Royal Horticultural Society Flower Shows are often the highlight of the summer. Due to the beauty of the Chelsea Flower Show, Harlow Carr or the Wisley Flower Show, it is always exciting to see the latest gardens. The RHS by Kettler garden furniture range has designs to fit into any award-winning garden. It is the little intricacies that make this range so special. Here are the finer details in the RHS by Kettler range:
We know how hard it can be in our hectic modern world to stop, savour the little things, and the people who go with them! Experts have told us for years that in a go-go-go culture we risk missing out on the small moments today that become big memories tomorrow.
With longer, lazier summer days approaching, we thought it was the perfect moment to celebrate the best of times. Kettler is giving you the chance to win our Caleta Corner Set worth £1,799, by sharing your best of times.
Keeping it in the family
Fresh bed sheets, tea first thing in the morning, something simmering in the slow cooker or a hot towel on the radiator as you get out the shower – the tiny ways our nearest and dearest say ‘I love you’ often don’t need any words at all.
A little help from my friends
It’s true that our friends are the family we choose – those wonderful, reliable people that help you move house or suffer in solidarity with you the day after your stag do. They’re a shoulder to cry on, a friendly face to sip glasses of wine with at the end of a long day, and the people we know will be there to share life’s big moments.
The friends we haven’t met yet
Baristas, supermarket assistants, bus drivers, mechanics, people on the street – a smile and a hello could make their day (or yours) that little bit better. Who doesn’t love it when the bus driver spots your mad dash to the stop and graciously waits for you, or when the barista gives you a size up on your coffee because you look a little sleepy?
All you need to do is share your best of times with us, and remember, it’s the little things that mean the most. There are a few other entry options for you to choose to get bonus entries. Good luck!
We’ll take your best of times and add them to our 100 little things page to celebrate – maybe you’ll spot something you’d love to do, too. We’ll be updating it regularly so make sure you check back to see if you’re featured.
As the days get longer and warmer, we can’t wait to savour the small things, knowing that they really do lead to the best of times. Why not check out our Indoors Outdoors ideas? From garden-fresh gin cocktails to toasting tasty treats in your very own fire pit, or stringing up the fairy lights for a garden party to remember – there’s something for every green space, and the best of times therein.
Some of our most treasured moments often take place in the garden. Whatever your age, outdoor spaces are perfect for having fun and relaxing in, so it’s no surprise that they leave a lasting impression.
We’ve pulled together some of our favourite nostalgic garden moments for you to reminisce about. Who knows, you might even fancy reliving them this summer!
Fun and games in the sun
There was a time when a tap on the shoulder and a shout of ‘Tag!’ was all it took to get everyone excited. The thrill of being chased by your friends through freshly-cut grass was a memory that lasted for years to come.
Once you were exhausted from all the running, you’d play a game of hide-and-seek to give yourselves a breather. Whether it was in the bushes, behind the bench or squeezed into an impossibly small space; the garden was full of great hiding spots – even if you had to risk scratches and stained clothes to be out of sight. And you never, ever forget your favourite hiding place.
The family kick-about
The second a ball was out, things usually got competitive. Football, basketball, volleyball, tennis, or some strange mix of the lot; the rules didn’t matter but the scores certainly did. Even your grandparents produced unbelievable shots when it came down to the wire.
While you might not remember who won, the warm memories of playing your favourite games with your favourite people never leave you.
When you think of the garden, you probably picture it on a bright, sunny day. The flowers are in full bloom and you can almost taste the fresh fruit, homegrown veg and herbs picked from the patch by the fence.
The sweetness of the strawberries you helped your grandparents cultivate contrasted with the tartness of the gooseberries from the overgrown bush out back. Eaten on their own or dipped in sugar and cream, the flavour still takes you back to those childhood days if you close your eyes.
On a hot summer’s day, nothing could beat an inflatable pool filled with cool water from the garden hose. Despite the water rarely coming past your knees, this always provided endless fun.
Whether you were splashing around, playing games or filling your water gun with liquid ammo for an assault on unsuspecting victims, it didn’t matter if everyone ended up soaking wet when you could lie back and dry off in the sun.
