With a heavy heart, St Giles Hospice garden project ‘on hold’.

On Monday 16th March 2020 the RHS made the following announcement;

“Following the Government update on 16 March 2020 and ongoing situation with COVID-19, all RHS Shows, Garden Events and school visits will be cancelled with immediate effect until 30 June 2020. 

“With the Government no longer supporting mass gathering events due to the impact on emergency services and heightened actions to encourage social distancing, the following RHS Shows will regrettably no longer take place in 2020:

RHS Flower Show Cardiff, 17-19 April

RHS Malvern Spring Festival, 7-10 May

RHS Chelsea Flower Show, 19-23 May

RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, 11-14 June

https://www.rhs.org.uk/about-the-rhs/policies/coronavirus-statement

Therefore, as a result of this action, taken in line with Government guidelines, the project to create ‘The Moments that Matter’ garden in support of St Giles Hospice, can no longer be exhibited as a show garden at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival in May 2020, before going on to be relocated as a real-life garden space in the grounds of the hospice in Whittington.

In response to the news St Giles Hospice said;

“We thank everyone for their support and interest in the RHS Garden project – the response has been phenomenal.

“The work Karen Tatlow has put into this project has been amazing and we want to say a huge thank you to her for her commitment, passion and enthusiasm, as well as thanking everyone involved.

“We’re hoping to work with Karen in the future and will keep everyone posted about what’s next when we know and hope we can still call on everyone to get involved.

The project team would like to think we can make this garden happen in some way, at some point in the future. However, at the moment work on keeping the patients and visitors of St Giles Hospice safe, must of course be the priority.

At present therefore, the St Giles garden project is officially ‘on hold’ and we ask everyone involved in the project to bear with us, while we work through the ramifications of the RHS Malvern Spring Festival being cancelled.

As next steps become clear we will of course update the project website and share information via the St Giles Hospice Show Garden Blog and associated social media platforms. In particular, information around the metal Sunflowers will be shared soon.

“I would like to thank everyone, from the bottom of my heart, that has been involved in the St Giles garden project so far. The support we have received from companies, the local community and volunteers, has been nothing short of awe inspiring and I am so very sorry we can’t go ahead right now.

“I would also like to thank everyone for all the many kind messages I have received in response to the news that the show has been cancelled. I hope very much the garden will go ahead in some way and all the work over the last six months will come to fruition at some point.

Karen Tatlow – garden designer

 

100s of metal Sunflowers manufactured to support St Giles Hospice

A sneak preview of how the metal Sunflowers art installation will look in the ‘Moments that Matter’ Show Garden in support of St Giles Hospice.

Buy a Sunflower, help create a unique Art Installation and show your support for St Giles Hospice.

100s of metal Sunflowers have been manufactured to help support St Giles Hospice. Local garden designer, Karen Tatlow, has designed a garden in support of St Giles, which will first be exhibited as a show garden at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival in May 2020, before being moved, piece by piece, back to the hospice in Whittington, where it will be rebuilt as a real garden in the grounds of the hospice, for patients, visitors and staff to enjoy.

The metal Sunflowers (the sunflower being the emblem of the hospice movement), are being sold to raise funds for St Giles and to help fund the building of the garden and will create a unique and poignant art installation at the heart of the garden at the show.

People can buy Sunflowers in support of the project on line at our dedicated project website. 50% of the proceeds will go directly to St Giles and 50% will go to help fund the building of the garden.

They won’t receive their Sunflowers straight away … first the Sunflowers will go to the show, where they will become part of the art installation at the heart of the garden.

After the show, all the Sunflowers will come back to the hospice in Whittington, when, if they choose, people can collect their Sunflowers in person from the hospice, from 18th – 31st May.

After the 31st May, if they wish to leave their Sunflowers at the hospice, they will go to make another art installation in the grounds at Whittington.

Karen Tatlow – garden designer

The Sunflowers are made out of corten steel – a special steel alloy, loved by designers for the natural rusty surface patina, which once developed then creates a protective, weatherproof layer.

When seen together, the natural patina of the Sunflowers creates a beautiful, orangey glow, reminiscent of the St Giles orange.

To make the sunflowers they are first cut out of a large sheet of the steel using a laser cutter. A special programme is used to calculate the best pattern to get the most shapes out of each sheet, with the least wastage.

Next the ‘dimples’ in the centre and the curved edges of the petals are pressed into the metal. Metal is surprisingly malleable, so this is done when the metal is cold and simply stamped into shaped under pressure.

Even as the steel is being moulded in the factory, it begins to develop its trademark rusty patina finish.

We are hoping to sell 500 of the Sunflowers to help us raise funds for the project and we still have 350 to go!

