Get The Look – RHS Tatton 2021

What a wonderful day for RHS Tatton 2021! A real triumph after missing out on last year’s event.

We were truly inspired by this year’s gardens and learnt a lot through speaking with the designers, charities, and organisations who have worked so hard to produce such spectacular greenspaces! It is so important to take the opportunity to speak to the experts whilst you are attending shows such as RHS Tatton, they really are an invaluable insight into new trends as well as planting and care advice.

Here’s our thoughts on the trends and themes that we spotted at this year’s show…

Green and Purple Contrasts

Throughout many of the show gardens you could find a strong contrast between green and purple foliage. This is a fantastic way to create layers in your garden and to add depth and texture.

The Cancer Research UK Legacy Garden

This gold medal winning garden was designed by Neil Sutcliffe and built by Creative Roots. At the heart of the garden is a specimen tree. It is nurtured by five water rills flowing towards the central bed, symbolising the link between legacy pledgers and researchers, working to help beat cancer for future generations.  Find out more about this garden here.

With a copper beech as the perfect backdrop, this Tatton Show Garden really did have the wow factor. We loved the use of purple and green foliage to create shape and structure in this garden. Amongst the bold coloured foliage, the Stipa ‘Pony Tails’ grass (far left) lightened the texture and colour of the beds.

By using plants of different heights and foliage style with the common colour theme of green or purple, this garden created a mass of texture and depth without looking messy and unruly. The Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ (bottom left and back right) really is a wonderful addition to the planting scheme.

The Dreamscape Garden

This bronze medal winning garden was designed by Ellie Edkins and built by Martin Jones Landscapes. The ability to escape reality into a dreamlike environment provided the impetus for this garden design. A strange sculptural form greets the visitor at its entrance, its shape repeated in the moon recess cut into the rear wall of the garden, the circular reflecting pool and the undulating planting beds. Find out more about this garden here.

In this garden we found a variety of grasses and flowering shrubs which work very well together to create a sensory space. The Stipa ‘pony tails’ grass sways gently in the breeze and creates a soothing rustle.

In using a strict colour pallet of greens and purples, clean curves of the bench and beds alongside overflowing shrubs of texture, the garden is a calm and relaxing space and a haven for wildlife. The shallow pond is a brilliant addition and a vital support to the birds in the hot summer months.

Many of the gardens at this year’s show used self binding gravel for paths and walkways. This is not only aesthetically gorgeous, but also a really great choice to improve drainage in your garden.


This garden was designed and built by Clive Scott. This garden is a fusion of the designer’s two passions – music and plants. The planting rises front to back to form the crescendo from which the garden takes its name. The piano-keyboard-style deck is reached by drum-skin stepping stones, made from hoggin self-binding gravel contained in metal drumhead hoops. Find out more about this garden here.

In this garden you will find a variety of ornamental grasses. Including the blue toned Festuca glauca ‘Elijah Blue’, the copper ___ and the very popular Stipa ‘pony tails’.

The piano decking appears almost stage-like as the Yew topiary balls, Italian cypress trees and purple beech hedge backdrop give the space structure and a boundary of foliage.

Beginning at the back end of the garden, purple tones are featured in between the green grasses and shrubs to highlight the different heights and textures of the plants used.

Lush Leaves

We were so pleased to see such lush and vibrant planting schemes of hedging and leafy shrubs! By planting this way you will create natural shade for your seating areas and reduce heat stress for your plants.

On Tropic

This gold medal winning garden was design by Freddie Strickland and built by Matt James. In this environmentally conscious British garden, traditional plants are replaced with a tropical palette that thrives in our warming climate. With climate change a pressing concern, this garden speculates upon our future low-impact garden design and planting.

The variety of foliage shapes and sizes in this garden brought beautiful shape through the shadows created and the movement of each shrub rustling against one another.

The amount of dense, lush, foliage in this planting scheme created the perfect spot for a sheltered seating area. A fantastic shelter, privacy screen and barrier against noise and wind.

United Utilities Garden of Resilience

This gold medal winning garden was designed and built by Leon Davis Design. With increasing periods of extreme wet and dry weather likely in the future, garden spaces need to be more climate resilient. This will require a much more considered approach in how we look after and care for our outdoor spaces. Find out more about this garden here.

United Utilities sponsored this garden to give visitors some ideas for making outdoor spaces better able to cope with too much or too little rain. Including a shelter with a living roof, rill and water chain, a rainwater planter, a slimline water butt disguised as a bench, permeable sandstone paving and a sunken rain garden.

The shrubs planted in this garden have been chosen due to their resilience to prolonged spells of dry and wet weather. This includes a Hornbeam hedge, Carex grass (left) and Oleaster (right).

This garden has now been transported to become a permanent feature at the new RHS Bridgewater garden in Salford. The research project at the site will monitor the effectiveness of rainwater harvesting and sustainable urban drainage. Find out how you could recreate some of the gorgeous gardens at RHS Bridgewater in our blog post here.