Step into a land of myth and folklore this year at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Flower Show, Tatton Park (22 – 26 July) as the popular School Gardens – in association with the Winsford Education Partnership – draw inspiration from British life, culture, and heritage. A stunning display of mini Show Gardens, created by a team of young designers and gardeners from across 18 schools, will embrace themes as diverse as St George, the Witches of Pendle and the Bridgewater Canal.
With the task of representing elements of social folklore or heritage, the gardens created by the 12 primary schools will transport adults and children alike to a world of fantasy, with Whirley Primary School’s ‘Cheshire Cat’-inspired display, Ladywood School’s ‘Leprechauns’-led offering, and St Catherine’s Primary School’s ‘Fairy Rings’ sure to raise a smile. For the budding high school gardeners, this year’s theme is industrial heritage, with Wilmslow High School drawing on the distinctive features of the ‘Quarry Bank Mill’, and Wellacre Academy taking nearby industrial estates as a starting point for their ‘Trafford Park’ garden.
In addition to the student Show Gardens, a special Garden Feature entitled ‘You Are Not Having Your Ball Back’, will also be created by Oaklands School. Themed on the Rugby World Cup – which takes place in the UK this year – the garden will even play host to the hallowed Webb Ellis Cup trophy itself.
The result of months of planning by the students, these magical displays demonstrate the talent and horticultural passion of the school teams, rendered imaginatively across 3 x 3m (primary school) or 4 x 4m (secondary school) plots. With focus on learning sound horticultural skills, the schools are offered a representative taste of what it takes to produce a RHS medal-worthy show garden, and have just two days on site to build and plant their designs ready for judging. The results are bright, quirky, and showcase a number of skills, from the maths required to calculate costs for materials and dimensions, to design technology wizardry needed to produce props, backdrops and accompanying information leaflets.
Regarded as one of the highlights of the North’s summer calendar, RHS Flower Show Tatton Park has a fantastic reputation for nurturing young talent and providing a platform for aspiring designers to show their expertise. In the RHS Young Designer of the Year competition this year, three up-and-coming designers take on the challenge of creating Show Gardens. Josh Chapman, Kate Savill and Tamara Bridge will create gardens with an English Country Garden theme, set alongside 14 Show Features and 29 Show Gardens spread across the three zones of Grow, Inspire and Feast. This year, the Back to Back Gardens also make a welcome return with clever designs tailored to small spaces, alongside Blooming Beds, a new feature of gorgeous displays themed on the adventures of plant hunters.
Tickets for the RHS Flower Show can be purchased from their website: www.rhs.org.uk/tatton