The first blub came as we walked through Cancer Research’s Shine Garden to the black pool and threw in silver tokens. It was symbolic, the silver will cover the black, a new light, new hope. Ya boo sucks to cancer.
For a modest donation, visitors to the garden at the Tatton Park RHS Flower Show could walk a miniature version of Manchester’s Shine night-time marathon where light symbolises the fight against cancer. We walked the walk, cast our coins, thought about loved ones we’d lost and, well, we blubbed.
The best show garden was full of graffiti, knives, razor wire and beer cans. There was a prison-like feel to it at first, hardly surprising as the concept for Save a Life, Drop the Knife was developed with offenders at HM Prison Everthorpe. They helped the designers build it at the prison, then some of the lower category offenders joined them at Tatton. One had been released some months earlier and took holiday from his job to help put the final touches to the garden. Another blub.
Just around the corner we came face to face with a polar bear in a wheelchair. The Accessible Arctic Garden, is a disability awareness project between Oaklands School and Chester Council’s Occupational Therapy, Visual Impairment and Learning Disabilities Departments. The schoolchildren visited a centre for adults with learning disabilities and learned about how some people were different. Third blub.
Of course, it wasn’t all blubbing, the coffee’s good, if you choose wisely, and we had a stonking rant with one of the designers at the football gardens where we were told on good authority that no-one from any of the four featured teams, Liverpool, the two Manchesters and Blackpool had shown the slightest interest in the floral representation of their clubs. One had even threatened legal action for misuse of a name…. Football was definitely not the winner here today.