Toby Buckland announces Garden Festival line-up

Toby Buckland has announced the line-up for the 2016 Garden Festival at Powderham Castle near Exeter, Devon.

The Festival is taking place on Friday 29 April and Saturday 30 April from 10am to 5pm and will provide well dug gardening expertise along with pots of entertainment.

Speakers include:

Toby Buckland, Festival MC, a twinkle in the eye and a merry horticultural quip at the ready, whose ambition is to sail a garden shed down the River Exe. His career has taken him from Devon nurseryman, to professional gardener and on to presenting numerous TV shows, including BBC Gardeners? World and the Chelsea Flower Show while still finding time to write gardening columns, run his plant centre and work on garden design projects.

Joe Swift, RHS Gold Medal winning designer, presenter of BBC Gardeners? World and Times Columnist and part of a YouTube hit comedy trio ?Three Men Went to Mow?. He plays bass guitar, is a lifelong Arsenal fan and when he gets the chance enjoys fishing and golf. He says along with gardening, these provide perfect retirement pursuits ? not that he is ready to do that just yet with many new design projects on his horizon.

Christine Walkden, one of Britain?s busiest gardeners and regular contributor on Gardeners? Question Time and the BBC One Show. She recently featured on the Antique Road Trip and manages to write, speak, consult and be a patron of her local hospice. Her forthright manner about gardens and gardeners keeps her audiences rocking with laughter.

Jim Buttress, raconteur extradordinary, RHS judge and winner of the Queen Victoria Medal, ex-Superintendent of the Royal Parks. He keeps all laughing with stories of his gardening exploits. From his early days as a naughty as a naughty convent schoolboy sent as punishment to join the gardener, to tales of encounters with HM the Queen and corgis via judging the Bahrain Flower Show, Jim keeps them coming and now has yet another career as a popular after dinner speaker.

Toby said: ?I?m delighted that my favourite, top-rated gardeners and friends are going to be together under one ?canvas? roof sharing their existence horticultural knowledge in the most entertaining way.

?This was always my vision for the festival, an alternative to the more formal shows with great nurseries and plant expertise at the heart.

?It?s a celebration of what is good in gardening in Devon with added fun: live music, arts and crafts, theatricals, delicious food and drink.

Toby will be speaking about ?Big Ideas for Small Spaces? and added: ?Good things come in small packages and with clever design and the right choice of plants small gardens can be very beautiful indeed.

?And this year?s festival is all about showing and empowering gardeners to make the most of their plots whatever the size.?

Joe Swift takes up the theme with discussions on design and planting and Christine will be concentrating on getting the best from your plants from seed to soil.

Q&A?s are returning and packed with useful information and added hilarity. There will also be many talks from more gardening aficionados.

The main speakers tent will be supplemented by ?Kitchen Cuttings? talks held in the Victorian Kitchen in the heart of the castle.

Talks include Devon?s first tea plantation, taking advantage of global warming by planting your own olive grove and creating your own urban jungle.

Visitors can also get instant answers from the festival?s hand-picked specialist nurseries.

?7.50 on the day

?6 with advance booking online

Children under 16 go free


Powderham Castle, Kenton, Near Exeter, Devon, EX6 8JQ

Tel: 01823 431767

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