We only have 5 weeks left before we start building the garden at the Malvern showground, so we need everyone to rally round and buy their Sunflowers as soon as possible!

We also need the help of everyone to spread the word, by following the blog and sharing as much as possible on social media, to make sure we reach as many people as we possibly can, to try and make this happen!

Karen encourages everyone to ‘share’ on social media …

To find out more about the ‘Moments that Matter’ garden in support of St Giles Hospice visit the dedicated project website at …

https://stgileshospiceshowgarden.com/

Or contact Karen at

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 https://stgileshospiceshowgarden.com/ or contact Karen Tatlow Garden Design at

Sunflower ‘Factoids’

Five fun facts you may not know about Sunflowers

Help support the St Giles Hospice garden project and keep spreading the word about SUNFLOWERS!

Metal Sunflowers are being sold to help raise funds for a 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.

We are aiming to sell 500 Sunflowers, which is a lot of Sunflowers, so we need everybody to help us spread the word.

Anyone can do this just by ‘liking’ and most importantly ‘sharing’ all the posts we are putting out there, either directly from their Social Media pages, or by using the links at the bottom of this Blog.

We thought the ‘Five Fun Facts’ would be interesting to share and maybe we’ll do five more at some point … watch this space!

Karen Tatlow – award-winning Garden Designer and project lead

Fact One

Not all Sunflowers are yellow! Some are Red and some are Purple!

Fact Two

The head of a Sunflower is actually a combination of thousands of tiny flowers and each Sunflower petal is a flower in itself!

Fact Three

The Guinness World of Records records the tallest Sunflower at 30 foot, one inch tall. That’s over 2 double-decker buses high!

Fact Four

There is a Sunflower called the Teddy Bear Sunflower, which has a fluffy head like a stuffed bear! It won the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in 2015.

Fact Five

Only young Sunflowers track the sun – mature Sunflowers face East! Why? Because they warm up faster and can therefore attract up to 5 times more pollinators!

To find out more about the St Giles Hospice garden, visit the project website here

https://stgileshospiceshowgarden.com/

The story behind Sunflowers and the Hospice movement.

Sunflowers have long been symbolically associated with hospice care, the yellow sunflower being the emblem of the hospice movement.

But what is the story behind the Sunflower and why is this? …

No one can help but smile when greeted with the sight of Sunflowers, their heads tilted in exaltation towards the sun. Bright and cheery, with brilliant yellow petals, also known as “rays”, sunflowers have an unmistakable appearance and while they are stunningly beautiful, they also are rich in meaning.

Used the world over as the emblem of the hospice movement, Sunflowers are thought to represent love, admiration, loyalty, positivity and strength – all qualities undeniably encompassed in hospice care. Sunflowers are known for being ‘happy’ flowers and a symbol of joy and used at a time when joy and happiness can be hard to find.

The design for the St Giles Hospice garden project takes on the theme of Sunflowers – showcasing bespoke paving inlaid with a sunflower design and a custom made metal screen laser cut in a pattern of sunflowers.

To add to that hundreds of specially made metal Sunflowers, sold to raise funds for both St Giles and to help fund the garden project, will create an art installation at the heart of the garden

One of the metal Sunflowers made especially for the project

The seeds of the Sunflowers are thought to represent patients and the surrounding petals love, care and compassion. Sunflowers move to follow the sun during the day, from East to West, at night returning to face the East, ready to face the new day. They draw strength from focusing on the light and not the darkness. As Helen Keller famously quoted;

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow … it’s what sunflowers do.

Helen Keller

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

Sunflowers also traditionally symbolise friendship and support, as summed up beautifully in this quote;

Every friend is to the other a sun, and a sunflower also. He attracts and follows.

Jean Paul Richter – influential German writer 1763 – 1825

To find out all about the St Giles Hospice garden, visit the dedicated project website here https://stgileshospiceshowgarden.com/ . Or contact Karen Tatlow Garden Design at

100 Sunflowers Sold!

First Milestone Reached! Thanks to everyone who has bought the St Giles Hospice Sunflowers and helped us to reach 100 Sunflowers sold!

An unbelievably big THANK YOU so far!

A huge Thank You! to everyone so far who has bought the St Giles Hospice Sunflowers. In fact that’s 100 Huge Thank Yous! as we have now sold 100 Sunflowers and reached our first Milestone!

As many will know by now, metal Sunflowers are being sold to help fund a garden project in support of St Giles Hospice, Whittington. Sunflowers are being sold for £20 each, with 50% of the proceeds going directly to St Giles and 50% going to build the garden. The garden will first be exhibited as a Show Garden at RHS Malvern Spring Festival in May 2020, before being brought back and installed in the grounds of the hospice in Whittington.

We are hoping to sell 500 hundred Sunflowers to raise funds for St Giles and help fund the garden.

