Teak thrones and a giant pine cone

One of the attractions at Woodfest last October was the Sculpture trail, where I saw a mix of teak root thrones and sculptures. The size of the teak roots were amazing, and roots aren't something you think about, but clearly big trees need big roots.

Teak root thrones would make a great seating nook in your garden

These roots come from felled trees in Indonesia. They're dug out of the ground and then dried, sanded and finished so they're ready to be turned on their end and shaped into unique garden thrones. I was in two minds about them, but they clearly make a big statement in any garden.

Whatever you think of them, the wood is beautiful. Teak is a hardwood and its natural oils make them resilient to the weather, although like any other garden furniture they're best treated to keep them in top condition.

This teak root throne looks equally good from behind
Teak root thrones come in all shapes and sizes (and price ranges too!)

There were many variants of the teak root thrones, the one above which seemed more benchlike was the one that persuaded me of their beauty. In the right spot - and probably a wider garden than we have, I think it'd look stunning.  Just as I was looking at the detail more closely something in the distance caught my eye. I thought it was a giant pine cone, and when I did a double take I saw my eyes weren't deceiving me. 

In the distance I caught my glimpse of the giant pine cone at RHS Wisley during Woodfest

As I moved on I was taken by the beauty of the wood, and wood that as tree roots we don't usually see.

Taking a closer look at one of the teak root thrones during Woodfest at RHS Wisley
The tree roots provide natural shape and interest

There were more sculptures along the way too. This horse was stunning - and I'm not what I'd call a horse person - but standing so close I almost felt as if I could be riding it. 

A horse sculpture in wood

But I'd reached the giant pine cone - or rather, a stack of three giant pine cones. It's quite something isn't it?

A closer look at the three stacked giant pine cones at RHS Wisley

If tree roots or sculptures aren't your thing, then perhaps this glass topped teak dining set might appeal. Peering into the table top gave a great photo opportunity, with the reflection.

It wasn't all teak root thrones, there was also a glass topped table and stools ideal for al fresco dining
And peering into the glass topped table gave a great photo opportunity - look at that reflection

And one more shot before I go. Alongside the giant toadstool was this magical wire fairy. It captured imaginations big and small and I didn't have long to get this shot, so I'm rather pleased with how it turned out.

A fairy and a toadstool captured in black and white to show just how magical it was

At almost seven foot tall this cemented the idea that you can't do garden sculptures on the small side, but when they're this beautiful I'm not sure why you'd want to!


The Butterfly Lovers Pavilion at RHS Wisley, where else?!

This isn't the post I expected to write today, but as I looked through my photos these were the pictures I was drawn to, so here we are. They're from my day at Woodfest with STIHL last October and are just some of the snaps I took as I wandered around the grounds. I've now visited Wisley twice, and I'm pretty sure I still haven seen everything - but that's ok, as it means I'll have to go back.

The first thing that caught my eye was the greying wood, it's not usually my thing, but here it looked as if it was meant to be and gave the impression the pavilion had been in place much longer than 2005, when it was opened. 


And then I looked up and saw the intricate carvings and detail, and I was sold. I knew then that I'd spend time in the pavilion simply soaking up the views and the detail.  


It's on the edge of the lake, which seems entirely right and the water draws you close. It's only then the full view unfurls in front of you, and the sculptures ahead are framed perfectly providing a zen-like view, or at least a view that made my heart sing.  


To the right was lush, and large, gunnera, with its giant sized leaves and strangely dolphin-like stones.  Please don't say that's just me...


The detail was everything, and everywhere. Just look at the pebble and stone floor, not forgetting the darker border, and the direction of the pebbles.


You can see why it's such a calming and tranquil place can't you. I sat, I watched and finally I moved away and took in the view one last time.

And what a view. 


After the calm and tranquility, my eyes settled on these vibrant clusters of colchicums. The contrast couldn't have been more vivid. Nor could I help but be a little envious, in my own garden if I'm lucky I'll have one or two of these, but a much paler variety. 


But each time I spot one of my delicate blooms from now on, I know I'll be reminded of the butterfly lovers pavilion at Wisley. 

And why Wisley, where else?

Well I saw that the butterflies are back at Wisley until March. These butterflies have much more sense though and instead of visiting this pavilion they'll be in the Glass Houses. It's been a couple of years since I visited, but it was a truly magical experience. Clearly not for anyone that's not keen on butterflies, but if you do and if you want a butterfly to land on you, wear bright colours!

There's something about a hotel room isn't there?

The trend for hotels still seems to be dark and moody. And done well it's a very good look for a hotel. Recently we stayed in the Brooklands Hotel in Weybridge and they do the dark and moody look well. Much better than the hotel I stayed in once that did dark so well that I needed to use the torch on my iPhone to check that I'd not left anything in the wardrobe. 

I knew we were in for a treat when I looked up and spotted this sculptural light. 

The lights in the foyer in the Brooklands Hotel in Surrey

And when I say there's something about a hotel room, I mean luxury. And comfort. And often a whopping great big bed. 

Our room at Brooklands hotel in Weybridge

And this room was no different. The fresh linen. The big bed. So big that I managed to lose my phone in the middle of it and neither MOH or I slept on it all night. Bliss. 

A leather shaped headboard on a hotel king-sized bed with plumped up cushions
Brooklands Hotel in Weybridge - a bedside light a leather headboard and now I'm off to bed zzzzz

And there's always a desk isn't there?

Brooklands Hotel Weybridge - there's always a desk in a hotel room isn't there

And often a standard lamp. This one was great and had the look of giant bubble wrap according to MOH. He doesn't get out much, but I can kind of see what he means.

Brooklands Hotel in Weybridge, and a funky standard light too

And the bathroom. That excelled at dark and moody, but also sparkling too. A nice large sink, a huge mirror, toiletries that made me smile. 

Brooklands Hotel in Weybridge, like me do you check out the bathroom too
Brooklands Hotel in Weybridge with Pecksniff's Happy toiletries - which made me smile

And a stunning shower. This I would happily have at home.

Brooklands Hotel in Weybridge - oh what a beautiful shower

It's the excitement isn't it. Of hotel rooms. To see what you've been allocated. To see its decor. To see if that matches up to the style of the public areas. And this one did, and more. 

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* With thanks to STIHL, whose guests we were at the Brooklands Hotel in Surrey.