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Quirky cows are a hit with RHS Chatswrth visitors

Posted on June 8th, 2017

Peak District garden picnic at RHS Chatsworth
Rain may have stopped play as the wraps came off the first RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, but guests in the Experience Peak District & Derbyshire garden braved the elements in true British style - with a picnic.

They toasted official tourist board Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire's success of winning a Silver Gilt Medal with a glass of Derbyshire sparkling wine and the cream of local produce - including Bakewell Pudding, Hartington cheese and hand-made pies made with locally-reared meat.

The Duke and Duchess of Devonshire joined the celebrations alongside the garden designer Lee Bestall, who won a Silver Medal at RHS Chelsea 2017 .

Gardener, broadcaster and writer Alan Titchmarsh also dropped by - before RHS show organisers abandoned the media preview day because of bad weather - and was particularly impressed by three life-size model cows grazing in wild flower strewn meadows.

The cows, sprayed in eye-catching metallic colours - copper, chrome/silver and gold - and 'branded' with a blue and white hand-painted circular motif, were intended to add a touch of whimsy and humour and are proving a real talking point.

"I decided to include them after reading a comment by the late Sir George Sitwell* of Renishaw Hall & Gardens, that white cows could be made more interesting if painted with a blue pattern," said Lee, whose business, Bestall & Co, is based at Renishaw Hall.

"I don't think his vision was ever realised, but it certainly stimulated my imagination as a quirky complement to the overall picture I wanted to create. I was delighted by the enthusiastic reception our cows received from our guests on the first day - including Alan Titchmarsh, who really liked them."

Jo Dilley, the tourist board's Managing Director, added: "Fortunately both the cows and our garden made a great initial impression before the bad weather took hold on the first day, and we are really pleased that the reaction has been so positive, especially from the show judges.

"Now we're looking for a good home for the cows after the show has closed, and are accepting sealed bids so that anyone interested in giving them a permanent home can register an interest. We'd particularly like to hear from anyone wanting to keep them together as a herd.”

Visitors can find the Experience Peak District & Derbyshire show garden at site number 112 on the RHS Chatsworth Showground until Sunday June 11.

Anyone interested in submitting a sealed bid for the cows can do so on the Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire stand next to the garden, can contact if@aktnpdcmnomreigd.o or can call 01246 212924 for further details.

After the show, the award-winning garden will be recreated at Renishaw Hall, minus the cows.

Main show garden sponsor, Derbyshire-based Chamber member CW Sellors Fine Jewellery, is launching a new, floral inspired Tuberose jewellery collection at the show. Other sponsors include Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire and Hope Cement.