Read the second part of how London Stone are supporting RHS Flower Shows 2021.
When it comes to providing materials to flower shows, London Stone bends over backwards to help designers achieve exactly what they want. For RHS Flower Shows 2021, this has meant getting up close and personal with scants - like falling off a log for us - but in past years designers have given us some really tough challenges and came out smiling.
This year's bespoke pieces
With the impact of Covid-19 across the world, it has meant that where we would normally provide plenty of bespoke pieces, this year has been a little different. There are a few suspected reasons for this. With the potential for event postponement and last-minute changes, designers are being less adventurous with big bespoke pieces. There has also been difficulty in obtaining raw materials across the industry which may also be the reason behind fewer bespoke orders. This year the bespoke element has come in the form of large, impressive features and stone straight from the scants.
In Will Williams' The Viking Friluftsliv Garden for Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2021, we provided the large Jura Grey slabs. Two solid pieces were used to create an impressive bridge over the plunge pool. Each of the pieces weighed a whopping 1.5 tonnes and the total span of the bridge was 3.3m – not your usual paving size! Read more about this garden here.
Chelsea Flower Show is coming up next month. Naomi Ferret-Cohen's garden, Finding Our Way: An NHS Tribute Garden will feature plenty of bespoke elements using our Heathmoor Buff Yorkstone. This garden celebrates the ongoing and relentless work of NHS staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. This immersive garden has plenty of twists and turns in the hardscaping. Water travels through a series of pools to represent the collective efforts of the NHS and universities. Read more about this garden here.
Bespoke pieces at precious shows
Some of our bespoke pieces from previous years have been a true challenge for our in-house stone masons to overcome.
One example of this comes from Tom Simpson's stunning The Cancer Research Pledge Pathway To Success. This featured bespoke-cut Jura Green Limestone at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2019. With a pencil-round prolife cut to millimetre accuracy, the steps were not as simple as they look. The steps' depth changes from 300mm to 400mm as you move across their length. Everything had to be precisely drawn and engineered to produce the sleek final design. Read more about this garden here.
Another impressive illustration of bespoke work was at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016. Ann-Marie Powell's Greening Grey Britain Garden used our Golden Stone Porcelain and gave it a unique twist. Using our CNC machine the words for “happiness” in various languages were inscribed into the face of the stone. These posed a challenge, even for our expert CNC machine operator Piotr, because porcelain is a very dense stone to cut. However, the result speaks for themselves. The contrast in texture between the smooth porcelain and the inscription demonstrates just how much bespoke work can impact the overall effect of the garden. Find out more on this garden here.
Our hope for the future is more certainty and more bespoke. Looking forward, we want to see the return of great creativity and designers using the skill of our stone masons to the fullest. Learn more about landscapers and designers here.