The Cheshire Garden was delighted to collaborate on the design of a garden exhibited at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park 2019 which promoted the vital work of Cheshire-based charity, Children Today. The charity raises funds for the provision of specialist equipment which enables children and young people with disabilities to engage with the outdoors and, in doing so, provides often life-changing opportunities.
The ‘Let’s Go Fly A Kite!’ garden was a celebration of the 25th anniversary of Children Today. The design was rich in symbolism representing the journey taken by the beneficiaries of the charity’s support, and the characteristics that the children and young people embody. Central to the design were three sets of gabions of differing sizes and containing a variety of contrasting elements: the first and largest encountered were filled with chunks of concrete (recycled from another project) representing obstacles; the middle set contained toys and equipment signifying new possibilities; and the third set housed plants symbolising hope and freedom. In order to reinforce the concept of the barriers that the children and young people assisted by Children Today must overcome, the entrance to the garden was stepped and flanked by decorative gravel.
The planting scheme was a varied combination of colourful perennials, herbs, edibles and ornamental grasses suitable for full-sun and based upon the yellow, blue and pink of the Children Today branding. Many of the plants used were also chosen for their symbolic meaning. For example, Borago officinalis represents courage; Foeniclum vulgare represents strength; and Delphinium represents joy. A full list of all the plants used in the display at Tatton can be found here.
The garden was enclosed on two sides by cedar fencing providing a warm backdrop to the vibrant planting. The paving was composed of natural stone with polished steel inlay displaying 25 for the anniversary and the Children Today kite logo. Within the borders were steel kite sculptures leading the eye through the garden and linking up with a kite string design embedded in the cedar fencing. Within a patio area two carved log stools provided rustic seating. As a final surprise, when viewed from above the image of a child enjoying the use of specialist equipment was revealed.
Aptly for a celebration of the Children Today silver anniversary, the ‘Let’s Go Fly A Kite!’ garden was awarded a Silver Medal by the RHS, as well as the Best Construction in Show award. This was testament to the fantastic teamwork between long time collaborators, The Cheshire Garden, planting specialist Planting with Penny and professional landscapers Base Squared Ltd. We were also delighted that the garden was featured in the BBC Gardener’s World television coverage, in which presenter Arit Anderson noted the quality of detail.
The Cheshire Garden would like the thank the following supporters, contributors and suppliers without whom the garden could not have been delivered:
- Murray Environmental
- Burton and Rossett Horticultural Society
- Decorative Aggregates
- Dalefoot Composts
- All Turf
- Titan Property Services
- Aldford Apparel
- Simon O’Rourke
- Not Just Scribbles
- Wyevale Nurseries
- Brentwood Moss Nurseries
- RPG Herbs
- Green City Gardens
- Rachel Kay, Mike Hearn, Briony Doubleday, Tina Hatton and Victoria Hamilton
All photographs featured in this article were taken by Mark Spencer.