I couldn’t wait to see how the landscape would change with a massive flower show in the grounds and believe me, it was well impressive!
As soon as we arrived into the Chatsworth grounds I felt a rush of adrenaline; I couldn’t wait to see all the gardens, the floral marquee and the much anticipated, Great Conservatory. First, we got some hot drinks and then we took all sorts of daft photos, with the RHS tour bus and the beautiful house in the background
First up was Operation Farm’s & People First Tameside’s entry at the ‘Perfect for Pollinators’ area, where a giant wicker bee stood over a beautiful wildflower meadow, with loads of bee friendly planters and bug hotels.
This is Operation Farm’s entry and it was all about the Orchard we have just planted in Mossley and how we need bees and other insects to pollinate the fruit trees and bushes, which we then go on to harvest and cook. Here I am, with Young Operation Farmer, Lauren and the plants used here were tall camomile, clover, chives, phlox and marjoram.
This is People First’s entry and the container had borage, coreopsis, salvias, marjoram and ajuga. Modelling their container are Lauren, Sarah and PFT members’ Katie and Jimmy. Their container was all about the pollination of the plants in their Secret Garden, where they grow fruit and veg for the community kitchen. The craft group ran by my Grandma made the felt bees and ladybirds, aren’t they fab!
We bumped into the kids from Chaucer Junior School, with teachers Kerry Wheatley and Mrs Oldnall- it was really nice to see them again and their bug hotel was 5* !!
Then we had a quick look at these amazing flag and silver tube sculpture things, which used wind to create movement (no shortage of that on this day!). I was really mesmerised by them; they are on this short video we put together – click here
I bumped into the RHS Director General, Sue Biggs on the floral bridge, she was heading over to the Peak Restaurant, which meant it was time for me and my Grandma to go for our posh lunch too, so Grandma whipped off her wellies and put on her high heels and I ditched my cagoule for a flash jacket!
So, I was invited for lunch because of my Ambassadorship; first there was a champagne reception, obviously I am under-age so I had orange juice. Then the lunch began and I was sat next to Jamie Butterworth, he’s an RHS Ambassador too and works for Hortus Loci (Mark Straver, his boss was there too and he was really friendly). Also the previous RHS President (the one before Sir Nicholas Bacon) was on our table and a great guy called Nick Dunn from Frank P Matthews LTD. So I was in ‘great gardening company’!!
Now to the food itself; everything we had was super posh, for starters we had salmon, for the main we had beef medallions and buttery cottage pie and for dessert we had this thing that tasted like crème brûlée (which I really like), apparently it was panna cotta and then I had a nice cup of tea and some delicious fudge.
I didn’t get to see the inside of the floral bridge, but my Mum did and took a few photos – it’s just incredible.
Disappointingly, the show had to close because of the extreme weather, but the Duke being his generous self said, as the show was cancelled we could go into the Chatsworth Gardens for free!
All the other guys were waiting for us in their cars and came to pick us up at the exit – check out me and my Grandma hitching a ride on the back of Sarah’s truck – that was well fun!
I’ll be doing another RHS Chatsworth Blog in the next few days as I’m going back to the show on Saturday. I really hope I get to see the inside of the Great Conservatory, the Show Gardens and spend some money in the Floral Marquee. Fingers crossed the weather is better this time