Hampton court Diary 2

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Western Morning News – 23 April 2011

The last month has seen a great deal of spade work but with little to show as yet. I’m discovering it’s always like that when preparing a major show garden. July looms large yet the garden and all the surrounding work still requires a great deal of hard work and some luck!

The budget for the garden is extremely tight and so an enormous amount of effort goes into contacting suppliers in the hope that they will provide materials or plants at much reduced prices. For example, I’m currently looking for someone to help with 125 perspex mirrors, 40 rectangular tubes of steel and a wide range of timber. Phoning round companies takes a great deal of time yet I continue to be amazed at how someone always seems to turn up with the necessary materials. I’m rapidly discovering that there are many companies who with the right approach will provide a great deal of help and I’m now beginning to get a very useful contact list of suppliers who provide high quality materials and who I will no doubt use in the future.

Plants are easier, Crocus have been exceptionally helpful and we have selected our 60 Buxus balls and hornbeam hedging from Belgium. These all arrived last week, looking great, and will now be clipped into shape and allowed to grow to ensure it has a lush healthy appearance by the time of the exhibition.

I’ve been to London on a couple of occasions to meet with the Coppafeel team and with Christine and Maren we’ve been working with the London based creative agency, Archibald Ingall Stretton, who have been finalising the copywriting and interactive elements which will feature in the garden. This has been a major part of the design which needed completing to allow me to confirm to suppliers and contractors so they can now complete the elements/products. A new world for me and on which I will comment in the next report.

Over the last two weeks we have also been busy building www.coppafeelgarden.com, this is the official garden site where you can keep up to-date on our progress, see the plans and eventual photos of the garden. It also has all the details if you would like to visit Hampton Court.

The Coppafeel team are determined to make the most of this opportunity to advertise their very worthwhile charity and are looking to ensure that the garden gets maximum publicity. To this end they are hoping to ensure a number of celebrities visit the garden. Knowing Christine and Maren well I have no doubt they will be successful and I will be writing about this in the next repot. No pressure then on this young garden designer working on his first Hampton Court garden!