Langdon Hyde Design

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Category: Garden (page 1 of 4)

Top Drawer 2019

My visit to Top Drawer 2019 proved quite challenging as I decided to drive to Olympia rather than take the train. My Sat Nav estimated a travel time of 50 minutes and indeed that is how long the journey took. I was so pleased with myself as I navigated my way along the A3 and across the Thames at Hammersmith to my final destination.

It was only on arrival that my bubble burst as it turned out that both car parks were fully booked. All parking had been prepaid and it hadn’t occurred to me that I might not be able to leave my car anywhere!

Fortunately, there was help on hand in the form of a gentleman in a hi-vis jacket. He advised that there would be roadside parking not far from the exhibition venue. With renewed confidence I headed off in the direction in which he pointed and I very quickly managed a nifty bit of parallel parking. I paid my dues (by phone) and headed off to the show.

Top Drawer, a biannual trade exhibition for the home, gift, fashion, craft and hospitality industries is a delight. Showcasing new product lines from around the world it is a must for anyone with half an eye on up-and-coming trends.

As ever my main reason for visiting was to review the Home section which had an abundance of furniture, soft furnishings, accessories and lighting.

By far the most impressive stand was that of Coach House, the UK’s largest trade only supplier of furniture and giftware (according to their website).

Stand D61 – Coach House

Their creative room-sets were the epitome of international glamour with a strong colonial influence.

A must have drinks trolley

The luxurious reflective surfaces combined with strong animal imagery were in striking contrast to the surrounding stands.

Palms, rattan, and rich dark wood furniture were reminiscent of a bygone era.

Exquisite ivory coloured velvets and stunning glass orbs set off this black circular dining table whilst the coral coloured lampshade and framed print added an air of the orient.

Stand G45 – Also Home

Pastel coloured linens set against this intensely dark backdrop on the Also Home stand gave me pause for thought. I have ambitions to create a soft pink table setting in my own home and the blush table cloth and napkins were an absolute favourite.

Stand G59 – Bungalow ApS

I was also struck by these stoneware table-top items which are one of the main product-lines of Danish interior design company Bunaglow ApS. The combination of shapes, texture, and pattern really appealed.

Venturing upstairs to the The Craft sector I was met with a selection of beautiful handcrafted one-offs. My favourite stand here was that of Peter Lanyon Furniture which exhibited a collection of sustainable furniture made in his workshop in South Devon.

Stand CR731 – Peter Lanyon Furniture

These intricate bronze casts displayed on the Pomarius stand were truly extraordinary. Capturing the intricate details of original organic specimens these ornamental collections were painstakingly beautiful.

Stand CR101 – Pomarius

Unfortunately, like Cinderella, the clock was ticking and my 2 hour maximum on-street parking slot was about to expire. That said I had had an amazing time and was pleased that a rather dull Tuesday had been brightened by my expedition to the last day of Top Drawer 2019.

London Design Festival 2018

London Design Festival 2018 hit the streets this week. With events taking place across the capital from Sunday through to Sunday this is a great opportunity to catch a glimpse of the up and coming trends and to gain first hand knowledge from some of the biggest names in the business.

I don’t often find myself in the presence of some of the world’s most famous interior designers but this week has been an exception and I’m still having to pinch myself!

To kick off the week I visited Decorex at Syon Park in Isleworth. Arriving early, parking was easy and foot traffic light.

Some of the big names were either at the show in person, or had been commissioned to design some of the installations.

Taking centre stage was the well attended bar designed by Freddy van Zevenbergen of Lambart & Browne. A lifelike peacock, black feather chandeliers, and a giant Silent Pool gin bottle set the scene.

Lavish bar designed by Lambart & Browne

Another well known name having a presence at the show was Annie Sloan.  Launching three new paint colours and a a bookazine entitled The Colourist the stand stood out from the crowd.

The Colourist

A common theme at this year’s Decorex was craftspeople in action. The Odd Chair Company and Pigmentti, an artisan decoration company, were two of the four making an appearance as part of the renowned In The Making feature areas, where four invitation-only spaces demonstrate how products are made, finished, and decorated.

The Odd Chair Company

Pigmentti demonstrating bas-relief Marmorino

This show never fails to exhibit a diverse range of interior styles and products. Whether you favour minimalism or maximalism there was something for everyone.



One of my last ports of call before leaving the show was the Dupenny booth. These cheeky designs, the creations of Emily Dupen, adorn wallpapers, fabrics, and gifts in a truly original fashion.

