NSO: Watch this Space

Welcome to the NSO: Watch this Space blog where you can get information and updates on the NSO entry to the RHS Flower Show at Tatton Garden 2013.

The Galaxy Garden: Watch This Space

NSO: Watch this Space - Photographs
December 2013

Have a look at some photographs of the garden on Flickr

Some photos of our galaxy garden.

NSO: Watch this Space - Flyer
November 2013

For those of you who have seen pictures of the garden and are wondering what all those amazing plants are, here is a copy of the flyer we distributed at the event. just click on the image below to see the full size version.

Garden Information, page 1
Our galaxy garden leaflet
Garden Information, page 2
The plant list used in our garden.

A few words from our visitors
13 August 2013

During the 4 days of the RHS Flower Show Tatton we had a comments book at the exit of the garden. Many people wrote such kind words, here is just a selection;

Visitor Comments
Some of the comments in our book

...and for those of us who don't speak Portuguese, here are the translations (thanks to Ricardo for these);

  • Congratulations on the harmony
  • Congratulations on the design
  • Congratulations on the success
  • and "Congratulations on your spiral of success"

Thank you

Thank you's
8 August 2013

We would like to say thank you to the following people;

Alan, Alice, Alison, Amandine, Andreea, Andrea ,Andrezj, Andy, Ann, Anna, Caroline, Caz, Chris D, Chris L, Clive, David, Debbie, Elizabeth Ba, Elizabeth Bo, Gill, Helen T, Helen J, Ian, Jan, Jenny, John B, John T, Judy, Karin, Kel, Majorie, Marion, Mary, Mathew, Natasha, Neil, Nicola, Pauline, Penny, Rhoda, Rich, Rob, Roger, Rosamund, Stacey, Steve, Sue, Tom, Trish, Val and Yvonne

and the following companies;

Beers, Dovecoat Nurseries, Judy Greaves, Green-tech, Angie Houghton, IOP, Landstruction, LJMU, Playtop, RHS and Station Road Nurseries.

We couldn't have done it without you all!

BBC Radio Lancashire
August 2013

Howard and Andy were featured live on BBC Radio Lancashire with John Gillmore.




The winning team
The winning team
Credit: Chester Chronicle

Chester Chronicle
Thursday 1st August 2013

An interview with the Chester Chronicle.








Visitors enjoying the garden
Visitors enjoying the garden
Credit: Granada Reports

Granada Reports
Thursday 25th July 2013

Mike Bode and Howard Miller appeared on Granada Reports last night (along with Andy Newsam if you can spot him in the background).





Wednesday 24th July 2013

We are delighted to say that the Garden has been awarded a Gold Medal by the RHS as well as Most Creative Galaxy Garden!

Gold Medal
The Certificate
Credit: Landstruction


Last adjustments
Tuesday 23rd July 2013

Last minute work before judging and press day Wednesday...

Final touches before the assessors come round Telescope on its completed plinth Proud designers - Dori and Howard Miller
Final touches before the assessors come round
Credit: Mike Bode
Telescope on its completed plinth
Credit: Mike Bode
Proud designers - Dori and Howard Miller
Credit: Mike Bode
Tillandsias ('Air Plants') form the gas cloud heading for the central black hole The sign is in place ready for the press and visitors BBC film the garden
Tillandsias ('Air Plants') form the gas cloud heading for the central black hole
Credit: Mike Bode
The sign is in place ready for the press and visitors
Credit: Mike Bode
BBC film the garden
Credit: Mike Bode


First Plantings
Wednesday 17th July 2013

The structure of the garden is largely complete, so the first plantings are now going in

The structure starts to emerge Sighting the telescope Preparing the plants
The structure starts to emerge
Credit: Mike Bode
Sighting the telescope
Credit: Mike Bode
Preparing the plants - lots of TLC needed in this weather!
Credit: Mike Bode
Some of the plants now on site Preparing the Mobius strip This is where the central super-massive black hole will lurk
Some of the plants now on site
Credit: Mike Bode
Preparing the Mobius strip. Around 2000 clips hold the netting in place - each one lovingly installed by hand
Credit: Mike Bode
Caution! This is where the central super-massive black hole will lurk!
Credit: Mike Bode


The Digging Begins
Friday 12th July 2013

Digging on site has begun, and you can clearly see the Spiral Arms start to develop!

