What happens when you put a castle, a television presenter and lots of quality trade stands into a beautiful location?
On this particular occasion the result was a few thousand visitors turning up who were keen gardeners willing to spend their money.
The first Toby Buckland Garden Festival was held during the early May bank holiday in the grounds of Powderham Castle in glorious Devon.
There had been plenty of high profile promotion prior to the event resulting in one hundred trade stands selling ornamental and edible plants grown in the region, a range of garden sundries and several displays by garden related organisations. With a full programme of interesting speakers, entertainment and music the visitors flocked in during the two day event.
Traders reported good sales with rumours that some had to replenish stocks ready for the second day due to high demand from satisfied customers
Toby Buckland infront of camera
Toby Buckland hosted the event and maintained a very hands-on profile, with media interviews and a couple of presentations during the event he still made time to circulate and meet plenty of the visitors who enjoyed the opportunity to speak to him.
Jim Buttress, star of the BBC 2 ‘Big Allotment Challenge’, Ann Swithinbank from BBC Radio 4 ‘Gardener Question Time’, organic grower and author Charles Dowding and, tree expert and local grower Kevin Croucher of Thornhayes Nurseries were some of the speakers who gave highly informative talks during the two days.
The speakers marquee overflowing with visitors keen to one of the talks
The relaxed atmosphere made this a great family day out especially with the opportunity for people to wander around the stands and parts of the castle and its spectacular grounds.
As Jim Buttress commented “This has the wonderful atmosphere of a village show or fate”
It is anticipated that this new festival will become an annual event, for further details see: www.tobygardenfest.co.uk.
Toby Buckland and his wife Lisa run their delightful Nurseries Plant Centre within the grounds of Powderham Castle at Kenton, near Exeter.