RHS Chatsworth celebrates 100 years of tractors

The John Deere show garden, designed by Elspeth Stockwell and Jo Fairfax, at the 2018 RHS Chatsworth Flower Show will be celebrating 100 years of tractors and a time when innovation revolutionised agriculture and the worked landscape.

The garden features a striking circular sculpture of 100 golden tractors and the planting mixes meadow and monoculture planting styles. A charred oak backdrop and circular seating suggest farm buildings dotted across the pastoral landscape. The garden reflects the atmosphere of walking through the countryside, where nature looks on as tractors cultivate the fields.

The planting depicts the landscape’s natural beauty through a combination of native and non-native flowering grasses and wildflowers. Around 2000 individual plants include Calamagrostis Karl Foerster planted en masse to mimic fields of crops, while Papaver cambricum and ferns portray John Deere’s green and yellow corporate colours. Camassia leichtlinii caerulea is a North American prairie plant and a reference to John Deere’s US origins. Betula pendula and Digitalis lutea also feature in the planting scheme.

Elspeth explains that the inspiration for the garden comes from how innovation in agriculture transformed the landscape over the last century: “Working in collaboration with jo Fairfax, I wanted to create a garden that depicts the rhythms and seasonality of the land,” she says.

(pictured above: The Waterloo Boy)

John Deere celebrates 100 years of tractor manufacture in 2018 and are known for their longstanding commitment to support those who cultivate transform and enrich the land. The garden portrays John Deere’s aims and this special anniversary.

Blacksmith John Deere founded the company that bears his name in 1837, in Illinois, when he developed an innovative plough that could work the heavy soil of the North American prairies, thereby revolutionising agriculture and making farming profitable in the region’s tough conditions.  In 1918 the company entered the tractor business with the acquisition of the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company and its iconic 27hp Waterloo Boy.

There followed a century of tractor innovation including the launch, in 1963, of the company’s first lawn tractor – the 7hp 110 – drawing on the experience and technology of its larger agricultural cousins. (pictured above)

Today John Deere is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of agricultural, turf, lawn and garden equipment, its ethos firmly rooted in its founder’s core values of commitment and innovation.