Whaley Bridge farm's rewilding project wins gold at RHS Tatton Flower Show

An innovative design from Whaley Bridge farmers at the RHS Tatton Flower Show won gold for displaying weeds in all their natural beauty.

Thursday, 29th July 2021, 4:17 pm

Rachel Evatt from Sunart Fields farm entered the competition, which took place at the weekend at Tatton Park, with horticulturist Sandra Nock and husband Geoff.

The winning design, Weed Thriller, put plants which are normally dismissed by gardeners in the foreground to be judged for all to see and the concept worked.

Rachel said: “I can’t believe we won gold, it was a left field submission so I’m really pleased we won.

Rachel Evatt, Weed Thriller’s horticulturist Sandra Nock an Geoff Evatt at the RHS Tatton Flower Show

"We met the brief of presenting plants and the judges said they were not biased against certain plants, they were looking for a good execution of the display.”

The wining garden had thistles, ragwort, a dry stone wall, a rowan tree and a bird box to showcase homes for insects and birds in nature too.

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Whaley Bridge farm gets back to nature with rewilding project

Rachel and Geoff are letting nature lead the way as they attempt to rewild 120 acres of land at their farm in Whaley Bridge in an effort to improve conservation and biodiversity.

Explaining the concept behind the rewilding garden at RHS Tatton Flower Show

She said: “Being at RHS Tatton Flower Show showcasing plants people normally dismiss as weeds but which are actually really beautiful continued the conversation we have started at the farm.

"Every flower has a place and we need to create habitats for wildlife, bugs, bees and birds and celebrate the wide mix of flowers we have in this country.

"Ragwort has a bad reputation but is a great source of nectar which is important to wildlife.”

A lot of preparation went in to the winning garden with planning starting months ago.

Some of the weeds used in the display to show that all plants have beauty

"People think we were just going to shove a load of weeds there but we have cultivated some from seeds and other from clippings,” said Rachel.

"We had to ensure they were flowering ready for judging and there was colour but not too much colour and the judges even noted that the work we did was harder than buying some ready grown plants from a garden centre.”

She added: “All weeds are flowers – we are trying to change people’s perceptions and challenge stereotypes while embracing the beauty of the flowers.”

Weed Thriller inning at RHS Tatton Flower Show

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Proudly showing off the winning cup at the RHS Tatton Flower Show