Line-up for RHS Chatsworth Flower Show announced

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has announced the full line-up of confirmed content for the first RHS Chatsworth Flower Show (7th to 11th June 2017) and welcomes new headline partner Wedgwood, which reunites the two British institutions after more than two centuries.

Wedgwood will also work with up-and-coming, multi-award-winning designer, Sam Ovens, known for his contemporary, innovative and environmentally sustainable designs, to create a Show Garden at the show, set in the heart of the rolling Derbyshire countryside.

The overarching theme for the show will be ‘Design Revolutionaries’ with several show features drawing inspiration from great innovators in garden design such as Sir Joseph Paxton and Lancelot ‘Capability Brown’, both of whom had a significant impact on the magnificent 1000 acre Chatsworth estate.

For the first time ever at an RHS Show, there will be an innovative new, un-judged FreeForm category, encouraging freedom of expression and celebrating the connection between plants, sculpture, art and people. There are eight entries in this category including ‘Pic ‘n Mix‘ (pictured above) by Tony Heywood and Alison Condie who will create a whimsically dark and surreal garden portrait of Chatsworth, moving away from the traditional bucolic landscape ideal to create a vision where the fake, real and synthetic collide.

Also in this category, ‘The Brewin Dolphin Garden‘ (pictured above) by one of this country’s leading designers, Jo Thompson, will celebrate the grandeur of its setting, combining modern industrial materials with naturalistic planting. Central to the design is an imposing contemporary sculpture crafted from reinforcing steel bars that will sweep through the space.

There are eight Show Gardens, including ‘Moveable Feast designed by Worcestershire-based Tanya Batkin, a transportable garden designed for a couple living the letting lifestyle, who have neither time or resources to create a new garden every time they move. ‘Just Add Water‘ by multi-award-winning designer Jackie Knight is inspired by the creations of Joseph Paxton, using water tumbling over sandstone rocks into a tranquil central pool with waterside planting.

Other Show Garden designers will include Martin Cook, Gary Breeze, Lee Bestall, Sheena Seeks and Paul Hervey-Brookes.

The ‘RHS Garden for a Changing Climate‘ designed by Andy Clayden, Dr Ross Cameron of Sheffield University and RHS Scientist Eleanor Webster, will present two different scenarios for a small suburban garden, ‘now’ and the ‘future’ 2100, when our climate will become increasingly warmer and drier in summer. By walking between these two scenarios the visitor will learn about the RHS report Gardening in a Changing Climate, to be published in April and the science that underpins the selection of plants that are able to cope with this new environment.

The Floral Marquee will take inspiration from Joseph Paxton’s Great Conservatory at Chatsworth. The conservatory, the original of which was demolished in 1920, was the largest glass building in England when it was constructed in 1840.

Two conventional floral marquees will contain 76 displays by leading nurseries and grower and include three special areas of interest – Connoisseur (selling curious, collectible and intriguing plants) – Cut Flower Garden and Edibles.

With the River Derwent running through the centre of the showground, a series of bridges will link both sides of the show. A bridge designed by museum and exhibition designer Mathew Saxon will take the form of a historic Palladian bridge. Celebrity florist Jonathan Moseley will take visitors on a floral journey as they enter the bridge to pass into the Great Conservatory.

RHS Director of Shows, Nick Mattingley stresses that the focus has been on creating an exciting, life-enhancing, vibrant show that has different elements from any other and they have been delighted at the response: “It has really captured the imagination of all involved and we are looking forward to a thoroughly inspiring show,” he said. “To have partnered with Wedgwood is the perfect fit. The historical links could not be closer and we look forward to a long and successful partnership.”

Tickets for RHS Chatsworth Flower Show can be purchased at:


Photo credits: banner ©Chatsworth House and Estate.

Garden illustrations ©RHS Media Image Library