You meet such lovely people when building a show garden, yesterday I spent the morning in the Wyre Forest talking to a talented craftsman called Paul Jackson. He is making two rustic oak chairs for my garden so I went along to see how they are made. It was such a beautiful spring day and the drive there took me through the gentle Worcestershire and Shropshire countryside. His wood yard is on the edge of the forest, it's very peaceful, just bird song and wind in the trees. This is one of the chairs, it's called a story teller chair and is hand made from oak.
Last week I visited another talented craftsman, this time one who works in metal. He has made the arch for my garden and I have designed the garden for his tradestand at the show. His name is Phil Gilman and I have worked with him before, he made a stunning spider wishing well for my very first show garden. This now has pride of place in a school. He also made the arum lily fountain for my second garden. I liked it so much that I bought it for myself. It is much admired by visitors to my house.
Both these men put so much care and attention into their creations and really love their work. Phil works in an old workshop, it's noisy, dirty and full of pieces of iron, metal leaves and flowers, but what he produces is exquisite. Paul also works from a large shed scattered with lengths of oak and chestnut and bark peelings. Isn't it good to know that in the 21st centuary these crafts are alive and well. Please come and see their work at the show, the chairs will be in my garden and Phil has a tradestand near the Chris Beardshaw mentoring show gardens. Look at their work on the websites, if they are to survive in this era they need your support.