Reaching the 100 Sunflowers sold mark is a real milestone for the project and one I didn’t expect to reach so quickly! It is so lovely how everyone is getting behind the Sunflowers idea and it seems to be creating quite a buzz.

Saying that, we still have 400 Sunflowers to go, so please could everyone keep spreading the word and keep the buzz going.

Karen Tatlow, of Karen Tatlow Garden Design who has designed the garden.

To find out all about the St Giles Hospice garden, visit the project website here https://stgileshospiceshowgarden.com/

Show me the Sunflowers!

The metal Sunflowers being sold to support the St Giles Hospice garden project have their very own photo shoot …!

SEE THE PICTURES OF THE ST GILES SUNFLOWERS HERE.

Hundreds of decorative metal Sunflowers, the Sunflower being the emblem of the hospice movement, are being sold to help fund a garden project in support of St Giles Hospice, near Lichfield, Staffordshire.

Garden designer Karen Tatlow, has designed a show garden in collaboration with St Giles Hospice, Whittington, which will be exhibited at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival in May 2020, before being brought back and re-built, piece by piece, in the hospice grounds.

Anyone wishing to help support the project can buy Sunflowers for £20 each. 50% of the proceeds will go directly to St Giles Hospice, while the other 50% will go to help fund the building of the garden.

The Sunflowers will first go to RHS Malvern Spring Festival, where they will create a poignant art installation at the heart of the show garden for all to see. After the show they will be brought back to St Giles, when people can either choose to collect their Sunflowers in person 18th – 31st May, or choose to leave them at St Giles where they will go to create an art installation in the grounds of the hospice.

We want to sell 500 Sunflowers, which will not only help to build the garden, but also be a great way to raise a lot of money to go directly to St Giles.

That’s a lot of Sunflowers and we only have 10 weeks until we start building the garden! So we really need everyone thinking about buying their Sunflowers to do it as soon as possible.

Karen Tatlow

The Sunflowers were kindly photographed by professional photographer Jenny Lilly. Jenny has had commissions to photograph show gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show for many years and it is very exciting that she will be photographing St Giles Hospice “The Moments that Matter” garden when it is exhibited at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival.

Anyone wanting to know more about the project can read all about it at https://stgileshospiceshowgarden.com/

Or contact Karen Tatlow at

An amazing response – over 50 decorative metal Sunflowers sold already! …

Only one week since launch and already 55 Sunflowers have been sold

A HUGE THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS SUPPORTED THE ST GILES HOSPICE GARDEN PROJECT SO FAR

Only a week ago, the St Giles Hospice garden project was officially launched and already supporters have purchased over 50 Sunflowers to help fund not only the garden, but also raise funds directly for St Giles.

Generous supporters have purchased decorative metal Sunflowers for £20 each, with 50% of the proceeds going directly to St Giles and 50% towards building the garden at RHS Malvern Spring Festival in May 2020, before bringing it back, piece by piece and building it again in the grounds of the hospice.

Those attending the launch last week, had a sneak preview of the decorative garden metal Sunflowers, designed to be staked in the ground.

It’s unbelievable how many Sunflowers have already been sold. Everyone seems to really like the idea and so many more have said they are going to get theirs!

Some who claim they are completely hopeless gardeners have joked that even they can’t kill these flowers off!

Once purchased the Sunflowers will first go to create part of an art installation at the heart of the show garden at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival, after which they will be brought back to the hospice. If they wish, people can then collect their Sunflowers in person back at St Giles, Whittington, Monday 18th – Sunday 31st May. Or they can choose to leave their Sunflowers at St Giles, where they will become part of the garden installation, back in Whittington, for all to enjoy.

We are hoping to sell 500 of the metal Sunflowers to make an amazing art installation in the show garden that will really get people talking!

But if we sell that many it will also represent an amazing contribution from the local community, both towards St Giles and towards making this garden happen for them.

You can buy your Sunflowers at the St Giles Hospice Show Garden website at https://stgileshospiceshowgarden.com/buy-sunflowers/

Or contact Karen Tatlow Garden Design at

Successful Launch Event

‘The Moments that Matter’ garden project, in support of St Giles Hospice, was launched last Thursday.

nikki archer (st giles director of supportive care), alex rogers (st giles occupational therapist) and ann bond (st giles volunteer receptionist) seen here with karen tatlow and deputy lieutenant of staffordshire mr jeremy cotton.

A great evening was had by all at St Giles Hospice in Whittington last Thursday, when Karen Tatlow, of Karen Tatlow Garden Design, officially launched the St Giles Hospice garden project, to an audience of local business owners, Whittington and Lichfield residents and of course many from the St Giles Hospice community. Jeremy Cotton, Deputy Lieutenant of Staffordshire also very kindly lent his support by attending on the evening.

