Secret garden at state show in German twin town set to fly flag for Skegness

A secret garden in the twin town of Bad Gandersheim in Germany is set to show off the ‘calmer side’ of Skegness at a State garden show next year.

The team who have been clearing the site for the Skegness garden at the State Garden Show in the twin town of Bad Gandersheim, Germany.
The team who have been clearing the site for the Skegness garden at the State Garden Show in the twin town of Bad Gandersheim, Germany.

One million visitors are expected to explore the gardens being created at the edge of Roswithapark – and preparations for the Skegness exhibit are already well underway.

Local artist John Byford is working alongside garden show organisers to create a beach of his hometown – including a renovated 100-year-old bench from the pier, sand and, of course, a deckchair.

John, who has developed a lasting relationship with Bad Gandersheim since he established an art project called The Box – a former telephone box from the UK –

John Byford with the 100-year-old bench from the pier that he has renovated to be included in the Skegness garden.

That has already been painted green to promote the garden show, which starts next April.

However, John says being invited to design the Skegness garden has been a massive honour.

He came across the location, which will be at the heart of the show, by accident.

“The garden is in a rather inconspicuous corner,” says John. “There is a hole in the hedge that you can quickly overlook when passing by.

"But if you step through the hedge a discovery awaits! - a space surrounded by greenery opens up behind it. It still looks a bit overgrown, trampled on lawn, three old benches and a rubbish bin.

"It appealed to be because I always think of Skegness as a hidden gem – there is so much more to the resort than just donkeys, arcades, fun fairs and ice-cream.

"I wanted to show off the stunning coastline because to me it is beautiful – and the resort’s calmer side.”

Eike Trapp, along with Tobi Rüb, Daniel Deimann, Björn Figger and Darius Foelmer from the horticulture department at Lammetalwerkstätten have lent a hand clearing the site.

The floor of the green space will be covered with sand, like Skegness beach.

Visitors will then be surrounded by large format photographs showing the fabulous beaches the east coast and Skegness has to offer.

. "I want people to feel the sand under their feet," says John. "It's a stimulus, to make them curious to visit Skegness for themselves.

" Yes, taking off your shoes and socks to visit the garden is a must requirement.”

Bad Gandersheim and Skegness have been twinned since 1979, however twinning association membership has declined over the years. John hopes the garden show can be a catalyst to restart interest in town twinning.

The British Week, which takes place from August 25 - 31 next year is intended to generate new enthusiasm.

Amongst the visitors from our town already planning to go, Skegness Silver Band have accepted an invitation to perform in the garden and will play daily for the visitors.

John thinks such projects are extremely important, especially in the post-Brexit world. “It's important to stay connected so that the friendship between Brits and Germany continues,” he says.

Anyone wishing wish to visit the State Garden Show shou;d call John on 07742 050065.”