Chelsea? Check! Hampton Court, here we come!

Well that’s another RHS Chelsea Flower Show done. A pretty fantastic one at that! Three tradestands built and dismantled. Three awards won. That’s right, three! We won a FIVE star award (the highest award possible for a tradestand) for the gorgeous Chilstone stand. It’s the second year we’ve designed and built for cast stone makers Chilstone and the second year we’ve won the highest award! The features of the stand included the popular Kew fountain as the centerpiece; three statues designed and created by resident sculptor Admir Sljvic: The Birth of Helen, Leda & the Swan (2017 product of the year runner up) and Aquila the eagle; Kensington planters specially engraved to mark the marriage of the Duke & Duchess of Sussex; and some really elegant architectural stonework.

A great big thank you to Chilstone for giving us the opportunity again. It’s clearly a match made in heaven! We must also say thank you to Addagrip for providing the resin bonded paths, Mumford & Wood for the striking purple door and How Green Nursery for the seriously lovely plants, provided in spite of the terrible weather earlier in the year.


We were also extremely proud to have won a FOUR star award for the sleek and stylish Chesneys stand. Chesneys are the UK’s leading supplier of luxury fireplaces and stoves and were showcasing their recently released HEAT collection: a range of woodburning outdoor heater/barbecue hybrids. We saw these in action during show week and it is astounding how little smoke they give off, particularly when compared with more traditional barbecues and patio heaters. And you don’t have to be James Martin to cook a magnificent burger on one of these (but it helps a little)!

Sandstone owner and designer Ali Dempster with the face of the HEAT range, James Martin.


Thanks to Round Wood of Mayfield for supplying the Clayfibre Chelsea Boxes and the Thermo-Treated Ash Decking and again to How Green Nursery for the plants.

Chesneys were also awarded second place for the Heat 500 for RHS Garden Product of the Year 2018, just pipped at the post by Mr Fothergill’s seeds. Well done to both!

We also won a 3 star award for the Elizabeth Bradley tradestand. Elizabeth Bradley design and manufacture quality tapestry kits. As you can see, a much simpler stand, but lovely and very fitting to the brand.

Although Chelsea 2018 is over, the drawing board is already out for next year – it is never far from our minds. No rest for the wicked!

And on that note, the Sandstone landscaping team arrived at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show site earlier this week to start building for the show which opens on 2nd July. This year is HUGE for Ali and Sandstone. We have the pleasure of building BBC Countryfile’s 30th Anniversary garden, designed by the wonderful Ann-Marie Powell. The garden is inspired by the British landscape and different parts of the garden will represent different parts of the British Isles. It’s going to be a fun build!

BBC Countryfile 30th Anniversary garden

But even more exciting than that (and what could possibly be more exciting than building the Countryfile garden?!), Ali has been commissioned by the RHS to design a fabulous feature garden called the RHS Grow Your Own with the Raymond Blanc Gardening School! That’s right, the legend that is Raymond Blanc has been working with Ali to come up with ideas for the inspirational kitchen garden. The garden will be packed full of ideas to encourage everyone to have a go at growing their own fruit and vegetables in a way that is accessible to everyone, no matter the size of your garden or your purse! Genuine upcycling and recycling will feature heavily in the garden and elements from Raymond Blanc’s garden at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons will be dotted around, including a very special beehive, so keep an eye out for those. Chefs from Le Manoir Cookery School will be holding demonstrations in the outdoor kitchen and classroom during the show.

Not only is Ali designing the garden, Sandstone are building it! Among others, we’ll be working with our suppliers Addagrip, True Grip, Marshalls, Green Roofs Direct and Provender Nurseries to get everything in place for Press Day on 3rd July. So that’s two big show gardens to build in 2 and a half weeks! Did somebody say ‘holiday’?!