Small borders with big hearts

Celebrate communities with these bold and vibrant borders at RHS Tatton Park

Blooming Borders A Veteran's Refuge. RHS Flower Show Tatton Park 2017

This year more than almost any other has shown us all the importance of community. Throughout the pandemic, community spirit has helped knit us all together, whether it was collecting shopping for an older neighbour or coming out on to the street to clap for the NHS. 

So we're celebrating this social glue with these Community Borders, designed to be viewed from all sides and incorporating the show’s themes of ‘love’ and ‘colour’.

The 3m x 3m pockets of planting are the pefect opportunity to showcase small-scale planting designs as well as give all kinds of different groups the chance to show off their skills.

These spaces are judged and will be awarded a medal at the show in July.

Treacle Town Garden

Treacle Town Garden design

The border celebrates Treacle Market in Macclesfield, Cheshire, and the surrounding area, which brings the community together once a month and has been a lifeline for businesses and residents through the past tricky year. An upturned horse cart and Heuchera ‘Black Pearl’ planted to represent the spilled treacle depicts the origins of the market. Cobbled paths, a vegetable patch and market stall are all included alongside native plants found within the Peak District close to the town.

Designer: Thomas Saunders

Treacle Market

Lovers Walk
Todmorden in Bloom design for the Community Borders

Todmorden is a country town nestled in the Pennines with three steep valleys, tumbling waters and romantic moorland. Over two centuries lovers have walked down Love Lane, through Lovers Walk and left love graffiti on the local landmark Stoodley Pike. Inspired by the Victorian Language of Flowers, which explains the meaning of flower names, the scheme features mostly hardy plants to reflect the often-difficult gardening conditions and muted colours of the natural landscape in Todmorden.

Designer: Todmorden in Bloom


The border commemorates Sasha, a working military dog awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal for bravery in saving the lives of servicepeople and civilians, and finding hidden explosives in Afghanistan. Sadly Sasha and her handler were killed during an ambush in 2008.

A lifesize statue of Sasha, made by the inmates of Hull Prison, from hundreds of metal dog tags sprayed gold, stands under a small tree, surrounded by a meadow featuring poppies and cornflowers. 

Designer: Viking Dave Leigh, Hull 4 Heroes

Weed Thriller: Bedding in with the Turfed Out

Weed Thriller: Bedding in with the Turfed Out

Weed Thriller is a distilled version of the Sunart Fields rewilding project, exhibiting a colourful collection of beautiful, but sometimes despised, wild plants and natural features. This border includes native hedging, a pioneer tree, native meadow grasses and wild flowers. It demonstrates how wild species often banished from gardens, can be beautiful and rewarding, provoking visitors to question traditional gardening approaches and outcomes.

Designers: Rachel and Geoffrey Evatt


Lean on me: The Power of Friendship Border

Lean on Me: The Power of Friendship Border
The Lean on Me border is a tribute to the power of friendship and the way that people reach out and help each other. The qualities of constancy and trustworthiness are symbolised by the white log structure: its curves and solidity demonstrate how friendship requires flexibility and steadiness. The blue and lime green colour scheme, with sparkles of yellow and orange, is calming and vibrant, soothing to the senses, and a wellspring of restoration.

Designer: Ann Treneman, University of Sheffield Department of Landscape Architecture

Love Grown Where Wishes Were Sown

Love Grown Where Wishes Sown

This community border is filled with flowers associated with romantic love, such as lavender, scabious, pinks and a rambling rose. The planting evokes wild, loose, cottage garden styles, using feminine pastel colours associated with romance. At the centre is a simple dry stone wall wishing well that conjures up wishes and hopes for love. The designers are volunteer gardeners at the Elizabethan manor house Doddington Hall, near Lincoln, where the border will be displayed after the Show. It is hoped to move the garden to a more permanent home at a Lincolnshire NHS' mental health unit.

Designers: Zoe Garfoot and Elizabeth Wright

Cultivating Memories

Cultivating Memories border design

The Rosemary and Time CIC supports people living with dementia and their carers through gardening activities. This border is made up of forget-me-not colours and represents the unique love between a person living with dementia and their closest loved one. The two central chairs and surrounding planting represents the comfort they find in each other. The garden is a mirror image across the diagonal axis, so each person sees the same view.

Designer: Donna Rowe-Green

Between Formal and Informal 

Between Formal and Informal border design

Brownfield sites are potential ecological jewels in a city. This border reimagines these informal spaces with serene white, green and purple plantings surrounding derelict structures, turning the state of dilapidation into a relaxed, calm atmosphere. A yellow-orange palette creates a harmonious balance highlighting the unexpected, brutal beauty of Britain’s brownfield corners.

Designers: Aarti Chamba, Fangqi Luo and Yanzhou Chen, University of Sheffield Department of Landscape Architecture

Culture Clash

Culture Clash design for RHS Tatton Community Borders

This border celebrates the community spirit of Bootle – changing small urban spaces into colourful places of reflection and connection. Many people don’t have gardens so colour and textures are brought to their doorstep to enable them to experience nature. The border demonstrates the urban culture clash – traditionally grey street corners transformed with colour. Planted with edibles and self seeding plants, it shows a love of colour and nature, and the need for the great outdoors – made particularly evident during the pandemic. It is brought to RHS Tatton by Christine Leung with Taking Root in Bootle a network of community gardens in South Sefton, Merseyside.

Designer: Christine Leung

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.