This episode is the first of two visits to the RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park in Cheshire as it celebrates its 20th birthday with a festival of flowers. The team of horticultural experts explore the diverse range of show gardens, including the compact ‘back to backs’ category – exclusive to the show – and we tour the floral marquee to discover the plants that give our gardens the scent of summer.
The show meets the first three of the five fresh-faced designers who have secured their place in the 10th annual RHS Young Designer of the Year competition, and discovers the darker side of plants in a new exhibit – the Poison Garden.
RHS Flower Show Tatton Park episode 1 2018
RHS Flower Show Tatton Park held at Tatton Park, near Knutsford, Cheshire, first began in 1999 by the Royal Horticultural Society. The show houses the RHS National Flower Bed Competition, Young Designer of the Year Award and a wide range of inspirational show gardens, smaller ‘Back to Back’ gardens, visionary gardens and a number of marquees displaying prize plants and flora exhibits. Other key features of the show are the floral marquee and plant plaza, the arts and heritage pavilion, and the floral design studio.
The first Tatton Show had been planned for 1998, but in the event it was decided to concentrate on Scotland first. The late Max de Soissons (who died in his early 50s in June 2012), an experienced organiser of trade exhibitions, who had been hired in 1996 as the RHS manager for the BBC Gardeners’ World Live show in Birmingham, was appointed the Tatton Show manager.
At the first Tatton Show in 1999, there were 12 show gardens, 16 back-to-back gardens (distinct from the small gardens at Birmingham or the courtyard gardens at Chelsea), 77 nurseries in the main marquee, ten rose growers in the Royal National Rose Show (sponsored by Manchester Airport), 200 sundries stands, some 20 plant societies in a specialist societies marquee, and about 30 national collections represented in a heritage marquee, and a crafts pavilion sponsored by Country Living magazine, and a separate furniture pavilion. 70,000 visitors were expected, and 102,000 arrived. Tatton, the RHS staff agreed, had the friendliest atmosphere of any of the Society’s shows.