Paxton inspired Chelsea Flower Show garden

Paxton inspired Chelsea Flower Show garden

Dan Pearson is creating a garden for the 2015 Chelsea Flower Show,  drawing inspiration from the trout stream and the rock gardens which are part of Joseph Paxton’s legacy at Chatsworth.   Less well known is that Joseph Paxton also found the time in his hectic schedule to lovingly landscape the gardens at Darley House for his daughter in the 1840s.


In line with the spirit of sustainability the plants for the Laurent-Perrier Chatsworth Garden are being lifted from Chatsworth, rather than using nursery grown specimens, and then the whole display will be returned to Chatsworth for visitors to enjoy.


Paxton would have appreciated this being a master of transplanting plants and trees himself  – in those days a novelty that brought out the crowds.  Kate Colquhoun in her book “A Thing in Disguise” tells how the 6th Duke of Devonshire bought a 40 year old weeping ash with a 28ft root span, from a nursery in Derby and Paxton engineered its lifting and 28 mile journey to Chatsworth.


“Four days after they set out to collect it the tree arrived at the park gates which had to be lifted from their hinges, parts of the wall taken down and several braches lopped off to allow it in. Finally the Duke met the weeping ash at the new Northern entrance to the house. He was delighted, declared it miraculous and watched 450 labourers under Paxton haul it into place in its hole in the centre of the courtyard, spread out its roots, peg them down and form a mound of earth around its trunk. It remains there to this day.”


We have often wondered why the copper beech at Darley House is planted on a mound. A perfect spot for a host of daffodils…and a clever way to admire the trunk we thought? But maybe the beech tree has another story to tell…


Our guests will be able to visit the Laurent-Perrier Chatsworth Garden, when it is returned to Chatsworth, whilst staying in the intimate setting and gardens that Joseph Paxton designed for his daughter at Darley House.

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Darley House Garden Walk Way