Year: 2016

Christmas Jumper Day!

Happy Christmas Jumper Day from Kettler!
They may look silly but they feel nice and cosy.

Top 3 Go-Karts Picks for this Christmas

With Christmas on its way here are Kettler’s top 3 Go-Karts for perfect presents Santa can bring your children:

The Dakar Air Kettcar Go-Kart from KETTLER's Toy range on a grey background.

Dakar Air – £249

  • Suitable for ages 5-10 years.
  • Adjustable, high back moulded seat.
  • Built dimensions: 125 x 72 x 67cm.
  • Awarded Best Outdoor Toy 6yrs+ 2015 by Loved By Parents.

The Barcelona Kettcar Go-Kart from KETTLER's Toy range on a grey background.

Barcelona – £199

  • Suitable for ages 5-10 years.
  • Handbrake controls for both rear wheels
  • Quality wheels with rubber tread.
  • Built dimensions: 125 x 67 x 67cm.
  • Awarded Best Outdoor Toy 6yrs+ and Best Ride On 6yrs+ 2014 by Loved By Parents.

The Suzuka Air Kettcar Go-Kart from KETTLER's Toy range on a grey background.

Suzuka Air – £179

  • Suitable for ages 4-8 years.
  • Adjustable moulded seat – No tools needed!
  • Scratch resistant frame.
  • Built dimensions: 112 x 64 x 62cm.

Kettler’s Tough Mudder

Our National Sales Manager for Fitness, David, took the Tough Mudder challenge, pushing himself to complete the psychical as well as psychological obstacle course or “Mud Run”.

David had this to say about his experience:

“Tough Mudder is a team event, with emphasis on the group achievement of its goal rather than individual performance. There is no official timing involved, the ethos is very much about helping and relying on other ‘Mudders’. I did the London South West event with my wife, Kate.

It is basically 10 miles of muddy terrain, with 25 obstacles between the start and finish. The obstacles range from high fences which you have to help others over, whilst relying on others to help you too; to ice cold containers which require complete submergence; to outright ‘mild’ electrocution. It was a far cry from the usual Saturday fare!”

David and Kate managed to get round in a fantastic 3:45 hours. David described the whole event as “good fun and something I’ll never forget”. Indeed.

Kettler Lights, Camera…ACTION!

Using a sprinkle of movie magic and a dash of Indian Summer, Kettler recreated a beautiful summer garden to film new product videos for next years’ brand new ranges. Not only did we shoot new products but also current garden furniture, including Kettler’s RHS Wood collection and the Palma Mini Set.

Fiolmeing the RHS Wood section

Birmingham based Slinky Productions helped us bring our ideas to life, shooting on location in some stunning gardens around the West Midlands. Our videos will showcase what makes Kettler garden furniture so special and allow people to get a closer look at our designs, materials and features.

Not only have we made videos for the garden furniture sets, but also our newest fitness products, including the high incline treadmill K2 and Arena treadmill (pictured below).

Filming in the studio for Kettler Fitness

Take a look through our website to see our new fitness products and look out for our new garden furniture coming soon…

Kettler to Distribute ‘Everdure By Heston Blumenthal’ BBQ Range

We are firing up the UK BBQ market as the UK and Ireland distributer of ‘Everdure by Heston Blumenthal’. Following a successful launch at SPOGA, Mike Westrup, CEO of Shriro Australia Pty Ltd, the leading Australian consumer products company that developed the range with Heston Blumenthal, and Paul Bevington, Kettler GB managing director, signed the deal.

Garden Decor Ideas to Get the Most from your Outdoor Space

We take so much care with decorating the interior of our homes, however, the back garden often gets ignored. It doesn’t need to be that way, here are our top tips for decorating your garden to turn it into a relaxing haven, which you can use all year round.

1. Back to Basics

Just like you would with your living room, you need to get rid of all the clutter. Have a good tidy up of your garden by getting rid of any weeds, mowing the lawn and discarding any old garden furniture or accessories that you no longer need.

2. Define your look

English cottage kitchen with comfy armchair and wooden furniture

To make your back garden a true extension of your living space, it needs to reflect your personality and individual style. It doesn’t have to look the same as your living room, but by having the same theme it will truly ensure you can bring the indoors feel, outside. If your home is styled to look like a traditional English cottage, you may want to include quaint furniture with a weathered look in your garden.

