We’ve been really lucky to see behind the scenes at the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show 2019 as we supported the Wedgwood Garden designed by Jamie Butterworth. In the RHS Chatsworth Show Garden Diaries you can see how a show garden is created. We take you through the journey from initial design to judging day.
This post is part 1 of our RHS Chatsworth Diaries and it’s all about designing the Wedgwood show garden.
Where The Design Starts
Jamie Butterworth first approached us last year once his designs had been submitted to the RHS Chatsworth Team.
To celebrate their 260th anniversary Wedgwood sponsored two extraordinary gardens during the RHS flower show season. One garden was at RHS Chelsea and was built by multi-award winning designer Jo Thompson. The second was at RHS Chatsworth and they approached Jamie to deliver an iconic design to represent the Wedgwood brand.
Researching The Garden
Designing a show garden on this scale begins with a lot background research. Jamie went to visit the RHS Lindley Library to find out more about John Wedgwood, the son of Josiah Wedgwood.
John Wedgwood was the eldest son of Josiah and Sarah Wedgwood but wasn’t too interested in managing the pottery works in North Staffordshire. His true passion lay in horticulture and botany and helped found the Royal Horticultural Society in 1804. His diaries, which are part of the RHS collection, inspired the planting and materials used in the Wedgwood Garden.
Showcasing The Story
The Wedgwood story shines through in every element of the design. Innovation and intricate craftsmanship are the hallmarks of Wedgwood pottery and these are reflected in the expert plant choices and high quality materials specified for the project.
The delicate blue and purple hues of the flowering plants mirrors the iconic Jasperware that Wedgwood introduced in the 1800s. Additionally the choice of trees in the garden relates to John Wedgwood’s diary entries about training fruit trees. The design also features a large oak table and benches. These are hand carved from a tree found in John Wedgwood’s garden at Kingscote, Gloucestershire.
Deciding How The Space Will Be Used
The centre of the design features a large, sunken seating area. This acts as a hub for friends and neighbours to sit, eat and share stories. There are also spaces for reflection, with a beautiful red brick bench placed next to a tranquil, elongated pond. Lush green planting is interspersed with blooms of bright blue and purple that catch your attention as you gaze over the garden.
Choosing Reliable Suppliers
Choosing good suppliers for your own garden can be a difficult decision. Often you have to rely on online reviews or previous experience. Working with reliable suppliers for a show garden is crucial as the build needs to run seamlessly.
To ensure this, establishing a strong relationship with suppliers is important. We have worked with Jamie and the team before on different projects. Therefore we understand that product quality and delivery has to be unparalleled.
Stone Warehouse also supported gardens at other shows this year. These include RHS Chelsea, RHS Malvern , Harrogate Flower Show and the Royal Norfolk Show so we understand the demands of supplying a high pressure working site.
Selecting The Right Materials
Jamie intended the planting to be the highlight of the show garden. As a result the hard landscaping materials needed to showcase and support it. The product he used in the hard landscaping was our Goldpath self-binding gravel. This was chosen because of its simplicity, complementing colour tones and high quality.
Find Out More
You can find out more about the show build in part 2 of our RHS Chatsworth Show Garden Diaries here.
We’ve written the RHS Chatsworth Show Garden Diaries to help you understand the background and incredible effort that goes into creating inspiring and outstanding show gardens. All credit goes to the designer Jamie Butterworth; build team Keyscape Design & Construction; planting team Butterworth Hort and Hortus Loci and the main sponsors, Wedgwood. Looking for ideas from the garden? Take a look at our Ideas and Inspiration from Wedgwood blog post here.