Green-fingered paradise

The Holker Garden Festival
The Holker Garden Festival

South Cumbria’s annual summer celebration of all things horticultural, The Holker Garden Festival, will be marking its 23rd year at the end of this month with a host of green-fingered stars.

Ethnobotanist and TV gardener James Wong will be the festival’s special guest on Saturday May 30, taking part in Q& sessions in the Holker Garden Theatre, signing copies of his new book ‘Grow for Flavour’ and offering expert advice, and top tips to amateur gardeners and visitors.

Fans of BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time are also in for a treat, as Eric Robson takes the hot seat in the Holker Garden Festival’s Garden Theatre.

In a change to his usual role as presenter and compere of the longest running broadcast programme in the world, Eric will take part in a Q&A, sharing his experiences of life on the road with Gardeners’ Question Time and giving a behind the scenes look at his 20 year role on the radio show.

Gary Murdock and Pete Taylor; semi -finalists on series one of BBC Two’s The Big Allotment Challenge, will also attend.

Gary and Pete will bring their refreshingly laid back attitude to gardening in to the Holker Garden Theatre, where they will share stories of their amazing TV experience, as well as life as allotment gardeners.

Hosted by the Cavendish family in the grounds of Holker Hall & Gardens in Cark-in-Cartmel, Cumbria, the Holker Garden Festival is a three day event taking place from Friday May 29 to Sunday May 31.

The festival showcases the very best of gardening, countryside, food and crafts, with a vibrant mix of horticultural displays, fragrance filled marquees, striking show gardens, country crafts and artisan produce.

Bring out the mini scientists in your little ones with a visit to the Holker Tipi’s, where they can take part in fun and educational ‘sowing the seed for science’ activities.

Good old fashioned family fun can be had on the showground (don’t forget children under 16 go free!) with the return of the glorious, 50ft traditional Victorian Helter Skelter.

Live, action packed arena shows including the daring, world famous Gerard Naprous & the Devil’s Horsemen Stunt Team and their Wild West show.

Whether you’re looking for gardening, rural life, artisan produce, country crafts or family fun this summer, you will be sure to find it at the Holker Garden Festival. For more information or to buy advance tickets visit the website at www.holkerfestival.co.uk or call 015395 58838.

Opening times are 10am to 5.30pm. Entrance to the festival is £15.50 for adults and £14.00 for seniors/students; discounts for advance bookings are available online.

Children under 16 go free when accompanied by an adult.