24th August 15

Back to Back Garden – RHS Tatton Flower Show

Our Head Gardener Anthony O’Grady reflects on a month since the Tatton Park RHS Flower Show….

“As the rain falls this August day, I am reminded of how different the situation was this time last month. Then, we were in the middle of creating a ‘Back to Back’ Garden at the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show, which was to be suitable for a modern day Hermit. One of my main objectives, when considering the design for the garden, was that long after those 4 wonderful days in July, our garden would continue to have life and purpose.

Only days after the show closes, and the tens of thousands of visitors have departed back to their own gardens, the Tatton Park showground is quickly restored back to Cheshire pastureland. My aim was that our garden didn’t do the same. I wanted to ensure I could use the plants from within our Hermit garden in some way other than simply their aesthetic value. Having recently developed our “Bug Hotel” and Nascent Bee Garden on the west facing embankment of the Rose Garden, I wanted to consider how these plants could interact with our current programme of wild flower planting. Our medicinal and culinary herbs and fruiting plants have thrived since the show and have without doubt been of significant benefit to the hundreds of different bee species that exist in our gardens. It is lovely to see how we have managed to take a specific Back to Back garden design and use it to benefit our wonderful wildlife all year round.

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The experience of participation in the Carnival of Horticulture that is the Tatton Park RHS Flower Show was enlightening in many other unexpected ways.  Our longest serving gardener, Jonathan, got especially into character playing the hermit. We always like to go the extra mile but growing his own beard to help with the disguise was not something even we anticipated!!

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I am sure that all this planning and attention to detail helped us to gain our Bronze award and has left us excited and eager to do it all again in 2016.”





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