Thursday, July 31, 2008

Tatton Park 2008:Quirky Containers And Other Things

The last post about Tatton Park shows the other things. There were new displays of Rural Crafts, and Rural Skills. The Floristry competition was held there, but its not something i wanted to see. I visited the rural crafts tent, and the rural skills tent. I bought a frog wall hanger with notepad and pencil.
The penguins greeted us as we entered the grounds.They were meant to be fun in their snowy environment contrasting to the 28 degrees centigrade weather.Their display was called Chill Out and was the British Protected Ornamentals groups.They did the chinese dragon last year im sure..

One half of the chill out Penguins.

Outside the Floral Marquee was this model Elephant. Large Art sculptures and forms were dotted around the grounds. I saw a few of them.The Art dealers, sculptors, painters, and other artists were present between the horticultural sundrys on sale.

One unexpected highlight was the quirky containers competition ran for primary schools within the north west.The amount of ingenuity to make planting containers from whatever was lying around.This one was a piano, with grass on the seat..

Baby plants going for a ride in a pram?

The plants were thirsty here, and displayed in drinking water dispenser.

Daisy the Cow made from milk cartons on a tractor was pulling two carts full of plants..

An old school desk liked the ones I used to sit on..a just william school boy figure sits scarecrow like.

Just for the taste of it..Coke.Held together by sellotape and on a decorated can make containers with many items to hold soil to grow plants in.

Pots, shoes, and bowls on a wooden pallett here.Some parents or teachers are missing a shoe now.

This was cool, a Mad Hatters Tea Set with the plants in the tea cups and sugar bowls.I like the Strawberry table cloth and the drawing in the background.
A lot of the show was focused on children and familys, growing vegetables for the five a day.Its nice to see how well they took on the challenge of a quirky container garden.
These school children may contain a Chelsea flower show garden designer in the future.the seeds were sown at a young age.

These looked so real standing near to the show gardens.Music was played in the bandstand throughout every day of the show.Everywhere you looked art was on display..

Garden ornaments for sale.I love the wild boar and the elfen figures playing some merry music.Every thing you could need to buy for a garden was there. Country Living magazine had its marquee with clothes, jewelry, etc..

A seahorse outside the Rural Crafts tent..

Finally the last photo.Flower power!These large resin models were for sale for painting.The green elephant looks on.The gun has been twisted shut and the flowers protude from the blunt barrell.
I hope that gives an idea of some of what was there at the Tatton Park RHS flower show.The tagline is Ideas that make your garden grow.
There were an awful lot of ideas here in the sunshine.

Tatton Park 2008:Floral Marquis

The floral marquis housed eighty seven different plant nursery's and growers with everything you could possible want for a garden.It was busy and full of people buying plants and toting them around the show ground in plastic bags or trolleys.I waited until the end to buy my two Chili plants.The sun was that fierce outside it would have stressed the plants.The plant creche was available too.On the last day people could buy the display flowers if they agreed a price.Lots had "plant sold" on a piece of paper.These exhibits had been going for five days and most looked fresh as day one.

What a beautiful flower. Its netherworld like and maybe should be on the sea bed floor by coral and tropical fish.I cannot remember what it was either.

Dahlias, I love these flowers. So many beautiful colours and forms from the ancient plant parents.They are made for exhibiting at these flower shows.

An Orchid in flower.My Phalaenopsis is still not flowering and I have had it a year.These Orchid sellers can make masses of them flower just for the show.

A white Echinacea. This is a gorgeous specimen of a flower..

Oriental Lilly's, double Lilly's, Pollen less ones..These are also beautiful when displayed like this.It makes me want to grow masses of the same kind for colourful effect.

The exhibitors always take great care and planning in creating mini displays on the sides of their stalls.These are judged too by the RHS judges and awarded medals.

Look at all the Agapanthus. These were prevalent in the floral marquis, and within the show gardens and back to backs.They have been taken on by British gardeners this well travelled South African plant with firework flowers.

The Gladiolus display.Mine in the garden are only just showing the flower spikes now and are a month away from flowering.These were popular during the sell off at the end of the day.People wanted to carry away a little of the Tatton Park RHS flower show.For a while anyway, the sunshine wilted a lot of them.

Waterside nursery were here this year. I saw them at the Harrogate spring flower show.They had water Lilly's in flower this time.Their display made me want a water container even more in my garden.You can see the containers around the edge of the big water display.

The sumptuous Nasturtium Empress Of India in flower.I want to grow these next year.Maybe in the window box so i can see the lovely flowers.

