June, 2016

RHS Hampton Court

News Release: Young Hampshire Gardener to work on Crohn’s Garden at RHS Hampton Court Palace Show (Tuesday 5th to Sunday 10th July).

Scott Yates at work at Abbey Garden Centre Titchfield

A Crohn’s sufferer, who was a week away from death before his diagnosis, is building a garden at the world’s largest flower show to raise awareness of the disease and to help find better treatments and a possible cure.

Ten years ago Scott Yates (28) from Titchfield was rushed into hospital weighing 7 ½ stone. What he thought was an eating disorder was diagnosed as the incurable, and life-long condition, Crohn’s Disease.

Scott has had two emergency operations to remove parts of his bowel, is on medication and lives with the side effects of treatment. He considers himself a lucky Crohn’s sufferer because he’s not had to follow a restrictive diet, live off liquids or have a colostomy bag.

Keeping stress levels down helps Scott to manage his symptoms. Previously a chef, he retrained as horticulturalist and now grows plants at a Hampshire garden centre. He says gardening helps him manage his stress levels which can prevent the painful flare-ups associated with Crohn’s.

Now married and with a young son, Scott wants to make things better for Crohn’s sufferers. So, in July he is helping to build a show garden at Hampton Court Palace. The aim of the garden is to raise awareness of a disease, that largely affects young people, and to help find better treatments and a possible cure.

Scott is working on the ‘The Crohn’s Disease Garden’ for a tiny London charity, Bowel Disease UK, at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Hampton Court Palace Show (Tuesday 5th to Sunday 10th July).

Bowel Disease UK, which has no staff, has already raised half a million pounds and is close to finding a new and cost-effective way to treat the disease.

The charity’s chairman Gary Douch says Scott is a fitting champion as more and more children and young people are diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in the UK. Also a Crohn’s sufferer, Gary set up the charity from his hospital bed in 2007 to fund research at St George’s University Hospital in London.

Scott, who starts work on site at Hampton Court later this month (Monday 20th June), explained why he wanted to be involved:

“I want to show people that you can achieve your goals and have a normal life. I don’t want Crohn’s to define me and I think, so far, I’m doing quite well. I jumped at the chance to be involved with this garden and I have the backing of my employees who have always been incredibly supportive and understanding.

“The garden has been designed by the London based practice of Andrew Fisher Tomlin, an ambassador of the charity, and Dan Bowyer. Their brief is that it is for a keen gardener and young Crohn’s sufferer. I like the fact that the look and feel of it tells the story of how vital and vibrant a young person’s life can be despite having to live with this debilitating disease. There will be some amazing rare but hardy exotic plants which won’t have been seen in the UK before. And some cool design details. That, alongside working with Andrew, who has created award-winning gardens all over the world, is a great horticultural experience.”

It will take a team of 10 people 12 days to build the 26ft x 19½ft garden which will launch a crowdfunding appeal to raise £150k to study the efficacy of a novel drug and the impact of targeted diets for those with Crohn’s Disease. The research will be led by trustee Professor Devinder Kumar – a bowel disease surgeon and consultant who works at St George’s University of London.

Over 10 suppliers have made generous donations of plants, materials and a unique humidity system for the more unusual shade plants. If the garden is not bought at the show it will be relocated to a private garden and become a fundraiser for an event later in the year.

Anyone interested in finding out more can visit the charity’s website at

Once the show is over Scott’s next horticultural challenge is a five year course part time at Sparsholt College in Hampshire leading to an FdSc Horticulture with Plantsmanship and Design Degree. He hopes his studies will lead to more opportunities to grow his career.


Images are available showing –

Scott Yates at work at Abbey Garden Centre Titchfield.

The design for the Summer garden Scott he is helping to build at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Hampton Court Palace Show.

For further information please contact Emma Dewhurst on 015395 64193.

