Home Horticultural shows RHS Flower Show Tatton Park

RHS Flower Show Tatton Park

RHS letters, Tatton 2018. Picture; RHS/Tim Sandall
RHS letters, Tatton 2018. Picture; RHS/Tim Sandall

Focus on young designers, show gardens and bugs

Plant lovers descend on Cheshire from July 17-21 as RHS Flower Show Tatton Park celebrates of all things gardening with new features and design innovation.

Visitors will be met by a field of more than 5000 dahlia blooms featuring five different varieties, and the new Dig In area features a cookery and gardening theatre, demos galore in the Propagation Station, Edible Allotments and Vintage Tractors.

Back to Back Gardens

The quirky 6m x 4m designs are full of take-home inspiration ideal for back gardens or small green spaces.

They’ll be doing well to match 2018’s Bee’s Gardens: The Penumbra, which won gold, Best Back to Back Garden and Best Construction Award.

Colleagues of BBC North West Tonight’s Dianne Oxberry, who died of ovarian cancer earlier this year, are creating The Sunshine Garden in her memory.

Created by Lee Burkhill, the garden shows how even the smallest space can be bright, uplifting and enjoyed whatever the weather.

BBC North West Tonight Sunshine Garden. Picture; RHS/Tim Sandall
BBC North West Tonight Sunshine Garden. Picture; RHS/Tim Sandall

Dianne’s warmth is reflected in the garden which will feature meteorology equipment in a nod to the popular weather presenter.

A specially grown rose created by Rosen Tantau and launched by Fryer’s Roses will be at the heart of the garden. Florida Sunset was named by Dianne’s husband, Ian Hindle, in memory of their family holidays in Florida. For every Florida Sunset rose that is sold, £1 will be donated to the Dianne Oxberry Trust.

The Sunshine Garden will be donated to Wirral Hospice after the show, which offers free care for patients with life-limiting illnesses.

Other plots to look out for include The Perfumer’s Garden by Charlie Adams which highlights how urban spaces can be transformed by fragrant planting, and Matt Johnson’s antidote to the modern world, using every inch of space to show.

Chrysanthemums Direct, this year's master grower. Picture; RHS/Neil Hepworth
Chrysanthemums Direct, this year’s master grower. Picture; RHS/Neil Hepworth

Feature Gardens

Jane Bingham and Penny Hearn return with their Let’s Go Fly a Kite Garden to mark 25 years of the Children Today Charitable Trust.

Andrew Walker illustrates the work of Start in Salford, a creative therapy charity providing activities in aid of mental health.

One feature garden offers an insight into the latest RHS Garden in Bridgewater, which is due to open in Salford in 2020. Designed by Leon Davis and Peter Gregory of Flint Landscapes, the walkthrough garden will have elements reused at RHS Bridgewater.

Creepy crawlies in the Dome

Invertebrates take over the huge Dome as The Bug Hub explores how some insects interact in our own gardens and what we can do to live in harmony with them.

Take a look under the microscope at creatures, or take part in The Slug Club to help spot and track the yellow cellar slug, which has declined drastically over the past 30 years.

This year marks 50 years of the iconic children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which will be celebrated with giant fruit and caterpillar structures, 24 bug-inspired School Garden designs and children’s activities in the Green Fields family area. The Very Hungry Caterpillar will also star in a Back to Back garden.

Young Designer of the Year Kristian Reay. Picture; RHS/Neil Hepworth
Young Designer of the Year Kristian Reay. Picture; RHS/Neil Hepworth

RHS Young Designer Competition

New talent and design remain at the heart of the show with four finalists being mentored by award-winning designers Mark Gregory and Catherine MacDonald from Landform Consultants.

The Flower School, RHS Tatton Park. Picture; RHS/Charlotte Graham
The Flower School, RHS Tatton Park. Picture; RHS/Charlotte Graham

Floral Marquee, Plant Hub and talks

The Floral Marquee and Plant Hub – home to Plant Societies and Plant Heritage – has displays from the best nurseries, including 2019’s Master Growers Chrysanthemum Direct.

The Plant Hub will also feature the new The Plantsman Magazine Potting Bench & Book Corner.

More than 200 talks and workshops will take place across eight different locations.

Mr Plant Geek, Michael Perry, will be chatting all things bugs in a dedicated theatre, while Mark Diacono gets taste buds primed in the Dig In Live Theatre supported by the Campaign for Smarter Britain.  

There are hundreds of shopping stalls, live music and delicious artisanal food and drink to enjoy too.

Massed dahlias at RHS Tatton. Picture; RHS/Neil Hepworth
Massed dahlias at RHS Tatton. Picture; RHS/Neil Hepworth

Show information

  • July 17: RHS members only 10am-6.30pm
  • July 18-20: RHS members and non-members 10am-6.30pm
  • July 21: 10am-5pm (sell off starts at 4pm)
  • Venue: Tatton Park, Mereheath Lane, Knutsford, Cheshire
  • Tickets: Call 0844 995 9664 or visit www.rhs.org.uk/tatton.
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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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