You were the king of the castle. High above everyone else, at the top of your climbing frame, you could survey the garden then make a quick escape from any invading parents via the slide. Or, with a single push of the swing, you’d soar through the air – higher and higher, before jumping off at the highest point.
Then there were the trees you climbed hundreds of times, and the wall that you just had to scale for a peek into the neighbours’ garden. It didn’t matter whether your garden was big or small – it was the experience of being outdoors with family and friends that made it special.
Get the barbie on
With the sun out, the smell of charcoal in the air and everyone over; what’s better for making perfect memories than the humble barbecue? Rustling up the burgers, sausages and kebab skewers was Dad’s time to shine, but the food didn’t need to be fancy as you lay back in the sun.
We here at Kettler take birthdays very seriously. From decorating desks to birthday cards passed around the office, we make a fuss: no exceptions. This week it was Lisa from Transport who celebrated her birthday. As is tradition, she brought in a selection of goodies, including this magnificent, Kettler themed cake.
With some planning and preparation, your garden can be transformed into a magical, social space. There is something special about using your own backyard to celebrate an occasion.
From weddings to birthday parties and intimate dinners with family and friends – it’s the perfect venue to let your creativity run wild.
Preparation is key
Even if you’re the spontaneous type that likes to invite the neighbours over at a minute’s notice, there’s plenty you can do to get your garden guest-ready. Whether it’s removing weeds, cutting grass, or installing a fire pit, creating an action plan will help make your party dreams a reality.
Sprucing up your garden will not only make it look more inviting to your guests but also make it easier to care for in the long run. Once you’ve tidied up, you can start planning the layout of your event. Draw a rough sketch of the space and start visualising where tables, snug retreats and game areas will best fit.
It’s time to call the professionals
If you’re planning a major event, like a wedding reception, talk to a professional landscaper in advance. This way you’ll know when and where to plant your favourite flowers, so they bloom in time for the big day.
If you’re finding it hard to decide on the best layout for your outdoor nuptials, enlist the help of a wedding planner. They’ll be able to estimate how many guests will fit in your garden, and what to do if the weather takes a bad turn.
Enhance your event with outdoor furniture
Organising a large alfresco party? Think about renting tables, chairs, bar, tent and whatever else you might need. Make sure the table is the centrepiece of your party, but don’t forget about setting up a cosy corner using cushions and throws for your guests to lounge in after dinner.
Sofas and benches are perfect if you’re going for a more relaxed party vibe or want to create some separate areas for mingling.
Don’t get caught in the rain
Checking the weather forecast at least a week before the event will help you prepare for rain, hail or shine. If it’s likely to rain, hiring or purchasing a gazebo is a quick and easy solution. They’re available in a range of sizes and prices and can look very chic when fitted out stylishly.
If your occasion is slightly more formal, hiring a marquee might be a good idea. Marquees offer shelter from rain and sun and hire companies also provide furniture, heating and lighting.
Create character with lighting
When the sun finally sets, you’ll need ample lighting for the party to continue outside. Lanterns and fairy lights can instantly add dimension to your garden, in addition to creating an enchanting atmosphere.
You may even want to install permanent outdoor lighting if you’re planning on using certain spaces a lot over the warmer months.
Keep the party going
Even in summer, keeping your guests warm in evenings is something you should consider. Investing in an outdoor heater or fire pit not only encourages your visitors to stay longer but crowding around a fire is also a lovely way to end the night.
Having plenty of blankets on hand is another easy solution, especially if you’re planning on hosting something like an outdoor cinema. All you need for your open-air movie night is somewhere to hang a white sheet, a projector and some comfy seating (think bean bags and lots of cushions). Don’t forget the popcorn, drinks and – of course – the perfect summer flick for a real VIP screening experience.
Adding these personal touches to your garden will help make your event a memorable one. From the food and drink, you serve to the style of your outdoor furniture, organising a classic British garden party is one of the best ways to enjoy the summer months.
