Classics at Hill House Nursery

Classics is a stylish, interesting and varied collection of unique second hand and often rare vintage items for your garden. Displayed and sold at Hill House Nursery in Landscove, Classics is a new feature at the nursery and is proving very popular with not only gardeners, but anyone with an interest in Classic, well made, timeless pieces.

Hill House has been described as "magical" "amazing" "dream-like" and "special" by many people as it perfectly combines the opportunity to buy beautiful brilliantly grown plants from enthusiastic interesting people, try tasty treats from an award winning tea room, lounge and dream away an afternoon in an idyllic setting, watch languid and intriguing gold fish, mooch around old greenhouses filled with exotic inspiration and now take your pick from the Classics collection to inspire perhaps a new planting scheme or create an interesting or quirky feature in the garden.

The Classics collection is sourced from the UK and France.

"Hunting for pieces to sell at Hill House is an adventure in itself. Trying to find classic items that have been lost to secret places and that you can't just go in to a garden centre and buy is what makes the Classic collection original and special.  We're always in treasure hunting mode and our collection is sourced from the obvious to the most unlikely places; from auctions to hidden homes in France. Hunting for junk isn't as glamorous as it sounds but getting to work in the outdoors often and wear your wellies is fun and varied."

The Classics collection offers all kinds of inspiration for a finished garden scheme. Our riveted galvanised tanks are often used to display topiary and olive trees and some of the more unusual shaped tanks have been used to display standard roses or viburnums. The galvanised tanks look striking standing alone at the front of a property or even incorporated in a herbaceous planting scheme.  Our galvanised tubs and baths can be planted with annuals or bedding plants and often  our customers have used the zinc colouring and patina to enhance their planting schemes. Euphorbias and lavender look extra special in our galvanised pieces as well as ferns and geraniums.

This year, our French galvanised circular tubs and containers have been very popular. They are a flexible addition to any garden, courtyard or balcony. Often bought just for their elegance, customers soon find a use for them. There has been a particular interest in using our containers for marginal plants such as irises or marsh marigolds and some people have also been inspired to turn the containers in to gazing ponds.  Hill House is inspirational and normally visitors come and buy their plants and pieces from Classics leaving with the idea of a new project for their plot.

Enormous French coppers are a brilliant way to add aged but solid features in to the garden and often people who just want the old beautiful item will buy it to store water. Why have a plastic butt when you can have a beautifully aged one?!

Dressing the garden is important to people too and customers this year have been very keen on our original French wheelbarrows. Known as Brouettes in France, these wheelbarrows are strong and stylish with detachable sides. Historically they would not only have been used for gardening but also for transporting the washing to various 'lavoirs' or wash houses along the rivers in France.  Customers have bought our wheelbarrows for a variety of features including a spring display at the base of a tree with high sentimental value, for a centrepiece in a wedding garden, for using as it was intended but also just for prettying up a courtyard. They are lovingly built with stylish detail and excellent craftsmanship. 

French pieces are undoubtedly popular in the garden and Classics prides itself on being able to bring French style to Devon without the Southeast price tag. Particularly popular are our patio sets or "Salon de jardin". Made in fine ironwork with tabletops that conveniently detach from the base for easy moving, often muted French paintwork in attractive pastel colours, these patio sets can stay in the garden all year round. The designs reflect the fluid nature of planting and are an attractive feature in themselves. Cafe or bistro chairs and tables are very popular; providing neat and stylish seating evocative of warm evenings and long cafe lunches, people love to have a couple of casual chairs in a favourite corner.  Vintage deckchairs have been making a comeback this year and people have been relishing the chance to buy chairs with original canvases that have fantastic muted stripes hard to find in modern equivalents.

The Classics collection is not without its quirky items and often we (Dena & Tim) think we're being adventurous and a bit risky but sometimes these kinds of items won't stay around for long.  Old amphoras, granite and sandstone troughs, vintage garden tools, birdbaths, beautiful galvanised watering cans, unusually patterned terracotta pots and cast iron wall planters are all classic and timeless pieces that will always be bought but birdcages, fireman's buckets and galvanised bread crates are among some of the unusual pieces that have inspired people to invent an unusual planter or feature.

Devon invariably inspires gardeners to plant coastal themes and Classics have sold many zinc fishing floats to enhance grass beds and sedum features. Luckily, Classics have been able to source exceptionally special pieces from the Plymouth Naval docks and some of the most popular features have been interesting sections of the old naval docks that have been sculpted by the sea, some still with the mussel shells imbedded. Enormous naval dock rings went like Hill House hot cakes and were bought just to have in the garden for nostalgia and fascination.  Classics have also sold boats for the garden and currently have a metal boat with great patina. Settled on a gravel bed with grasses and driftwood; these boat features look brilliant in a coastal garden and are certainly realistic when plants people like the ones at Hill House can help you chooses plants that enhance the feature and will survive the salty air.

All of the items in the classics collection are unique and individually sourced so the displays at Hill House are constantly changing.  Dena & Tim are able to source specific items but clients have to sometimes be flexible with exact measurements and styles. There isn't a magic factory we visit and normally if customers are prepared to be patient they end up with something special and unique that they are proud to have in their garden. Lots of customers just give us a wish list that we carry around with us whilst we're on the hunt.  Sometimes after getting to know customers and the themes we're interested in we find something unusual and approach them just on the off chance. Sending photos of giant cart wheels and vintage garden benches with unusual features from France is a more regular occurrence than you might think!

Classics are always thinking about the next interesting feature but never ignore the traditional and timeless. Their pieces act in harmony with a garden because they are predominantly well made, long lasting, carefully designed, more often than not useful and beautiful old things that can bring pleasure just by being. Hill House Nursery has the variety and abundance of plants and inspiration to bring any of Classics' items alive in any idea for your special outdoor space.

Classics is now developing a homeware range that can currently bought at The Deli at Dartmouth and Mangetout Deli, Kingsbridge.  These delis are currently stocking Classic items that make lovely additions to the home.  French bottle panniers, vintage enamel coffee pots, original French coffee grinders, 18th century clotted cream pans, vintage scales and copper pieces are all on sale.

Classics is owned and run by Dena Bex and Tim Pike. It currently has a very informative and up to date Facebook page: Classics at Hill House Nursery and an instagram account and is currently developing a website which will show all of its stock and give an enquiry facility for purchasing items.

Dena & Tim can be contacted via email: 07838460899/07546 051075 or via Hill House Nursery.
Hill House Nursery is open every day every day from 11am to 5pm with the amazing tea room open from the end of February until 30th September.  It is open every Sunday and every Bank Holiday except Christmas.

Hill House Nursery 01803 762273




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