Monthly Archives: March 2012

How to Fix our Metal Gazebos and Pergolas into the Ground

Metal Design Furniture offer a range of stunning metal gazebos and pergolas, with bespoke, size, colour and finishing options.  One of the most common questions we’re asked is – how are they fixed to the ground?

Fixing your gazebo to the ground means that it’s secure enough to withstand anything, even if you live in a windy area.  How to secure the structure depends on the surface you wish to fix it to.  It can be done in 2 ways, depending whether you are placing the structure on hard or soft ground.

Hard Surface Install

The legs are screwed into the ground (see the picture opposite of a leg with the surface mount socket attached).  When you buy, we will provide you with all the fixings you need, this may be special fixing pins or bolts for a concrete surface.  It is best to inform us of your ground’s material when you place your order, we’re here to help you every step of the way, until your completely satisfied with your new metal gazebo.

Soft Surface Install

This may be grass, sand or other soft surfaces.  You need to inform us where you wish to install as for soft surfaces, we make the legs 30cm longer.  This enables you to install the structure directly in the ground.  The legs can then be inserted into holes in the ground and concreted into place for extra security.  A layer of grass or sand can then be placed on the top to keep it looking neat.

If you’d like to know more about building a gazebo visit our YouTube Channel – metal design furniture You’ll see 2 videos on which show the professional installation of our Paris Gazebo in 15 Easy Steps and our Romano Metal Gazebo – a full 8 minutes showing the entire process.

These will show you exactly what’s involved if you’re thinking of doing it yourself.  Although, if you order your gazebo with us before the 15th April we’re offering free installation, that’s a saving of £300.  Don’t miss out – now’s the time to buy!

How to Choose Well – Useful Facts to Know About Metal Garden Furniture

From different materials that outdoor furniture can be made of (including plastic, aluminium, wrought iron, stainless steel, wood and rattan), wrought iron furniture is likely to be the most expensive. However, its luxurious feel, robust and impressive outlook and durability make it worth the extra cost.

Why – and which – metal garden furniture

Whilst plastic is cheap and cheerful, and rattan currently fashionable and light, both of them are not the most durable materials and can soon become affected by elements and look worn. Metal garden furniture is generally a lot more reliable choice; however it is also important to know that not all metal garden furniture comes with the same advantages.

What you know as ‘iron garden furniture’ is nowadays actually mainly made from mild steel. Mild steel offers the most flexibility of any material today, both for classic and modern designs. In fact, it offers a certain timeless appeal that will look equally trendy now as in ten years’ time (whilst today’s rattan, plastic and even stainless steel furniture styles might actually look outdated in a few years).

Whilst priced almost the same, mild steel garden furniture is also far better than, for example, aluminium garden furniture. Although the designs may look similar on the photos as both material offer both welded and cast design options, metal garden furniture made of steel is stronger, heavier and more luxurious. So it will not only look more impressive in your garden in reality but it also won’t fly around your garden in the wind.

Aluminium furniture also easily breaks – in fact, its suppliers often complain that up to 10% of shipment already comes damaged by the transport from the factory and have this calculated in the price. Mild steel furniture’s surface is also more scratch resistant and less likely to need a ‘touch up’ painting.

Mild steel is composed of iron and a percentage of carbon, which makes it very strong but at the same time it can be bent, twisted and welded into endless design possibilities, from traditional to classic-inspired to contemporary and minimalistic.

Anti-rust protection in metal outdoor furniture

When used for outdoor furniture, the surface treatment of mild steel furniture is very important. The main three types of protective finishing of metal outdoor furniture made of steel are:

Cataphoresis – is a very reliable metal treatment primary used in automobile industry but often used in metal garden furniture production. The components are treated in a bath, this bath is then electrically charged which basically strengthens the metal and makes it more resistant to things like acid and salt. A powder coating is then applied on the surface.

Galvanisation – is the process of applying a protective cold zinc coating in order to prevent rusting. This works as Zinc is corrosion resistant. It also makes a very nice smooth surface to make the powder coating layer look really beautiful.

Hot-Zinc Galvanisation – This technology uses hot-zinc and is the most advanced and reliable technique for rust protection. The protection is so reliable that even when the paint coat is damaged, the surface underneath will still be rust-protected with zinc’s electrolytic working. This treatment ensures years of outside use even in humid environments, and it is used for boat parts, cable cars and street lamp posts.

After anti-rust treatment, powder-coating is usually applied. It clings to the surface through magnetic charges and makes the end product durable and scratch resistant. Many metal outdoor furniture sets will nowadays offer this protection because it is better than conventional painting. However, make sure your metal patio set has one of the above treatments underneath, as powder coating on its own is not enough if you want to leave your metal patio set out in all weathers.

Stainless steel garden furniture

Stainless steel is steel alloyed with chromium and nickel, resulting in a rust-proof material with its modern satin silver finish. It is even stronger than mild steel, but therefore difficult to cut and grind, so it is more suitable for straight lines of the modern designs.

Nonetheless, a technologically advanced production line can offer even curved designs in stainless steel. For example, our Oliver metal garden chair, as well as some other products, can come in stainless steel option*.

