I have returned! Did you miss me? 😉
I will do a holiday update, though you’ll have seen some pictures of it already around the blogosphere… but there’s something else I want to mention first, not least because it finishes at the end of the week!
A few weeks ago, I was approached by Focus PR on behalf of Harveys Bristol Cream Sherry, a very classic British brand; to design a vintage garden stand for the Ideal Home Show. This huge event has been going on for donkey’s years in Earl’s Court (the Internet says since 1908!), and this year, Harveys are the main drinks sponsor. They wanted a little stand in the Ideal Gardens section, from which to sample their sherry with ice and a slice of orange, and to promote the idea of the Harveys Half Hour. They wanted the garden to be relaxing and nostalgic (just like the sherry!), and I was very happy to oblige, but I also wanted to get a little bit of a quirky feel into it. Vintage and just a little bit eccentric… just like me!
I spent a frantic few days visiting a wholesale plant nursery, garden centres, begging favours from my garden designer aunt Fiona Stephenson (who has the same name as a fabulous pinup artist!), planting up everything I’d bought, and buying things online and at the big local antiques fair. I went in a disguise of leggings and a fleece to try and get lower prices… think it worked (and let me tell you, spending other people’s money is also excellent fun)! I then turned up at Earl’s Court on the day before my holiday, dressed in my trusty overalls and ready to get my hands dirty!
Ta-daaaaa! Do excuse the fact that I haven’t done a thing to my hair… we can’t all be perfectly coiffed every day, can we? 😉
The finished garden! It looks very crowded from this angle, so let me show you some of the individual elements…
My trusty bicycle has a starring role, alongside an old watering can and some planted-up vintage fruit crates and containers; as well as lovely Gemma’s deco-inspired wellies, which she kindly lent to the cause!
I chose lots of grasses, ferns and crysanthemum houseplants in the hopes they’d survive 17 days without sunlight… hope the sampling people are watering them!
We had a potting shed to store the Harveys and ice (with more fruit crates, which should now be filled with oranges), and my favourite bit: a dead tree adorned with feathers and tiny bells, with vintage sherry glasses suspended from its branches!
I asked my aunt what I should buy that would be cheap and twiggy, and she said, ‘Well, I have this dead plant you can have…’
I decorated the shed a bit with some ‘bunting’ made from antique french seed packet labels, spray-mounted on little envelopes and pegged to a strip of lace trim. Thanks are definitely due to various style bloggers including Casey for the inspiration behind that idea…
Last, but not least, on the beautifully weathered wrought iron table, I placed a doily and home-made cake stand filled with quirky bits and pieces: buttons, flower brooches, odd earrings, shells, coins, keys, glass curios and so on. Something for relaxing samplees to look at while they sit and watch the busy show.
The Ideal Home Show is still on until next Sunday 27th March, so if you’re going along, please do go and have a look at my Harvey’s stand, inside the Ideal Gardens section (though the layout has apparently changed slightly for ease of sampling). It looks to be an amazing day out, with a full-size reproduction of Coronation Street as well as a vast indoor lake, thousands of stands and much more. And don’t forget to try some sherry, and let me know what you think! I have developed a definite taste for Harvey’s and Lemonade now, perfect for a deliciously sweet summer drink!
Back soon with talk of bras, books, frocks and jumpsuits, though not all at the same time!