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The 2015 RHS Flower Show Tatton Park - photo special

PUBLISHED: 00:00 07 September 2015 | UPDATED: 17:21 16 February 2016

RHS Show at Tatton

RHS Show at Tatton

Archant

Flowers, flowers everywhere. As thousands of gardeners flocked to the spectacle that is RHS Tatton, Cheshire Life’s Rebekka O’Grady joined the throng. Here she reveals her highlights

Garden Designer and broadcaster, Joe Swift, visiting The Sunset Garden by Tamara Bridge one of The Young Designer of the Year entrants Garden Designer and broadcaster, Joe Swift, visiting The Sunset Garden by Tamara Bridge one of The Young Designer of the Year entrants

The RHS Flower Show Tatton Park was a riot of colour, vibrancy, sights and sounds, as thousands flocked to the great garden carnival once again.

Spread over three zones of Grow, Inspire and Feast, highlights included the Show Gardens, the beautiful Floral Marquee and plant village. New for 2015 was the Garden Hideaways section, where standard 6x4ft garden sheds were transformed into eye-catching designs.

A pleasing aspect for many visitors this year was the return of the Back to Back gardens. These small plots embrace a broad range of themes and design stylings, ideal for visitors to take inspiration from and replicate at home. For veteran Clive Scott, who has been an exhibitor at RHS Tatton since the first show in 1999, he sees the week as a great showcase. ‘Living in Styal, it’s such a local show and I would be daft not to do it,’ he said.

The landscaper designed his gold-award-winning Back to Back garden, Surf ‘n’ Turf, around a coastal theme. ‘I pick a title first and then think of the garden and design,’ he explained. ‘It’s quite a lengthy process as I grow a lot of my own plants. In this space, only the trees and hedge have been bought in.’

Dan Newby of Heaton Moor and his 'Aurora Arbora' garden (Grow 56).  It is his interpretation of the Northern Lights with kaleidoscopic light effects Dan Newby of Heaton Moor and his 'Aurora Arbora' garden (Grow 56). It is his interpretation of the Northern Lights with kaleidoscopic light effects

In his garden, the coastal planting scheme aims to inspire the onlooker to think differently about planting while simultaneously appealing to those who have an affinity with the sea. It’s refreshing that no driftwood or gravel has been used. Instead, a wide range of salt tolerant plants with colours and textures create the illusion of waves: trees falling into blue and purple planting representing the swell of the waves, leading on white and creams signifying the froth on the beach. A maritime soundtrack plays in the background. ‘My favourite aspect is the texture,’ added Clive.

From veterans to first timers, Tatton opens its welcoming arms to all with a passion for gardening. It’s this passion that inspired ex-banker Dan Newby to quit his office job 12 years ago and start up a career in garden design. ‘I used to work for Capital Bank in Chester. I then went travelling around the world; saw a lot of botanical gardens and it just inspired me.’

This is the first visit RHS show for the Heaton Moor gardener, who applied after television presenter and horticultural wizard, Monty Don, spoke to him at Manchester’s Dig the City two years ago. ‘That gave me a real confidence boost. The RHS Tatton assistant show manager Isobel Coulter then emailed me saying I should exhibit.’

His first show garden, Aurora Arbora, is a cracker and the judges thought so too, awarding him a silver-gilt. Dan took inspiration from the Northern Lights, with his garden being a striking and vibrant interpretation of the natural phenomenon. ‘The key is to look through [the colourful treehouse] and see a kaleidoscope effect. The planting on either side reflects the colours cast from the light, and the waterfall and pool are powered by the solar panels fixed to the treehouse.’

Another show garden that drew attention at this year’s Tatton was It Makes Sense. A garden designed by Alan Nugent at LiveWire and developed in partnership with Golden Gates Housing Trust, Cheshire and Greater Manchester CRC, Walton Lea Project, Long Lane Garden Centre and Jewsons, the sensory garden provides a safe and stimulating place for a child with additional needs to play, as well as being a relaxing retreat for parents.

The garden won a bronze medal, and it will be relocated to a permanent home at New Horizons School, a pupil referral unit in Warrington catering for children and young people with complex behavioural, mental and physical difficulties. w

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