The RHS Flower Show recently returned to Tatton Park for it’s 18th year. Held in the grounds of a stunning 1,000-acre deer park, the Flower Show is the biggest horticultural event in the region and one of the main attractions in Cheshire’s social calendar.
I was invited to go along by my mum and her friend who are keen gardeners. For someone who has little interest in gardening, I’ll admit I wasn’t overly excited to attend. However, upon arriving I spotted the Vineyard and realised everything was going to be just fine! The Vineyard is new to Tatton and is dedicated to wine tastings and teaching people how to grow their own vines. My kind of place!
We started the day by walking around the grounds to see the award winning gardens. There are 29 in total, each with a different theme. Many of the designers were present, still tending to their gardens while the public walked around inspecting the creations.
For almost a decade, Tatton Park has offered young gardeners the opportunity to design and build a show garden to help launch their horticultural careers. We chatted to RHS Young Designer 2016, Caitlin McLaughlin. Her ‘Nature & Nurture’ garden had two aspects. The outer edge featured wildflowers to represent the hectic lifestyle of people living in inner cities. The inner section was calm and serene with a pond in front of a relaxing seating area.
Although I’m not a gardener, I do like flowers and loved the Floral Marquee where there are nearly 100 different flowers on display. I couldn’t pronounce half of the names but could definitely appreciate all of the gorgeous flowers on show.
One of the main attractions this year was Tatton Park’s own Big Friendly Giant, to tie in with the release of Steven Spielberg’s The BFG and to mark the 100th year since Roald Dahl’s birth.
For food and drink there was something for everyone, from cute vintage Champagne carts to crêpe and ice creams vans. For the very peckish, there was a sit-down restaurant, serving three course meals as well as Champagne Afternoon Teas.
However, we opted for a private talk over tea and biscuits with Gardening Guru Monty Don.
This was an opportunity to sit with Monty for an hour in a small group of 20 or so. He spoke about everything from how his career began to beekeeping, he certainly knows his stuff. I’ve never seen a room full of so many excited ladies, it appears Mr Don is the Mr Grey for a certain generation. He was an absolute gentleman and spent lots of time chatting with us.
All in all I really enjoyed our visit and would definitely recommend going along to one of the RHS Shows if you have the opportunity to. You can find a list of this years remaining shows using the link below.
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is a charitable organisation dedicated to inspire a passion for gardening and horticulture among people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds. Not only so we can all enjoy more beautiful spaces, but also so that people live healthier, greener lives by growing fresh food to eat as well as plants and trees to combat pollution.
For someone who wasn’t previously interested in plants or gardening, I thoroughly enjoyed the day and support all that the RHS does. So much so I’m already planning a trip to the Chatsworth Flower Show next year.
A handy tip, exhibitors traditionally sell most of the plants at knockdown prices during the last hour of the show, in what is known as the 'sell off’. Although it can often become a mad scramble, with people keen to grab a bargain. Not quite on the same scale as the Monty Don talk though!