Urning the Alnwick Garden’s seal of approval

Joe and Jenny Smith with the urns they created at The Alnwick Garden and head gardener Trevor Jones.
Joe and Jenny Smith with the urns they created at The Alnwick Garden and head gardener Trevor Jones.

A father and daughter duo has been given the seal of approval to place seven specially-designed urns as a centrepiece at a top Northumberland tourist attraction.

Joe Smith and his daughter Jenny were asked by The Alnwick Garden’s head gardener Trevor Jones to create the slate urns.

Joe has been designing these sculptures for more than 20 years and was thrilled when he was asked by Trevor.

Joe said: “Over the years I’ve had the chance to work in some inspiring gardens but there is none finer than this one.

“I have a policy of not asking to do a job so when I was approached by the head gardener it was a great opportunity.”

Joe’s daughter Jenny also has his skill for sculpting with slate.

Four of the urns will be put in the ornamental garden while the other three will be in the woodland part.

They are due to be finished within the coming weeks.

The pair’s work is designed in the style of dry-stone walling but adapted for slate.

Their work includes slate spheres, chess- men, wine glasses, acorns and obelisks.

They are built, rather than carved and all incorporate traditional dry-stone skills, more usually applied in the creation of stock boundaries and ornamental and structural garden walling.