With our Bari Outdoor Kitchen range, we offer a wide selection of components to accommodate your outdoor space. Our newest addition is the Big Green Egg outdoor oven which certainly elevates your outdoor cooking experience! This infamous outdoor oven has taken the culinary world by storm with its weatherproof casing and temperature control technology. You can fit your Big Green Egg oven in our specially designed Big Green Egg unit which is either fixed or on wheels so you can enjoy delicious dishes in your garden space.  

 What are some tips for barbecuing on a Big Green Egg?

The Big Green Egg will reward you with a cooking experience you will never forget. With its temperature control mechanism, you can adjust the top and bottom vents to control the airflow that enters the egg to create optimal cooking conditions. It is best to give yourself some extra time to preheat the egg so that you can keep a stable and consistent temperature.

The best way to get the most out of your Big Green Egg oven is simply to experiment! Try out different cooking methods such as indirect and direct grilling, smoking, baking, and spit roasting. Investing in some high-quality accessories will also make your cooking experience even more special for you and your guests.

Pizza Ovens

If you want to really impress your friends and family, then you cannot go wrong with having a pizza oven to take your pizzas to a new level! Our pizza ovens are the ideal way to get the perfect finish on your pizzas whether they are homemade or shop-bought.

Why is a pizza oven better than a regular oven?

With a pizza oven, you are guaranteed to have a delicious pizza cooked in a few minutes while keeping all the important flavours on the surface. Our Montelini 360 Pizza Oven is easily transportable in your outdoor area to cook the perfect pizza with either wood pellets or gas! What’s more, you can save on your energy bills due to its energy-efficient and compact design, so you do not have to rely on your larger oven appliances. It also comes equipped with a 360-swivel attachment so you can rotate your pizza to get an even finish.

Come and visit our Bari Outdoor Kitchen range and Big Green Egg display at our showroom in Wootton Wawen to discover the world of outdoor cooking! Or check out our range online where you can find all our best-selling outdoor cooking appliances to complete your outdoor space.


Luna Retractable Awnings: Effortless Outdoor Elegance

Transform your outdoor space with our Luna Retractable Awning!

A few months ago, we had the pleasure of installing our bespoke Luna Retractable Awnings at The Galley Hall in Hertfordshire! Our retractable awning sits comfortably over their outdoor area for guests to enjoy food and drink whatever the weather. In this post, we are going to delve further into the features and benefits of our Luna Retractable Awning and why it is the perfect design for any domestic or commercial area.

What are retractable awnings and what is their main feature?

Retractable awnings are a revolutionary structure designed to provide a stylish and sophisticated shelter for your outdoor area. With our completely bespoke designs, you have the control to find the perfect shape and size for your outdoor area whether that be commercial or domestic. The main features that are included with our retractable awnings are their PVC polyester fabric canopy, dimmable LED lights, and motorised canopy roof powered by Somfy motors.

It goes without saying that the main feature of our retractable awnings is the smooth retractable roof mechanism that is easily operated through the remote control. The roof gracefully slides from one end to the other with minimal noise, creating the perfect ambience for your guests whatever the weather. The roof is also equipped with impermeable features and is resistant to tearing, abrasions and erosion so you can enjoy your awning all year round.

Can awnings withstand harsh weather conditions?

Retractable awnings create the freedom for you to extend the outdoors even during the colder months. Their robust aluminium frames are crafted using unique injection systems that will last you a lifetime of stability in any climate. Their sturdy nature also means that they are extremely low maintenance and can withstand winds up to 100km/h and a weight of 50kg against rain and snow! The canopy roof is finished with a robust film lining that is located on the top and bottom layer which provides further insulation and UV protection.  

What are the uses of awnings?

There are many ways that a retractable awning can benefit your outdoor space. It can accommodate and shelter a larger space for guests at your business, or friends and family in your personal outdoor area. Not only will this shelter your guests and furniture, but it give you the freedom to regulate the changing weather conditions throughout the day. The retractable roof is fitted with white LED dimmable lights which enhance your outdoor area during the darker periods of the day, especially when the winter months come around.

