Wednesday, 7 June 2017

In the Pink at RHS Chatsworth

When it comes to gardening pedigree, Chatsworth has it all. William Kent, Joseph Paxton and Capability Brown had a hand in its creation; it is, without question, a breathtaking setting for the newest RHS Show.
The Agriframes Garden
With two floral marquees, a conservatory, show gardens, a plant village and a floral installation by Jonathan Moseley on one of the three bridges, flowers take centre stage. Sam Ovens' Wedgwood Garden is a riot of colour set against purple beech hedging. 
But if there is a colour trend, it has to be pink. 
Paeonia lactiflora 'Bowl of Love'
Deutzia hybrida 'Tourbillon Rouge'
(It looks pink to me!)
Dahlia MT New Pink Single
Pink on Tanya Batkin's Moveable Feast Garden
Even Mary Berry sports pink (accessorised with wellies).
Far be it from me to suggest that disused quarries are a trend, but since James Basson won best show garden at Chelsea with his abandoned quarry and Paul Hervey-Brookes has won best show garden for the IQ Quarry Garden at Chatsworth, we might be forgiven for thinking that old quarries are quite the thing for 2017.
Pink in The IQ Quarry Garden
Chatsworth's long horticultural history provides a strong foundation on which the RHS can build; and build it has. Bees in the twenty-first century, a bug hotel competition for schoolchildren, the RHS Garden for a Changing Climate and Tanya Batkin’s moveable garden for Generation Rent all point very firmly to the future. 
Bug hotels in front of Chatsworth House
Past and future collide with memorable force in The Good Within Garden. The juxtaposition of this installation against the facade of Chatsworth House is unforgettable. The idea behind the garden is that we should look beyond exteriors. Young people, many of whom face difficulties as a result of their start in life, helped in its creation, including painting portraits of Joseph Paxton. Paxton came from humble beginnings and went on to design the Crystal Palace. It is difficult to imagine a more perfect setting to communicate this installation's powerful and optimistic message.
Similarly the placing of Behind the Scenes, which pays homage to gardening tasks and gardeners, could not be bettered. 
The RHS Chatsworth Show is large and varied, but it isn’t too spread out. My gardening-averse family would certainly enjoy it. From a hydrogen car to eye-catching sculptures, with floral sheep and delicious fudge in between, they would all find something to spark their varied interests. 

Will The RHS Chatsworth Show inspire future gardeners? I hope so. It has certainly inspired this present day one.

28 comments:

  1. Interesting debut, looks very promising!

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    1. It is very promising - and in such a beautiful location!

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  2. They certainly have room to expand. I love those hands planting the tree.

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    1. I loved the hands too. There seems to be so much focus on the product these days, rather than the hard graft that goes in to making and maintaining a garden.

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  3. The UK has the best garden shows, hands down. Forgive the pun - I couldn't help myself.

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    1. Top pun!

      We're very fortunate to have access to these wonderful gardening shows.

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  4. Despite the awful weather, I still regret not being able to go to Chatsworth after all. Did you know the Duke of Devonshire pinched Paxton from the RHS? He spotted him working in the RHS garden next door when they were both based in Chiswick. He offered Paxton HG at Chatsworth and the rest is history.

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    1. Poaching Paxton - the DoD was no fool!

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  5. Stunning, what a wonderful and inspiring place to visit. Good to see a strong vision for the future. CJ xx

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    1. It was truly inspiring... and so multi-layered.

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  6. I've never been to Chatsworth maybe it should be added to my must visit list.

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    1. Go! It's an amazing garden and the kitchen garden is my favourite bit :)

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    2. I agree! Go! Make a holiday of it - there are beautiful villages nearby!

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    1. They were very beautiful - despite the appalling weather!

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  8. Nature does seem to favor pink. I'm still not totally won over, but getting there.

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    1. It can be a tricky one to place depending on the strength of the pink. It is very easy to miss the mark and mix weak pinks with other colours that are too strong, or vice versa.

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  9. I love the giant hands. Pink can be lovely, but I have a limited tolerance for it. Would like to have my own abandoned quarry, though.

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    1. Imagine the fun you could have planting your disused quarry! The levels..... the sun/shade opportunities.... the space....

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  10. I love all the pink, and I am sure this show planted a few seeds in the hearts of future gardeners! One of my earliest memories, at age three, is of a beautiful garden I was allowed to wander through. I have never forgotten it.

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    1. What a wonderful memory! The flowers must have seemed so tall when you were three!

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  11. I enjoyed visiting Chatsworth in your posting, Sarah. Now, it's another place to add to my wish list. My flower colors go in phases. Right now it's purple and red with the alliums and peonies. I love pink and we'll be in that phase here soon. I'm sorry but I find those hands a bit creepy. Love the rest of the show, though. P. x

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    1. When I was in my teens, I lived in a house with a garden that changed colour with the seasons - it was so clever. I was thinking about it the other day as I have always wanted to replicate those colour shifts. I'm very impressed that your garden achieves this.

      You would love Chatsworth, Pam - the surrounding countryside is beautiful. Happily for you, the hands are only temporary!

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  12. Yes, I did enjoy our introduction to Chatsworth. It seems that we have to suffer fashionable trends like used quarries and other bizarre garden designs, I mean, heaven forbid that a garden should look attractive. For instance Chris Beardshaw was turned down a gold whilst!!! I will say no more other than , love pink, blue,red,yellow-----

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    1. I guess it's because the judges have a strict set of criteria to which they must adhere, and plants are just part of that. I loved the quarry garden at Chelsea, but it caused such a backlash from many visitors that I can't wait to see if Chelsea 2018 brings an increase in the number of flower gardens!

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  13. What an interesting place to visit, Sarah! Thanks for telling us about the RHS Chatsworth's Garden. I should go there in my next visit.

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    1. You must! It is in a beautiful part of the world and the gardens are absolutely steeped in history.

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  14. It's inspired me, I would love to go to England just to see the gardens. I lived there in my 20s and visiting gardens simply never occurred to me, as a current or future interest. The hand sculpture are wonderful.

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