Posted by the deTerra diarist
five fun facts about Wimbledon (wood isn’t just for natural kitchens)

Fore!

Oh wait, that’s golf.

Out!

There we go.

Y’know, Wimbledon is really a sport we can get behind. And we absolutely definitely don’t say that because of England crashing out of the World Cup in such premature fashion; no – despite our little World Cup blog a few weeks ago -tennis has always been our kind of thing.

I mean, we’re all about the natural, right? Especially in natural kitchens. And what could be more natural than a sport that is played on grass (sometimes) and used to be played with a racket made out of wood and strings of animal intestine?

So, to continue our Wimbledon love-in, we’ve decided to share a few fun facts about this most organic and refined of sports:

  • 1. Wimbledon has been going since 1877 – so it’s 137 years’ old, which is nearly as ancient as ol’ Grandpa deTerra!
  • 2. Forget intestines, Wimbledon gestures toward a sweeter article from the natural world with The Ladies’ Singles Trophy of Wimbledon – which is called the ‘Rosewater Dish’ or ‘Venus Rosewater Dish’.
  • 3. Willie Renshaw, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer hold the record for the most Wimbledon Men’s Singles titles (seven).
  • 4. Two hundred and fifty ball boys and girls are selected for Wimbledon – with an average age of 15.
  • 5. There is a strict dress code for players at Wimbledon: they must wear all-white. Cabineto is hoping that simply painting his door white will be enough…

There you have it – some pretty nifty nuggets of info there. Though in actual fact, we’ve just realised that the most important item was missed off the list: strawberries and cream. Vital accompaniment to any Wimbledon match. Fact.

Ta ta for now,

The deTerra Diarist

 

Posted by the deTerra diarist

Mellow greetings, kitchen critters,

Whilst our range of wood worktops may work wonders for wooden kitchens (phew – what a mouthful), there’s a number of trees out there that simply wouldn’t do when we’re thinking of making a worktop or two.

This crazy Tree - The Dragon Blood Tree

image courtesy of Boris Khvostichenko

The Dragon Blood Tree

In the Indian Ocean are a series of particularly baron islands known as the Socotra Archipelago. There is little known life on these islands; but those things that do grow are often a wee bit out-of-the-ordinary.

The dragon blood tree (Dracaena draco) is unusual for a few reasons: first and most obviously being its appearance. Its trunk is bare, with branches fanning out at the top in a canopy-like fashion. It’s actually more closely related to bamboo than most other trees, and comes from the same family of ‘monocotyledon’ grasses.

Why ‘dragon blood’ then? Well this tree also has some unusual insides, too; pierce the trunk and a bright red sap oozes out. The crimson sap is used as a medicine or a dye by locals, whilst in the Western world it is prized as a red varnish for violins and other stringed instruments

This crazy Tree - Three Kings Kaikomako

image courtesy of ketenewplymouth

Three Kings Kaikomako

This multi-trunked tree may not necessarily look particularly fancy-pants, but it’s actually the rarest known tree in the world – according to the Guinness Book of Records. There’s only a single remaining example of the Kaikomako (Pennantia baylisiana) left in the wilds of Three Kings Island off the northern coast of New Zealand.

Shoots have been cultured from this tree, so there’s now a lot of examples of it found in collections around the world.

I do love an exotic timber but only when sustainable; all of our exotic woods are logged from well-managed forests with established replanting programmes.

This crazy Tree - Rainbow eucalyptus

Rainbow eucalyptus

Known by busy biologists as Eucalyptus deglupta, this Filipino native was first viewed as an elaborate practical joke, but the stunning colours this tree shows off are 100% real – trust me!

As the bark ages, it undergoes various colour changes with hues of purple, blue, green and orange appearing, before eventually turning a more boring shade of brown – at which point it is shed.

Because of the irregularity of shedding, it causes a patchwork of all of these colours at once to give the tree its true rainbow appearance.

This crazy Tree - The Boojum Tree

The Boojum Tree

Venture too far out in to the deserts of Baha, California, and you’ll come across a tree that rather resembles a cactus. Its thick trunks grow into these sinuous shapes thanks to the incredibly soft texture, but despite this the tree has reached heights of 20m.

Spikey, small growths cover the trunk so as to reduce water run-off, which is why the tree is so often confused with a cactus.

The Boojum takes its name from ‘The Hunting of the Snark’ (a nonsense poem by legendary author Lewis Carroll): and the description is most appropriate, given the tree’s unusual nature!

“But if ever I meet with a Boojum, that day,In a moment (of this I am sure), I shall softly and suddenly vanish away – And the notion I cannot endure!”

These crazy Trees - Sculpted Trees

image courtesy of Pooktre

Sculpted Trees

This is a leetle bit of a stretch; because we’re not referring to a singular tree species persay, but rather the creations of a clever group of wood-appreciators. However we felt these trees were too wacky not too include!

From chairs to dancing figures, these sculptures are made in a gradual method of shaping known as ‘pooktre’. This sculpting technique starts not long after the tree is first planted, and directs or splits the trunk in the direction that the pooktre artist desires.

This method of sculpting is fantastically inventive, does not harm the tree and allows it to carry on growing happily long after the design has been fashioned.

