Spanning the River Derwent, the Palladian Bridge featured a gigantic willow snake (inspired by the Cavendish Crest) which rose from the water and weaved its way through the structure. Waxy-textured plants and flowers such as echiums and anthyuriums covered the snake’s body, and were used to represent the serpent’s scaly skin – the colours got more vibrant and fiery as they reached its head.
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Designed by floral expert Jonathan Moseley to challenge perceptions of what makes an attractive flower arrangement, the glorious feature used unfamiliar plants and seedheads interwoven with more recognisable herbaceous leaves and flowers, to pay homage to the ‘revolutionary’ theme of the show.
Following the snake along the bridge, you reached intricate bamboo spires (representing the bamboo walk at Chatsworth), which were decked out in bright, hot-coloured flowers such as foxtails and fritillaries to contrast with the greener leaves of palms and aspidistras which lined the sides of the bridge.
Passing the bamboo obelisks, you entered a vibrant world of plants and flowers. Hanging plants, flowers, ferns and bromeliads lined the walls, while baskets filled to brimming with sumptuous traditional and exotic flowers reached down from the celing - you even got to see a few cheeky parrots. By using different styles of leaves and plants as well as seedheads and flowers Jonathan produced a tapestry of ideas and new combinations for people to experiment with.
Jonathan said: 'I hope that visitors can look at the display on the bridge and get ideas for something new to try at home.'
The Palladian bridge was found opposite the Great Conservatory, and formed a delightful lead-in to the show, with Jonathan on hand at times throughout the day.