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20 May 2022

Gardening with Jo: Pots, planters and outdoor furniture

With Jo McGarry of Caragh Nurseries

Gardening with Jo: Pots, planters and outdoor furniture

Last week we looked at how we create our tree and plant collection; how we decide what we will grow in our fields in Caragh and what trees and plants we need to work with our partner nurseries in Italy, Spain and the Netherlands to grow on our behalf.

This year's stock is all ready and just in the last stages of growth to prepare and have ready for displaying both online and in the nursery.

This week, though, I wanted to share with you how in the last few years we have grown our collections of non-plant garden items, starting with our in-house planter collections and then our outdoor furniture brand, Finn & Elder.

The pots came first. We have always had a lovely collection of terracotta pots that we sourced in Tuscany when on shopping trips for the plants, but we knew we needed to grow the selection for our own garden designs. We set about with our design team drawing out some of the pots that we liked. We have always worked on the premise that we only wanted things in the collection that we would have in our own garden, so it's not a difficult process - deciding on the colour ways was a little harder as we loved so many. We did have to limit the amount of colours available based on the amount of room we had to store them.

The planters we wanted were all in larger sizes to compliment the sizes and styles of trees and plants in which we specialise.

We have, for this year, added new collections to the range and these will be available from May next. One of these is the Atlantis range. These planters are exclusively available through us at Caragh Nurseries, and have such a distinctive look - we are really excited about these.

The other new range is the Thalassa collection of super large one-off statement pieces. They really will create a focal point and have been designed and made for that purpose. They will look equally as good as an area piece with or without a plant, and the colour way we have chosen for these is an aged lead look.

The planter collections have been a huge success, alongside our fibreglass and corten steel pots and this area grows very steadily each year.

Outdoor Furniture

Our furniture collection were obviously a bigger risk as the value was much higher but we saw a huge gap in the market for quality outdoor furniture that wasn’t the same as what was available in Ireland at that stage.

We wanted the collection to be mainly teak, with waterproof materials in colours that complimented your homes and had a similar quality look.

It was hugely important to find the finest materials and the best craftsman to carry out the build of the designs we had put in place.

We work with a factory in Indonesia to build the furniture to exacting designs and also to have a large percentage of the collection in reclaimed materials. All the timber we use is certified teak from forests that are being regenerated and that was also important.

The collections include a dining collection and a number of sofa sets and two modular sofa designs. We named the collections after some of our favourite holiday destinations in Ireland and throughout Europe.

Our Finn & Elder furniture sold out completely in 2021 and so we have over doubled the manufacture for 2022 as one of the things that was most important to us is that the furniture is available to deliver from our warehouse in Caragh as and when you want it.

Four to six month waiting lists, such as we had seen in previous years, would not be acceptable to us and to our customers. Our furniture, because of the quality and the build, has to be ordered by us six months before we need it so what we have in stock now and coming in over the next two months is this year's stock and the way the interest and orders have been coming in already we do envisage selling out again.

Its a good complaint for us and don’t say I didn’t warn you!

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