Get in touch

Guest Blog - Catfoot Garden Design & Florence Gardening

We have always welcomed Garden Designers approaching us for loans of furniture for their Show Gardens & Summer 2016 has been a fabulous one for us and two designers, both of whom won a much coveted RHS Gold Medal.  We invited both Amanda Waring of Catfoot Design & Alison Galer of Florence Gardening to write about their experience.....

RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, Catfoot Garden Design  by Amanda Waring

Whilst visiting Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Shows in 2013 I noticed with disappointment the lack of thought and design that went in to the seating on the show gardens, and vowed that should I do a garden with visible seating I would make the effort to make it special.  My 30 years as a furniture designer and strong links with the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers were heavily sitting in the background of my thoughts.

We first collaborated with Sitting Spiritually on our first show garden at Tatton Park in 2014 when a pair of swings caused a bit of a stir. I remember these swings arriving and unwrapping them.  They sat on the floor of my sitting room for several days whilst I walked around admiring them and taking in the delicious smell of timber and new rope!  They were a huge success on the show garden and the stories from Tatton sparked our ongoing relationship with the Sitting Spiritually team.  Our award winning show garden ‘Maggie’s Forest Garden’ scooped a gold medal and Best Show Garden. 

The Floating Bench I spotted at the Society of Garden Designer’s autumn conference 2015.  Immediately I knew we just had to have it on our show garden at Hampton Court.  It was such a breath of fresh air seeing a beautifully designed and crafted contemporary bench, perfect for our garden promoting British designers and makers.

CCLA Summer Retreat
BBC cameras at the ready!

The fun of setting up at Hampton Court was unveiling different elements to our garden on a daily basis, and the benches were added during the end of the second week of build.  They were fully wrapped for the first few days, keeping the tension going for passers by during the set up week.  However when they were finally undressed even James, our award winning landscaper said ‘wow!  They just bring the whole garden together.’   The attention they received throughout the show week, both by the media and the public was amazing.

Our thanks go to Sitting Spiritually for the loan of the benches, and also to Simon Thomas Pirie for his inspirational design.  We were so pleased that one of the benches went on to Tatton Park Flower Show to Alison Galer's Back to Back garden to win yet another GOLD!

Catfoot Designs


AWARDS RHS Silver Gilt Tatton 2015, RHS Gold & Best Show Garden Tatton 2014 & 2016

telephone: 07802 299 209


Laura Arison & Amanda Waring

RHS Tatton Park Flower Show,  Florence Gardening by Alison Galer

It’s just over three weeks since show breakdown at RHS Tatton 2016 and it all still seems a little surreal.

My first RHS show garden and I was awarded a Gold medal and  ‘The People’s Choice Award’ for my Back to Back garden ‘The Waiting List’.  An amazing experience  and  it  wasn’t  a dream.

The Brief  - as a former transplant nurse I wanted to create a calm and uplifting garden that I would have liked to have been able to take my patients into instead of sitting in a hospital clinic  room.

The Design - a very simple rectilinear design  featuring rills with gentle burbling water and softened with a matrix of naturalistic planting.

I was particularly thrilled with how the planting evolved, it’s muted  biscuit tones worked beautifully. The local bee population definitely appreciated the ensemble of spikes, buttons and umberlifers.

Key features -  The garden had 2 key focal points, an inspiring piece of sculpture “Spring” by John O’Connor and a centrally placed bench for a patient and nurse to sit and what a bench!!…..

Photo Courtesy of Alison Moore

Love at first sight

I first set eyes on the Simon Thomas Pirie ‘Floating Bench’ for Sitting Spiritually at the SGD autumn conference 2015. Having walked into the conference at my customarily early self to be greeted by Martin & Celia previewing the bench. I knew instantly this was the perfect centre piece for my show garden.

The bench worked wonderfully echoing the clean lines of the design. The public at the show marveled at the design and exclaimed “how” and ‘what  a piece of art”

Now back at home and embarking on new design projects I’m full of enthusiasm to create gardens with the wow factor just like the floating bench.

Onwards and upwards in my ongoing career as a garden designer, I feel very privileged to have had this adventure

F L O R E N C E   G A R D E N I N G 

Alison Galer   07952  343 792

The Waiting List
Toby Buckland filming for BBC2

Many thanks to all involved & many congratulations to Catfoot Garden Design & Florence Garden for scooping Gold Medals.

To discuss the loan of Sitting Spiritually Furniture for your own Show Garden, do give us a call on 01297 443084

Posted by Siobhan on August 16th 2016

Loading... Updating page...