Herts Charity Involved in Chelsea Gold Medal Garden

Monty Don with Sunnyside tools in Chelsea show garden

A selection of Sunnyside Rural Trust (SRT)’s beautiful hand-refurbished tools were displayed as part of decorated garden designer, Tom Stuart-Smith’s gold medal-winning 2024 National Garden Scheme (NGS) Chelsea show garden.

The freshly-waxed and polished wooden handled hoes, spades, forks, hand tools and shears had been reconditioned by SRT employee, Lewis Sinfield, along with a team of trainees and volunteers at SRT’s Northchurch site.

Sunnyside’s Tool Restoration Project Leader and Project Worker, Lewis Sinfield, said: ‘I am proud to have helped Sunnyside get to the Chelsea Flower Show. It’s great to show people what our trainees can achieve when given the chance.

‘Sunnyside enables people to discover the skills and strengths they didn’t know they had. People change completely when they are working with the tools. It’s very moving to see.’

Designer, Tom Stuart-Smith, said: ‘I was thrilled to include all the beautiful tools from Sunnyside in the garden. On the Thursday Monty Don visited the shed and was especially admiring of Lewis’s handiwork.’

Designed by eight-time Chelsea gold medal-winner, Tom Stuart-Smith, The NGS Garden was funded by Project Giving Back and will be relocated to form part of the new garden at Maggie’s at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

The garden, in which the tools feature, is designed to give a sense of calm and connection to nature. It incorporates a woodland theme and includes gently drifting underplanting laid out through an open hazel coppice.

Lewis’s aim is to grow the Sunnyside tool project. He is ready to scale up the operation, rescuing more old garden tools that were destined for the tip and restoring them, whilst teaching trainees new skills and generating additional income.

He said: ‘I believe that this tool project can get to new heights to earn money for the Trust and to provide supported employment opportunities and to give the trainees new skills.’

Find out more about Sunnyside Rural Trust.