On the structure in the centre of the garden will hang garden tools to symbolise that every good idea and to ‘think big’, needs the right tools to make it a reality. I wanted them to be painted in silver to create a sculptural effect. Acquiring the tools has been far from easy due to the sheer quantity we require. From an eco standpoint I wanted them to be mainly discarded / broken / not working tools so that it wasn’t a waste.
I set this as a mission for friends and family. They have been amazing and there’s a lot to be said about word of mouth (thanks especially to Josie and Barney and all the residents of Taggs Island for their kind contribution). But one lady has really saved the day. My mother-in-law. She’s been trawling the local junk sales in Penzance and it has to be said has acquired 80% of the tools required. Some are really unusual. She’s certainly saved my other half, Hugo, from a lot of Ebay and Freecycle searches and driving round the country to pick them up.
The next job is to paint them silver. Hugo has been painting a few every night or whenever he has a spare hour (which isn’t often). It’s a massive job and he’s been working away religiously. I feel terrible not helping but due to being pregnant I’m having to come to terms with the limits of what I can and cannot do. I think that’s been the hardest thing about this whole project and I have to say I’m dreading the build in that respect.
It has to be said though that when silver they look fantastic. They look great in our entrance way against a white wall so we may use them to create a wall sculpture after the show. There’s still many more to go silver and very little time to do it so I feel a painting party coming on the weekend of 11-12th June.
And here’s another worry I think I have combated. After waking up in the middle night in a cold sweat realising that after spending hours filling out the form for the health and safety I had just focused on the build and breakdown and not the show itself (which as the general public are involved, is even more important). With over a hundred garden tools being hung on it and another 100 plants, I decided that even though I hadn’t the budget, I would get a structural engineer to check the structure, to ensure the weight bearing capacity and forces that were being applied would be all fine. I could then pin down a specification for the star shape wire structure from which I plan to hang the upside down pots. Jason from Expositionists (the company I am hiring the gantry from) has been a complete legend in helping me with this aspect. He’s gone way beyond the call of duty – maybe he’s a bit taken with this very wacky project. If anyone ever needs staging equipment – go to him is all I can say.
Now what to do with all the materials in the garden? I want them to go to good homes, not get dumped on a skip. What’s up for grabs? Beautiful Agapanthus, Hostas and Ferns, painted garden tools, mirrors and exterior ply wood. Anyone want any of these? For the plants I’m offering them all at £3 each for those that want to put their name down. You’ll have to collect them from me in Putney or the show on Sunday 10th July evening. Same goes for the tools, mirrors and wood except you can have them for free. Feel free to email us with what you want at firstname.lastname@example.org.