The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies. Gertrude Jekyll

Annie's Little Plot

Annie's Little Plot

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Invisible sheds and the Flower Farmer

This is my last post about the Tatton Park Flowers Show but I just wanted to show some pictures of a really fun new addition to the show, the Garden Hideaways. Five standard garden sheds that were transformed into fabulous garden features in their own right. It was really popular area for visitors to the show. I wanted to take all of them home with me!
The first was The Hungry Gardener's Shed, I really loved this one as it could be found on any allotment. there was a small stove for cooking your freshly harvested produce on the back of the shed. Inside there was all the usual kit of the vegetable grower with seed labels, pots and plant supports, the must-have radio and kettle. There was even an apple tree growing on the side.

Sean Harkins is the National Trust Urban gardener in residence in Manchester and he created a shed to tell the story of the Lost gardens of Manchester. This tells of old gardens in Manchester, the sunken gardens in Piccadilly, the zoological gardens at Belle Vue, orchards of Shudehill, and who knew that there were Royal Botanical gardens at Old Trafford. There is an exhibit about this at Manchester Art Gallery at the moment.

The next shed was painted with a great picture of a blue tit, designed for nature lovers a hide for viewing wildlife.

The shed that caught the imagination was the Invisibility Tardis Shed of navel contemplation! Covered in mirror it was a bit disconcerting as it does seem to disappear when you viewed it from certain angles

But last but not least my favourite was the Cut Flower Shed created by the Northwest members of Flowers from the farm. How could I not love this with my new found passion for cut flowers. Lovely to chat to the ladies there about the flowers that they grow and sell locally.

While I'm talking about cut-flowers, another real treat at the show was being able to go to a talk in the Floral design studio by Georgie Newbery, an artisan flower farmer and florist who grows her flowers from a small-holding in Somerset. She's going against the grain really trying to persuade us to buy flowers that are grown locally and not flown in from places like Kenya and South Africa. But people are really starting to think about where flowers come from as well as their food. What an inspiring talk, she is really changing things along with a growing network of small-scale growers. She talked about the types of flowers that she grows, a big range but small amounts of each and successionally grown, all the while creating a handtied posy. She made it look so easy! It was a lovely end to our day at the show.