More than 6000 garden lovers flooded through the gates of Powderham Castle for Toby’s fourth Garden Festival last Friday 28th and Saturday 29th April to see the historic Castle Courtyard, Rose Lawn and Deer Park magically come into bloom with the arrival of more than 190 specialist plant nurseries, arts and crafts and artisan food stalls.
Visitors came from far and wide to see Charlie and AJ, The Earl and Countess of Devon cut the ribbon at 10am on Friday, ably assisted by host Toby Buckland and BBC garden expert Pippa Greenwood and to hear inspiring talks from Toby, Pippa Greenwood and BBC Gardeners’ World presenters Jim Buttress and Adam Frost. Specialist talks in the Castle Victorian Kitchen were standing room only and covered topics from gardening for bees to keeping hens and growing bonsai and dahlias while outside there were demo’s on dowsing, botanical gin making and keeping hens and bees in your garden.
Toby says, “It’s always amazing to see the Castle grounds transformed by our family of Festival growers, with everything from azaleas to blooming zantedeschia. The quality of our West Country producers is truly something to be proud of whether they are growers, or producers of the finest Devon cheese or award-winning beer or botanical gin. The art and craft was stunning this year, with some of Devon’s best watercolours and textiles on display. Next year will be our fifth Garden Festival at the Castle and we have certainly set ourselves a challenge to beat this year!”
190 exhibitors displaying extraordinary and beautiful plants, garden equipment, antiques, tools, crafts and garden furniture were spread across Powderham Castle’s stunning grounds and deer park. Visitors could enjoy a delicious variety of local artisan food, relax in Toby’s Tea Tent listening to live music from the flower-bedecked Cataclews or just chill out on the grass with a pint of Powderkeg beer and a picnic blanket between plant hunting forays.
Toby’s next event, his new Garden & Harvest Festival is at Forde Abbey on the Devon/Dorset border is on 16th and 17th September and includes celebrity appearances by Ground Force star Charlie Dimmock and BBC One Show gardener, Christine Walkden. Advance tickets £10, under 16s free.