Dupenny Illustration & Design

Next on my agenda was Red’s Smart Women Week at Carlton House Terrace in London. Hosted by Hearst magazines it promised to be an enlightening show. Amongst the speakers that I went to listen to were four of the most current names in the world of interiors.

Participating in the networking breakfast, Sophie Robinson (BBC’s Great Interior Design Challenge), Linda Boronkay (Design Director, Soho House), Jemma Ahmed (Director or Global Insights, Etsy), and the infamous Kelly Hoppen, educated the audience in the art of growing your interior design brand.

Red Smart Women networking breakfast

Armed with an insight into the success of these four ladies I hopped in a black cab to arrive in time for my next seminar at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour.

Focus/18 is a major part of the London Design Festival and provides access to the vast number of showrooms at DCCH. It also incorporates daily talks, demonstrations and guided tours.

With limited time to spend attending the festival I am always keen to attend at least one of the hosted conversations and this year my choice was Giles Kime interviewing legendary designer Nina Campbell. Sharing secrets of an illustrious career spanning fifty years I felt very privileged to be in the same room.

Much of the talk and images related to her newly published tome,  Elegance & Ease. Needless, to say I could not miss this opportunity to buy a signed copy by the doyenne herself.

After quaffing a quick glass of bubbly to celebrate the book launch I headed back out of town to reflect on a fabulous day.

Albury Produce Show 2018

Albury Produce Show 2018

SHOW DAY 2018 – Saturday 21 July 2-5pm

For the second year running Langdon-Hyde Design will have a stall at the Albury Produce Show.

Specialising in hand-painted furniture, scatter cushions, and flag style bunting this year’s stall will also have for sale a select collection of toys and bric-a-brac.

Keeping our fingers crossed for fine weather we look forward to seeing you on the day.

Gazebo Makeover

Now that summer is in full swing I decided it was time for a gazebo makeover. Having endured the Beast from the East, heavy snowfall, and howling gales, the gazebo’s canopy was looking a little worse for wear.

Fortunately, good quality replacements are readily available on-line and, as long as you know what size to order, a brand new cover arrives in no time at all.

Removing the old cover took little effort and whilst the frame was stripped bare I took this opportunity to remove the old decorations and replace with new. 

Using two strings of fairy lights that I bought from Tiger, and two more strings of coloured solar bulbs that I bought from Sainsbury’s Home , I set about illuminating this idyllic garden shelter.

With the new canopy securely in place, swags of orange, purple, green, yellow, and pink miniature lampshades decorated the inner surface, whilst festoons of tiny pastel bulbs lit up the outer edges.

With the lighting complete I wanted to add more volume to the ornamentation.

Inspired by a wedding scene in a recent TV drama I scoured the internet for some paper lanterns. I was delighted to find on Ebay a pack of 12 honeycomb balls in varying sizes and colours that matched my summer scheme perfectly.

Arriving as flat packed semi-circles made of tissue paper and card they were quickly assembled and held together with pre-applied double-sided sticky tape.

What could be easier!

The next step was to hang them inside the canopy. To do this I used varying lengths of strong, virtually invisible fishing line.

I was delighted with the outcome.

Alfresco dining has now reached a new level in our household as, regardless of whether we’re sitting out in the blistering heat of the midday sun or under a cooler, starlit sky, every meal is a celebration.

Happy days!

Taste of Design 2018 Highlights

It’s been a busy week this week. Chelsea Harbour yesterday and Essential Install at Sandown Park earlier today.

As I hurtled back to my office after a series of meetings in Esher I made a last minute decision to drop in for a whistle-stop tour of Taste of Design 2018.  A minor detour enabled me to pull up sharp outside Mercedes Benz World in Weybridge.

Wandering through Reception, I was pleased that I had made time to stop at this stunning venue, if only to admire the super shiny classic cars.

With their bulbous bodies and elongated bonnets they brought movie star glamour to this state of the art showroom.

Dream car

Grey was definitely the colour of the day and this graceful model below even came complete with vintage luggage on the back shelf. Just right for a weekend away.

Silver saloon

Old and new sat side by side in perfect harmony and I could only imagine what it must have felt like to cruise around in these beautifully restored Mercedes Benz.

A real beauty

Having drawled over these blasts from the past I made my way up to the first floor to review the very latest in interiors at the Taste Of Design show.



My first encounter was with Kinkatou of London. Their unusual display of table lamps immediately caught my attention which underlines why they are regarded as pieces of art designed to be ‘The Gem in the Room’.

