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Tatton Park 2008:Back To Back Gardens

Posted May 28 2009 12:18am
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.
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