Saturday, July 27, 2013

Bed Time again!

No I haven't been spending all day in bed but judging at the Tatton Park Flower Show - in particular the Flower Bed Competition. This was the last of my judging engagements for this year and I have to admit to a little relief. Trekking around the country and living from a suitcase is not exactly relaxing. At the same time, judging flower shows is a privilege and I do enjoy seeing all the exhibits in their pristine state. Just loved this garden by Tony Woods - lovely detail and exquisite planting.

One of my duties at Tatton, which I have done for several years, was to judge the Flower Bed Competition. Sadly this year there were only seven beds, a huge decrease from the 20+ we had when I started doing it five years ago. No doubt a response to local authority cuts, as most of these entries are from parks departments. Despite this the remaining beds were a fabulous standard. The beds are a standard size and planting must include at least 30% bedding plants. Each bed has a theme and marks are allocated for interpretation of this as well as plants, props, design and detail. The bed should be capable of growing on throughout the summer season. We awarded two Golds, three Silver Gilts and a Silver and for those of you that are concentrating, the seventh bed was not competitive. One exhibitor had withdrawn and so this was a last minute filler.

The Best Flowerbed Award and a well deserved Gold Medal went to Manchester City Council for the Ripple Effect, a beautifully co-ordinated bed in shades of blue, white and silver. This display had been designed by members of the Mary & Joseph House, a centre for mental health recovery. As well as beautifully grown plants, the exhibit included a lovely piece of timber sculpture ending in a 'nest' displaying five colourful ceramic decorated eggs made by the residents.

Birmingham City Council created a detailed display, illustrating the Canals of Birmingham (more miles than Venice!). Beautiful planting complemented the small barge, lock gates, tunnel and bridge. The display was full of detail like the two 3D planted waterbirds.

Amongst the other beds there will be much to catch the interest of the visitor. The flowerbeds have been a feature of the Tatton Show since its inception and I do hope that something can be done to maintain this tradition and encourage future participation.

Dumfries & Galloway - Dock Park Regeneration - Silver

Partington Parish Council - Bath Time - Silver Gilt

Frinton in Bloom - Passport Required - Silver Gilt
Newcastle under Lyme - Pit Boy to Prime Minister - Silver Gilt

Last minute filler! A noble effort!

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