JOHN’S JOURNAL

Behind the scenes at Tatton

What an amazing week we have just had! Being awarded a gold medal and best in floral marquee for our exhibit along with seeing so many regular and new customers, being back at the flower shows has never felt so good!

It’s amazing the sheer amount of work behind the scenes that goes into the show displays plus all the time spent down on site with the 5 days build up this year I thought I’d just share the journey with you about our road to Tatton!

Already at the nursery we begin preparations for next year, singling out certain plants from the batches in the growing field, propagating them and potting some on into larger pots ready for the display, it is a constant cycle! With this year’s stand it was all about going back with something new and different from our previous exhibits and creating something more like a garden than just a floral display. So Alli and myself pondered on a new layout back in the Spring which would help embrace other elements of HC, so we came up with a layout centred around a terracotta urn spilling over with water, and then we began incorporating other elements like the reclaimed railings flanking the back of the stand, the stone edgings around the perimeter to give a very Lancashire feel with the gravel paths and then the stand was divided into four quarters which would be filled with perennials flowering in early Summer, some of them we potted on but to this day the stand has never had a planting plan, it’s all left to be made up on site once I can get a feel for the space.

At the nursery we then did a dummy run of all the ‘props’ setting up the railings and working out how large the mirror was going to be which would reflect the urn and the planting, working out how many edgings we would require and then start to have a think about how the planting would mirror the style of the display. Initially a box hedge was going to surround the urn on the four curved edges but we then decided to go for the impact of a Nepeta (Catmint) hedge instead which looked amazing in flower, I then knew we needed a sense of balance and continuity with the planting so everything we picked out of the growing field had enough for two groups, so when set out in the display whichever side you looked at the stand from, whether it be the front or the sides you would always see an asymmetric matching of most of the colours.

Then after 5 days of putting together the above that was it, the English Garden was born and with pole position in the marquee we thoroughly enjoyed our time promoting HC and inspiring you all what you can do in your own garden, and with planting how sometimes less variety is more!