Gardening expert Sue Beesley on the frontline at the Tatton Show

PUBLISHED: 19:42 29 July 2010 | UPDATED: 17:36 20 February 2013

A Banquet for Birds

A Banquet for Birds

I do love Tatton Show. It's more spacious than Chelsea, less commercial than Hampton Court, more focussed on real gardening than either of these famous London shows and best of all, it's right on our doorstep.

I do love Tatton Show. It's more spacious than Chelsea, less commercial than Hampton Court, more focussed on real gardening than either of these famous London shows and best of all, it's right on our doorstep.


As well as stunning large show gardens, the show has three special garden categories: the Visionary gardens featuring avant-garde and imaginative ideas, three gardens by the Young Designer of the Year finalists, and the ever-popular back-to-back gardens. Add in the primary school gardens, vast floral marquee, the Eurofleur floristry final, colourful Council bedding and inspirational vegetable growing displays and the show is without question the top gardening event in the north west.


For me, by far the most imaginative garden was The Wave, a curving metal sculpture in the shape of a giant wave, set amongst a pebble beach with lavender, box balls and lush green grass. Hard to describe and not exactly practical to implement in a typical Cheshire garden, but stunning nonetheless.


Hugo Bugg deservedly won the Young Designer of the Year competition with his clever interpretation of Liverpool's Albert Dock, winning a gold medal and beating all the other show gardens to win Best in Show.


My favourite back to back garden was 'A Planthunter's Retreat', created by Harry's Evening Stars. The garden was created as a tribute to Harry Delaney, much loved tutor at Reaseheath College, by a group of his students. It's a lovely garden, packed with plants from around the world and Harry's delight at his students' success was very moving. He tutored me through the RHS Diploma for three years so I quite understand their shared joy.


My bird-friendly back-to-back garden 'A Banquet for Birds' secured a Silver-gilt medal and proved a real hit with the visitors who loved the colours and natural planting scheme. That coveted gold medal has eluded me for another year, so I'll just have to have another attempt in 2011. See you there!


Sue Beesley was runner up of the BBC's Gardener of the Decade and is the owner of Lodge Lane Nursery and Bluebell Cottage Gardens in Dutton Cheshire. Check out her website www.lodgenursery.co.uk

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