Tatton Park Flower Show



2016! Another year and another show and I have once again had the pleasure of visiting the RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park.

To me the show seemed to be better than the previous couple of years and it would seem the organisers have been listening to the public in so far as the exhibits were distributed around the arena much better.

That is; like categories were more or less sited together rather than being scattered around in a haphazard manner as in the previous two years.

There were some new features this year to cater more for families, particularly infants. For example there were a number of Roald Dahl features with giants on stilts and a big friendly giant made of wicker to amuse them.

As in previous years there is the school garden competition and I swear it is getting better year on year.

Then for the older generation there was the 'Garden Shed' competition but I have to say I have never ever seen garden sheds adorned and filled in this manner.

Then when you get bright sunlight and high temperatures, at times it must have been into the mid 20's(70's)at times, then you had most of the ingredients to have a great day.

I only hope I can convey the great pleasure I had to the readers of this blog, and who knows? It might even tempt you to visit next year's show.

For your information here are a few points about my blog

To assist me and ultimately to benefit the readers of my blog I purchase a Show Guide to show me where everything is located, and to give me details about the various features around the show.

When I arrive at the show ground I normally sit down have a coffee and study the attached site plan.

Usually I plan to cover the gardens before lunch,then visit the various marquees in the early afternoon.This can change if the weather is inclement but luckily this year I had no such problems.

Mid afternoon I sit down and have another coffee and study the plan again to check if there are any features I have missed in order that I can visit these before the show closes, even so; I missed a few :o(


For simplicity rather than in the order I toured the show,I have basically laid this blog out in a similar order to the Show Guide.

As every exhibit has a story to tell I have included brief extracts from the catalogue and / or my interpretation of these stories

As always in my blogs clicking on the picture/s will enlarge the picture.

Similarly,because some of the exhibits were quite large, and I do not have a wide angle lense, I often found that I had to take a number of pictures from different angles to do the exhibit/s justice.

This means that those exhibits in the blog with more than one view is not a preference on my part, it is the only way I felt I could get the full impact of the exhibit into the blog.


Garden Categories

Show Gardens, Water Gardens, Back to Back Gardens, Evolution Gardens, RHS Young Designer Competition,Worldskills Landscaping Competition,Blooming Borders, Garden Hideaways, School Gardens Floral Design,


Show Gardens


Never Forget - Never Again


This was a circular remembrance garden to remember the horrors of human suffering and persecution in particular The Holocaust!


Pulling Back Time

This garden was designed in part by female prisoners, and it depicts the gate that slams shut as they enter prison, the wrought iron clock dial perimeter represents the enclosure they will be confined in for the time they have to serve.

The dark foliage plants as they enter the gate represent the dark period they have entered, the mound is the hill they have to climb to their freedom. The flowing water represents the cleansing of their minds and characters and the muddy pool is the filth they have left behind as they leave the prison.

The whole exercise is part of the rehabilitation of the inmates.


Through the Looking Glass

Best Show Garden

This garden has been designed for a large family who want to spend time outdoors and includes both enclosed an open areas so that the family can utilise the area in all weathers.


The Big Friendly Garden

This garden celebrates 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl.

The tale depicted is the one where the Big Friendly Giant takes take 10 year old Sophie to see the dreams he has collected.


The Rainbow Garden

This garden has been planted out with plants to stimulate the senses as you walk through it.

At the end of the garden is a larged walled paved area and a water feature symbolising the formation of rainbows.


The Water Garden

This garden was designed for a large garden but it could be scaled down for a smaller garden.

The water tumbles overlarge slate rocks as opposed to the more traditional sand or limstone rocks and boulders often seen in ponds of this size.


Back to Back Gardens



An Eye on Combermere

This garden has been inspired by the walled garden at Combermere Abbey.

The sphere in the middle represents the "apple of the eye"

The Arbour was created from locally sourced timber.


Heaven and Earth

This garden was inspired by the first Sputnik launch in the early sixties.

The garden aims to fetch Heaven and Earth together where the pond represents the skies, the stepping stones the Planets and these lead to the stars that form 'The Plough' constellation.


An English Stumpery Garden

This garden was inspired by the stumpery garden at Biddulph Grange Garden.

Another feature of the garden is the 'Upside down' tree surrounded by a bed of Hostas.



Roses Through Thyme

The planting in this scented garden combines Roses with Thyme and Lavender.

The add some height to the garden tallish perennials and low growing trees have been used.



The Adlington Hall Garden

This garden was inspired by a poem written on a wall in the gardens.

The garden is laid out in a typical 18th century style.