Attendees were treated to a presentation giving an ‘insiders view’ of the building of an RHS Show Garden – before the story behind the design of the St Giles show garden garden was revealed and how it will come back to the hospice at Whittington after the show.

People were fascinated to learn of the attention to detail that is required to build a show garden, the lengths designers will go to in their quest for perfection and the sheer hard work and determination that is involved.

Come rain or shine, hail or even hurricanes – you must have that garden finished in time for judging day and no amount of excuses – however genuine – will be accepted. Even when things go wrong – which they always do – you just have to plough on regardless!

The story behind the design of the St Giles garden was then explained – how the space is not only accessible to wheelchairs, but that a patient bed can also be wheeled into the garden. How a specially commissioned cantilevered pergola and height adjustable movable table, completely free up the space to accommodate any activity. And how ‘one offs’ like a beautifully intricate laser cut screen, with stained glass inserts and bespoke porcelain pavers are being designed and manufactured for the garden.

Guests were treated to a sneak preview of the Sunflowers for the art installation …

Guests were also treated to a sneak preview of the Metal Sunflowers that are going to make up an art installation at the heart of the garden. Anyone can support the project by buying a Sunflower for £20, with 50% of the proceeds being donated to St Giles Hospice and 50% being used to fund the show garden at RHS Malvern. Sunflowers can be bought at the following link …

https://stgileshospiceshowgarden.com/buy-sunflowers/

First the Sunflowers will go to create part of the art installation at the heart of the show garden at RHS Malvern in May, after which, if they wish, people can collect their Sunflowers in person back at St Giles.

The support we have had so far from local businesses is amazing!

Urban Street Designs, AT Services, Logi Engineering, Tippers, Just Granite, Lichfield Garden Centre, Gleeson Recruitment, Grangewood Garden Centre, Masonry Solutions, Downes and Daughters, South Staffordshire Paper Products, Brookside Nursery and ReadyHedge.

These are all on board already and of course we must mention MJL Garden Design who will be building the garden, not only at the show, but for a second time back at St Giles.

Many more have expressed their wish to pledge their support, but of course we are still hoping to find more businesses that would like to help us make this garden happen!

The evening also gave those attending the chance to find out all about the various volunteer roles there are available to help support the project. Volunteers can help to build the garden behind the scenes at RHS Malvern, or back at St Giles in Whittington after the show. There are other opportunities to get involved, perhaps with the administration side of things, or even cooking and freezing homemade meals to keep the troops going!

You can learn more about the project at https://stgileshospiceshowgarden.com/ or contact Karen at

Garden Launch Event!

St Giles Hospice “The Moments That Matter” garden project is being officially launched …

23rd January, 6.30-8.30pm, St Giles Hospice, Whittington.

Come along to the Launch Event of the St Giles Hospice garden project … everyone is welcome!

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-story-of-a-rhs-show-garden-tickets-84152156365

Join award winning RHS garden designer Karen Tatlow to hear the ‘STORY OF A SHOW GARDEN’ – sharing her experience of building and exhibiting an RHS show garden last year, which picked up no less than three awards, including “People’s Choice Show Garden” and well as attracting national media coverage.

Building a garden from scratch out of nothing, to an absolute deadline in a matter of days and making it look like it has been there for years is no easy task. In fact it could be described as a form of insanity!

We ended up doing all sorts of crazy things to make it happen and those are the kind of things people are most interested in hearing about.

Karen will also be sharing the story behind the St Giles garden, which will be at RHS Malvern Spring Festival in May, before being moved, piece by piece, back to the hospice in Whittington, Lichfield.

There’ll be the opportunity to find out how to pledge your support for the project, whether that’s getting involved in building the garden, spreading the word, helping financially, or signing up to help bring the garden back to Whittington.

The garden is becoming a real community project, with people, local organisations and businesses across Whittington Village and Lichfield all coming together to donate time, products, services and expertise, as well as financial donations.

It’s an absolute joy to see so many people and businesses wanting to lend their support to build this garden for the hospice.

We have already raised support worth an estimated £58K, which is so wonderful, but we still have about £13K to go, so every little bit that people and businesses can give is so important … and of course we cannot do it all alone, so we are also looking for volunteers that can help us!

All are welcome to come along to the Launch Event, whether you are a local business owner or representative that would like to find out more, or someone who is simply fascinated about the world of RHS Show Gardens!

The Launch Event is at St Giles Hospice, Whittington, on the 23rd January, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm

Tickets are free, with a request for a donation on the night towards the garden if possible.

Tickets are avialable via EventBrite at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-story-of-a-rhs-show-garden-tickets-84152156365

Or contact Karen directly at