Advice & Guides

RHS Urban Show 2024

RHS Urban Show 2024

The first RHS Urban Show, which we were delighted be a part of, was held at Mayfield, a former railway depot opposite the Manchester Piccadilly station. The show ran from Thursday 18th- Sunday 21st April with the team heading up on the 15th April to set up.

The team were on hand speaking with visitors to the show about Beth's ethos- right plant, right place and about what we do here at the Gardens. We also unveiled our new Beth Chatto Urban Collections and spoke about our upcoming symposium-Beneath the Surface.


RHS Urban Show 2024

Find out about our new Urban Collections


RHS Urban Show 2024

Visitors loved potting their own free seedlings to take 

home and grow on

RHS Urban Show 2024

Information boards explaining our projects and collaborations

RHS Urban Show 2024

Our sales stand selling books, bags and plant collections

RHS Urban Show 2024

Managing Director Jo, Apprentice Hollie and Beth's Great Grandson Ned

Biodiverse containers

As not everyone has a garden, with 19% of households in England living in rented accommodation and many people’s gardens comprising of a concrete patio, yard or balcony, the space explored the opportunity to create a moveable container garden.

The show garden was divided into two areas- one for sun and one for shade. The planting, including a small tree, shrubs, herbaceous perennials and succulents, were all grown in pots of varying materials and sizes.  As well as looking great, all the plants used are hardy and will live for multiple years. They are low maintenance and offer habitat and food for a range of wildlife.

Habitat for wildlife was also incorporated into the small space in the form of metal gabions filled with reclaimed building waste, logs and bamboo canes, and a beautiful bee post and container from John Little at the Grass Roof Company.

Shade planting

RHS Urban Show 2024

Beth's old nursery sign was added to the display

RHS Urban Show 2024

Shade planting included ferns and hostas

RHS Urban Show 2024

A mix of shade-loving herbaceous perennials growing in terracotta pots

RHS Urban Show 2024

Empty terracotta pots were used for decoration

RHS Urban Show 2024

Pots in different sizes and materials were used

Sun planting

RHS Urban Show 2024

Sun-loving plants including treasures from Beth's extensive

succulent collection

RHS Urban Show 2024

The beautiful bee post from Grass Roof Company

RHS Urban Show 2024

Echeveria growing in terraccotta pans

RHS Urban Show 2024

Gabions were used as staging for the sun-loving pots

and to introduce wildlife habitat

RHS Urban Show 2024

An un-named echeveria from Beth's collection

RHS Urban Show 2024

Window boxes containing herbs

The ethos of the design was, no matter how small the space, or ‘inhospitable’ – be adventurous with container planting and think about what each of us can do to maximise the opportunity for life in any outdoor space that we have access to.

'I loved the venue with its exposed brick walls, metal work and huge iron struts. It was nice to see people of all ages, both novice and more experienced gardeners at our Beth Chatto stand. So many of the visitors I spoke with said it felt much more relateable to their gardens compared with the larger shows.'

-Head gardener Åsa

Words from the RHS-

'The Godmother of Right Plant, Right Place, Beth Chatto was also represented at the show in the Beth Chatto Gardens Biodiverse Containers content cube. Here, that same ethos was brought to an outside urban garden, possibly rented or on a balcony, where containers provide an opportunity to welcome wildlife.
Take home: Think place first  what plants should I get for this space, not where can I put this plant?'

Plant list

Acer palmatum 'Sango Kaku' Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’
Bergenia ‘Abendglocken’Hosta Sp. 
BetulaLamium maculatum ‘White Nancy’
Carex petreiLamprocapnos spectabilis ‘Valentine’
Dryopteris erythrosoraOmphalodes cappadocica ‘Cherry Ingram’
Fatsia japonica ‘Spider’s Web'Phlox stolonifera ‘Blue Ridge’
Geranium macrorrhizumPolemonium ‘Lambrook Mauve’
Geranium phaeum ‘Misty Samobor’                                      Tellima grandiflora
Hakonechloa 'All Gold'Vinca minor ‘Bowles’s Variety’
Heuchera ‘Forever Purple’Viola sororia ‘Freckles’

Aeonium 'Schwarzkopf'Pistacia
Armeria maritimaRhodanthemum hosmariense
Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’Stipa tenuissima
Echeveria agavoides 'Gilva'Thymus vulgaris
Echeveria 'Moana Loa'Veronica umbrosa ‘Georgia Blue’
Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ 
Hylotelephium ‘Herbstfreude’ 
Haworthia 'Big Band' 


Photography by Julie Skelton


RHS Urban Show 2024

RHS Urban Show 2024


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