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After a damp squib day at Wollerton the day before a bright breezy day at RHS Tatton Park was perfect. I went at the invitation of the RHS Tatton team who are looking for designers to take up places at future shows. Tatton is a long trek North for me but it was, I have to say, well worth it.

The show is undoubtedly smaller than it’s big cousins in the South but that works in it’s favor, no crowding to see gardens, no queuing to talk to designers, who all seemed to be on their gardens on Saturday and plenty of room to walk around and really get a good look at what was on offer. Not to mention plants for sale!

After the Press talk we walked the whole show and talked to as many show garden folk as possible (mainly designers) about what it was like to compete and design for Tatton. Everyone as incredibly positive about it, even the full month ‘off work’ to build the garden and then be available during the public opening. Some self fund (gulp) most had sponsors. Of those we spoke with gardens ranged in cost from £11k-18k which was considerably less than I expected and though some gardens were small (6x4m) it showed how much could be packed in.

Will we be entering for 2016?

We could be if we get the rest of the sponsorship!


  • Posts like these make me want to get out in my yard and do some design overhaul. My only new addition this year as a tree in the corner of my yard. It’s a fast-growing one, and the intention is to block out the rows of fencing I see from my office window in that direction. It’s amazing how soothing foliage can be.

    • I agree! green is the best colour in a garden and reliable too. Have you thought about clothing the fence in climbers too? Trachelospernum jasminoides (Jasmine), Clematis armandii both give evergreen coverage and flowers too and a Hydrangea petiolaris though deciduous has wonderful bark through winter and gorgeous leaf and flowers in spring/summer

  • Jacqueline Gum

    This looks like an amazing project. So much work involved, but well worth it, I imagine. I’m sure you will keep us posted if you decide to enter. Best of luck getting the sponsorship!

    • THANK YOU! It’ll be steep learning curve no doubt about that and exciting too.

  • Phoenicia

    I always think about how plain my garden is after reading your posts! Picture grass and a few flower pots. We do have a stunning tree which I refuse to cut down. I appreciate a beautiful garden but have no idea how to get to that point. The photographs are beautiful.

    • A tree is an absolute joy in a garden. So much ‘life’ happens in it’s boughs. It’s a shame to cut them down unless absolutely necessary. I gather ideas of what I want first, themes and moods using Pinterest ( for a place to gather ideas together and get some additional inspiration. Once I know where I am going style /content wise, I start to plan out areas I need and how big they need to be then sketch them out. When I have built my own gardens I usually do it myself and take my time, getting things done as funds/time allow but always have an end game plan so you know where you’re going.

  • Rose M Griffith

    (Yippee to being able to post, Rosalind!) I love the pictures and the gardens are so enticing! We have the Phipps Conservatory here and I love going there and thinking about all the plants we could incorporate into our modest flower gardens. Good luck!

    • I had not heard of the Phipps but gosh what a stunning place. Certainly plenty of inspiration there. Their centre for sustainable landscapes looks really fascinating.

  • Lovely images and what a wonderful way to spend the day. Most people where I live have much plainer gardens so it’s nice to see what others are doing.

    • Thank you Marquita. It is a grand way to spend a day so much to see and so many folk to tlak with, I am usually completely exhausted by the end of it.

  • William Rusho

    Great pictures. I will bring back my garden next year. You certainly has given me many thoughts about it.

    • That’s great William, what sort of garden do you have? what do you like to grow?

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