A look ahead to 2017 RHS Flower Show Tatton Park

Hilary Chalmers and Jenny Sech pose with a display of dahlias and gladioli in the Floral Marquee at

Hilary Chalmers and Jenny Sech pose with a display of dahlias and gladioli in the Floral Marquee at RHS Tatton - Credit: Pics; John Cocks

RHS Flower Show Tatton Park returns this month, bringing with it plenty of ideas to make us and our gardens a little happier and healthier, writes Rebekka O’Grady.

Visitors admire one of the 2016 Schools Gardens

Visitors admire one of the 2016 Schools Gardens - Credit: Pics; John Cocks

Urban gardens take centre stage at this month’s RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, with many exhibits demonstrating how grey spaces can be made a little ‘greener’ to help create happier, healthier and more sustainable cities.

Running from July 19th – 23rd, the show is expected to wow visitors. There will be plenty of innovative ideas created by local gardeners, including Stockport design duo Dan Newbury and Martin Williams. The pair will demonstrate ways to transform small, bare urban spaces into thriving, multi-functioning gardens through their entry, The Live Garden. Featured in the Future Spaces category, the garden has three levels and features a living wall and innovative technology, including a concealed cinema screen, and uses a live audio feed to capture the sounds of local wildlife.

As well as transforming small spaces for the good of our environment, some entries will also demonstrate how gardens and plants are good for us. Growing evidence indicates that they make us feel better and healthier, and that 90% of us claim to feel better by just being in a garden.

The Remember Me garden is a prime example of this, and has been created by Cheshire-based designers Jane Bingham and Penny Hearn for the Mid-Cheshire Hospitals Charity. Also included in the Future Spaces category, the garden aims to raise awareness of dementia and its effects, specifically supporting the new ‘Everybody knows Somebody’ dementia appeal, which aims to raise £1.5 million to provide environmental enhancements to the wards and departments at Leighton Hospital.

Stags sculpture in driftwood by James Doran Webb

Stags sculpture in driftwood by James Doran Webb - Credit: Pics; John Cocks

Its design concept is about looking back in time in order to enjoy the present and the future, focusing on evoking memories to enhance the person with dementia’s experience of their environment and reduce agitation and distress. The planting represents the deterioration of the mind, with one side of the garden organised in large colourful drifts with memories of planting styles from the 1960s and 70s, the other gradually becoming more faded and muddled, ending in a completely mixed up wildflower meadow.

There will also be a memory shed called the ‘Room of Inklings’ featuring items in glass containers such as sea shells, old seed packets, marbles and garden tools, which are designed to spark memories by representing the past and happy times of childhood.

As well as these show gardens, visitors can enjoy the popular 6m by 4m back to back gardens, as well as the stunning floral marquees which will no doubt provide further inspiration on how to recreate some ideas at home. These will be joined by the innovative Garden Offices created by RHS Young Designer finalists, a butterfly dome containing thousands of tropical butterflies and Garden Hideaways, which encourage people to turn the humble garden shed into a custom made, upcycled hideaway.

Most Read

Nick Mattingley, director of RHS Shows, said: ‘As the need for green spaces in urban areas increases, it is more important than ever to inspire people, communities and businesses to plant, upcycle and do what they can to get greening. This year’s RHS Tatton is full of horticultural ideas and inspiration, as well as thousands of plants to buy so come along in July and get gardening!’

RHS Flower Show Tatton Park runs from July 19 – 23. Tickets are available at: www.rhs.org.uk/tatton