2012 RHS Tatton Flower Show - Photo Special

PUBLISHED: 15:11 17 September 2012 | UPDATED: 19:11 14 April 2020

2012 RHS Tatton Flower Show - Photo Special

2012 RHS Tatton Flower Show - Photo Special

Cheshire put on a dazzling display of garden design and floral finesse at this year's RHS Flower Show Tatton Park. Words by Emma Mayoh Photography by John Cocks

It is enough pressure having to prepare for your first show garden at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park. But for a group of garden, landscape design and historic garden restoration students from Reaseheath College, the success of their foundation degrees was also resting on their performance at the prestigious Tatton Park event.

Fortunately for Robert Frost, Angela Feron, Jane Houghton, Lee McDermott and Jenny Edmonstone their efforts paid off. Their garden, Nature Squared, which used a geometric design to create different natural habitats that attract wildlife, earned them a silver gilt award.

Angela, a former nuclear industry worker who wanted a change of career, said: ‘When we found out we were doing it, it was a mixture of excitement and apprehension. We have loved putting the design together. We have all worked very hard and we are chuffed to bits with getting a silver gilt.’

Under a similar pressure was Simon Tetlow, the new head gardener at Tatton Park. Simon, who has taken over from Sam Youd, had only been told a week before the show that he would be taking the top job. But there were no show nerves as the Interplanetary Travel – A Flight of Fancy garden was awarded a Silver Gilt. The garden, which featured a 1930s style rocket, linked in with the Tatton Park Biennial and reflected the plants and garden styles adopted by the estate’s Egerton family.

All of the designers endured torrential downpours and windy weather in the build-up to the show. But by the time the thousands of visitors poured through the gates, the usual exemplary standards and stunning gardens designs were on display.

It was a particularly successful show for Janine Crimmins who designed a garden for Mornflake Cereals. The 46-year-old from Stockport, with help from husband Andy, focused her design on oat production and milling done by the Crewe company. The garden featured a weir as well as dry stone walls that represented ripples of water. The garden was not only awarded Best Show Garden but it also received a gold award. The couple have now been awarded eight gold awards for their gardens.

Janine said: ‘I kept the planting natural to represent a field of oats. The design shows the role of wind and water power in this industry and I used metal wind sculptures and the weir to show that.

‘To get a gold is absolutely fantastic but to get Best Show Garden is just brilliant. It’s been a great show and I’m very proud.’

A design from mother and son Dori and Howard Miller also proved that flower shows don’t always just have to be about pretty blooms. Their World without Torture garden, which featured high security fencing, plants that colonise on lands that have been damaged or destroyed and recordings of torture victims, was inspired by the Quaker Concern for the Abolition of Torture’s aim to end torture. There were also white cultivars of plants first introduced by the Quakers. The pair also had success at last year’s show when the garden they created for Oxfam was awarded gold.

In fact, Cheshire designers received a bumper haul of medals from the judges. Cheshire Gardens’ Trust, whose garden celebrated former Knutsford nursery Caldwell’s and King Canute received a silver; Alexandra Froggatt, who garden was featured in the Orchestra Gardens category, received a Silver Gilt; Pip Probert, whose show garden celebrated the new Making Waves garden at Ness Gardens also took a Silver Gilt and Gareth and Heather Battisson-Howard from Bulkeley received a Silver Gilt for The Bombe, a Visionary Gardens category design that paid homage to the life of Alan Turing.

There were also several schools who designed and put together their own gardens, Sarah Gallagher-Hayes a willow sculptor from Helsby created a farmyard of wicker animals that earned her the People’s Choice Award and Weaverham’s Andrew Percival took bronze in the much heralded RHS National Young Designer of the Year competition.

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