An Original Christmas Gift

by Kim Moore 6. October 2014 07:41

I hate to mention it, but Christmas isn't that far away and Alex and I have already started to talk about Christmas presents for our boys. As much as I like to ignore it's seasonal pull from a planning point of view, it's time to get festive. With that in mind we have put a new Christmas gift on our website and if I can get really organised I will be emailing all you lovely past customers with some more details. But in case the email doesn't happen, here it is! 

Our newest product is a set of three photographic prints of Wesley Moore's garden tools - he was Alex's grandad. They are classic, vintage pieces that we still use in our garden; a wooden wheelbarrow, galvanised watering can and a Sussex trug. We've shot them on a white background, printed onto a textured matt card and then mounted them on 19mm birch plywood. Each picture is 15cm wide x 10cm high and has a drilled hole in the back for fixing on the wall. They cost £60 which includes postage and come bubble wrapped in a white parcel box.

They're stunningly simple and evoke the charm and peace of a byegone era. Ours are on our kitchen wall, but they'd look great anywhere in the home and although rustic in subject matter, the clean contemporary mounting would suit modern homes too.

We love them and hope you will too.


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christmas | General

Family Fun

by Kim Moore 11. September 2014 08:38

We closed the workshop for the first time this year and took a well earned family holiday and we thought you might be curious what we got up to. Mostly we pottered around France in our old camper van, which Alex got back on the road for us (there were a lot of very late nights to get it ready!). We visited friends near Limoge and then headed to Biarritz for some surfing fun. After a slow drive back up the west coast we returned to England via St Agnes in Cornwall where we joined up with some friends at the World Bellyboarding competition. 

The event celebrates an elderly couple who surfed on the beach well into their 80's without wetsuits and during the same week each year. It showcases vintage fashion and the best of English eccentricity. We had a great time and will definitely go again next year. Here we are at the event, snapped by our friend and talented photographer John Isaac. Apart from being a top chap, John's also a very good surfer and is heavily involved in the surf scene in Cornwall. 

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Latest Garden Product

by Kim Moore 6. May 2014 05:28

We're really pleased to be able to offer a new product this year. It's a decorative garden screen that can be used singly or by hinging two or more together. The screen is ideal for dividing sections of the garden without being blocky and obscuring the view. It's a sculptural piece that looks amazing rising up out of a low border or as a backdrop for planting. It could also be used for a climber although I think it's far too lovely to be covered up!

It will be added to the website in the next couple of weeks but here are a couple of images to tickle your taste buds! It's just £195 for a single panel (you can choose to have the version with circle at the top or the bottom) and £370 for a double panel. The double panel is supplied with a shaped allen key bracket to fix the two tidily together. We're loving the screen, but don't be shy, tell us what you think!








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garden art | sculpture

Featured on Gardeners' World...

by Kim Moore 10. March 2014 08:54

Last Friday was the first episode of this season's Gardeners' World. I didn't see it as hubby and I were out for dinner with friends, but I had several emails over the weekend to say that our arch was featured. So I logged onto the iPlayer to see for myself and there it was!

Joe Swift had visited a bog garden in Fishguard, Pembrokeshire to see how gardener Christina Shand had made the most of the wet conditions. The grounds the garden was in covered a huge area and four of our horn obelisks had been grouped together as a pergoda in a meadow-like space. I'm really pleased to say that Christina and her husband have several of our pieces at their garden. They are well known gardening enthusiasts in their part of Pembrokeshire and open their garden from Easter till September. There is even a cottage to rent in the garden. If anyone is interested in finding out more about them, they have a website


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Garden Arches | Garden Shows | General | Gardeners' World

a freshen up

by Kim Moore 11. February 2014 07:32

It's hard to imagine at the moment, but I'm reliably informed that spring is nearly here. Alex is really chuffed about the lack of snow this year, but like most of the country he's getting a bit tired of the constant rain. There's little joy in cycling through two foot of flood water to reach the workshop everyday. Still we have little to complain about in the grand scheme of things and have been turning our attention to the coming season. We thought it was time we spruced up our image a bit in readiness for the springtime so we persuaded an old friend of Alex's, photographer John Isaacs, to do some new product shots for us.

