Stone Troughs

Garden Centre Article

By Rachel

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A flavour of the Yorkshire Dales at Chelsea Flower Show

There will be a taste of the Yorkshire Dales at the Chelsea Flower Show this year on a stand which celebrates some of the most enduring features of the rural way of life.Stone drinking troughs and mill stones, now in demand by gardeners as distinctive planters and water features, will be the theme of the Original Stone Troughs stand.

For Rachel Adams, who is exhibiting for the first time at Chelsea, the show represents a major landmark in the development of her business. This began five years ago as a hobby and has flourished as a specialised supplier of garden antiques. “This is a wonderful opportunity to show how the troughs can transfonn gardens and courtyards through imaginative planting or by using them as interesting water features,” said Rachel.

Many of the troughs are more than 150 years old and have weathered beautifully over the decades. Some have been smoothed around the edges by livestock rubbing against them and others have developed a rich covering of moss and lichen.

The aim of the Chelsea stand will be to recreate a tranquil courtyard setting. Pride of place will go to two antique stone lions at the entrance, leading toward arrangements of troughs containing grasses and flowers. Larger troughs will be used to create water features, whilst mill stones in various sizes will be used for paving and decorative purposes.

At the heart of the stand will be a patio area with specially chosen hand crafted garden furniture made from “green oak”. The timbers incorporate natural “splits and shakes” which give it a distinctive, rustic quality.

Through her network of farming contacts in Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Cumbria, Rachel is able to source millstone grit and sandstone troughs in lengths from two feet to 11 feet. She can also supply mill stones, mushroom­ shaped “staddle stones”, antique bird baths and garden statues.

More than 50 examples of troughs and other items can be seen on the Original Stone Troughs web site at