An English designer’s hopes of world cup gardening glory in Japan have been thwarted by a snail.
The slimy stowaway was found in a consignment of Lake District artefacts intended for the garden Jonathan Denby has designed for Japan’s Gardening World Cup being held near Nagasaki which opens on Saturday (8 October). Visitors will see ‘peace’ gardens by a star studded list of the best designers from Australia, North America, Europe, Africa and Asia.
Japanese quarantine conditions have meant that the entire shipment has had to be returned to England and Mr Denby has only days to redesign and replace the items he can no longer use. The designer was hoping to create a genuine slice of the Lake District in Japan in recognition of the Japanese love of the peaceful area and the characters created by Beatrix Potter.
Fortunately for Mr Denby statues of Peter Rabbit and Mr McGregor, for his ‘Mr McGregor’s Garden’, which travelled out with him in one large suitcase marked “Fragile” arrived intact following a journey in five taxis, two planes, two trains and a bus.
"The Japanese adore the Lake District and I wanted visitors to see what a real Lake District cottage garden would look like. I'm bitterly disappointed that this wretched snail has taken away a lot of the true authenticity of my garden. I will replace the Lakeland slate walls with a wooden fence and the limestone paths with grass. It will still look good and I'm sure the Japanese will adore it with Peter Rabbit there, but that snail has a lot to answer for. I am a champion of living life the ‘Slow Life’, so it’s rather ironic that my plans have been thwarted by a snail" said Mr Denby.
The snail is not the only disaster to have plagued Mr Denby, who lives in Grange-over-Sands, since arriving in Japan to build his garden last Monday (26 September). He has battled with torrential rain, a burst water pipe and a mad dash to secure plants. Unlike gardening events such as the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which the organisers of the Gardening World Cup hope to outdo, the two week period on site includes sourcing plants, meeting the build team and completing a garden that could be on show for as long as four months when one week is the norm. They have also been given tight budgets to work too.
A total of 16 designers, four female and 12 male, have been picked to represent 12 countries and five continents. The Gardening World Cup takes place in the South East of Japan in a 17th century Dutch replica theme park the size of Monaco, Huis Ten Bosch. With its proximity to Nagasaki, the theme is deliberately, ‘gardens for world peace and a prayer for Japanese recovery’. This year it is being held in aid of the victims of the Japanese Tsunami.
The 10 large gardens and five courtyard gardens will be judged on Friday (7 October), Andy Sturgeon returns this year as a judge. Medals, Best in Show and Best Design will be announced at a televised Oscar style awards ceremony. Last year Britain won the Gardening World Cup with Best in Show going to Andy Sturgeon and Best Design to Nico Wissing.
Last year’s show saw 100,000 people visiting in the first week. It was so popular that it was extended by a further three months.
For more information about Jonathan Denby and the slow life visit: http://www.slow-life.co.uk/tag/jonathan-denby/
for more information about the Gardening World Cup visit: http://www.gardeningworldcup.com/
For all media queries, requests for images or interviews please contact: Emma Dewhurst PR, Fox Communications on 07964 686682 or email email@example.com
Follow us on twitter @JapanGWC and follow the progress of Jonathan’s garden.
Find the designer’s diary entries at http://gardeningworldcup.wordpress.com/
The shipment from England contained these items for the garden (valued at a total of £10,000):
1 Wooden Wheelbarrow, 1 Metal garden gate, 1 Foot scraper, 1 Iron pump, 1 Post box, 1 Stone Trough, 3 wooden lintels, 1 Victorian cloche, 2 spades, 4 garden implements, Bee keeping equipment, Scythe, Slate, Limestone and other sundry items.
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