Got a hankering for pineapples? Those with a sweet tooth will love the Everdure by Heston Blumenthal roasted pineapple sundae drizzled in sticky caramel. Coated with crystallised nuts and served with chocolate ice cream and whipped cream, this truly tasty treat is perfect for your next barbecue.
For the pineapple caramel:
500g white caster sugar
125g unsalted butter
225g apple juice
For the crystallised nuts:
200g white caster sugar
For the caramel sauce:
140g demerara sugar
115g golden syrup
115g double cream
30g unsalted butter
¼ tsp salt
For the pineapple caramel, place a medium pan over low heat. Pour the sugar into the pan and melt while whisking constantly.
When it reaches a dark colour, add the butter, a little at a time, each time letting it melt fully and whisking it vigorously to emulsify. Remove from the heat, add the salt and whisk until fully dissolved.
Add 1/3 of the apple juice and whisk until fully incorporated, repeat with the remaining 2/3 of apple juice. When all the juice is emulsified into the caramel, place back on the heat and bring to a boil.
Allow the caramel to cool completely before covering and reserve until ready to use.
To cook the pineapples, remove the skin from the pineapple and slice a “trench”, about 2cm deep and 3cm wide, diagonally from top to bottom.
Place each pineapple on the roasting rods of your Everdure by Heston Blumenthal and fasten on either side. Turn the rotisserie function on and roast for a couple of hours while brushing with the pineapple caramel regularly.
For the crystallised nuts, pre-heat the oven to 170ºC. Place the nuts on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 12 minutes.
In the meantime, put 150g water and the sugar into a small saucepan. Place it over a medium-high heat and bring to the boil.
When the temperature of the liquid reaches 135ºC, or the syrup is beginning to colour at the edge of the pan, add the pistachios and whisk until the syrup has completely crystallized and coated the nuts.
Pour the coated nuts onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment and allow to cool.
For the caramel sauce, place the ingredients in a saucepan over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Whisk until the sauce reaches 120ºC, then remove the pan from the heat.
To finish, remove the pineapples from the spit and allow to cool slightly. Using a sundae glass, alternate chocolate ice cream and pieces of the roasted pineapples. Finished with whipped cream, sprinkled some of the crystallised nuts and a drizzle of the caramel sauce.
With the summer just round the corner people start thinking about what garden furniture their outdoor space needs. If you are thinking of buying mesh chairs we are here to help. Kettler’s 2017 outdoor furniture range is packed with great, stylish mesh chairs.
Let’s start with the Caredo chair. This is a range because of its plain design. You have the straight arm rests and curved back for comfort. The straightforward design makes it a favourite for traditional gardens.
There is something inherently British about sitting outdoors on mesh furniture and enjoying some tea. The Siena chair upholds this patriotic past time with the classic design, featuring the Tudor Rose at the head of the back rest.
Café Roma continues the Italian theme, this time bringing the relaxed feel of a trendy cafe to your garden. The 2 seat bistro set folds up for easy storage and includes a 60cm round table. The Café Roma features a romantic style for couples to relax and dine on a small patio or balcony.
Features of Mesh Chairs
Durable and long-lasting – two of the main characteristics of metal.
Make the most of even a small plot in your garden, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how many different (and delicious) veggies you can grow!
Growing your own can save you money, in addition to being good for the planet and satisfying your epicurean appetites. It can also go a long way in encouraging kids to be more adventurous with food – if they grow it, they’re much more likely to eat it.
1. Find a sunny place
Veggies need plenty of sunshine to grow, so start your patch in a spot that gets at least five hours of sun per day. Pick a location that’s away from other plants to reduce the risk of slugs crawling out of bushes and beds to feast on your veg.
Many vegetables, such as tomatoes and cucumbers, need shelter from the wind. They don’t grow well when rocked at their roots, and their leaves may blacken with windburn.
2. Dig deep
Give your patch a thorough digging over, to break up the soil and remove any weeds. Dig down to at least one spade depth, or more, removing as many stones as possible. In terms of weeds, remove any roots and stems to stop them re-growing.
