Gardens: Capturing imaginations at RHS Chatsworth
There are less than four months to go until the start of the first-ever RHS Chatsworth Flower Show - and the line-up of garden displays and horticultural attractions is now firmly taking shape.
More than 42,000 tickets have already been sold for the event, which has the overarching theme of ‘design revolutionaries’.
Several features of the show celebrate and draw ideas from innovators in garden design such as Sir Joseph Paxton and Capability Brown, both of whom had a significant impact on the 1,000-acre Chatsworth Estate.
The need to adapt to global warming will be on the agenda in the Garden for a Changing Climate, by Andy Clayden, Dr Ross Cameron of Sheffield University and RHS scientist Eleanor Webster, which presents two different scenarios for a small suburban garden, now and in the ‘future’ - the year 2100.
For the first time at an RHS show there will be an unjudged freeform category, featuring eight entries including Pic ‘n’ Mix by Tony Heywood and Alison Condie, a ‘modern-day garden grotesque’ offering a whimsical and surreal portrait of Chatsworth.
Meanwhile the Brewin Dolphin Garden, by Jo Thompson, will combine modern industrial materials with naturalistic planting, incorporating a contemporary sculpture made from reinforced steel bars.
There are eight show gardens including Moveable Feast - a transportable garden aimed at ‘generation rent’ - by Worcestershire-based Tanya Batkin.
Joseph Paxton’s Great Conservatory at Chatsworth, which housed colourful flowers, exotic palms and aquatic plants before its demolition in 1920, provided the inspiration for the Floral Marquee, set to be a centrepiece of the June event. An exhibition in the marquee, a structure with a giant 14-metre dome, will tell the story of Paxton and his achievements.
Two conventional floral marquees will contain 76 displays, and a series of bridges will span the River Derwent, linking the two sides of the show. Designer Sam Ovens has also created a garden alongside show sponsor Wedgwood.
Nick Mattingley, RHS Director of Shows, said: “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.
“It has really captured the imagination of all involved and we are looking forward to a thoroughly inspiring show.”