View the RHS Garden furniture, which boasts a classic style ideal for the traditional English garden.

3. Focus

Create a focal point to direct the eye, as without a focus it is difficult to draw your attention to one area. Decorating outdoors can be exciting, as there are so many opportunities. Your focal point could be anything from a dramatic ornament, a water feature, or even a tree. If you pick one unique element and design the rest of the garden around it, this will ensure your garden is slowly discovered rather than being swept through.

The important thing to remember is to make sure it works for the style you’ve chosen and the space you are in. Be as bold or as subtle as you want, but a focal point will provide you with a great foundation on which to base your other design elements.

4. Make the most of the natural features

The beauty of the back garden is that there are already so many great features, which you can utilise. Whether your style is modern, rustic, or something in-between, the trick is to make the natural features of your garden work for you.

Do you have a nicely groomed shrub you’d like to show off, but don’t know how? Drape it with fairy lights, to transform it into a standout feature. How about those old trees that need to get some attention? DIY some paper lanterns and make them part of a whimsical backdrop.

Seven colourful, lit lanterns hanging in garden tree

5. Make your garden useful

Garden patio decked out with sofa, colourful cushions and floral materials

A stylish garden is great, but it will be even better if it’s practical too. Especially if you enjoy having family and friends over. If you are thinking about using your garden as an outdoor dining and entertaining area, then you need furniture that is fit for purpose. Carefully consider where you want the garden furniture to go and what you want it to look like.

If you want to create a relaxed feel, then garden benches make an excellent alternative to chairs. For a versatile seating option, you may want to consider Menos pouffes, which can be used for extra seating, as a coffee table, or even a footstool. It doesn’t take a lot to make a space comfortable, cushions and throws will make a great addition to any garden furniture.

6. Get year-round use from your garden

The unpredictable, British weather can be off-putting, but by adding outdoor heaters you can enjoy your garden all year round. With a wide range of outdoor heating available, including traditional fire pits, tall heaters, and electric tabletop heaters, you can enjoy your garden, even when the sun goes down. The Kalos floor standing and pendant heaters feature LED Lighting, allowing you to add warmth and lighting in one go.

Back gardens are often untapped treasures that can be moulded to fit your wishes and needs. All it takes is a little bit of planning and imagination to turn your outdoor space into a haven, as well as a useful extension of your home.

 

And the winners are…

Thanks to everyone that entered our competitions to celebrate the launch of the new Kettler Indoors Outdoors hub!
We’re happy to announce our lucky winners are:

Summer house living

Pale blue woodpaneled summer house in a garden with plants and flowers in forefront

There are many ways to enhance your garden and turn it into a beautiful living space but the ultimate outdoor area should look and feel like an extension of your home, while adding functionality.

A summer house offers the perfect solution, marrying style and comfort with the added benefit of another indoor room to enjoy.

What is a summer house?

A summer house is a freestanding, roofed building or structure, usually in a garden. Depending on how it’s set up and decked out, it could potentially be used all year round.

Why get a summer house?

Ever fancied your own pub or a craft room to paint and get creative in? Perhaps your house is too small for the epic man-cave you’ve been dreaming of, or a mini-library full of books and a large, comfy chair?

A summer house could be anything you want it to be, and you can easily put your own, personal stamp on it, when decorating. By styling it to complement the rest of your home, you’ll create a lovely garden feature that you can show off to guest and the perfect hub for outdoor parties.

Table set for outdoor dining with dessert course of strawberry flan, creme fraiche and pink champagne by candlelight in the evening

If you’ve been thinking about extending your house with a sunroom or converting the spare room to a home office, a summer house could be a good alternative. It’ll save you using up existing indoor space, and could significantly increase the value of your home.

Have you considered…

  • Will you buy or DIY your summer house?
  • Could an existing shed/outhouse be converted?
  • What will you use your summer house for?

Ready to get inspired?

There’s a million and one ways to use a summer house; from a modest but quaint garden shelter to protect against rain and sun, to a fully powered, insulated and connected living space.

