The first ever RHS Chatsworth Flower Show promises to be a real show stopper, held in the grounds of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire on 7th – 11th June 2017.
The overarching theme of the show is ‘Design Revolutionaries’. Several show features celebrate and draw inspiration from great innovators in garden design such as Sir Joseph Paxton (designer of the gardens at Buxton’s Pavilion Gardens) and Lancelot ‘Capability Brown’, both of whom had a significant impact on the magnificent 1000-acre Chatsworth Estate.
Video credit: RHS Chatsworth Flower Show
The RHS Garden for a Changing Climate by Andy Clayden, Dr Ross Cameron of Sheffield University and RHS Scientist Eleanor Webster, presents two different scenarios for a small suburban garden, ‘now’ and the ‘future’ – 2100 – when our climate will become increasingly warmer and drier in summer, but also more turbulent with intense, sometimes unpredictable heavy showers. Walking between these two scenarios the visitor will learn about the RHS report Gardening in a Changing Climate, to be published in April, and the science that underpins the selection of plants that are able to cope with this new environment.
For the first time ever at an RHS Show, there will be an innovative new, unjudged FreeForm category, which encourages freedom of expression and celebrates the connection between plants, sculpture, art and people. There are eight entries in this category. Highlights include ‘Pic ‘n’ Mix’ by Tony Heywood and Alison Condie who will create a whimsically dark and surreal garden portrait of Chatsworth, moving away from the traditional bucolic landscape ideal to create a vision where the fake, real and synthetic collide – a modern-day garden grotesque.
The Floral Marquee takes inspiration from Joseph Paxton’s Great Conservatory at Chatsworth, which housed brilliantly coloured flowers, exotic palms and aquatic plants. The conservatory, the largest glass building in England when it was constructed in 1840, was demolished in 1920. Using innovative technology, a giant 14-metre high dome will form the centrepiece of the floral marquee, taking inspiration from the shape of this long-lost glass house.
An exhibition will tell the story of Paxton and his achievements, including the story of the dwarf banana (Musa cavendishii) which he first described and from which most commercially grown bananas derive.
Two conventional floral marquees, each 2,400m2, will form wings on either side of the conservatory and contain 76 displays by leading nurseries and growers, and include three special areas of interest – Connoisseur (selling curious, collectible and intriguing plants), Cut Flower Garden and Edibles – as well as the traditional stand layout.**
With the River Derwent running through the centre of the showground, a series of bridges will link both sides of the show. A bridge designed by museum and exhibition designer Mathew Saxon will take the form of an historic Palladian bridge. As visitors enter the bridge to pass into the Great Conservatory, they will be taken on a floral journey by local celebrity florist Jonathan Moseley.
Nick Mattingley, RHS Director of Shows, says: “We have been focusing on creating an exciting, life-enhancing, vibrant show that has different elements from any other and we have been delighted by the amazing response we have had from everyone across the board from designers to exhibitors. It has really captured the imagination of all involved and we are looking forward to a thoroughly inspiring show.
“To have partnered with Wedgwood is the perfect fit. The historical links could not be closer and we look forward to a long and successful partnership.”
The show has been immensely popular and tickets for Wednesday, Friday and Saturday have sold out in advance. RHS advise purchasing your tickets beforehand for Thursday and Sunday to avoid disappointment on the day.
Tickets to RHS Chatsworth Flower Show can be bought online at rhs.org.uk/flowershows.