Above: All three winners of the BBC Local Radio City Garden Competition at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park – Sue Burke, Denise Reddin and Dawn Evans. Image: Charlotte Graham
Three amateur designers from Manchester, Merseyside and Lancashire have won a competition run by the BBC and RHS that saw their garden designs come to life at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, 21-25 July.
The winning designs grabbed the judge’s attention thanks to their creativity and originality and beat hundreds of entries in the design competition run on BBC Manchester, Merseyside and Lancashire radio. Listeners were challenged to submit a design for a City Garden taking inspiration from their local area.
Following the cancellation of last year’s show the winning gardens designed by Dawn Evans (Manchester), Sue Burke (Merseyside) and Denise Reddin (Lancashire) have finally been brought to life with the help of award winning designer Lee Bestall to be enjoyed by the thousands of visitors at RHS Flower Tatton Park this week.
The Windrush Garden by BBC Radio Manchester winner Dawn Evans has also been chosen by RHS Garden Bridgewater Curator Marcus Chilton-Jones to feature permanently at the Society’s newest garden in Salford. Dawn was inspired by her parents’ Jamaican heritage, their generations’ journey to the UK and the unwelcoming climate they inherited in their new country. The garden is a little piece of Jamaican paradise in the North West with exotic planting including hostas, blousy canna lilies and giant palms.
Marcus said: “It was a difficult choice to make as all three gardens are fantastic but The Windrush Garden is definitely the most translatable in terms of relocation to RHS Garden Bridgewater. The underpinning story is powerful, the plant selection interesting and the overall composition most pleasing.”
On hearing the news Dawn from Burnage said: “Knowing that my garden will be living on permanently is the icing on the cake of this whole experience and I can’t wait to see it being enjoyed by thousands more people at RHS Garden Bridgewater. I hope the garden will show people just what can be done in just a small space.”
Denise Reddin from Oswaldtwistle, was the winning designer for the BBC Radio Lancashire Garden, her garden ‘Bee Happy in the City’ is a relaxing, fun city garden for a young couple or family where the garden has become an extension of the home featuring upcycled household objects including an old roll top bath transformed into a water feature. Nods to Lancashire run throughout the garden with Accrington brick forming a path and red roses, the symbol of Lancashire. Bees are encouraged into the garden through the wildlife friendly planting and bee houses.
About the competition Denise said: “For a Lancashire lass to have the experience of designing and creating a garden at RHS Tatton Park has been a dream come true and working with an expert garden designer Lee Bestall has been fantastic. I have loved every moment and since the show has been open to the public have loved seeing people’s reaction to my design and sharing my passion for gardening with the visitors.”
For BBC Radio Merseyside competition winner Sue Burke from Netherton was inspired by The Beatles and music for which the city of Merseyside has become synonymous. Her garden ‘My City – Our Music’ features a green lawn in the shape of a guitar representing the music of the ‘Merseybeat’ with planting colours taking inspiration from four famous Beatle Album covers – ‘The White Album’ represented by a white border, Sergeant Pepper and Yellow Submarine inspired the more zingy colours and the black and white paving a nod to the famous Abbey Road Album cover.
About entering the competition and seeing her design come to life Sue said “My husband encouraged me to enter the competition and it is amazing that what started as a few scribbles on some paper has been transformed into a real life garden – it’s been an incredible experience and I have thoroughly enjoyed the creative process and working alongside Denise and Dawn, the other competition winners.”
Tickets are available for RHS Flower Show Tatton Park which runs until Sunday 25 July. For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.rhs.org.uk/tatton
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