This is a first for me. Up until now I have always turned down offers to review products, nothing has appealed and I prefer not to have any commercial tie-ins on my blog. But I’m afraid I succumbed to temptation in this case, because I have a long-standing hankering for fire in the garden. Not bonfires – though they would be good too given the amount of waste I am generating with pruning and shrub removal – but moody, flickering flames to accompany warm summer evenings sat outside. I have a small collection of candle holders designed to sit on a table, but I have always fancied flickering flames shining out from amongst tree branches, torches lining a path, you know the sort of thing. So when I was offered the opportunity to review the Rust Linear Lanterns from Jo Alexander, I said “yes”.

empty lantern

They are made of fairly thin rusty metal, which sounds horrid but is actually rather attractive. At £14.99 for a pair they could make a nice gift, and arrived well packaged and undamaged. One of the things I like about them is that they look good even while empty. I’m not sure how well they would stand up to a strong wind, they went in to my grass easily but I had to push them in quite a long way to the softer soil in my patio bed to get them to stand up straight, so I think they are something to bring indoors when gales threaten.

t-light holders

The tops of the lanterns are designed to take glass holders for t-lights, so you could always use these as shot glasses when not in the garden lighting up the evening! Pop in your t-lights, add to the lanterns, and there you go.

Jo Alexander Linear Rust Lanterns

I like them, and can just see them in the raised beds that are currently still but a gleam in the eye, but which will wrap around the also-mythical at present deck. But just two isn’t going to cast much light, which is quite clever on their part, as I will probably get more if anyone gives me present money… They are sold in pairs, but I think odd numbers usually work better for things like this, so I would prefer it if they came in threes – provided the price was still reasonable! They sell various other garden ornaments as well as teak, wicker and wrought iron garden furniture, most of which is very attractive if a little out of my price range. I was a bit disappointed that, other than saying the teak was from grade A plantations, there was no information about country of origin or FSC certification. Personally, I need more detailed information before I would contemplate buying teak furniture, but the lanterns are great.

42 thoughts on “Product Review: Rust Linear Lanterns from Jo Alexander

  1. What a co-incidence that this is the second review for these published today and you both like them.

    Now it’s a case of some warm weather in the evening to enjoy them.

    1. I know, there are quite a few of us, I’ve read three so far apart from mine! I am looking forward to trying them out.

  2. They look good. It’s rather a leap to imagine sitting out in the garden on an evening though. We have so few warm nights even in a relatively decent summer. We’ve lived here 5 years now and have still not got round to getting any proper garden furniture. I do like candles in a garden though and they would look lovely lining the path.

    1. They are really nice, I am dead chuffed! I do hope they get used this year, we had a long running joke last year, every time we opened a nice bottle of white wine either I or mil would say “this would be perfect for a warm summer’s evening, to drink outside by the pond”. We managed it once all year…

  3. they look nice Janet, Alistair also profiled them on his blog last week, I think this company is doing the rounds, warm summer evenings seem elusive at the moment with a freezing wind out side, Frances

    1. Yes, I read Alistair’s review, he took a great shot of them against one of his immaculate walls. It made me laugh when I was trying to find a way to photograph them in my garden avoiding the scruffy bits!!

  4. Hi Janet,

    Like you, I refuse to have any product reviews or have ‘guest’ appearances. After all, my blog is for me, not to make money from! But I might well be tempted to review these as they are quite pretty :)
    Next windy day, I think you ought to test them out… see how their fair…………… ha ha. I like things in the garden to be fairly inconspicuous, and I think these with their rusty finish are nice and quiet enough not to make a massive statement and look totally unnatural.

    1. Hi Liz, I have to say I am glad I succumbed to temptation on these, though now I need them to breed… As to your “tough love” suggestion, I think I will at least try to keep them in the garden, I have visions of them flying across the village hitting unsuspecting people on the head… If they stayed put more solidly I would leave them out all the time, without the glasses, they are really attractive in a very low-key sort of way. They’d look great half hidden amongst achilleas or grasses.

  5. I know just what you mean about wee lights poking out through the greenery. There is something so enticing about lights going down the garden path at dusk. I would have had a hard time resisting these too.

    1. Hi Marguerite, I think the only problem is that to be effective, you would need lots of twinkly lights, which suddenly gets expensive. I am going to start saving small glass jars and see if I can wire them to hang on supports made from rebars – those rusty metal rods used to reinforce concrete. I think lots littered in amongst plants could look rather magical.

    1. Ah yes, warmer weather. That would be nice. It snowed yesterday. I was not impressed!

  6. Yes, nice and elegant – and a decent price. I too have a light quandary – although we bought a string of tiny white LED lights last year to try out and haven’t got round to putting them up yet ;)

    1. Hi Cathy, I have some LEDs that I am looking forward to playing with outside, if the weather ever warms up. In the mean time at least these torches/lanterns look nice in their own right.

  7. They are very elegant and like you say look good even without the tealights. You have got us all dreaming of evenings sat in the garden in the summer with a cool drink. Rather than the usual pulling on a thick jumper and sitting warming hands on a steaming mug of tea. Maybe this year…..

