Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Chatsworth Takes Inspiration from Plant Hunters of Old for the Florabundance Festival 14 to 18 June

The exotic plants introduced to Chatsworth by the intrepid plant hunters of the 19th century are the inspiration for this year's Florabundance festival. Now familiar blooms, they were the height of fashion when brought into the Chatsworth garden by Joseph Paxton and the 6th Duke of Devonshire.

Each room will be decorated with a different variety of flower from Paxton's list for the first ever summer Florabundance festival from 14 to 18 June. More than 20,000 individual blooms - including 500 stems of lilies, 1,000 roses and 500 alliums - will transform the house and garden with a wealth of summer flowers.

The 6th Duke developed an intense interest in horticulture after he met Joseph Paxton (1803 - 1865), a young gardener working in the Horticultural Society's gardens at Chiswick. He appointed Paxton to be head gardener at Chatsworth in 1826 and together they changed the garden radically, introducing exotic species and giant rockeries.

Florabundance will see traditional mid-summer blooms fused with tropical flowers to echo the naturalistic style of planting introduced by the Bachelor Duke and Joseph Paxton to the Chatsworth garden.

Led by renowned floral designer Jonathan Moseley, a team of 35 people will install the designs over a two day period after days spent preparing the containers, putting together the constructions and treating and conditioning the flowers.

Jonathan gives a glimpse of what the visitor can expect when they enter the house. "The Painted Hall will display a large open arch cascading with fabulous flowers and foliage featuring stunning summer roses inviting visitors to enter the voyage of Florabundance.

"From the formality of the Painted Hall to an enclosed bath in one of the bedroom suites bursting with frothy gypsophilia, the designs will illustrate a combination of both contemporary and traditional floristry."

Chatsworth will also host a series of demonstrations and workshops led by Jonathan Moseley in the beautiful 19th century theatre. Participants will learn how to create breathtaking designs and come away with lots of contemporary and classic design ideas for displaying flowers creatively at home. The floral demonstrations take place on 15 and 16 June and the floral workshops are on 17 and 18 June.

Florabundance is free upon admission to the house and garden. For more information and ticketing options, visit www.chatsworth.org

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