The RHS Chatsworth Flower Show 2018
After last years issues with Traffic and flooding of areas, I was eager to see what measures were in place to avoid last year’s problems, I needn’t have worried, the car parks were assessable from 8am, there were basic toilets in the cars parks, which is handy for visitors like me who like to get in and park up early, there were lots of Hi-vis’d stewards pointing and waving you into your parking place, there were many golf buggies and shuttle buses were zooming around to help everybody who needed help to get to and from the show entrance from the furthest car parks, I was also delighted to see that both the floral pavilions were now erected on modular flooring, so anybody with mobility issues could easily get about no matter how much it rained.
I paid two visits to this years show, Press Day and the RHS Members day, both days started quite hazy and cool, but by the time I was ready to leave the sun came out and it got quite sticky and hot.
I always try to head to the floral pavilions first when arriving at Flower Shows, as I’m always eager to see who’s selling what and seek out any new plant launches.
This year Pennard Plants put on a wonderful display of edibles, they were also displaying plants of their new introductions of Tomatoes, Sweet Peppers and a new Miniature Watermelon.
Tomato Oh Happy Day is a beefsteak variety which claims to be blight resistant, its good grown outdoors or in a cold greenhouse and was bred in Yorkshire.
Tomato Shimmer, looks amazing, with gold streaks on a red background on each fruit. Larger than a cherry tomato, but slightly smaller than a plum type.
Watermelon Little Darling, was launched at the recent Chelsea Flower Show, the plant produces a rugby ball sized fruit with deep red flesh, plants have been grown successfully at Alnwick Gardens in Northumberland in an unheated greenhouse.
I’m going to try these next growing season.
The improved floor surface in both Floral Marquees.
I also saw quite a few Miniature Hostas on display, I think they are coming back into fashion, and as it is still early in the season there were lots of Primulas on display and for sale, I may have purchased *some.
I also make a beeline for any Carnivorous Plants on display, and this year I was intended on increasing my collection of Sarracenias after two difficult winters have halved my collection.
There was only one nursery displaying Carnivorous plants this year, Wacks Wicked Plants, and they had a very nice colourful collection of Sarracenias on display and for sale.
I may have *purchased a plant or two.
*Two, I purchased two.
In Between the two floral marquees is situated The Great Conservatory, A giant inflatable dome of a structure.
This year it was filled floor to ceiling with Orchids.
When Joseph Paxton was Head Gardener at Chatsworth, he looked after one of the largest collection of Orchids in the UK, this year during the show the Celebrity Floral Designer Jonathan Moseley joined forces with Double H Nurseries to create one of the largest floral Orchid displays in the UK.
Whilst perusing the floral displays, I noticed lots of Phalaenopsis planted up in handbags.
Also the Great Conservatory was used as a backdrop for the launch of 3 new fragrant Phalaenopsis, Diffusion, New Life and Sunny Smell. Photo below….
The plants are more sweetly scented in the mornings, and will be soon available to purchase from high street stores.
Some of the Show Gardens
The CCLA: A Family Garden.
The John Deere Garden: 100 years of tractors
Haytime in the Dales
The Great Outdoors
A new feature at this years show is the Long Border Competition, it’s open to designers, students, community groups and individuals. The designs have to interpret the theme of Movement.
Mind the Gap: Keep Bees on the Move by Louise van den Berg.
Turning Point by Mary Swan.
This was my favourite border, it has a sunny side planting and a shady side planting intersected with a bright orange metal screen with cut out shapes. It was brimming with plants, but not overstuffed. It won a gold medal.
There was also another interesting feature at this year’s show, a mass planting of 12,000 Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Razzmatazz’ in front of the main house.
There was a nice feel to this years show, and I’m sure that the sunny weather helped enormously. It was a very popular event and it was busy throughout the day, this show is fast becoming my favourite event with its different features each year, the quality
nurseries in attendance and its location.
Many planty purchases were made and a really good day was had.
I’ll leave you with images I spotted throughout the day.