JOHN’S JOURNAL

An English Summer

We have been down at the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show all week since last Friday creating and planting for one of our biggest floral marquee displays to date, with the scorching hot weather here as well it’s certainly been a challenge, and you can literally watch the flowers coming out in front of your very eyes….

This year the show’s theme is love and we have created a beautiful English Garden, filled with flowers grown at Holden Clough, it helps inspire you as to what you can create in your very own garden, with the Bergamots stealing the show in their different shades of pink they give a very romantic feel to the planting. As I write this we have one day left to finish before the judges enter the marquee tomorrow afternoon giving their verdict on what medal we will be awarded, we’ve got everything crossed and can’t wait to find out! The show runs throughout this week until the end of Sunday and I would highly recommend making the trip as it’s such a great place to be inspired, it’s now my 21st time exhibiting at the show, with the early days working alongside my father in the same tent, and now here we are spreading our wings with a huge display right at the entrance to the floral marquee so you shouldn’t miss us if you do make the visit.

Some of you may wonder what are the rules we stick to when creating the vibe of an English garden? Mostly it’s down to the colour, at the show this time we have been quite selective with the colour palette, predominantly using the pink, white and blue shades with some highlights of oranges, then laced together with grasses and Verbena giving it a very natural feel, almost like the plants have seeded around. The trick with English style is to keep it simple, in our stand you will find a simple cross path creating 4 rectangular beds, a central feature being a beautiful terracotta urn and then behind this a beautiful mirror reflecting light and adding another dimension, sometimes in our gardens we can complicate things a little too much and less is more, with the planting style also being asymmetrical so when a plant appears on one side, it also appears on the other side but not in the exact same position, this gives balance and also moves the eye around the garden. Also traditional materials are used with sandstone edgings, river bed gravel paths and moss, ferns and river cobbles around the water feature urn, all relative to Lancashire and adding to the harmony of the planting. So cross your fingers for us and find out what we won in next week’s paper…..