Who’s speaking at Forde Abbey in 2018?

Confirmed so far for Toby’s Garden & Harvest Festival 2018 are:

Lee Connelly

Lee Connelly the Blue Peter Gardener is coming to Toby’s Harvest Festival on 15th and 16th September bringing his unique brand of gardening fun and mayhem!

Lee’s gardening mission is to bring families and children together outside in the garden, creating memories and enjoying the space they have because he believes that no matter how small your garden we can all be gardeners. Lee travels across the country with fun family-focused shows packed with gardening makes, tips and games to get the audience involved along with a solid educational twist that follows the schools National Curriculum.

“It’s important for kids to know where and how their food is grown,” says Lee. When I started gardening I had no idea how things were grown, I thought that potatoes grew above ground and cauliflowers underground.  It’s ridiculous to even think that but I had no idea! As food education becomes a bigger part of school life, gardening should follow this too.”

Lee – also known as The Skinny Jean Gardener – began his own gardening adventure creating a kitchen garden for TV presenter Jimmy Doherty and quickly becoming a regular on the horticulture scene.  He has been the BBC Blue Peter gardener since 2014, guested on BBC Gardeners Question Time, designed gardens in Japan and brought gardening to BBC Radio 1 for the first time.

Lee also creates weekly gardening podcasts and continues to inspire families with his twice weekly YouTube uploads.

“I can’t wait to bring some Skinny Jean Gardener green fingered awesomeness to The Toby Buckland Garden Festival at Forde Abbey! I’ll be creating family fun with some gardening makes, competitions and ideas for your garden at home at what has to be the highlight of the year in the gardening calendar!”

Meet Lee at Forde Abbey on 15th and 16th September at Toby’s Harvest Festival.


toby buckland

Toby is host of both GardenFest at Powderham Castle and the new Garden & Harvest Festival at Forde Abbey.

Known for his practical and entertaining approach to gardening, Toby is a trained horticulturist who enjoys explaining the finer points of gardening with the knack of making difficult gardening skills easy to beginners.

Toby writes weekly for Amateur Gardening magazine, and is a regular columnist for the Times Home Supplement and Telegraph Gardening. For the past five years he has run a boutique garden centre at Powderham Castle in Devon with his wife Lisa whilst making regular appearances on-screen, including BBC Great Garden Revival and the BBC’s coverage from RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

You can hear Toby every Sunday morning presenting BBC Radio Devon’s Sunday show from 9am-midday. Phone in with your gardening questions!