Tatton Flower Show

The Tatton Flower Show is set in the 2,000 acres of the Tatton Park estate in Cheshire. The Show contains some of the best in gardening and horticulture. The first show at Tatton was held in 1999.

Tatton Park estate includes rich parkland and fourteen splendid themed gardens of its own, rich in horticultural and design history. The original manor house dates back over 400 years and for the majority of that time the estate was owned by the Egerton family. It was taken over by the National Trust in 1958.

The gardens at Tatton form a major part of the estate, developed from the 18th century to the beginning of the 20th century, complimenting the grandeur of the neo-classical mansion. Spreading over 50 acres, the gardens include a wide variety of ornamental gardens enhanced by statuary and impressive garden buildings, such as the Conservatory, which reflect the changing face in garden design since the early 18th century.
As each generation of family members was influenced by the latest horticultural fashion or whim, they kept their current gardens and simply converted more of the parkland into garden by moving the garden boundary fence. Tatton now has a collection of 14 gardens that tell a rich, living family and horticultural history.

Kim Wilde and David Fountain won the “Best in show” and Gold awards at the 2001 Tatton Flower Show with their garden All About Alice.

Kim Wilde (sweet pea)

The sweet pea Kim Wilde was released in 2005 and exclusively sold in Wyevale Garden Centres. Its flowering time is from early Summer through to Autumn. It will grow up to 2 metres high. The sweet pea consists of delicately scented blooms of soft lavender with lightly frilled edges to the petals.

The sweet pea was named Kim Wilde in honour of Wyevale’s partnership with Kim. Upon its release, Kim commented: ‘I’m absolutely thrilled with the idea of having a plant named after me. I take this as a great compliment to my hard work in gardening over the last few years. The Kim Wilde Sweet Pea is a stunning flower and I now have it growing in my own garden.’


When Kim started studying horticulture at Capel Manor, she didn’t think it would lead to a professional career, but it did. And during this second career, she designed dozens of gardens. She appeared in the TV programmes Better Gardens and Garden Invaders, designing gardens for many lucky families, and also participated in several flower shows throughout the United Kingdom.

Some of the gardens attracted media attention. You can find more information in this Encyclopedia about the following gardens:

Garden Invaders

Garden Invaders is an exciting horticultural game show where a family must answer quiz questions correctly to earn each step of a garden makeover – against the clock. The more questions they get right, the more plants they earn for their new garden makeover.
Meanwhile, the Invaders team, made up of some of your favourite TV gardeners, are in a race against time with only 12 hours to complete the makeover. The pressure is on the family to try to win as many items as possible for their garden. Of course, the more items they win, the more dramatic the transformation!

The series were broadcast for the first time on BBC Television (UK) in 2001. During the first two seasons, Kim was one of the resident garden designers alongside Nicky Mager. During the first season she did a lot of the hard work herself, but the show changed slightly in the second season, which made the work easier for the garden designers as the Garden Invaders working team did most of the hard work then.
After two seasons, Kim quit Garden Invaders.

Kim about ‘Garden Invaders’

I loved the opportunity to transform people’s gardens. The worse the gardens looked, the more potential I thought they had. People used their gardens as a glorified skip – there were piles of rubble to get rid of.
It was very physically challenging. I’ve got a bad back now. That might be down to having had two kids, but pushing barrowloads of rubble probably doesn’t help! (1)

The gardens were in a particularly bad state, so we had to work incredibly hard. I was designing, but I had to pitch in with the hard labour, which was back-breaking. I wish I’d taken it a bit easier because I’d only given birth to my daughter, Rose, five months earlier and my body hadn’t recovered. (2)

(1) How does her garden grow?, The TV mag (UK), 28 March 2001
(2) Wilde about Gardens, What’s on (UK), 29 April 2001

Cumbrian Fellside Garden

Created by Kim Wilde and Richard Lucas for the Chelsea Flower Show 2005, the Cumbrian Fellside Garden was one of ten gardens competing in the Courtyard Gardens category. They won a gold medal and ‘best in show’ for this category, as well as the BBC RHS People’s Award for it. The garden was exhibited for one week, between May 23 and May 28, 2005.

The garden was carved from a gently sloping plot in the Lake District. A constant trickle of water was guided gently through the garden by a rill, providing a simple and relaxing feature. The rear of the garden was mostly wild. Wild flowers grow in the long grass and in crevices within the dry stone walls. The front of the garden was romantically planted with Aquilegia, Geranium, Linaria and Astrantia. Natural Cumbrian slates were put to use, both as flagstones and to retain the wildflower bank while a narrow pathway leads out of the garden over a stile and on to the fell side.
A living willow arbour provided a place to rest among the flowers. A contemporary slate sculpture, opposite, creates a focal point. Cumbrian slate sphere provided a balance, and were echoed by the planting of clipped box balls.
The garden was dominated by a hawthorn three, whilst a native elder provided structure, height and maturity. All materials used in the garden such as slate, timber and willow were produced from sustainable sources, or were reclaimed materials.

Elsewhere on this website you can find a digital representation of the Cumbrian Fellside Garden.

Chelsea Flower Show

Continuing a tradition started with the RHS’s Great Spring Show of 1862, the Chelsea Flower Show reflects the modern face of British gardening. From a near standing start in the years just after the war, Chelsea has grown to reflect and define trends for gardeners all over the world. The heart of the show remains in the displays of show gardens, floral arrangements and new horticultural tools and techniques.
In 2001, the BBC (UK) broadcast several hours of programs dedicated to the 88th Chelsea Flower Show. One of the presenters for the shows was Kim Wilde. It was her first year ever visiting the show.
In 2005, she participated in the Flower Show for the first time, together with Richard Lucas she designed and created the Cumbrian Fellside Garden.

Kim about the Chelsea Flower Show

I’ve always been a bit put off by the crowds, so I’ve tended to go to smaller shows. But this is a wonderful opportunity to get a really good look before the public. I hope, as a newcomer, I’ll be able to get across that excitement. (1)

Interview source

(1) It’s show time, Radio Times (UK), 19 May 2001

Bright Ideas

‘Bright Ideas’ is a rose bred by Colin Horner, an amateur rose breeder from Stansted Mountfitchet in Essex, who has been breeding world class roses for over thirty years. It was introduced in 2003 for the East of England Development Agency. It was officially presented on 10 July 2003 at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show by Kim Wilde.
It is a climbing rose with clusters of cerise and cream striped blooms and glossy foliage.

Better homes and gardens

18 November 2016
Seven Network (Australia)

Kim Wilde is taken away from the Enmore Theatre in Sydney to the Royal Botanical Gardens. She smells the roses and admires the trees.

Berliner Pflanze

18 August 2014
IGA Berlin YouTube channel (Germany)

Interview with Kim in Berlin about plants, gardening and her children.

Channel 4 news

29 April 2006
Channel 4 (UK)

In a special report entitled ‘Britain Without Water’ Alex Thomson presents a documentary about Britain’s water shortage crisis in the summer of 2006. Kim Wilde is asked to explain what gardeners can do in their garden to save water. Kim shows the kind of plants viewers should be buying; drought resistant varieties which don’t need the hose.


24 March 2006

Kim appears in this edition of GMTV twice. Both times she is interviewed live in her garden, which on the west side has undergone some changes: she has recently built a patio area there. The buxus has suffered from frost and her roses have been cut back. Kim briefly promotes her new book, ‘The first-time gardener’ and also advises people in the south of the UK to use mulch, because in the summer there will be restrictions on using water.

This morning

3 May 2002

After putting the finishing touches to the garden, Kim Wilde officially opens the This Morning Garden at Coin Street for London’s South Bank.