RHS Flower Show Tatton Park 2019

It is six years since I last visited RHS Flower Show Tatton Park,  I have always really enjoyed this show but work commitments have made it difficult to get to.  Not this year though, I had the green light and I took the opportunity to reignite my love of this show.
How can you not love a show where the first thing you see is a man sitting riding on the back of a huge snail accompanied by a large flappy butterfly?  When you start laughing before you've hardly set foot in the show you know you are going to have a good time.
There really is a lot to see, you are drawn to investigate the displays.  I loved MowTown, which was surrounded by lawnmower stands all giving advice and a display from the British Lawnmower Museum which I have visited some years ago.
The various show gardens were excellent and as usual I am not going to talk about all of them.  This is one of the Back to Back gardens: Every cloud has a silver lining designed by Clive Scott.  The garden aims to highlight the work of the charity Moodswings which helps people recover from mood problems.
This is The Perfumer's Garden' designed by Charlie Adams.  These gardens are back to back and are really quite small which makes them relatable to what can be achieved in a small garden space.  This garden aims to show what could be achieved behind a perfume shop 'Pulse of Perfumery' in Knutsford and how the space could be made a space for wildlife and people.
This is 'Let's go fly a kite!' designed by Jenny Bingham and Penny Hearn.   This garden is to celebrate 25 years of the Children Today Charitable Trust, which raises funds to provide specialist equipment for children with disabilities.  I loved the use of gabion cages to hold the outdoor play items.  It is also exceptionally well planted and shows what can be done in a small space.
The show is split into sections and I wandered from place to place.
I stood and watched these men stone carving for a while.   It is a skill I greatly admire.
I loved this hosta and bird moment on one of the stalls.
I stood and admired the carrots for longer than is reasonable.  I struggle with growing them so to see such beautiful specimens made me pause.  There is so much love and care poured into growing show exhibits.
The gardens built by local schools were outstanding.
By outstanding I mean just amazing.  Probably the best school gardens I have ever seen.
Then on I went.  This is 'Baroque Garden', one of the 'Young Designer' gardens, a series of gardens created by young designers (the clue is in the title....)  The above garden was designed by Laurence Senior. It is very formal with its hard landscaping and nicely floofy with the soft planting, a very good combination.
This is also a 'Young Designer' Garden, 'The Phytosanctuary Garden' designed by Kristian Reay.  This beautiful garden is a warning about the devastating effects of Xylella and how gardeners and scientists all have a role at keeping it at bay.
This is 'Contemplation Corner' designed by Pip Probert.
I liked this garden a lot.  It is such a good combination of hard and soft landscaping.
The colours worked really well together.  It was my favourite of the larger gardens.
Another of the Back to Back Gardens is 'The Art and Nature of a Port Sunlight Garden'.  I visited Port Sunlight a long time ago (I reckon 20-25 years ago) and loved it.  This garden reminded me that I really ought to revisit.  It was designed by Liam English.
This very wonderful insect-friendly wall is from 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar Garden' designed by Simon Tetlow.
We are constantly hearing the news that our insects and pollinators are under  threat and that we need to do all we can to protect and encourage them.
This small garden is packed full of simple ideas.  It is beautiful and also an important message.  I think this was my favourite of the smaller gardens.
This colourful garden is 'The Start in Salford Garden' designed by Andrew Walker.
It was bright, zingy and cheerful.  I loved the planting and the birds woven through it.
This is Equilibrium, designed by Richard Heys, Audra Bickerdyke working with female prisoners at HMPPS and YOI Styal.  It had a real sense of peace and tranquility about it.
Then I went into the Floral Marquee, always a favourite part of any show for me.

I have to confess I managed not to buy any plants.  There was one I would have bought, but whilst it was featured on the stand they did not have any on sale.  So I noted the name and I will track one down later.   I enjoyed checking out all the stalls.  I spent too long in front of the bonsai stalls (again) but left with my purse unscathed; for which I think I deserve a medal.
I could not end this post without a nod to the two men in flowerpots.  They were greeting people as I arrived and probably typified what I always think of as the RHS's friendliest show.  This year's show did not disappoint and confirmed that opinion.


  1. So many lovely gardens! I really like the different combinations of hard and soft landscaping in these gardens, as they all blend together well. Also, the insect wall is such a unique idea. Thanks for the post!


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