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Record Artwork at GBC Livingston

25 July 2017

Record Artwork

If you're looking for a novel way to brighten up a garden room, how about making use of some of those old vinyls you've got stuffed away in the attic. Lets face it, the day is never going to come when Kylie's "Locomotion" will need to be played! Lizzie at our Livingston branch has put together this very quick guide on how you can acheive this stylish result! The Nordic Guernsey at Livingston received this treatment recently and we think it looks great!

Items you will needWhat you'll need:

  • Kettle
  • Silicone heat resistant/oven glove
  • Washing up basin or sink
  • Cup or small bowl (preferably one with a small base)
  • Vinyl records, singles or LP’s



How to do it:

Record bends with the heatStep 1:
I've given my vinyl’s a little clean (please don’t judge my taste in music as mine were acquired from a skip!)

Step 2:
Pop the kettle on…maybe make yourself a wee cuppa while you’re at it!

Step 3:
Place the mug or bowl upside down in the basin and position the record centred on top. Pop your glove on too at this stage as we don’t want any blistered fingers!!

Step 4:
Pour the boiling water over the record until it starts to soften.

Step 5:
Quickly place the palm of your hand on the centre and use your fingers to create the waves. Steps 3 & 4 may take a little practice but practice makes perfect…right?

Step 6:
Leave to dry and there you have it!

For something a little different why not use them as party food bowls, they’re ideal for crisps and nuts.

Used as a snack bowl


Posted by Matt Cook

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Robinsons Radley makes a big impact at Wilmslow display centre

19 June 2017

This stunning 25ft x 10ft Robinsons Radley has recently been installed at our Wilmslow display centre, 'wow'-ing customers and garden centre staff alike!

Robinsons Radley greenhouse on display at Wilmslow display centre

The Radley greenhouse is a fairly recent addition to the Robinsons portfolio (introduced in 2017) and is available in a range of colours and sizes. The front porch area is a real feature of this building, giving it is distinctive appearance and separating it from other greenhouse models.

This 9'7 x 24'11 model is on display in a pastel sage finish and the entire build took 4 days to complete, for two experienced fitters.

The Radley is just one of many quality greenhouses on display at this location.

Posted by Matthew Cook

Come and see us at BBC Gardeners' World Live 2017!

15 June 2017

GBC and Nordic at the NECFor the second year running, GBC are working with Nordic Garden Buildings to display a range of uPVC summerhouses and garden offices at the Gardeners' World Live show.


This year, we are displaying two of the very popular Madison Corner buildings. These have proved a massive success with our customers during 2017 as we're looking forward to sharing it with the audiences of the show.


Also on display are the Manhattan garden office and Evia pavilion. Both buildings are incredibly furnished and look fantastic on the NEC show floor! We'd love to show you these buildings in person, so if you're attending the show, be sure to come and see us at stand G285.

GBC and Nordic display stand

Nordic display stand at Gardeners World Live

The BBC Gardeners' World Live show is a fun-filled weekend for all of the family in Birmingham. Learn from experts and indulge your passion for gardening at the NEC from 15-18 July.

Gardeners World Live 2017



Posted by Matt Cook

How to grow the perfect sunflower

17 May 2017

We recently asked a couple of our green-fingered staff (Steve and Rob from our Chesterfield branch) for some advice on how to grow the perfect sunflower. Here's what they had to say...


The Perfect Sunflower

First of all, decide which type of sunflower will suit your garden. Not all sunflowers are giants, some are quite dainty, reaching no more than a couple of feet tall. Not all sunflowers are yellow, there are varieties which bear a deep red flower.

Having decided to grow for height and display, or something to suit the garden scheme, the initial step is to select the right seeds. Here’s where quality counts. Some folk swear by harvesting their own seeds from last year’s successes, but these can have variable results. For the sake of a few pounds it’s worth investing in fresh seeds from a recognised source.

The next step is to sow the seed. Again, don’t be tempted to scrimp by using last year’s compost, or any old garden soil. Commercial potting compost is formulated with nutrients and feed for seedlings and young plants. Water the compost, and wait for those seedlings to appear!


One of the secrets to growing large, healthy plants is to “pot on” young plants. Move them on into bigger pots as soon as roots can be seen at the bottom of whatever pot they are in. Bigger pot equals more compost, equals more feed, equals more water available. Never let your sunflowers dry out – look out for wilting leaves. Be aware that it’s a long way up a tall stalk to nourish the growing tip of a sunflower!

Protection from extremities of the weather is ideal. If you can keep sunflowers in a sheltered spot, preferably a greenhouse, until placing them in their position of glory, all the better. If this isn’t possible, then ensure that the plants are firmly staked with a tall enough bamboo cane to prevent wind damage.

