Long Borders are back at RHS Chatsworth

Long Borders will be back at RHS Chatsworth (5th to 9th June) by popular demand and will almost double in number this year.

The eye-catching borders were introduced for the first time in 2018, giving plant enthusiasts the opportunity to design, plan and build a small-scale horticultural exhibit. This year, visitors to the show will be able to see 15 stunning displays showcasing a rich range of the senses of horticulture. From a border full of plants to help induce sleep to a peaceful space to soothe the senses, there will be something for everyone and plenty of ideas to take home. All will be judged for RHS Medals.

A Sense of Place, (above) designed by Katie Wright, Carrie Bayles and Cindy To, reflects the journey of refugee girls, following the evacuation of 250 schoolgirls from Penrhos College in North Wales to Chatsworth House in 1939.

Peaked Senses, designed by Pranabanti Karmakar and Atindriya Shome has been created to raise awareness of the crisis a variety of habitats are facing at the advent of climate change. This will be a low maintenance and resilient border designed to enhance biodiversity.

The Haddonstone Long Border, designed by Joanna Brinkman and William Scholey is inspired by the long borders of the past with a design to highlight the five senses. Plants have been chosen to attract bees to add to the sense of sound and vision along with rich colours.

Inspiring Childhood Adventures, designed by Jasmin Ashworth, is about encouraging exploration and development of the senses for children.

A Flowering Concert (above) designed by Fumika Yoshimoto, is inspired by a classical concert with a border relating to the five senses to visualise the sound of music. Key plants have been selected to represent musical instruments.

Return of the Senses (above) designed by Emily Hull and Alfajri Rahmatullah, is inspired by the RHS’s Greening Grey Britain campaign with a boarder utilising the rich sensory experience of plants, from the textures of pioneering plants to the movement and sound of grasses and summer flowers.

Hidden Depths, designed by Chen Zhu and Ziyao Liu represents a fresh water aquarium planting scheme, using plants that mimic aquatic species. The inspiration is to afford a ‘view’ into a world of plant growth and to provide a visual dynamic that cannot be seen on land.

Belong, (above) designed by Cath Fletcher is packed with nostalgia. Made up of a mixture of plants and styles which remind the designer of her family gardens growing up. The border explores how planting not only represents the five tangible senses but also emotion.

Chatsworth Lady, (above) designed by Bev Williams and Toni Slater is designed to create feelings of joy and wellbeing with striking traditional and contemporary plants. Inspired by the late Dowager Duchess of Devonshire’s rejuvenation work at Chatsworth, a willow and weathered steel sculpture will form the focal point.

The Night Garden, designed by Amy Lagnado and Alex Clarke, will sooth the five senses and promote sleep at the heart of this creative design. A border draped in a blanket of blues, a colour proven to provide calmness, it will also contain soft grasses to drift through the design.

The Bess of Hardwick Border designed by Victoria Philpott, takes inspiration from Hardwick Hall and its formidable grand dame. The design pays homage to its Derbyshire roots with a tactile stone wall providing the perfect vernacular backbone to the naturalistic planting.

The Healing Power of Scent, (above) designed by Rachel Bailey and Nicola Sweeney has the iconic rose as the centre of this border. Supporting the roses will be plants that stimulate the senses such as touch and sound. Rose oil vapour in particular is thought to have anti-depressive, calming and uplifting properties, helping to reduce fatigue and stress.

A Touch of Drama (above) designed by Paul Martin, Senior Gardener at Middleton Hall, captures a dramatic clash of enticingly tactile plants, all of which invite being touched. Fluffy grasses and velvety foliage will jostle with strap-like leaves and spiky flower heads.

Sensory Balance, designed by Nicola Stevens, is inspired by autism – the National Autistic Society has highlighted how over or under stimulated senses causes anxiety. Repetition, structure and a multi-sensory approach can help and visitors will be invited to find their own ‘sensory balance’ by combining senses.

Fade to Grey, designed by Mark Malaczynski, symbolises the gradual loss of sensory perception over time. Using a strong visual theme the planting will move from the boldest, most vibrant colours of the spectrum through to pastel shades and into mono-chromatic, grey-scale. It is intended as a powerful message about the ageing human condition.

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