This garden is a modern take on a Victorian garden set in the courtyard of a new home.

The plants are grown in blocks and are selected for texture rather than colour.


Inner Sanctum

This garden was insp[ired by a 12th century mathematician and the Fibonacci number sequence.

The garden is all about elements that incorporates sequences.


Spheres,Spears and Grassy Ears

This garden is somewhere to sit and unwind and enjoy the garden.

The garden is filled with drought tolerant plants in hues of white blue and purple.


'And in their barks my thoughts I'll character'

This garden echoes the action of Shakespeare's 'As you Like It'

The garden is designed for the viewer to 'character' their own new narrative from something that has gone before.


High Tide 2030

This garden depicts a coastal garden set fifteen years from now.

The message is meant to create the threat to coastal towns as a result of 'Global Warming'


The Green Retreat

This garden was designed as a place to unwind and relax among all the textured greenery and informal planting.

It is said that 'Green' creates a healing energy within the mind thus creating a relaxing calming and soothing atmosphere.


Sitting Below the Mulberry Tree

This garden has been designed for someone who perhaps has a disability or an illness.

The ground cover has been constructed of materials that are pleasing to the eye yet suitable for wheelchair access.


The Waiting List

Won Peoples Choice Award

This garden has been designed as an outdoor waiting area in the grounds of a a hospital for patients waiting to undergo major surgery.


Evolution Gardens

Plant Evolution

Best Evolution Garden

Inspired by the classification of plants from mosses,ferns,conifers and flowering plants.

The glass panels represent DNA slides.


ACE Kids Spectrum of Genius

A sensory garden that provides a calm space for children with additional needs to learn and read.

A shaded area has been provided for autistic children that are sensitive to light.


From Hall to Home

This garden depicts the evolution of contemporary garden design in association with stately homes.

It was inspired by Capability Brown's influence on gardening design.


Show Features

To celebrate the Year of the English Garden 2016 a number of gardens of distinction were created along with many artiscic sculptures and these were randomly dotted around the show ground.

The Bruntwood Field Office


The new sponsors of the show created a garden that posed the possibility of a completely natural workspace.

Members of the public were invited into the garden to see for themselves this innovative working environment.


Gardens of Distinction


Arley Hall
Bluebell Cottage
Congleton in Bloom
Norton Priory


Other Features


Champagne Trolley
Glass Art
Ice Cream Van
Glass Ice and Aqua Pyramids
Steam Locomotive
Mare & Foal
Rutting Stags


Lady Bird, Lady Bird, Fly Away Home

This feature follows the antics of fictional plant hunter Ladybird Su as she searches for plants for her garden.

Her travelling home is a mobile caravan set up as a potting shed.

To display her plants she uses recycled pallets and boxes.


Alice in Willow Wonderland

This feature was constructed by twigtwisters and was designed by Sara Gallacher Hayes.


RHS Young Designer Competition


A Home from Home

Designed by Robin Dwiar

This garden provides an urban oasis that provides a place for relaxation,repose and reflection.

The imagined owners have moved from the countryside to an urban area and want a garden that includes elements of their previous location and now.


Nature & Nurture

Designed by Caitlan McLaughlin won Best Young Designer Award

This garden creates an urban nature reserve within the boundaries of a city

It is inspired by hedgerows and wildflower meadows as well as providing a home for wildlife.


A Space to Ruminate

Designed by Lilly Gomm - Won Peoples Award

This garden is open on two side and opens up to give a view into the back garden of a terraced house, and emphasises the transition from indoor to outdoor living.

The garden includes a kitchen garden,a private sitting area and and area to lie back and ruminate.

nb. This garden was very popular as you can see by the crowds, sadly I was unable to photograph the sitting areas.


Young Designers

Three pais of finalists have to build and plant a garden designed by last years winner Tamar Bridge.

Each team will make their own interpretation of the design and are free to create a style of their own choosing.

Urban Retreat

Best Plant Designer Award

Coastal Retreat

Best Construction Award

Countryside Retreat


Worldskills Landscaping Competition 2016


In this competition the students and apprentices who have made it to this semi-final have 18 hours over 3 days to build a pre-designed garden.

They are given a plan and all the materials required to carry out the construction of the garden.

They are also given a plant list containing the tree, shrubs,grasses and perennial plants they can use.

The planting of the said varieties is left to the students to lay out as they see fit.


The gardens are then judged and three students are selected to go on to the final to be held at the NEC Birmingham later this year.


Blooming Borders


The Plight of Coral

As the title suggests this highlights the dangers that face coral reefs as a result of global warming.

