Bridgemere show gardens

Show gardens restored to their former glory

Award-winning show gardens will be on display once more as visitors are invited take a look.

The show gardens at Nantwich’s Bridgemere Garden Centre are to be relaunched after a major restoration to return them to their former glory.

Bridgemere Show Gardens, which boast a collection of Chelsea medal-winning gardens, will be unveiled at a special event on May 20.

The gardens were founded by John Ravenscroft in the 1980s to inspire amateur gardeners. They used to attract visitors from all over the world but sadly fell into disrepair when John retired in 2006.

Now the Blue Diamond Group, which bought Bridgemere Garden Centre and the adjoining gardens and nursery in 2019, has completed work to restore them.

The show gardens cover a six-acre area and are home to 13 individual gardens, including seven RHS gold and silver medal award- winning show gardens which are recreations from RHS Chelsea, RHS Hampton Court and RHS Tatton Flower Shows.

Many of the plants in the Show Gardens are grown in Bridgemere’s own nursery and are available to buy from the Garden Centre.

There are also other medal-winning show garden recreations from the garden festivals in Hanley and Liverpool as well as the garden in which the 1993 television series Gardener’s Diary was filmed.

At the launch, two new show gardens will be unveiled, the Blue Diamond Forge Garden, winner of a Silver Medal and the Best Artisan Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021 and the Down Memory Lane Garden, winner of a Silver Gilt at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2021, and which was designed in conjunction with the Alzheimer’s Society.

The Gardens include nine champion trees as well as over 120 rhododendrons.   Also a significant collection of magnolias and at this time of year, formal bedding displays, including over 20,000 Tulips and informal herbaceous borders.

John Ravenscroft, the founder of the Bridgemere Show Gardens, was awarded the Royal Horticultural Society Veitch Memorial Medal, awarded to “persons of any nationality who have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement and improvement of the science and practice of horticulture.”

He was awarded the RHS Victoria Medal of Honour in 2008, awarded to British horticulturists resident in the UK whom the RHS Council considers deserving of special honour by the Society and given to John for his “plantsman ship, entrepreneurial talent and encyclopedic knowledge of plants.”

A spokesman from the Blue Diamond Group said: “We would like to honour John’s achievements by keeping the Bridgemere Show Gardens, his legacy, alive and to once welcome visitors to the Gardens as they would have in John’s heyday.

“We have and will continue to create award-winning RHS gardens and recreate these at Bridgemere Show Gardens with the purpose of inspiring visitors.”

As well as the gardens, there will also be a garden history and plant information walking trail.



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