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Top things to see and do at RHS Chatsworth Flower Show 2017

PUBLISHED: 00:00 02 June 2017 | UPDATED: 14:28 15 June 2017

Lee Bestall at Chelsea Flower Show Photo Mickey Lee

Lee Bestall at Chelsea Flower Show Photo Mickey Lee

as submitted

A spectacular line-up has been announced for the first-ever RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, from 7th-11th June 2017

Lee Bestall's design for the Marketing Peak District and Derbyshire show garden at RHS Chatsworth Flower ShowLee Bestall's design for the Marketing Peak District and Derbyshire show garden at RHS Chatsworth Flower Show

Show Gardens

Sponsored by Wedgwood, the theme of the show is ‘Design Revolutionaries’, celebrating creative people who have changed the way we think about gardens and garden design. Amongst the show-stopping show gardens, highlights will include Moveable Feast by Tanya Batkin, a mobile garden designed for a couple living the letting lifestyle. The IQ Quarry Garden, by Paul Hervey-Brookes, is a garden inspired by the life-cycle of a quarry, drawing attention to the habitat created by quarry sites. Cruse Bereavement Care: A time for everything, by Neil Sutcliffe, will reflect his personal experience of terminal illness, in a garden that uses materials to convey that life never really slows. Experience Peak District and Derbyshire Garden is a garden by Lee Bestall which is inspired by, and will promote, the historic houses and gardens of the area. The RHS Garden for a Changing Climate by Andy Clayden, Dr Ross Cameron of Sheffield University and RHS Scientist Eleanor Webster presents a small suburban garden ‘now’ and in the ‘future’ - providing plenty of food for thought.

FreeForm Gardens

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016

This entirely new - and un-judged - category of gardens has been introduced for RHS Chatsworth, encouraging freedom of expression and celebrating the connection between plants, sculpture, art and people. FreeForm Gardens include Pic ‘n’ Mix by Tony Heywood and Alison Condie who will create a dark and surreal garden portrait of Chatsworth, where the fake, real and synthetic collide in a modern-day garden grotesque. The Brewin Dolphin Garden, by leading designer Jo Thompson, is a celebration of the landscape of the 1000-acre Chatsworth Estate and the elegance and beauty of Chatsworth House. The student-led project Path of Least Resistance by Francesca Tomany and Zuzanna Golczyk will highlight the strength and versatility of plants found on post-industrial urban wastelands, with four large sculptures made of reclaimed metal. Behind the Scenes by Barbara Negretti and Elisa Tomat, focuses on the important contribution of a gardener’s manual work in every successful garden and will include two giant hands made of hay, planting an oak tree.

Bridges of Wonder

With the River Derwent running through the centre of the show ground, a series of bridges will link both sides of RHS Chatsworth Flower 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 they will be taken on a floral journey by local celebrity florist Jonathan Moseley - providing the perfect photo opportunity.

Sketch of the Palladian bridge design at the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show Image: RHSSketch of the Palladian bridge design at the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show Image: RHS

Great Conservatory

The Floral Marquee takes inspiration from Joseph Paxton’s Great Conservatory at Chatsworth, which housed vibrant and exotic flowers, palms and plants. The conservatory was the largest glass building in England when it was constructed in 1840 and was demolished in 1920. Using modern inflatable technology, a giant 14-metre high dome will form the centrepiece of the floral marquee, taking inspiration from the shape of this famous glass house. At its centre will be an impressive art installation by Darryl Moore and Adolfo Harrison of CityScapes. Also in the Great Conservatory, an exhibit will tell the story of Paxton and his achievements, including the story of the dwarf banana (Musa ‘Dwarf Cavendish’) from which most commercially grown bananas are derived. Two floral marquees on either side of the Great Conservatory will house 76 leading nurseries and growers, and will display beautiful cut flowers and edibles - a feast for the eyes.

Tissington well dressers show how it's done Photo: Marketing Peak District & DerbyshireTissington well dressers show how it's done Photo: Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire

Community Gardening

The show will have a strong community aspect, and alongside a schools competition - where you will find Bug Hotels which are up for public vote using a token system - there will be a Perfect for Pollinator container competition inviting community groups to create butterfly and bee-friendly plant containers. With a distinct Derbyshire theme, a brand-new category for RHS Chatsworth will be a Well Dressing competition, providing a new platform for this famed and well-loved local custom, which will be judged by public vote.


RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016

The packed entertainment programme offers something for everyone. In the Artisan Kitchen Theatre there will be demonstrations from food historians, local chefs, published cooks and food bloggers including culinary historian Ivan Day, chocolatier Shelly Preston, and award-winning baker Emmanuel Hadjiandreou.

In celebration of local rural crafts, there will be a range of demonstrations with ‘have-a-go’ elements such as dry-stone walling, willow weaving, basket making and lathe turning.

Fantastic shopping opportunities will be provided by some of the finest independent companies and specialist nurseries, who will be offering a wide-range of design-led products and quality plants. And if all of that leaves you feeling in need of a sit down, then you can relax and plan your next move at the Piano Stage, where musicians will play throughout the day.

For more information and tickets visit

Send us your pictures of RHS Chatsworth by tweeting us @DerbyshireLife #RHSChatsworth


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