3. Get the soil right
If you have chalky or heavy clay soil, it’s easier to grow veg in raised beds. Fill these with a mix of soil-based compost, topsoil and green waste. If you’re planning on growing in-ground, it’s a good idea to do a pH test with a kit before planting. Soil that’s neutral is best, but you can add sulphur to alkaline and lime to acidic soil to neutralise it if need be.
4. Design your plot
Planning the layout of your veg patch is a good way of ironing out any potential glitches in advance. If you’re thinking of including several beds, plan them in groups to make it easier to rotate veggies around the plot – this helps avoid build-up of pests and diseases.
Add a bit of colour to your plot by including flowers for cutting, such as sunflowers and sweet peas.
5. Give your plants enough space
Plants hate being cramped and are likely to be weak and small if they haven’t got enough space. As a rough guide, leave about 20cm around a row of salad leaves, 35cm around a row of carrots, and 45cm around a row of beans. Courgettes will need 75cm to one metre per plant.
Don’t forget to give your beans something to climb, like a stake or trellis.
Caring for your veg patch
Looking after your plot doesn’t need to take up all your spare time. Familiarise yourself with the how, why and when of veg care, and don’t forget to check on your veggies regularly to see how they’re doing. This way, you’ll notice if your seedlings are thirsty, or if anything is getting eaten by slugs.
The key is in spotting any issues before they get out of hand, and turn into time-consuming tasks. For more handy tips on maintenance, have a look at our garden grooming guide.
Throwing a barbecue can be a great excuse to catch up with your friends and family. Spending the day outside in the sun, followed by a relaxing evening with drinks in the garden is a real treat. Choose a unique theme to make your barbecue a memorable and truly tasty occasion.
Around the world (in less than 80 dishes)
Barbecue is a staple across the world, so ask each of your guests to bring along a side dish from their favourite travel destination. To add to the fun, you can pop on a playlist of popular music from each country, as well as hanging up flag bunting and marking the dishes with cocktail stick flags.
Not only will your guests’ culinary creations provide a great conversation starter – they’ll give them the opportunity to taste a wide variety of unique flavours too. It’s a good way of encouraging your younger (and fussier!) guests to try new things.
This theme has the convenient advantage of giving you less to prepare. Just make sure you have a table large enough to host all the delicious dishes.
Work up your guests’ appetite with a friendly tournament. Include the teams on the invite before the event, and have team colours ready on the big day to get your party into the competitive spirit.
A mini Olympics with frisbee discus, tin throwing, or a classic egg and spoon or sack race can be enjoyed by everyone, and won’t be too strenuous. Once the games are over, have a quiz prepared for your teams to see if their brains match their brawn.
Entertain your youngest guests as well as the young at heart by setting up giant versions of your favourite games. Whether it’s a game of giant Snakes and Ladders, chess, checkers, bowling or Jenga, you can guarantee that the novelty-sized versions of these classics will keep them entertained. Continue the theme onto the table with over-sized burgers, steaks or hot dogs, and giant marshmallows for roasting later.
Stick to a single colour
For a twist on the classic barbecue food try sticking to a single colour. Love orange? Replace regular chips with sweet potato fries, and swap apple pie with pumpkin pie. Fancy a cup of tea at the end? There’s even Orange Pekoe tea to match your theme.
Alongside the table and garden decorations, you can encourage guests to wear a single piece of clothing with the colour to bring out the best of your theme.
Laying out a selection of garnishes, sauces and flavoured oils allows guests to experiment with creating unique flavours. With a table set aside for toppings, dipping sauces and fresh herbs, there won’t be two people with the same meal at your barbecue.
To wash it down, try making your own fruity cocktails or ‘mocktails’ (non-alcoholic cocktails) and placing them into large glass dispensers for people to help themselves.
Chargrilled Scotch fillet with beurre noisette and guasacaca
Who said barbecues are just for burgers and hot dogs? This South American-inspired steak recipe is quick, delicious and great for feeding a hungry crowd.
1 brown onion (peeled and quartered)
2 green peppers (stem and seeds removed)
2 ripe avocados
2 small garlic cloves
½ bunch parsley (washed well)
½ bunch coriander
80 ml red wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
For the fillet steak and beurre noisette:
1 x 230g scotch fillet portion (2 ½ cm thick)
30 ml extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the guasacaca, combine the onions, green peppers, avocado flesh, garlic, herbs, salt and vinegar in a blender. Blitz for 40 seconds then slowly pour in the olive oil. Place into the refrigerator and allow to develop overnight.