Table lamps

Next in line was R.E.H. Kennedy, makers of fine furniture. I loved the strong simple lines and finish of this circular mirror and console table.

Hand crafted furniture

Even more so this model racing car perched on top of this unusual geometric cabinet.


I whizzed round the dozen or so stands and noted that the majority were exhibiting new ranges of fabrics and flooring. One or two independent design companies held their own amongst the more established brands in this two day show.


I would have loved to have stayed longer but my charabanc was waiting to whisk me back to the confines of my office.

The Taste of Design roadshow continues through the month of May with three more venues in Bedfordshire, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire, on 22, 23 and 24 respectively.

Dunsborough Park Annual Tulip Festival 2018

For four days in April, Dunsborough Park, a romantic idyll in the heart of Surrey, opened its gardens to the public for its Annual Tulip Festival. I popped along on Saturday the 28th, as this was the last opportunity to see the flowers in all their glory.

Annual tulip festival

Despite the dreary April weather the colours and varieties couldn’t help but lift my spirits.

With bright yellow blooms, named Big Smile, I couldn’t help but raise a grin.

Bright Smile

In the Cutting Garden bed after bed contained densely coloured groups of plants. All with their own name tag so that they were easy to identify.

World’s Favourite

Looking at this mass of red petals with yellow tips (above) it was easy to see why this particular tulip was called World’s Favourite.

Orange Emperor

Orange Emperors and Purple Flags added a regal air to the whole proceedings.

Purple Flag

My favourite, however, was the delicate creamy pink of Sorbet. They looked good enough to eat.


In the Dutch Garden perfectly manicured lawns and immaculately clipped Box hedges showed even more  blooms off to perfection.

Path leading to the Dutch garden

The grey overcast sky did not appear to deter enthusiasts. Some even wrapped themselves in blankets to enjoy a cup of tea and home made cake. On this occasion the refreshments were provided by Ronald McDonald House Charities

Perfect parterre

Issued on entry, and armed with a printed description of the gardens and a list of all the tulips, visitors were well informed as they meandered through the individual “rooms”.

Panoramic view of the Dutch Garden

The Dutch Garden “has a spectacular display of tulips in the Spring and is planted with annuals after the tulip bulbs have been removed, though some beds are reserved for peonies.”

Plant Sales

Inspired by the stunning grounds and magnificent display of around seventy different varieties of tulips I stopped on my way home and bought this lovely bunch from Waitrose.

Soft pastel shades of tulips and apple blossom

Coupled with apple blossom, gathered from my own garden, I decorated our dining table with these soft pastel shades to chase away the grey skies.

Dunsborough Park Gardens will open again on specific dates during the summer months.

For more information visit www.

Easter Garden

The terracotta planters that I filled with bulbs in the autumn provide a colourful display  in our Easter garden.

Tubs overflowing with narcissi provide a cheerful greeting as we step outside the back door.

Combined with these deep blue hyacinths the yellow narcissi add a ray of sunshine to an otherwise wet weekend.

I love the scent of hyacinths. I find it very evocative – a reminder that winter is coming to a close and making way for springtime.

These beauties have been confined to the garden as, delightful as I find their perfume, others find it overpowering in the house.

I couldn’t resist bringing these specimens indoors to add to the silk flowers, candles and bunting in our guest room.

Dorney Court Kitchen Garden

Home grown

Last weekend I was invited to an educational event at the Crocus Gardening School @ Dorney Court Kitchen Garden in Dorney. It was a talk by award-winning garden writer, lecturer & organic gardener, Val Bourne, on Dahlias.

My curiosity was the driving force behind my immediate acceptance as I had heard of Dorney Court when I worked at the studios in Iver Heath, but had never visited. The subject matter also interested me as I have grown Dahlias as cutting flowers since moving to the cottage in 2005. I was keen to listen to Val’s take on this particular topic.

Following the sat nav I took the M25, M4, and A4, to arrive at Dorney Court. The route was congested and dull. I wished that I had followed my instinct and criss-crossed the M25 taking in Wraysbury, Windsor, and Datchet.

Dorney Court Kitchen Garden

On arrival at the Kitchen Garden I made my way through the entrance and into the walled garden. At first I didn’t see any signs for the event so wandered around the plant and pot displays, and the garden beyond. It is a lovely setting.

Walled garden

There was a marquee in one corner, and I noticed on closer inspection, that a handful of people had taken their seats. Tentatively I entered the tent and was immediately confronted by a laptop and screen; this had to be the place.

I took a seat and moments later Val arrived. After a brief introduction she turned to her power point display and the talk began.

