Thursday, 24 February 2011

Rampant Ivy

The rockery originally built by the 6th Duke and his amazing Head Gardener, Joseph Paxton, has over the years lost its impact with the addition of many years of growth. Originally the area was designed to be a garden of rocks with only minimal low native plantings therefore letting the rocks make the impact. However previously Yew trees were planted and then removed, since when plantings including rambling roses and ivy have taken hold and hidden many of the best features. We have therefore been tackling each area at a time and this winter have cleared the area around the Wellington rock waterfall including clearing ivy from the rocks as you can see and re-building the pond walls to create better planting beds for filling with Primula’s when the weather improves.

Steve Porter
Acting Head of Gardens and Domain

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Shiny glasshouses

In preparation for opening our 1970 Display Glasshouse to the public for the first time this year it has several years of grime and growth on the glass and metal work which has now all been scrubbed and washed off.  You will be able to appreciate Camellias, Acacia (Mimosa) and Clianthus (Lobster Claw) within the first temperate section that is heated only to provide frost protection.  The Mediterranean section is next with many different citrus fruiting regularly alongside a huge night flowering cactus and climbers such as Thunbergia and Passionflower; these combine to provide amazing scent particularly on sunny days.  From here you can view into the tropical section which contains a large range of amazing lush plants including the Cavendish dwarf banana named after the family after it first flowered and fruited within the 6th Dukes glasshouses and the Victoria water lily that also first flowered at Chatsworth. 


Steve Porter
Acting Head of Gardens and Domain


Tuesday, 15 February 2011

The Meccano nuts to descend on Chatsworth

To help celebrate the Weekend of Wonders at Chatsworth in May, the North Midlands and Sheffield Meccano Guilds have joined forces to start work on a very special project. The two Guilds are now busily working away to create a rendition of the famous Chatsworth House frontage, built almost entirely from Meccano. At around 5’ long and 2’ 3” high, all the main details will be captured, including the twelve columns, different window sizes, the arched doorway and the ornamental steps. So far the construction has taken about a month of building time, and we’ve still got a way to go, so keep an eye out for future updates on the build!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Success for the farm shop!

The Chatsworth farm shop and restaurant are celebrating national success today after being awarded Farm Retailer of the Year, in the National Farmers’ Retail & Markets Association (FARMA) awards 2011 last week.  This is the second time in 3 years that the farm shop and restaurant have won the prestigious award, which is a real achievement. The Farm Retailer of the Year award from FARMA recognises passion and commitment to offering the best in own and local produce, as well as the highest levels of staff knowledge and customer service, and we are delighted that everyone’s hard work has been recognized! On behalf of the whole team, including the farms and producers on the Chatsworth estate and all our local and national suppliers it’s a great honour to win, and a fantastic achievement by all, so well done!

Andre Birkett, Farm Shop Manager