Gardening: Taking design back home

How the Renishaw Italian Garden will look
How the Renishaw Italian Garden will look

In June, garden designer Lee Bestall will be bringing his RHS Chatsworth flower show exhibit to be installed in the grounds at Renishaw Hall.

Lee, whose business is based in the Stables Courtyard at Renishaw, was chosen to design the ‘Experience Peak District and Derbyshire Garden’ for the Chatsworth show.

Lee Bestall at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Lee Bestall at the Chelsea Flower Show.

His work will be one of a series of show gardens that will be visited by tens of thousands of visitors to the new RHS extravaganza, taking place in the grounds of Chatsworth for the first time from June 7 to 11. Following the event, Lee will be working with the gardening team at Renishaw to recreate the exhibit as a feature in the Italianate gardens there.

“The show garden is inspired by the great houses and gardens of Derbyshire, one of which is Renishaw Hall,” he said.

“I was particularly motivated by the various features at Renishaw such as the ha-ha, the historic parkland view, the tightly mown lawns which run through the long grass areas, as well as the perfectly manicured Italianate borders which are neatly bordered with metal edging.”

The hall’s formal garden was laid out in 1895 by Sir George Sitwell in the classical Italianate style.

I was particularly motivated by the various features at Renishaw

Lee Bestall

The property is almost 400 years old and has been lived in by the Sitwell family since its construction. Alexandra Sitwell and her family live in the house today.

Alexandra said: “I am thrilled to be able to provide a space in the gardens for this new feature and to be offering something more for visitors to enjoy.

“It will be a delight to see a show garden which featured at RHS Chatsworth and was inspired by the grounds of Renishaw, to be given a home here in the gardens - allowing the design and planting schemes by Lee the chance to thrive.”

Hall tours take place on Fridays throughout the season and all year for private groups - advance booking required.

Chatsworth House

Chatsworth House

The new show garden space at Renishaw will be accessible from late June, with tours of the space, led by Lee, happening in September.

Entry to the gardens will be 25 per cent cheaper for visitors during the RHS week, if proof is shown of a trip to the Chatsworth event.

Around 80,000 visitors are expected to the flower show, which will have the theme of ‘design revolutionaries’. Three temporary bridges will be built across the River Derwent and there will be a replica of Joseph Paxton’s Great Conservatory.

n Visit for details.