Renishaw Hall inspires a show garden

The fabulous landscapes and formal gardens of the area’s many historic houses have inspired one of the imaginative show gardens at RHS Chatsworth.

Award-winning designer Lee Bestall, right, is the creative force behind the Experience Peak District and Derbyshire Garden.

His business, Bestall & Co, based at Renishaw Hall and Gardens in north Derbyshire, has focused on the health-promoting and mood-boosting benefits of fresh air and fantastic views in his simple, yet striking design.

Rough grass, native trees and hand-painted cows representing the area’s landscapes lead through to the clipped topiary and herbaceous planting favoured by  the Peak District and Derbyshire’s great country houses.

The garden illustrates how an altered perspective makes us feel different. A central mown path leads through rough grass inspired by the fields of Derbyshire.

It is peppered with native trees and hand-painted cows, the latter a nod to Sir George Sitwell’s remark that blue stencilled white cows would ‘give distinction to the landscape’.

The second half of the garden takes inspiration from the formal gardens of the great houses, with their clipped topiary and herbaceous planting.

Tourist board director Jo Dilley said: “We’re delighted with Lee’s design, which reflects the huge variety of the area’s natural and man-made landscapes and gardens in a relatively small space,”

After the show the garden will be transported to Renishaw Hall and be installed in the grounds there, offering an exciting new area to Renishaw’s award-winning gardens.

The show garden will be accessible to visitors from late June, with tours led by Lee in September.

Lee, who is a member of the Society of Garden Designers, said: “I was particularly inspired by the various features at Renishaw such as the haha, parkland view and tightly mown lawns which run through the long grass areas, as well as the perfectly manicured Italianate borders which are neatly bordered with metal edging.”

Renishaw is offering 25 per cent off entry to the gardens during RHS week, with proof of a show visit. Call the visitor centre on 01246 432310 for more information or go to