London Stone At RHS Tatton Park 2018 - We take a look at this year's show, and the gardens we have helped come to fruition

Here at London Stone, we’re committed to our Better Together vision of an industry united in all its elements, so we thought we’d ask how friendly and supportive is it in a competitive atmosphere like a major RHS Show?

Will Williams - Young DEsigner Of The Year 2018 RHS Tatton

Will Williams wins RHS Young Designer Of The Year 2018

Handily, Tatton Park Flower Show swung into action yesterday and one of its most popular sections is the RHS Young Designer Gardens, this year celebrating its tenth anniversary with a larger number of finalists.

This category aims to highlight the talent of young designers aged 28 and under and, this year, we’re involved in two designs in this category.

At One - Will Williams

'At One' - A 'classic contemporary' garden for a young professional couple

At One, by Will Williams, built by S & P Landscapes, is a “classic contemporary” garden showing how we can live comfortably alongside wildlife. Will, who at 22 is the youngest entrants, was enthusiastic. “This is the third show garden I’ve done and I’ve found that everyone is always happy to help. They want to help because of your age. You just have to ask.”

London Stone is a co-sponsor of At One, alongside Hortus Loci nursery, so look out for our Beige Sawn Sandstone, Golden Stone Porcelain, DesignBoard Mocha and Stainless Steel Slot Drains. “The Golden Porcelain works well with the Beige Sandstone and sets off the wall nicely,” said Will, “and with the sandblasted bricks and sawn sandstone copings, you’ve got a variety of textures.”

Will had a very clear idea of the wall he wanted. “We looked at other options of regular brickwork, but they were too wavy or straight. In the end London Stone cut out each individual brick from the Beige Sandstone and sandblasted them to make them from scratch. It was a huge effort.”

Golden Stone Downstand - Will Williams Tatton 2018

Golden Stone porcelain Downstand steps lead to Beige Sawn Sandstone walling and coping

Those bricks provided a bit of drama too. “We needed a couple of hundred more bricks to arrive by the next day,” says Will, “and London Stone made it happen. They had to make them and then sent them by overnight courier. That was a hell of job by them, but if we hadn’t had them the next day we would have been very pushed for time. We were up-against-it anyway because it was a complicated build.”

But what a result. We’re thrilled for Will that he not only achieved Gold medal, but has also won the coveted Young Designer of the Year!

“I’d use London Stone again in a heartbeat,” he told us. “Everyone in the office and the factory has been great. They were really happy to get involved working with a young designer and got straight behind it. I’m working with Hortus Loci too. Everyone together has been fantastic.”

Thank you, Will.

Golden Stone Will Williams Tatton 2018

Golden Stone porcelain creates modern pathways - complete with colourful perennial planting

Calm in Chaos

Max Harriman, designer of Calm in Chaos, built by Bowles & Wyer, has found the experience a literal baptism of fire. “The heat was a large factor in the whole build,” he said. “It was really, really hard work.” He made it clear how useful this RHS category is to young designers. “I’ve learned so much—how to prepare, and managing teams and the build. Preparation is the key and having contingency plans for when things go wrong.”

Max’s design emphasises the need to escape from the stresses associated with urban living. Key features in the woodland-inspired garden were designed to maximise the time a guest spends there, and our Darleymoor Yorkstone played a part.  “The aim is to keep the guest in the garden as long as possible to increase the restorative aspects, so the crazy paving is embedded into the gravel path to change the texture on the corners, which slows guests down.”

Max Harriman RHS Tatton 2018 Calm In Chaos

'Calm In Chaos' by Max Harriman of Bowles & Wyer, RHS Tatton PArk 201a

Darleymoor is a premium stone, so off-cuts are a great way to incorporate it into a design with as little waste and expense as possible. Max and his team hammered and chipped the pieces to shape on site. “It was very therapeutic!” said Max.

Max had come to us previously for a build in NW London. “Customer service is amazing. You can always give them a ring. I was short of downstands and I got them the next day. You can spend a lot of time waiting with some companies, but London Stone are really, really involved in the project.”

After feeling like a cog in a wheel when he was working in the hospitality industry, Max has found the landscaping industry friendly and welcoming. “There’s a huge amount of support offered to young people,” he said.

Many congratulations to Max for achieving Silver-Gilt for his very first RHS Show Garden.

Max Harriman - Silver Gilt RHS Tatton 2018

Max Harriman wins a deserved Silver Gilt at RHS Tatton Park 2018

A Place to Ponder

Our third involvement at Tatton Park Flower Show this year was with Matt Haddon who designed A Place to Ponder, built by Nicholas Edward Fryer, for the Back to Back Gardens category, which aims to show how grand statements can be made in small spaces.

A Place to Ponder transforms a forgotten corner into a pocket haven using strong lines and structural planting that includes shrubs such as hydrangeas and roses.

Based in the East Riding of Yorkshire, Matt has specified our materials to clients quite a bit recently. “There’s a perception that because they’re called London Stone, they must be expensive. But I carry the sample case around, and I’ve found that if someone sees something they love in the case, they’re disinclined to change their mind.”

A Place To Ponder - Matt Haddon

'A Place To Ponder' - Matt Haddon Gardens at RHS Tatton Park 2018

With a couple of medals from Harrogate already under his belt, this build has gone smoothly for Matt and he didn’t need to call on us for any last-minute help but came to consult early on. “I wanted a dark backdrop so the plants would pop and make the colours much more vibrant.” He already had a very good idea of what he wanted when we met. Conferring with Craig, he originally paired DesignClad Volcano Roca with basalt, but we were able to show him that Black Granite treated with Intensifia was so similar as to be fine. “I had samples on my desk for nine months to make sure everything worked,” he said.

Black Granite - Matt Haddon Gardens RHS Tatton 2018

Black Granite from London Stone provides the perfect backdrop for the seating area

This is the first time Matt’s used DesignClad and, by the sound of it, it won’t be the last. “I really like it,” he said. “It’s fantastic for covering a large space quickly. It costs a bit more, but the ease with which it goes on, the amount of space covered, it compensates for itself, if you see what I mean.”

The judges liked it too. “They were very complimentary about the planting and the walls,” he says. Many congratulations to Matt for winning a Silver-Gilt.

Vulcano Roca - RHS Tatton 2018

Show garden staple, Verbena bonariensis sits at peace with the Vulcano Roca DesignClad

Matt, who’s been in the business eight years, came to garden design a bit later than our younger designers, but he tells a similar story. “Everybody is fantastic and clubs together. No one wants to get one up on anyone.” Part of his previous life was spent in finance. “Landscaping is a more friendly atmosphere and everyone wants to help where they can. Perhaps working outside makes people more relaxed!”

Certainly one of the things we enjoy most about our job at London Stone is getting to know our clients. We’re proud to lend a hand at every opportunity and really do our best to try to ensure a build goes as smoothly as possible.

We’ll leave the final word to Max: “London Stone are always looking for the best end-result. You feel they have your back.”

Thank you, Max.