THE RHS show at Tatton Park, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, has been hailed as ‘a flagship’ for the north of England.

The praise came this week from Sam Youd, former head gardener at Tatton Park and the chairman of Cheshire’s Gardens of Distinction.

Speaking at the show, he said: “This show is a flagship for the north – because if you think about Chelsea and Hampton Court it’s a long way if you live in Carlisle, whereas this show is on your doorstep.

“In addition the kind of plants we grow here at this time of the year you won’t see at Chelsea and Hampton Court because we are a bit later here.

“It’s all about bees this year and their importance – if the bees die we all die.

“We have to begin to realise the contribution gardens and plants and natural things in general make to wellbeing.

“The more we become an ill society the more we need the peace and tranquillity and the lack of stress you can get just being at one with nature.

“People will have a memorable and exciting time at the show – and will go away with some ideas and with some peace of mind.”

He made a plea for more support, adding: “We need more exhibitors and there is always a need for sponsorship.”

The Tatton show is a favourite for Trevor Lawrence.

Trevor is a partner in Chrysanthemums Direct, which is based in Over Peover and is celebrating its 60th anniversary.

He said: “The RHS show at Tatton is important to us – it puts our name around the country. It’s a really nice, relaxed show, and is probably my favourite show.”

Nursery manager Martyn Flint said: “This is our 10th year at the show, and would be in the top three in terms of the size of the ones we attend.

“An important side of the show is promoting chrysanthemums and telling people how easy they are to grow.

“Hopefully our exhibit catches people’s eye and they ask questions and we can get them growing.

“There is nobody else on the show circuit who displays and sells chrysanthemums, and we are one of the last commercial growers of chrysanthemums in the country.”

The inspiration for The Flowers of Arley display is the famed herbaceous borders at the estate.

Gardener James Youd has only been exhibiting at the show for two year at the show but his display won gold.

He said: “Arley Hall is well-known for its double herbaceous borders, which were thought to be the first in the country.

“I like the interaction with the public at the show – we let the garden draw the people to it and then we approach them and offer them a plant list.

“The aim of the garden is to raise the profile and awareness of Arley, because there are so many people, even within this vicinity, who haven’t visited yet, and the garden is like a little taster of what they might see.”

Sue Beesley, who owns Bluebell Cottage Gardens at Dutton, near Warrington, has a display in the Floral Marquee and a back-to-back garden outside.

She said: “In the Floral Marquee I always exhibit hardy perennials because that’s what we specialise in as a nursery.

“Outside the garden is called ‘Don’t Chop Me Down’ – the idea is that it’s a garden of perennials – if you leave them they look wonderful in winter because they have great winter structure.

“A lot of people are very tidy in their gardens and like to cut everything down and leave it neat.

“I think they are missing out – some perennials do need cutting down because they look a mess, but others look really good if you leave them.

“Don’t Chop Me Down was inspired by a big section of my own garden which we don’t cut down until March.

“This show gives us an opportunity to showcase what we do.

“We just like people to look, and if people walk by and say: ‘Oh, I like that’ I’m happy.

“I love doing this, it’s great fun, but I also hope people will come and visit the gardens and buy some plants and put them in their gardens.”

Fryer’s Roses is launching two new roses, the 20th Anniversary rose and the Elizabeth Ashbrook rose, at the show.

Centre manager Bijal Mistry said: “We put a lot of pride into every show we do, but this one is a little bit more because it’s local.”

The Fryer’s display at the show features a large arbour.

Bijal added: “We do things a little bit differently – not only are we concentrating on the roses, but always like to give the customer that wow factor.

“Roses have always had a huge appeal – in the last few years the younger generation have really got into house plants, flowers and roses.

“What people are really into now is scent – everyone wants a scented rose and unusual coloured roses.”

  • The RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park runs until Sunday. Highlights include The Poisonous Garden, The Bee Hive, The Sunshine Field, The Flower School, Bus Stop Boulevard, Green Fields, The Floral Marquee, Flower Power and Discover and Grow.
  • For tickets visit