Caption: RHS Tatton Park
Caption: Let's go fly a kite garden
Caption: The top bowl shows gooseberries grown with Double Strength Wool Compost

Last week was RHS Tatton Park flower show – a show bursting in colour and imagination from magnificent floral displays, rainbows of Dahlias, gardens for bees and bugs, creations from local schools, hands-on floral workshops and a bug inspection station. It was fantastic to see the presence of Dalefoot throughout the show, here are our highlights:

Our first stop was the ‘Let’s go fly a kite’ garden, designed to embody the transformative effect that engaging with outdoor activity can have on children with disabilities. Designers Jane Bingham (The Cheshire Garden) and Penny Hearn (Planting with Penny) picked up the well-deserved award for ‘best construction in show’ for their symbolic garden. Top-dressed with our Lakeland Gold for the perfect finish, the garden was filled with a variety of plants and colour from Agapanthus, Borage, Geranium, Mentha, Organum and Sedum - symbolising Love, Courage, Determination, Precious moments, Happiness and Tranquillity - to name a few, representing the journey taken by children who have benefitted from Children Today’s work.

In the Dig In tent we discovered Hilary of the Northern Fruit group, who has been conducting a 5 year long independent trial on enhancing soft fruit production. In 2014, 4 plots were prepared with the following treatments:
1. soil as on site
2. mycorrhizal fungi
3. wool bracken compost
4. Fertilizer

It was clear to see which treatment had performed the best...Our Double strength Wool Compost! Not only was the yield twice that of the others, the fruit was much bigger, greener and sweeter than the rest. See more of their trial here.


The Bug Hub and theatre was a hive of activity – literally! Set next to a live bee hive it was a place for the whole family to get close to all kinds of creepy crawlies found amongst our garden plants. The hive was managed by professional apiarists who ‘smoked’ the bees each day to keep them calm and explained how to look after the hive.

Our Wool Compost was used in Pennard Plant’s vegetable garden who sell heirloom seeds and plants. We got the chance to attend their talk on companion planting, which is all about planting the right plants in the right place to encourage natural predators and control weeds and disease so that you can grow organically. Chris spoke of various types of Marigolds – extremely fragrant to mask smell of carrots deterring the ever-hungry carrot fly or used in the polytunnel to deter greenfly.
Did you know mint is a natural repellant of ants and rodents? Or that Nasturtiums planted near roses will deter black/green fly? Parsley and basil put amongst vegetables will encourage the health of your plants and suppress weeds. There was so much to learn from the likes of Chris, who dedicate their time and energy to growing healthy plants in balance with nature, truly inspiring.

Lastly, we’d like to say congratulations to Westdale Nurseries, specialists in the cultivation of bougainvillea’s, who picked up another Silver Gilt award and also Chrysanthemums Direct for their impressive display of the stages of growing chrysanthemums, voted RHS Master Grower, Tatton Park.


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© Barker and Bland Ltd t/a Dalefoot Composts 2014 - 2024. All rights reserved.
Barker and Bland is a limited company registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Dalefoot Farm, Heltondale, Nr Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 2QL. Registered number: 8312959

This project is supported by the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) for which Defra is the Managing Authority, part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas.

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