2 Jul 2015

The Gardens at Chatsworth (1)

The Cascade and the Temple

Chatsworth Estate covers a vast area and we could go there and see more of it every time we visit. When we lived in the south of England we would come up and stay in the area just to visit Chatsworth and also visit our daughter and family at the same time. Now we're fortunate to be able to visit more often.

The gardens have developed over many centuries and several of the Devonshires, have left a wonderful legacy through their interest in garden design and horticulture. The 1st Duke of Devonshire created a new formal garden in a classical style which was fashionable at the time in other important gardens across Europe. The revival of Greek and Roman ideas influenced the Duke's planting and ornamental features in the gardens such as the Temple and Cascade (above), especially in the area around the great house where guests could view them from the new State Apartment. These building projects featuring water displays required engineering skills and took many years to construct. Each step in the Cascade is different so that the sound of the water changes as it falls. It was completed in 1711, four years after the Duke's death. Then a fashion for a natural-looking landscape meant that the gardens changed and over time new features were added so that a visitor today can wander around and enjoy both the formal and informal aspects of this great estate.

We planned beforehand what we wanted to see during our visit;  the glasshouses, the kitchen gardens, the arboretum, the Rockery and the wild area along by the trout stream.  The trout stream and the Rockery Gardens were part of Dan Pearson's inspiration for a show garden, the Laurent-Perrier Garden, which won a Gold Medal and Best in Show Award at the Royal Horticultural Society's 2015 Show at Chelsea, London. Later in the year and into 2016 the Chatsworth gardeners and the garden designer will work on an area by the stream using many of the features and plants seen at Chelsea.

As there's so much to share I'll be doing a series of posts on this visit starting with the kitchen gardens and this post highlights the beautiful peonies growing there.

   The main kitchen garden with a view below of The Stables, now a Visitor Centre.

Many varieties of peonies are growing along the pathways in one area of the kitchen gardens.

Peony Crimson Glory

Peony Barrymore

Peony A.F.W. Hayward

Peony Shirley Temple

Peony Kelway's Magestic

Peony Lord Kitchener

I took these photos at the end of our tour of the gardens when we were ready for a sit down with a sandwich and a cool drink so I didn't note all the names of the different varieties although there were labels underneath the bushes. Shirley Temple, being white, was rather difficult to photograph.  As you can see I got snap happy!

Do take a seat and sit for a while.....
To be continued..........