One of our members came up with the original idea for doing a show garden back in 2015 when we started the planning process for our centenary celebrations.
When we learned that the RHS was planning a new show at Chatsworth in the same year as our centenary, it became an obvious event for us to demonstrate the value of the quarrying industry to the general public.
To provide an idea of the scale of the Chatsworth event, it is being held on a 28-acre site and receive an estimated 80,000 paying visitors. However, over 40,000 tickets have already been sold so it is on track for an even higher number of people through the gates.
Our garden is currently the largest show garden at Chatsworth, measuring 28m x 15m. To put that in context, it is twice the size of the main show winning garden at last years RHS Chelsea event.
The story of the garden is a straightforward one. It has been designed for a couple who are inspired by the industrial landscape that quarrying creates as well as the natural beauty found in the wildlife habitats found in mineral extraction sites.
The garden is made up of 3 main sections:
The wall at the far end of the garden is 3.6m high and will have a gap sculpted along its total width. The purpose of the gap is to encourage everyone to look at our natural resources differently, to understand that they are a necessary part of our lives and that in managing them carefully, we create sustainable environments.
The concrete pit demonstrates that through mineral extraction, the environment is being carefully managed even whilst being actively worked. The freestanding concrete walls and metal struts will make the connection between the natural environment and our built environment, explaining the use of minerals in our everyday life.
The naturalistic planting will be reflective of the sorts of plants that would be found in both active and former quarry sites. The message here is about the value that quarrying adds to the landscape in terms of increased biodiversity amongst plants and wildlife.
This garden creates a visually engaging space where we can also talk about the skills, knowledge and professionalism of the people that work in the industry. Our overall aim is to present the industry to the general public as a modern, vibrant sector to work in that offers great career development opportunities.
Because of the scale of the project we have created a separate microsite to capture all the news and activities to do with the garden, for more details head to www.quarrygarden.org.