Archive for the ‘Sandringham Flower Show’ Category
Just a few things about this garden’s potential to be adapted to personal taste and cultures and developed for entertaining guests.
The covered pergola in the corner could be replaced by a Bedouin tent, a North American sweat lodge or a Russian banya and many more variations. My son recently married a Russian girl and I very much enjoyed being entertained in the Russian culture which involved the Russian banya experience being thrashed with birch twigs and then jumping into cold water! My family also has a Canadian Indian friend and enjoyed sweat lodge ceremonies.
The water feature plunge pool in the centre of the garden coulb be adapted to a seating area with fire pit – or just a sunken lounge area to sit around a brazier or natural fire under the stars until the early hours – a very much ‘back to nature’ effect.
The planting could also be adapted to personal taste and all year interest – also a roof garden is not to be ruled out. The pool could be modified plus light weight materials could be used.
PS: I have family members who have built Russian banyas!
We got there! The garden got finished in time!! After 2 weeks of blood, sweat and nervous breakdowns – it was completed!! But bloomin’ heck it was hard work! No time for frivolity or messing about this time – it was just solid work from dawn to dusk! The lads worked their socks off (literally) and were a great team – coping with everything that was thrown at them including me being a bossy bitch troll continuously for a fortnight! Yes this build was certainly not without its panics but we got there in the end.
We were awarded a gold medal and and the judges loved it! Which was great to hear. We also had a royal visit and some rather well known faces came and looked around the garden including Dame Judy Dench and food critic Matthew Fort.
It was a risk this time – using very striking colours that are not everyone’s cup of tea – but we felt we had to do something different to show that we don’t just do theatrical – we knew from the start that using black as the main colour was going to divide opinion into the love it and hate it camps but weren’t prepared for just how many loved it! It really surprised me anyway!
So here are some pictures just to whet your appetite – there will be more to follow (better ones as these were taken by a very tired me on Tuesday evening) and lots more on our main website so keep checking back to see them! I’ll also tell you more about the theme and inspiration behind it so stay tuned! – Jane
I have been painting – alot! Everyone is being busy little bees and yet still we are behind schedule – our damn concrete won’t dry!! We have now brought in the big guns and out of sheer desperation hired an industrial heater to see if that will help. The lengths we will go to hey! So on a hot summer’s day – our poor lads are inside a big tent with an industrial heater going full blast! Bless them – but heat stroke and severe dehydration is a small sacrifice to pay in the world of show gardens… usually you’re lucky to get away with your sanity kind of intact!
We’ve had the show ground to ourselves for the past week and now slowly the builders of the show gardens are coming onto site to begin their creations. Our plants are starting to arrive tomorrow and hopefully I should be able to start setting them out on Sunday… although the rate in which all our plastering and concrete is drying - who knows… I wonder if it would matter if we left it in its unfinished state and proclaimed it as modern art?….
I can’t really post any more pictures of it now as although we are behind schedule, there is enough of it in existence for it to ruin the surprise – so it will just me be dribbling on incoherently until the day of the show (or perhaps the day after) when I shall post far too many pictures of the finished(?) garden.
All I can say is – I think it is going to be one of those gardens you either love or hate…
Day 6.. (I think)
Hello! We have had wind trouble the last couple of days!! Not us personally but the Marquee - it all started Thursday afternoon – out of nowhere the wind got up and would not leave us alone! The poor marquee suffered the most and had to have emergency re-inforcements – thankfully it survived the night and more very strong winds. The wind is just starting to settle now so hopefully that will be the end of that! We have had torrential down pours today but that I can cope with – I just don’t like wind!!!!
Everything is going OK – a few small issues but nothing drastic – but still there’s time! Bless them – the lads are working like little beavers and on a saturday too! The slope has caused us a bit of a problem because the marquee has been built up to follow it so now our garden although level, looks a bit wonky as it is not following the line of the marquee – not sure how we are going to get around that yet. Its a new thing for all of us to be building a garden inside – a whole different set of challenges to building a show garden outside.
As I suspected I have had to get my hands dirty – I am chief painter and sealer – so if the paint work looks rubbish – blame me! Although its amazing that any of the paint actually reached what it was supposed to – I ended up with far more on me than anywhere else! Oh and it is black paint… very hard to get off black paint! My face looked like I was going to a french revolution fancy dress party – all I needed was the white wig! However I have now discovered the wonders of Swarfega- does that make me an honorary workman now?
Anyway I am off because I ache all over and need a Magnum ice cream quite desperately!
