The Orchard Blog For all things shabby chic, rustic and vintage.

May 12, 2016

How to Get Summer Pots and Planters that Dazzle

Why use pots and planters in your garden?

The-Orchard-Home-and-Gifts-Poppy-Forge-Regent Tower-garden-pots-and-planters

Pots and planters offer a great way to get a colourful and impactful garden fast. They are also perfect for patios, decked areas or doorsteps offering bursts of bright colours making an area inviting and interesting where there is no soil to plant in the traditional sense of the word.

How to choose the right pots, planters and troughs to suit your garden and taste

For a striking display of colour on a patio or decked area opt for a larger pot or container, this will look better than lots of smaller ones be easier to manage and have greater impact.  The larger container will also mean that you can add an array of different colours and will also give the plants more room and moisture from the increased amount of compost.

This also applies to doorsteps and veranda type areas where lots of smaller pots can look a little busy and messy somehow.

Smaller pots are best dotted around the garden to add colour in-between greenery and rocks.

During the Summer months any type of container can be used just make sure they have plenty of drainage holes in the base.


Getting ready for planting
Despite the fact it is essential that your pot or planter of choice has good drainage holes to prevent the compost simply washing straight through add drainage material such as broken pots, stones or slate to prevent this, it will also stopped the holes becoming clogged and allow free drainage.

It is also important to have the right tools for the job, we recommend these from our Sophie Conran Collection for Burgon and Ball




The next stage is to add your compost, use a peat-free, multipurpose or potting compost. Roughly half fill your container with the compost, you may also want to mix in some slow-release feed granules or water-retaining granules; this is not essential but works really well for hanging baskets which tend to dry out very quickly.

Water retaining granules can be made  into a thick paste and then stirred into the compost to assist moisture retention in hot, dry weather.

Which plants to choose

Choose plants that are well renowned for their outstanding performance, reliability and long flowering season in containers.

The position you intend to place them is also important when it comes to choosing the right plants for you.

If your chosen spot in in full sun choose plants such as:




Ivy-leaved pelargoniums




For an area in partial shad choose plants such as:


New Guinea Busy Lizzies


Your choice of plant may also depend on the colour scheme you have chosen, if you have indeed chosen one at all. Choosing a colour scheme can be helpful in structuring you pots and getting the best from them.

Some of the most popular colour schemes are shades of pink, lilac and purple but for something a little bolder go for mixing reds, oranges and yellows.  If you want to create a cooler look white cream, green or silver, blue and grey work well.

Add interest by choosing plants with contrasting flower shapes and sizes.  This could be done by choosing a daisy style flower with a larger more post filling flower finished with something that has more of a drop effect such as a fuchsia or trumpet shaped petunia.

The main thing is to get the full effect don’t skimp. Buy enough plants to fill a container completely to create the best display and ensure that these are watered thoroughly the day before planting.

Arranging your plants for best display

Before you commit to planting each individual plant, place it in its pot in the position you think you want it, this way you can move them around easily without damaging the roots. Position them so they will all be well seen.

Planting in round pots


Putting your plants in a round pot like these from the Kew Botanical Gardens Collection the best way to create a focal point is to place the pant that will grow the tallest in the centre with lower plants around that and then anything hanging at the front edge.

Planting in troughs


The correct way to plant in a trough is to place the tallest plant halfway along and then plant shorter bushier plants immediately around them, again as with round pots placing any trailing plants around the edge of the container.

Once your mind is made up and you know exactly where your plants are going remove them from their pots upturning each one and gently patting the rim of the pot on your hand to release the root ball within.  Place the root balls in position and turn the plants so that their best side is facing outwards where it will be best seen.

Fill the gaps between plants with compost, then spread a little more over the surface of the root balls so they are buried, but only just. When you’ve finished, the surface of the compost should be about an inch below the rim of the container, to allow room for watering.

After planting water well to enable the compost and roots to settle.




April 28, 2016

National Gardening Week – Sophie Conran Gardening Competition Winner Announced






The Orchard Home and Gifts-Sophie-Conran-Gardening Competition Winner announced-2

National Gardening Week – Sophie Conran Gardening Competition Winner Announced

We recently held a competition to coincide with National Gardening Week offering participants the chance to win over £100 worth of Sophie Conran gardening tools.

