RHS Chatsworth Flower Show 2018

This time last year the weather was being unkind to the new RHS Chatsworth Flower Show.  It rained and it was cold. This year the weather was much better.  Maybe not as sunny to begin with in the day, but warmer and thankfully no rain.  The sun appeared in the afternoon and all was good.

As with last year I was making two visits to the show.  Once on Press Day and then again as a paying customer with a friend.  Remember this is my local RHS show, I really want it to succeed so if you suspect there is bias in this post, you are probably right.

What I need to say first of all is that the traffic issues of last year were not repeated.  We arrived at the show on Wednesday morning at around 9.40, we drove straight in with an army of wavers and pointers making sure the traffic flowed steadily into the right parking areas.  It was impressive and I think the RHS deserve a jolly well done for sorting this out so well.
Chatsworth House in Derbyshire is a stunning setting for this show.  The house dominates the hinterland of the show and positively gleams in the sun.
I almost do not know where to start this, but I shall start with the cosmos installation in front of the house.  I love cosmos, they are such good garden plants and to see them en-masse gladens the heart.
There are many installations around the showground.
They do add an element of wonder to the site as you wander around (sometimes wondering what they are but..)
but some installations are not as arty as they may first appear.
There are also these long borders that are planted up by various different groups of young designers, charities, and students.
I really liked them, they were all done well and due to their rectangular nature I think they are good for giving planting ideas.  Many gardens have fairly rectangular borders and so you can imagine these in-situ.
There are also the show gardens.  Not a huge amount of show gardens, I think there are fewer than last year, but the quality is high.  This is Hay Time in the Dales by Chris Myers.  Incredibly detailed and superbly put together.
This is The Great Outdoors designed by Phil Hurst.  It was very well planted and I loved the arbor.  I could not help but imagine that my cat Esme would love to climb on top of it, she has a fondness for climbing arches.
The John Deere Garden, 100 years of tractors designed by Elspeth Stockwell and Jo Fairfax works really well.
The planting is frothy-wonderfulness and the little tractors on sticks are a show-stealer.

Also stealing the show is Paul Hervey Brookes' The Brewin Dolphin Installation.
This is not a show garden so it is not judged, which is a shame;
as it is enchanting.  The planting combinations are wonderful and the whole site smells of freshly sawn timber.

oh look she found a tardis

There really is so much to see.  
There are the marvels of the Floral Marquees
and in the Great Conservatory
The show-stopping Joseph Moseley's orchid display of thousands of moth orchids.  Thousands!  They were grown by Double H Nurseries and defy anyone not to enter this dome and gasp.
Chatsworth has long been connected with orchids, in the nineteenth century they held an extensive collection here.  Over 800 of the Chatsworth collection are on display at the show in the Devonshire Marquee. 
It was the most special couple of days.  There are few happier days for me than ones spent with good friends, laughing, talking and admiring plants and gardens.

There was some plant buying, it is just too hard not to (and I don't try not to).
This is Hylotelephium 'Jose Aubergine', now  I looked at this plant and thought it looked like some sort of sedum.  I do like a good sedum.  From a quick internet search it would appear that this group of plants used to be included in the sedum family.  I can see why.  It is the most lovely colour, the edges of the leaves area good purpley red.  I have high hopes for this plant.
The second purchase was Seneco Angel Wings, a plant I first saw last September at GLEE, the show that is aimed at retailers to show them future trends and tempt them to sell various gardening related products.  I saw this plant and loved it immediately, it has the most wonderful structure and the huge leaves are like soft felt elephant ears.  When I saw one at Chatsworth it just had to be mine.

Roll on next year, I am confident that now they have ironed out the hiccoughs of last year it will go from strength to strength.

RHS Chatsworth is open until Sunday 10th June and it is still possible to buy tickets from the RHS website 


  1. Splendid review, you found some sun, and I saw other people photographing those stacked benches...

  2. Looks great! I must say RHS Chatsworth appears very relaxed and almost carnivalesque this year.

  3. Thanks for showing us round the Show. I haven’t been yet but will aim to go next year now that the terrible problems have been sorted. It’s such a wonderful area and of course the House is stunning.

    1. It is the most venue. It was such a relief they sorted the traffic - I got stuck last year & didn’t fancy that happening again.

  4. Looks like a wonderful show. Thanks for sharing. Groetjes Hetty


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