‘Day wun in the Giles Landscapes garden ‘
There is a very big hole!! That’s all I can say – today we have mostly been digging a hole!! The site unfortunately is on a rather steep slope (well actually its not that steep – it just looks it when you desperately want a flat site) so we are having to dig down a bit… (a lot) then it will be time for marking out, footings and pipework for our water feature… and then on Wednesday the Marquee goes up around (hopefully) our beautifully dug out hole… so no photos today because it is just… a hole!!
7th July 2010
We are nearly there! Build up starts Monday so what I’ll do from then on (if I get time) is take photos of the build as it comes along and upload them on here – warts and all! If something goes wrong – I’ll tell you – if something goes right – I’ll definitely tell you . I think it’s going to be a tricky one purely for the reason that we are inside a marquee – and this garden has a lot of height – why has it got a lot of height when its in a marquee I hear you cry – well… because we are mad - that’s why! We do love a challenge and this is going to be one heck of one – did I mention the ground is also on a slope? Should be a very interesting build! I plan to hide here in the office for most of it – venturing out armed with camera and chocolate only occasionally and properly surfacing when its time for the planting – that is the plan… I don’t think it will quite go that way. But no matter I shall be ready for it - with my trusty clip board and reams of lists!
Whilst I have been writing this – we have just had a delivery of our gorgeous Extex upholstery kindly donated by Marina Mill - it looks fantastic and we are so lucky to have Marina Mill onboard – their outdoor fabric is just lovely! It’s hard to believe that it is for outdoors!
10th May 2010
Steve and I have just got back from a very productive and positive meeting with the very clever people at TWI at Granta Park (a science park just outside Cambridge).
TWI Tecnology Engineering is the founding site of the Welding Institute and these bafflingly clever people are responsible for among other things, component safety i.e. they figure out where metal can fatigue and fracture and basically keep us safe when we are using anything made of metal – from cars to aeroplanes to artificial organs!
They have been very kind to us and have agreed to help us out with our steel fabrication for Sandringham Flower Show by donating us all our steel work and assisting us by putting it all together beforehand and testing it with us at their HQ!
It’s the first time Steve and I have visited Granta Park – which is odd really seeing as Giles Landscapes maintains their landscaping and has done for the last eight years. It’s a great place and very cleverly thought out – Steve and I have heard the name mentioned thousands of times by our commercial department and it was good to finally see it.
So that is another piece of the Sandringham jigsaw puzzle solved – we will be returning to TWI at the beginning of July to test our steel out – and will bring you pictures of our attempts (gulp) so watch this space!
24th April 2010
Just had a great meeting with Phil – our lovely sponsor from Marshall’s Toyota Kings Lynn. All is looking fine and dandy – getting the ‘behind the scenes’ bits and bobs in place and learning more about the Toyota Hybrid range at the same time. Actually this partnership is working out really well as the show coincides with the launch of the new hybrid Pruis which is made in Britain!! A car actually made in Britain – what a rarity! But this links nicely in with a bit of our theme – can’t tell you too much but lets just say we are championing Britain too with our garden so its a perfect combination!
So a positive meeting (even though car talk does kind of go over my head – but the boys enjoyed it
……detailing our journey towards the garden we are presenting this year, sponsored by Marshalls Toyota in association with the Eastern Daily Press.
20th April 2010
We have just got back from a great visit to Q LAWNS in Thetford (they sell turf, grass seed and landscape supplies). We met their sales and marketing co-ordinator, Angela Lambert, who showed us around the 2000 acre site and is kindly donating some Eviromat sedum matting for our show garden at the Sandringham Flower Show this year. My colleague Steve Hall and I were totally amazed by the size of the sedum and lawn fields all around us were flat, calm seas of emerald green and there in the middle a more undulating mass of green, red and yellow sedum.
Angela told us all about the different types of sedum used which includes Sedum pulchellum, which first came to Britain in the Middle Ages and is supposed to be edible … so, feeling safe, thanks to Angela’s knowledge, we tasted it. Lets just say it tastes very good for you! I reckon a handful of that and you wouldn’t need any vitamin pills for a month! Also in the mix is Sedum acre known to the Romans as Wall Pepper – apparently used by monks in a cream to cure piles ….. (we didn’t try that one).
All in all it was a really fascinating visit about fascinating little plants – the possibilities for sedum are endless and the real bonus with sedum matting is that it’s really sustainable, from the recycled materials used to line it, to the plants themselves that require hardly any watering. A very worthy group of plants that we are definitely hoping to try to use more of in the future!
P.S: The growing medium for Enviromat is 20% organic and includes crushed up tiles recycled from rejects from building companies.