‘Largest show garden ever attempted’ to be built at Hatfield House

PUBLISHED: 21:50 11 December 2018 | UPDATED: 09:21 17 January 2019

Hatfield House

Hatfield House

Supplied by Hatfield House

The ‘largest show garden ever attempted’ will be built at Hatfield House next year.

Lord and Lady Salisbury’s Hatfield House estate will host The Game Fair for the second time in 2019.

Organisers of the countryside festival have partnered with Capel Manor College, London’s leading land-based college, to bring a new show garden to the event from Friday, July 26 to Sunday, July 28, 2019.

The newly formed partnership will combine Capel Manor’s reputation for garden design, innovation and young talent to provide visitors with an immersive and interactive experience as well as visual spectacle.

James Gower, the managing director of The Game Fair, said a show garden installation of this scale “had never been attempted before”.

Lady Salisbury, Patron of Capel Manor College, and Christine Bianchin, Acting Vice Principal at Capel Manor College, with the College’s show garden design.Lady Salisbury, Patron of Capel Manor College, and Christine Bianchin, Acting Vice Principal at Capel Manor College, with the College’s show garden design.

Capel Manor College Acting Vice Principal Christine Bianchin described the project as an “unique opportunity”.

Speaking at Monday’s launch event at River Cottage Kitchen & Deli at Hatfield House, she said: “We are hugely excited to take part in what we are convinced is the largest show garden and we thank Lord and Lady Salisbury for this opportunity.”

The specialist gardens, designed by RHS Gold medallists from the Enfield-based college, will span just over an acre –six times bigger than the largest created at the world famous Chelsea Flower Show.

The show garden will focus on conservation, grow your own, organic gardening, arboriculture, as well as take-home hands-on tips and inspiration for country and urban gardeners.

To put the project into context, Christine Bianchin explained: “In 2010, a group created the largest ever show garden at Chelsea which was 6,000ft². Ours will be more than 36,000ft² – six times bigger!

“The design perfectly showcases our students’ wide variety of skills and expertise from across the college including garden design, landscaping, horticultural skills, organic gardening, urban horticulture and grow your own, countryside management, conservation, arboriculture, floristry and leather craft.”

Staff and students from Capel Manor have previously won Gold and best in show at Ascot, Gold at Chelsea for show garden ‘50 Shades of Gold’, and a Silver medal at the RHS Hampton Court show.

Capel Manor principal Malcolm Goodwin added: “We are very excited to be bringing a substantial display of horticulture and environmental skills to The Game Fair at Hatfield House to showcase the many talents of our students and staff.

Lady Salisbury speaking to guests at the launch of Game Fair Gardens at River Cottage Kitchen & Deli  at Hatfield House.Lady Salisbury speaking to guests at the launch of Game Fair Gardens at River Cottage Kitchen & Deli at Hatfield House.

“The college provides fantastic opportunities for young people and career changers alike, and this exhibit will show how people can have wonderful careers by learning how to create beautiful gardens, produce food from the land, and look after the countryside, trees and wildlife to create a healthier, more attractive, productive and accessible environment for everyone.”

Lady Salisbury, a keen gardener, is delighted that students from the educational institution with Royal Horticultural Society accreditation will be creating a show garden in the grounds of the historic Hertfordshire stately home.

She said: “It is wonderful that this year The Game Fair are encouraging our apprentices and students to use their skills and knowledge to create a spectacular garden at Hatfield.

“As Patron of the College, specialising in land-based subjects across London, I know this RHS award-winning team will provide inspiration to gardeners and will show with a good design, what can be grown.

“Seeing what people can do is always a pleasure as well as providing a vital contribution to our green open spaces.

“I wish The Game Fair 2019 every success.”

The Game Fair MD James Gower is excited about the show garden design.

He said: “This is a ground-breaking venture for The Game Fair, a show garden of this scale has never been attempted before.

James Gower, managing director of The Game Fair, talking to guests at the launch of The Game Fair Gardens at River Cottage Kitchen and Deli at Hatfield House.James Gower, managing director of The Game Fair, talking to guests at the launch of The Game Fair Gardens at River Cottage Kitchen and Deli at Hatfield House.

“We are so grateful for the support of Capel Manor College and Hatfield House in creating a space to inspire and captivate our audience.

“Visitors should expect an innovative approach including kitchen gardens, traditional crafts, art and sculpture, animals, historic content and superb design in the setting of Hatfield House, which already has an international reputation among garden enthusiasts.”

More than 120,000 visitors are expected at The Game Fair 2019.

• Visit www.thegamefair.org for more information and to book tickets.

Elephant sculptures by Tom Hill at Hatfield House.Elephant sculptures by Tom Hill at Hatfield House.

Head gardener Andrew Turvey shows invited guests around the private East Gardens at Hatfield House on a behind the scenes tour.Head gardener Andrew Turvey shows invited guests around the private East Gardens at Hatfield House on a behind the scenes tour.

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