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Tatton, 2015: unpredictable weather takes the shine off July’s premier flower show

The RHS Tatton Flower Show is normally the July highlight for the plant growers of Britain. It’s an event that’s eagerly anticipated by everyone who loves their garden. This year’s event – the seventeenth annual festival – was no exception. Unfortunately nature decided that this year it wouldn’t play nicely.

What should have been a wonderful showcase for the plant growers of the North West and beyond turned into something of a damp squib thanks to the unpredictability of the British summer. Although the Show’s organiser, the RHS’ senior show development manager, Lucinda Costello, described the local climatic conditions as “perfect flower show weather”, few of the plant growers and garden designers would probably agree. Although cooler conditions can keep plants looking at their best during the show, getting the plants ready in time was a different matter.

Tatton, 2015: unpredictable weather takes the shine off July’s premier flower show

(picture courtesy of the BBC)

How did the conditions affect the flower show’s suppliers?


Well, Ladybrook Nurseries struggled if the truth be told. With seasonal average temperatures down 6 degrees, low light levels and a general lack of sunshine, Ladybrook Nursery felt that the standard of this year’s plants was disappointing. In fact, Ladybrook Nursery owner, Bob Anderson, thinks the preparations for this year’s show were as bad as he could remember.

Many of the plants that the nursery supplied for the growers were not in flower and the displays were therefore not up to the usual demanding standards that the nursery sets itself. However, not everything was a wash-out. Regardless of what the weather threw at the growers the plants supplied by Ladybrook Nursery were still awarded Gold, Silver-Gilt and Silver medals. All in all that was quite a result given the conditions.

So what about the rest of the ‘summer’ season? What about the Southport Flower Show in August? Well, as yet Ladybrook Nursery has no plans to display at that festival. The situation may well change if the conditions improve over the next few weeks, but with the longer-term weather forecast not looking promising, then participation at this year’s event looks unlikely.

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