The hideaway

Why not create a safe haven for when you need to escape chores and unwind? Furnish with a lush mattress, futon or sofa, and lots of cushions. Add dimmed lighting or lanterns for a peaceful atmosphere and play some relaxing music. If you’re into yoga or meditation, it’s the perfect venue for some tension-releasing exercise or mindful reflection.

The guesthouse

Turn a good-sized summer house into a cosy garden bedroom providing friends, extended family or teenage kids with their own sleeping quarters. It doesn’t have to include facilities, but having an extra bedroom is always handy, especially if you are pushed for space in your home.

Summer house bedroom with white bed and big window with view of forest

The private bar

Fancy yourself a bit of a mixologist? Your summer house could become an elegant cocktail bar, full of your favourite spirits, mixers and garnishes, that reflects your personality. Tall bar stools, coloured spotlights and drinks menus will help add to the fun factor. Or turn your outdoor space into a beer garden, complete with a summer house microbrewery!

Eight beer samplers lined up on a table
Sunlit whitepaneled summer house with flower boxes, and a fence and forest behind it

The play room

Have you considered an adventurous play room for the kids? Young children will love having their own domain, especially on rainy days. Use it as a handy place to store the overflow of toys cluttering up your house. For older children, a summer house could be converted into a cinema, study or games room.

The social space

Whether it’s morning coffee, afternoon tea or an evening martini, a more conventional summer house can be a great social space for relaxing with your partner, or catching up with a few close friends. Think of it as an extra lounge or dining room, with all the fresh air you could ask for and a lovely garden view.

Interior with colourful curtains in lounge with cushion on deck chairWhat’s your style?

Whatever you decide to use your summer house for, take some time to think about how to decorate it. There’s no reason your summer house and garden can’t be just as stylish as the interior of your main house. Ideally, they should complement each other and show off your personality.

If your home is full of colour, quirky ornaments and unusual pieces of furniture, see the eccentric style through in your garden and summer house with the likes of low-level seating, outdoor rugs in a mixture of patterns, and bright fabric sails.

If your home has a country house feel to it, House to Home recommends combining rattan furniture with floral accessories. This extends an informal and conventionally stylish look to the outdoors.

For more summer house and garden style ideas and inspiration, have a look on Pinterest.com.

Hosting the perfect garden party

People enjoying a party in a garden with drinks.

Garden party planning

Organising a garden party takes careful planning and some creative thinking. There’s a lot to consider like what to put on the menu, setting the tone with music, and how to style your garden to impress your guests.

Arriving in style

First impressions count. Let your guests know they’re in for a fun time the second they arrive. Set out a path of flickering lanterns and greet party goers with flutes of bubbly, charming cocktails and mouth-watering nibbles.

Fire up the BBQ early and slow cook chicken souvlaki on a rotisserie. Guests arrive to the smell of your delicious garden party food, and cooking on the spit gives them a spectacle.

Create an enchanting atmosphere

Draw inspiration from your surroundings and the seasons to create an outdoor party theme; in summer, make the most of the colourful flowers, warmer nights and go for a bohemian feel. Enjoy a garden party all year round and on a crisp winter evening, wrap up warm for Bonfire Night and stoke up the fire pit.

Garden party table with tapas, breadsticks, red wine and yellow flowers

Music is important for setting the mood, so why not get your guests involved? Send a party invite or email, asking for everyone’s favourite tunes and set up playlists for the event. Dancing in the garden is a necessity at all garden parties and a simple way to keep guests entertained. Attach a wireless speaker to your parasol pole to have the music at the centre of your party.

Once the sun sets, use fairy lights to add ambience and place candles on stairs and outdoor furniture to add dimension to your garden. Lights are a great way to combine functionality with style, creating a cool and intimate atmosphere in the evening.

Summer garden party decorations and lighting

Food and drink

Summer cocktails with herb garnish on a rustic wooden tray

ho said fine dining’s for indoors only? True, finger food is easier to snack on while mingling, but there’s more to party nibbles than sausage rolls and quiche.

How about delicate and healthy caprese skewers with mozzarella, tomato, avocado and fresh basil eliminating the need for cutlery? Or tempt kids and adults alike with home-made sweet potato and parsnip chips, accompanied by spiced mayonnaise.

When it comes to drinks, let your imagination run wild. Give classic cocktails a fresh twist by flavouring and garnishing with home-grown herbs, straight from your garden; or create a signature cocktail for the party. Ask the mixologist at your local bar for tips on flavours that work well together, or check out TheBar.com for inspiration.