Furthermore, our retractable awnings can be fitted with manual or motorised screens to create an intimate and private area for your guests! They can also cut down on energy costs if you have rising energy bills by keeping your function or gathering outside so you can turn off any indoor heating systems for a few hours. With their versatility and stylish design, our retractable awnings offer a wide range of benefits for both commercial and domestic areas!

At the Garden Furniture Centre, we had the pleasure of installing our bespoke Luna Retractable Awning at The Galley Hall in Hertfordshire. This quaint family-run pub dates to 1374 when it was originally a farmhouse that soon turned into the infamous Galley Hall during the 1830’s. The pub now runs as a beautiful location for weddings, parties, or just to catch up with friends!

By talking to our gazebo specialist Chris, we guided them through the different features and customisations to accommodate all their personal preferences. This included adding bespoke motorised screens on the front, which also act as a doorway, as well as their choice of canopy and desired size.

Once the awning arrived, our installations team got to work, and the results look incredible! Visitors at The Galley Hall can now sit and relax with friends and family without worrying about the weather, as well as the pub now having an increased dining space for functions and events.

We are so pleased that The Galley Hall is happy with their Luna Retractable Awning, and we wish them the very best with their future endeavours! Watch our video below to learn more about our Luna awning on-site at The Galley Hall: 

If you want to view our range of Luna Retractable Awnings or gazebos, then click here or pop down to our showroom in Wootton Wawen where we have an extensive range of products on display for you to view! 

Hospitality Gazebos | The Perfect Outdoor Shelter for Pubs and Restaurants

Our Galaxy gazebo at the Orange Tree in Solihull

Hospitality Gazebos | The Perfect Outdoor Shelter for Pubs and Restaurants

Over the years at The Garden Furniture Centre, we have seen our products feature in the most beautiful scenery across the country. As such, we have been fortunate to see our phenomenal gazebo range in fantastic areas far and wide, especially in commercial settings! In this post, we will be delving into the fabulous features of our gazebo ranges and where you can spot them at different pub and restaurant locations.


Our Gazebo Range

At The Garden Furniture Centre, we have a huge selection of heavy-duty gazebos that are perfect for any outdoor activity or event! Most notably, it is our versatile gazebos and bioclimatic pergolas which steal the show for many of our customers who come to visit our showroom and trade stands. From bioclimatic pergolas to retractable awnings, we will have something for everyone. Whether you are looking for something simple or a bit higher tech, our selection of commercial gazebos is catered to ensure you have efficiency and style in your outdoor space.


Bioclimatic Pergolas

Our Bioclimatic Pergolas are a fan favourite, and we can see why! With their RGB lights and sophisticated remote-controlled motorised roof, our Bioclimatic Pergolas are perfect in any commercial setting for guests to enjoy your outdoor space. Moreover, the motorised louvred roof is fitted with an innovative RBG light system hidden within the louvres. This allows you to set the perfect mood lighting and ambience for guests to admire and feel at ease.



What is more, many commercial pub and restaurant locations are tight for indoor space and need to find a solution to accommodate more visitors and guests. With our Bioclimatic Pergolas, you can seat your guests with minimal hassle, and you do not need to worry about changing weather conditions due to its bioclimatic functions. With total bespoke control, you have the freedom to control and regulate the temperature inside the pergola as well as the indoor lighting to coincide with the outdoor weather conditions.



You can find our versatile Bioclimatic Pergolas in the heart of Shakespeare’s County at The Blue Boar Inn located in Temple Grafton where it is beautifully displayed at the front of this picturesque country pub. Here you can enjoy the beautiful Warwickshire scenery inside our Bioclimatic Pergola whilst enjoying a delicious traditional pub meal. You can also view our Bioclimatic Pergolas at the Homewood Hotel and Spa where you can relax and unwind by their pool facilities!


