And the winner is… Sandstone Design!

Off we went on Friday to Grosvenor House on Park Lane for the eagerly anticipated 2018 BALI National Landscape Awards.

Of course we were looking forward to collecting and celebrating our award for Domestic Garden Construction – Under 30k for our work at Uplands Cottage, plus a delicious three course meal, one or two drinks to toast ours and the other winners’ success, and to meet other professionals from the £11.6 billion landscaping industry.

BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker was the humorous host who led proceedings, along with the sponsors of each award. There were 29 main categories, all of which had multiple winners including a Principal Winner for that category. Then there were 4 Special Awards, each with just one winner. 70 fabulous winners in total!

Imagine our shock and delight when the award sponsor, British Sugar TOPSOIL, announced Sandstone Design as the winner of the Special Award for Design and Build, also for Uplands Cottage! It all went a bit slow mo for us at that point! Particularly for Sandstone owner and designer Ali and landscape manager Jason who both worked on the Uplands Cottage project and went on stage to accept the award.

We were told that the BALI judging panel felt that the scheme, above all others who had designed and built their schemes, stood out and deserved recognition. The judges commented:

“This is a beautifully executed scheme that reflects the contractor’s determination to understand and implement fully the clients’ vision. Working closely with the clients and taking a very flexible approach, the contractor has created a beautiful space on a modest budget to exacting standards. The attention to detail and the quality of the workmanship is faultless. This project fully illustrates the qualities required of a design and build contractor and Sandstone Design Solutions is a worthy recipient of this Special Award.”

A full list of the categories and winners can be found here.

We’d like to say an enormous thank you to BALI and the judges for both our awards and for all their hard work and commitment to the landscaping industry. Also to all the award sponsors, particularly our award sponsors, British Sugar TOPSOIL and Derbyshire Aggregates. And to all the other winners – well done and congratulations!

Have a look at the winning garden, Uplands Cottage, here.

2018, you’ve been a cracker!

It’s not an overstatement to say that 2018 has been a truly fantastic year for Sandstone, despite the challenges presented by the extreme cold in February/March and then the extreme heat of the summer.

We kicked off the year by obtaining a small business grant from South East Business Boost. This enabled us to purchase a mean, green Avant telehandler machine! Adding the multi-talented Avant to our arsenal has noticeably increased our landscaping productivity.

We’ve worked on projects for 25 different clients including designing and building a feature kitchen garden for the RHS and celebrity chef Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir for Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. The Grow Your Own with the Raymond Blanc Gardening School feature was a huge success and drew visitors and compliments in abundance.


We were also at Chelsea Flower Show again this year. And what a fantastic week it was with all three of our clients’ trade stands winning awards. We were ecstatic to hear that the gorgeous Chilstone stand had won 5 stars for the second year running! (Can we achieve three years in 2019? We’ll certainly try!) New client Chesneys won a fabulous 4 stars for their stand, which stylishly showcased their HEAT range – we look forward to hopefully topping that in 2019! The Elizabeth Bradley stand won a very respectable 3 stars for its simple design. As always, the show itself was a sight to behold, with the wild, the worthy and the whimsical all in close proximity.

Later in the year, Ali enjoyed taking part in a discussion about ‘Designing with Maintenance in Mind’ as one of a panel of industry professionals organized by BALI South Thames and Provender Nurseries.

Possibly the best end to the year that we could have is attending the 2018 BALI National Landscape Awards this Friday to accept our award in the category Domestic Garden Construction under £30k. We won our first BALI award in 2011 and are totally thrilled to be able to add another to the company’s name!

That’s our round up of 2018. Next week we’ll let you in on what’s in store (so far) for Sandstone in 2019!