Colourful characters from a budding author’s book were the inspiration behind a hospice’s award-winning garden display at Chorley Flower Show.
Derian House’s entry to the garden competition told the story of the ‘The Teeny Tiny Plumber’, written by six-year-old Evie Mayren, whose baby sister was cared for at the hospice.
The vibrant display, created by Derian’s own Gareth the Gardener and his army of volunteers, wowed the judges and the Chorley hospice took home gold at the show which took place at Astley Park this weekend (29, 30, and 31 July).
Evie wrote and published her book to raise money for Derian House after the charity cared for her family whilst her baby sister Martha spent time in intensive care. Martha, now 18-months-old, has been discharged from Derian’s care and is thriving.
The best-seller raised more than £1,000 and Evie even caught the attention of Britain’s Got Talent judge and award-winning children’s author, David Walliams, who congratulated her in a special letter and a video.
The garden display, as part of the Community and Schools Garden Competition, brought Evie’s story to life – with Polly the plumber, her pet snowy owl, and a witch hiding within the plants and shrubs.
Also scattered around the garden were a pair of orange underpants, false teeth, half a car, an alligator, Winnie the Pooh, and a cow – all things that Polly the Plumber finds on her journey in the story.
Visitors could also order a copy of Evie’s book, see the letter that David Walliams wrote to her, and watch the youngster’s feature on Granada Reports TV news from earlier this year.
Evie, who will turn seven in August, said: “It was a really nice thought to use my story. I liked seeing the teeth in the garden and snowy the owl – I’ve never seen a model of a snowy owl before. Thank you very much for making a garden about my story. I hope all the children that visit Derian can get better like Martha did.”
Sarah Mayren, Evie’s mum, said: “I thought the garden was a beautiful representation of Evie’s story. It was a lovely touch adding in Evie’s illustrations and the models of all the items looked perfect. I was really moved seeing Evie’s story come to life as Derian was such an important support-line for our family. We will always be honoured that you chose The Teeny Tiny Plumber as inspiration and I hope that it helped raise awareness and hopefully some more sponsorship for Derian too.”
Gareth Elliott, Gardener at Derian House, said: “It was brilliant to see so many people come together at the weekend to see Derian’s garden entry.
“It was great fun to be able to bring Evie’s story to life – we did have to get creative with it because the garden wasn’t quite big enough for half a car and a whole cow!
“Thank you to our garden volunteers who helped to bring it all together – it was a fantastic effort and I’m chuffed that we were awarded gold!”
Bobby Wood, Events Officer at Chorley Council, said: “The standard of the gardens this year was fantastic. I’ve had such positive feedback from everyone. What a fantastic community we have here in Chorley. You can all be very proud of yourselves.”
Chorley Flower Show is a three-day flower-filled family event set in Astley Park where visitors can see award-winning gardens plus speak with gardening experts. Find out more.
You can still get a copy of Evie’s book, The Teeny Tiny Plumber, for £3 by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org