Tatton's RHS Garden Preparations

The affects of war on the gardens of Germany’s front linesimon-tetlow-reads-the-gardener's-chronicle – Tatton’s gardening team reflect on WW1 at this year’s RHS Flower Show

As the RHS moves in to Tatton to prepare for this year’s Flower Show Tatton Park’s gardening team start work on their show garden.

For some time the team have been keen to deliver an exhibit that remembers WW1 during its centenary year. Significant research led them to discover that each week during the First World War soldier gardeners, as they were called, were invited to write in with their experiences of the front line to The Gardeners’ Chronicle, the professional weekly paper for all gardeners.

In November 1918 a letter was sent from Lieutenant Meggles. Writing from the old German frontline near Ypres he described wandering through the site of former gardens and listed the plants that were beginning to recover after four years of war and even gave tips on how to help them become decorative once again. 

Inspired by the soldier’s descriptions, Tatton’s garden depicts four phases of these gardens on the Western Front that were lost to the First World War: the original gardens, a German trench, the recovering gardens of 1918 and the gardens as they are today. 

The theme of this garden is the resilience of plants and their ability to overcome the atrocities of war.

The plants on show in the garden reflect those recorded as growing back in 1918 and include Wiegela peonies, Pinks, Montbretias, Solidago, Violets, Asters, Helianthus, Phlox, Japanese anemone and Snapdragon.Weeds such a Bindweed, Nettles, Verbascums and Buttercups will  predominate another area.

Simon Tetlow, Tatton Park head gardener, said “The garden team wanted to dedicate this garden to members of the Tatton garden team from 1914 who served and died overseas, William Williamson and Tom Gathercole. The aim of the garden is to show the power of plants to heal themselves and others.”

Tatton’s garden is just one of a number of projects and events Cheshire East Council have planned to commemorate WW1 through a 4 year programme, Cheshire East Reflects.

Included in this programme is an exhibition at Tatton Park. We Will See it Through, 1914-1918 runs from August 5th to November 2nd and explores the impact of the First World War, told through the stories of the people who lived and worked at Tatton Park, the family and the estate. Discover how both family, relations and workers were affected by the Great War and learn about the impact of the war effort on the estate.

For further information about this release contact: 

Vicky Wilby, Marketing Department Tel: 01625 374417 / Email: Vicky.wilby@cheshireeast.gov.uk 

Tatton Park is managed and financed by Cheshire East Council on behalf of the National Trust. This impressive historic estate receives in the region of 800,000 visitors every year all of whom come to enjoy its Georgian mansion, Tudor Old Hall, award- winning gardens and 1930s rare breeds farm.  The 1,000-acre deer park is home to red and fallow deer and the estate also boasts speciality shops, adventure playground, restaurant, new Gardener’s Cottage tea room and a year-round events programme.

The Tatton Park Vision

The `Tatton Park Vision’ is the park’s 5 year vision for its visitor activities and aims to substantially develop its visitor experience by increasing the attractions and activities on offer. In delivering the vision the aim is to fully realise Tatton Park’s potential and present the best possible experience for its current and new visitors in order to provide new and sustainable income to help manage and conserve the historic estate into the future. By 2016/17 it is expected that over 1 million visitors a year will enjoy this experience. This will be done through a programme of investment by Cheshire East Council and the attraction of new business. More information about the vision

The RHS Flower Show Tatton Park

Wednesday 23 to Sunday 27 July, RHS members’ day 23 July, Ladies’ Day 25 July

Opening times are 10am-6.30pm (5pm on Sunday 27).  Public tickets in advance £24, on the day £29.50.  RHS members in advance £20, on the day £25.50.  Wednesday 23 members day only £25.50 in advance. Tickets: 0844 338 7546 or www.rhs.org.uk/tatton

Cheshire East Reflects

Cheshire East Council are embarking on a four year programme of activities, events and development programmes to commemorate the First World War for the residents of, and visitors to Cheshire East.

This collaborative programme, entitled Cheshire East Reflects, is bringing together all aspects of the Local Authority with local community groups, organisations and partners such as the Imperial War Museum North.

There will be opportunities to participate in a wide variety events and activities across the Borough and for community groups to promote their own commemorative events. www.cheshireeastreflects.com