July 21st 2014
The affects of war on the gardens of Germany’s front line – Tatton’s gardening team reflect on WW1 at this year’s RHS Flower Show
Since the RHS Show first arrived at Tatton 15 years ago Tatton’s gardening team have been creating gardens that have met with admiration from both judges and visitors. Tatton has amassed over 20 gold and silver gilt medals with their flower beds and show gardens. Themes have varied from Medieval to Japanese and from Africa to hermits. This year …..
For their 2014 garden the team at Tatton were 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.
Tatton’s garden is at IN 135
For further information about this release contact:
Vicky Wilby, Marketing Department Tel: 01625 374417 / Email: Vicky.firstname.lastname@example.org