Hundreds of beautiful, handmade sunflowers are being sold across Lichfield to raise funds for a Royal Horticultural Show Garden inspired by a local hospice.
The sunflowers will form a stunning installation in the ‘Moments that Matter’ Show Garden at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival in May and will also raise funds for the garden and St Giles Hospice.
The four-day festival, which runs from May 7 to 10 in association with boutique travel company Great Little Breaks at Three Counties Showground, Malvern, attracts over 100,000 people annually and is seen by many as the official start of Spring.
Award-winning garden designer Karen Tatlow commissioned the flowers, which are made of corten steel – a metal with a natural, pre-weathered rust-like appearance, from local company A.T. Services.
The funds raised through the sale of the sunflowers will be split with fifty percent going to help build the show garden and fifty percent to St Giles Hospice.
Karen said more than 50 flowers had already been purchased following the launch of the garden project and even more people had expressed an interest.
“It’s unbelievable how many sunflowers have already been sold – everyone seems to really like the idea and so many more have said they are going to get theirs,” she said.
“Some people who claim they are completely hopeless gardeners have joked that even they can’t kill these flowers off.
“We are hoping to sell 500 of the metal sunflowers to make an amazing art installation in the show garden that will really get people talking.
“But if we sell that many it will also represent an amazing contribution from the local community, both towards St Giles Hospice and towards making this garden happen for them.”
Once purchased the sunflowers will first go to create part of an art installation at the heart of the show garden at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival, after which they will be brought back along with the garden, which will be rebuilt plant by plant at the hospice.
People can then collect their sunflowers in person from St Giles Hospice, Whittington between Monday 18th – Sunday 31st May or they can choose to leave their sunflowers at the hospice, where they will become part of the garden installation for all to enjoy.
Rob Tunnah, director and owner of A.T. Services, which is based on the Lichfield Road Industrial Estate in Tamworth, said they were delighted to be supporting the project.
“A.T. Services is a welding, fabrication and engineering company and we can make more or less anything for anyone, but I must admit the sunflowers are a bit different for us,” he said.
“We are a family business, established over 32 years ago by my father Andy and five generations of our family have lived in Whittington, where the hospice is, so we are very happy to be contributing to our local community.
“It’s very different from our normal work, which generally involves sheets of metal, not petals and it’s been a challenge but we’ve really enjoyed being part of it and look forward to seeing the garden in bloom.”
You can buy your sunflowers for £20 each at the St Giles Hospice Show Garden website at https://stgileshospiceshowgarden.com/buy-sunflowers/ or contact Karen Tatlow Garden Design at email@example.com or 07432 646275.
The sunflowers will also be on show at Downes & Daughters. Whittington Newsagents. Grangewood Garden Centre, Tamworth, Lichfield Garden Centre, Curborough and Just Granite, Cannock, but are only available to purchase online.
Whittington Newsagents have offered to process the purchase on line for anyone who doesn’t have internet access.
Information about the project is available at https://stgileshospiceshowgarden.com/
Advance tickets for RHS Malvern Spring Festival – where the sunflowers will be on display – are now on sale, with prices starting at just £20 for RHS and Three Counties members, or £22 for the general public (plus 75p transaction fee). Children under 16 go free. Group tickets are also available.
For further information visit www.rhsmalvern.co.uk or call 0844 811 0050.