Toby Buckland’s Harvest Festival rolls into town this weekend 15th and 16th September, arriving at Forde Abbey, near Chard in Somerset with a two-day celebration of all things cosy and autumnal. There’s hygge aplenty with a jam-making demo from Lillie O’Brien of London Borough of Jam, and flower-arranging with Georgie Newbery of Common Farm Flowers in a dahlia-festooned Demo Tipi, while in Forde’s wood-scented Great Hall, gardening acolytes including Guardian gardening writer Alys Fowler, Gardeners’ Question Time panellist Matt Biggs and actor John Challis will be sharing their love of bringing in the sheaves.
For families, there’s a gypsy caravan-sized apple press which goes by the name of Pomona where you can take your windfalls – or buy them if you didn’t get round to growing any, along with a Kids’ Zone hosted by Skinny Jean Gardener Lee Connelly of Blue Peter fame, where your budding Percy Throwers can learn how to hydrate plants the fun way using a water pistol.
More than 150 exhibitors will be selling their wares across Forde Abbey’s stunning lawns and flowerbeds, meaning if you’re after some local cider or honey, seasonal colour or garden sculpture to brighten your borders you won’t go away disappointed.
Other highlights include a chance to meet the maker of the iconic M5 Willow Man, Serena de la Hey, a Parterre Perfume Pop-Up showing how scent is distilled from plants and for tree-huggers, Sunday sees Alex Metcalf of telly’s My Passion for Trees, plug into Forde Abbey’s giant cedar with his sensitive microphones so you can hear the heartbeat of a tree.
Picture credit: Andrew Maybury