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2014 RHS Tatton Flower Show - photo special

PUBLISHED: 09:14 05 September 2014 | UPDATED: 17:11 16 February 2016

The HUB Dance troupe from the Crewe area performed their routine in the Cheshire Carnival of Gardens area

The HUB Dance troupe from the Crewe area performed their routine in the Cheshire Carnival of Gardens area


The RHS Tatton Flower Show returned in spectacular style, showcasing the glorious horticultural skills of the county and far beyond

A dazzling display of bright and beautiful floral designs greeted all who visited the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show. The 2014 show built excitement up within the county, and as usual the annual horticultural event did not disappoint.

Glorious sunshine shone upon the five day event where competitors had travelled from far and wide to show off their floral flair. For Bramhall’s Clare Broadbent, this year couldn’t have been a better event to make a show debut. The 23-year-old was a finalist in the eagerly-anticipated Young Designer of the Year award, which is even more awe-inspiring when it is your first ever garden design.

‘This is my first ever experience at Tatton – well, even creating a garden in general!’ said Clare, who has just completed her masters in landscape architecture at Sheffield University. ‘I never expected to come this far, it has been a great experience.’

The theme for the sixth Young Designer competition was ‘avant-gardening’, which encouraged the three finalists to use their £12,000 sponsor money to take a daring touch of invention, new techniques and experimentation. Clare, who missed her graduation ceremony to be at RHS Tatton, received a gold medal for her garden entry, WorkOUT. It also won the People’s Choice award for Best Small Garden. ‘My garden is based on exercise, and I thought with the increase of gyms in parks that it would be a way of incorporating this idea into a private garden space. I wanted to include traditional garden elements such as a pergola into a feature for exercise.’

Bramhalls Clare Broadbent and her WorkOUT Garden featured in the Young Designer categoryBramhalls Clare Broadbent and her WorkOUT Garden featured in the Young Designer category

An innovative approach to encourage daily fitness, Clare’s small space uses a wide range of exercises such as the Archimedes’ screws and the push bike water wheel – which is the Cheshire gardener’s favourite aspect.

‘The plants I have used have been specifically chosen for their different heights and seasonality. When researching, I found out that red is a motivational colour for exercise, so this is the prevailing colour scheme for the plants.’

A relaxing water garden, the flora included dahlias, sunflowers, equisetums and clematis – all from Rectory Garden nurseries in Congleton.

There must be a host of green fingers in Congleton this year as there was another entry from that town in the new Elements gardens category. Inspired by the forces of fire, earth, wind and water, this category saw five designers take on the elements, bringing a selection of dramatic, conceptual and innovative designs to the show. Michael Vinsun’s Element Garden was awarded a silver medal in this category, and his design broke down each element from the brief into individual sections of his garden.

Michael Vinsun of Congleton in his 'Element Garden' inspired by the four elements of earth, wind, fire and waterMichael Vinsun of Congleton in his 'Element Garden' inspired by the four elements of earth, wind, fire and water

‘It took around two weeks to build,’ said landscape designer Michael. ‘The design is based on an upland garden, with a central feature wall made from local Kerridge stone from Macclesfield that then breaks down into a waterfall.’ With the earth and water elements ticked off his list, he incorporated fire through a selection of flaming plants based on a red and yellow colour scheme, such as kniphofias, which contrast against a selection of wild flowers.

The wind element of Michael’s garden is formed through a series of fibre glass sculptures that represent the breeze rippling through the garden. ‘I am really pleased with how the garden worked out,’ said Michael. ‘It is not only formalised but also ecological, which is important to me.’

Strolling around the Tatton grounds, each part of the Inspire, Escape, Grow and Feast sections are blooming, with variety of marquees, show gardens and stalls enticing you to admire their stunning work. One of the most eye-catching creations was the colourful ferris wheel brought to the event by the North West Area of the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (NAFAS).

Every other seat on the classic funfair ride was full to the brim with a stunning arrangement of close to 500 stems of flowers. Visitors could take a seat on the wheel for £2, with the money going to charity. It would have definitely been the best seat in the house for watching the twice daily Great Garden Carnival parade, organised by Manchester-based Cabasa Carnival Arts.

Keeping cool...Pip Probert of Bromborough in her garden 'The Narrows' reflecting the shape of a typical suburban garden.  The garden is split into three areas to allow members of the family to do their own thingKeeping cool...Pip Probert of Bromborough in her garden 'The Narrows' reflecting the shape of a typical suburban garden. The garden is split into three areas to allow members of the family to do their own thing

Stepping into the Escape zone, it was easy to see why Pip Probert’s garden, The Narrows, scooped a gold medal in the Show Garden category. The 30-year-old, from Bromborough on the Wirral, designed this long, thin garden as it is typical of the average suburban space: ‘I designed The Narrows to inspire people to get away from the idea that a suburban garden does not necessarily need to be laid out with 
a large central lawn and flowers around 
the edges.’

The garden has been split into three areas, which allows members of the family to do their own thing or relax together as a group, if they wish. Features include a tranquil pond, an oak deck and partitions, a pergola, stainless steel sculptures and living wall planters.

‘The flower choices, I hope, made a bold impact to catch people’s attention.’

For Pip, who owns her own landscape and garden design company, Outer Spaces, this is her tenth time exhibiting at Tatton, where she has already enjoyed winning a host of medals for other impressive gardens.

Flowery Ferris Wheel decorated by the North West Area of NAFASFlowery Ferris Wheel decorated by the North West Area of NAFAS

Once again, the RHS Tatton Flower Show has been a riot of colour and fragrance and, in fact, a celebration of everything related to the beauty of the English garden. With such a high standard of innovative show gardens and fabulous marquee displays, it will be hard to top next year. However, the best of the North West’s green-fingered folk will no doubt create yet another amazing event in 12-months’ time. We can’t wait.

RHS Tatton Flower Show 2014 winners:

Best Show Garden:

Maggie’s Forest Garden

FROM Designed by Amanda Waring and Laura Arison For Maggie’s Centres????? %^$%^ >>>>>>>?

RHS People’s Choice Award: Best Show Garden:

Safe from Harm, AJ Bell NSPCC, Salford

Best Elements Garden:

See the Wind, Joan Mulvenna and Andrew Lee, Prestwich

Best Summer Garden:

Industrial Transitions, GK Wilson Landscape Services, Glossop

RHS People’s Choice Award: Best Small Garden:

WorkOUT, Clare Frances Broadbent, Bramhall

GOLD Show Gardens:

The Narrows, Pip Probart, Bromborough

A Taste of Wythenshawe, Reaseheath College, Nantwich

Elements Gardens:

Elemental, Ian Price Design, Belfast

RHS Young Designer of the Year:

The Sky’s The Limit, Sam Ovens, Cornwall

Best Exhibit in the Floral Marquee:

Pheasant Acre Plants, Bridgend, Mid Glamorgan

Best Floristry Exhibit:

The Cheshire Area of NAFAS

RHS Tatton Park Floristry College of the Year 2014:

Reaseheath College, Nantwich

Best Show Feature:

Cheshire’s Carnival of Gardens, Cheshire’s Gardens of Distinction, Chester

Best High School Garden:

Winsford E-ACT Academy, Winsford

Best Primary School Garden:

Evelyn St Primary School, Warrington

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