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Big Green Egg Demo Day: An Egg-citing event

Read all about our Big Green Egg Demo Day here!

Big Green Egg Demo Day: An Egg-citing event

There's nothing like firing up your first BBQ of the year on a warm summer day. The sizzle of the grill, the smell of the food, and the warmth of the sun create the perfect atmosphere. But what if there was a way to elevate this experience even further? That's where the Big Green Egg comes in!

The Big Green Egg has a remarkable 50-year history of delivering exceptional results. It is renowned for its distinctive style and, most notably, its ability to produce a variety of delicious dishes. This one-of-a-kind invention is outstanding and we think it's definitely worth celebrating!

So, to commemorate their 50th anniversary, we hosted a Big Green Egg Demo Day here at our showroom, and what an egg-cellent day it was! On the 27th of May, we opened our doors and turned our garden furniture showroom into a fine dining experience for everyone to enjoy.  Our guests enjoyed mouth-watering food cooked on the egg by our very own in-house culinary expert, Royan, followed by a demonstration on how to use the egg to its full potential. 

But it wouldn’t have been a celebration without bubbles so, of course, it was all washed down with a glass of prosecco! Everything we had on offer including delectable chicken wings, steak, rubs, and beverages were very kindly provided by Big Green Egg themselves, so we were able to give our guests the perfect dining experience.

Is the Big Green Egg worth it?

Absolutely! This innovative BBQ offers more than just another way to cook your meals– it provides a lifetime of unforgettable culinary experiences. Constructed with NASA-grade ceramics, the Big Green Egg comes with a lifetime guarantee. Not only is it highly durable and able to withstand the elements, but it also maintains its appeal throughout the year. Additionally, you have a variety of cooking options to choose from, allowing you to prepare any type of meal, whether you're grilling, roasting, baking, pan-cooking, or smoking, it really does provide you with endless possibilities.

It doesn’t stop there! Depending on your requirements, there are a variety of sizes to suit your every need. If you’re looking to cater for a bigger party, you may want to consider the XL Egg for multi-dish meals. If you’re seeking something for the family to enjoy, the Large Egg is your best bet! And if you’re looking to simply cook for yourself and a loved one then you could opt for the MiniMax, perfect for small groups or for using alongside another egg!

What’s more, our contemporary Bari Kitchen Range is the perfect addition to house your Big Green Egg! At GFC, we offer a range of specially designed components that fit this oven perfectly. You can choose from fixed units or trolley units that give you the flexibility to move your oven to any space in your garden. The Bari Kitchen Range is sleek in design and carefully crafted with high-quality materials including teak, adding an elegant touch to your outdoor kitchen area. Whether you're hosting a backyard barbecue or simply enjoying a peaceful evening meal, the Bari Kitchen Range enhances the functionality and style of your outdoor cooking experience. With its durable construction and versatile options, you can create the perfect setup that suits you and your specific cooking and entertaining needs.

So, if you’ve been looking for a way to enhance your BBQ parties then look no further than the Big Green Egg! You won’t be disappointed.


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! 

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!


GFC 2022 Round Up!

Our 2022 Round Up!


We have had quite the year here at GFC; from RHS shows to gazebo installations, it has been a very busy 12 months! We do have a lot to look forward to in 2023, but here is a little reminder of our favourite moments from 2022.


Show Exhibitions

This year, we have had a brilliant time travelling around the country to exhibit and showcase all our amazing products for visitors far and wide! In March, we kicked off with the Homebuilding and Renovating Show in Birmingham where we debuted our brand-new Eclipse gazebo for the first time! This was definitely a big hit at the show with its sleek powder coated aluminium design and striking motorised roof!

As summer began, we were invited to exhibit at two RHS shows; Hampton Court and Tatton Park! We had a fantastic time at both shows meeting people from all around the country, as well as showcasing our magnificent stand! Don’t worry if you missed us this year; we are returning to a great range of shows in 2023, so keep your eyes peeled!



It is safe to say that our installations team have had quite the busy year! From our infamous Galaxy gazebo range to our brand-new Bioclimatic Pergolas, our installers have been all around the country! Our most memorable install was in Northern Ireland where one customer chose to go with a beautiful pink frame for their Bioclimatic Pergola to match their exterior décor! We also had a great time installing our Pergolux at Spot-On-Wake where it is now used as their control centre for the best view of the park!



There is never a quiet moment at GFC! When we are not installing, we are completing hundreds of deliveries each week to our customers! On some occasions, we deliver to our dedicated trade customers at their stunning locations in different parts of the country. Our most notable deliveries included Olton Golf Club and Peak Edge where our stunning furniture is on display for all their guests and visitors to enjoy.