We had a great response and are pleased to announce that the winner of our competition is Vicki Cross ( congratulations Vicki!

Please email your details to claim this fantastic prize.

Gardening at The Orchard Home and Gifts

If you still fancy getting your hands on some of these products but missed out on our competition visit our website and view the full collection here:—ball

We also have a wide range of other garden accessories, pots, planters and bird feeders so why not take a look here:

March 16, 2016

Six Easy Ways To Create A Shabby Chic Kitchen

Filed under: Shabby Chic,Shabby Chic Furniture — Mat @ 7:36 AM

Shabby Chic Kitchen2

With the phrase “shabby chic” the first things that spring to mind are distressed, vintage, aged but styled; all would be a perfect definition for this reoccurring trend. Shabby chic is an interior design style chosen for its character. Furniture pieces and artefacts being chosen specifically for the wear and tear they have suffered from years of use. Equally however such a look and feel can be created, with the high demand for this style over the last five years or so we are seeing more and more excellent reproduction pieces becoming affordable.

Shabby chic style is a great way to restyle your home without breaking the bank and you can have lots of fun along the way looking for those feature pieces to complete the look. They often say that the hub of a home is the kitchen so this is a great place to start your restyling. We’ve put together six key things to create a shabby chic kitchen adding effortless and affordable elegance to your home: (more…)

January 15, 2016

How To Use And Store Logs Inside Your Home

Filed under: Rustic Furniture — Mat @ 7:24 AM

Despite all the technology that we have available in today’s highly-connected, digital world, many of us are choosing to turn back the clock. Open-fires and log-burners are more than just a shabby chic piece of furniture; they are a practical addition to any rustic design whilst also offering high levels of practicality. The warmth of an open fire, accompanied by the crackling of logs, is something that can be more relaxing than any music.

Of course, when it comes to interior design you need to consider both usability and the interior’s aesthetics. How you choose to store your logs is a major consideration when it comes to both vintage-style interior design and ensuring that you will actually use your log-burner/open-fire. If stored cleverly, they can provide a fantastic and unique texture to your home, making it appear much more welcoming than a wholly modern alternative. Log storage isn’t just a matter of practicality, and it can be used as a central component in your design, creating an unforgettable feature piece to attract the eye immediately.

How, and where, you choose to store your logs is hugely important. Our team has looked at a number of ways that you can store logs in your home to achieve the best rustic style; here are some of our favourites!


Rustic Style

Creating a framed storage point for your logs is an excellent idea; it allows for practical access to your logs as well as the very best in textures. One great idea is to use the spaces between the beams that make up the natural framework of a modern country home. Similarly, if you have any unused gaps in the house’s structure, then you can take advantage of them for decorative effect by adding round, neatly-sawed logs that fill up both the height and width of the entire column. (more…)

January 14, 2016

Rustic Furniture In The Orchard

Filed under: Rustic Furniture — Mat @ 7:19 AM

Here at The Orchard, we are proud to offer a beautiful range of handcrafted Canadian Pine furniture, made right here in England, by a team of master craftsmen. We are even able to offer a made-to-measure service, allowing each piece of rustic furniture to be customised to your individual requirements in terms of both size and colour. In fact, if you’re really concerned about your furniture’s individuality, we can design and build completely new pieces for you in as little as six weeks.

Our furniture is made from solid, sustainable, chunky and textured Canadian Pine. This wood is grown in a cool climate, which allows the wood to grow slowly, naturally and true to form which results in an even, straight grain and a unique finish. Versatile and reliable, this material is made to last and will never warp or twist like some European alternatives. Choosing the right materials is hugely important, and the pine that we use creates a stable structure for your favourite pieces from our rustic furniture collection.

Rustic Furniture In The Orchard

Our professional team of craftsmen can create furniture and design features to fit anywhere in your home, whether as a stunning centrepiece in a country kitchen, or an industrial-style piece in a loft apartment. The products that we offer know no bounds when it comes to style and usage. (more…)

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