The Team behind the Sunflowers

A. T. Services Engineering Ltd are manufacturing the metal Sunflowers for the St Giles Hospice garden project.

Meet the crew proudly presenting their first prototype Sunflower!

More used to sheets of metal, than delicate petals, Rob Tunnah, Director and Owner of A.T. Services, was more than a little bit bemused when approached to make 100s of flowers for a garden!

As a welding, fabrication and engineering company they can make more or less anything for anyone, but the team have to admit that creating Sunflowers is very different from their normal work, which usually involves much more heavy duty engineering projects!

Based in Lichfield Road Industrial Estate in Tamworth, the family run business was established over 32 years ago by Rob’s father Andy.

Five generations of our family have lived in Whittington over the years, so we are very happy to be contributing to our local community by supporting this garden project for the St Giles Hospice in Whittington.

We are delighted to be involved in such a fantastic project and to help fund such a worthy cause.

Rob Tunnah

The metal Sunflowers, as seen above, are being sold to help raise funds for the garden project for St Giles Hospice. The Sunflowers are being sold for £20 each with 50% of the proceeds going to raise funds directly for St Giles and 50% towards the building of the garden, first as a Show Garden at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival in May 2020 and then back in the grounds of the hospice at Whittington, near Lichfield, Staffordshire.

The Sunflowers are made out of weathering steel, or COR-TEN steel, the trademark name as it is more often referred to. Corten steel is a steel alloy especially developed to be resistant to corrosion by the weather. It does this by creating a thin layer of surface rust, in order to form a protective coating.

This thin layer of surface rust creates a beautiful natural patina admired by garden designers, not only because it is aesthetically pleasing, but also because it is weather proof. The ‘orangey’ hue of the corten steel is also very reminiscent of the St Giles Hospice orange and therefore the perfect material for the Sunflowers.

When I visited the factory the other day, one of the guys asked if I was ‘the flower girl’, which I thought was rather nice!

When I started talking about making 500 Sunflowers he was rather taken aback, as he had assumed his colleagues were joking!

It’s been great fun developing the Sunflowers with Rob and his team and I very much look forward to seeing them all together as the art installation in the garden.

Karen Tatlow – garden designer

You can learn more about the St Giles Hospice garden at the dedicated project website here or contact Karen Tatlow Garden Design at

Published by karentatlowgardendesign

An award winning Garden Designer creating bespoke gardens with the personal touch

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