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Warnes McGarr & Co’s RHS Tatton Park garden wins gold

Garden design and landscape consultancy Warnes McGarr & Co won a coveted gold medal, as well as the Best Future Spaces and Best Construction awards at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, held from 19-23 July.

Its eye-catching futuristic show garden – known as the Cactus-direct.co.uk 2101 garden – features 150cm high cactus and 60cm wide barrel cactus, as well as corroded steel structures.

The garden was launched 18 July, on press and judging day, with a set from rock band Deep Shade, before BBC Gardeners’ World presenters Monty Don and Joe Swift took over the garden to do some filming for their RHS Tatton special.

Set in the Future Spaces area at RHS Tatton Park, 2101 raises awareness of global warming by highlighting how our gardens will change in the future. By planting desert and drought-tolerant planting, the garden demonstrates how native British plants could become extinct very quickly, with our traditional gardens resembling those of Southern California.

Director and garden designer Michael John McGarr, who is opening a new studio near Knutsford later this year, said: “We’re incredibly pleased to have achieved a gold medal, as well as the Best Future Spaces and Best Construction awards. Our team has worked so hard for the last three weeks, so it’s fantastic to see the garden look exactly as we imagined it, and even better to see how much everyone enjoyed it.

“The Cactus-direct.co.uk 2101 garden demonstrates everything we are as garden designers – we like to think a little differently, we always want to create something awe-inspiring and we only work with the absolute best products and the best craftsmanship, so we’re incredibly pleased this was reflected in our awards.”

The garden design and message has been supported by Dr Carly McLachlan, director of Tyndall Manchester, a climate change research centre at the University of Manchester. She said: “The 2101 garden offers an alternative and exciting way to engage visitors with the impacts of climate change as well as providing a space to reflect on what we can all do now to limit the worst impacts of changes in the future – including modifying our own behaviours and pressing for local, national and global action through our councillors and MPs.”

Stand-out large specimen desert planting includes 150cm tall Polaskia Chichipe cacti, and large 60cm-wide Echinocactus Grusonii planted in discarded chemical barrels.

Trees that are flourishing in the warmer climate include: Pinus sylvestris (Scots pine); Alnus glutinosa (Common elder) and Betula nigra (River birch).

Tropical trees and large plants that are growing and thriving in 2101 include: Yucca filifera; Yucca rostrata; Yucca glorisoa; Trithrinax campestris; Nannorrhops richinana and Butia odorata. In addition to this, drought-resistant meadow planting provides colour and texture.

A corroded steel spherical structure creates shade for grapevines to grow, in contrast to today where they would require a greenhouse to create warmth. Another conical corroded steel structure also houses edible planting to create shade and shelter for the plants.

Large cactus supplier Cactus-Direct.co.uk is the headline sponsor, and other supporting sponsors include Casa Ceramica, Rectory Plants, The Tropical Plant Company, Brooks Brothers and the University Technical College Wigan with Farm Urban.


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