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 …
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
or contact Karen at