RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, Derbyshire June 2017

by Emma Bumpus on June 19, 2017

Dramatic lush Derbyshire countryside and 555 square miles of exquisite national parkland take Careertraveller to Chatsworth House in celebration of the first RHS Chatsworth Flower Shower 2017.

History and horticulture explode with virtue and vision as we enter the heart of the Peak District, which south of Sheffield and north of Derby transports us to the market town of Bakewell, home to Bakewell Tart or pudding. Steeped in Anglo –Saxon history we enter a land of charismatic stone built houses and quintessential boutiques on the banks of the River Wye and are intoxicated by the diverse landscape within England’s breath-taking Peak District National Park.

Natural beauty and rural romance take hold with the majestic sight of Chatsworth House, whose 1,000 acre fertile green landscaped estate and 15 kilometres long dry stonewall gives a traditional introduction to the foundations of RHS Chatsworth.

Greeted by a plethora of pop up tents of artisan food, drink and gifts awaits a showground of lavish blooms and gardens that celebrate the work of Joseph Paxton, Head Gardener at Chatsworth in 1826. Underpinning the show stands a floral plaque in tribute to the plant hunter, landscape architect and glasshouse designer, whose famous works at Chatsworth include the Emperor Fountain whose record height is 300ft high!

Entertainment galore is a traditional and tropical mix of, gardens, flowers and Talk Theatres that start with sustainable winemaking in the Artisan Kitchen Theatre and Villa Maria, whose naturally organic methods bring nature to the vineyard. Stalls including The Cheshire Cheese Company offering award winning Black Bob extra mature cheddar to Bloomers of Bakewell hand crafted pastries are a culinary journey around the mouth watering Derbyshire Dales!

Crossing the free flowing River Derwent that streams harmoniously through the grounds of Chatsworth looms a taste of the exotic with careertraveller favourite Palladian Style-Bridge, whose vibrant floral artistry delivers a spectacular carnival of willowy snake succulents. Red heart anthurium lilies and fresh cut banana leaves intertwined with giant globe artichokes and sunflowers weave a tapestry of strikingly green foliage that illuminates the show’s ultimate theme ‘Design Revolutionaries’, celebrating 21st century garden innovation.

The bar is set high with 8 stunningly beautiful Show Gardens that beam with honest intelligence, style and expression, the type that derives from soil enriching learning, devotion and pure creativity. Water, grass and stone emerge as loyal and local contributors bursting with historical significance. The IQ Quarry Garden captures Chatsworth with featured gritstone stone sourced from the very quarry that first built Chatsworth House and subsequent wing.

Designed by Paul Hervey–Brookes with support from Horticulture students at Nottingham Trent University stands a plot of mineral extraction and self-seeding wild flowers created for native birds to increase biodiversity.

Accessorised with slate monoliths, recycled kerbing and pre-formed concrete stands Ann-Magreth Bohl’s ‘Passing Light’ sculptural installation, a monumental screen of quarried corten steel that brings the outside in with use of light, shadow and form. Inspired by the Institute of Quarrying’s 100th anniversary and nature’s relationship with hand crafted stone is an award winning ‘Best Show Garden’ award that cements Chatsworth’s place in the RHS calendar.

Moving onto pastures green shines the enchanting Experience Peak District & Derbyshire Garden whose contrastingly 2-part garden conveys Derbyshire countryside joy. A central mown path rising to 17th century statue and country house Italianate planting is beautifully surrounded by rough grass meadows that beam with native wild flowers and life-sized metallic cows. Inspired by local metal mining and surrounding Derbyshire Dales tributes Garden Designer Lee Bestall, with local sponsor C.W. Sellors Fine Jewellery, whose hand-carved insect jewellery is spotted in the trees!

RHS Chatsworth partner Wedgwood bring gardening alive with ‘Gold’ award winning designer Sam Ovens Wedgwood Garden, whose haven of travel inspired colours from Europe and Asia are the source of Wedgwood’s latest Wonderlust Tea and teaware collection. Mood enhancing blackcurrant blooms and pollinating magnet Penstemon ‘Raven’ with heart shaped Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans‘ present a romantic mix in an elegant cocoon of dry stone walls and canal- like trough of water, shimmering with Josiah Wedgwood excellence.

Freeform Installation Gardens bring added extra to the show for the first time with RHS, presenting 8 totally different thoughts and concepts behind gardening and a connectivity between art and people. Careertraveller favourite is The Inspire and Achieve Foundation’sThe Good Within’ garden, whose vandalised roofless building displays hope in the form of a centrally placed uplifting beacon. Designed by young people whom the charity support, with partners architects Guy Taylor Associates and plant centre Hortus Loci, survives a building that represents the journey of time and growth for young people.

From Bug Hotels to Outdoor Classroom of bush craft and den building we get lost in the verdant grounds of alfresco wildlife and take to the Floral Marquee for some show stopping plant and flower exhibits under canopy. Rows of sweet peas to peonies present award winning eye candy amongst sprays of multi-coloured dahlias and gladioli that reach for the sky, proving nothing is too much for RHS Chatsworth.

A final mooch around Plant Village is our chance to discover new blooms and species before entering the inflatable Great Conservatory, which 14 metres high represents Joseph Paxton’s original glasshouse or ‘Great Stove’ of tropical plants. Originally built between 1836-1840 at Chatsworth, we stand amongst the sultry palms and banana plants that inspired the legendary Design Revolutionary and take a piece of RHS home to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place (RHS).

Further information:

RHS Chatsworth Flower Show 2017
Chatsworth House
Visit Peak District & Derbyshire – Official Tourism Board

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