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I designed the garden to tell the story of a young person’s journey, starting their own business with the aid of The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme.  My friends Mark and Glen, had help from The Prince’s Trust when they were setting up and running their own businesses.

The title for the garden was ‘The Bridge to Success’.  The concept was of an overgrown pathway made of sandstone setts, running through rough grass, to symbolise the development of the young person, wishing to start their own business. The oak bridge over a ditch symbolizes a Prince’s Trust mentor, helping and guiding the young person across to the other side and along their journey, on the pathway as it meandered its way through limestone paving, bordered by flower beds packed with cottage garden style planting, made up of a collection of mainly perennials, annuals and a few shrubs. The path finally exited the paving though a pair of gate posts on to a neatly cut lawn. The complete cycle from rough grass to neatly cut lawn, represents the young person’s idea of a business in it’s infancy, as it develops and it’s success.

I used as many recycled, sustainably grown and produced materials as possible in the construction of the garden. For example many of the plants have been grown on our own nursery, the oak for the bridge is locally sourced and the fence, around the garden is made from recycled timber.

The construction of the garden would not have been possible without the help of family and friends, especially Steve with the gardens pre-construction work.  Also the aid of our local companies who have sponsored the garden, for which we are very grateful.  Some of which not only helped with providing materials for the garden, but also helped construct the garden.  Indeed two of our sponsors, Northwold Rockery Stone and Mark Reed have spent many hours helping us construct both this and our previous show gardens.

 The garden has been kindly sponsored by the Eastern Daily Press, Northwold Rockery Stone, Jasmine Nurseries, M J Elliott, Mark Reed and Easy Joint, without whom it would not have been possible to construct the garden.

Thistlefield Plants and Design is a small family run nursery that was set up in 2002, it was born out of a passion for plants. The business was established in a field in West Norfolk, which was overrun with weeds and thistles, hence the name.

  Our nursery aims to grow a range of plant types, although mainly perennials, from everyday varieties to the more unusual.  We care about wildlife and the environment, therefore no herbicides or pesticides are used on any of our plants. Any waste products, produced on the nursery or from landscaping, where possible are reused, recycled or composted.

 Although our nursery is not open to the public, our plants can be purchased from various events throughout Norfolk, local farmers markets and from farm shops throughout the county. You can also purchase plants from us via our web site: www.thistlefield.co.uk.  

Through their Enterprise programme, The Prince’s Trust supports unemployed young people aged 18-30 to work out if their business ideas are viable and whether self-employment is right for them.

   Youth charity The Prince’s Trust helps disadvantaged young people to get their lives on track. It supports 13 to 30 year-olds who are unemployed and those struggling at school and at risk of exclusion. Many of the young people helped by The Prince’s Trust are in or leaving care, facing issues such as homelessness or mental health problems, or they have been in trouble with the law. The Trust’s programmes give vulnerable young people the practical and financial support needed to stabilise their lives, helping develop self-esteem and skills for work. Three in four young people supported by The Prince’s Trust move into work, education or training. The Prince of Wales’s charity has helped more than 700,000 young people since 1976 and supports 100 more each day. Further information about The Prince’s Trust is available at princes-trust.org.uk.

Sandringham Flower Show 2013
The Bridge to Success

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