RHS Flower Show Tatton Park

Planit doesn’t do show gardens – that was until our long-term, and highly valued client Bruntwood became the headline sponsor for the Royal Horticulture Society’s Flower Show at Tatton Park. When they asked us to design a feature garden that reflected their commitment to workplace well-being, how could we refuse?

Bruntwood knows that where you work influences how you work. A philosophy that started with the provision of managed work spaces and support facilities, that has extended to the public realm setting of their properties and, increasingly, the strategic creation of work environments. The family-run business has the drive and foresight to invest in the creation of sustainable work settings that enable business communities to flourish.

The Field Office feature garden explores ways of working in and benefitting from the great outdoors, using elements mostly found in a field or on a farm. Entering via a kissing gate the ‘reception’ leads to a series of rooms divided by native hedgerows, that offer greener more tranquil workspace than a typical office. From flexible and collaborative meeting rooms to the monolithic boardroom table, shaped by a craftsman from a locally-fallen Oak, this space is an expression of the ‘Bruntwood Way’.

The inclusion of species such as Field Maple, Oak, Hornbeam and Birch reflects Bruntwood’s conviction that native tree cover creates greener, more resilient and pleasant surroundings. The message behind the charitable initiative ‘Manchester City of Trees’, led by Chairman Mike Oglesby CBE, is that trees create healthier, stronger communities; act as an excellent carbon store; reconnect our children to the natural world; and provide essential habitats for wildlife.

Likewise, cattle feeders bulging with fresh produce form the kitchen ‘feeding stations’. These provide immediate ‘field to table’ fruit and vegetables with the associated nutritional and environmental benefits of ‘grow your own’ that Chief Executive, Chris Oglesby, embodies through his family’s organic farm. And the best way to arrive at the Field Office? By bike, or course – a mode of commuting advocated and practiced by Kate Vokes, Marketing and Human Resources Director, for its health and environmental returns.  A couple of Bruntwood’s MSP Central Campus pool bikes were brought to the site and spent the duration of the show nonchalantly parked beside the office.

In every sense the ‘Field Office’ is a microcosm of the company’s values, beliefs and ambitions. Light-hearted and beautifully realised, but most importantly, with an underlying appreciation of what makes you, me, businesses and the environment thrive.

Planit-IE designed the Field Office, which was implemented by Living Landscape Ltd. The garden incorporated locally-sourced timber furniture by Frankland Trees Services Ltd. The estate-style railings and kissing gate were manufactured by Fox’s Bench Ironwork and the trees were supplied by Specimen Trees.