Galaxy Gazebos


Another staple gazebo at The Garden Furniture Centre is our notorious Galaxy gazebos with manual pull-down textilene screens! Fitted with a sophisticated drainage system and a mechanical louvred roof, these gazebos are the best way to provide shelter and warmth whatever the weather.



With pull-down textilene screens, you can also give your guests maximum privacy whilst enjoying the surrounding vicinity and further protection from any cold winds or drizzle. Our Galaxy range evokes style and character with its anthracite grey frame and elegant features which will certainly fit well within any commercial area.



You can find our Galaxy gazebos in many locations around the country including:

  • Darlington Tea Room
  • The London Shuffle Club
  • Mughaha Azam Restaurant



You can also find our Galaxy gazebos and other products at some of the Lovely Pubs locations such as The Orange Tree and Baraset Barn where you can admire our fabulous gazebos and furniture with a cold beer or G&T!



Luna Retractable Awnings

If you are looking for a different angle to provide protection and shade for your guests, then our Luna Retractable Awnings might be the perfect fit for you! Fitted with dimmable LED lights, a PVC polyester fabric canopy, and full remote-control access, our retractable awning range allows you to create the perfect area for wining and dining.

With motors created by Somfy, the roof can be adjusted to any length to provide as much shade and sunlight as you desire! Complete with automatic length adjustments, this high-quality technology prevents sagging in the roof which ensures there are no inconsistencies within the fabric when it is fully extended. This is ideal for any smaller pubs and restaurants as it can increase the seating area for your guests to enjoy the surrounding scenery without the interruption of changing weather conditions!



Why not see our retractable awnings for yourself?! We have the pleasure of our Luna Retractable Awnings being featured at Bar 82 in Hull where they have created a stunning setting for guests to enjoy their bottomless brunches and evening soirees.

So if you are in the market for a versatile Bioclimatic Pergola, gazebo, or Retractable Awning, then we will certainly have something for you at The Garden Furniture Centre. Come and visit our showroom in Wootton Wawen or view our extensive gazebo range online!

Solar Energy | Power Your Home With Kingdom Solar!

Start your solar energy journey with our solar products!

It is safe to say that the cost-of-living crisis has affected all of us, especially when it comes to our energy bills. However, as technology has advanced in the last 10 years there are now multiple ways to cut the cost of your energy bills with renewable energy sources. At the Garden Furniture Centre, we have launched our new brand Kingdom Solar which supplies all your solar energy needs! You might be wondering; what are the financial benefits of solar energy? Why is solar energy the best alternative? Do home solar systems help you save energy bills? In this blog post, we will break down why solar energy is the future and how our new range of solar products will kick-start your renewable energy journey!

What is solar energy, and how can it be beneficial?

Solar energy is an extremely positive and sustainable way to produce renewable power whilst reducing greenhouse gas emissions which in turn will improve our climate and ecosystems. What is more, solar energy will significantly reduce the cost of rising energy bills as you do not solely rely on the national grid. Ultimately, solar energy allows you to generate your own electricity which can lead to you becoming more autonomous with your household energy. All you need is a little sunshine, and your solar system will do the rest!

So, where do we start?

At Kingdom Solar, we have a variety of solar products to start your renewable energy journey in your own home! From power banks to micro inverters, you will be able to sustainably produce solar energy to power your home or business.

Solar Panels

As the cost of energy bills increase, it is quite the opposite with solar panels as they are becoming a lot cheaper to source. Solar panels basically absorb the sun’s rays and create a renewable flow of electricity which can be stored or used straight away. Solar panels are also designed to withstand any harsh weather conditions and are extremely low maintenance meaning that you can enjoy them for years to come! If you want to find a sustainable way to provide clean, reusable energy, then our solar panels are the best way to start.

