Monthly Archives: April 2012

See Our Metal Garden Furniture Featured on New Sky TV Show Hosted by Rihanna

Image Courtesy of

We’re pleased to announce that the TV set of a new Sky Living show, hosted by Rihanna and Girls Aloud star Nicole Roberts will feature our metal garden furniture.  The new reality series will seek out Britain’s most talented, undiscovered fashion designers.  Over 8 weeks, 12 contestants will be challenged by to make outfits for a string celebs and musicians.   The winner will get to dress Rihanna for her Wireless performance in Hyde Park in July 2012, attracting worldwide media attention.

We’re really excited and can’t wait to get confirmed dates of when it air.  Filming has already started and according to the Sun, Rihanna has instructed her team to find a mansion in or around the capital where she can settle for the summer.  There are 2 main sets; the house where the contestants live and the studio where they work.  When the show airs, you’ll see our furniture featured as part of the set, both indoors and out.

Contestants, crew and cast will sit around the Castrum Metal Garden Furniture Collection, hang their Coats on the Kris Coat Stand and put their umbrellas in the Classico Umbrella Stand.  Some of our wrought iron plant stands will be dotted around the set too.  An International Superstar – who has sold 40 million albums, will be using our furniture!  It’s brought such a buzz around the office; everybody’s talking about it!

Of course, the stylish pieces showcased in the series are available to buy online exclusively from Metal Design Furniture.  Our furniture is made to order, therefore we can offer you many bespoke options.  Choose the collection, size, shape, colour and patina finish.

You can find out more about the show here – Also, subscribe to our blog where we’ll be posting future updates, pictures, videos and all the latest news.

St George’s at Metal Design Furniture

Happy Saint George’s Day from everyone at Metal Design Furniture!  We hope you can take time to enjoy something that’s quintessentially British.  Here are a few suggestions that we’ve brainstormed here at the office-

  1. Visit your favourite tea-rooms
  2. Host a garden party
  3. See a Shakespeare Play
  4. Go for a pint at the pub
  5. Start a ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ collection
  6. Treat the family to a fish and chip supper
  7. Bake scones
  8. Go for a walk in the countryside
  9. Fly your Union Jack
  10. Have a good moan about the weather

Fascinating Facts

-23 April was named as Saint George’s day in 1222; it was accepted date of his death in AD 303.

-St George’s Day is also Shakespeare’s birthday- the bard was born 23rd April 1564 and he died on the same day in 1616.

-Sadly, only 1 in 5 Brits know that our National day falls on 23 April.

-St George was born in Cappadocia (modern day Turkey), in about 280 AD.

-In 2011, a petition campaign to make the date a public holiday in England began.  If 100,000 signatures are obtained before the deadline in

-August this year, the matter will be opened for debate in the House of Commons.  You can sign here.

-George is also the patron saint of Portugal, Germany, Lithuania and Malta.

-Legend has it that our Patron Saint was forced to swallow poison, crushed between 2 spiked wheels and boiled in a cauldron of molten lead for his faith.  None of this killed him as his wounds were healed in the night by Christ.

Traditional Metal Garden Furniture

Lastly, we’ve selected some fitting traditional metal garden furniture pieces that will see you through the next decade of patriotic celebrations including the Queens Jubilee and London Olympics.  The Classico Collection is elegant and sophisticated.  Add a patina finish in green or bronze and you’ll get a Victorian Style antique look.

The Classico lounge set will allow you to enjoy quaint tea parties and outdoor activities.

This beautiful bench will allow you to enjoy your garden in comfort and style.

A wrought iron style garden arch will create an English Country Garden look.

Garden Series VI – Zen Garden How-to

Image by Wikipeida

A Zen Garden or Japanese Rock Garden (Karesansui ) is a miniature stylised landscape carefully-composed through an arrangement of rocks and gravel or sand to represent water.  The purpose was to imitate the essence of nature to serve as an aid to meditation.

“In a place where there is neither a lake nor a stream, one can put in place what is called a kare-sansui, or dry landscape.”  - The Sakuteiki  (of the Heian period (794-1185) is the first known manual of Japanese gardening).

This manual describes creating a garden as ‘setting stones,’- ishi wo tateru koto, which literally translates to the act of setting stones upright.  It details very specific rules for choice and placement of stones.  If these rules were not followed, the owner of the garden would suffer misfortune.

While you may not be interested in these ancient Japanese superstitions, there are advantages of this type of garden in modern day British life.  It uses only stones, rocks, sand, gravel and some plants.  Therefore it’s minimalistic and low maintenance, as well as a great talking point.

