When I last wrote, we were all very excited and raring to go for the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show 2014. In what seems to be no time at all, the show has been and gone along with our beautiful garden ‘The Narrows’. Like a proud parent, I am very happy to announce that we won a GOLD MEDAL at the show!!!
Things started off very well with glorious weather that lasted throughout (apart from one welcome, wet, rainy day). Sunshine makes a huge difference to the build process, allowing us to move quickly and materials can be left to go off naturally without being effected by the wet.
We started with our pond, deck and raised planter that seemed to fly in rather quickly. This was then followed by the patio area and the home made wooden bench. Within 3 days the majority of the hard landscaping was in!! The fence, which was really our main constructed feature along with the twisted pergola took a little longer to complete. The entire garden was constructed out of Oak, which is a beautiful hard wood that gives a fabulous finish, but it did cause a few problems along the way. After all the posts had been routed, a few broken blades and a very soar shoulder later, (sorry dad!) we got them in the ground. Taking many hands to hold the rails as the fence was erected, this was the most time consuming part of our build – but definitely worth it as it created such a dramatic statement within the finished garden.
Once the construction was complete it was up to me to fill the garden with plants, which is the part of the build I love the most. Although the pressure is generally on at this stage, I thrive from the scheme growing and expanding and also the reactions from on looking exhibitors as they take a well-deserved break from their own plots! Listening to comments and gauging whether people agree or disagree with your combinations helps future decisions to be made.
I love to use unusual colour schemes in a garden, something that is a little different, or maybe a ‘typical’ combination, but with a twist. This scheme was something I felt would entice the people to look at the garden from the start. It also worked well against the Oak back drop. Reds, oranges and blues are all bold colours and the highlighted hints of yellow freshened the palette.
On the morning of judging Toby Buckland and the BBC team, who were ready to start filming, greeted us on the garden! In a state of panic I started to unwrap my furniture and the props we use to make the garden feel lived in. The kind words given by he BBC team, and Toby’s very kind offer of carrying the furniture onto the garden seemed to do the trick. Snapping out of the panic and getting the garden finished ready for filming and judging!
A very long, hot day followed as the other designers/landscapers and I wondered round aimlessly, and tried to prepare our stands for the public who would descend the next day. Once the Medals had been awarded, it was time to relax and enjoy the show. Our GOLD MEDAL was totally unexpected and so VERY appreciated, there had to be a little celebrating (of course!!!)
The show week was brilliant, the weather held out, the public were fantastic and I gave daily talks in the RHS Grow Talks Theatre. This allowed me to talk to many people about how they could improve their gardens and solve some of the problems they have. Overall the show was a massive success for the Outer Spaces team and now we are back on the Wirral working on various projects.
Not only am I working on gardens, designs, exciting school garden projects but I have flowers to create for a large wedding at Ness Botanic Gardens next week. Also my students are starting their 2nd year on the Garden Design Diploma at The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh in the next few weeks, so we have to get prepared for the new Gardening Scotland project!! It was great to be able to show some of my students the Tatton Park garden and allow them to see the behind the scenes. (Thanks to those that came down from Scotland – not a short trip!)
I better go and get on with it!