Show gardens at flower shows are always very subjective, the judges are looking for one thing, the gardening press another, and very often the public are just looking for something they can recreate in their own garden. All too often they don't agree on which shoul d be the winner. At Tatton Chris Beardshaw's garden, 'Cheshire's Year of Gardens 08', pleased all three and it's easy to see why it was awarded the Best in Show title. Recreating a classic english country house garden with bold herbaceous borders on both sides was a sure fire winner. I loved the predominantly pastel planting and highlights of gold added by the Catalpa at the end. I'm told there are subtle elements from at least 12 Cheshire gardens incorporated into the design, including the famous double borders at Arley Hall. If you're visiting the show and you know your Cheshire gardens see if you can spot them. According to my colleague Louise I have 'Boy tastes'when it comes to gardens and some of the other designs i liked typified this. The 'East Meets West' garden (Gold) was created by combining the traditional elements of a relaxing Japanese Zen garden with a contemporary seating area and blocky water feature. Angular water features were in evidence in several other gardens i liked, including the 'Adlington Relax and Reflect Garden'(Silver-Gilt), with white walls, red containers and interesting grassy planing scheme and 'Always There' (Silver-Gilt) a garden created to promote the work of the Samaritans. This was just my cup of tea, with green the predominant colour and plants chosen to complement perfectly the stonework and rusted steel used within the design. The judges awarded just two gold medals and four silver gilt at Tatton this year and I'd completely agree with their decision. A number of gardens featured heavy stonework waterfalls including 'Go with the Flow' (Silver), My Little Piece of the Lakes (Bronze) and Natural Distinction (Silver-gilt) and I think all of them could have done with a bit more planting to soften the hard landscaping. Elsewhere 'Real Life by Brett' (Silver-gilt) brought the traditional northern back garden into the 21st century and was definitely drawing interest from the crowds. 'Hot Dry Days' (Bronze) took a more Mediterranean approach and showed how we can adapt our gardens to the changing climate. Who knows, if the weather continues to be as hot and sunny here as it has been this week maybe bananas will soon catch on in Manchester?