Raffia – From Madagascar to Scotland

Nutscene not only specialise in jute twines – but we also import a vast range of Raffia from Madagascar! But what is Raffia? Well the short answer is… Raffia is a natural wonder!

Raffia is a natural fibre and is commonly used in the UK in crafting projects, twines, ropes, shoes, hats and other textiles. The Fibre itself is created from the underside of the frond leaf. Also known as Raffia Palm, this native to Madagascar possesses large plume-like leaves that are utilised within a variety of industries and is a major part of the south Asian economy. The tree has been said to harness over 800 uses, with the leaves used in thatching, construction, mats, baskets, fans and hats! The tree is so valuable to this area that in Cambodia the tree is seen as a national symbol! Nutscene’s Raffia is created from the Palmyra Palm Tree and we have proudly supplied the nation with Raffia for over 25 years!

First and foremost, Raffia is created from sustainable sources. The Palmyra Palm Tree is part of the Borassus family, which consists of five giant fan palms which are native to the tropical regions of Africa, Asia and New Guinea. It is the stocks of the Palmyra leaves that create what we call Raffia. These stocks are essentially stripped to create a long, thin fibre which can then be dyed and woven into a textile! Pretty impressive for a palm tree stem!

Within the Island of Madagascar, the palms are harvested deep inside the forest. The colourful raffia that we all know actually starts life pale green in colour, but soon after harvest, dries out and turns beige in colour. The strands or fibres are then transported to a sorting warehouse where they are ‘sorted’ and broken down into category. Categories include: colour, length, width and texture.

This natural Raffia is the put into ‘Raffia Hanks’, spools or balls and subsequently dyed to the relevant colour before they are dispatched. The Raffia process is one that is time consuming, though the local expertise and knowledge ensure only the finest Raffia is exported from the Island. This resource is sustainable as strict laws limit the harvest period of Raffia, ensuring that it can only be harvested from June to October each year. This ensures that the plant can re-grow to its full strength prior to it undertaking any damage. Under these ideal tropical growing conditions, the plants grow at an extensive rate, though the local populace treat the tree with the utmost respect as it is a major contributor to their economy.

As well as being a popular crafting accessory, Raffia is also useful in and around the garden as the natural fibres are very gentle when tying back plants and can be utilised as an alternative to conventional jute twines. The natural fibres are very soft and pliable, yet incredibly strong, durable and easy to manipulate! It is for these reasons that Raffia is largely used in the textile industry and is a first choice for many flower and vegetable growers! Raffia is subsequently used for agricultural purposes and feature prominently in vineyards, gardens and florists.

Raffia is also a first choice for many aspiring crafters. The attributes that are associated with Raffia are that of a strong, durable, flexible yet soft binding material. Furthermore, Raffia is also utilised by companies for packaging purposes. The fibre is extremely popular and is often used as filler in boutique goods such as fine whiskies, oils, jams, wines or even soaps! The rustic look of the product provides high aesthetic value to boutique goods and preservatives. It really can help enhance the packaging and look of your goods! Additionally, Raffia is also a favourite in gift-wrapping!

Nutscene Raffia – More than one use…

Our Raffia’s are used for a variety of purposes – some a little stranger than others! When Nutscene recently attended the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, we came across a trio of ladies who disclosed that they actually were rather partial to eating Raffia! Or at least they were when they were in school! But nonetheless, we certainly do not endorse nor recommend the consumption of Raffia – a natural product or not! In all the years that we have sold our Raffia, we have never heard of anyone eating it – it’s quite remarkable that we simultaneously bumped into 3 ladies who all had this rather strange guilty pleasure! For more on Nutscene’s Raffia visit: https://nutscene.com/products/nutscene-raffia

Landmann at the forefront of the barbecue market

For more than five decades, Landmann has been at the forefront of the Barbecue market with an innovative product portfolio of Gas, Charcoal, Outdoor Heating and Accessory Products. Landmann is now firmly established as one of the world’s leading Barbecue brands.
Following on from another successful season and with an ever-growing Garden Centre stockist network, Landmann is again gearing up for this year’s SOLEX show.

