Jon Tilley left the landscape industry after 20 years, seven RHS Gardens at Tatton and Hampton Court and a Gold medal in 2011. Speaking to Pro Landscaper Jon told us how this had left a hole in his life which he needed to fill.
The idea came to Jon to pass his love of gardens to the next generation with a garden festival based in his local community, Macclesfield.
In 2017 the first Macclesfield Garden Festival was held. Two of Jon Tilley’s friends from RHS Tatton, Andy Walker and Clive Scott, were on hand to help him.
Jon Tilley, festival director said:
” We did judge the gardens, with Professor John Hyatt from Liverpool John Moores University chairing the judging committee, but we broke away from the RHS pursuit of excellence and gave the winning prize to the garden with the most soul. Kath Moore a local landscape professional took top spot. The most important thing for the festival would be encouraging as many schools and colleges as possible to take part in the festival“.
The first year of the festival had mixed results, with amazing art installations, an excellent floral design tent and five great show gardens. But, the visitor numbers were not as high as they had hoped. To improve on this, this year’s festival will bring more diverse groups into the festival. From primary schools and high schools, through to allotment associations and a great mix of artists and musicians. The festival will also include a World Fashion Event to go with this year’s theme of geography and travel.
Nine primary schools are building gardens along with one high school. The schools are creating art installations 16ft high and 4ft wide that will be installed on the town hall pillars. McCann Manchester, a global advertising agency who won ‘TV advert of the Decade’ is offering a weeks placement as a prize in the arts competition.
Jon Tilley, also commented:
“We are really excited to welcome Reaseheath Horticultural College this year, who will be entering a garden design and floral art display. They were really impressed at the number of schools taking part and saw the potential of the festival to enlist budding garden designers and landscape professionals into our industry.”
Macclesfield Garden Festival 2019 will take place from Friday 21 June to Sunday 23 June at Christ Church Gardens on Great King Street, Macclesfield, SK11 6PN.
There will be gardens, music, arts including a 2 diameter ‘Plastic Planet’ created by King’s School’s art department, and a Mid Summer Wassail, and plenty things to buy.
Tickets are only £4 and half of that is available as vouchers to spend at the festival food vendors, bars and nursery stalls.
To keep up-to-date on Macclesfield Garden Festival click here.