As well as trade deliveries, we have a great time meeting all our retail customers far and wide who have kindly made an order! Whether your order is big or small, we appreciate every customer who chooses to shop with us!



During the year, we have launched many competitions to give everyone the opportunity to win our fantastic products! In the summer, we held one of our biggest competitions of the year where we asked our existing customers to send in their best pictures of our products. We had such a large volume of entries that we extended the prize draw to award our top 10 pictures! Take a look below at some of our entries…


Thank you to everyone from staff to customers for a great 2022! Stay up-to-date on our socials for all our upcoming events and news in 2023!





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!










A quick guide for optimising your small outdoor space!

Galaxy gazebo

A quick guide for optimising your small outdoor space!

Nowadays, it is becoming more and more popular that houses and apartments are fitted with smaller outdoor spaces, which may cause you to wonder how you are going to utilise this space to dine, entertain, and more importantly, relax. Luckily, this post will take you through the best ways to make your small outdoor space the best part of you home; from organising sections to dine and lounge, to recommending the best garden furniture we have to offer!


What are the benefits of an outdoor living space?

One of the obvious benefits of having an outdoor area is its ability to promote a happier and healthier environment for you and your family. Taking the time to switch off and pulling yourself away from indoor distractions, this allows you to reset and refresh in the comfort of your natural surroundings. By sitting outside for periods of time, this can boost your vitamin D levels, improve your mood, work performance, and reduce stress!

How should you begin to organise your outdoor space?

When living with a smaller pace, you may need to take a moment and devise a plan to ensure your garden will be functional and practical for everyone to enjoy. It is important to consider having a declutter of everything you no longer need so you can use every inch of space available. If you do have a lot of clutter to sort through, it may be useful to categorise everything to give you the best possible chance of having a strong start. If you are struggling to know where to begin, here is a list below showing some examples of categories you could use:


  • Gardening
  • Cooking
  • Cleaning and storage
  • Furniture


This first stage is extremely important for you to prepare and plan how you want to utilise your space. Especially with smaller areas, this is the best way to get a sense of what to prioritise and how to organise your area. If you are tight for space, then it may be best to merge certain sections of your garden, such as creating a lounging and dining vicinity so you can relax and entertain for any occasion.


Which furniture would be best for you?

At the Garden Furniture Centre, we have a wide range of relaxing sofa sets, gazebos, and accessories which will certainly transform your small garden area into a haven of tranquillity and elegance. The main factor to keep in mind is to choose furniture that you can rely upon for years to come!


Corner sofa sets

One innovative way to save space is by adding a corner sofa to accommodate all your friends and family when they visit your brand-new garden! We have a great selection of corner sofas to cater to every taste whether you are more minimalist or wanting to have a pop of colour. Notably, our Montana and Fiji range are our most popular and versatile styled furniture, with the ability to add matching tables, dining chairs, and even wall panels!

However, if you are looking for something a bit more modern and simplistic, then our Life Outdoor Living range will certainly suit your taste! Our Mini Nevada and Timber corner units are stylishly created out of powder coated aluminium and finished with our elegant all-weather cushions to create the perfect lounge area!



There are many benefits when you include a gazebo within your garden area, especially if you are looking to make the most out of your smaller space. The main feature of having a gazebo is the shelter it will provide for your guests, and more importantly your brand-new furniture! Our Galaxy and Eclipse gazebo range will certainly be a great addition to any outdoor area no matter what size! Both gazebos are fitted with a louvered roof and a sophisticated drainage system to ensure nothing underneath will get soaking wet! Our Eclipse gazebos are also fitted with LED lights and a motorised roof which will look spectacular in the night sky when entertaining guests, or if you are just winding down in the evenings.

Alternatively, you may want to opt for a wall mounted gazebo which will not only save space but will also create a discrete shelter for your garden furniture! You can find our wall-mounted gazebos within our Eclipse and Four Seasons range which will surely suit any outdoor area.


Folding, Stackable, and Durable Furniture           

You may wonder what the benefits are of folding furniture, however it is one of the best ways to incorporate additional seating and dining facilities within your smaller space. You may have only a small patio area to fill, so a gazebo might not be the right fit to optimise your garden space. Furniture that is stackable and can fold away easily is a nifty way to alleviate space when hosting larger gatherings, or if you wanted to store your furniture during the colder months. Our Balmoral, Westminster, and TNT folding chairs which are not only stylish, but can be discretely stored and packed away when required!

