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Stop and smell the flowers: a GW Live garden

This summer we're supporting Somerset-based Sandhurst Garden Design with the build of their garden at Gardeners' World Live in June. We find out what the garden will look like, and take a look back at Julie and Andrew's 'The Mary Anning Space to Learn Garden' at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2023.
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Stop and smell the flowers: a GW Live garden
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Stop and smell the flowers: a GW Live garden

We always like to support garden designers where we can, and summer is an exciting time as we follow the progress of their various gardens at shows around the country.

We first saw the work of Somerset-based award-winning husband and wife team, Sandhurst Garden Design, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show last year. Their debut container garden ‘The Mary Anning Space to Learn Garden’ highlighted the incredible geology and history of Dorset’s own Jurassic Coast – not far from our Dorset office!

So when Julie and Andrew got in touch with news of their garden at Gardeners’ World Live this year, we were intrigued.

Julie explained that they were extremely excited to be returning to their BBC Gardeners’ World Live roots again with their showcase garden ‘Stop and Smell the Flowers'.

Julie and Andrew are no strangers to the event. They exhibited their Beautiful Border ‘Winnie the Pooh and The Honey Tree’ at the show in 2016 winning a Gold Medal and Best Interpretation of the Theme, before returning in 2018 and winning a silver medal for ‘A Mermaid’s Tale’.

Julie says: “The inspiration for our garden this year is, that in a world driven by faceless, fast-paced interaction with technology, finding a peaceful sanctuary in modern life, one that gives you the chance to sit amongst nature and relax, is important for our wellbeing.”

The design has a winding gravel path that encourages you to slow down the pace and to take in with your senses the soft colour palette of pink, purple and blue and the fragrance of the flowers. And as you step through the Corten steel moon gate, you leave behind your busy life as you sit for a while with a friend and reflect, screened from the world by the multi-stem Amelanchier tree, to focus on the important things in life: health, family, and friendship.


Andrew using our RHS-endorsed spade in the GW Live garden

Julie, who lives with husband Andrew in Yeovil in Somerset, came late to garden design. Julie says: “I have always been passionate about plants, having been influenced by my mum and her love of flower arranging and her own garden, so in 2016 after a 30-year career in the legal profession, I decided to follow my heart and re-train as a garden designer.”

Andrew joined the business in 2020 after a 38-year career with Leonardo Helicopters, complementing Julie with his own horticultural skills and together they make a formidable duo. Andrew says: “We pride ourselves on providing a professional garden design service from design drawings, construction and through to planting, transforming small to medium size garden projects with practical solutions that include small town houses, cottage gardens to contemporary courtyards and new build properties.”

We were very happy to support Julie and Andrew with a selection of tools to use during the building of their showcase garden. We wish them good luck with the preparations - and we can’t wait to see the finished garden!

The 'Mary Anning Space to Learn Garden', RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023
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