The Essentials

Stones/Rocks  –  The main elements of Karesansui are rocks and stones so you’ll need ornamental and feature rocks of different shapes and sizes.   Stones are used in a number of combinations and arrangements.  These are symbolic of gods, mountains, temples, islands and even battle scenes.  Groupings of 2 or 3 are the norm, these can be joined together to create larger focal points.  There are normally around 5 stone groupings which will be the main focus of a garden.  To find out more consult your copy of the Sakuteiki.

Image by Wikipeida

Gravel/Sand – Will be used to symbolise water or the sea.  Water is represented both by the arrangements of rock forms to create a dry waterfall (karetaki) and by patterns raked into sand to create a dry stream.  Traditionally white sand was used for water as it represented purity, although, sand could also be gray, brown or blue-black.

Metal Garden Furniture – In Japan, dry gardens are viewed and not entered, in order not to disrupt the delicate relationship and scale of the composition.  Like paintings, Karesansui are meant to be viewed from a single, seated perspective.  This means you’ll need some sort of viewpoint.  You could create a seating area or include a garden bench for prolonged meditation.  If you can – invest in a sheltered area to cover your observation point such as a pergola or gazebo.


Plants are much less important and often nonexistent in many rock gardens.  However, you may wish to include some limited plant life.  Mosses often used to suggest that the garden is ancient; a popular feature is an ornamental moss pathway.  Some plants are chosen for their religious symbolism, such as the lotus, sacred in Buddhist teachings, or the pine, which represents longevity.  Common trees and plants found in a Japanese garden are bamboo, azaleas, Japanese maple, Japanese anemone and the cherry tree.


Stepping Stones – A pathway is symbolic of the journey through life.  Be careful of your choice of path-stones though as certain ones may have meanings.  Smooth and round sedimentary rocks are normally used.

Bridge – The bridge symbolises the path to paradise or immortality.  In a Zen garden bridges are normally made of stone, wood, or logs with earth on top and covered in ornamental moss.

Stone Lanterns – Originally these lanterns lined the paths and approaches to Buddhist temples.  The design expresses the idea that after death our physical bodies will go back to their original, elemental form.

Water Basins – were a common feature so monks could bathe.  Worshippers washed their hands and mouth as a symbol of purification.  A decorative granite water feature is a great design idea to add interest to the landscape.

Metal Garden Furniture at the Ideal Home Show

This year’s Ideal Home Show was already in its 104th run. It was opened by HRH the Prince of Wales and took place between the 16th March and 1St April, at Earls Court as usual.

We bring you below a report on some Ideal Garden highlights that we liked, and the latest trends in Metal Garden Furniture as seen at the show.

The ‘Ideal Young Gardeners of the Year’ competition gave 6 of the UK’s top Horticultural Colleges 1 week to construct show gardens outside Earls Court. Organised in association with Channel 5′s TV Gardener, David Domoney and The Prince’s Foundation, t

he theme this year was ‘landcraft techniques in an urban setting’ – An inspiration to city dwellers, showing just what can be achieved in the most impossible of tight urban locations.

Check out our How to on Contemporary Gardens or our French Courtyard Garden post to find out more on getting the most from small spaces.

The show urged Brits to get back to DIY, guest speakers George Clarke and Alan Titchmarsh spoke on a range of topics such as ‘Introducing Colour into your Garden,’ to encourage Homeowners to do it themselves in the garden.

There was a re-occurring theme about re-vamping old furniture, in combination with new products; for example with a spray paint that transforms everything from wood and metal to ceramics.  This harmonised well with the many rustic/country styles of new furniture exhibited.  So, choose something with a rough natural finish to be right on trend for this summer.  Our metal garden furniture is available in a choice of colours and patina finishes – so shop here for the best of shabby chic.

Many of the colour schemes where in pastels, although we did see the occasional splash of brighter shades such as green, yellow and pink – however this may be due to the time of year – traditional shades for Spring/Easter.

There was a definite emphasis on providing a sheltered space from the elements in your garden, so you can enjoy it for as much of the year as possible.  This makes sense – especially during a recession – when you make an investment in your garden – you want to make sure you get maximum use from it.  Spending has to be justified and if a pergola or gazebo can improve your quality of life, allowing you to enjoy your garden more – then it’s well worth it.  Check out our Romano Metal Gazebo – we’re offering free installation worth £300.