The Road to Tatton

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News, lots of news. Where to begin?  Lets do this chronologically. Late November 2012.  I have the idea of attempting to ‘join in’ with the uber prestigious Royal Horticultural Society show at Tatton Park.  I mull it over for a while and then present the challenge to the team.

I bring in a big sketch book and we all scribble in it for a few weeks. See where it takes us.  What ideas can we come up with collectively?  There’s cotton in the shop. And I’m reading about the plight of child cotton pickers in Uzbekistan. And thinking about my mum and grandfather who both worked in Manchester cotton mills.

A theme is born.  I contact the RHS and tell them what I know about the process of how all this stuff works (zero).  The form arrives and has to be in 8 Feb. I sit on it for too long. There are nights I can’t sleep because my brain is whirring away. The creative thought process apparently.   There’s various emails and chats with a local metalwork designer. We come up with a structure to work our design onto. And then I go off and change it (they don’t know that yet).

There’s the distraction of working one’s arse off over Valentine’s Day and Mothering Sunday.  In the midst of the mayhem on Saturday, the envelope arrives.

Mrs F brings it into the studio, quietly, calmly and hands it over, with the words ‘it’s not thin’ and a little smile creeps across her face.  And voila – they let us exhibit our design!!  They let us in!!  A little squealing, hugging and laughing ensues. We get giddy.  We tell lots of customers.  And then the dawning realisation that we actually have to make this, oh shit, are we even good enough? Can we do it? Will we look silly?  There will be lots of these thoughts over the coming months.  But deep down we know we can give it one hell of a shot.  You don’t know what you can achieve until you try.

In other news, it’s winter again.  Was kind of hoping for a little al fresco dining by mid-March.  Growing heather for a wedding, and broad beans.  Assuming it stops snowing by May!


About joefletch

manchester based floral designer, pea grower and favorite cousin.
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