PHOTO GALLERY: Show gardens set to thrill crowds at Sandringham Flower Show

Danielle Bowman, Paul Johnston, Sue Johnston and Matthew Johnston on their show garden. Picture: Matthew Usher. Danielle Bowman, Paul Johnston, Sue Johnston and Matthew Johnston on their show garden. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
9:27 AM

Thousands will cast a critical eye over the show gardens today, before the judges decide who wins the coveted EDP Best in Show award.

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While some are familiar faces, others are new to the show – and even the vocation.

Matt Johnston, 19, from Hunstanton, has designed his first garden around his impressions of Norfolk, with sand, shells and a beach hut draped with netting evoking the nearby coast.

“It’s been a really good experience,” said Matt, who has been part-sponsored by the flower show.

“If I can find a sponsor I’d definitely like to do it again. I love designing gardens.”

Heather and Charles Harrison in their interpretation of Hansel and Gretel. Picture: Matthew Usher.Heather and Charles Harrison in their interpretation of Hansel and Gretel. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Girlfriend Danielle Bowman, who has helped out alongside Matt’s parents Paul and Sue – themselves landscape gardeners – said: “Everything he had in his mind we’ve done. We’ve not missed anything.”

Easton College student Matt Hughes, from Norwich, has built a garden around the theme of biodiversity.

He said: “With the decline of bees, it’s about using the right planting, woodland and water to attract all the insects we’ve lost out of our gardens.”

Mr Hughes was helped by fellow students Abie Raynsford, Alison Hughes, Richard McCarracher, Sarah Rix and Lizzie Ducker. “It’s been hard work but it’s beeen worth it,” he said.

John and Anna Harrison, from Milton Keynes, have built a garden themed around Hansel and 
Gretel. Their children Heather and Charles will be playing the leading roles.

“I haven’t had time to try my dress on yet,” said Heather, 16. “I’m living life on the edge.”

Shouldham-based Thistlefield design have created a wooden raindrop, shaped from curved timbers, which splashes down into their garden.

Clover and grass creates a ripple pattern, while chains which designer Paul Welford took four days to spot weld into shape show how all things in life are linked together.

Show regulars John Shone and family – aka Rutland Willows – have built a garden to promote the Osteoporosis Society.

“It’s called Take a Break, which is a double meaning,” said Mr Shone. Stone is shaped like a backbone with a flattened vertebrae, while a series of willow circles show cross sections through ageing bones.

Shadow Hall, who runs Hall Landscaping at Smallborough, has designed a modern cottage garden, using the ancient Japanese technique of shou sugi ban to preserve its timbers. “You burn it to preserve it,” she said. “The insects don’t like it, the fungi doesn’t like it.”

SD garden design, from Peterborough, have built a young couple’s first garden – complete with artificial lawn, which doesn’t need mowing or watering.

The four-strong Litcham Gardeners have built an interpretation of the Queen Mother’s Garden at the Castle of Mey, in Scotland.

Ralph and Linda Nicholls, Cindy Dew and Richard Vogt describe themselves as hobby gardeners with a three-figure budget.

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