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Posted by the deTerra diarist
Melbourne Urban Forest Visual

Melbourne Urban Forest Visual

Timber-tastic Greetings,

I’ve been one very proud deTerra Diarist in recent months, as I get to read through so many fantastic customer reviews, but I can’t help but feel a little jealous today having heard of the love that trees in Melbourne are getting, thanks to an ingenious scheme set up by the city council.

The city is home to tens of thousands of trees, 70,000 of which have been given a special ID number, short biography and a personalised email address. The addresses were intended to allow Australians to report problems with the trees, but have instead had their inboxes swamped with messages of love from tree appreciators around the world.

Letters are reported to have been sent from as far afield as Russia, Singapore, Brazil, Denmark and Hong Kong – even though many of these fans may not have ever visited the city. Although some of the messages are a little more bizarre or inquisitive, the vast majority are declaring their love and respect for these natural giants.

One letter, sent in February, read:

“Thank you for giving us oxygen. Thank you for being so pretty. I don’t know where I’d be without you to extract my carbon dioxide.”

Another wrote to one of the city’s golden elms in May, saying:

“Dear 1037148. You deserve to be known by more than a number.

I love you, always and forever.”

Some messages were seemingly seeking more specific answers, such as one correspondent, who asked one tree whether trees “have genders”. Fortunately the willow leaf peppermint in question was able to provide an informative response, stating:

“I am not a Mr or a Mrs, as I have what’s called perfect flowers that include both genders in my flower structure, the term for this is Monoicous. Some tree species have only male or female flowers on individual plants and therefore do have genders, the term for this is Dioecious.”

You can view the map or even find a tree to write a love letter to yourself by visiting www.melbourneurbanforestvisual.com.au.

Arboreal experts from the city council estimate that four in ten of Melbourne’s trees may be lost in the next twenty years due to old age, though fortunately the city has a plan to mitigate the decline and keep the city green by planting more than 12,000 new trees.

If you fancy making our day by writing a love letter about one of our solid wood kitchens, we would love to hear from you! Why not send us a message on our Facebook page, Tweet us, or leave us a note on our Google + page?

Ta ta for now,

The deTerra Diarist.


Posted by the deTerra diarist
messy cutlery drawers in wooden kitchens? not on our watch

How-do kitchen collective,

After spending your hard-earned money on a sparkling new kitchen, there’s nothing worse than watching its slow descent into a messy collection of cutlery, crockery and other kitchen implements.

There are a variety of accessories available to help keep your kitchen organised and looking totally awesome; one such accessory is our range of solid wood cutlery drawer trays.

Crafted by our precise CNC machine before being finished by hand (and manufactured from the same high-quality timber that is used in our wooden worktops), our cutlery trays are available in a range of sizes – from those that would suit narrow 310mm drawers, all the way up to 910mm wide. As well as cutting the smooth recesses into the timber block, our CNC machine also engraves each section to denote which type of cutlery the tray is intended for.

Our standard range of cutlery tray inserts includes solid oak and beech, or the more exotic alternatives of iroko or American walnut. If you are looking for a cutlery tray in any of the other types of wood available in our range, they may be available by special request.

Our cutlery trays are provided without any treatment applied, so we recommend covering them with a few coats of Rustins Danish Oil, lacquer, or paint to match your kitchen cabinets.

These trays are a perfect finishing touch for all wooden kitchens, and will help make them even more unique, as – thanks to wood’s natural qualities – no two cutlery trays are exactly alike.

Ta ta for now,

The deTerra Diarist.


Posted by the deTerra diarist

Good day fellow tree worshippers,

When is a tree not a tree? When it is a church, of course!

A strange start to today’s diary entry, I think you’ll agree. I refer to an incredible project undertaken four years ago by a New Zealand man named Barry Cox, who decided to create his very own church in his garden.

Unlike the construction of most other churches, he shunned brick and mortar and chose to grow the church from the ground up using a combination of copper sheen and cut leaf alder trees, trained onto an iron frame to create the defined pagan shape.

It all started with a nonchalant idea: “I walked out my back door one day and thought, ‘That space needs a church’ – and so it began,” Cox told Stuff.co.nz.

Now that the church has grown to maturity, the trees provide a thick enough blanket to create a defined shape, whilst still remaining sparse enough for sun to seep in through the canopy. Cox says that the church seats 100 people and can be used for private events, or by visitors for picnics, with admission costing $10 NZD.

The three acres of lush gardens also includes a labyrinth walk and a unique shaded area constructed from the cargo parachute of an old military plane; Cox clearly likes to create unique areas in the beautiful sprawling garden, located in Ohaupo, near Hamilton on the north island of New Zealand.

