Charity heads to Tatton Park

Tatton Park
John Everiss on the Chelsea garden

Cotswold-based charity Meningitis Now is taking its award-winning garden to the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, which opens today.

‘Believe and Achieve’, designed by John Everiss, won silver-gilt and the coveted People’s Choice Award at Chelsea this year.

The garden, which celebrates the 30th anniversary of Meningitis Now, has been adapted for the Tatton show and at less than 20sq metres is classed as a show feature so will not be judged.

“The intention is to give a flavour of the original garden and a backdrop to the Chelsea sculptures that had such an effect on the visitors,” explains John.

For Tatton, the garden will have a yew hedge rather than the Cotswold stone folly at the back and the Cotswold stone walls are replaced by reclaimed railway sleepers.

Either side of these ‘walls’ will be wild flower turf with splashes of orange – the charity’s colour – provided by orange poppy ‘Champagne Bubbles’. In the gravel path there will be Verbena bonariensis ‘Lollipop’ and Achillea ‘Inca Gold’

What hasn’t changed are the striking laminated wood sculptures created using 3D images of young meningitis sufferers.

“The sculptures travel across the garden, hitting or passing through walls, reaching up for help and encouraging each other to overcome the obstacles brought about by the disease,” explains John.

“Four are meningitis survivors; the fifth depicts one of the many lives lost to meningitis.

“The garden celebrates the courage, determination and positive outlook of these young people and their families who have faced up to the consequences of this devastating disease.”

One of the youngsters, Liam Doyle, aged six, was too ill to visit the Chelsea garden but will be at Tatton Park, along with Jacob Gray, 24, who had to have his legs amputated when he contracted meningitis in 2013.

The Stroud charity, which funds research into vaccines and prevention, is hoping the trip north will raise its profile still further and make people aware of the symptoms of meningitis. The garden has been sponsored by Blackpool firm Laila’s Fine Foods.

“I love the idea of bringing something back from Chelsea to the North, as I am now an honorary northerner,” says John. “If it can have some of the impact it had in May for the charity, as they say up here, I will be well chuffed!”

RHS Flower Show Tatton Park runs from July 20 to 24. For more details, see here

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Paul invited down under

Gloucestershire designer Paul Hervey-Brookes will be taking a little bit of England down under next year.

The award-winning designer has been invited to create a large garden at the Melbourne International Flower Show in March, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year.

Paul, who lives at Berkeley, was thrilled to be asked to take part in what is the largest horticultural show in the southern hemisphere.

“I was delighted to be invited and am looking forward to creating a modern classic English-styled garden.”

Paul Hervey-Brookes
Paul Hervey-Brookes on his 2013 Chelsea garden

He is planning to use a mix of cultivated plants and Australian natives in a natural-look herbaceous meadow. Alongside will run an avenue of large, containerised trees that sweep towards a modern wooden retreat.

“It’s great to be able to work with a local team in Australia who will help bring this garden to life,” he said. “It’s large and looks simple while actually being quite complicated.”

Paul, who started his design career with a garden at the Malvern Autumn Show in 2008, is no stranger to international events; previous successes include gold at the Gardening World Cup in Japan and The Philadelphia Flower Show.

This year, he took gold and Best in Show at RHS Tatton Park Flower Show and has also been awarded top medals at Chelsea and other RHS events.

The Melbourne International Flower Show runs from March 16-20.