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2015 Southport Flower Show - photo special

PUBLISHED: 21:50 05 October 2015 | UPDATED: 20:56 21 October 2015

Actress, Sherrie Hewson, and celebrity chef, Jean-Christophe Novelli,  in the best small garden Challenge Trophy winner 'Tranquillity' created by Dean Halsall of Southport

Actress, Sherrie Hewson, and celebrity chef, Jean-Christophe Novelli, in the best small garden Challenge Trophy winner 'Tranquillity' created by Dean Halsall of Southport

Archant

A staple in the summer calendar for many, the Southport Flower Show returned for its 86th year with an Asian twist…

Thousands of visitors flocked through the gates of Victoria Park for the 86th Southport Flower Show. Officially opened by actress, Sherrie Hewson, this theme for this year’s action-packed show was China. Many of the award-winning exhibits and displays reflected this distant orient - including Rob Showering’s stunning gold medal garden, Yin and Yang.

The veteran exhibitor from Halsall, who also scooped the Brian Aughton Memorial Trophy for the best use of plants in a display, wanted to take a different angle on the China theme creating something different from the traditional Chinese gardens. ‘Yin and Yang is an ancient Chinese philosophy. In my brief to the judges, I put my design forward as a garden that a couple couldn’t decide a style to go for, so they cut the garden in half.’

Rob explained that her half, full of colours, natural shapes and curves, and his half, a more contemporary take with black stainless steel and angles, both come together to meet in the middle on a seated arbour. ‘It was great to win only one of three gold medals awarded this year,’ he said. ‘I’m so lucky to have this flower show right on my doorstep.’

Best overall garden in show was awarded to Southport based Muddy Boots, a team made up of Claire Skidmore, landscaper and builder, and Clare Edwards, a designer and gardener. Claire said that she never expected that their Chinese Whispers garden, complete with a Chinese-style ‘moon door’ and whispering foliage, would be crowned with such a high accolade: ‘I’m still in a state of shell shock. It’s our eighth year at the show and each time we just try to get better and better. I think we must have cracked it this year!’

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