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Introducing the Chatsworth Installations

Freedom of expression was the inspiration behind these striking introductions to the 2018 show


Emergence Wedgwood
The RHS Chatsworth Flower Show 2018 was home to eight eye-catching installations. The installations sought to encourage freedom of expression through sculptural design and were not judged.
Liz Patterson, RHS Chatsworth Flower Show Manager, said: “We have a wonderful range of designs to showcase, visitors can expect a real visual feast. From a giant ‘radioactive’ foxglove, to a sculpted timepiece and an iconic symbol of the English landscape, there’s certainly food for thought. There’s also creative charm with a beautiful hidden garden tucked beneath a giant bowler hat that raises and lowers to give glimpses of its English garden allure.”

Watch: The Installations at RHS Chatsworth 



Designer: Ann-Margreth Bohl

Named Holocene, after the current geological epoch, the installation was a timepiece, similar to Stonehenge. A series of large sculpted and carved stone blocks sat on raw dug earth, casting a complex pattern of shadows at different times of the day. On some blocks were carved outlines of shadows that fell on them at a precise moment of time. Visitors were encouraged to wait for the precise moment to experience the alignment.

digitalisDigitalis Gargantua

Designer: Aimee Lax

Reflecting the designer’s fear and fascination of human effects on the natural world, Aimee crafted a gigantic version of a radioactive foxglove that is an imagined result of exposure to years of radiation. The fatal 4m flower referenced claims of gargantuan vegetables by Japanese gardeners in Fukushima and towered above visitors in a thought-provoking design.

concrete-country-in-redConcrete Country in Red

Designer: Lucy Tomlins

Celebrating stiles, an iconic symbol of the English landscape, Concrete Country in Red was the final instalment in a three-part sculpture series that represented both the freedom and restriction of movement in the English landscape. This final piece was 3m tall and constructed from rusted Corten steel. Visitors were invited to interact with the sculpture.

Garland NecklaceGarland Necklace

Designer: Owen Bullett

This 5m diameter ring of brightly decorated, huge wooden ‘boulders’ formed a distinctive landmark. It was inspired by the leis that are offered as welcome gifts to visitors on faraway islands and the simple pleasure of making daisy chains on a summer’s afternoon. The triumphal arch also celebrated the Devonshire Collection and far-reaching history of the RHS in supporting horticulture across the world. The arch made an eye-catching meeting point for visitors.

Brewin DolphinThe Brewin Dolphin Garden

Designer: Paul Hervey-Brookes
Inspired by a past landscape of the Chatsworth estate, this conceptual garden echoed a lost village that once stood in the shadows of Chatsworth House before being removed by Capability Brown.
A contemporary timber pavilion payed homage to the lost village, while herb expert Jekka McVicar grew eight specialist varieties of medicinal plants and food crops that would have been grown when the foundations of Chatsworth House were laid.

Keeping it under my hatKeeping It Under My Hat

Designer: James Alexander-Sinclair

A perfect little English garden consisting of topiary, roses and perennials is set around an intimate seating area concealed beneath a bowler hat. The hat lifted to greet visitors and gave a fleeting glimpse of the tiny garden every few minutes.

Emergence WedgwoodWedgwood: Emergence

Designer: Carl Hardman

Chatsworth’s Head of Gardens and Landscape, Steve Porter, and craftsman Carl Hardman took inspiration from Wedgwood’s brand transformation, and merged this with traditions of the Peak District, and stone quarried from the Chatsworth Estate. A drystone wall emerged from the landscape, echoing the course of the river and was dissected by a glass fin, which represented the glass panels of Joseph Paxton’s Great Conservatory, completed in the Chatsworth Garden in 1840.

Picture ThisPicture This

Designer: Sarah Eberle with support from Lee Bestall

A traditional gilt picture frame, almost 4m in length, surrounded tropical planting and exotic animal sculptures. Aiming to surprise and intrigue, the sculpture offered an ideal photo opportunity for visitors.

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.