Tatton Park in Cheshire has hosted an excellent RHS Show since 1999. A lot of these photos are of Robinsons Mammoth Onion display from Scorton 12 miles north of Preston. Their sign is on the A6, a big onion.
After winning a Gold for 3 years running the Silver Gilt is an anti-climax but still a great result considering the 28 degree heat of this year and wide range of vegetables needing to be kept in prime condition.
A prize winning shrug of fruit by Adrian Baggaley of Nottinghamshire.
Fruit and Vegetable display
The local council parks departments never let us down.
No he isn't on the picture. It's the nursery's stand at Tatton RHS.
Other displays at Tatton RHS 2011: Blackpool FC garden display, not sure if it was club sponsored, one of 4 football club displays.
Other displays at Tatton RHS 2011: Manchester Council 'Dambusters Display'.
We went on the Thursday. Forecast showers so we had our boots and anaraks. Felt a bit silly until 2pm as it was hot and sunny. Then 2 sudden heavy showers made it worthwhile.
Drove in on the recommended route from the north, Junction 20 M6, onto the A50. Not sure it was that clever as there was a tailback on the motorway for 15 minutes then after the junction the A50 was free running all the way to the show. Parking was easy. So would I go to the next junction or try to cut into the queue, both probably.
£24 each for tickets was a bit steep but it's a big show. So we did the Country Life tent, which is for ladies really. Then the floral tent before it got packed, some good displays, couple of photos below. Depends what you prefer, I like cottage gardens, veg and fruit. So for me its the associations tent and plant growers tent (a new feature and some great fruit and veg, photos below). The allotment association display was a new one I think and worthwhile although the weedfree, non-waterlogged, non-slug bitten, non-woodpigeon bitten beds didn't seem very realistic.
Loads of designer gardens. They get more garish each year. At some point it will be back to black. Maybe a plastic sheet for an easy maintenance garden. Carol Klein was in them morning and afternoon and had a good and appreciative audience. I watched the BBC show at 7.30 and thought I wish I'd seen that before I went. Particularly as it seemed we'd missed some, don't know how, were they hidden.
Several stalls selling useful gadgets. I particularly liked the wool based products - I bought one to try. 'Slug Gone' woollen pellets from, www.growaid.co.uk of Yorkshire that claim to feed the plant and create an absorbant surface that deters slugs. I was going to buy some Wool Compost from www.dalefootcomoposts.co.uk of Cumbria but it looked heavy and forgot on the way out. I'm nothing to do with these small businesses but they're helping farmers, the countryside, organic and it's all local so lets give it a go.
The municipal gardens are very good both in quality and ideas. Bury did a good one about darts, it got gold. I didn't see a Preston one this year although they got gold last year. Noticed that East Cheshire and West Cheshire had entries. Is that why they split so they could put in more displays, can't say I agree with breaking the ancient mould of the counties, havn't got over 1973 yet.
We lunched on a Debbie and Andrews sausage sandwich, which was good but £4. Then bought a cardboard mug of coffee for £2.40. Had a few actually. So recharging ain't cheap and you can sit and watch the band while you eat or sit in an opensided tent.
Overall I enjoyed it more than usual. I think it was because of too much coffee. No, really because there seemed to be more down to earth gardening displays like the one with the fruit, the allotments and the associations tent.
The two displays I liked the most were the fruit basket photo'd below and Cathy's floral display that the photo doesn't do justic to. Well done!
Robinsons of Forton, nr Preston - Gold
Northern Plant Growers - Gold - fruit from Mr Bagguley of Notts. Also well done to Mrs Plumb of Essex who seemed to have won nearly all the veg displays.
More in the plant growers tent. Brilliant tent.
Cathy's American Selection (I think) - Gold. Beautiful. Photo doesn't do it justice. There were quite a few I liked, MacGregors of Scotland, was good. Noticed a lot came from Devon and Shropshire. Wife bought some grass although we already have an amazing selection growing wild in places.
Municipal Display (can't remember who) - save the Bee. Plant bee friendly plants.