The plan is to use the images on our website and in new ads we've booked in Country Living magazine. We're also looking at doing some online advertising and the new images are just what we need to create some fresh and hopefully appealing adverts. We had a great time working with John. His day job usually involves fashion models rather than garden arches, but he rose to the challenge. One of our new ads is below and a shot of the lovely John in full flow. Big thanks to him.






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Garden Arches | Garden Obelisk | General

Prices, Deliveries and Sculpture

by admin 9. January 2014 05:41

Most of you know that Moore Designs is really just Alex and me, beavering away at the workshop and trecking round the country to meet customers at our yearly shows. We try to give a really personal service while making the best products possible at the lowest price. But even a small business like ours has to keep an eye on what's going on in the bank, perhaps even more so than big companies that mass produce products. So when our suppliers - steel, delivery companies and galvanisers - put up their prices, it can have a big impact on us. For around the last three years we've maintained our prices and haven't passed increased costs on but we hope you'll appreciate that it's time we put some of our prices up to keep our business viable.

We've other plans for this year too. A move to bigger premises is looming, where the hope is that we'll be able to increase our productivity by taking some people on to help Alex in the workshop. This will help us to get products delivered to you quicker and free Alex up to develop new products. We hope to start a sculpture range soon - watch this space!

Thanks to everyone who bought products from us last year. We really do enjoy meeting you all and hearing how you use our pieces in your gardens. I've attached a picture below that I've just been sent from one of our customers, of our pieces newly placed, waiting for the first signs of spring. We're all waiting aren't we?




Hampton Court

When plant supports become garden art

by admin 21. November 2013 06:55

Winter's truly on the way on our garden and at the workshop. Most of our plants have shed their leaves or died back and the garden's starting to look pretty bare. All that extra space means I've started noticing the lovely shape of our obelisks. Their simple spiral forms are still giving our garden essential height and interest. Our newest pieces, the Family Figures take this interest to a totally new level. Their sculptural forms, planted or not are garden art at their most pure and I'm really looking forward to seeing them rising from the winter's mist, sparkling with frost or wrapped in the first snow.

Our garden spheres make beautiful garden art art throughout the year, but for me it's the winter when they really make their mark as this customer's photo shows. If you've any winter photos send them in. We'd love to see how our work is brightening up the colder months.




sculpture | garden art

Seed Bombs

by Kim Moore 26. April 2013 05:23

We’ve got a guest writer for this post. Thanks to them for some inspirational writing and ideas…

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“It was my brother who started the whole thing off. Cycling to work instead of travelling by van he began to enjoy the lovely Sussex landscape at a more leisurely pace. However it was the neglected, bare verges and a dull, large roundabout on his route that caught his eye and prompted his request for some ‘seed bombs’. These are small capsules of soil and seed that he wanted to launch as he rode past with the aim that they would green-up his view on the way to work and provide flowers for bees and butterflies. Having always been keen on the idea of ‘guerilla gardening’ and with three young sons that are heavily into weaponry of any kind, especially the type that involves mud, I was only too happy to assist.

‘Green Guerillas’ (started by Liz Christy in the US, and now worldwide, are a group of anonymous individuals who set about transforming neglected public spaces with plants but without permission), first listed recipes for seed bombs back in the 1970’s. These were made from balloons or old Christmas baubles filled with seed, fertiliser and water ready to be thrown onto inaccessible sites giving the seed the best chance to germinate and flourish. Modern versions are more eco-friendly but just as ingenious, some use blown egg-shells as the carrier others are launched from seed guns or rockets. I opted for the low-tech, mud-ball version, but for anyone who wants to stay clean and still have a go you can even buy ready-made, grenade-shaped bombs ( - but where’s the fun in that!

Having rifled through my seeds I found some quick-growing annuals that bees will love; poppies, calendula and cornflowers. I borrowed a few spadefuls of heavy clay soil from a neighbour as mine is too sandy and the bombs need this to stick together. First step was to break the clay up, removing any stones and small twigs, add compost (about 1:3) to lighten the texture, then just enough water to make a dough the consistency of pastry and pinch off small handfuls to roll into golf-ball sized bombs. To add larger seeds such as calendula make a hole with the end of a pencil, drop in a few and re-seal . As poppy seeds are tiny, we rolled these firmly into the surface or they can be mixed in before adding the water. The seed bombs are then dried out till you’re ready to use them so they develop a nice hard coat and don’t break up when they hit the ground. Left in ideal conditions our bombs showed signs of germination in five days.