Battery Storage

Evidently, solar panels will not produce energy at night however, you can store any excess energy using our solar batteries! These batteries give you the freedom to use any unused energy whenever you please. By storing excess solar energy in batteries, you can cut down your electricity bills, increase energy independence, and reduce your carbon footprint significantly to ensure you are running a sustainable and efficient environment. What is more, our IP65-rated battery storage units can be charged by solar panels as well as the national grid during off-peak hours and have high inverter compatibility!

Power Banks

Alternatively, you can opt to take your renewable energy on the go with our multi-functioning power banks. The Zendure Super Base Pro and Super Base V collections are crafted out of environmentally friendly materials and advanced battery technology which allows you to have a sustainable alternative to main grid power! Our power banks are easily portable and give your devices an extra lifeline when you are in remote areas or during a power outage. You can choose the size of your power bank and even add our satellite batteries to maximise your energy storage so that you can power your household or business purely on renewable energy.


Another sustainable way to bring renewable clean energy into your household is with our inverters and inverter kits. These are a cost-effective way to produce on-grid electricity which can be used to power your household or business. We have a selection of hybrid and micro inverters which all operate by converting DC power from your solar panels into usable AC power. With the choice between our hybrid and micro inverters, they will give you peace of mind in the event of a power cut as well as drastically decreasing your outgoing energy bills.

What is more, our inverters are fitted with easy Wi-Fi configurations via its bespoke app which gives you accurate data checks for maximum power point tracking. The design of our inverters is compact and elegant to fit in with any interior space as well as having minimal noise when in use, integrated diecasting technology, and quick plug terminals for easy installation! Click here to read more about our inverters and how they can help you save on your energy bills!

Now that you know all about the benefits of solar energy, you can check out Kingdom Solar by clicking here and see how you can start your solar energy journey!

Or you can visit our showroom in Wootton Wawen where we have our solar panels and micro inverter on display for you to view!

Our Local School Defibrillator Fundraiser

Defibrillator AED

Our Local School Defibrillator Fundraiser!


At the Garden Furniture Centre, we believe that the health and safety of all our staff and customers is one of our highest priorities. Last year, our staff received their first aid training and it came to light that defibrillators are a key necessity in public areas in the unfortunate case that someone is experiencing a cardiac arrest. With some extensive research, we found that our local primary school, Wootton Wawen Church of England Primary School, did not have a defibrillator on their site. Ultimately, we decided that this needed to change as access to a defibrillator can be the defining difference to saving a life.



With this, we launched our Galaxy gazebo fundraiser to provide the local school with their own defibrillator to give them the best possible chance of saving a life! The buyer was offered an exclusive discount on one of our 3.5 x 3.6m Galaxy gazebos with 100% of the payment used to purchase a state-of-the-art defibrillator machine for the school!

What does a defibrillator do?


It is known that a defibrillator, when used within the first minute of a cardiac arrest, can increase the survival rate of the patient by 90%! However, if the defibrillator is administered during the next 3-5 minutes, then the survival rate decreases to around 74%. Nevertheless, this can make all the difference to save a life in the event of a cardiac arrest.


A defibrillator primarily sends an electric shock into the heart to try and reinstate a normal rhythm when there is an uneven heartbeat. Standard automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, are the most common defibrillators which can be used by any member of the public in the case of an emergency. These are fitted with sticky electrode pads which send information to the computer within the AED to determine the status of the patient’s heart rhythm. If there is a need for an electric shock, then the electrode pads will deliver one.


Why have defibrillators in school?

Fundamentally, health and safety in schools is an extremely important factor that needs constant attention. You may not think of children being at risk of cardiac arrest, however, there should still be the relevant systems in place should a cardiac arrest occur to an adult or child. Installing a defibrillator in schools is extremely important and ultimately can mean the difference between life and death for both children and adults.



What is more, this will educate both teachers and pupils to understand the importance of having a defibrillator on site whilst also benefiting the surrounding community! More accessible defibrillators in local vicinities will increase the chance of survival for anyone who suffers from cardiac arrest.