The scene depicts a helthy coral reef and representations of adidification and rising sea levels.


Big Ideas, Small Places


The planting shows various settings of plants that could be used in either a herbaceous border, patio,window box or to add interest to a parking space in the front garden.


The Tale of Hill Top

Won Best Blooming Border Award

The inspiration for this garden comes from Beatrix Potters house 'Hill Top' in the Lake District.

This year is the 150th anniversaryof her birth.



The border represents 'World Peace'

It features a globe made from horseshoes (a sign of good luck) as well as Doves of Peace and name plaques of people who have contributed to 'World Peace'


Times a Changin'

This garden is meant to epitomize the changes that have taken place in Partington.

For example how the council now uses perrenials as opposed to annuals to decorate the town in the past.

This garden contrasts the old and the new!


Garden Hideaways

This feature of the show is about transforming a standard garden shed into a private sanctuary.

As these are four sided structures it was necessary to take more than one picture to see the full effect of the transformations in and out!


The Garden Library


This shed was stocked with a stock of garden related books and magazines.

The outside colouring depicts the spines of books as they are seen when stacked on shelving.


The Moo House


This shed is a fun cow themed bar and is designed as a party shed.

The shed fully opens on one side to create additional sitting space.


Millennial Shed


This shed highlights the current house crisis and showcases the plight of a growing number of people, in particular the younger generation.


Blooming Bridgewater

Tis structure celebrates the dynamism and ambition of Salford's Bridgewater Canal.

The different features tell the story of how the the canal supported leisure and wellbeing.


What We Do Best

This shed was transformed by a group of both serving and veteran military people and their families.

It is a place to enjoy a cuppa and a chat after working in their walled garden.


The 'Outside - In' Shed

Unlike a standard shed the inside becomes the outside where the tools are hung up outside, and the plants are grown inside, including the tree which grows through the roof of the shed.


The Story of a British Flower Wedding


A garden hideaway created to plan a wedding day.

The shed is fitted out so that the bride can plan her big day.


School Gardens


The children have two days on site to construct and layout their gardens.

This year the theme for the gardens was: Musicals embracing classic tales.

Bruche Commumity Primary School Joseph
Burton wood Community Primary School Peter Pan
Croft Primary School Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Dowson Primary School Camelot
Eagley Infant School Shrek
Evelyn Street Community Primsary School Beauty and the Beast
Higher Failsworth Primary School Wicked
Lime Tree Primary Academy The Lion King
Marfields Primary Academy Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Melling St Wilfrid C of E Primary School Starlight Express
Over Hall Community School The Wind in the Willows
Salterforth Primary School Mary Poppins
St Catherine's C of E Primary School Mamma Mia
St James' C of E Primary School The Jungle Book
Stretford Grammar School The Wizard of Oz
Walmsley Primary School Matilda
Whirley Primary School James and the Giant Peach
Wilmslow Grange Community PS & Nursery Schools Phanton of the Opera
Wilmslow High School Aladdin
Winwick C of E Primary School Oliver


Floral Design


Future Florists Competition

Theme: Rio Carnival
Hugh Baird College

Bishop Burton College

Best Display

Reaseheath College
Mathew Landers Academy



Cheshire Area
North West Area
Julie Dickinson
Verdur Floral Design


Plant Societies

Due to the very warm weather I did not spend much time in any of the marquees, in fact there were quite a few I didn't go in to at all! Another factor was that with so much to see outdoors I just did not have time to go in to them.

Those that I did go in seemed to have less exhibitors than I have seen in previous years but I am not sure due to not spending much time in the marquees, however I did find time to have a look at a couple of my favourite societies.

National Vegetable Society
Bonsai Society


Trade Stands


And last but not least as it is these stands that are the backbone of any show. As always there were hundreds of them too many for me to get around, but the following are a few that caught my eye as I moved from show garden to show garden.


Andy Burgess
Brownthwaite Hardy Plants
Chrysanthemums Direct
Cooks Garden Centre
Craig House Cacti
D & A Wright
D'Arcy & Everest
Four Oaks Direct
Harts Nursery
Hayloft Plants
Howden Hostas
Hoyland Plant Centre
Jaques Amand
K Partington
Mandy's Plants
Outdoor Living UK
Primrose Bank
Primrose Hall Nursery
Proctors Nursery
Robinson's Seeds
Taylors Clematis
The Pond Building Company
Tinnisburn Plants


....and that concludes my blog about my visit to RHS Tatton Park Flower Show 2016

Top of the Page