It was a busy week when I was invited to go with the Garden Media Guild to visit the new Arcadia Garden at Chatsworth House, but Chatsworth is relatively close to home and a place I have visited often over the years and I am very fond of it.
We had a quick sprint around the kitchen gardens on our way. Is this not the finest topiary support you have ever seen?
Tom Stuart Smith, Rock Garden. This garden was created for the 6th Duke following his trip to the alps with stones quarried nearby to Chatsworth.
But we were here to see Arcadia and so I had to stop playing as we had to move on.
As the afternoon wore on the light decided to bathe the garden in a golden haze that almost silenced us, almost; whilst we stood and tried to photograph it in all its beauty. We just kept saying wow as each new area of the garden overwhelmed us. The general public has largely disappeared by this point and the sound of the birds in the trees just got louder and louder. It was a moment to stand and breathe and just be.
As we looked down at this point we thought about the stats about this garden which are quite astounding. Obviously planting sixteen acres is going to take a few plants. 300,000 plants were planted, including trees, shrubs and over 24,000 perennials mainly from peat-free 9cm pots and bare-root. This is no small project and the family were aided by support from Gucci.
And the name? Arcadia is a landlocked mountainous area of Greece and Chatsworth is in the middle of the country distant from all coasts and surrounded by the stunning Peak District. Arcadian can mean idyllically pastoral – I can assure you that it is. If you can visit then seriously you should, I know I will be returning again soon.
We had such an incredible day and huge thanks must go to the Duke and Duchess, Steve Porter and Tom Stuart Smith for their time and kind welcome. I must also thank Redbrick Communications for organising the visit.