Location: Germany Date: April - October 2023
A ‘beach’ at a state garden show in Germany is uniting nations and promoting the very best of Skegness and the coast’s natural beauty.
This summer one million visitors are expected to explore the garden – one of many unveiled on Friday at the edge of Roswithapark in Skegness’ twin town of Bad Gandersheim.
Mayor of Skegness Coun Tony Tye joined its designer, Skegness honoured citizen and artist/photographer John Byford, in Germany last week to officially cut the ribbon with the City Mayor of Bad Gandersheim Franziska Schwarz.
The 185-day ‘Landesgartenschau 2023’ event has been likened to the Chelsea Flower Show – and Skegness’ involvement has been an ‘honour’ for Mr. Byford and Coun Tye, who is also a member of the Skegness Twinning Association.
John, whose original art creation The Box – an English telephone box currently promoting the garden show – is already an attraction in the centre of Bad Gandersheim says he has been overwhelmed by the care taken by a 17-strong team from Skegness and Bad Gandersheim to promote our natural coast.
"You won’t find ‘kiss me quick’ hats here,” explained John. “There is so much more to Skegness than 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. “The ultimate aim of the project is that the garden offers visitors to the show a glimpse of what Skegness has to offer, strengthening our friendship that has now been in existence since 1979 whilst enticing new visitors to the resort.”
15 Tonnes of sand were brought in to lay the foundation of the garden with a renovated 100-year-old ‘Jolly’ bench from Skegness Pier the centrepiece. The garden is surrounded with beech hedging which is just coming into leaf and also features a display of John’s artwork showing the coastline in all its glory. "It’s already proving a popular attraction,” said John. “I spotted a couple kissing on the bench just after we opened and I thought this is exactly what I was aiming for – somewhere where you can unwind and, in the summer, kick off your shoes and feel the sand between your toes.”
The Mayor of Skegness received a personal invite from Franziska Schwarz to attend the grand opening.
Coun Tye said: “As Mayor of Skegness, it was such an honour to be invited to our twin town of Bad Gandersheim. "I’ve been meaning to visit for some time now, and to visit during the state garden show makes my trip even more special. "I’m very impressed! I’d like to thank the garden show team for making this wonderful project happen, and to our honoured citizen John Byford for his constant hard work in promoting both our towns. "I shall definitely be returning.”
After the garden show, the historic bench will find a permanent location opposite The Box in the city centre as part of the 'two voices' project.