Benches are another clever way to add additional seating to your outdoor area if space is limited. If you are a minimalist or love a splash of colour, then our range of benches will surely cater to any individual preference. Whether it is teak or recycled metals, you will certainly find your perfect match with our extensive range!



Most small space gardens lack the correct facilities to grow herbs and plants which could be something you may want to pursue. Luckily, the addition of planters will undoubtedly allow you to incorporate homegrown herbs and flowers to provide fresh ingredients for your cooking, as well as releasing pleasant aromas into your garden! Our simplistic reclaimed teak planters are the ideal way to subtly add plants, trees, or flowers to your garden whilst adding a modern finish to your space due to its intricate detailing and minimalist structure. Or if you are looking for a twist on reclaimed teak, our Ikal planters are stylishly designed out of reclaimed teak root to create the perfect place for your flowers to thrive!

On the other hand, you may want to add one of our Think Outside planters that come in a variety of shapes, objects, and sizes that will definitely take centre stage! Whether it is Lily the Lady Bug, Sammy the Snail, or even Dynamo the Dog, there is something for everyone!

And there you have it! There are so many ways to make your small outdoor space a haven of rest and relaxation for you to enjoy without breaking the bank! Why not visit our showroom in Wootton Wawen to explore more ranges of furniture, accessories, and gazebos for you to get started!



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:

Budbrooke Primary School Sensory Garden

Darwin teak bench

Budbrooke Primary School Sensory Garden

At the Garden Furniture Centre, we love helping our local community whether it is big or small. Recently, we were approached by gardening enthusiast Eliza who is a student at Budbrooke Primary School asking us to help make a difference by donating one of our fantastic products for their new project. We were extremely flattered and very willing to help in any way we could! With this, we have donated one of our Darwin benches to provide a place for pupils, parents, and teachers to sit and enjoy the beautiful sensory garden the students have created.

The Project

During the summer term, the classes of Year 5 and 6 have been hard at work designing their own sensory gardens for current and future students. This project has been thoroughly planned with an immense collaborative effort from all the pupils to utilise the unused and overgrown space at the school.

What is a sensory garden?

A sensory garden is pretty much how is sounds; its basic objective is to stimulate all your primary senses (touch, sight, scent, taste and hearing) using plants, ornaments, surfaces and much more. Fundamentally, it is a space purposefully designed to create a calming atmosphere which can be enjoyed by everyone, especially all the pupils at Budbrooke Primary School where it will also act as a place to remember the Year 6 leavers.

What are the benefits?

Sensory gardens do have a multitude of uses. Some are used to provide opportunities for developmental learning, educational enhancements, and bodily awareness to create a positive learning experience for any visitor. What is more, it is a great way to encourage children to be more aware of their environment and to develop explorative skills which can lead to more discussions in classrooms and even with each other!

How do you stimulate the senses?

There are many ways to inspire all five main senses with some very simple techniques. Take a look below to see what resources and methods can be used for each category…


Incorporating touch into a sensory garden can be achieved primarily through durable and textured plants whether they are soft, furry, rough, or slightly sharp. You can also use rocks or stones with different textured surfaces to heighten this sense.


Aromatic plants and flowers are the obvious choices here, with the likes of lavender, sage, and thyme being the most popular options to fill the garden full of delicious fragrances. It is best to use as many herbs as possible as you can crush these in your hands to fully grasp their flavours.


Choosing colourful plants and flowers to coincide with the seasons is the best way to offer a feeling of relaxation and respite. Mirrors, water features, and even birdbaths can encourage wildlife to enter the garden to provide even more visual stimuli. Furniture is also a great addition to stimulate sight, espeically with striking teak benches or elegant gazebos


This may be tricky to achieve, however there are many ways to incorporate taste within a sensory garden. Planting herb gardens not only stimulates smell but generates sensations for your taste buds due to their fabulous flavours and fragrances. Alternatively, you can include a section to grow vegetables such as tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, edible flowers, or you can even plant fruit trees to ensure there is always opportunity to encourage your taste buds. 


To generate sounds in your garden, you can add certain accessories such as windchimes and birdbaths as they produce a tranquil tone using wind and enticing birds with their lyrical vocals. Water features and fountains are also a great source in producing soothing sounds to create the perfect setting for everyone to enjoy.  

We hope everyone at Budbrooke Primary School will enjoy their stunning sensory garden, and we are so impressed and pleased to see our product go to such a worthy cause!

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!

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