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Reflections on RHS Tatton Park
A visit to RHS Tatton is always a pleasure in late July, with gardens and stands well spaced out, allowing the visitor to meander and observe without being too hemmed in by crowds.
Lindum, and our local distributor, Hazel Frith of All Turf, had supplied a range of turf, wildflowers, sedum and Grassfelt to a total of 10 gardens, and I was looking forward to seeing how they looked and how the designers had fared in the medals table.
First stop was the Mypod Garden designed by landscape architecture students from Leeds Met University. What an inspiring design this was, and how well they had built it. The pod itself, covered in our sedum mat, not only blended in well to the surrounding Yorkshire planting, but provides a peaceful haven and a place for recuperation, which I’m sure will be greatly appreciated at its final home in St Gemma’s Hospice in Leeds. This Silver Gilt Medal garden, which was also awarded the Most Creative Large Garden plus gained the coveted People’s Choice Award, will surely look good on the CV’s of the budding young landscape architects.
Next was Mike Russell’s Stargazer’s Retreat garden, earning a well deserved Gold Medal. A beautifully constructed timber observatory with a Lindum sedum roof in colourful flower, complete with electric sliding panel, placed in front of a moon shaped black pool to reflect the stars, was guaranteed to make Patrick Moores of us all. The use of sedum in the circular entrance arch and on the surrounding balustrades was particularly effective. This will be re-erected a care home and I’m sure they will appreciate it.
Gravitational Pull was the name of the Gold Medal garden by enthusiastic designers Brendan Vaughan and Leon Davis. Inspired by the gravitational forces of a black hole, the centrepiece was a steel and timber cone shaped construction which penetrates a vertical grass wall. This wall covered in our strong, soil-less real grass product, Grassfelt, looked absolutely stunning against the cone and granite chippings. It looked so dense and perfect that many visitors took some convincing that it was real grass.
I snapped Michele Martin looking very cheery in front of her Silver Medal winning The Dirty Stop Out’s Garden. The Lindum Biodiverse Wildflower mat on the roof of her building looked colourful and vibrant, and was attracting plenty of pollinators. Graham Hardman’s peaceful Reflections of Japan won Gold for a garden of two sections with the same design – one Japanese planting and one English. This garden typified how, if you are going to use turf, it is so important to use the best available. The Festival turf was a lovely colour and had knitted together well, so avoiding the syndrome of shrunken, dry turves, which can so spoil a good design.
Reaseheath College had used wildflower turf, Grassfelt and Festival turf for an impressive display on their St Luke’s Cheshire Hospice Garden (Silver). The Garden for Cancer Research, by Mary Hoult (Gold), The Belong Garden by Carolyn Hardern (Silver) and the Mu-No Thing garden (Silver Gilt) all were using Lindum products to very good effect.
These were all gardens that one could relate to – and I was delighted to see how exciting, innovative products, coupled with our own Roger Moore’s careful direction, could produce such successful results.