Welcome again to 2012. The highlight of that year was the grand opening of the Glasshouses.
The Gardeners had worked tirelessly to make sure everything was ready for the big day and the garden looked beautiful.
But just for a moment I would like to take you back to where this story began. The original tiled pathway that runs through the Glasshouses had been uncovered back in 2010, photo 1 (Mar 2011). This was discussed by the Members of the LVRPA and a decision was made that the Glasshouses should be rebuilt and that the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority would fund the project separately from the Heritage Lottery Funding already in place. A budget of £350,000 was made available and plans were drawn up using old photos so that the outside looked like the ones that stood here in Mr Bowles time and the inside had the advantages of modern technology. The architect took measurements from the photos to ensure 100% accuracy.
As you can imagine those few words cover the enormous amount of work that took place to bring the Glasshouses to life.
So let us 'fast forward' to May 2012. The Glasshouses were ready, photo 2. The plants were in place, photos 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. (These photos were actually taken in July 2012 as there were too many people milling about on the day of the opening to take them then).
The ceremony was held on 16th May 2012 and the honour of proclaiming the Glasshouses open went to Tim Smit, photo 8. Tim was a childhood hero of Andrew's and indeed it was watching a programme on the restoration of the' Lost Gardens of Heligan' which inspired Andrew to a become a gardener.
The 'ribbon' across the door was a garland made from ivy and the 'scissors' used were a pair of shears, photo 9. After the opening Tim was presented with a replica Bowles fork, photo 10.
The afternoon was then spent enjoying a cream tea, photo 11, in the super sized marquees, photo 12. The table decorations, photo 13, created by Daljia, were a very fitting tribute to the Tulip Teas held by Mr Bowles every May to celebrate his birthday.
Finally, the Gardeners with Tim Smit, photo 14, who had worked tirelessly to make sure the garden was ready for the big day.
It was a fabulous day and enjoyed by all.
More on 2012 in part two.