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Little blog-ettes about our trials, treats and tribulations on the run up to creating our show garden at Sandringham Flower Show in July... (please scroll down for newer entries... but only if you want to:)7th May 2010Well its been quite a week with our preparations for Sandringham causing us equal excitement and headaches! However we had a major breakthrough this week and have finally secured our paving material... Thank goodness!! It was really causing me sleepless nights - having nightmares about us having to use bark chip and that's not good!! (also nightmares about the plants but that's another story!! So hopefully we will go and choose each piece next week - yes each individual piece!! (its the OCD rearing its head again!) actually we are not being anal for the sake of it - there is a genuine reason for picking out each piece... all I will say is that it is reclaimed - so don't call the men in the little white coats just yet... (give me another week and I'll be calling them myself!!). Anyway we are getting our paving from a lovely reclamation yard called Morways - its far out in the wilds of Norfolk and right next to some pingo lakes - not pingu lakes as I keep calling them (loved that penguin!!) PingO's are evidently made by glaciers fissures or something... lovely place anyway and they have the most darling little dog ever!! So it is down to Morways that we have found our paving at last! What heroes!!As for the plants... that nightmare continues!!!-Jane12th May 2010Steve 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!-Jane21st May 2010Nothing is ever simple or straightforward in the world of show gardens and we have had another challenge this week. We have had to change our design (only a little) to make it more comfortable in money terms (i.e cheaper!!!) :O So we have decided to reduce the amount of tiles we are using and introduce another material we came across on our reclamation yard travels. This meant a total re-draw to balance out the areas and work out the new spacings. To be honest it will probably be better this way... possibly.... hopefully!Meanwhile Angela from Q lawns has kindly sent over some photos of our Enviromat so we can see how it is getting along. .. rather well by the looks of it. ... in case you're wondering, the ladybird is a very integral part of the design - he is called Cecil - he is from Norfolk and his hobbies are fly fishing and eating out.

Monday 24th MayI've just been sorting out another elementof our garden - this year we are using reclaimed and recycled materials again but in a more contemporary way and also mixing them with new materials to show that the two can work together to create an unusual, witty and sustainable garden.One of the new materials we have found and are really looking forward to using is recycled plastic sheets from www.smile-plastics.co.uk. The company started producing recycled plastic sheeting in 1994 and make their products out of everything from fabric softener bottles and yogurt pots to CD's and banknotes. The one we are using is made from old gas pipes, food stuff containers and Smile Plastics own factory waste - and it is going to be quite subtle and understated... but for now if you want to find out more about how they make it go to www.smile-plastics.co.uk/production. The photos below show 3 of the wackier patterns - the first one made from mobile phones, the second from whole wellies (lets hope the feet were taken out first) and the third from water and gas pipes...-Jane

7th June 2010The weeks are flying past faster than a fast flying thing and July moves ever and ever closer! We are now getting there with our preparations - things are at last sort of coming together. I say that with some reservation as every time I have thought that - something comes along to scupper it all but fingers crossed - we are getting there.Our tiles are having a lovely long soak in their bath - lucky old tiles!!! They'll soon be ready to be scrubbed, buffed and thouroughly pampered - we could do a side line and open Giles Landscapes as a spa for old floor tiles - 'feeling dull? flat? a bit trodden on?' I can see it now!...But anyway as I was saying tiles sorted - plants 'sorted' or as sorted as they can be - very generous help from the lovely Howards nurseries and just been on the phone to the wonderful Derek at Jacksons Fencing who is making our boundaries for us (beautiful fencing - should look great) and that should be with us in the next two weeks.Hopefully the Toyota car wrap should be done in the next couple of weeks so look out for a rather bright and flowery Toyota Prius zooming about all over the country - it will be out there somewhere!!21st June 2010Last Thursday we were all very excited about seeing the Prius Phil Saunders from Marshall’s toyota Kings Lynn has got decorated for us. East Coast Designs created a great design for us and the car looked amazing!The purpose of the car is to advertise our partnership with Marshall’s Toyota Kings Lynn who are kindly sponsoring our garden at Sandringham this year.If you have a listen to KLFM in the coming weeks, you will be able to hear more about it – they are out and about in it this week so keep your eyes open and also there should be some competitions happening very soon that will be announced on KLFM.

25th JuneWe now have our fence! Donated by the lovely people at Jacksons – it looks really nice and is being painted as we speak. We have also finished all the tiles – and they are now spread out in Roger’s house waiting to be boxed up – they have taken over two rooms and I think they are multiplying – I’m sure we didn’t have that many a week ago! The garden room is also nearly finished and being painted – that is going to be dismantled and put together on site – no doubt we will have a few screws, posts and a roof left over like all good flat packs!:)We are off to see Angela again next week to choose our piece of sedum roofing – really looking forward to seeing how its got on! They have been so good to us at Q lawns!We are also off to TWI next week to test the water feature – gulp! Fingers crossed it works!! I will post some pictures if it does (if it doesn’t I will find myself a little quiet corner and cry!)I can’t believe we’ve only got a couple more weeks to go before the build starts. We are starting on the 12th of July – much earlier than originally planned as the garden has quite a few complex bits and pieces and lots of drying times are needed.So only a couple more blogs and then I’ll try and keep you updated from the show ground so you could end up reading (and seeing) anything!!-Jane

Email me when people comment –


  • Thinking of you Jane. We are having the same sort of sleepless nights with our Hampton Garden. Good luck!!
  • I am thinking of you, I am glad to say that I can relax for a little while at least as I have found all the support I need.
  • Good luck for Monday will be seeing you very soon now, aarrghh realisation has just dawned. :)
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