Landmann will be launching three entirely new product ranges at the show. As well as building on some existing product ranges to offer even more assortment.
Sitting at the top of the already highly successful Triton Gas Barbecue range is the new Triton 6.1 Burner PTS+ model.

Originally shown in concept form at SPOGA last September and developed over 2017, the product finally arrived in May when a small number of units were delivered in preparation for a full launch at SOLEX.

Triton 6.1 PTS+ carries many new and innovative features including, seamless cooking grills and an easy clean fire bowl, a high power 5.2 KW dual ring brass side burner and the unique and highly adaptable REDI TANK system that continuously weighs and monitors your gas supply as you use it.

Finished in stunning stainless steel and delivered 99% preassembled, you can find the Triton 6.1 PTS+ on the New Products Showcase and displayed on the Landmann stand.

The existing Triton Gas Barbecue range also receives a refresh from Landmann, with new options and materials being introduced for 2018.

Taking pride of place at the top of the 2018 Gas Barbecue range from Landmann is the all new Avalon II series.  Boasting even more features than Triton 6.1 PTS+, the new Avalon range also features Power Thermal Spreading Plus, the latest version of our high efficiency cooking system.

Not forgetting Charcoal Barbecues, Landmann is very excited to showcase the new 2018 Tennessee Smoker Range.

Like the new Avalon Gas Barbecues, the new Tennessee Smokers will be making their European debut at SOLEX; each Smoker features a unique design for improved smoke circulation.

Landmann Barbecues will also be previewing new in-store display concepts and an expanded Barbecue Accessory range.

Darren Rivers, UK Sales and Marketing Director comments, “As usual, we know it will be a very busy show and we are very excited about what we think is our strongest product range to date. Come and see for yourself. We are looking forward to meeting you on stand 340 at SOLEX.”

For more information contact sales@landmann.co.uk


Common sense says you need to check that your barbecue is in good working order, on a flat site away from a hedge or shed and not a magnet for unsupervised children and pets. Never leave it unattended.

If using a charcoal barbecue, invest in an Outback Charcoal Starter to get it going, never have petrol anywhere near, and put only cold ashes in the bin.

With a gas barbecue, make sure the regulator tap is off before changing a cylinder, which should be done outdoors, and brush soapy water over pipe work and joints to check for bubbles from leaks.

Use a sharp knife to check juices are running clear and meat is done, while press fish flesh with a fork to check flakes come apart – indicating it’s ready.

Always allow a grilled steak or roasted joint to rest in foil on the top rack for about five minutes to keep it juicy and tender.

Unless you’ve invested in a piece of well-hung organic meat, which needs only a brushing of oil and some sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, then everything else will benefit from a marinade.

With the exception of shellfish, marinade overnight when possible, do not use salt, lemon or lime juice in a marinade for longer than two hours, and avoid pineapple juice.

To avoid a smoking barbecue avoid using extra virgin olive oil in the marinade – save it for the sauce and salad – and marinade in a strong plastic bag before emptying into a glass or stainless steel container.

Always use a separate container or plate for marinades and cooked dishes.

It’s Not Rude, It’s Botany!

Who would have thought the safe and cosy life of the plant world could be so downright RUDE?  However, the slogans of these shiny new t-shirts are actually the REAL botanical names for plants!

Our brand new fashionable tee’s display a wide variety of Latin plant names for varieties of flowers, trees and even fungi.  Our Carry On-esque selection includes eye openers such as ‘Rubus cockburnianus’, ‘Lilium superbum’ and ‘Clitoria ternatea’!

All t-shirts come in a choice of 17 bang-on trend colours such as Flame Orange, Sun Yellow and Kelly Green.  The hues in the colour range mirror some of the fashionista’s picks for 2017 too.

Priced from just £19.99 each, and available for the guys and the girls, these naughty T’s won’t break the bank either!  We also have hoodies available in colours Charcoal Grey and Heather Blue at £27.99 each.

