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After getting an award for our 2007 stand we managed to obtain a stand in a different part of the show ground which had more sunshine - a swing seat needs to be in the sun! Having done the show a year ago it was clear that this time we would be better prepared. If only that was the case. Everything was clearly left to the last minute and was a terrible rush. Swing seats had to be made in a couple of days and all the previous year's props were distributed around the house! After much grumping my husband finished the swing seats in record time and I, being much more organised found everything else. The Volkswagen van limped out of retirement again and filled to the brim we were bound for SW3 once more. Inexplicably, we managed to take longer to build the stand and it didn't even rain!
We hadn't designed any 'stands' before but we knew that planting was key so we promptly teamed up with a local garden nursery who gave us advice on what would be in season. After many design iterations we enlisted my old art teacher to paint a walled garden on canvas with an Idler swing seat central to the picture. My husband duly stretched a giant 12m x 3m canvas over a folding frame and the painting began. Within two weeks and 8 hours a day in a cold art room the canvas was completed. The swing seat placed centrally in the picture was the focus of the design and we were chuffed to bits with what had been created. Now all we had to do was get everything to London and put it all together.
Of course on the day it was raining. We'd spent three hours getting to London in a 1976 Volkswagen bus which frankly 'ran like a dog' and as soon as we arrived it really started to pour. We didn't have a choice as time was limited so unloading and construction had to begin. The rain became harder and then there was the mud. Our pristine swing seats became covered in dirt and our painted canvas became drenched but of course the Show had to go on. After six hours everything was in place and notably a team of 'pros' had set up three stands in the time it took us to do ours but were very pleased with the results.
We had a great show again and once again we utilised our garden sofas to rest on during the long days. They were also employed to rejuvenate other tradestand holders flagging spirits too, notably Harrod Horticultural - for all your gardening needs and J's pots - beautiful antique and architectural pots. We again won an award for our stand which at least vindicated all the hard, albeit somewhat disorganised, that year!