Our Defibrillator Fundraiser

With this information about how important defibrillators are to the local community, our Director Jon made it his mission to raise the necessary funds to provide a defibrillator unit to the local primary school! We decided to offer one of our Galaxy bioclimatic gazebos at a discounted price to cover the cost of the defibrillator, and we had a great response from our customers!


However, we were pleased to have sold the entire gazebo to our generous buyer Ken, who has installed it to create a multi-purpose outdoor area! Ken informed us that he was “extremely pleased with the result’ and congratulated us on “providing a defibrillator for the school”. We are so pleased that Ken is happy with his outdoor space, and we are also thrilled that our local school now has the defibrillator system in place to provide the necessary life-saving equipment for the pupils, teachers, and the surrounding Wootton Wawen community!

If you are interested in any of our bioclimatic gazebos, then visit us at our showroom in Wootton Wawen at Yew Tree Farm, or click here to view our gazebo range!


Laser Engraving services: How to personalise your garden bench!

engraved garden benches

Laser Engraving services: How to personalise your garden bench!

Whether you are looking to create a place to reflect and remember a loved one, or to showcase your business slogan or logo, our laser engraving services will provide a personal touch to a wide selection of our high quality garden benches! Our laser engraving service is an innovative and quick way to display your personal ideas, designs, and messages to create the perfect bespoke engraved garden benches for any commercial or domestic area!


How do laser engraving machines work?

Laser engraving may seem to be a largely complicated process; however, it really is much simpler than you think! At the Garden Furniture Centre, we use a state-of-the-art Alpha CNC laser machine to accurately and efficiently transfer your desired images and text to our outdoor garden benches! Our CNC (computer numerical control) machines use numerically controlled tools to provide a quick and cost-efficient engraving service! With this, you can choose your desired image, text, and font to create the perfect engraved garden benches for your outdoor area!

What are the advantages of engraving wooden products?

There are many benefits that come with laser engraving wooden products to see your ideas come to life! Engraving using a CNC laser machine does not chip the wood and it can create neat inlays, lines and contours to produce a clean-cut finish. What is more, the risk of the garden bench splitting is very low as there is no contact between the wood and the laser!



What is the best wood for laser engravings?

The type of wood that you choose is very important so that you can enjoy your engraved garden bench for a lifetime. We recommend that you choose a hardwood bench due to its robust and durable nature as well as its natural weather resistant qualities! Oak, teak, maple and cherry wood are all known for their dark and heavy characteristics which are perfect for engraved garden benches to last for years to come! Hardwoods are also very easy to work with and produce a clear image for you to see beautiful results which you can display in either your commercial or domestic setting!

Laser engraving services at the Garden Furniture Centre

At the Garden Furniture Centre, we offer the option of our fantastic laser engraving service with over 40 different styled garden benches! Our Teak, Oak, and Eco benches are all available for you to personalise with images and text, as well as the choice between 15 elegant fonts! We also stock different sized garden benches which are machine crafted in Indonesia to provide the perfect place for you to relax and unwind in your outdoor space! The most popular benches among customers include our Westminster, Memorial, and Eco ranges which are the perfect way to clearly display your personal messages for family, friends, or even customers to enjoy!

Click here to view our garden benches range, or come and visit us in Wootton Wawen to see our engraved garden benches for yourself!

The Bioclimatic Pergola: What is it?

BIoclimatic Pergola

The Bioclimatic Pergola: What is it?


You may or may not be familiar with the term ‘Bioclimatic’, but needless to say it is making its name in the garden furniture world and we are on board! Bioclimatic primarily refers to the relationship between the climate and living beings. In an architectural view, this is demonstrated through Bioclimatic building designs with extreme consideration for the surrounding climate to provide comfort and thermal regulation.



What are the benefits of Bioclimatic Pergolas?

Adding a Bioclimatic Pergola in your outdoor area is very advantageous for a number of reasons! The main benefit is that you have a structure outside where you have complete control over your external environment to avoid any interruptions whether you are relaxing or hosting an event! This will also lengthen the time you can spend outside throughout the year due to its climate control features. The Pergola is mainly powered through the motorised louvered roof system which we will get into later on!






