The ultimate sourcebook for interior and garden decoration



Ask the decorating experts


We’re looking for a supplier of topiary in interesting shapes. Who can we try?

  Oxford Planters supplies traditional and contemporary topiary specimens in box, yew and bay laurel. Their website features illustrations of the shapes available, along with an interesting history of topiary and maintenance tips. They also (as their name suggests) have a wide range of handmade wooden and lead planters.

I am looking for a tasteful garden memorial for my late father.  I recently saw a planter with an inscription which was quite nice but can’t find a stockist.  Or if you have any other ideas of how we can honour and remember him in a discreet and tasteful way.  Many thanks.

David Harber has a range of sundials and garden water features which can be personalised. This would be a fitting tribute to your father and ultimately become a family heirloom. Another idea would be to have a garden bench inscribed. You might try Gaze Burvill, designers and builders of outdoor furniture in steam bent oak for a wonderful garden bench . Also try The Letter Exchange for ideas. This society can recommend professional letterers in all disciplines (stone carvers, sign writer, calligraphers) all over the country, and they might have some interesting ideas.

I want to create a visual distraction to hide the hideous camper van (not a cute VW) which is now parked alongside my 6 foot shared fence. I had thought of putting some metal/wooden obelisks with fast-growing climbers or roses to draw the eye away. Any better ideas?

  I do not believe obelisks are the solution here. Trellis might work for cover and for a framework for your roses or climbers. Anthony de Grey is a specialist in strongly constructed architectural trellis in Scandinavian redwood from sustainable sources. There are five ranges, with eight lattice options, available in over 100 different colours. The construction is modular, and panels from different ranges can be combined. You should also consider willow or hazel trellis available from Chairworks  which could also successfully screen your garden.

Where can I find a contemporary shed for my back garden to store recycling materials?

You could try a company called Garden Affairs. They are specialists in stylish contemporary buildings including mini garden offices, summerhouses, log cabins, timber garages, arbours and garden stores. Their ‘posh shed’ division includes The Lynford Eco Store which combines a functional space for recycling boxes and an elegant garden feature.

I am an upholsterer and have been asked to re-cover an outdoor swing seat. It won’t be left outside in the winter, but the fabric needs to be fairly sturdy. What could I use?


Have you seen the range from ? They offer traditional deckchair fabrics in 100% woven cotton in 45cm (18") wide widths and in a great selection of strong striped designs. One of their fabrics is also water-repellent (but softer than oilcloth).

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