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 you how to make soap using flowers from your garden, grow and arrange home-grown flowers. We will be posting a timetable of demo’s nearer the time or see the Festival brochure for more details. 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.
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.
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.