2 May 2014

The Rockery, Chatsworth House, Derbyshire



Our daughter recently visited Chatsworth House where she met up with some friends and it has reminded me that we haven't been in the gardens there for a while although we often spend time in the parkland on the estate. May and June is the season when the azaleas and rhododendrons are at their best and the photos for this post were taken during the last time we visited.

The Rockery was considered one of the most ambitious garden design projects of its time.  The 6th Duke of Devonshire went on the Grand Tour of Europe with his head gardener and life-long friend, Joseph Paxton, who had been appointed to design and supervise the creation of many of the features on the estate, including the Great Conservatory and the Emperor Fountain in the Canal Pond, and subsequently the Rockery was built as a reminder of the journey through the Alps. Paxton invented a steam-powered machine to lift the locally quarried gritstone rocks into position.  Queen Victoria visited Chatsworth with Prince Albert and the Duke of Wellington in 1843 and the 6th Duke named three rocks after them.
The 6th Duke had a passion for collecting plant and tree specimens and his gardeners were sent all over the world to find and collect seeds and even fully grown trees.  His collection of trees in the Pinetum, one of the first in England, include the monkey puzzle, Japanese white pine, the giant redwood and a rare Hinoki cypress from Japan. The flowering trees, shrubs and plants that ramble over the rocks, grow beside the pathways and water channels and ponds have softened the hard landscaping over the years so that the Rockery looks very natural and is an enjoyable part of the gardens to explore.  Beyond is the woodland, the Canal Pond, the glasshouses and the formal gardens by the house.













15 comments:

  1. I've never visited Chatsworth. I watched the programme about it recently and it's now on my list of places to visit so I hope to get there soon, it looks a lovely place.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Like you we often visit the parkland on the estate but it's years since we went into the garden and house. Your photos are a lovely encouragement to visit soon:)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Isn't this a marvelous place Linda? Your photos are a delight to see, thank you so much for sharing them.

    ReplyDelete
  4. i love photo 3 and 4 and the rockery is beautiful with all those flowers.. looks like the geese love it to... we have been having storms for the last 3 hours.. lots of rain, and flooding in our county but not at our house.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It looks like a beautiful place to visit - I hope to get there one day! Lovely to read your history as well. Hope that you have a good weekend, whatever you decide to do! xx

    ReplyDelete
  6. It looks lovely. It would be difficult to appreciate the scale of it were it not for the people in a couple of the shots.

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a fantastic place... Reminds me of Biltmore in the Spring when the Azaleas are all in bloom... Our Rhododendron is about to bloom here at home --and should be gorgeous this year. Oh --how I love spring..

    Have a good weekend.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Linda,

    Thanks for sharing your photos and what a gorgeous place Chatsworth is - it must be lovely seeing the rhododendrons and azaleas in the wonderful park.
    Have a great weekend
    Hugs
    Carolyn

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wonderful Chatsworth which I have known all of my life - have you ever visited Lea Rhododendron Gardens near Matlock? They are owned by a good friend of mine.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Linda, beautiful photos...and it was cool to see a Canada goose, too!

    ReplyDelete
  11. How I would love to walk in this rockery. How beautiful!
    Our weekend is rainy, an inside sort of weekend. Though
    we did go to the rose gardens and bought 5 roses for our
    garden. You would think we would have enough with about
    25, but we just can't resist the beauty of a rose.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh my, Linda, this was exquisite! Such garden artistry!

    ReplyDelete
  13. this looks great...I am definitely putting this on one of my 'wish to visit' lists. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Now that is what a call a rock garden, how very inspiring! It must be breathtaking to see it close up. Wonderful post.xxx

    ReplyDelete
  15. What a super place to visit at this time of year,. Linda. My only visit to Chatsworth was on a school history trip many years ago, when the house was the reason for the visit. I really must go back there one day.

    ReplyDelete