Themes at this year’s RHS Flower Show Tatton Park

by Bethany Day on July 28, 2013

Just as attending a fashion show will keep you up-to-date with the latest trends, flower shows are the ultimate haven for gardeners looking to pick up new ideas and this year’s RHS Flower Show Tatton Park was no exception.

Hailed as a gardener’s paradise, the annual Cheshire-based flower show was full of innovative exhibits to inspire you to make the most of your outdoor space.

This year there were four prevalent themes with garden designer’s showing a fashion for grow-your-own, supporting wildlife, promoting health and heritage.

Here’s a look at some of the themes in a bit more detail…

Local Heritage

Many designers took inspiration from the cultural heritage of the UK. Exhibits of note included:

A Stainless Century

  • Celebrated Sheffield’s heritage as the site where stainless steel was first invented 100 years ago, referencing the impact that steel has had on the city and on the wider world.

Railways End

  • Fifty years after the publication of the Dr Beeching report to reshape the British rail system, the garden considers how the loss of the lines has left rural communities isolated and glorious parts of the countryside inaccessible.

The Industrious Force of Nature

  • This exhibit considers the transition of a disused mill from an industrial colossus into a crumbling ruin at a mercy of the natural world. Inspired by the Greenfield Valley Heritage Park, it aims to show how this can be both productive and beautiful if managed in the right way.

Health and Wellbeing

These exhibits recognised the impact that horticulture can have on wellbeing.

The Belong Garden: A Sense of Place

  • Inspired by research into the benefits of outdoor spaces for people living with dementia and is designed to provide a sense of place, reminiscence orientation and sensory enjoyment.

The Mypod Garden

  • Overcrowding is a problem in many modern homes and this garden is designed to provide an escape from stress- giving people somewhere to go and a space of their own.

Breaking The Cycle

  • Created by staff and prisoners from HMP & YOI Styal in partnership with The Manchester College Offender Learning Directorate this exhibit reflects the negative ‘cycle’ that some women may find themselves in during their life. The garden represents a crossroads of choices which can ultimately lead to a growth in self-esteem, self-respect and confidence.

Grow Your Own

Within the new Feast area at the show, designers showed just how easy it is to create a kitchen garden and grow your own.

The Home Guard-ener

  • Designed by Finchdale College, this garden looked to the past to represent how families relied on their gardens during WWII to feed themselves.
The Edible Medley
  • In contrast to The Home Guard-ener, this exhibit by Angie Turner Designs and Actual Landscapes, is a contemporary take on an edible garden. Formal blocks of colourful vegetables sit against informal swathes of billowing grasses and perennials, bringing together a medley of ornamental and edible plants.

Gardening for Wildlife

Designers at this year’s show explored ways to support wildlife through garden design.

The Bee’s Garden

  • Designed by Florian Degroise, this garden is a contemporary space which boasts many ecological features including a beehive and bee-friendly plants.
The Dirty Stop Out’s Garden
  • This garden by Mersey-side based Outside Influence and Greenbelt Landscapes, uses a green roof to provide shelter in the gardens, as well as an additional habitat for foraging butterflies and bees.


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Bethany Day

Blogger and online PR guru for Interflora UK. Interested in guest-posting on our blog? Email blog@interflora.co.uk or connect with me.

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