Sandringham Flower Show 2023

It's Our Choice

Although I designed its layout for this garden last year, we have built this garden in the memory of a good friend John Shone, who sadly passed away this April. But John was much more than just our friend, he was a friend to many, far and wide. A long career working in horticulture and working in the great outdoors, still running courses on drystone walling in Spring of this year, passing on his knowledge to others. Many of you regular visitors to the show, may not realise it, but you knew him too, maybe not personally, but as the person who was instrumental in introducing to show gardens nearly 20 years ago or as a speaker, the compare, the introducer and could be a bit of a joker on stage at times, in the talks marquee at the show, the person who tied it all together. So I like to think, the story behind the garden, about the great outdoors and the environment we live in, John would have approved of.

The garden is split into four areas, and each individual area could be a garden in its own right, as well as telling the story of climate change and the changing environment and the plants we are able to grow.

The first area is a garden with cottage garden style planting filled with mainly perennials we are all familiar with and what we are currently able to grow in our garden now. But in the far corner starts a trail of pebbles that widens as it progresses through a slightly ajar pair of gates. Emerging through the gates is a Sculpture (The Climate Change Monster), the opening in the gates symbolising, that we humans have opened the door to climate change and let the ever growing problem in. With a ridge of Semperviviums running down its’ back, plants that are more tolerant to heat and dry conditions, and the widening of the pebble trail the worsening situation if we fail to curtail the way we currently live.

As the pebble trail crosses through the stepping stone path it widens, this second area is very sandy, where plants have died and very sparsely planted, leading the way to things could possibly be in the future?

In the centre back opposite is the dry area, is a contrasting area of water. A pond with a water fountain made from Vehicle exhaust pipes and the water discoloured, representing the emissions from vehicles and how they have contributed to the rising temperatures and the melting Ice caps. The discoloured water representing the pollution that we are letting into our waterways and changing the environment in them and what is able to grow and survive.

Finally an area of wildflowers, not only showing natures beauty, but showing how nature can regenerate and rejuvenate, and help us restore some of the damage that humans have done to the planet and its environment.

Nurture Nature Construction

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The charity partner with this years garden is the East Anglian Air Ambulance, a charity that John supported. 

 I would like to thank all all of the dedicated Thistlefield team for their help in constructing the garden, both on the show ground and the many hours preparation prior to the show. Also the support of the gardens sponsors below, without whom it would not have been possible to build this garden.

M&B Distributors (Cambs) Ltd Compost & Horticultural products 01945 773661

Norfolk Quality Plants British Grown Shrubs and Perennials

NRS Landscape Centre   Natural Stone Paving & Garden Features  01366 728998

Rutland Willows  Willow Sculptures and Dry Stone Walling  01572 720741

Tracy Whinray Ceramic Artist  01366 727939