*Please ask about this option if interested. As this requires changes in our tooling equipment, minimum order quantity is required for this option.

 

Garden Series V – How to Create a Contemporary Outdoor Space

Courtesy of David Andersen Garden Designers

 

Contemporary gardens have become increasingly popular in recent years.  They are designed for low maintenance, look great in built-up areas and are perfect when you have limited space such as a courtyard or rooftop garden.

Design Considerations

Streamlined and minimalist is the look to aim for, with clean lines and bold shapes.  Use a graphic pattern, define your spaces and put in a path to create a flow.

This type of outdoor space is more about hard landscaping than planting.  Most contemporary gardens are primarily made up of hardscape materials and have limited vegetation.  This includes terraces, patios, paved or decked areas and pathways made from simple materials such as wood, gravel, stone, tile, pebbles.  There are trendy alternatives available too, for example glass or metallic gravel and volcanic rocks and coloured pebbles.

The key to a successful contemporary space is to introduce different heights.  This can be done with decking, raised beds, stepped planters, oversized urns, or a metal gazebo or pergola which will create a sheltered area too.

As the focus is on the hard landscaping materials, the design shape is much more noticeable.  Whereas, in traditional style gardens you can hide a multitude of sins with a good planting scheme; you won’t have that luxury.  Expect to spend more as a lot more time and skill goes into creating this style of garden.

The Essentials

Metal Garden Furniture – A modern garden is all about bold, clean lines, making metal garden furniture perfect.  Metal can be sculpted to form the bold, striking designs and it’s low maintenance – which fits in very well to the modern lifestyle.  If you’re feeling daring metal gives you the opportunity to go for a bright colour or you can play it safe with black, grey, chrome or silver.

Outdoor Lighting – a modern garden must look just as good after dark as it does in the day time, use contemporary outdoor lights such as built in, colour changing LEDs or fibre optics to set the mood.  You’re literally spoilt for choice these days from designer outdoor lamps to trendy Japanese style lanterns.

Statement Piece – statement wall-art or an abstract sculpture will create a focal point and really help to set the theme whether that’s contemporary-elegance, informal chill-out, industrial or tropical.  Everything you put in the garden will have to be carefully chosen so it helps to have a theme/colour scheme in mind from the outset.

Planting

Using fewer plants means that their selection is even more crucial, use structured plants with strong forms to create a modern look.  Exotic plants with large, irregular shapes are ideal.  Here’s a few modern favourites -

Black bamboo

Lily turf

Mountain Flax

Agave

Black Magic

Japanese Silver Grass

Indian Shot Plant

Japanese Sedge

Flax Lily

Miniature Papyrus

Accessories

In a minimalistic space, accessories should be kept to a minimum.  To avoid cluttering it’s often best to choose a statement piece, as mentioned above a piece of wall art, mirror, a cool water feature or an abstract sculpture.

Oriental styled accessories are popular in many modern gardens.  Asian urns, oriental rock gardens or fire pits provide an eye-catching focal point.

It is important to incorporate non-traditional materials like plastics, synthetics, stainless steel and other metals to give a modern feel to the outdoor space.  Do this with chic metal garden furniture, shiny metallic planters, a bright synthetic designer chair or a cool chrome light fitting or vase.

Fun at the Weekend-Visit the Greenhouse Garden Centre & See Our Metal Garden Furniture

I’m about to let you into a secret……..the Greenhouse Garden Centre at Neasden/Wembley Park is one of London’s hidden gems; offering a fun day out for all the family.  As of today, we’re happy to announce that our Oliver Metal Garden Furniture, Paris and Romano Metal Gazebo are now on display there.

The garden centre is the largest in the Greater London area, with a 5,000 square metre display area.  Nature lovers can enjoy the beautiful setting; located in woodlands, next to the Welsh Harp nature reserve.

If you’re following our garden series, you may be planning a makeover.  If that’s the case, this is the place to start; with an unrivalled range of stock and supplies.  This includes garden furniture, lighting, heating and water features.  You can get everything for your landscaping project all under one roof; trees, plants, bulbs, planters, screening and trellis.

There’s a kids section with toys and games and an aquatic centre.  This has a huge koi pond and visitors are welcome to feed the fishes that are up to a foot long in size.  It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday too so you can browse the gifts, scented candles and books and perhaps pick out something nice.

If all this isn’t enough to keep you entertained for the day, you’re right next to one of London’s largest lakes at Welsh Harp.  Take a stroll by the reservoir and see how many different species of water bird you can spot.  The park is the most important bird breeding area in Southern England.

Or, perhaps the shops at the Brent Cross shopping centre interest you more.  It’s just 5 minutes away from the garden centre, with 120 stores to browse.  Open until 7pm with free parking.

If you do decide to take a trip to the Greenhouse Centre, don’t miss our elegant Romano and stunning Paris Gazebos. You’ll also see our Oliver Metal Garden Furniture range, available in 3 colours, with a choice of 4 different patina finishes.

The centre is open from 9am – 5.30pm on Saturday and 11.00am – 5.00pm Sunday and there’s space for 250 cars.  For more information, visit the website -

http://store.greenhousegardencentre.co.uk/store/content/183/FindUs/