Not a bad price for a chance to gain a bit of plant knowledge AND bring a smirk to a face or two! Hort smut rules!

But, remember… it’s not RUDE, it’s BOTANY

For more information please see our website https://rudebotany.com


Kingfisher plc has launched its first international, multi-platform marketing campaign, ‘Start Something New’, to support the home improvement company’s new range of Unique outdoor products.  Based on extensive customer research which included visits to hundreds of customers’ homes, the exclusive products have been designed and created by Kingfisher’s in-house teams to reflect the realities of their customers’ lives.

With heavyweight media support, the campaign is rooted in Kingfisher’s belief that the home is at the heart of people’s lives, with huge emotional significance.

View the video here http://www.kingfisher.com/index.asp?pageid=161

On air today, the TV advert is a personal story linking new life stages and the promise of new memories to come, with the new product range. Directed by British actor and director Dexter Fletcher (director of the 2016 hit film, ‘Eddie the Eagle’) the advert shows how the new range of products can create a positive change in customer’s lives thanks to unique designs and accessible pricing.

This new range marks an important step in Kingfisher’s strategy to make home improvement accessible for everyone and is the first time the business has launched a multi-country advertising campaign. The marketing activity is focused on supporting four new outdoor product ranges:

  • INDUS ‘Little House’, the first metal shed of its kind
  • Mix-and-match NEVA modular fencing system
  • DENIA garden furniture set, with folding and extending solutions
  • New VERVE watering system

Kingfisher’s Chief Customer Officer, Pierre Woreczek, commented: “We are a business that puts the customer at the heart of what we do. Our new outdoor ranges were developed from deep customer insights, based on supporting our customers in the reality of their lives. The team at Leo Burnett London has done a fantastic job at capturing the genuine emotional connection between our products and our customers’ lives through the Start Something New campaign.”

Commenting on the creative, Chaka Sobhani, Chief Creative Officer for Leo Burnett London, said: “We’re really proud to be part of the start of this journey with Kingfisher, a brand who believe great design should be affordable and available to all. Our stories hopefully mirror how great design really can have an impact, small or big, on our everyday lives.”

The ad will air in the UK from 23rd March to 5th April, and all products are currently available at B&Q. As well as the UK, the ad will also be shown in France and Romania.

Deck out your garden with Homebase’s new Outdoor Living collection

With over 400 items to choose from, including dining sets, sun loungers, deckchairs and BBQs, the new Homebase Outdoor Living range has something to offer everybody this summer.

Whether it is the small Austin two seater set or the Vilamoura 11 piece set, creating a space to enjoy and entertain friends and family in this summer couldn’t be easier.

Available online and in store from the end of March 2017, the range includes bistro sets starting from as little as £39.99 and BBQs from £8.49.  With the addition of parasols and cushion covers in raspberry, blue, green and natural shades, these items will brighten up your garden.

The range also features over 140 BBQs, fire-pits and chimeneas from leading brands such as Matador, Jumbuck and La Hacienda, great for cooking up a storm long into the evening.


outbackLeading barbecue supplier Outback UK is cooking up some new garden centre promotional ideas with a series of four short videos to boost next year’s sales of the top – selling Jupiter range.

The company is currently working on ways to provide new in-store LCD displays to run the videos in a range of point-of-sale material for Jupiter stockists in 2017.

Links on the home page and in the product description boxes for the Jupiter Stainless Steel 4 and 6 burner and the Jupiter 4 burner gas models on the outbackbarbecues.com website take viewers to the videos on the site or on You Tube.

Each video lasts about 45 seconds, and shows ingredients, temperatures and herbs used to cook a pancake, tuna, stir fry and pizza on the Jupiter’s grill, griddle, wok and pizza stone accessories.

