German gardens: Little effort, utmost pleasure

There is no doubt about that: Germans gardeners a something special. Their overriding gardening aim is to get the most pleasure out of the least effort. Furthermore, whatever they do or install in their gardens should be absolutely environmentally friendly. And finally, yet importantly, the German garden must give a beautiful and neat impression.

The green tech industry and renewable energy sector is very dynamic in Germany. No other gardeners in the world are so ambitious when it comes to energy saving and environmental friendliness. Another distinct attitude of German gardeners is the preference for low maintenance gardens. For them, the garden is not a place to work in but to relax. It is all about being smart and as long as it is smarter to be eco-friendly, the German gardener is very willing to contribute. Solar lights, for instance, are not just environmentally friendly, they also save a lot of work. They only need to be stuck into the lawn without having to lay cables. Nevertheless, it is important for Germans that their gardens look beautiful and neat. Colours are therefore vital; and so are flowers. But again, when choosing the flowers for their gardens, German gardeners watch out for low-maintenance plants and prefer species that require little care and live for many years. The Germans’ preference for good results at little effort is also reflected by the vegetables they grow in their gardens or on their balconies. Everyone seems to grow their own tomatoes for they are easy to grow and require little space; and most importantly, they are convinced that their homegrown tomatoes taste so much better than any other tomato from the supermarket.

More Information: newsroom.husqvarna.com

 

Inchbald School of Design unveils new online short courses

Proving that good things can come in small packages, the prestigious Inchbald School of Design, which has been educating leading figures in the world of design since 1960, has unveiled two new online short courses: Designing your Living Space and Designing your Garden.

Building on the success of their Online MA courses in Architectural Interior Design and Garden Design, these short courses offer part-time, amateur students unprecedented access to Inchbald’s expert teaching via interactive online learning. These certificated e-courses are an extension to the School’s existing portfolio of qualifications, which include MAs, post- and undergraduate diplomas, and certificate courses in Architectural Interior Design, Interior Decoration and Garden Design, as well as short courses in computer-aided design. Particular attention is paid to the marriage between function and aesthetic design with an emphasis placed on the ergonomics and proportions of space as well as the creative use of colour, form and other features both inside and outdoors.

The course requires a time commitment of approximately four hours each week during which times they will receive lively teaching sessions, all of which are lavishly illustrated and include a series of practical projects to develop knowledge and confidence. Commenting on the launch of the new Online Short Courses, Jacqueline Duncan, Principal of the Inchbald School of Design, said: “The Online Short Courses offer a comprehensive introduction, not only to the principles of design, but to the skills for which English houses and gardens have become famous. At Inchbald we are committed to preserving and developing our students’ personal design flair and to informing their knowledge of those decorative details that presently risk dilution through mass manufacture. Thus the time has come to re-appraise our perspectives on design fashion and to review the expertise and attention to detail on which all great designs depend and for which England in particular is renowned.”

The two courses are available exclusively at the Inchbald School of Design. Each course lasts 12 weeks (with four hours’ activity per week) and costs £1,200 incl. VAT. Designing your Garden is available from April 2012; Designing your Living Space is available from September 2012.

For further information: inchbald.co.uk

 

 

Barbecuing becomes a year-round trend in Germany

The market for barbecue equipment is booming like no other sector of the German garden market. As recently published in the “IFH Branchenfokus Grillen 2012” (IFH Market Information Barbecue 2012), the sector grew by almost 45 per cent in the past five years.

Germans spend almost 1,1bn Euros on barbecues, barbecue equipment and combustibles. In 2011, this equalled an average spending per capita of 13.17 Euros. Roughly two thirds of the overall turnover is allotted to the grills themselves, while the remaining per cents were almost equally spent on combustibles and barbecue equipment.

Currently the market for barbecue grills and equipment is positively influenced by a number of factors: Being outdoors in the garden is as trendy as cooking and dining together. Apparently, high quality and huge grills become more and more popular in Germany, but the trend for a second grill is also growing.

In the past three years, there was an enormous growth rate especially with gas-grills. In addition, combustibles generated an above average growth. These developments clearly show: Not only the number of barbecue-fans has grown, the frequency of barbecuing has also significantly risen. Evermore, barbecuing becomes a year-round trend.

Although the barbecue market is very complex, the distribution structure shows that there is one dominating sales channel: Most consumers buy their grills and barbecue equipment in DIY-markets and the affiliated garden centres.

Further Information: ifhkoeln.de

Gardening is the New Luxury

All leisure activities have their time. The current trend is gardening, says futurologist Matthias Horx of the Future Institute in Kelkheim (Germany). However, gardening today differs a lot from what it used to be in former times. Today it is a kind of luxury.

The leisure industry has always been earmarked by activities that followed the latest trends. Crafting, cooking or even specific types of sport, as for instance jogging or aerobic dance, had their times in which everyone, who wanted to appertain, joined in. Currently gardening is the trendy leisure activity. The interest in nature and environment has grown strongly over the past 30 years and brought about people wishing “to let something grow”. Furthermore, says Horx, gardening satisfies aesthetic needs. There are simply no limits set to the amateur gardener’s creativity and thus, a modern garden always reflects a bit of its owner’s personality. The supplying industry, from garden chairs and lawn mowers to plants, has adapted itself to the amateur gardeners’ high demands for design and supplies everything the heart of a modern gardener could wish for. Be it Home Gardening, which integrates nature and garden into everyday life, or be it Urban Gardening, which creates wonderful nature experiences even on the smallest balcony, everything is possible, because there are equipment, accessories and plants matching each and every idea. This high degree of individuality does not just turn the garden into a unique part of nature; it also makes it a very personal piece of luxury. According to the Future Institute the new cult of garden and gardening will be very long-lasting.

Eden made in Russia

Life in Russia is an everyday challenge – and so is gardening there. Although gardening can be pretty difficult in Russia because of the rough climate, Russians love it and mix work with pleasure.

From the biggest challenge for Russian gardeners, i.e. the unforgiving weather, arises the second challenge: the gardening knowhow. Russian gardening bloggers have extensive knowledge of what and when to do and how to do it best in the garden. The intense exchange of information is therefore vital for achieving good results with the gardening activities. This is even more important, as the favourite trend in Russia is kitchen gardening, which is more than just nice to do, as for instance in Britain. In Russia kitchen gardening is also a sort of necessity. When the harsh Russian winter puts an end to the autumn harvest, the urban gardeners proudly enjoy their homegrown vegetables and fruits.

For Russian gardeners organic gardening is not a matter of environmental protection or health, as it avoids chemicals, but above all, it is cheap. Russians, who live in the big cities and neither have a garden nor can afford a dacha, grow the vegetables in their apartments or on the balconies. Cutting costs is an important reason for the huge popularity of kitchen and organic gardening, but it is not the only one: It is also the creativity in building a personal paradise coupled with satisfying the Russian passion for gardening. The Russian gardeners do not spend much money on their gardens; on average it is just 34 Euros (45 $) per year.

More information: newsroom.husqvarna.com