An unexpected gap in my work schedule resulting from a few procrastinating clients meant I could sneak a visit to RHS Tatton Flower Show on Thursday with my garden design buddy Dawn. As an added bonus the sun shone almost all the time we were there, with only a threat of rain as we were leaving; quite a result!
We ended up staying five hours and still didn’t see everything but eventually ran out of steam. Like most visitors to the show we viewed the show gardens first. There were some popular themes that could be seen across several gardens, in particular the use of copper, used widely in various water features, but also in other elements such as the edging to a border and a few copper cubes.
A popular hard landscaping material choice were small element paving with many garden designers using clay pavers, bricks and tile on edge in a number of gardens, often used alongside other materials. These give a very relaxed feel to a design, and can be used successfully in both traditional and contemporary gardens.
Planting varied across a wide spectrum of colours from soft harmonious pastels to vibrant reds and pinks. Those I thought that worked best used purple as the basis of their planting schemes.
Saying that, my favourite garden actually used a completely different colour scheme. This was the Gold medal winning Young Garden Designer of The Year, Nature & Nurture by Caitlin McLaughlin. A soft and gentle colour scheme with the occasional pop of a bright poppy, all of which worked very well with the grey of the stone paving. I loved the structure of this garden as well as the stone she used, which turned out to be porcelain, an exciting new alternative to the usual sandstone .
Another strong design was another garden in the Young Designer category, A Home From Home by Robin Dwiar, which was also awarded a Gold medal. A really strong structure to this garden using interesting materials was softened with exuberant planting.
To be honest, all three Young Garden Designers stole the show, displaying plenty of talent between them. So having not been overly keen to go to Tatton this year, I can say that overall I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed my visit, leaving with lots of new ideas to inspire my own designs.
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