A look ahead to the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park

PUBLISHED: 00:00 15 July 2016

Designer, Andy Walker, and BBC North West Tonight's Dianne Oxberry in the NSPCC 'Melitta' garden  for bees   (Back to Back  IN176)

Designer, Andy Walker, and BBC North West Tonight's Dianne Oxberry in the NSPCC 'Melitta' garden for bees (Back to Back IN176)

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RHS Flower Show Tatton Park returns once again to showcase the best flora and fauna, writes Rebekka O'Grady

The Great Garden Carnival meanders through the showgroundThe Great Garden Carnival meanders through the showground

From stunning floral displays and intricate show gardens, to supersized fruit and vegetables and family fun, the Royal Horticultural Society’s Flower Show Tatton Park offers so much to see and experience that it is sure to be a summer showstopper.

Returning to the Knutsford venue for the 18th year, the show, taking place between July 20-24, will include all the favourite and traditional elements – such as the back-to-back gardens and school displays - but this year will have a few new aspects.

For green-fingered attendees wanting to know the inside secrets, the new Talks Theatre in the Floral Marquee is sure to be a popular destination. Here you can garner advice from the likes of gardening expert and TV personalities Carol Klein and Monty Don.

If tasting what grows in gardens is what interests you, stop by The Vineyard, a relaxing area dedicated to tastings. Learn how to grow your own vines and hear about viniculture and the horticultural techniques behind the recent boom of English wines.

Field to Fabric show garden (Feast 300) designed by Michael Vinsun for The Lancashire Museums Service.  The garden charts the process of textile production from plant, through the carding, spinning, weaving and dyeing processesField to Fabric show garden (Feast 300) designed by Michael Vinsun for The Lancashire Museums Service. The garden charts the process of textile production from plant, through the carding, spinning, weaving and dyeing processes

Saturday at the show (July 23) will have a new Family Day, with lots of fun events and activities to keep all ages occupied. To coincide with the launch of Steven Spielberg’s Hollywood adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG, The Big Friendly Giant will be visiting the flower show in the form of a fabulous show garden. Families will be able to take part in Roald Dahl activities such as visiting Dream Library, where visitors will be invited to write down their dreams on luggage tags to display and share them with other people.

One special garden to look out for on your visit to the show is by the landscape designer, Shea O’Neill. Shea, from Barnton, designed the ‘ACE kids: Spectrum of Genius’ garden after being inspired by her 11-year-old autistic son Eoghan.

The garden, located within the Evolution Gardens section, will demonstrate simple ways to adapt gardens and parks to suit people with autism.

Shea said he has been on a ‘journey of discovery’ since Eoghan was diagnosed with high-functioning autism and has found gardening to be one of the simplest but effective ways of helping him.

Colour clash.....Dan Hopwood and Tilly Binns of The Stripes Co., Waverton, meet Shirley Ganderton and her display of Fuchsias at the D&A Wright stand from The Hollies, WinchamColour clash.....Dan Hopwood and Tilly Binns of The Stripes Co., Waverton, meet Shirley Ganderton and her display of Fuchsias at the D&A Wright stand from The Hollies, Wincham

‘For my boy, gardening has been life-changing and I can’t recommend it enough to anybody who lives or works with people with autism,’ said Shea, whose tips include growing edible flowers like dahlias, herbs such as chamomile that can be turned into soothing tea, soft grasses that blow in the wind and using strong and bold colours to stimulate and a softer palette to calm.

‘Eoghan was not a happy little boy, but being in the garden brings him peace. He is happiest in the garden and has been transformed as a result of it.’

The ACE Kids: Spectrum of Genius garden will be relocated after the show to Barnton Primary School in Northwich. It is intended to be a quiet, relaxing space away from the noise and stress of a busy classroom. w

The RHS Flower Show Tatton Park takes place between July 20 -24. Ticket prices range from £16.50 to £30. Children under 16 go free.

For tickets visit 0844 338 7546 or www.rhs.org.uk/tatton

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