Last month we were fortunate to visit the RHS flower show at Tatton Park and travelled by train from Leeds to Knutsford (via Manchester) to reduce our carbon footprint. It was then a just short walk through the town to the gates, where a free courtesy bus took us to the entrance of the show.
We learnt a lot from looking at the allotment exhibits and chatting to the exhibitors about the heritage of the vegetables on display. For example, did you know that the French Breakfast radish has been grown since at least 1865 and White Lisbon spring onions since 1787?
We didn’t until now!
We really enjoyed the range of outside displays, with ingenious school projects through to amusing flower bed designs with stunning planting and layouts; it was difficult to decide where to look first.
The outside trade stands didn’t overload the show, but there were enough of them for people to gather information, ideas and make purchases.
We then had a look at the flower bed displays where lots of hard work went into creating a bath with ducks swimming on the water. We also found a wonderful canal lock scene and many other fantastic displays that were brimming with imagination and flair.
Our favourite stall was a stand selling sculptures from South Africa and came away with a duck and an owl.
Inside, displays from nurseries were wonderful. We purchased new Lilly bulbs, a Cosmos and investigated possible plants for our pond. We might have bought more plants, but prices were a little high for a thrifty gardener from Yorkshire, plus we would have struggled to carry them home on the train.
One interesting exhibit was based on the Victorian ‘Hot Bed’ idea. The heat from a manure or compost bed enabled early salad crops to be grown, followed by squashes, courgettes and pumpkins – a great idea to grow multiple crops in one year if you only have limited space!
After we had enjoyed the gardens, we treated ourselves to a Pimm’s cocktail and admired the Hartley Botanic greenhouses on display. The only small downfall of the whole event was the lack of seating – particularly as many of the visitors (including us) were of a certain age!