At the Garden Furniture Centre, all our Bioclimatic Pergolas can be made completely bespoke, giving you full control over the design and finish to match your outdoor exterior (and they don’t need any planning permission)! Carefully crafted out of durable aluminium components and finished with AkzoNobel Brand coating, this will provide maximum protection against any weather conditions! Adding a Bioclimatic Pergola will certainly bring a new innovative ambiance to create the perfect place for rest and relaxation whatever the weather!








So, how does it all work?

It may all seem a little overwhelming and complicated in theory, however in reality you will not believe how simple it is! Fundamentally, the Bioclimatic Pergola system functions via the motorised louvered roof which is operated with a simple remote control. The use of a louvered roof means that you can regulate and monitor how much shade and sunlight can enter the Pergola to determine the desired temperature. With this, you can create the perfect temperature and environment to suit your surrounding climate! These louvered panels are fitted with a sophisticated rubber strip which prevents any draft or leaks when fully closed.



Another fabulous feature is the drainage system that is discretely hidden within two of the legs! When the inevitable happens and the heavens open, the rainwater will run into the drainage channels and down through the legs where it is dispersed underneath. This means you do not have to worry about any heavy rainfall damaging your garden furniture so you can stay outside whatever the weather!



What additional features are included?


Our Bioclimatic Pergolas not only cater to your surrounding climate, but they also emit style and sophistication with their additional features! All our Pergolas are fitted with RGB and LED lights to create the perfect setting whether you are entertaining guests or simply winding down with your nearest and dearest. The LED lights are elegantly positioned within the louvered roof and come with different brightness settings at the touch of a button!

Additionally, our Bioclimatic Pergolas also include RGB lights around the perimeter of the gazebo which not only creates a stunning display, but is also fitted with sophisticated Bluetooth technology to mimic the rhythm of your music! Both the LED and RGB light features come complete with a remote control for you to operate at any time!




You also have the option of adding our elegant glass sliding doors to complete your Pergola which slide and lock together to create a robust glass wall! These doors are optional; however, they are extremely beneficial for keeping any wind or rain away from the interior. What is more, you will still have full visibility of your outdoor scenery so you don’t miss a thing!


Take a look on our website to discover more about our Bioclimatic Pergolas, or better yet come and visit us at Yew Tree Farm in Wootton Wawen to see one for yourself!

Watch our video below of our brand-new T6 Bioclimatic Pergola being installed!










The Covid Recovery Garden by Rachel Platt at RHS Tatton Park

Romance teak Bench

At the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show, there is so much to see and celebrate whether it be bespoke gardens or luxurious garden furniture. This year was extremely special for us as we were delighted to have our Romance teak Bench and Contour Curved Bench feature in Rachel Platt’s Covid Recovery Garden which achieved multiple awards including Best Construction and the People's Choice Award. This garden was created for long sufferers of Covid-19 to rest, relax, and remember the turmoil the world had to endure these past few years.

Rich with hidden meanings and ingenious symbolism, this garden is designed to highlight consequential changes that Covid has had upon all of us. Primarily, the design and shape of the garden is inspired by the medical caduceus emblem which originated from the staff of Hermes who is the messenger between gods and humans and guide to the underworld in Greek mythology. This symbol features the wings of Hermes which sit above the staff that is encased with two snake-like shapes. It may seem odd that there are snakes within the emblem, however it is suggested that the Greeks viewed snakes as a sacred being due to their use in healing rituals to pay respect to Asclepius, the God of medicine.

With this, Rachel has dissected parts of the emblem and created a design that incorporates these significant details throughout the garden. The representation of the snake is displayed using porcelain paths that also demonstrate the absorption of oxygen within the lungs due to their Verdigris finish. Furthermore, the rain garden is a great addition that features a steel rill to emulate the staff which lies opposite the transparent circular arbour that depicts the top of the staff.