Ready for anything

The Palma Corner Sofa with a lit Palma Fire Pit Table and 3.5m Free Arm Parasol with LED Lighting and Wireless Speaker on a patio at night.

As long as you’re well prepared, it’ll take more than a bit of wet weather to get between you and a good time. Put a canopy or parasol up in the garden and deck it out with chairs, throws and lights to create a comfortable spot to host your garden party.

If you don’t have space outdoors for a canopy or parasol, why not extend your party decorations to an indoor area, dressing it with plants, wildflowers, leafy branches and bunting, to evoke a garden atmosphere?

After all; the best parties are often found in the kitchen so if the weather does turn on you, crank up the music and move the fairy lights and the party indoors.

Garden-fresh gin cocktails

Blueberry gin mojitos with mint garnish in glass jam jars

Great gardens call for great drinks, and nothing beats the zingy freshness of ice-cold, al fresco gin cocktail on a sunny day or any day to be honest. But when was the last time you got creative with your gin?

The G&T is a classic favourite, but we’re in the midst of a ‘ginaissance’, and with so many exciting gin flavours and recipes to try, why stop at tonic?

Classic gin and tonic with lime and a mint garnishLet’s get mixing

Gin gets its name and zesty flavour from juniper (the essential ingredient) and is complemented with a range of rich botanicals, like coriander seeds, angelica and orris root making it a perfectly crisp and flexible base for cocktails

We asked John Burke from the Craft Gin Club to pick his top three recipes for lounging outdoors, including herbs to garnish with. Check them out, then wow your friends with some mean mixing skills and freshly picked ingredients straight from your garden!

Classic Gin Martini

What’s in it?
Your favourite gin, vermouth and ice.

How do you make it?
Pop the vermouth and ice in your stirring glass or shaker, stir and strain. Add gin, stir and then strain into cocktail glasses. Start with 1 part vermouth and 45 parts gin, but feel free to experiment.

“It depends on how you like it; wet, perfect, dry or dirty with decreasing amounts of dry vermouth as you work your way from left to right.” John Burke, Craft Gin Club

And to garnish?
Instead of the usual olive or lemon peel, add some rosemary for a distinctly fragrant martini.

Gin martini with rosemary garnishNegroni

What’s in it?
Equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth.

How do you make it?
Add gin, Campari, vermouth and ice to a glass, stir and enjoy.

And to garnish?
This drink is traditionally garnished with orange peel, but for an alternative citrus flavour, try it with some lemon verbena.

Pink gin with lime and rosemary garnishPink Gin

What’s in it?
Gin, Angostura Bitters, ice.

How do you make it?
Pour gin over ice cubes and add a few dashes of Angostura Bitters it really doesn’t get easier than this!

And to garnish?
Try it with some thyme, rosemary or star anise, and a slice of your favourite fruit.

Cutting out alcohol? Try this mouthwatering mocktail.

Mint Mockito

What’s in it?
Mint leaves, apple juice, lime juice, soda water and ice.

How do you make it?
Crush a small bunch of mint leaves at the bottom of a glass, add juices and some crushed ice, then top it up with soda water.

And to garnish?
A fresh sprig of mint.

Mint mockito with fresh mint

Tasty tip

Accessorise your cocktails with flower and herb ice cubes. Simply add your favourite herbs and edible flowers to an ice tray, pour over water and freeze.

Fruit cocktail with mint garnishExperiment with flavours

Not that you’re armed with some delicious recipes, it’s time to get creative with your coWhat makes the perfect gin cocktail? Impress your friends with delicious recipes this spring and summer, using fresh ingredients straight from your garden.cktails.

Find inspiration in your garden and grow your own fresh mint or rosemary for added aroma; try some fresh basil or coriander leaves for a peppery twist; or if you have lavender growing outside, pop a stem in your gin for a sweet, flowery taste.

Options are endless, so don’t be afraid to play around with ingredients. For more expert tips on both conventional and exotic gin types and toppings, have a look at The Definitive Gin Distillers Garnish Guide.

