Behind The Aluminium Garden Furniture Scenes
February is a busy time at Metal Garden Furniture Towers. True, the phones die down and those customers we serve are not usually in a frantic hurry for the latest extending outdoor metal table, but it is the time when we start to plan our aluminium garden furniture ranges for 2016, and even more importantly, start to plan our exhibitions. Crucially, it is the month when the applications have to be in for the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show.
You will be familiar with the efforts and lengths that the garden designers go to for their show gardens, but did you ever consider that sellers of garden buildings or purveyors of aluminium patio tables and wooden benches, might also have to submit detailed drawings and full planting schemes in order to secure a spot at the show.
We’ve just completed our application form – complete with suggested plants to show off our metal garden furniture at its very best. Fortunately for us, these days we no longer exhibit wooden furniture since this can be quite an administrative hassle on top of everything else. As befits the showpiece event of Royal Horticultural Society, they have very strict rules about only exhibiting wood that has been harvested correctly and has FSC accreditation. The Forest Stewardship Council was set up to protect primary forests throughout the world and to stop illegal logging. Any wood that is shown at RHS Chelsea has to prove that it has come from a properly farmed source.
Of course, primarily the stand is a trade one, so any plants need to be robust enough to withstand the footfall of browsing visitors. We usually rely on a predominantly green display – topiary or box hedging is a perennial favourite. Another consideration at Chelsea is that quite a few of the stands are overshadowed by trees and can be quite dark. The best way to offset that is to include some white highlights, in the form of rosy blooms, such as daisies and geraniums. Nothing too delicate, but cheery fresh white flowers draw the eye and make the metal tables and chairs gleam.
It’s important to pay attention to the flooring too. Carpeting rather absorbs the light, so we usually opt for laying a wooden floor since pale wood makes a good contrast against the dark furniture.