Rachel Platt won the People’s Choice Award at RHS Tatton Park for her first show garden. She talks of her experience of the awards, the challenges she faced and her next steps.
She might not have picked up the title of RHS Young Designer of the Year, but you could argue Rachel Platt was the real winner at this year’s RHS Flower Show Tatton Park. The budding designer scooped a trio of awards, including the highly coveted People’s Choice Award. Her garden – The Covid Recovery Garden – also collected the Best Construction Award and a Silver-Gilt Medal.
Rachel found the whole experience “surreal”. “It was so quick; I can’t process it properly, if that makes sense, but I am really pleased with everything.” The awards have also helped Rachel with clients for her own garden design practice in Marlow, as they now trust her a lot more which she says is “fantastic”.
The focus of her Young Designer garden was influenced by Rachels’ own experience with long COVID. She wanted to create this garden while COVID was still on people’s minds and for her garden to start conversations, with her discussing symptoms and other people’s experiences while at the event. With the vaccines and other issues now taking over the news, Rachel’s garden opened up a path of conversations which some people may not have been able to have previously.
Once of the biggest challenges Rachel faced when creating the garden was plant quality, “particularly when the garden was being constructed and during judging as it was 38⁰”. As a result of the heatwave, many plants were turning up damaged, and even those which arrived in good condition were quickly wilting amidst rising temperatures.
Much like the plants, those working at the event were struggling in the heat as well. In order to overcome this Rachel and her team took frequent breaks to cool down. Despite the heat, Rachel and her team pulled through; working together and understanding limitations helped them complete their garden to the best of their ability.
Rachel and her team’s hard work clearly paid off with the success of the three awards. Her dream is to eventually be at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, but for now she is focusing on her trade stand for Caledonian Stone at this year’s FutureScape in November, as well as local projects in Marlow.
Rachel Platt Garden Design is a professional garden design company, covering Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, and Oxfordshire. They specialise in creating completely bespoke, luxury designs tailored to individual requirements, for residential gardens of all shapes and sizes. To book a consultation with Rachel Platt, call 07990 781185. Visit: www.rpgardendesign.com for more details.