Prada Rustica -‘love stone, create stone’
I started hand-crafting ‘stone-effect’ planters as a relaxing, therapeutic venture for myself and a fundraising initiative for my then school-aged daughter to fund a charitable challenge to build school out-buildings in Africa. Unexpectedly, the planters proved so popular, planted-up with my own planting combinations, I had to continue to make them; thus my small business, ‘PradaRustica’, was born. I now sell from home or at local markets and fairs.
For me the planters reflect the rugged Lakeland stone walls and traditional stone troughs of my native Cumbria as well as the iconic Italian tufa stone buildings of ancient Rome and the elegant tufa stone features which still adorn the classical gardens of Italy, the country where my husband’s grandfather originated. These influences have inspired my love of stone and my love to ‘create stone’, needless to say on a much smaller scale! Indeed, you may already know about the similar materials I use to create a form of ‘hyper-tufa’, probably made most famous by Geoff Hamilton for his viewers to ‘have a go’ at creating their own Alpine troughs.
I create my planters to attain a traditional, natural stone-effect, at a fraction of the cost of real stone, which I then plant-up with my own planting combinations. These include my own favourite Alpines and hardy plants, which I admire for defying the harshest of times, together with the fleeting beauty of seasonal plants which simply live for the moment.
My small business venture therefore started as a short-term fundraising and therapeutic adventure, but has turned into the long-term small business of ‘PradaRustica’ which continues to give therapeutic value and charitable donations. Each unique planter has been designed and individually hand-crafted by me to resemble natural stone, creating a blend of elegant form and traditional rustic country-style. Having already been ‘cured’ for 28 days the planters are created to weather outdoors over time or to provide a naturalistic indoor planter. The porous material provides excellent aeration and drainage for plants to thrive in a naturalistic environment.
Brenda Prada - HPSMG Group Secretary