Hidden dinosaurs, stunning blooms and a Frank Sidebottom tribute – floral highlights as RHS Flower Show Tatton Park returns

The torrential rain of recent days may have hampered gardeners everywhere, but the RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park was in full bloom under sunny skies on its opening day. The annual floral extravaganza was bursting with colourful displays as it welcomed thousands of visitors on Wednesday.

Gardeners young and old have created an array of displays this year – ranging from those to fit the smallest spaces in ginnels through to the large show gardens with spectacular designs.

Eye-catching gardens this year include one with a tribute to comedy icon Frank Sidebottom – created by Timperley schoolchildren. The model of Frank sits with a pile of books including one about robot-making under an umbrella to keep him nice and dry.

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Younger visitors will also love the Escape the T Rex garden created by mum-of-two Alison Johnston with “hidden” dinosaurs to discover in the greenery. Alison, from Huddersfield, was joined by four-year-old son Dougal at the show who inspired the garden as he loves dinosaurs so much.

There’s also a large dragon in one of the schools gardens inspired by a journey to Middle Earth from pupils of St George’s Primary in Wallasey, while there’s the chance to make your own bug hotel here too.

Garden designer Rachel Platt teamed up with Old Trafford bulb company J. Parker’s to create the Chained To Tech Garden – to highlight the physical and mental effects of being addicted to phone and computer screens. It took a Silver Gilt Award and was named Best Construction at the show.

Meanwhile the award of Best in Show was given to Constructing Minds, a garden that aims to raise awareness of suicide rates in construction and promote the restorative power of green spaces. Designers Carolyn Hardern and Jon Jarvis believe mental health should be taken far more seriously in construction, where an average of two workers take their own lives every day, making it the industry with the highest suicide rate in the UK.

Their garden is inspired by the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) and features gentle planting, a reflective pool and provides a tranquil space for contemplation and one-to-one counselling.

The show is packed with inspiration for amateur gardeners, and a range of quirky stalls featuring everything from brass sculptures to hot tubs. There’s also a range of artisan food and drink stalls, as well as food villages with seating at every corner of the sprawling showground with hot food like hot dogs, fish and chips, curries, pizza, crepes and tacos and a large “champagne village” for those fancying a posher tipple.

The show is now open from Thursday through to Sunday, with tickets available to buy online and on the door. Ticket-paying adults can take two under-5-year-olds for free.

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