This was my first visit to Tatton Park RHS flower show and I was greatly impressed. A very friendly, fun and professional show, billed as the North`s greatest garden party.
I had access to the site from 5am for 3 days. Having not been to Tatton before the very first 5am start was a very quick orientation. The light was flat and grey for most mornings, which does work for show gardens, though at dawn I do prefer the warm soft light. This happened some evenings around 8pm.
Awarded Best in Show and Gold was the garden entitled; “Save a Life, Drop the Knife”; garden designed by Glen Jackson & the Offenders at HMP Everthorpe. The message was clear and the garden moved from gnarly, sharp, angry urbanism through to gentle contemporary softness and peace.
“Grasses with Grace” by Sue Beesley of Bluebell Cottage Gardens & Nursery was my personal favourite that I kept coming back to at different times as it changed constantly. The planting was just superb, especially for a photographer, as there were so many vistas that were eye catching. I have to admit that the Echinacea “Green Envy” was also my favourite flower in the show as it was so well offset with the Sanguisorba obtusa and the Grasses: Stipa capillata (front); & Deschampsia cespitosa ‘Bronzeschleier’ (back).
Early evening back lighting on the Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’ and Agastache ‘Black Adder’ also showed off the grasses Molinia caerulea ‘Transparent’ (left) ; Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster (back)
Sue`s expert planting is shown here. One of the reasons this garden was my favourite as it really won its well deserved Gold through its planting. As a garden photographer often at shows the structure seems to be thought of first then planted around it. This garden shows that brilliant planting can win Gold.
“The Schedule”, awarded Gold Medal was also one of my favourites. The styling was immaculately executed and it transported me back to the 1970`s visiting my Uncle Harry`s garden in Ipswich. A time when life was alot simpler and people took pride in growing things. This was another garden I kept popping back to and once again was rewarded one evening with the backlit brassicas.
“Inside Out”,Designed by John Everiss was a great feat of engineering and design. When I was photographing late one evening a couple of the onsite construction crew were having a real good look at the structure. This for me really worked on a few levels. The roof was amazing with the outdoor living area below,
“Paradise Isle- 100 Years On designed by Sam Youd was a very calm reflective garden also awarded a Gold. Sam is Head Gardener at Tatton and was asked to design a Japanese Garden commemorarting 100 years of a Japanese Garden at the park. Sam has been Head gardener for over 30years and was instrumental in bringing the show to tatton park. He will also be retiring next year and I personally wish him a happy and content retirement.
I also liked this water feature that was blended in nicely to the planting.
Finally I wandered through the Floral Design Studio and came across this flower display, “Hidden & Revealed” that won Gold & Best Exhibit, by NAFAS. It mesmerised me and really stopped me in my tracks. I found it very peaceful, Zen and calming. I decided to photograph it with a slow enough shutter speed to catch the copper and willow circle spinning enough to still make out the shape amongst the stillness.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself at the show and look forward to returning for next years show in 2012.