Olympians are not the only Brits to win gold – Toby Buckland’s Garden Festival unearths treasures

Toby Buckland’s Garden Festival at Powderham Castle on

Friday 2nd& Saturday 3rd May 2014

TobyBuckland-Matt-Austin 122

Toby Buckland at the Powderham Castle Estate ph: Matt Austin

Olympians are not the only Brits to win gold – the  exhibitors at Toby Buckland’s Garden Festival can boast over 100 RHS Gold Medals between them. See a spectacular display of extraordinary, unusual and beautiful plants with over 100 exhibitors showing across the Castle estate, children’s gardening activities, food and craft stalls and live music to help create a garden party atmosphere.

Meet Whetman Pinks, filling the festival air with the exceptional perfume of their internationally famous blooms,

Whetman Pinks carolyn in greenhouse

Carolyn Bourne of Whetman Pinks

and the Heucheraolics, bringing their astonishing Technicolour Dreamcoat of these leafy, showy plants.



Avon Bulbs, famous for their sumptuous displays at flower shows, will be there too.  Bowdens Hostas hold the National Hosta Collection as well as being champions with their ferns and bamboos;

Tim Penrose of Bowdens Hostas

Tim Penrose of Bowdens Hostas

Cornish nursery Kelnan Plants, specialist growers of South African plants, have won 26 RHS Gold Medals to date and leading ornamental grass expert, Neil Lucas of Knoll Gardens holds 10 consecutive RHS Chelsea Golds  – these are just some of the award winning exhibitors to be seen at Powderham Castle on the best Bank Holiday Gardening weekend of the year.

Toby and Anne Swithinbank

Toby and Anne Swithinbank

Headlining will be television gardening broadcaster, Toby Buckland, giving talks and demos including advice on planning and planting for year-round colour. Other garden stars include: Anne Swithinbank of Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time; organic expert and author Charles Dowding; Neil Lucas from award-winning Dorset nursery Knoll Gardens; Devon garden historian Dr Todd Gray and  garden photographer Jason Ingram who shoots for BBC Gardeners’ World, Country Living and provides images for Toby’s BBC books. International tree expert, Kevin Croucher and

Jim Buttress

Jim Buttress will give talks and be a member of the Q & A panel.

RHS Show judge and soon-to-be-star, Jim Buttress of BBC 2’s The Big Allotment Challenge (airing this Spring), will also be entertaining us in the Speaker’s Marquee.

Clive Groves of Groves Nurseries will be talking Devon Violets in the Victorian Kitchen

Clive Groves of Groves Nurseries will be talking Devon Violets in the Victorian Kitchen

Not to forget the  “Kitchen Cuttings” informal 30 min talks in the Victorian Kitchen Fourteen gripping slots filled with gardening treasures during the two day event: Waste Not Weeds, Sally Harvey shows us how to love our weeds – and eat them too! Alarik Greenfield, artist, will talk about his extraordinarily beautiful trees crafted from wire and peridot stones that take weeks to complete; “Learn to love your Rhubarb” with Lori Reich of Shute Fruit or discover the art of good soil with compost maestro, Nicky Scott. Radio Cornwall’s Tracy Wilson will be talking plant disease and if you haven’t heard of Mexican Mouse Melon then stop by and hear all about them from Pennard Plants, a Somerset nursery with one of the most remarkable collections of “Incredible Edibles”.

Maddocks Farm Edible FlowersPIMMS

Jan of Maddocks Farm Organics will be talking edible flowers in the Victorian kitchen

Toby is a father of three and keen to encourage another generation of young gardeners, there’ll be a dedicated children’s tent.

Growing Devon Schools, an initiative that gets kids outside growing food, will be at the festival.

Growing Devon Schools, an initiative that gets kids outside growing food, will be at the festival.

They are giving away thousands of free Thompson and Morgan pumpkin seeds to launch the start of Toby’s Pumpkin Fest 2014. Take away your seeds, grow a big-un and bring it back to our Autumn Harvest on Sunday 26th October and you could win a prize.

  • Powderham Forge will be demonstrating their blacksmith skills
  • Devon Dowsers will be joining us to explain the mysterious art of dowsing
  • Growing Devon Schools, Send a Cow, & Devon Gardens Trust will be sharing a stand providing fun and interactive demonstrations will engage the whole family with techniques they can copy at home, building bag gardens and tip taps.
  • Bouncy castle
  • Live bands and Dan the Hat will be providing entertainment

Come and celebrate some of the West Country’s finest nurseries with a packed programme of talks, demos, and plenty of family fun to make this one of the finest and friendliest plant fairs of the year. Ample free parking and tractor-trailer service between the car park and Festival ground. Plant sherpas and plant creche available.

Friday 2nd May 10am – 5pm: Saturday 3rd May 10am – 6pm. http://www.tobygardenfest.co.uk/ Ticket costs: Adults £5, children under 16 free. Entry includes admission to Powderham Castle. Free parking. Discounts available. Group discounts are available for groups of 12 and over. Please contact info@tobybuckland.com with your requirements

Getting to the festival by train:

The Citizens’ Rail project has created a series of free printable train timetables for the festival weekend, showing times from locations including Exeter, Torquay and Paignton to Starcross station, close to Powderham Castle. www.citizensrail.org/garden-festival-by-train

Toby Buckland infront of Powderham Castle, photo by Matt Austin

Toby Buckland in front of Powderham Castle, photo by Matt Austin



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