Fashioned by a writer best known for fantastical rabbits, Beatrix Potter's early botanical illustrations are something of a secret. The host gardeners at the north-west edition of the Royal Horticultural Society Flower Show are redressing the balance this year.
Titled Through Nature, Tatton Park has represented Potter’s fledgling career with a sculptural Victorian stumpery, adorned with hardy ferns and fungi which thrive in the damp conditions laid on by the gardeners.
“Our aim in creating this slightly unorthodox garden is to reveal somewhat unknown aspects of Beatrix’s earlier life,” says Simon Tetlow, the Tatton Park Head Gardener, confessing to a “horticultural oddity” in this wet mini-woodland.
“Childhood holidays with friends and relatives in the Lakes and the Peak District were a catalyst for her later creativity, notably her early botanical illustrations.
“I’ve found similar inspiration whilst cycling through some of this beautiful countryside. The flora and fauna is represented in our garden.”
Visitors are invited to head through a rabbit burrow under a fell inspired by a lakeland, emerging into a kitchen garden based on the one owned by Mr McGregor in the Peter Rabbit series.
An author intrigued by fungi, Potter’s career is the subject of the current six-month Magic of Beatrix Potter programme at Tatton Park, which is hosting the horticultural show for a 15th year.
- The RHS Flower Show Tatton Park runs until July 28 2013. Book online. Magic of Beatrix Potter is at Tatton Park until September 1.