Included within the garden lie messages of support and remembrance that are carefully written on a metallic tree structure that hangs at the end of the third steel rill. This ornament hangs over another sculpture that imitates the structure of the Covid-19 protein anatomy to demonstrate the healing and triumph of all the survivors. The intricate attention to detail that Rachel displays with the design of this garden proves why she has had such accredited success from all the visitors and judges at the RHS Tatton Park show.

To gain a more in-depth vision of the garden, I interviewed Rachel to discuss the inspiration and creativity that enriches her ideas, as well as her personal interest for garden design.

1. What was the spark that made you start creating this garden?

"This Christmas just gone, I had an email I took as a sign that I had to enter this year. I brainstormed a couple of ideas, one being long-covid recovery as I had suffered from this myself. Furthermore, no previous show gardens had touched on the topic."

2. What made you get into garden design and why?

"I studied human geography at university with my speciality in the interaction between landscape and culture. After graduating, I wanted to combine my love of design with academia so undertook a post-grad in garden design with the Oxford college of garden design."

3. There is a lot of symbolism within the garden e.g., the caduceus shape, protein anatomy etc. How did you plan and research to incorporate these hidden messages?

"The idea started by breaking down the geometry of the caduceus, figuring out its core components and translating that into a footprint. After that, I filled the design with material choices and ideas which related to the theme and gave the space theatre." 

4. What project are you working on next? (if you can share with us)!

"I am currently in talks to do a stand for a trade event in the next couple of months." 


Thank you to Rachel for creating such a magnificent and important garden space for all Covid suffers and front-line staff to remember those who were lost and are still suffering, and we are extremely proud to have been a part of it! 

Click here to discover more of Rachel’s work, and visit our showroom at Yew Tree Farm in Wootton Wawen to view our range of teak benches for your own garden area!

Garden designer: Rachel Platt

Images by Kat Weatherill:

My Work Experience at The Garden Furniture Centre Ltd

Koala Relax Chair

My Work Experience at The Garden Furniture Centre Ltd

By Caitlin Woolley

At the Garden Furniture Centre, they import goods from various suppliers overseas. This includes weird and wonderfully unique products ranging from 4-meter-long reclaimed teak tables to South African Bull drink coolers.

The goods arrive on large shipping containers and are stored in the warehouse until they are ready to be despatched. The warehouse office is the main operation centre where we arrange the delivery of hundreds of orders by different methods depending on their size and weight:

Company vehicles: I have organised the maps and delivery routes for the drivers.

Courier: I created the labels for delivery.

Pallets: these are loaded onto an Arctic truck using a forklift.

I gained a great deal of useful knowledge and understanding about how the business works and operates daily.

I learned how to recycle the cardboard from all the excess packaging by throwing it into a cardboard baler.  This compresses the recyclable materials into compact bales which are then stacked and transported for recycling.

I also discovered a lot of useful administration skills such as using productivity tools like ‘Trello’ and learning the phonetic alphabet which is handy when reciting postcodes and confirming people’s addresses on the phone for their delivery. 

Furthermore, I did a lot of admin work using Microsoft Outlook Express as well as learning how to operate the calendar and setting reminders. I also had to call the customers to book in their deliveries which allowed me to speak to the public in a professional manner. As well as this, I did some benchmarking and learned to  use Mircrosoft Excel. I then made routes and maps from scratch for the drivers and created schedules on Trello so they could see what was ordered and where their drop offs would be.

With most benches there is an engraving option to personalise your item. The laser inscription machine is used to copy files of exact images and text onto these items such as Memorial benches, Eco Park benches and much more! With this, I have created an image of my name to be inscribed on a piece of wood to remember my experience.

I then went down to the showroom and met the marketing/website and sales teams in their own separate offices where I learned about their roles in the company. They were extremely friendly and lovely which was great!

