Toby Buckland’s Garden Festival set to return

Toby Buckland?s Garden Festival is back at Powderham Castle on Friday 1 and Saturday 2 May, following the success of last year?s event.

The festival heralds a new style of gardening show, combining expert horticultural knowledge with plenty of delicious local food, craft, live music and knowledge with plenty of local food, craft, live music and family fun.

Here are 10 things about the festival:

1. It?s a festival!

?I love a party,? says Toby, ?for me the festival is a giant garden party where I can invite some of my favourite friends to speak and share their vast knowledge but there?s plenty more going on too, it?s a place where you can kick-back, listen to live music with a glass in one hand and fine local food in the other surrounded by beautiful plants in a stunning Devon location.?

2. We have more specialist nurseries than anywhere in the South West, double the amount as last year!

This is where to get best advice straight from the growers who really know their stuff.?If you love gardening, this unique access to so many knowledgeable nurseries is gold dust. Whether you are looking to plant the perfect pond, discover rare raspberries or pot some pinks, you?ll find a plants-person to talk about it with here.

3. We?ve picked another great crop of gardening experts & broadcasters

Toby will be joined in a packed programme of talks and demo’s by gardening broadcasters: Christine Walkden, down to earth again after ballooning adventures over Britain; Bob Flowerdew, organic gardening aficionado and Gardener?s Question Time veteran; Jim Buttress and co-judge Jonathan Moseley, both fresh from BBC2?s successful series The Big Allotment Challenge, plus many other fascinating specialists from the festival ?family? of nursery exhibitors.

4. The location is glorious!

Powderham Castle is one of England?s oldest family homes and been home to the Courtenay family since it was built by Sir Philip Courtenay in 1391. Powderham Castle is located in a beautiful setting just outside Exeter, beside the Exe estuary. The Castle is open to the public from 27th?March to 30th?October 2015, and provides a perfect history-laden family day out.

5. New for 2015 – Dining under canvas

?For the first time the festival will host a fun ?pop-up? restaurant where you can book a delicious Devon lunch from Burnicombe Farm, in High Hat tipis set in the heart of the deer park. The tipis are just one part of a whole new selection of caterers who have been hand-picked with the same care as the specialist nurseries.?? Dearly loved Devon producers such as Hunters Ales, recently seen on BBC2?s ?The Fixer?: Victoria Cranfield, famous condiment maker and winner of the ?World?s Best Marmalade Award?; Pipers Farm, best butcher and meat producer at the Devon Life awards plus newcomers like ?Two Birds Kitchen? in their vintage caravan and ?Just Pigs? who do amazing and delicious things with pork. There will be talks on growing edible things too from Christine Walkden, and many others during the two days.

6. We?re taking to the trees

There?s a new dynamic element to our event as ?Teign Trees and Landscapes? have climbers in the trees at the festival main entrance gateway throughout the day doing exciting tree climbing demos and challenges and will be part of our spectacular entrance ceremony. They?ll also be offering harnessed, supervised tree ‘climbs’ for children and be on hand to answer tree surgery questions and discuss conservation.

7. Young Gardeners can get muddy in their own marquee

?Growing Devon Schools? will have a marquee with ?mud kitchen? ?musical vegetables?, ?compost corner? and more, providing an opportunity to wonderfully support young children’s natural desires to explore and discover, imagine and create, relate and interact with soil.? Bicton College will be in the marquee at the festival, building a garden live on site.

8. Kitchen Cuttings – a celebration of our nursery personalities.

From botanical cooking to urban mushroom farming, the ?Kitchen Cuttings? talks & demos take place in the Castle?s Victorian Kitchen and cover a diversity of topics that take gardening into other realms of interest. Meet Chris Greenman who took inspiration from heritage tools in his grandfather’s shed to create ergonomic implements that help the gardeners back; learn the tricks from Steven Hickman, the Agapanthus Man, who runs the only nursery which dedicated to agapanthus and tulbaghia, and discover how GroCycle turn old coffee grounds into blooms of oyster mushrooms – just some our popular and intimate sessions with exceptional exhibitors.

?9.??Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme?..?

Toby Buckland is the new President of The Herb Society, an internationally renowned educational charity, so as part of the festival we are celebrating history, fragrance and flavour of these plants. The Herb Society are bringing a 1636 leather-bound volume of Gerard?s Herball, giving visitors an opportunity to view this 400 year old book, on a rare outing from the Society?s vaults. The St Nicholas Priory ?Tudor Herbal Wives? will be demonstrating their many uses and Toby will be discussing practical modern applications of herbs with useful tips and ideas on growing and enjoying them.

10.Everyone can come to the party.

Everyone?s invited to Toby?s festival from novice or seasoned veteran, from nine to ninety so this year a bloom-bedecked Tuk-Tuk taxi will take those less able up the Castle ramp and over the moat to the flower filled courtyard.

Toby welcomes everyone to his festival at Powderham Castle in Devon and is also delighted to announce a second, new festival, at Bowood House and Gardens, Wiltshire on 5th and 6th June 2015. The duo of festivals will be celebrating gardening throughout the South and West.

Tickets: Adults ?7.50 on the day, ?6 with advance booking online, children under 16 free.

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