Peaceful preparations for RHS Flower Show, Tatton Park
There’s an unusual air of tranquillity among Tatton Park’s garden team as the count down to the opening of the RHS Flower Show, Tatton Park gathers pace.
Head gardener Sam Youd attributes the atypical calm to this year’s show garden theme – a re-imagining of the serene Japanese garden, which was introduced to Tatton a hundred years ago.
A number of events have already marked this special centenary including an exhibition in the mansion, a Japan Children’s Day in May and a series of workshops, talks and tours. Centenary celebrations culminate at the flower show next month, with Tatton’s show garden, entitled ‘Paradise Isle: 100 years on’.
This year’s show garden is particularly poignant for Sam as it is his last RHS garden for Tatton. Sam retires next spring after 30 years as head gardener at the historic estate in rural Cheshire East. We have won well over 20 medals at the Tatton RHS Flower Show during this time.
It is fitting this garden is a tribute to one of Sam’s favourite areas of Tatton. Sam said: “It is fortuitous that we’re celebrating the centenary of our Japanese garden this year. It’s an added reason to design a show garden inspired by my favourite part of the gardens at Tatton. It’s almost as if I’d planned it!”
The complicated build demands a high degree of technical expertise as well as creative flair. This week the gardeners have begun to lay out a mock-up of the show garden, including the rocks, lanterns, stepping stones and bridges required to create the essential framework of the garden. The gardeners will then perfect the construction of the Japanese bamboo fencing before laying out the detailed planting of mosses, ferns, azaleas, pines and maples.
Sam added: “We always have a thorough ‘practice run’ of the garden about a month before. This ensures we have a good visual idea of the bones of the garden before we can tweak and tease it into shape during the show.”
This annual horticultural show, which regularly draw 100,000 visitors, takes place from Wednesday, July 20 to Sunday, July 24.