I was able to see the products and try them out. Jo showed me how they worked which I loved as in the office I’ve been seeing all these products online, so I got to see them in person and understand how they operated.


Overall, I have really enjoyed my time at The Garden Furniture Centre and have learned so much about the working world and how big businesses operate. I’ve gained a lot of general knowledge about the company and industry, but most importantly it has been a very beneficial and positive experience.

Every employee has made me feel welcome and it was a lovely atmosphere with the team always in good spirits. There was a great buzz in the office due to the height of the season, and everyone was happily getting on with their work.

I would recommend working here for work experience as the company gives you lots of opportunities and chances to learn new things. They make you feel so welcome and part of the team. You also meet lots of new people who encourage you to push yourself out of your comfort zone.

Thank you to the company director Jon Haimes and everyone in the office for this fantastic opportunity!

Our Step-By-Step Guide to Cleaning Teak Furniture!

Teak Furniture at the Garden Furniture Centre

Our Step-By-Step Guide to Cleaning Teak Furniture!

Here at the Garden Furniture Centre, we take great pride in supplying the best grade A teak furniture for all our customers to enjoy over many years! Recently, we took it upon ourselves to recondition our FSC Certified Malvern teak bench at yew tree farm which is 17 years old! By using our own teak cleaning products and a bit of TLC, this bench now looks just as good as it did 17 years ago. So, for this blog post we are going to take you through the stages of how we made our Malvern bench go from rags to riches in just a few easy steps!

The main question on everyone’s lips is what is the best way to treat teak outdoor furniture? Notably, it is thought that applying teak protector or oil whilst it is new will make your teak furniture shine and flourish for years to come, however this is not the case. The oil content in the teak wood is already extremely high so the products added will ruin the finish of the wood. So, for this reason, here is a breakdown of how to properly care and treat your teak furniture to make it last a lifetime!


Step 1: Jet Wash

To begin the cleaning process, it is best to get rid of any dirt and grime build up with a power jet wash which will get into all the tight and hard-to-reach places to prepare it for the next stage. As you can see, the colour of the bench has already started to transform into its original soft walnut brown hue that has been hidden for many years!


Step 2: Sanding

After the bench has dried from the jet washing, the next vital stage is to sand the wood down to restore the original colour of the wood. Here we have used a sanding machine to buff out the marks and dents on the larger areas to re-establish the delicate engraving on the top panel. Keep in mind that the sanding process is an extremely crucial part of restoring any teak furniture and must be completed with the upmost care. It is also important to follow the grain of the wood to ensure there are no additional markings made by the sandpaper or sand machine.


Step 3: Cleaner

After the sanding is complete, it is time to apply the teak cleaner to kill any mould or mildew bacteria that may have built up inside the teak over the years. It is imperative to clear off any excess sawdust that may have collected on the furniture with a damp cloth to ensure the surface is prepped and ready for the teak cleaner. You can apply our Golden Care Teak Cleaner to the bench with a dry sponge and lightly work the product into the wood to remove any excess dirt and oil. Fundamentally, the superior teak quality is very much evident in this bench as there is no appearance of rotting or splitting within the wood!


Step 4: Protector

The final stage in restoring your teak furniture is to carefully apply the teak protector which is available in either a blonde or honey brown shade to replenish the lost colour of the wood. For this restoration, we have chosen to apply our Golden Care Blonde Teak Protector with a soft bristle brush to further enhance the warm hue and detail of the grain. This ultimately seals the wood to create an extra layer of protection against water or mildew, as well as providing 100% protection against any sun damage! The difference with a water-based teak protector versus an oil is that the protector allows the wood to breath and keep its original colour whereas a teak oil will typically alter the colour of the wood into a darker brown or even orange tinge, as well as attracting moisture and mildew into the teak. 


The Finished Product!

And there you have it! Our 17-year-old Malvern bench has been completely restored with just a few simple steps and some much needed love and attention! Make sure to tag us in your own teak furniture restorations so we can see your amazing transformations just like ours!

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