Garden unique design contest:
Several new and prominent jury members

This year will see an even better class of garden unique, the exclusive format for premium brands in the garden furniture segment at spoga+gafa. Almost all of the top exhibitors from last year’s premiere in Cologne will be in attendance between the 2nd and 4th of September. Not only that, but other well-known companies such as Manutti, Viteo, Barlow Tyrie, and Solpuri have also confirmed that they will be appearing at garden unique, making this part of the trade fair even more attractive to top national and international retailers.

As well as these premium names, garden unique is again opening up a forum for young designers and their creative ideas. This year there will be a design competition with the tagline “Dining outdoors”. The objective is to design furniture and objects that create the perfect open-air culinary experience. Be it furniture that is easy to transport or a high-end parasol for a picnic, fixtures for outside a street café, or even outdoor cooking, seating, or shade for professional gastronomy serving large-scale events in an exclusive hotel or restaurant environment. This year’s competition will be a boost to its reputation thanks to the addition of several new and prominent jury members: garden unique is pleased to welcome distinguished French designer and architect Patrick Nadeau, celebrated designer Marc Sadler from Milan, and Marcus Fairs, editor-in-chief of the international architecture and design online magazine “Dezeen”. They will be joined by outdoor gastronomy expert, Herbert Seckler, owner of the scene restaurant “Sansibar” located in the middle of the Sylt dunes. Also on the jury this year are Tobias Lutz, co-founder and managing director of architonic.com, and Ralf Ferdinand Broekman, publisher and editor-in-chief at German architecture magazine “build”.

This star-studded judging panel will select the winner of the design competition. At the same time, the creative community will rate the young designers’ ideas on the platform jovoto.com. The winners will have their designs transformed into 3D prototypes to be presented in the garden unique area at spoga+gafa. Other ideas selected by both the jury members and the community will be shown in a special exhibition. Prize-giving will take place during “unique hour” on the Monday, followed by a get-together to talk about the burning issues of the day in a more relaxed atmosphere.

Further information: gardenunique.de/contest

New trends from Brooklyn NYC Garden Centre “Rose, Red & Lavender”

Sustainability gardening trends from environmentally influenced garden centre “Rose, Red & Lavender” in Williamsburg, Brooklyn NYC. Interview with owner Kimberly Sevilla talking about the trends for spring 2012, specialities in urban gardening like her own fruit stocks, locally grown seeds, coconut based products, popular in demand Mint, peat free ORGANIC MECHANICS® Premium Blend Potting Soil, seeds and her own point of sale philosophy.

Kimberly worked as a research scientist with the Department of Agriculture and has studied gardening techniques worldwide. She and her staff have carefully selected plants that will thrive in urban gardens and in your homes.

 Further information: roseredandlavender.com

The Winner takes it all

SKYbed has won the Interior Innovation Award 2011, the reddot design award für Produkt Design 2011 and is nominated for the Designpreis Deutschland.

The SKYbed is a relax piece of outdoor furniture that resembles characteristics of a bed and a hammock. It unifies the comfort of a bed with the enjoyable rocking of a hammock. It consists of a fully dismountable stainless steel frame and a 100% weatherproof relax mat. The stainless steel frame flexibly adapts to any uneven floor surfaces without creating tension and therefore damage to the frame. All four suspension bars are individually adjustable in length for individual relax properties. They also allow to level out the relax mat when two persons with different body weights enjoy a rest in the SKYbed.

The intelligent material composition solves the typical dilemma in outdoor furniture. All products of SKYLIVING are made out of highly technical textiles which breathe and are weatherproof. SKYLIVING works with textiles that are not coated and therefore watertight but chose exactly the opposite way. All textiles have an open-cell structure so that water and vapor can easily penetrate the material without being absorbed. Therefore all products can be exposed to the elements all year long.

Furthter information: sky-living.com

Grow for Gold – A Garden for the Games in London

Thousands of people across the UK have already signed up to be London 2012 ‘Local Leaders’ who will bring friends, families and neighbours together to celebrate the Olympic Games. The London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) has now announced ideas and expert tips on how green-fingered Local Leaders and gardening novices alike can ‘Garden for the Games’.

Gardeners of all levels of abilities and experience can visit london2012.com/localleaders for advice on how to ‘Grow for Gold’ by filling the window boxes and hanging baskets on their street with golden marigolds, the London 2012 colours or the national colours of their favourite team competing in the Games.

Local Leaders can also find out how to grow their own patch of bee-friendly wildflowers like the spectacular golden meadows that will surround the Olympic Stadium during the Games and get tips from expert gardener Phil Turvil on how to create floral Olympic Rings or the Paralympic Agitos in their garden.

Gardeners are already taking up the opportunity to encourage local people to enjoy the Games and gardening together. To welcome the Olympic Torch-residents at Portesham in Dorset are planting golden marigolds while children at a nursery in Essex are creating the Olympic Rings out of painted tyres filled with flowers.

LOCOG Chair Seb Coe said: “We are a nation of gardeners and Local Leaders are using London 2012 as an opportunity to get friends, family and neighbours together to brighten up their area and build on our proud gardening heritage. Garden for the Games is a chance for the green-fingered to show off their skills and novices of all ages to learn about gardening and wildlife in their neighbourhood.”

Des Smith, Head Gardener for the London 2012 Gardens in the Olympic Park, said: “Whether you are planning to celebrate the Games with either the Olympic Rings, the Paralympic Agitos or backing Team GB with a red, white and blue floral display, you can get advice and support from your local garden centre or nursery and pick the most pollen-rich, bee and butterfly-friendly flowers.”

Garden for the Games is part of the London 2012 Local Leaders programme, an Organising Committee first which invites people across the UK to bring friends, family and neighbours together and create their own Games celebrations.

Further information: london2012.com

 

Nielsen: Increasing global consumer confidence

Global consumer confidence increased five index points to 94 in Q1 2012, according to global consumer confidence findings from Nielsen. Nielsen is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence, mobile measurement, trade shows and related properties.

Households around the globe experienced brighter personal situations in terms of jobs and personal finances last quarter, especially in the U.S. and Asia, which was reflected with improved consumer confidence and higher discretionary spending,” said Dr. Venkatesh Bala, chief economist at The Cambridge Group, a part of Nielsen. “While global economic conditions are more stable than in the depths of the European sovereign debt crisis late last year, underlying economic conditions are still fragile and fluid in many parts of the world, which could affect consumer confidence and spending momentum for the coming quarter.”

In the U.S., consumer confidence rose nine points to 92, its highest level since before the recession while China’s consumer confidence increased two points to 110, its highest level since the inception of Nielsen’s index in 2005.

The biggest quarterly confidence gains last quarter came from Taiwan (+13), Chile (+11) the United States (+9), Venezuela (+9), Malaysia (+6), Denmark (+6), Estonia (+6), Saudi Arabia (+6), United Kingdom (+6), and Peru (+6).

India remained the world’s most optimistic market for the ninth consecutive quarter with a one point consumer confidence increase to 123, followed by Saudi Arabia (119), Indonesia (118) and the Philippines (118). Hungary was the world’s most pessimistic market at 32 index points, followed by Greece (37) and Portugal (39).

For further information: nielsen.com