Fascinating facts about the history of the Dahlia, once called the Georgina. Originating in South America and falling in and out of fashion, here in the UK it is grown for cutting and for exhibiting. With an ever increasing number of breeds it ranges from the neat symmetrical  “pom-pom” to the flamboyant shaggy “dinner plate”.

Sarah Raven has been instrumental in the current popularity of the Dahlia. Used as a cutting flower she grows them herself and also sells the tubers from her popular website. Gorgeous collections are available with magnificent names such as The Shot Silk Dahlia Collection, The Venetian Dahlia Collection, and The Sublime Dark Dahlia Collection. As she says “one dahlia tuber will produce hundreds of flowers”. What’s not to like?

I must admit attendance at Val’s talk certainly piqued my interest and I came away thinking that with very little effort I could add some new varieties to my allotment and have a cutting garden to die for.

Leaving the Dorney Court estate I chose not to follow the sat nav’s directions to the nearest motorway but instead drove across Dorney meadow and down into Eton village. A short drive from there I passed the Windsor Farm Shop and then on to Runnymede Meadow, where the Magna Carta was sealed by King John in 1215.

Twenty minutes later I was home having enjoyed a far more spectacular return journey.

A perfect end to a perfect day-lia!





The Country Brocante Store

Earlier in the year I was invited to the Country Brocante Fair at the Cowdray Estate but unfortunately due to a prior commitment I was unable to attend. To make up for this missed opportunity I wrote a note to self to visit The Country Brocante Store in Midhurst, West Sussex.

The Country Brocante Store, Midhurst

As summer has drawn to a close I found myself not far from Midhurst and decided to make a small detour to the store. I was not disappointed as it housed a lovely mixture of antique and vintage pieces, lots of pretty textiles and an abundance of decorative arts. 

The store, which opened in April 2016, gives small businesses a permanent and affordable home on the high street.

Whilst browsing I discovered that the next Country Brocante Fair will be held at Daylesford Organic Farm in Gloucestershire on Saturday, September 23rd from 9.30am.

This is one in a series of five fairs that are held across the UK throughout the year. These include the Big Summer and Winter Shows held over two days, which are hosted in prestigious venues such as Petworth Park, the Cowdray Estate and Daylesford Organic Farm.

I have now made a note in my diary to attend the Big Winter Fair which is being held at Cowdray Park on Friday 24th to Saturday 25th November. I am sure this will be the perfect place to purchase some truly unique and exquisite Christmas gifts.

For more details and to purchase tickets visit:


Wisley Flower Show 2017

Wisley’s late Summer Flower Show ran from the 4th – 9th September. For me this was perfect timing as I had booked some annual leave and was able to attend the show with my mum. Herself a lifelong keen gardener, she inspired my sister and I to take an interest in gardening from a very early age.

Late summer flower power

I have very fond memories of the Dahlias and Stocks that filled the borders in the south facing rear garden in late Summer, and the meticulously pruned standard roses at the front of the house.

To this day I love to grow a selection of Dahlias for cutting and bringing them indoors to provide colourful and seasonal displays.


Anyone who follows my musings will know that another of my favourite plants is the Allium. So easy to grow, and so many varieties to choose from, these ornamental blooms add colour and character to borders in the Spring and early Summer.

Red Mohican Allium

I was delighted to find this Red Mohican Allium at the Wisley Flower Show as it is not a variety that I was previously familiar with. I have already earmarked a border where, once planted, I will be able to view it from the kitchen window as Winter gives way to the warmer Spring weather.


For those people who would prefer to relax in the garden I discovered this incredible range of Scandinavian Redwood furniture manufactured by Pepe in Evesham, on the edge of the Cotswolds.

This is not the run of the mill furniture that you would find at your local garden centre as it is only sold at shows like the Wisley Flower Show or direct from the manufacturer. Each piece is designed and built to achieve maximum lumbar support, so not only does it look incredibly stylish, but it is extremely comfortable too.

Pepe Garden Furniture

Saving the best to last I couldn’t resist enhancing the colour in this photograph of these Agapathus to really make the blues and pinks “pop” out from the page. This display by RHS Chatsworth, 2017 Master Grower, was my absolute favourite. The colourful blooms, set on pebbles, in front of the blue and white shed provided a real seaside feel.

Awesome agapanthus

With that thought in mind, we left the show for the return journey to the south coast where my mum resides. All in all, with the assistance of the Wisley team providing easy parking and transportation for those with mobility issues, we had a fabulous day out and will certainly look at returning next year.


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