Date: 8 June 2002
Originally published in: The Sun (UK)
Written by: Peter Seabrook
Pop star Kim Wilde will be helping The Sun stay at No1 with our displays at the BBC Gardeners’ World Live Exhibition this month. Kim will be partnering David Fountain, who has designed the Countryside Properties Lord Of The Rings Garden as one of four completely new themes for our Sun Flower Street. David, Royal Horticultural Society Gold Medal winner at last year’s Tatton Park Show, will transform one modest house front into a grassroots Bag End garden – just like that of Hobbit Bilbo Baggins in the film The Lord Of The Rings. Kim, 41 – an Eighties chart star with hits such as Kids In America and You Keep Me Hangin’ On – has turned her creative energies to gardening and worked with David at Tatton Park last year. The daughter of Fifties rocker Marty Wilde, Kim also helped Julie Toll build the Wyevale RHS Chelsea Gold Medal Garden last month. Her contribution must have delighted Wyevale chief executive Robert Hewitt. Now Kim is really excited about the fantasy theme she will be developing with David and is taking time out from her busy television and garden design commitments to work in our Sun Flower Street. You can see the result of their handiwork at the Birmingham NEC between June 19 to 23.
This year we have some exciting new designs and more new plants thanks to sponsorship from Skoda Cars and generous support from house builder Countryside Properties. The garden trade is already buzzing about the unique new Car Turntable to be built in our Roundabout Garden. The British-built device allows cars to be driven on to small front gardens and spun round 180° by hand. This means no more dangerous reversing across pavements on to busy roads. It also leaves more space for gardening in modest front plots. Kevin Dunne and his wife Suzanne, of Classic Landscapes in Sale, Cheshire, have designed a second fantasy garden, taking Camelot and the Knights Of The Round Table as the theme. And in another of our Sun Street exhibits we go back to basics with a traditional lawn and flower border garden. Unwins Seeds are involved here and plan to use the garden to launch a lovely brand new mid-blue sweet pea. Among a number of other new varieties at Birmingham will be the Eyeball plant – an edible ornamental that is said to have a range of medicinal qualities. The mahogany in bud and yellow and mahogany flowers look like a strange, small eyeball. There are masses of these flowers carried above the young copper leaves which mature to a deep green. Our Sun Flower Street for the Gardeners’ World Live Exhibition will follow hot on the heels of our successes at the Chelsea Flower Show last month. Each of our six exhibits there, all front gardens outside mock terraced houses, picked up a medal – three golds, a silver and two bronzes. There were only nine gold medals awarded to more than 50 gardens at the show – and the Queen personally congratulated us for our haul of gongs during her Jubilee year visit.