Peruvian Lilly's in a gorgeous display from Peter Smiths Alstromerias.I love the Inca magic charm of these flowers.They were born to be exhibited or form the central part of a garden.They make fabulous cut flowers too.
That's my fourth post about Tatton Park flower show.Only one more to go.I am on nights so i will write these and post date them.
I hope it inspires people to visit their own flower shows and then share what they have seen, and what they liked.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My Flowering Garden Today

I thought I would stop blogging about Tatton and move my post back to my own garden.It is the thirtieth of July and everything is starting to bloom.It is like garden fireworks by flowers.This is the colourful, densely planted and container lined left border.The view from the kitchen window and the blue chair by the back door.

My Teasel has become a firm favourite of the bee's.the Lavender has not done well, maybe because of the rain and wet conditions this year.The bee's are in my garden constantly, their droning noises and black and yellow bodys are a sound from the summer.They are pollinating the teasel flowers, and hopefully the seed heads will attract the Goldfinches in the Autumn.The plants are awesome too, two metres high, and full of these cone like flower heads.

The Rose Florida Dreams? has three beautiful blousy big flowers on.The scent is orange like and quite delicate.My yellow Rose will have to be bought in the winter bare root ready for planting. Maybe another David Austin?

The Ranunculus look gorgeous. They are like coloured candies in a sweet shop.The bees have alighted on these too.My friendly sunflower scarecrow looks bemused behind them. The flowers are reflexive and curl up tightly shut at night to sleep. I wander what dreams they have?

The second DayLily flower.It lasts only a day, but such elegant beauty.I want more Daylilys next year, maybe grown with some slug protection.

My white Asiatic Lillys have both bloomed.The front flower joined the one that flowered on Sunday.The scent from these is so strong.Its a personel prefernce whether you like the scent of lillys.I love them.They are delicate white, with lime green edging, and the biggest brightest red stamen ever.Even I can smell them from the kitchen door as the wind blows the heavy scent around the garden.I have two more Lillys to bloom yet, my Oriental Stargazers, and the romantic wedding Casablanca Lilly.I hope these white blooms inspire them both.

The Echinacea in flower on a gloomy cloudy day.The butterflys have not found it yet, but i think it needs the pollen to start being produced in the central cone.I have watched these mature from juvenile plants, to the spikey central cone, before the petals form upright, then grow outwards before they get the purple colour.It is a perennial so it should come back next year too.

A Dahlia in flower in the left border.It has survived a slug and snail attack to bloom.Lemon yellow colour.I have three more in Pots, and another two growing in the left border. A sixth Dahlia has not bloomed yet of unknown colour.

Bronze Fennel in flower.These are like yellow lace delicately dancing over the ferny foliage.This plant needs rehoming in the soil when there is a gap for it.

The last photo from my garden is the bee on the Teasel.Colours, scents, and bee's complete the floral fireworks display. Every day in the July garden.

Tatton Park 2008:Show Gardens

This is a small selection from the show gardens category.I found after the back to backs most of these did not inspire me.The theme running through most of these was hard landscaping with plants added.It did not help that the contractors had people walking across the gardens to get quotes for business.The best in show was Chris Beardshaws traditional borders garden.A central feature at the show.It could be seen from three angles long grass lawn with some made herbaceous and perennial planting.It looked like it had been there for years.The bees were buzzing around all the plants and the colours were superb.

The sunlight illuminated the gorgeous flower colours.I'm glad the plants won over the hard landscaping..

The Samaritans garden invited people to walk around it.It had strong vertical structures, water, and a mixture of wild and tamed planting.It was to show that they are available for 365 days a year for people in distress or that are suicidal.The photo shows the people walking around it.

Aqualife used three different shaped pools within a parkland setting.It was so densely planted and was quite hard to photograph.The garden design looks great from above but not as good from ground level.It was a garden for a family, and had quiet secluded areas.

A modern looking garden called Real Life By Brett.I liked the stainless steel pyramids with water cascading down them into the square pools.There is too much stone for my liking.

The Addington Relax And Reflect Garden had these groovy red boxes.It was designed as a series of rooms within a garden.The main feature was a water cascade down clear perspex against the back wall.It has a mixture of strong structural plants and herbaceous plants.

Tales From A Chinese Garden was reflecting on Chinese contribution to all our garden plants. Sixty percent of them originate from China.It has this cool art work in a pool, a waterfall made with tin cans, and a lady playing a traditional Chinese instrument like a horizontal harp.I did like these out of all the show gardens.This was part of the Cheshire year of the garden 08.

Cheshire Al Fresco took part of Southern France and moved it to Tatton Park.I liked the mass planting of Lavender, with the Hollyhock, and Agapanthus.A little basket sat in the middle of the Lavender ready for cutting.Most of the plants were chosen for their drought resistant qualitys which is already more visible in southern France than here.

At The End Of My Garden was designed for the Marie Curie cancer care.It was a cottage garden with a shed, cut wood and an axe.A stream flowed through the middle of the garden.A fallen Oak tree was the seat for reflection near the back of the garden.It was inspired by the work of the Marie Curie nurses caring for teminally ill patients at home, surrounded by the people and things they love.

the Teenage Cancer Trusts Punks Not Dead garden contrasted some spikey wild planting on the left with the formal structure and planting of an Italian garden to the right.It was inspired by an argument between father and son during the 1970's the height of punk rock.

