Mad About…10 Design Objects for the Garden

July 17, 2013 by

From Mad About…Outdoor Living Rooms. Photo via Lonny.

My friend, journalist Kate Watson-Smyth, launched Mad About the House about 18 months ago. An interiors and design writer for The Financial Times, Kate runs a series on her blog called 365 Objects of Design. Now in its second year, the series finds one unusual or interesting piece for every day of the year. I invited Kate to share ten selections from the garden series:

1. Blooming Bench


I adore this bench. I like its multi-functionality (if that is a word) and the idea of sitting in the garden – before anyone else is up – drinking a cup of coffee as the scent of lavender drifts past is heavenly. Is, in fact, worth the pain of getting up early. Find it here. See Kate’s post.

2. Vertical Herb Garden


Perfect for apartment dwellers who don’t have much outside space, this vertical garden can go both inside or outside. I would have loved to fill a wall of my kitchen with these but somehow ran out of wall space with pesky things like radiators and cupboards and wall lights. They would be great with either herbs or flowers. Find it here. See Kate’s post.

3. Indoor Outdoor Bench


There is something incredibly pleasing about the shape of this bench, which can go either inside or outside–perfect for our rather unpredictable British climate. Outside with a cushion and space for a cup of coffee, or something slightly stronger and colder, or inside in a hallway for a place to sit while you wait for everyone else to get ready. Find it here. See Kate’s post.

4. Festoon Lights


In my last garden, I put up fairy lights, which were pretty and small and twinkly. This time I am feeling bigger and bolder and so I have chosen festoon lights. They also give off a little more light which means that you can see what you’re eating and who you are talking to. Which at my time of life, I feel can only be a good thing. Young people with 20 20 vision–you may stick with the fairy lights for now. Find them here. See Kate’s post.

5. Outdoor Chandeliers


When it came to my favourite outdoor chandelier, I have had to cheat and include two. This one, the Ice Queen, which is fiendishly expensive and requires electricity, has been coated in clear rubber so it’s waterproof too. It comes with a long cable (10m and you can buy extra) so you can run a plug from inside if you don’t have electricity set up in the garden. Find it here.  See Kate’s post.


And this tea light chandelier, which runs off candle power and and is altogether cheaper. All you need is a tree to hang it from (or even a washing line) and a big box of matches. Find it here. See Kate’s post.

6. Raised Planter


Raised beds are perfect for those who have a yard or a balcony, not to mention the elderly and disabled who can’t reach down, or even those who simply can’t be bothered to get up from the deckchair to do the weeding. Find it here. See Kate’s post.

7. Garden Mirror


I love the idea of a mirror in the garden; not only does it bounce the light around but it gives an Alice in Wonderland feel to it, with the hint that there might be a secret world through there. It’s made from acrylic which means that it’s less breakable than a traditional glass mirror although it will slightly distort the reflection. You have been warned. Find it here. See Kate’s Post.

8. Birds on a Wire Clothes Pegs


It’s not the most glamorous of jobs hanging out the washing, but these cute pegs might bring a smile to your face. They may also, and I’ll admit this theory hasn’t been scientifically tested, keep the real birds off your lawn and away from any newly planted grass or flower seeds. Worth a go. Find it here. See Kate’s Post.

9. Wall-Mounted Barbecue


I can’t believe I haven’t seen this before. It takes up less space than a conventional barbecue, you can easily put it away for the winter, choose the height to suit and it’s perfect for small spaces. It’s also a surprisingly good size. Find it here. See Kate’s post.

10. Sylvester Bird Box


This? Because it made me laugh. And, just as I believe that your home should bring a smile to your face when you open the door after a long day at work, so should a garden after all the work you put into it to make it beautiful. Find it here. See Kate’s post.

Editor’s Note: Thank you Kate. I am lusting for that Ice Queen Garden Chandelier. Which of these are your favorites? Comment below to share your thoughts!


  1. Katie said:

    LOVE the bench!

    — July 18, 2013 @ 11:18

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    — July 18, 2013 @ 19:50

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