Thursday, 17 June 2010

Make-A-Wish Blenheim Ball was a sizzling summer success

Make-A-Wish Foundation® UK hosted its 12th annual Summer Ball at the spectacular Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, on Saturday 12 June 2010, fundraising to grant magical wishes to children fighting life-threatening illnesses. A didn't we all have such a great time.

More than 300 guests attended, including EastEnders actress Kara Tointon, actor Robert Powell, CBeebies’ Mr Tumble Justin Fletcher MBE, Secret Millionaire Caroline Marsh and winner of The Apprentice Michelle Dewberry.

Eleven year old wish child Oliver Uglow from Southampton, who was granted his wish by the charity to go to Disney World Florida while battling Acute Myeloid Leukaemia last year, also attended with his family.

Guests were treated to a champagne reception in the Great Hall with its hand-painted murals and intricate tapestries before dinner was served in a special marquee in the palace grounds. Each year a celebrity supporter hosts the ball – warming up the crowd and recounting tales from just some of the wishes the charity grants annually to hundreds of deserving children. This year it was television presenter and Patron of Make-A-Wish, Keith "Cheggers" Chegwin.

Singer Dionne Bloomfield (god-daughter of Amy Winehouse) opened the evening and was followed later in the evening by the sensational Siren Strings Quartet.

After dinner an auction was held, in which bidders could bid for meets with celebrities, signed memorabilia and holidays of a lifetime. During the bidding, the dragons from BBC’s Dragon’s Den, Duncan Bannatyne, James Cann, Peter Jones and Deborah Meaden beamed in via video link to tell guests to dig deep in their pockets.

Guests then danced the night away with a special performance by the legendary Bill Wyman and his Rhythm Kings.

There are currently 20,000 children living in the UK with a life-threatening illness and Make-A-Wish believes that every one of these children deserves to experience the magic of a wish. Make-A-Wish expects to grant over 700 wishes this year, rising to 1,000 a year by 2012. To grant all these the charity needs to raise at least £5 million in 2010.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Camitz Sparkling Vodka at 125 Ledbury Rd, Notting Hill

The recent event at 125 Ledbury Road, a new retail space in the heart of Notting Hill showcasing independent fashion brands, was one of the smallest events that Camitz Sparkling Vodka have supported. However, it was definitely one of the most high profile in the fashion industry and the street that evening.

The current collection being showcased featured Vintage Academe, a luxury vintage retailer, also stocked in Browns, and described in a recent issue of Stella magazine as “An amazing resource for collectors of designer clothes”.

The event also celebrated Lauren Adriana’s jewellery designs which are the perfect accompaniment to high end vintage and haute couture.

InStyle magazine praised her by saying, ‘her gorgeously colured, Forties inspired pieces make her the hottest jeweller in town.’ While described her ring designs as‘infused with fresh modern energy that makes you want one on every finger.’

The likes of Paul Smith showed support, which helped add even more sparkle to a wonderful evening where the Camitz Sparkling Vodka complimented all that attended.

The story has appeared on some great blogs.

My Client Scoops Gold at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

John Woods Nurseries scoops Gold Medal at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

I am so proud that John Woods Nurseries won the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal for its Upwardly Mobile garden design and planting, currently on display at stand GPE/10 at the event. The award recognises the development work and creative thinking behind the concept of this innovative front garden feature.

The award followed a busy start to the event for John Woods Nurseries after the company played host to a star studded guest list on Monday, the first day of the Show. Dropping in on Upwardly Mobile were thespians, Sarah Lancashire, Dame Helen Mirren and Sir Derek Jacobi, TV presenter Linda Barker and music legend Lulu – who particularly liked the Twist’n’Shout hydrangea.

John Lord, managing director at John Woods Nurseries, was delighted with the award. “Upwardly mobile shows how easy it is to create kerb-to-frontage appeal to a home with original front garden design,” he said. “We’ve used plants that are happy in different types of soils and situations, for example, to help inexperienced gardeners understand their options. We’re delighted that the judges recognised the design principles, the planning and the sheer hard work that were necessary to bring this feature to life.”

Upwardly Mobile, part of Generation Gardens - a special feature at the show sponsored by The Sun and comprising six front garden designs - is showcasing plants from the company’s Endless Summer and First Editions ranges amongst others. Plot sizes on Generation Gardens are 5m x 5m and are backed by a house front to capture visitors’ imagination. At the end of the show, key elements of Upwardly Mobile will relocate to the National Gardening Centre at Capel Manor College to occupy a larger plot of 11m x 7m. Here key elements will evolve into a family-friendly back garden, supported by the rear facade of a modern contemporary family home.

The theme of the Upwardly Mobile garden is to demonstrate how easy it is to create a garden - especially your first – and take components of it, such as planted containers, with you when you move home. In this way, you take your ideas and learning with you throughout life. The idea for the project arose from discussions between John Lord, managing director at John Wood Nurseries and The Sun’s gardening correspondent and renowned expert, Peter Seabrook, who is working closely with the company on the project. The project has also benefited from the specialist skills of landscape garden design partnership, DEAKINLOCK, also based in Suffolk

The garden incorporates some great plants from John Woods Nurseries. Drawing on the company’s broad range, the designers have made wide use of the Endless Summer range of repeat-flowering Hydrangeas, in particular the new lace-cap Twist ‘n’ Shout. From the First Editions range will be the evergreens, Coprosma Pacific Sunset and the first ever variegated Diervilla, US-developed Cool Splash, showing how to brighten up those dry shady areas. Complementing these is the striking Cornus VenusTM, recognisable by its large creamy-white bracts which appear for up to three weeks from mid to late May.

Capel Manor College in Enfield, north London, is the UK’s National Gardening Centre and home to 30 display gardens based on typical urban garden plot size. Every year, some 60,000 people visit Capel Manor College to get new ideas and inspiration for their gardens. Writers, broadcasters and photographers also use Capel Manor College as a reference point.

The relocation of Upwardly Mobile to Capel Manor College represents the point when the hypothetical new gardeners decide to move to a larger property and recreate their garden at their new home. The project aims to demonstrate how easy this can be with versatile plants and flexible garden design. Upwardly Mobile will remain at Capel Manor College.

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