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RHS Chatsworth Flower Show

RHS Chatsworth Flower Show
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Brian Spencer looks back on 2018 when describing what will be on offer in 2019

Unlike Show Gardens at Chelsea, those at Chatsworth are far more practical, giving ideas for what can be created in the average domestic plot.

Now in its third year at Chatsworth, the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) newest Show, RHS Chatsworth Flower Show partnered by Wedgwood Pottery will return to the magnificent 1,000acre Chatsworth Estate.  Following the popularity of 2018 themes, the show will be bursting with exciting new content including a mass planting of thousands of Dahlia (Dalina Maxi) ‘Salinas’; an impressive Power of Trees feature and a spectacular floral immersion experience, to wow visitors and thrill the senses.

The main theme of this year’s show celebrates the five senses of horticulture with the taste and smell of edible herbs, plants and flowers, the touch of a variety of natural textures, the sight of high summer colours and the sound of bees, grasses and tree listening.

Inspired by the resounding success of last year’s Cosmos display when banks of that delicately colourful flower complimented the warm hues of the freshly cleaned stone of Chatsworth’s venerable walls, a mass planting of thousands of dahlias will create a striking vision of lilac and white.  Designed to echo the iconic parterres of Chatsworth House, visitors will be able to walk amongst the blooms to fully enjoy the beauty of this vibrant summer flower.

Well placed alongside Chatsworth’s magnificent woodlands, the important role trees play within our world will be explored in the new Power of Trees feature, showcasing some of the great ways trees enhance our lives.  Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, RSPB and Forestry Commission will showcase the vital and extensive role that trees have in our lives.  Visitors will be encouraged to plant them at home in a bid to help battle climate change.  There’ll be a tree nursery, storytelling, woodland crafts, carving, arborist talks and even tree listening in this exciting new zone.  A virtual reality experience created by 3D expert and VR designer, Simon Mabey will engage visitors further in tree display as they experience the wonder of wildlife from the trunk to the treetop.

Unlike show gardens at Chelsea, often far more suitable for the entrance to a top company’s head office foyer, those at Chatsworth are far more practical, giving ideas for what can be created in the average domestic plot.  One of the highlights will include a show garden inspired by one of the RHS founders, John Wedgwood in ‘The Wedgwood Garden’ by horticulturalist and RHS Ambassador Jamie Butterworth.  This colourful garden celebrates the power of horticulture and plants to connect people and unite communities.

A special feature ‘The Brewin Dolphin Artists’ Garden’ will showcase the skills of a variety of artists from across the UK, including textile art, Japanese porcelain and basket weaving.  Many of the themed gardens should give ideas for someone wanting to transform a domestic plot into a feature that will give pleasure and pride to its maker for years to come.  If last year is anything to go by, there will be no over the top designs, such as the upside-down monstrosity one year, or concrete blocks rather than flowers.  

Local BBC listeners can see their station’s winning designs, the results of a competition across radio waves of the east Midlands. Judged by award winning designer Lee Bestall, the region is represented by three winners:  BBC Radio Derby’s Haydon Vernon’s – ‘The Brewery Garden’ uses water as the theme which helped make Burton Upon Trent a prosperous brewing town.  BBC Radio Sheffield’s Emily Barnes’ – ‘Elements of Sheffield’ celebrates the links the city has with the nearby Peak District.  BBC Radio Stoke’s Colin and Mary Bielby’s – ‘An Imagined Miner’s Garden’ commemorates the Minnie Pit disaster on 12 January 1918 when 155 men and boys were killed – 2019 marks the 100 years since the last body was taken out of the mine in 1919.  

Experts will be speaking in the Potting Bench and Dig theatres at advertised times, alongside commercial growers on individual stands. Not to be missed will be the Floral Marquee bursting with the best on offer from 80 growers and nurseries throughout Britain; included alongside these will be RHS Chatsworth’s Master Grower Pennard Plants.  There’s shopping galore and great community and schools competitions; there will be something for everyone at the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show from 5-9 June. 

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