The Jupiter Stainless Steel 4 and 6 burner gas are new to the Outback 2017 range and are included in the company’s current product guide for next year as well as on the website, and follow the success of the Jupiter 2, 3 and 4 burner models designed in Meteor red that played a major part in Outback’s sell-out year in 2016.


outbackA late surge of summer sun, increased demand for their premium range and the attractions of al fresco entertaining have led a leading UK supplier to develop a new barbecue-and-bar combination for next year’s season.
The latest addition to the Outback UK portfolio was an instant talking point at the Solex trade show at the NEC in July, where online, garden centre and specialist buyers placed orders for the 2017 market.
“We were very pleased with the positive reception the trade gave to the barbecue-bar prototype, particularly as we have yet to give it a name, and we bbq-bar-150x150see it as a leading top-of-the-range attraction for next year premium outdoor leisure market”, said Outback UK chief executive Mark Osborne.
“Innovation using the latest design and materials is part of Outback’s success, and we are confident that the stand alone barbecue-bar concept will appeal to al fresco enthusiasts who enjoy cooking while at the same time having a drink and chat with guests”, he said.
The ‘bbq-bar island’ is crated for delivery for easy assembly on a level site, with choice of stucco-finish masonry sides fitted to rear and front panels by wing nuts, before the four-burner stainless steel barbecue, side burner and marble bar top are installed.
With a retail price tag of £2,500, the barbecue section includes two front storage drawers and space for a gas cylinder, while there is room around the bar area for guests to enjoy a drink – and watch the chef at work.

Fallen Fruits’ Flower Pouffes recognised at GIMA Awards

fallenfruitsFallen Fruits, the garden giftware company whose themed, designer collections are inspired by nature, is celebrating the success of its Flower Pouffes at this year’s GIMA Awards, held on the 14th July at Celtic Manor.  The Flower Pouffes follow on from the massive popularity of last season’s Fruit Pouffe launch.

These extremely comfortable summery pouffes are available in brightly coloured sunflower and gerbera designs as well as a super realistic tree trunk version, making them as eye-catching as they are practical for any outdoor space.

The inflatable pouffes feature handy removable, waterproof covers making them easy to clean and dry if the weather turns.  Retailing at £29.99, they are a fun, reasonably priced, addition to any garden.

Fallen Fruits managing director Michael Hall explains, “Garden accessories no longer have to be bland and boring, simply blending into their backgrounds.  Consumers are now looking for unique, fun and quirky items to brighten up their outdoor spaces.  This is why we have introduced the Outdoor Pouffe flower designs following up on the fruity theme, which everyone loved as well.

fallen fruits Flower Pouffes“They are a perfect proposition for any garden centre wanting to offer its consumers something a little bit different,” adds Michael.

For further information about this and other collections, garden retailers can contact Fallen Fruits on 01584 873377 or by emailing sales@fallenfruits.co.uk.


fallenfruitsGarden giftware company, Fallen Fruits has unveiled two new floral additions to its range of ever-popular Outdoor Pouffes.

Currently available as fruity segments of Watermelon, Orange and Kiwi, as well as the recently launched Tree Truck design, the new Gerbera Daisy and Sunflower Pouffes complement the existing range perfectly and offer a colourful solution to brightening up any outdoor space.

Retailing at £29.99, the Pouffes make for a fun, reasonably priced addition to any summer party and offer a great gift solution for garden lovers. Featuring a handy removable, waterproof cover, the inflatable Pouffes are easy to clean and dry as well as fold away for storage when not in use.

Commenting on the new additions to the range, Managing Director, Michael Hall said, “ One of our most popular product ranges to date, the punchy colours and practical design of the Outdoor Pouffes ensure that they are well loved by consumers and retailers alike. With the addition of the bright pink Gerbera and sunny yellow Sunflower, we are confident that these quirky Pouffes are set for yet another successful sales season.”

fallen fruits Flower PouffesPart of the Nature Print collection, the new Flower Pouffes will be on display at this years’ SOLEX. For more information about these and other 2 Fallen Fruits products, visit SOLEX stand 450 or contact the company on 01584 873377/ sales@fallenfruits.co.uk