Kempton Racecourse was the venue for this year’s FutureScape Landscape and Garden Designer trade exhibition and seminar programme. I went along with Avalon Landscapes’ very own Mick and Dan, to see what was new and interesting and hopefully to learn something too!
Here are my highlights of the show...
The Collingwood delegation, both on the stall and in their purpose-built lighting demo van, were most obliging and demonstrated quite a few light fittings for us. I thought the Starstrip lighting systems would be ideal to use in the decking edge recess on our roof garden project. Another fittings, that took my eye, produced dramatic star like darts of light emanating from a central source. Although not rated for outdoor use, these could be used to great effect in a garden room.
Their decorative LED mini ground lights (pictured right) are sweet and would look good on step risers.
Hunza’s exterior range is understated, smart and incredibly robust. LuxaR kindly ran through the technical details and innovations which make them a longer lasting and even better product to specify.
StoneIt was great to finally meet the people from Londonstone. Steve Walley, the MD, is a great guy, easy to deal with and passionate about his products. We regularly specify their materials and we are really pleased with the level of service and quality of products that we get from this company. It was also good to see samples of even more stone landscaping products. The Buff sawn sand-stone supplied by them for our recent two level terrace project, looks elegant and sophisticated.
The Wyvale East team were there - Lupin, the horticulturalist company that I constantly collaborate with, are now using them, and judging by what was on display they look like a good supplier. We look forward to testing them out on further projects.Will have to keep them in mind when I have to specify two large and knurled Olives for my roof terrace garden project.
A trained Camellia, on another stand, caught my eye, I will have to sneak that into a design somewhere and a cloud clipped specimen tree took me straight back to my visit to the royal palace in Bangkok.
DeckingThe decking from QTD was stylish and they specialise in supplying eco-friendly, heat modified softwood deck boards as well as kiln dried and air dried IPE. On their stand they had samples of thermo treated Oak Ash and Iroko which were beautiful products, really showing off the lovely grain of the wood.
On the Exterior Decking stand we received chapter and verse on the pitfalls of roof terrace installation, very useful - as I’m right in the middle of designing one!
Design is in the Detail—This Q&A session with Janine Pattison, Andrew Wilson, Anne-Marie Powell and John Wyer, eminent designers, horticulturalist, authors and lecturers proved to be very useful and interesting. They addressed some of the issues currently facing designers and people in the industry—pricing, tweeting and inspiration, It’s good to get out of the office and realise that you are not alone!!! Note to self; must attend more of the seminars next time - They are valuable and inspirational!
And finally my getaway vehicle!
This playfully decorated Smart car looked great covered in fake grass. For some reason this product was represented heavily at the show. I have yet to understand why it’s become so popular. I have to confess that I have specified it for one garden, where the client’s son was a keen footballer and he constantly decimated the lawn. I don’t think that you can beat the look and cost of quality turf. I know they have improved the appearance of artificial grass, but don’t expect to see it in my own garden any time soon!
Author Melanie Smith - Gardenplan Design