Thousands enjoy talks, tours and music in great outdoors

July 09 2017
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THE third English Country Garden Festival attracted more than 4,000 visitors to The Bishop's Palace.

The festival, which took place from June 9-11, was opened by celebrity gardener Matthew Biggs.

He praised the quality of the gardens, on what was his first visit to the site. His talk, Lessons From Great Gardeners, was packed out and very well received.

Visitors were treated to expert garden tours throughout the festival by the experienced team of gardeners from the Palace, and an array of 45 stalls with nursery plants, garden tools and gadgets, gifts and food.

Other celebrity gardener talks were given by Anne Swithinbank, Tamsin Westthorpe, Alan Power, Jane Moore and Cleve West.

The South Lawn was the centre of activities with live music from The Somerset Levellers on Saturday afternoon, traditional Morris Dancing from the Cam Valley Morris Men on Sunday, and a stunning performance from The Longest Johns on Sunday afternoon.

There was also a demonstration by Georgie Newbery from Common Farm Flowers, who wowed the crowd with her wealth of knowledge on growing and arranging flowers.

The visiting garden experts all commended head gardener James Cross on the skilful development and presentation of the 14 acres of RHS Partner Gardens, with the Phelps Rose Garden taking particular praise.

Festival sponsors included Harris & Harris solicitors, Stihl Power Tools, Griffin Glasshouses, Pilgrim Finance and Chalmers HB.

The Palace plans to continue this event for a fourth year next June and is currently in discussions with a range of celebrity gardeners about next year’s appearances.