Cheshire's Gardens of Distinction set to dazzle at RHS Tatton Flower Show | Knutsford Times

Cheshire’s Gardens of Distinction set to dazzle at RHS Tatton Flower Show

By on July 7, 2018

A set of four virtuoso gardens full of colour, scent and design expertise will showcase at RHS Tatton Flower Show this year, courtesy of Cheshire’s Gardens of Distinction. This group aims to raise awareness of the richness and diversity of Cheshire’s horticulture and this year will be represented by four top gardens – Addlington Hall, Arley Hall & Gardens and Bluebell Cottage Gardens. They will be joined for the five-day festival by RHS Tatton newcomer, Port Sunlight Village Trust. The show runs between 18-22 July (Wednesday – Saturday 10am – 6.30pmSunday 10am – 5pm).  For further information, go to

The four gardens have chosen a variety of different themes to cleverly and colourfully transform their plots:

Adlington Hall – stunning bee-loving garden complete with its own ‘bee and bug’ hotelDesigned by Anthony O’Grady, Head Gardener, Addlington Hall.

This exquisite feature garden takes its inspiration from the Hall’s magnificent rose garden, featuring a central bed in a palette of blues, pinks and whites, edged with old English lavender and a planted stone urn. But this is not simply a tranquil paradise of sight and smell. It also pays homage to the significant role played by the garden’s bees, which for centuries, before the invention of stand-alone bee hives, were encouraged to make their hives in 63 man-made ‘bee boles’ on one of the Hall’s walls. A striking feature of the garden is the contemporary ‘bee and bug hotel’ for its winged visitors.

Arley Hall & Gardens – Captures the character and charm of the garden and its famed double herbaceous border. Designed by James Youd, Gardener, Arley Hall

The ‘jewel in the crown’ of the show garden is its spectacular double herbaceous border. In 1846, Arley Hall planted the first double herbaceous borders of its kind in England and despite changing garden fashions has faithfully maintained this tradition. In the show garden, this is referenced with an herbaceous border with a strong palette of deep blues, deep reds and deep purples. Arley Hall & Gardens is a treasure trove for the keen plantsman as well as the less specialised visitor. It is linked to the garden of Bluebell Cottage by a spectacular gate.

Bluebell Cottage Gardens – ‘Don’t Chop Me Down’

Designed by owner, Sue Beesley

Sue Beesley’s design will feature borders filled with hardy perennials and grasses in their summer finery. In a twist, all the plants have been selected to look wonderful in winter too, if left alone and not cut back in autumn. Take-away leaflets with ‘plant portraits’ will show how the cones, spikes, spears and flat-head plants of these summer flowering plants are transformed by winter frost, providing great structure for winter interest, but also seeds for birds and hibernating homes for insects.

Port Sunlight Village Trust – celebrates its 130 anniversary with a garden that captures the essence of this extraordinary model village.

Designed by Liam English, Head Gardener

The vision of ‘Soap King’ William Hesketh Lever, Port Sunlight village, with its formal and open spaces, was specifically designed to provide a healthy environment for Lever’s workers in the nearby Lever Brothers Soap Factory. The garden highlights the diversity of Port Sunlight with a structure defined by hedges, a water feature and original cobblestones. On one side, with its blue colour scheme there is a formal border with box hedging and lavender. The other half of the imaginative back-to-back garden is devoted to banks of naturalistic woodland planting – a key feature of the garden village.

Sam Youd, Chairman of Cheshire’s Gardens of Distinction, said: “This will be a dazzling display of clever design, vibrant colours and wonderful planting by gardeners who are at the top of their game. It showcases what can be achieved in a small space and I am sure will be an inspiration to everyone who visits the show.”

Katrina Michel, Chief Executive, Marketing Cheshire, said: “Cheshire’s Gardens of Distinction are always firm favourites at RHS Tatton. People enjoy seeing top Cheshire gardens show casing in this way. We hope everyone will come and see the gardens and linger awhile in Marketing Cheshire’s restful ‘Art in the Garden’ area next to Cheshire’s Gardens of Distinction. Here we will be encouraging visitors to sit and think about the inspiration that gardens bring to our lives. If they feel inclined, we will have artists on hand to encourage visitors to sketch.”

About Lucy Thorpe

Lucy Thorpe is a freelance journalist who writes for the Knutsford Times - covering stories and news in and around Cheshire and Greater Manchester. If you've got a story to share, or would like to speak to Lucy, please email

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