Di’s visit to RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, 2012

Of all the RHS Flower Shows held across the country, I have to admit that the Tatton Show is closest to my heart! It’s almost on our doorstep (well, 20 minutes drive away) and situated in the heart of our beautiful Cheshire countryside.

I cannot believe it’s been 14 years since our very first “Tatton”, and we’ve visited most of them ever since.

It never ceases to inspire and delight me with its stands and stalls, gorgeous show gardens and mouthwatering plant sales! How on earth the garden designers, growers and suppliers manage to pull it off every year, despite the weather, never ceases to amaze me! The RHS marquee is to die for, if you love your herbaceous perennials, roses, lilies, and sweet peas as I do, and I’m in shopping heaven visiting all those stalls outside selling garden knick knacks!

Yes, it’s pricey, with tickets costing around £23 each, but I treat it as the highlight of my gardening year, so it’s well worth it!

Hubby and I visited on Sunday, 22nd July. After weeks of rain and cold miserable weather, the sun shone at last and we needed to slap on the sunscreen, as it turned out to be a beautiful, hot day! I went trigger-happy with my camera and took photographs galore, but sadly after 162 pics my camera ran out of memory! I’d love to share a few of them with you though, so here are a few things that caught my eye…
Mornflake Garden RHS Tatton best in show
This was the Mornflake garden, awarded best in show. It was gorgeous, and much better in “real life” than it was on TV! The planting was beautiful, incorporating lots of grasses and perennials, such as Stipas, Knautias, Echinaceas, Achilleas, Coreopsis and Heleniums. There was a lovely rippling water feature in the centre, and lots of hard landscaping. I loved it!

RHS Tatton World Without Torture garden
On a different note, there were many thought provoking gardens – some of which I thought were a bit “odd”, but nevertheless I could appreciate the work that had gone into them. This one was called “World without Torture.” I liked the white planting, and the figure holding the dove, but wasn’t keen on all that wire fencing…

Garden Furniture at Tatton flower show

Now this is what I call a “proper garden!” Very traditional, immaculately planted and so neatly laid out – a million miles away from my own garden style! Just beautiful…

Wheelchair accessible potting bench

And I loved this idea of raised beds and a potting bench, adapted for wheelchair users.

But I think my very favourite show garden, and the one that inspired me the most, was this one, called “Air on a Green String”, designed by Alexandra Froggatt. It was simply stunning.

Alexandra Froggatt Air on a Green String garden

So after all that drooling over the show gardens, it was time to cool down with an ice-cream, before heading into that hallowed space known as the RHS Floral Marquee! Now, imagine a kid in a sweet-shop: that was exactly how I felt! The sight and scents of thousands of beautiful plants, combined with growers who know their stuff, is enough to send your ordinary gardener (like me) into seventh heaven! I must have spent hours in there, browsing, shopping, and errm, drooling once again! Have a look at these gorgeous lilies…

Lilies at RHS Tatton

And what about these fabulous Alliums…?

Selection of Allium flowers at Tatton Flower Show

Oh it really was too much to take in! I bought far too many plants and now must find a home for them all. But apart from the plants, I came home full of ideas and inspiration. I can’t wait to make a start on making this wine bottle screen for example, that I spotted in one of the gardens…

Wall of wine bottles at Tatton Flower Show 2012

But first I’ll have to drink an awful lot of wine… Oh dear, a tough job but someone has to do it!

So I hope you’ve enjoyed sharing my trip to Tatton. Who knows, maybe next year you’d like to visit too?

Happy Gardening!
Di x

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