If you happen to be on that side of the world, you can find out more about the Tree Church and gardens by visiting Barry’s website: www.treechurch.co.nz.

I can’t imagine I’ll be visiting any time soon, but I might start looking into the feasibility of planting a garden of oak kitchens for deTerra’s next product range, what do you reckon?

If you’ve come across any unusual projects that involve trees or wood, I’d love to hear about them, and maybe even feature them on a future blog. You can get in touch by leaving us a message on our Facebook, Twitter or Google+ pages.

Ta ta for now,

The deTerra Diarist


Posted by the deTerra diarist

Timberrific greetings!

timber skyscrapers of the future inspired by our eco-friendly wood kitchens?

In our ever expanding cities and incredible cloud-clinging skyscrapers, millions of square metres of concrete, steel and other irreplaceable materials are poured. Despite the vast swathes of glass and ever more impressive designs, the construction of these tall buildings hasn’t changed an awful lot since they first popped up in New York and Chicago during the 19th century.

Before this boom, the tallest buildings were made out of wood, though the primitive understanding of timber meant that they were limited to only a few floors. A new set of proposals looks set to bring this construction material firmly back into fashion in a new and exciting way: the plans moot the creation of a Paris skyscraper called Baobab, which will be supported entirely from timber stretching 35 storeys into the air. The new building would be more than three times taller than the world’s current tallest timber building – a ten-storey set of apartments in Melbourne – and the UK’s tallest: the nine-story Stadthaus apartments in Hoxton.

Other wooden towers with more than 30 floors are also planned for Stockholm, Vancouver and Vienna; combined, these will help to fuel a new boom in buildings built largely out of this far more environmentally-friendly material.

Unlike our wood kitchens, these monumental timber constructions would not be constructed entirely out of solid wood material; instead, ‘mass wood’ techniques would be used to create vast solid timber panels that can support buildings to a far greater height than ordinary wood.

The current drive for sustainability concentrates largely on reducing the energy used when operating the finished building, such as heating, cooling and lighting. These new timber buildings aim to instead act as a “carbon sink”, reducing greatly the overall carbon emissions that are emitted by the construction of new buildings.

Vancouver architect Michael Green (who is behind plans for the Baobab development), believes we need to better manage the cycle of trees absorbing and releasing CO2 (when burnt or decomposing), by harvesting trees early in their life and using the timber to create the mass wood products required to build our cities. This, he says, would “capture carbon within our buildings, whilst creating a greater economic demand for wood, leading to more trees being planted, and more CO2 absorbed”.

Green suggests that a building the size of the Baobab would store an estimated 3,700 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide, and once the structure reaches the end of its working life, it could be disassembled and turned into a completely new building, rather than being demolished and scrapped.

Although a 35-storey timber building may sound tall, Skidmore, Ownings and Merrill (who designed the world’s current tallest building, Dubai’s 163-storey Burj Khalifa) have drawn up plans for a 42-storey timber tower in Chicago. It would be supported by a hybrid system of solid timber walls and floors with supplementary concrete beams to reduce the building’s material carbon footprint by 60 – 75% when compared to a concrete and steel equivalent.

Would you live or work in a timber skyscraper? They’d be a perfect home for our sustainable solid oak kitchens, and we’re all for anything that reduces the need for relying upon irreplaceable materials that require extensive mining and manufacturing to produce.

To learn more about deTerra and the environment, we recommend having a read of our policies – simply head over to our Green Credentials page and enjoy.

Ta ta for now,

The deTerra Diarist


Posted by the deTerra diarist

How do, deTerrarinos?

customers give the verdict on our natural kitchens

There’s nothing I like better than reading through the fantastic feedback we get from customers, and whilst it’s great fun reading it ourselves whilst giving our halos a good old polish, we thought we’d share some of our customer reviews with you, too!

Our new customer reviews page features a wealth of feedback from delighted customers, some of whom have also taken advantage of our fantastic case study promotion that offers a refund of £250 in return for allowing us to come and take some professional snaps of your natural kitchens.

You can find our reviews page under the ‘Useful Info’ section of our website, alongside a host of other handy information on our green credentials, the specifications of our oak kitchen units and much more. You’d be mad to miss it!

If you have recently ordered some of our fantabulous kitchen components then we’d love to hear your feedback! You can get in touch with us by leaving a comment on our Facebook or Google + pages, or by Tweeting or emailing us directly.

Ta ta for now,

The deTerra Diarist


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