Top Tips to get your garden ready for Spring

Watering can, plant pots, spade, hat, gloves and flowers on garden lawn

Spring-cleaning your garden is a lot like personal grooming – if you do the basic maintenance regularly, you’re laying the foundation for something that looks inviting and is easier to care for in the long-term.

Putting a little bit of work in now will pay off when you’re having fun with family and friends in a lush, green extension to your living space.

1. Clean Up

Winter can be unforgiving on your outdoor space, so it will appreciate a helping hand getting ready for the warmer months. Clear away anything that’s dry and dead, to allow the underlying glow to emerge and blossom.

The first thing to do is “exfoliate” the garden by trimming, pruning and weeding (easier in spring than summer, thanks to shorter roots), and removing dead matter from your ornamental grass before the regrowth starts. Woody herbs can be lightly clipped, but pruning times for other plants vary, so don’t get too scissor-happy.

Dead leaves, twigs, and mulch will stop sunlight reaching areas that might need it, so get to work raking any debris up.

“It’s important to burn any diseased material if you’re able to.”
Professional gardener Tom Watson, Edinburgh

Consider hiring tools to help cut back damaged trees and turn discarded wood into mulch. This prevents having to send unnecessary waste to a landfill site.

Homemade mulch also tends to be slightly heavier than what you might buy in the garden centre, which means it’s less likely to get blown around.

2. Hose down and spruce up

To make the most of your garden, give grotty old paths, paving stones and patios a good scrub down, and hose away slippery, unsightly dirt and growth.

Do the same for birdbaths and water features, checking for cracks that might have appeared during winter. Be honest with yourself: if these items still don’t look good, consider scrapping or replacing them – it’ll make such a difference to the space.

Wooden birdbath in garden with male house finch in it

There’s a lot to be said for organising your garden tools and supplies too. Scrub off the rust, get rid of any caked-on mud and check the blades on mowers and trimmers. It’s a dreary job, but now’s the time to make sure your drainage ditches are clear.

Spring is also a good time for repairing fences and trellises, as there is less vegetation to work around.

3. Give your lawn a makeover

Well kept lawn and flower bed full of different types of colourful flowers

A nice-looking lawn requires a fair amount of care and attention, but the reward is worth the effort. Start your lawn spring-clean by raking away dead grass and other organic junk, trimming (not too short on the first cut of the year, though, particularly as it won’t have grown much over winter), and applying moss killer where required.

Check for bare and damaged patches, reseed these areas and aerate the whole lawn space. Fertilise with a liquid feed that’s rich in nitrogen except if you’re planning to plant a wildflower mini-meadow. Keep the edges trim and tidy.

4. Time for bed

Your flower beds are where the real magic happens, so it’s worth treating them right. Start by removing all the old mulch, or working it back into the topsoil if it seems well composted.

Poppies and other wildflowers in lush, spring gardenIt doesn’t hurt to add some good compost or well-matured manure at this point.

Tidy up the edges of the beds, take a step back and perhaps consider adding a new border for some definition.

“You can bring the growing season forward by a few weeks, if necessary, by warming up the soil; just cover it with clear plastic or horticultural fleece before sowing.”
Professional gardener Tom Watson, Edinburgh

5. Delicious compost

If you don’t already have a compost heap, consider getting one going. The variety of compost bins on the market means you don’t need a massive garden, though bigger ones are more effective.

Ideally, you should position it in a shady area as the micro-organisms that turn waste to compost work best when conditions are constant. The Royal Horticultural Society recommends a blend of 25% to 50% green materials (lawn cuttings, kitchen waste, or manure) with the rest being woody, brown material, such as wood chippings, paper, straw, and dead leaves.

Avoid letting anyone material dominate the compost heap as it might get slimy. Turn it once a month to keep it well aired.

6. Enjoy your space

Table set for an outdoor meal in garden and decorated with flowersThis is the best bit. Never stop thinking about the fun you can have in your garden. If looked after properly, it can be used year-round as a tranquil oasis to relax in, a family playground, or the perfect venue for an outdoor party. Think of it as your stylish second living room, or a lounge under the stars.

Whether you’re starting from scratch, considering a redesign or simply looking for inspiration, the Royal Horticultural Society’s design advice section has lots of great tips and ideas to help get you started.

 

More Information

Follow our Spring Gardening checklist to have your Garden Summer ready in no time.