    1. HI Annie, I am beginning to wonder if we have suddenly entered the start of a new iceage, and Spring is never coming! I mean, come on, its cold, and snowing, and it is nearly then end of March. Enough already!

  8. The second positive review of this product I have read today Janet from two discerning bloggers. I could possibly be tempted. How tall do they stand? Hope that the weather soon obliges and that you can sit out and enjoy some candlelit balmy sea breezes.

    1. Hi Anna, they are 90cm tall overall, which means by the time they are stuck in the ground securely they only stand just over 2′ tall. Perfect for pots or raised beds on the patio or in amongst plants in the border for a more subtle look, but not Hawaiian-style torches! Pretty though, I’m glad I succumbed.

  9. I don’t blame you for wanting to review these! I think you do right, one of the ‘perks of the blog’ if you ask me! I would love those in my garden and actually saw some similar ones last weekend but they were all black but I think rust would be so much better. I saw these reviewed on another blog too. Very nice indeed and they look great in your garden :)

    1. Hi Anna, I think the rusted look works really well in all kinds of styles of gardens, I’m going to look in to getting hold of some rebars and getting creative, though I won’t get close to the delicacy of these.

  10. These certainly appealed to you, and others, who reviewed them. If I had a garden they’re certainly something that I’d probably have. xx

    1. Candlelight plotting? If we ever get a summer, could be rather nice…

  11. I think they’re so pretty! And reading the comments, when Marguerite talked about “wee lights poking out through the greenery”, my imagination caught on fire! How wonderful these would be flickering about in the garden, while almost hidden from view.

    1. I agree, it is a beguiling image, though it would take a lot of tealights to carry it off!

    1. Hi Donna, I like them too, particularly the rusty effect, it works really well. Will look forward to seeing yours come out of the box and into the garden once the winter finally leaves and warmer weather arrives.

  12. Aha – now I understand why they contacted me asking when I was going to post my review ;)

    I’m saving them for the summer – if that ever arrives!

    I’m with you re the teak – lots more information is needed on where this is sourced from before being tempted to buy.

    1. They had a little nag at me too VP, I was waiting for a day without rain. Or snow. Or hail. I waited a while…

      The teak thing really bugs me, I would have thought suppliers knew better nowadays, it isn’t difficult to provide the information, and a positive selling point for at least a subsection of the market. I tend to play safe and buy something other than teak, my cheap FSC iroko furniture has lasted really well, despite a year being blasted by salt-laden gales and more to come now that we are here.

  13. when I first saw them imagined they were giant brazier type ornaments. I suppose the pairing is for parallel, either side of a path lighting whereas 3 would be odd. Personally I’d stick them at the side of deckchairs and pop my Gin & Tonic in them. Good review though Janet and hope the money fairy drops in for you to purchase more.

    1. Hi Laura, I like the way you think, drinks holders for the garden! Not giant at all, but on the other hand probably less dangerous than my secret hankering for blazing torches… I think you are right about the pairing idea. Once we have built the deck and associated beds, they might work rather well, but I think companions would work well too, so I shall keep my fingers crossed. Mind you, given the choice I would probably just buy more plants!

  14. Too bad these aren’t sold in the US because I’d buy a few. Very attractive! I’d just have to be careful not to set myself on fire. :)

    1. Ha! I having a hankering for torches, but know I would be lethal with all that bare flame, I think tea lights might be just about OK, for both of us – so sorry they are not available in the US. If your are going to the SF Fling you could always ask someone from the UK to pack a few in their luggage for you?!

  15. Hi Janet, as you already know I reviewed these too and I love them. Not the usual thing I’d accept to review, but I’m glad I did. Did you see the bee house on the website? I love it! Great review BTW!

    1. They are great, aren’t they, though given the extra spurt of commercial approaches the review has generated, I won’t be in a rush to do another product review. Unless it is really irresistable… Here’s hoping we will get lots of balmy summer evenings to enjoy them in, they will look great by your posh pond.

  16. Hi Janet, very good review and if I didn’t already have them I would have sent my order. I also had no intention of commercialising my blog, however I am easily persuaded.

    1. Hi Alistair. They were too good to be missed, weren’t they! I struggled to find a setting as good as yours, they looked great against your immaculate wall, but hopefully by the time summer arrives – assuming it does – I will have a raised bed on the patio I can put them in.

  17. These are beautiful, Janet. I like how they seem to blend in very nicely, and the glass inserts are thick glass…not easy to break. I, too, turn down many of these requests, but I agree there are those times when it is worth it. Glad you decided to review these. :)

    1. They do go extraordinarily well with plants, don’t they, I am glad I succumbed.

  18. Laura above makes me laugh. Aha the tinkle of ice on lemon slice seems out of place in these Narnian time. Janet I would like to invite you to join in with #Terrifying Tuesday next week and post a garden related image that can take any form or shape that is vaguely disquieting.

    1. Hi Catherine, sorry, only just back to blogging, so I have missed your “Terrifying Tuesday”, but am looking forward to reading the posts, it is a great idea. And given the weather, terrifying made more sense than terrified!! Not sure I will be trusting my precious G&T to the lanterns, too much scope for disaster, but Laura made me laugh too.

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