What to expect in 2019

Our sixth Garden Festival brings everything that our visitors have come to love, including award-winning specialist nurseries and quality plants, artisan food and craft, live music and two full days of fascinating talks and demo’s from the nation’s top garden experts. 2019 also sees a brand-new festival layout and a range of new attractions, with the aim of making the festival even more relevant and accessible for our visitors.


We’re joined by BBC Gardeners’ World presenters Joe Swift and Frances Tophill, who will be sharing their knowledge of garden design and coastal gardening, while actor John Challis returns by popular demand for more selfies and book-signings.

Plus we’re introducing a new speaker venue, The Country Gardener Magazine Talks Tent, a seated speaker venue for a second programme of short talks and demo’s focussing on specialist plants and will be given by many of the nurserymen and women who exhibit at the festival, including Sara Ritterhausen of Devon orchid nursery Burnham Orchids.

New site layout

This year sees a change in layout to make the festival more accessible to visitors with greater weather-proofing, closer access from the visitor car parks and more under-cover space in the shape of the our NEW Artisan Barn which will be a hub for craft and food exhibitors with a new demo stage.




Learn Something New

Try your hand a range of skills for free including making beautiful realistic flowers from paper with Dartmoor artist Bee Watson of WildHive who was recently featured on Kirstie Allsopp’s Homemade Christmas

Take a Ride

The castle’s popular tractor-trailer will be taking visitors between the festival and car parks, allowing visitors to stock up on plants and purchases without having to carry it all back to the car! We also have a Plant Creche where you can leave your buys for a small donation to charity while enjoying the fun of the festival.

Knit your own Blooms!

Learn – or remember how! to knit and crochet with Devon artist Storm-in-a-Teacup who is bringing her Knitting Yurt to the festival, and will be showing you how to create flowers and vegetables made from wool, plus we have wreath-making and flower-arranging skills.

Bring your Four-legged Friend

In response to feedback from visitors, we are going dog-friendly in 2019! Dogs on short leads will be welcome on site for the first time in the festival’s history and we hope to have a range of attractions and exhibitors to appeal to visitors coming with their four-legged friends.

Alex Metcalf from BBC My Passion for Trees

Listen inside a tree!

For the curious, Alex Metcalf of BBC’s My Passion for Trees is hooking up to Powderham’s magnificent oak’s and giving visitors the opportunity to hear the inner workings of the trees, the popping and rumbling of the sap as it makes it way up the bark via the xylem and up to the leafy canopy, carrying up to 250 litres of water a day!


We’re introducing our new Country Gardener Magazine talks tent for 2019, hosted entirely by the knowledgeable nursery-people who are exhibiting at the festival. Topics include orchids, hybrid Itoh paeonies, climbers and plants for tricky areas, such as drought and coastal spots.

Talks are free to festival visitors and run both days.

NO-dig gardening

Find out how no-dig gardening can improve the health of you soil (and save your back!) on Friday 3rd May when no-dig gardener and author Steph Hafferty joins us in Powderham’s Speaker Hall. Steph works on a quarter-of-an acre plot with veg gardener and author Charles Dowding from which they reap £25k of edible crops annually so there must be something to it!


Want to be king or queen of the castle for the day? Festival sponsor Candide have teamed up with the British Academy of Floral Art to help visitors make their own free flower crown at the festival.

learn the ukelele

Father and son duo Sunnyside Up join us on Saturday 4th May for regular ukulele workshops throughout the day where you can watch and listen, or borrow an instrument and be part of their ad-hoc orchestra. Expect lots of flower-themed tunes!