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Career changers are the focus of new RHS Tatton category

by | 15 May 24 | Garden Design, News | 0 comments

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) introduces new category to RHS Flower Show Tatton Park reflecting on the increasing number of career changers entering horticulture and garden design.

RHS Career Changer of the Year has been created specifically for new designers, plantspeople and contractors aged 31 and over to help kick-start their new careers and celebrate those entering the industry.

Lex Falleyn, RHS Tatton Park show manager says that when talking to potential Show Garden applicants, the RHS “noticed a trend in interested applicants who had previously worked in different industries”.

Designers in the competition this year include a former front line police officer, a higher level teaching assistant, and a marketing professional with 25 years of experience working for brands like Manchester United and British Airways.


The RHS If A Tree Falls Garden

Designed by Jon Piling
Sponsors: P and J Vipond
Contractor: theintrinsiclink

Inspired by people’s symbiotic relationship with nature, the garden comprises a central seating area with a bespoke seat made from a fallen tree, situated next to a galvanised water trough, flanked by ricks and a naturalised planting area under the shade of Betula pendula trees.

The planting is influenced by natural grassland and the new perennial movement, in particular the prairie style planting of Piet Oudolf and the work of James Hitchmough and Nigel Dunnet.

The garden will be relocated to a private client after the show closes.


The RHS If a Tree Falls Garden – Career Changer Garden, designed by Jon Pilling © RHS


The Safe Space Garden

Designer: Chris Reynolds
Charitable organisation: Victim Support
Contractor: Organic By Design Landscapes and Issott Partnership

Designed to be a ‘nourishing and inclusive’ space to support victims of crime and trauma, the garden is based around three steel arches that provide refuge and space, while the perimeter of the garden is made up of wooden ‘privacy pillars’ to invoke feelings of safety.

The textural and immersive planting will feature a number of key herbs and medicinal plants throughout, intended to complement the user’s healing journey, such as chamomile, angelica, rosemary and lemon balm.

After the show it will be permanently relocated to a Victims Support centre.


The Safe Space Garden – Career Changer Garden, designed by Chris Reynolds © RHS


The Better New Build

Designer: Nadine Mansfield
Contractor: Garden360UK

Created to inspire new build homeowners and property developers to make more of their outdoor spaces, the garden showcases what can be done in new build gardens with a space that is practical, visually aesthetic and beneficial to wildlife.

Using gravel in place of lawn surrounded by plants for pollinators, native hedging to allow birds to nest and two specimen trees; Acer davidii ‘Viper’ and a multi-stem Crataegus prunifolia, as well as a dedicated section of fencing with a dedicated hole to allow hedgehogs easy passage.


The Better New Build Garden, Career Changer Garden, designed by Nadine Mansfield © RHS


Falleyn says that as a career changer herself, she felt it was “important to highlight the benefits of changing into the horticultural sector.”

Adding that these new gardens would make an “interesting companion category alongside RHS Young Designer of the Year. Landscape design requires a diverse range of skills and it’s been so interesting to see just how many skills are transferable.”

RHS Flower Show Tatton Park will take place 17 – 21 July, and it will be the last time until 2027 that the show is held at the site, as part of a roster of changes to the shows schedule announced by the RHS earlier this year.

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