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Musing on Tatton


Much to my suprise yesterday the Sun was shining at Tatton Park. I got sunburn on my face in fact. It did rain torrentially at 1530, starting the display gardens plant sale early. The RHS had packed loads into the Showground. I took lots of photos. There were 15 show gardens, 32 Back to Back Gardens,19 entrants in the flower bed competition, and 13 Show Features exhibits with no design brief. I walked miles to see them all and photograph them. There was a plant society tent,Restaurants and food courts selling coffee (mmm), donuts and hotdogs, A bandstand, The packed Country Living Magasine tent, a plant Creche to leave your goodys in, a Floral design studio, and an arts and garden design pavillion

The enormous Floral Marquee had 85 plant Nurserys or growers, and straddled the lenth of the showground. It had masses of plants of every kind. Airplants, Orchids, Gladiolus, roses, begonias,grasses, cactus, perennials, annuals, vegetables to die for on the Robinsons display,aquatic plants, Streptocarpus,Lillys, Peruvian lillys,Carniverous plants, etc. These had fabulous displays of plants in their prime artistically arranged.
You could spend a fortune and not even see a garden if you wanted. Drinking in the Pims tent, or eating at the Brasserie a 3 course dinner..
The flowershow attracted a range of gardeners, and they all discussed the merits of the gardens, the planting, whether they had a plant like that in their own garden, whether they liked it or not.I spent a while on some of the gardens looking at what was growing. How it had been designed.
Tatton Park showed the equal love of Gardening by all levels of Society.
The middle classes mingled with the working classes. they could spend a £1000pounds, or just £4, and they’d both have enjoyed the day.
I talked to a lot of the stallholders and exhibitors. I got cards from suppliers. Everythin garden related was there.
Greenhouses, lawnmowers, seeds, plant ties, garden statues, water features, tools, grass seed, and so on..
Mixing with that was the lifestyle stuff off jewelry, clothes, food, hats, boots…
The band played on in the centre of the showground. The sun shone and the mud glistened..
In setting up the gardens, and tents and stalls the ground was churned up. Five days of rain turned the ground into a living, gloopy mess. When the rain fell it became like the Somme. With my trainers getting overwhelmed by the mud. Mud up to my knees!
Even the added bark chippings only absorbed water, got slippery, and started to be slippy.
I went plant shopping to dry off, as the day was drawing to a close. My energy levels picked up walking along the Floral Marquee.
A dark red flowered Fuschia, some Black knight grass, a Brunnera Jack Frost, and a Streptocarpus plug plant from Dibleys. Chilli pepper seeds, and Ladybird poppy seeds.
I saw all 78 show gardens.
It felt like a celebration of Gardening.The designs were all different, but had recurring themes and flowers running through them.
The materials used, the hard structural parts, the straight lines, and the curves. The water features and uses of traditional material like willow and hazel. People should be inspired to go home with new ideas.
Some gardens were traditional, some were contemporary.
How the Judges give out the medals I dont know. Most of the gardens had displayed theirs prominently. The gold, silver, or Bronze medal
It was my first trip to Tatton Park, and I want to go back next year.

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I would love to see some more of your photos

23 Jul, 2007


Hi Joey I am putting photos up on the snappycrocsgarden blog site.I took 270 photos yesterday.I have just done the Floral marquee part of my day which took a few hours!
I will add them bit by bit this week between working long days.

23 Jul, 2007


MMMmmmmm- yes, it is all so lovely and inspiring, and I do think we need inspiration now and again, but I still worry about the cost in carbon footprints of the staging of such shows. I have in the past done all the great RHS shows and, while I would probably still get a severe thrill from going to, especially, Chelsea (I still love the plants I bought there 4 yrs ago from Carol Klein, etc She took the time to instruct me how to take root cuttings) I have instructed my family never again to give me tickets for shows as christmas presents, for I can see all of it on TV or the 'Net, and get ideas from there or elsewhere. My Wizard of Oz theme has really shown me that there is really is No Place like Home for learning (not always successfully) how to grow plants, which ones, location, environment, gauging weather, etc. In our present climate, I find that I can be re-arranging the garden in July, while my wife is re-arranging the furniture in the lounge - and we both get away with it! In this year of rain, etc., my best plants - to my amazement= have been the sweetcorn - and w should be tossing these on the barbie straight from plant at end of next month!

24 Jul, 2007

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