Thousands of exotic orchids took centre stage
Taking centre stage at the show were thousands of beautiful orchids, with one of the biggest-ever displays of these beguiling plants. For the first time, the magnificent Great Conservatory was filled with thousands of Phalaenopsis (moth orchids). This structure represented Paxton’s Great Conservatory at Chatsworth House and its incredible history of orchid growing.
A river of flowers
We were really excited about a mass planting of cosmos being featured at the 2018 show. Another first for any RHS Show, the field of 12,000 Cosmos bipinnatus 'Razzmatazz' outside the iconic Chatsworth House was a pretty and colourful sight to see.
New to the Chatsworth Flower Show 2018 was a competition to create iconic borders that showcased the theme of movement. The Long Borders competition was open to students, garden designers, community groups and talented individuals, with the top eight being featured at the show. The Long Borders, planted inside raised beds, featured high summer colour and masses of inspiration for visiting gardeners to take home and adapt to suit their own garden space.
Watch: The Long Borders at RHS Chatsworth
►See all of the gardens, installations & Long Borders at Chatsworth
New Living Laboratory
For inquisitive minds, the vital role plants play within the city was explored in a new Living Laboratory feature. Plants and technology were displayed to highlight how different varieties can help address a number of urban challenges including pollution, flooding and food scarcity.
Watch: The Living Laboratory at RHS Chatsworth
Wildflower Meadow Sculptures
The five metre tall golden buttercups, stainless steel dandelions and mixed metal daisies from designers, Fantasywire, were eye-catching features that stood in front of the water, flanking the show's Palladian bridge.
The British Flower Bus
All aboard the British Flower Bus! The bus is part of a a nationwide campaign, spearheaded by floral designer Jonathan Moseley, to promote commercial British flower growing. It's making a number of stops at RHS shows this year, including Chatsworth, with visitors having the opportunity to get hands-on creating fabulous British floral displays with seasonal favourites.
►Find out more about the British Flower Bus
In the Community Area next to the Show Gardens, visitors found competition entries from community gardening groups, Britain in Bloom groups and Affiliated Societies, alongside upcycled planters with colourful blooms from the schools involved with the RHS School Gardening Campaign.
Standing in front of Chatsworth House, visitors viewed the Kinetic Arboretum. This sculpture, made up of three kinetic trees, comprised of gentle, rhythmical movements that drew attention. At the tip of each metal branch, delicate elements responded to the wind and caught the sunlight.
The RHS supported local floral designers by giving them the opportunity to show off their talents and promote their businesses at the 2018 show. The brief was to create an exciting, couture-inspired, floral statement installation that drew inspiration from the drama and opulence of couture fashion throughout history.
Two Floral Marquees stood either side of the Great Conservatory. In here, visitors found award-winning displays of plants and flowers at the peak of perfection. More than 80 exhibitors, who were selected on the basis of their skilful production methods and quality of plants, displayed a broad spectrum of plants for sale.
An exciting range of activities for families and school groups were found around this year's show. This included an educational trail around the site that featured a giant watering can, giant plant pot and giant spade, and finished at our Great Conservatory.
Show Feature: The Bee Dome
At The Bee Dome, visitors discovered all about the art of beekeeping, with advice from the Derbyshire Beekeepers Association, in partnership with the British Beekeepers Association. It was possible to experience a bee's eye view of a hive (complete with sounds and smells) and watch how the queen, workers and drones work together.
Future artisan crafts
Skilled rural makers showed visitors how to use traditional crafts in a contemporary way. Guests could try their hand at dry stone walling, willow weaving, pole lathe turning, leatherwork and woodland crafts.
At the show
Showcasing iconic British style, the 2018 Show, set in the Chatsworth Estate, was brimming with experiences to fulfil the senses.
Find out more about the inspirational gardens, fabulous plant displays, shopping opportunities and new installations.