Sunflowers can, of course, be grown in the garden soil directly where you want them to flower. The potential drawbacks to this approach are weather problems, soil issues, garden pests, and quite often damage from pets!

Whichever way you choose to grow your sunflowers, we hope you get as much pleasure out of them as we do!

Posted by Matthew Cook

Does a Log Cabin make a great photo studio?

05 May 2017

Log Cabins have long been used as summerhouses and garden rooms. Double glazed with optional floor and roof insulation, means these buildings can be used all year round. Our customers have found many uses for them, and none more so than a recent customer who ordered through our Huntingdon branch.

Daniel, who runs and owns Iceworks Photography (Facebook - @iceworksphotography) has been looking for a home studio to expand his business, and he opted for a 20ft x 13ft Raseborg Log Cabin. The Raseborg is under 2.5m in height - which is generally great for UK planning regulations.

Log Cabin Install 1

Log Cabin Install 2

As you can see, the installation went smoothly and soon he will be able to offer family portraits, fashion and modelling shoots and many more services. What a great place to work!

Posted by Matt Jordan

Finding a quiet corner in your garden

27 April 2017

One of our customers recently got in touch to share some images of their new Malvern Studio Corner garden building. I think we can all agree that the landscaping job looks great - it seems like such a great place to spend a summer afternoon! The Studio Corner Pent provides shelter from the colder evenings and plenty of light throughout the day. I can just imagine what it would be like to be working in there this summer!

Malvern Corner Studio in a garden setting

Landscaped customer garden

Malvern Corner Studio Pent in a garden setting

Posted by Matt Cook

[VIDEO] Watch a Nordic summerhouse installed

16 March 2017

Watch our brand new Nordic Melbourne Pavilion installed at our Hagley display centre. 

All of our Nordic garden buildings are installed as standard! 
A team of expert fitters will install the majority of buildings in a day, but some of the larger models and sizes can take a little longer.All they require is a firm and level base to install - such as a concrete paving slab base, as seen in the video.

But why else invest in a PVCu garden building? Apart from a quick installation?

Firstly they are maintenance free, just the occasional clean will have your building looking as new as first bought.

You can work from home - save yourself time and money spent on rent or travel by working in the comforts of your own garden!

Wine and dine with your friends and family - Nordic have long been promoting the benefits of 'Hygge' and the scandinavian term describes a feeling of contentment and well-being - what better way than surrounding yourself in the open view of nature.

With it's all important thermal benefits, you can even start growing some exotic fruit and plants. Nordic's PVCu greenhouses and orangeries offer the perfect environment.


Posted by Matt Jordan

Brand new Nordic models installed at GBC Livingston

11 November 2016

GBC Livingston have been the first GBC display centre to recieve the brand new Nordic Manhattan and Nordic Madison garden buildings. Here's what our staff member (James) had to say about it: 

The Nordic installers arrived on Monday morning to build all of our new Nordic buildings. They made great progress as usual, despite the very Nordic weather they brought with them! They finished the stunning new "Manhattan" model within the day! This model is 12' x 8' and is one of the best garden buildings I have seen. The quality, fit and finish is perfect, as with the rest of the Nordic buildings. It's an amazing structure!

GBC Livingston - Nordic Manhattan garden building display

Later in the week, the Madison model was installed. 

The new Nordic Madison corner building has been finished here at Livingston and it's a stunner! There is so much light and with those huge doors it's a very airy building. It's something different to our range. Brilliant!


GBC Livingston - Nordic Madison garden building display


Posted by Matt Cook

Export success wins Queen's Award for Trimetals

07 November 2016

Export success wins Queen's Award for Trimetals



Trimetals Managing Director Garry Smith with the Dorset based company’s top selling Bicycle Store product. “Pedalling” their wares overseas with significant success has just won Trimetals the Queen’s Award for International Trade.


The impressive export achievements of Trimetals have been recognised in this year’s Queen’s Awards for Enterprise.

The Dorset based specialist metal storage manufacturer receives the prestigious Queen’s Award for International Trade having demonstrated significant and sustained growth in global markets.

Already Europe’s leading manufacturer of quality metal garden storage buildings, Trimetals has focussed on worldwide expansion to deliver international sales growth averaging 33% per annum and totalling 283% over the last six years. Overseas trade now accounts for 18% of the company’s revenue.

Speaking about the accolade, Trimetals Managing Director Garry Smith said: “Like the many dedicated gardeners that choose our storage solutions, we’re delighted that our hard work has resulted in vigorous new growth and blossoming results. However that metaphor only touches on one aspect of our business and we’re incredibly proud to receive the Queen’s Award for International Trade across all our products.”

