A village which once stood in the grounds of Chatsworth House before being moved to make way for the estate’s famous landscape is the inspiration behind a garden at this year’s RHS Chatsworth flower show.
Wealth management company Brewin Dolphin’s garden will pay homage to the forgotten village, encouraging visitors to imagine the landscape as it was in the 18th century, before being replaced by the familiar hills, lakes and trees visible today.
At its centre a contemporary timber pavilion will represent the lost houses, while elsewhere, immersed among dense borders of colourful planting, a collection of cylindrical sculptures, some tall, some small, will represent the people of the region who have come and gone across the landscape over the years.
Designer Paul Hervey-Brookes said: “My idea for The Brewin Dolphin Garden started to develop after a tour of Chatsworth House with the Duke of Devonshire.
"Standing on the roof looking across the magnificent grounds, his Grace pointed to an area where the footprint of a lost village could still be seen in dry weather.
"The idea of a void becoming a space and the question of how and when our heritage is preserved fascinated me.
"Designing the Brewin Dolphin Garden in the very place that the village once stood, has given me a unique opportunity to explore it further."
Built by High Peak-based Gareth Wilson Landscapes, the pavilion will echo the classic silhouette of a Tudor building with its familiar overhang, and will be clad in 12,000 individual split Chestnut laths – narrow strips of wood that would have been used to cover the interior walls of houses during the period, and a reference to the Sweet Chestnut trees that would have grown in the surrounding landscape.
Plants will also have an historic connection to the village and Chatsworth House, combining native plants that would have been common at the time, with decorative varieties that would have been introduced in later years.
Herb expert Jekka McVicar will grow eight specialist varieties especially for the garden, all of which would have been used both as medicine and food by those living there at the time.
Key plants include Verbascum, Buxus and Reseda alongside Wild Angelia, Sanguisorba and Tanacetum. Three different trees will also feature, including two Copper Beach trees reflecting the trees in the surrounding parkland.
Rupert Tyler, National Director at Brewin Dolphin, said: “The concept behind the Brewin Dolphin Garden is fascinating and it’s particularly exciting to be creating something that has such a direct link to the region and to the Chatsworth Estate itself.
"Interestingly, the ‘lost’ vilIage dates back to the same moment in time that Brewin Dolphin was founded, in the 1700s, and the idea of taking values from the past and preserving them for the future perfectly reflects our own principles."
The RHS Chatsworth flower show will run from June 6-10. For more information, visit www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/rhs-chatsworth-flower-show.