Two days at the Garden Museum Literary Festival at Chatsworth House

Regular readers will know that the Garden Museum Garden Literary Festival is one of my favourite, favourite events of the year. 

This year is was at Chatsworth House which made it a double delight.  As I have previously said, Chatsworth is relatively close to home and a garden I have visited many times both as a child and an adult.  I last visited last October when the Garden Media Guild was invited to visit and learn about the new Arcardian Garden at Chatsworth designed by Tom Stuart Smith.  The Literary Festival gave me two connected opportunities:  I could visit this garden again to see how it was developing and I could go to the talk given by Tom Stuart Smith about his work at Chatsworth and his work at the Hepworth Wakefield.  As you might expect, a visit to the Hepworth Wakefield is now firmly on the list.
Exploring these gardens in a different season was sheer joy.
I had a serious euphorbia moment, just look at the a zing of this one?  I can hear some of you muttering: 'but I thought you didn't like green flowers?'; true, true, but how I could not love these?
The many aspects of the Chatworth gardens were admired, from the orchids in the grass,
to the blue campanulas,
to the contrasting formal pauses of green spaces that soothe,
and the huge lily pads in the glasshouse.  

and all the while attending the various talks.  The talks run in parallel sessions so you have to make hard decisions about which you are going to.  The greatest joy of this event is that find out about books I would possibly not have come across.  I listen to talks about great gardening people and great gardens.  I add books to the list of ones I must buy (Miss Dior by Justine Picardie is a must, they sold out before I buy one but I will buy this book soon) and I also buy books whilst I am there:
I had wanted to read Miss Willmott's Ghost from the moment I heard the book was to be published.  Sandra Lawrence's superb talk just increased my need for this book.  I know very little about Miss Willmott which was reason enough to want to buy this book.  I should add I have tried to grow Eryngium giganteum, also known as Miss Willmott's Ghost as she allegedly sprinkled seeds of it when she visited people's gardens.  Let's just say sprinkling it here just does not work.

After listening to Todd Longstaffe Gowan's talk I knew is book was going to jump into hands and come home with me.  It features gardens I know of and ones I do not.  I cannot wait to plunge into this book.

Oh and I bought some smelly soap too.  I lurve smelly soap.  A nice strong scent makes me happier than it should.  I call it 'old lady soap' which means that as an old lady I am absolutely in the right position to buy it.
Meanwhile back in the gardens I enjoyed the time to wander at will.
The Rock Gardens were looking incredible.  Tom Stuart Smith has worked his magic here too.  Did I mention enjoying the blue campanulas?  
These dark red Martagon lilies were also working to great impact in different areas of the garden.  Oh how I wish they would grow for me, I am encourage (or is it deluded enough) to want to try again.
As ever I know I need to return to Chatsworth again soon.  I want to explore more of these gardens as I have still not visited all there is to offer. 

Now I am looking forward to next year's Literary Festival and wondering where it will take me. 


Take care and be kind.

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