Alongside its established metal garden sheds and storage units for lawnmowers, tools and patio furniture, Trimetals is also renowned for the durability and security provided by its ranges of bicycle and motorcycle storage for domestic users. Trimetals products are also utilised by numerous companies and organisations such as landscapers, golf and football clubs and schools.

This Queen’s Award is the second royal badge of honour for Trimetals, with its products having recently achieved status as the only metal sheds and garden storage approved by the Royal Horticultural Society.

Posted by Matthew Cook

Ten Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Greenhouse This Winter

26 September 2016

Why use your greenhouse in just spring and summer?

With these 10 tips you can use your greenhouse to store, protect and even grow throughout the winter months!

1) Preparation and Cleaning

Make sure your greenhouse is in good condition and ready for winter. Tidy away any plants that have gone over and harvest the last of your crops. You will want to remove any hidden pests, mildew, fungus and mites that have built up over the summer season. We have a fantastic range of disease and pest control products that will clear all of these quickly and safely. Throughout winter and autumn, leaves and debris can fill your greenhouse guttering, causing blockages or tainting the water in your water barrels. Try using our handy hose attachments, designed specifically for greenhouse and gutter cleaning.

2) Secure and Fix

With blustery winter weather on its way, now is the perfect time to make sure your greenhouse is safe and secure. Make sure you still have all of your glazing clips in place. Check your nuts and bolts and make sure your greenhouse door wheels are moving smoothly. We have a selection of greenhouse spares including wire, spring and Z clips, door wheels, nuts and bolts should you need to make repairs or re-strengthen your greenhouse.

3) Insulate your greenhouse

For over wintering and growing during the winter months add insulation to your greenhouse. Greenhouses lose most of their heat through small gaps within the structure. By adding a simple layer of insulation such as our Heatsheets, you will retain heat whilst keeping your plants frost free. Heatsheets can be used in either timber or aluminium greenhouses by choosing either Wood Pins or Super Alliplugs to hold your Heatsheets in place.

4) Greenhouse Heating

By adding a heater to your greenhouse you can be sure that your plants, seeds and bulbs will stay frost free and warm this winter. Choose from either electric, gas or paraffin heaters - each are safe and easy to use. Your greenhouse heater will not only protect established plants to bring out next spring, they will also let you grow vegetables such as cabbage, radishes, beets and spinach, even flowers such as Pansy, Freesias, Azaleas right through the winter month's!!!

Aluminium greenhouse and patio set in garden

5) Thermostats and Thermometers

When over-wintering plants you will want to be sure that your greenhouse or coldframe is the best environment to keep your plants healthy. By using one of our thermostats or thermometers you will be able to monitor the humidity and temperature around your plants, cuttings, seedlings and plugs.

6) Staging and Shelving

Find a sturdy work and storage space! To make over-wintering your plants slightly easier, why not move your pots inside your greenhouse? By adding some strong robust staging, you will be able to fit more pots in rather than just using the floor space. Shelving can also be a useful addition to your greenhouse, creating a space for tools, pots, plant feed and thermometers. Our staging and shelving is available in both timber and aluminium and you can choose from a wide range of sizes specifically chosen to fit all greenhouse sizes.

7) Seed Tray Racks

Whilst you're preparing spaces for your pots and plants, you may also want to think about adding an area for you to plant some seeds. It may sound strange to even consider planting seeds during the winter months but with a heater, there is no reason why you can't keep growing all year round. Winter veg and certain flowers will grow happily inside a heated greenhouse. Your seed tray racking will also be ready and in place for you to start sewing your seeds ready for early spring.

8) Irrigation for your greenhouse 

During the quieter winter months why not plan your irrigation system. By planning your irrigation system now, your greenhouse will be ready for spring without having to re-arrange your greenhouse, when it's at its busiest. If you have a heated greenhouse, you may also want to install your irrigation system, as it will not be damaged by frost.

9) Propagation

Instead of buying expensive plants in the spring add a propagator to your greenhouse this winter. These handy and compact units are perfect for use during late autumn and winter. They are great for propagating cuttings from woodier plants such as vines, shrubs, trees and groundcover plants. In fact, they are a great tool to use all year round as they will be a great place to start off your spring seeds. You can also use during the summer for perennial cuttings and herbs.

10) Stocking up for spring

Whilst clearing out your greenhouse this autumn, make a list of all of the things that you will need to replace. You will not want to step in to your greenhouse next spring and have nothing to hand! Most people find that their pots, seed and shuttle trays need replacing. Think about oiling, repairing or replacing tools such as pruners, loppers, shears and secateurs.


We have a whole range of greenhouse accessories available right here on our website to help you - click here to take a look at the range

Posted by Matthew Cook