My Own Little Bit Of The Lakes.Another garden inspired by the Lake District.I love the mixture of water and planting.
There were a few good ones, but the majority were not as good as last year.I hope 2009's flower show at Tatton Park will inspire me more.

Tatton Park 2008:Back To Back Gardens

These gardens were the highlight for me of the show along with the bedding plant competition and schools quirky containers.The entrants have nine days to build these smaller gardens but they pack them with so many features,plants, and focal points of interest.I love how they can add objects like teapots, glasses, bottles, to make the gardens more personal.I wander if my small garden made me see all these first.
The first garden was by Madeline and Colette Riley called Ladies That Lunch. It was a garden designed for both the chickens (the ladies) and their owners. It had a mixture of plants grown for both to enjoy. Chicken eggs were in a basket to the left of the photo, and the hut is for the chickens to sleep. At the end the Tree offered shade, and the water but recycles water for the plants and chickens.
A recurrant theme through all the gardens was relaxation and having places to sit to enjoy the mixed planting, sounds, and scents.

The Cider House Rules-Ok was designed by Jacqui Brocklehurst.It shows the corner of a forgotten garden where apple tree's grow.The grass has been left to grow and is packed full of wildflowers.It was designed for children to keep their interest in gardens and nature.It is designed to encourage insects, as well as people.

Another theme was the Lake District which inspired two Show gardens and this one entitled The Lake District Poet's Garden. It is a reflection of the poet William Wordsworth who was a gardener as well as a poety. Andrew Loudon has rebuilt a stone Summer house at the end of the garden with the mixed planting and gravel path.

This garden called Butterfly Journey used butterfly motifs in the planting, the bronze statue, and in the stone brick wall.This was densely planted with a narrow path to the bench under the wall.You can imagine masses of butterflys flying around as you sipped the lemonade.The planting is in colours of white, purple, and blue, the colours that attract butterflys.

The Sculptors Garden won a gold medal for its Liver bird and the softly stated planting. Pines for structure and grasses for movement .The plants make it an imaginative space used to relax and to encourage the sculptor to fashion new works of art. There was a water feature somewhere in here too but I dont remember seeing it!

The Best Back to Back garden in show was this one called 5 A DAy With Hidden Play.It was a contemporary garden with vegetable plants in containers, and herbs on the play den roof.I loved the water feature shooting two streams of water into the air to curve down into the box.It was well watered that plant as every few seconds the water jumped between containers.
It had a secret tunnel, boxes with games in them, and the rings for basketball shooting on the wall.I liked the Japanese blood grass that ran along the edge of the garden.

The garden called Urban Retreat was a traditional courtyard garden that used screening and structure to highlight the planting.The two colours that stand out are burgundy and lime green contrasting to the black planters, and pool.It is a private garden that you can imagine relaxing in.The chair is at the back so you can surround yourself with the plants.It is very calming to look at, even now on the photo.

One of my favourite back to backs was this The Moorcroft Natural Woman Garden.The natural planting, five interlocking circles going down to a sunken seating area.The central moorcroft tile was the highlight of the garden.There is a composter, and the plants are bee and butterfly friendly. I was given a lovely leaflet by the team on this garden with the garden plan and fourty plant list.

The main tile was handcrafted by four of the Moorcroft designers.They are four linking quarters that join together to make a whole one.I will photograph the leaflet for a better picture of the whole tile.

A traditional Allotment garden with a scarecrow stood overlooking.This garden was designed by Paula Keenan with the men of HMP Risley and was called Hope And Aspiration.The planting is an allegory of the journey prisoners take.The first row is wild and unkempt, full of brambles and unwanted weeds.Row by row the prisonor can transform his life.The men grew most of the plants, made the composters, the scarecorw, and the faces peering out onto the garden.

The faces peering out from behind bars, and a chair to sit on to reflect and enjoy the hardwork.

At the end of the rows was a Rose called Hope.I got a leaflet too which said Monty Don was helpful in the garden design as he had worked with the prison service before.The film Green Fingers was based on prisoners exhibiting at Chelsea flower show. The whole garden cost £500 as most of the material was supplied by the men from HMP Risley.

A Garden For Grace.This was done for the Manchester Christie Hospital, a leading cancer centre.They designed a colourful, fragrant garden with water feature and folly to look out of. The plants were chosen for their colours or scents.This was about enjoying the garden and escaping stresses.

This was Mrs Eardsleys Teashop, a traditional cottage garden.This had so much extra things left on the tables and around the garden.It is easily managed and looks great.
Thats my selection of the back to back gardens from Tatton 2008.They were so packed with creative ideas and planting.I look forward to next year too to see what inventive gardens will be there.