Kendal Business Move

Kendal Fashion and Salon Business Now Under One Roof

Maya Maya owner Amanda Slattery counting down the days until their move to Wainwright's Yard

The owners of a 10 year old independent clothing and salon business in Kendal are hoping to secure another decade of success by bringing it all under one roof.

Maya Maya owner’s Amanda and Steve Slattery, whose business often spilled over into a second unit in Blackhall Yard, will now have double the space in their new two story premises in Wainwright’s Yard Kendal. From Saturday 25 June they will be operating out of a prominent position next to Booth’s supermarket and opposite Pizza Express.

Amanda Slattery, who owns Maya Maya with her husband said:

“Who would have thought that when I left the motor industry 11 years ago that my part time hobby, of selling a few clothes, would grow into a business of this size?

“We don’t just sell clothes, we style people and offer advice to both men and women on what suits them and how to wear outfits. And, because we have a salon, we have hair and beauty covered too.

“Whilst we managed very well operating out of split sites, it will be great to have the extra space to develop the business and have everything under one roof” added Amanda.

“It’s testament to our loyal customers who have supported us through thick and thin that we are in a position to make this move. I can’t thank them enough for sticking with us. It’s very exciting and we hope to continue to be a success story for the town”.

With the team doubling in size, Amanda is looking for a fourth person to join Maya Maya. Anyone interested should contact her on 01539 737366.

All are welcome to the Launch Event on Saturday 25 June 10.30am to 4.30pm.

Visitor Attraction of the Year

News Release: ORGANIC, family wildlife garden, York, wins ‘Visitor Attraction of the Year’ (under 50,000 visitors)

Vanessa with a local school group learning about wildlife at Stillingfleet

An organic, family, wildlife garden at Stillingfleet, York has been named Visitor Attraction of the Year (under 50,000 visitors) at last week’s Visit York Tourism Awards (26 May). The awards, of which there are 15 categories, celebrate excellence in the tourism industry and reward outstanding service, innovation and quality.

Amidst preparations for her fifth wildlife day on Sunday 26 June, owner Vanessa Cook said she was delighted with the win. Adding that the mystery shopper was impressed with the gardens, plant nursery, café and the welcome offered to visitors.

Vanessa Cook, who has been encouraging wildlife into her Royal Horticultural Society partner garden for 40 years, says her mission is to enthuse people about what’s in their gardens and how to share even the smallest of spaces with animals, birds and insects.

Her 2.5 acre, quintessentially English, family garden, attracts visitors from all over the world and Vanessa hopes the award will raise the profile of the garden locally. It opens on set days between April and September.

Vanessa shares her passion for wildlife and botany with four generations of her family. Her husband John, four children, nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren love spending time in the gardens at the family home and many work in related jobs.

And this month Vanessa will team up with nine of Yorkshire’s top wildlife experts for a day of events as part of National Inspect Week (20-26 June) to share her passion for wildlife friendly, organic gardening.

Pond-dipping, bee identification walks, moth-trapping, bird-ringing, owl pellet dissection and Scout and Guide badge activities are just some of the activities taking place onSunday 26 June at Stillingfleet.

For more information visit:


Various attached image showing:

  1. Vanessa Cook at Stillingfleet Lodge Gardens and Nurseries, near York – the 2016 winner of Visit York’s (small) ‘Visitor Attraction of the Year’.
  2. Vanessa and four generations of her family in their garden at Stillingfleet – named Visit York’s (small) ‘Visitor Attraction of the Year’ 2016.
  3. Visitors enjoying the wildlife on offer at Stillingfleet Lodge Gardens and Nurseries, near York – the 2016 winner of Visit York’s (small) ‘Visitor Attraction of the Year’.
  4. The meadow at Stillingfleet.
  5. I can supply a high res image of Vanessa’s two grandchildren looking at moths.

Those attending the event include: the British Trust for Ornithology, Bug Life York, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation, East Yorkshire Bat Group North, Yorkshire Amphibian and Reptile Group, Yorkshire Mammal Group and Yorkshire Rotters.

Please contact Vanessa on 01904 728506