Up Here, a garden that celebrated the community spirit of North West England, was in full bloom for visitors to enjoy at the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park 2018, supported by Bruntwood.
The Show Garden was inspired by the poem Up ‘ere, penned by poet Tony Walsh, and was commissioned by the BBC North West Tonight programme after the attack on Manchester Arena that claimed the lives of 22 people and injured hundreds in May 2017.
The garden, which was designed by Janine Crimmins, included subtle tributes throughout and words from Tony Walsh’s poem engraved in stone. The Manchester Bee, a symbol of the city that celebrates its industrial heritage, was also etched into stone and visitors were encouraged to see how many they could spot.
Further inspiration for the garden came from Rivington Terraced Gardens in Bolton, designed by Landscape Architect, Thomas Mawson for Lord Leverhulme. Rivington Terraced Gardens was an arts-and-crafts garden that fell into disrepair in the 1920s. Situated on a hill, the gardens have far-reaching views across the North West – linking in with the Show Garden’s title, Up Here.
Up Here was designed to attract bees and the planting avoided double-flowers that can be hard for pollinators to access. Instead the focus was on single flowers and, with the garden sitting next to The Bee Hive at RHS Tatton Park, it had many a six-legged visitor throughout the show.
Formal and naturalistic planting featured in the garden, with formal elements comprising of box topiary, hedging and balls. For naturalistic planting inspiration, Betula utilis var. jacquemontii, was underplanted with shade-loving ferns.
The inspiration from Mawson’s Rivington Terraced Gardens was seen in features such as a large pergola, often seen in Mawson’s gardens, round drystone pillars topped with oak beams, all surrounded by abundant planting.
After the show
The garden is being relocated to The Willow Garden Project in Fleetwood, Lancashire. The organisation was announced as the winner of a competition launched by BBC North West Tonight to win the garden. Individuals from the Willow Garden Project were also invited to participate in the build of the garden at Tatton, alongside presenters from BBC North West Tonight.
Located in an area of Fleetwood, the Willow Garden Project was started in 2012 by Pam Laird, and has developed into a multifunctional community garden, maintained by over 40 people with different disabilities and needs. It gives users the opportunity to benefit from gardening and horticulture, as well as offering a sense of community to local schools, scouts and other groups who are invited to use the space and take part in weekly workshops.
Pam said: “We’re absolutely over the moon to receive the garden. To be able to bring one of the gardens back with us is such an honour, especially one with such a meaningful message attached. Truly wonderful.”