The Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show may be over after another successful year, but there is no rest ahead – teams across the world’s biggest gardening charity are busy working with hundreds of exhibitors and contractors to bring the next major show to fruition. The first RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, held in the grounds of the Chatsworth Estate, opens Wednesday 7 June and runs until Sunday 11 June. Nearly 90,000 tickets have already been sold, and the show is now sold out on all days except Sunday.
Celebrity florist Jonathan Moseley is currently working to decorate The Palladian Bridge with a giant willow serpent that rises up from the depths of the river Derwent and entwines around the bridge. Visitors can take a beautiful hidden walk through to the other side of the bank.
The Great Conservatory, a re-imagining of the one created by Joseph Paxton in 1841, has been erected at the heart of the showground. The 14-metre high inflatable dome was installed over five days using a 130-ton crane. An interior installation, ‘Heart of Glass’ by Cityscapes, focused around a central rotating glitter ball, will be installed on Friday.
The Show Gardens and FreeForm installations – a new category for RHS Flower Shows – are fast taking shape on the showground. A giant pair of hands made of hay, measuring over 2m high, have been brought from Italy by Barbara Negretti & Elisa Tomat for their show garden Behind the Scenes, which celebrates the hard work and dedication of those who do all the practical work and hard graft building professional gardens.
The floral marquees are a hive of activity as 76 nurseries populate the floral marquees with plants including curious, collectible and intriguing plants, cut flowers and edibles. Several are exhibiting for the first time at an RHS show including The English Iris Company, who will be selling award winning British Tall Bearded Irises raised in a Nottinghamshire garden.
Anna Skibniewski-Ball, assistant show manager, said: “We are in the final stages of build-up and with only a few days until the show opens to the public, the show site is a hive of activity. We have now welcomed most of the show features and tradestands and are seeing the beginnings of the floral exhibitors populate the floral marquees. The Show Garden and FreeForm meanwhile are continuing their third week of creating their masterpieces.
“Our over-arching theme of Design Revolutionaries is prevalent throughout the show, from our re-imagining of Joseph Paxton’s Great Conservatory with fantastic tropical planting, to our Palladian Style Bridge spanning the river Derwent. We are really hoping the good weather will see us into next week so that everyone can enjoy what we hope will be a truly wonderful and inspiring horticultural event.”
Over the weekend the site has been brimming with yet more floral exhibitors and the lifestyle exhibitors, selling wares from cushions to candles, arriving to set up their stands. By Monday, apart from the final installation of some show features such as the well dressing displays, most of the show should be complete and ready to welcome visitors on Wednesday.