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Community effort makes RHS Chatsworth entry possible

Robert Woodhead Ltd has joined forces with gardening experts, Echium World, to bring to life an exciting exhibit for the Royal Horticultural Show (RHS) at Chatsworth this June.


Woodhead was approached by Linda and Ray Heywood who use the Woodhead-owned business centre, Edwinstowe House, as the base for their Echium show garden. They were looking for help to construct a volcanic ‘caldera’ structure to realise their vision for their entry in to next month’s RHS Chatsworth Show.

The exciting project saw Echium World and Woodhead team up with schools, apprentices and a community craft group to bring the project to life.

Having won a silver medal at RHS Hampton Court Flower show last year, Linda and Ray Heywood are going for Gold at Chatsworth. Linda said: “We had ambitious plans for our display and wanted to show these amazing plants at their best. But we’re not construction specialists, we’re gardeners. To have Woodhead’s support, and to work with them and the local community groups who have joined us, has been a real boost to the project.”

But, why a volcano? Linda continues: “We were inspired to showcase Echium in this way due to their ordinary natural habitat. Many varieties grow on slopes, in valleys and forest regions on the Canary Islands. Echium pininana, E. wildpretii and E. simplex, grow in the shadow of the active volcano Mount Teide in Tenerife. The exhibit represents a volcanic caldera.”

A team of Robert Woodhead Ltd apprentices working on the nearby New Bolsover Model Village project, took charge of building the structure, which creates the shape of the volcanic caldera. They’ve been supported by the pupils and staff at King Edwin Primary School in Edwinstowe, and the Heritage Crafts Group in New Bolsover, who have worked hard to design the side panels, which will form the outside of the volcano.

Linda added: “We feel this concept provides a stimulating communication tool, engaging people of all ages in learning about Echium, gardening, pollinators and nature. We are particularly keen to thank pupils and staff of King Edwin Primary School and the Heritage Crafts Group at New Bolsover Model Village for the art and design work displayed. And of course, many thanks to the team at Woodhead for sponsoring and constructing the exhibit, and for the partnership working, which turned our ‘Echium Eruption’ vision into a reality.”

Echium World will be displaying its ‘Echium Eruption’ exhibit at the RHS Chatsworth show in Derbyshire, from the 7th to 11th June, for the first time ever this year. To find out more, why not visit the show and go to see Linda and Ray, who will be exhibiting all week in the Floral Marquee.

Katie Stammers, Robert Woodhead Limited’s Project Manager for the New Bolsover Model Village project, said: “We’re delighted to have been able to work together with Echium World, our local primary school and the New Bolsover residents to help the team showcase these phenomenal plants, which we’re very lucky to appreciate every day in the garden at Edwinstowe House. We wish Linda and Ray lots of luck for the show in a few weeks time.”