Get Practical with our Festival Experts

Throughout the Festival, we have hands-on practical demonstrations running in our Demo Yurt and around Forde Abbey, including in the beautiful Walled Kitchen Garden at Forde Abbey. Covering a range of country crafts and what-to-do-now topics, our experts will show a diverse range of harvest topics including how to make soap and natural dyes using flowers from your garden, plant and manage wildflower areas, scything, and grow bulbs, home-grown fruit, veg and flowers.

It’s very informal – many demo’s are free and no booking is needed, just turn up, others will be available for a small charge to cover the cost of materials and will be available to buy online in advance.

Jump to events schedule

Find out more about what’s happening throughout the festival below:

Saturday 16th September

Artisan Marquee

NatureMakes: Making boats & fairy houses from natural materials – all ages

Jane Welsh: Basket Making

Chapel

Thornhayes Nursery: Apple Ident Display

Simple Pleasures: Bulb Display

Ready Veggie Bake!: Cake Competition Display

Demo Yurt

Grace Alexander: Grow your own flowers and natural arrangements

Hog & Tallow: Botanical Soap Making

Jan Billington: Cooking with edible flowers

Kamil Oseka: The Pig at Bath chef cooking demo

Toby Buckland: Seed Collecting

Forde’s Trees

Kevin Croucher: Tree Tours

Gastro Garden

Pomona: Apple Pressing

Ben Richards: Growing Beer

Devon Distillery: Festival Gin

Ed Mello: Cooking/Charcuterie/Cheese-making/Smoking

Thirsty Gardeners: Build your own Apple Press

Great Hall

Charlie Dimmock: In Conversation with Jim Buttress

Toby Buckland: Practical Autumn Gardening

Jim Buttress: Compere/Q&A

Alan Down: Lasagne Style Bulb Combos

Long Grass Area

Chris Riley: Scything

Walled Garden

Danny Burlingham, Head Gardener: Kitchen Garden Tours

 

 

 

Sunday 17th September

Artisan Marquee

NatureMakes: Make boats & fairy houses – all ages

Jane Welsh: Basket Making

Chapel

Thornhayes Nursery: Apple Ident Display

Simple Pleasures: Bulb Display

Ready Veggie Bake!: Cake  Competition Display

Demo Yurt

Grace Alexander: Grow your own flowers & natural arrangements

Hog & Tallow: Botanical Soap Making

Toby Buckland: Seed Collecting

Flora Artbuthnott: Make natural dyes from garden plants

Forde’s Trees

Kevin Croucher: Tree Tours

Forde’s Willow Tunnel

Stefan Jennings: Weaving willow garden structures

Gastro Garden

Pomona: Apple Pressing

Ben Richards: Growing Beer

Ed Mello: Cooking/Charcuterie/Cheese-making/Smoking

Thirsty Gardeners: Build your own Apple Press

Great Hall

Christine Walkden: Grow your own Fruit & Veg

Toby Buckland: Practical Autumn Gardening

Jim Buttress: Compere/Q&A

Alan Down: Lasagne Style Bulb Combinations

Long Grass Area

Chris Riley: Learn to Scythe & manage wild meadows

Walled Garden

Danny Burlingham, Head Gardener: Kitchen Garden Tours

 

 

 

Kitchen Garden Tours

Dating back to the 19th century, the Kitchen Garden is the working part of the garden situated behind the house, a series of rectangular beds bisected by paths and edged on one side by lean-to greenhouses. At this time of year, the Kitchen Garden is replete with cut flowers and vegetables, including dahlias, cosmos and marigolds in full bloom, with ripening pumpkins, cabbages, kale and blocks of sweetcorn. In the adjacent greenhouses there are grapevines dripping with bunches of grapes. Today the kitchen garden produces enough fruit, vegetables and flowers for use in the house and tearoom for much of the year. From here you can access the shop and Forde’s lovely Plant Centre.

Danny Burlingham, Forde’s head gardener will be running guided tours of the garden both days of the Festival, giving a behind-the-scenes look at what’s grown, his tips for success and advising on some of his favourite varieties.

Danny Burlingham, Forde Abbey’s Head Gardener will be giving tours of the Walled Kitchen Garden

 

Take a Tour of the Trees

Kevin Croucher of renowned tree nursery, Thornhayes, is treating visitors to tours of Forde Abbey’s trees, which include two champion trees and unusual cut-leaved lime, red oak and swamp cypress. Find out more here.