Whatever your weapon of choice, before you launch there is a general seed bombing code of conduct; always use seed from wildflowers indigenous to your area, don’t throw onto private property as this may legally be considered an act of vandalism or onto farmland and don’t make your bombs from anything that won’t decompose rapidly. To improve success choose fast-germinating annuals and target bare soil with a forecast of rain ahead.

My boys loved the whole process of making seed bombs and I’ll repeat it with the school garden club to green up an area in the grounds. Although I’m not sure how successful this method is as you’re direct sowing and leaving nature to her own devices, it’s still a fun way of spreading the eco-word. I’ve handed our prototype bombs over to my cyclist brother and will keep you posted with news. If you fancy a bit of guerrilla gardening yourself read Richards Reynolds on Guerilla Gardening: A handbook for gardening without boundaries.”

The writer, her brother and her three sons wish to remain anonymous.......


My Dairy Godmother

by Kim Moore 25. March 2013 05:37

Having just finished the Country Living Spring Show I'm left with several over riding memories. One is of how lovely my fellow exhibitors were, watching each others stands, collecting refreshments and generally keeping each others spirits up throughout the days. Another is of all the positive feedback I received on our products and the stand overall. Thank you to everyone for the useful and appreciative comments. Some people were discovering us for the first time and others were old customers searching us out to say how much they loved what they've bought from us and how lovely they look in their gardens. It was all good to hear! The lovely people at 21st Century Village wrote a great piece about us for their blog on the show too. Have a read and see if you agree with what they say.

But my favourite memory of Country Living 2013 is of my Dairy Godmother, the kind hearter stranger who gifted me a delicious bar of organic chocolate after hearing that I was alone on the stand for the day and in need of 'a pick me up'. Aren't people kind! Thank you again and to all the people who braved the arctic weather to visit us in Islington.

Our next show is for St Catherine's Hospice, The New Horizons Garden and Local Produce Fair in Billingshurst, West Sussex on Thursday 16th May. Join us if you can in raising money for this special charity. Till then!

Kim and Alex



Michelle Obama's American Grown

by Kim Moore 11. March 2013 08:38

As an organiser of a school garden club I was really keen to read this book - American Grown, The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America by Michell Obama. The book chronicles how Michelle Obama got on when she invited a load of school children to help her with her kitchen garden project at the White House. She started the project in 2009 because of her concerns as a mother with the current rises in childhood obesity and health problems due to poor diet and sedentary lifestyles. She decided to help by encouraging local school children to come and help plant, tend harvest and eat the spoils of a vegetable garden in her back garden. She doesn't do it all by herself of course (and doesn't claim to) the National Park Department (a charity who receive all proceeds from this book) look after the garden and are helped by volunteers from the White House staff and the White House chefs who use the harvest in the kitchen for both everyday fayre and state banquets.

The book tells the story of this garden through the successes and failures, but it also tells of the community it creates. Throughout the book this theme continues with short histories of other community gardens set up throughout the states to encourage people to grow vegetables. Many of these have started as a result of 'food desert or food insecure communities' which describe areas where there are no convenient shops selling fresh produce and poor families struggle to source healthy food for their children. These are organised by some very inspirational individuals and give rise to not just healthy food, but also the benefits of bonding a community.

What comes across in this book is Michelle Obama's enthusiasm and the level of importance she gives this topic and with good cause as there are some terrifying stats listed; approximately one in three children in the US are overweight, health problems usually associated with adults are now being seen in children as young as three and even the army has seen a marked decrease in fitness levels of new cadets.

This isn't a 'how to grow', but more of a 'why to grow' vegetables book and leaves you in no doubt as to the health benefits for individual and communities. It has left me inspired for my small school garden club and also makes me realise how lucky I am to have the space and know how to grow my own.

Rebekah Panayides (writer, horticulturalist and sister to Alex)


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