Have a gander at the crazy creations that Peter Cook and Becky Northey – the creators of this form of tree-mendous art – display over at their website: Pooktre.com

There’s certainly a plethora of weird and wonderful wood out there, some of which many of us will never get to see up-close. Fortunately you can appreciate our lovely wooden worktops, cabinets and frontals in all their glory without breaking a sweat: just take a road-trip to our sizable showroom in Gloucester!

Ta Ta for now,

The deTerra Diarist.

 

Posted by the deTerra diarist

Wassup, y’all?

You know me: when it comes to wood kitchens I just have to be fashionable. Some have even called me a ‘trendy wendy’, which I’m kinda proud of (and I’m pretty sure that they weren’t joking). So when I learned about a trend that’s gathering steam and set to be key in design for the rest of the year, I just had to share it with you.

Of course, people have been mixing retro with contemporary for ages to create cutting-edge yet homely designs, but this style – named ‘transitional’ – has become more and more popular of late. Construction professional Barbara Biernat discussed this interiors trend in a recent interview, stating that ‘people are giving up the notion of what goes with what and surrounding themselves with things and colours they love.’ She added that “We are seeing more interest in the cleaner, simplified elements of transitional design […]. Removing excess ornamentation, the previous elegant touches of which we have now grown tired, and choosing a few modern accents can implement the change.’

Sound good? Well, I’ve got another bit of great news for you – because achieving the ‘updated classic’ look is actually easy peasy. You could go rustic with beautiful solid wood worktops but modernise with appliances and stainless steel accents, for example; or, complement a run of traditional off-white or cream cabinetry with a stunning statement island – ‘Blue Ground’ or ‘Yellowcake’ from this season’s deTerra ‘Top Picks’ would be perfect for a run of feature kitchen unit doors. Just a few touches could transform your space in to a 2014 trend-setter with timeless flair.

So that’s my latest design tip for a stonkingly good-looking kitchen – I know, I know. I’m a gem. You can thank me later.

Ta ta for now,

The deTerra Diarist

try uber-popular ‘transitional style’ in wood kitchenstry uber-popular ‘transitional style’ in wood kitchens

 

Posted by the deTerra diarist

Hey-diddle-ey!

most brits can’t name 5 tree speciesSo, I’m curious: are you trained in the timber we use for our solid wood kitchens? Do you know your beech from your bamboo, or your walnut from your wenge? It turns out that most adults are barking up the wrong tree (pun intended) when it comes to identifying some of Britain’s most common trees, with just one in 50 able to identify five or more trees in a survey undertaken by Gardener’s World magazine.

I can’t say I’m surprised really – most young’uns spend their time with their nose buried in a smartphone rather experiencing the wonderful wide outdoor world. When I was small, tweeting was something the birds did to wake you in the morning, and a mouse was something your cat would leave on the mat by the back door – how times have changed.

According to the survey, one in ten had no idea that acorns come from an oak tree, fifteen percent were clueless that a conker falls from a horse-chestnut tree, whilst fewer than three quarters could correctly identify that pine cones come from a conifer. Even more worryingly, more than half of those surveyed had no idea that books and paper are made from trees.

Colour me shocked: the lack of love for Britain’s bark has me crying timber tears. Just to convince me that I shouldn’t give up all hope, here’s a little test of the trees – see which leaves from common species you can correctly identify:

most brits can’t name 5 tree species  (hint: sustainable oak is great for solid wood kitchens)most brits can’t name 5 tree species  (hint: sustainable oak is great for solid wood kitchens)most brits can’t name 5 tree species  (hint: sustainable oak is great for solid wood kitchens)

Think you know the answers? Let us know in the comments! Another great way of getting familiar with the gorgeous timbers we sell is to try out a sample or two. They’re a bargain at only £5 including delivery, and if you decide to go on to purchase from deTerra, you’ll get the cost taken off your first order!

Ta ta for now,

The deTerra Diarist

 

Posted by the deTerra diarist

Olá!

we see (football) fields of green, oak kitchens too…
Now, you know us – the only fields we’d like to be in are leafy, green, and surrounded by wonderful trees. There’s nothing we like better than contemplating a bit of woodland and drawing organic inspiration for our own oak kitchens.

However, you’d have to be living on Mars not to know about the other kind of field that’s gripping the world’s attention at the mo: yup, we’re talking about football fields.

I can’t profess to be a soccer sensation, myself, but I have to admit that all this global competition is kind of exciting. There’s the familiar fun of a high school football game, except the players have loads of wonga and the stadiums are way cooler in Brazil.

So, in the spirit of this celebratory time, we’ve put together some fun facts about World Cup Footie: go nuts.

  1. There are eight nations taking part in this year’s World Cup that have won the title previously: Spain, England, Brazil, France, Italy, Germany, Uruguay, and Argentina.
  2. Host country Brazil have won the trophy a record five times.
  3. The caxirola has been named the official ‘noisemaker’ of this year’s cup – even though it’s been banned from all 12 football grounds. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for this maraca-like instrument…
  4. The official slogan of the 2014 World Cup is ‘All in one rhythm’ (translated from the Portugese ‘juntos num so ritmo’).
  5. The player who scored the crucial winning goal in the 2010 World Cup Final was a Spanish player wearing the number 6 and going by the name of ‘Gabinete’. He is a distant relation of our very own Cabineto.

Okay, that last one is a fib… but the other facts are pretty cool! Do you have any others that we should know about? Share your World Cup thoughts with us over the upcoming weeks – we’re always up for a gab on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.

Ta ta for now,

The deTerra Diarist

 

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