To make the beurre noisette, place a small pan onto the grill until hot. Add in the butter and allow to sizzle, melt, foam and lightly brown. Carefully remove and set aside. It should be lightly golden and have a nutty hazelnut bouquet.
Ignite the BBQ as per instructions and set up for grilling.
Remove the steak from the fridge several hours before needed. Lightly brush the steak all over with the olive oil, season both sides with the salt, but do not use the pepper just yet.
Place onto the hot grill and leave for 20 seconds. Now flip over and cook for another 20 seconds. Continue to do this for 6 minutes, (or until it reached 50 °C in the centre) for a medium-rare steak.
Remove and place onto a tray with a cooling rack and lightly cover. Rest for 4 minutes, brush all over with the beurre noisette, slice, season with the pepper and a little salt if needed.
1 red pepper
100ml vegetable oil
½ tsp salt flakes
For the rotisserie chicken:
1 x 1.4 kg free range chicken
1 bunch lemon thyme
1 lemon (zest sliced off and remaining lemon sliced)
2 tbsp adobo seco
100ml extra virgin olive oil
2 fresh bay leaves
2 cloves garlic (sliced thin)
1 cup mangetout
smoked salt flakes
For the adobo seco spice mix, combine all the ingredients together and store in an airtight container.
To make Heston’s red pepper oil, roast the pepper above glowing charcoal until blackened on all sides. Carefully remove and place into a plastic bag until cool enough to handle. Peel away the blistered blackened skin and discard. Open up and remove the seeds and white membrane. Place the cleaned red flesh into a food processor, add the oil and blitz until smooth. Season and pass through a fine sieve. Transfer to a squeeze bottle and set aside.
Ignite the BBQ as per instructions and set up for rotisserie.
Wash the chicken inside and out and dry with kitchen paper towelling.
Divide the olive oil equally into two containers. One is for the spice rub; the other will be for the basting marinade.
In one of the containers combine the lemon zest, sliced garlic, a quarter of the thyme sprigs, 1 tablespoon of adobo seco and the bay leaves. This is the basting oil.
In the other container of olive oil, combine 1 tablespoon of adobo seco. Rub this mixture all over and inside the chicken. Place the remaining thyme sprigs and lemon slices inside the chicken’s cavity.
Place the chicken onto the spindle and secure with the clip lock forks. Truss the legs neatly with butcher’s string.
Place onto the rotiscope and set at the 2nd highest position.
Lightly baste every 15 minutes and cook until the internal temperature (between the breast and thigh) reaches 74°C. Carefully remove and rest covered for 10 minutes.
Serve sliced with a light scattering of smoked salt, red pepper oil and mangetout.
The end of March saw the official launch of Everdure by Heston Blumenthal BBQ’s. A big event took place at The Crown, Heston Blumenthal’s gastropub in Bray, to mark the event. Delicious food was cooked over charcoal and on gas barbeques designed by the celebrity chef.
At the end of last year Pantone announced their colour of the year for 2017, and we love it!
Known as Greenery, Pantone describe it as a “refreshing and revitalising shade…symbolic of new beginnings.” This colour conjures up images of sitting and staring out to a beautiful, healthy lawn in the garden.
2017 is the year for new beginnings at Kettler. We have recently unveiled our new Kettler 2017 Garden Furniture brochure, available here. With the new season comes new styles and exciting ranges, expanding the Kettler range with new materials, new colours and new ways to relax.
The best of times have just got better as we bring Everdure by Heston Blumenthal BBQ’s to the shores of the UK. The gas and charcoal BBQ’s are full of fresh features powered by design. We are excited to see what mouth watering meals you can make this summer.
Pantone understand that a colour can tap into a memory just as well as a photograph or even a smell. As we march forward into our new beginnings full of original products and new ranges, we feel Pantone’s choice for colour of the year is truly symbolic of our 2017.