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Sunday May 09 , 2021

Blue Daisy Blog

Blue Daisy blog written by Nicki Jackson & Jules Clark - for news, views, garden design, gardening and plant observations and thoughts.

RHS Tatton Park 2013

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RHS Tatton 2013
It has to be said that the RHS Tatton show is one of my favourites, perhaps it is linked with the fact that I’m originally from Cheshire or that I perceive people being friendlier or is it because the show feels more laid back and relaxed?  I don’t doubt for one minute that the lead up to the show is as frantic as any other of the RHS shows but for me, it I just love it.
I saw so many inspirational gardens here as well as elements within gardens or in the flower marquee, there really are some talented people out there that we really must take our hats off too.
Tatton2013 1 This is a really simple bench but it works so well, it looks so inviting for a morning coffee or catching the last rays of the sun as it sets in the summer evenings.  It wouldn’t look out of place in most gardens whether contemporary or traditional styles because it is a natural material used with a classic simplicity.

Tatton2013 2 One of my personal favourite show gardens ‘Remember to Reflect – the Alzheimer’s Society’ made up of approximately 1/3 planting, 1/3 water and 1/3 hard landscaping.  The balance of it feels right, the planting is naturalistic, there is repetition using plants for texture, movement and height too making it feel relaxed and an area to reflect.   There would be winter structure with the Pinus nigra trees and Pinus mugo shrubs together with the grasses if left.  To replicate this it would need to incorporate some spring planting but this planting really will come to life in the summer months with the Echinacea, Achillea and chocolate cosmos (Cosmos astrosanguineus).

Tatton2013 4 A great example of a limited colour planting palette being used with impressive results in the ‘Splash’ garden – so called because there was small splash pool to cool off on a hot summer’s day!  An abundance of yellow, blue and the odd splash (no pun intended!) of white flowers packed tightly together attracting all manner of pollinating insects.  It looks impressive with trees adding that all important height element, planting against a backdrop that shows them off in all their glory and smooth contemporary paving for the finishing touch.

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Here you can see some creative ways to recycle – very impressive!
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In the ‘Escape to the City’ show garden a lot of materials have been recycled or reclaimed for use in a contemporary setting.   It is quite a practical garden, probably one of the reasons why I was so taken by it, there are elements here that can be replicated in a garden successfully.  

At the back there is a CorTen screen made from upright posts and in front of that three CorTen rainwater containers – I would have liked to have seen a method to get the water into the containers – perhaps a CorTen chain suspended above.  

In this garden there is shady planting, planting for a sunny aspect, trees for height and wildlife, vegetables, herbs, pathways, a feature stone wall where insects can nest, a secluded seating area at the back which is divided from the garden using reclaimed timber, hardwood timber screens at the back and if that’s not enough a living wall too!  

Is it any wonder that this designer won RHS Young Designer of the Year Award – extremely well deserved and a winner in my book too!

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‘The Bee Garden’ was designed with a young couple in mind who wanted recycled materials used and a space for entertaining whilst encouraging wildlife.  I think this concept has worked well, at first I was a bit unsure of the use of pallets but I think they do offer a modern twist on the boundary line.  

The seating has also been created out of pallets which I do like and think they all look great around the fire pit and can imagine a group of friends socialising out there in the summer.  

I really like the planting but there would be very little in the winter months in the seating area, further down the garden along the decked area trees have been used and these would provide structure in the winter.  There are plenty of nectar rich plants in this garden to keep the bees buzzing around in the summer taking it back their decorative hives.  

Despite my initial reaction about the pallets I do like this garden and knowing it has been built by a landscaper I know makes it all the more appealing. 

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Tatton2013 12 On a lighter and brighter note, this design and use of tiny plug plants definitely made me smile; it is so clever and quirky too!

Nicki Jackson is Blue Daisy's garden designer & owner. A former HR consultant Nicki still finds the time to run Blue Daisy, design gardens and planting plans, write a blog, keep our gardening clients happy and offer IIP advice and outplacement support through Blue Daisy Consultancy.

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