‘Summer of love’ theme for RHS Flower Show Tatton Park

Macmillan Legacy Garden

RHS Flower Show Tatton Park returned to Cheshire’s spectacular 1,000-acre deer park for the 2021 Show.

The floral extravaganza was one of the first major outdoor events to be held in the north west of England this year, bringing gardeners and plant lovers together to celebrate the ‘Summer of Love’.

Following the nation’s renewed appreciation of gardens and growing, the show was packed full of inspiration and advice for those looking to maximise their own indoor and outdoor growing spaces.

Anca Panait's Flower Power Garden   
Two RHS Features encouraged visitors to look beyond the beautiful gardens and plants on display and make more considered plant choices in their own gardens.  Former RHS Young Designer finalist Anca Panait returned to the show with The RHS Flower Power Garden, pictured above, highlighting the positive power of plants and their emotional and healing properties, immersing visitors in a celebration of colour and scent.

We also joined forces with the gardening team at Tatton Park for a Feature Garden by Manchester-based designer Michael McGarr which took inspiration from the ecology of the lesser-known areas of the parkland. The aim was to inspire visitors to look at their own local green spaces and the wealth of biodiversity they attract for inspiration on how to fill their own gardens with wildlife-friendly plants.
  Five up-and-coming designers were finalists in the RHS Young Designer of the Year competition with their thought-provoking gardens highlighting issues of sustainability and mental health. 

This year, top honours went to Freddie Strickland, for his garden On Tropic

Young Designer of the Year 2021, Freddie Strickland

There were three of the ever-popular Back to Back Gardens, each about the size of the average home garden, and all packed full of inspiration. 

Best garden in this category went to Leon Davis' United Utilities Garden of Resilience which was also awarded a Gold medal. The design featured innovative water-saving ideas and planting which can cope with prolonged wet or dry periods.

The Petrus: Full Circle garden, built and designed by service users and volunteers at the homeless charity, was full of ideas for dealing with excess water while Crescendo brought together designer Clive Scott's two passions of music and plants.

United Utilities Garden of Resilience
Petrus: Full Circle The Crescendo Garden

Meanwhile the three winning gardens designed by local BBC Radio Lancashire, Manchester and Merseyside listeners, provided creative ideas for small spaces. 

Show Gardens also delighted crowds with RHS Tatton Park favourite Pip Probert and three debut RHS Tatton Park designers: Peter Lloyd, created a garden oasis in which to escape from the stresses of everyday life; and Neil Sutcliffe and Robert Hardy who created legacy gardens for Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support. The Gold medal-winning Macmillan Legacy Garden was judged Best Tatton Garden.

Macmillan Legacy Garden

A riot of summer colour could be found in the Floral Marquees, supported by Qatar Airways and Manchester Airport, and the Plant Village, with dozens of the UK’s finest growers and nurseries selling a huge selection of award-winning indoor and outdoor plants ranging from air plants, cacti and succulents to summer favourites including chrysanthemums, salvias, gladioli and dahlias.

The Floral Marquee at RHS Tatton Park
The Floral Marquee at RHS Tatton Park The Crescendo Garden

This year's Master Grower was Plantagogo run by Vicky and Richard Fox who specialise in Heuchera. Their nursery in Crewe is home to the National Plant Collection for Heuchera, Heucherella and Tiarella.

They established their nursery in 1990 and first started exhibiting at RHS Shows in the 2000s. Since then they have been awarded more than 80 Gold medals.

Master Grower Plantagogo at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park 2021
Plantagogo, Master Grower at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park 2021 Plantagogo, Master Grower at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park 2021

For those unsure what plants to purchase the new ‘Community Borders’ were full of imaginative planting combinations to provide inspiriation for those looking to boost their own borders at home.

The celebration of love and colour continued with a twist on the popular mass planting with Rainbow Pride Planting soaring skywards, made up of colourful columns, covered in hundreds of beautiful blooms including Rudbeckia, Echinacea, Achillea, Geranium and Crocosmia. 

Fleurs de Villes and a model at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park
Celebrating the wonderful world of floristry, the popular Flower School returned with floral creations by local florists and demonstrations from floristry expert Jonathan Moseley.

Combining flowers and fashion, the show also welcomed Fleurs de Villes, above, bringing its spectacular array of floral couture installations to the north of England for the first time.

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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.