The Society of Garden Designers' Conference, which took place last Saturday, rounds off our attendance at shows for this year, and proved every bit as informative as the Landscape Show and Futurescape. Informative for the delegates attending, and informative for us.
The delegates enjoyed talks on the theme of Out of the Shrubbery, concentrating on the increasing role of shrubs in the trend of 'naturalism', where they're being used to add drama and not just structure. It's clear we'll be seeing a lot more shrubs in designs over the coming months.
Meanwhile, we enjoyed the feedback of delegates when they flooded out of their seminars. It was the first time many of them had seen our new, ultra-thin wall cladding, DesignClad, and once again we were bowled over by the response.
“It's clear the market really is ready for an alternative to rendered block walls,” said Director Gavin Walley who, with Cat Par, Sales Advisor at our West London Showroom, manned our stand. Together they were swamped with inquiries.
“It's quiet while the seminars are on,” said Cat, “then there's 15-20 minutes when everyone's out between talks. We had twenty people all asking questions at once and were answering questions like it was our own conference.”
DesignClad, just in case you missed our post last month when it featured at Futurescape, is a very tough Porcelain, only 3mm thick and weighing 7.1kg per square metre. It requires only external tile adhesive to attach it to surfaces and can be supplied in panels up to an astonishing 3000mm x 1000mm. Designers have enormous scope to create bespoke tile sizes and shapes for a unique look. “DesignClad has captured people's imagination,” reported Gavin.
The Steel Corten colour stirred a lot of interest. Not surprising, as it's a light, economical, easy-to-install and very realistic alternative to the real thing. Like all DesignClad, it's robust too – colour-fast, very scratch-resistant and very easy to wash down, being virtually completely non-porous.
Also rousing interest were the lighter colours. One of the questions asked throughout the day was whether our DesignClad matches our Porcelain Paving. “The simple answer,” says Gavin, “is we don't have exact alternatives in our Porcelain range, but the colour palette is certainly complementary to our Stone and Porcelain collections.” Check out Hydra Beige and Hydra Argen, for example, which have been chosen to complement popular contemporary paving like our Beige Sawn Sandstone and Warm Beige Porcelain.
For everyone who's hungry for more information on the fixing method for DesignClad—and Porcelain Paving—we'll be uploading all the details to our website very soon, with comprehensive information available in the New Year, but do give us a ring if you need to hear more now.
In the meantime, we predict that many of the shrubs that will add drama to New Perennial planting will, in 2017, be seen against a stylish backdrop of DesignClad.
Cat Par, a sales advisor in our West London showroom, went along on the day. It was immediately clear what caught the designers' eye. “We got a lot of interest in DesignClad and Steel Corten was a popular colour.”
As with shrubs, it seems that we'll be seeing DesignClad featuring in a growing number of garden designs in 2017.