The digging starts Spirals begin Boxing off
The Digging Begins
Credit: John Barrow



Sneaky Peak
Friday 31st May 2013

We thought you may like to take a look at how well the flowers are growing...

Growing Plants Growing Plants Growing Plants
Growing the plants
Credit: Miller

Dori plus the RHS Tatton show manager and the model at the proposed site of the garden near the Egerton Clump. Tom Miller is in the distance exploring potential placement of the telescope. Also a close-up of he model of the garden on-site, ultimately to be replaced by the real thing!

First looks at the site
Credit: Barrow


New Sponsors
Wednesday 22nd May 2013

We are very pleased to welcome aboard the project these valuable sponsors:

  • Playtop Safer Surfacing will install the springy rubber crumb path, which will give visitors the feeling of ‘walking on air’.
  • Beers will provide our timber requirements.

Added to this, Greentech will sell us horticultural windbreak to make our Mobius strip at half price.
Many thanks to these suppliers whose generosity in difficult economic times will help us realise the ambitious project that is NSO : Watch This Space.



Growing Plants
Growing the plants
Credit: Miller

Planting Update from Dori
Tuesday 23rd April 2013

"I've spent much of the last week potting on and moving plants, rounding them up into one polytunnel. All the plants that Philippa (from Dovecote Nurseries) already had, have been selected, and there are others to come, either from seed or plugs. They're looking good, and should continue to thrive, so long as we can keep them safe from rabbits, aphids, slugs etc. As for me, I'm losing weight in the polytunnel, as it's like a sauna as soon as the sun comes out."







NSO: Watch this Space - An Introduction
Monday 15th April 2013

The NSO is proud to announce that this year we will be exhibiting a garden at RHS Tatton Show. Each Year the RHS has several competitive categories, and this year’s theme is Galaxy. Our garden is called ‘Watch this Space’ and it is one of 5 Galaxy gardens, in the ‘Inspire’ section of the showground.

You can visit NSO: Watch this Space from Thursday 25th to Sunday 28th July 2013

Our designers are Dori Miller and her son Howard Miller, and we asked Dori how this all came about…

“Last summer, my son Howard and I designed our 2nd Gold award-winning Show Garden for RHS Tatton. Our double success was the result of a great team which includes our contractor, David Binks (Landstruction), and the sculptor Judy Greaves.

Garden from 2012 RHS Flower Show
Award Winning Garden from 2012 RHS Flower Show
Credit: Miller/Landstruction/Greaves/Oxfam

There was no obvious sponsor in view for a garden in 2013, so our only chance of doing a garden was to enter a competitive category, which has RHS funding. The theme for the competitive category in 2013 turned out to be ‘Galaxy’.

We had no good ideas for the theme (having rejected chocolate bars), but I mentioned it to a friend and supporter of our previous Tatton gardens, Professor Mike Bode of the LJMU Astrophysics Research Institute. Unsurprisingly, he had an excellent idea, and he was eager to pursue it.

The idea was to make the garden an artistic interpretation of a rare and important forthcoming event in our own Galaxy. A huge gas and dust cloud is approaching the super-massive black hole at the centre of the Galaxy, and when it reaches the centre during summer 2013, it will be torn asunder.

The result was an application for ‘NSO: Watch this Space’, which was one of five designs selected by the RHS panel from 37 entries.

Howard, David, Judy and I are pleased to be working with Mike and NSO; we appreciate their support and look forward to producing another exhibit that extends the possibilities of a show garden, and allows NSO to reach a new and wider audience.”

Over the coming months we will be keeping track of how the garden is progressing, Dori has promised to send us updates from Dovecote Nurseries where most of our planting will come from and David from Landstruction will be sending daily updates during the build week.

Astronomy staff and students will be available at the show, July 25 to 28th, with talks and general astronomy information for the garden enthusiasts and Dori and her team will be on hand to explain the gardening elements to the scientists so we hope many different visitors come and see our garden.