The 2017 HPS Rutland Group Plant Fair
will be held on
Sunday May 28th
10-30am until 3-00pm
Fox Cottage, Cottesmore Road, Ashwell (near Oakham), LE15 7LJ
Admission is £2.00, accompanied children free
Refreshments will be available. Open to the public, free car parking
Full details including a map of the location are available on their website
The following stalls have booked for 2017
Bridge Farm Plants
Shade tolerant plants, Umbels, Irises, Hardy Geraniums,
Aconitums, Unusual Tender Perennials, Seasonal Bulbs
Diane Cole Hardy Plants
Hostas, Ferns, and Perennials
Linda Scott Hardy Plants
Hardy Geraniums, range of hardy perennials
M & J Perennials
Unusual Hardy Perennials, including a large range of registered Hemerocallis
Bulbs, unusual plants, Variegated plants
Wide range of rare and unusual herbaceous perennials,
Small collection of flowering bulbs, half-hardy and tender plants
Hardy Plants, Shrubs
Rare and unusual herbaceous perennials
Small Beauties (Uppingham)
Sempervivums, Saxifragas, Sedums, planted gardens
Alpines Herbaceous, Auriculas, Shrubs, Shade loving plants
S & N Plants
Alpines, Herbaceous perennials.
Swines Meadow Farm Nursery
Rare unusual Ferns, Hostas, shrubs, bamboos
Herbaceous perennials, Paeony, Lilies
During the last couple of weeks I have spent many many backbreaking hours spread over several heartbreaking days digging up and burning every aquilegia (one of my favourite cottage garden plants at this time of year), just as they were coming into flower in my garden. Why? It had gradually dawned on me that they had aquilegia downy mildew.
At first I had thought I was getting some interesting new seedlings; small silvery-leaved plants were appearing. Then I spotted some rather more lime-green or golden plants, and some with rather nice, subtle variegation. As I have never had variegated aquilegia cultivars in the garden before I realised it was too much of a coincidence that this should all be happening at once and thought back to a report from a couple of years back of a new disease outbreak wiping out the National Plant Collection of Aquilegia. I looked through their website and there were photographs resembling all my “interesting new seedlings”: actually showing various stages of the disease.
Then the silver plants started to twist and collapse, and some variegated ones, on closer inspection, were a bit more ugly and extreme, especially the lowest rosette of leaves. There was also a lot of purple mottling.
Other plants just didn’t look quite right: the leaves were narrower and more wedge-shaped than usual. Then the flowers, when they started to appear, often looked rather bleached at the tips of the petals and occasionally twisted or deformed. Sadly, the plants have all had to go, even the few that at first I had thought looked relatively healthy.
Although related to other downy mildews, this horrible disease seems to be specific to aquilegias (columbines, granny’s bonnets) and has only been identified in the last few years. Nobody knows where it has come from: it doesn’t seem to have been imported from abroad (unlike so many new pests and diseases). But it has spread around the country like wildfire. It seems there is no effective chemical control: systemic fungicides are not recommended by the RHS advice pages. Burning, or deep burial in the vegetable plot are their only suggested options (but I would have thought that the danger of accidentally unearthing the festering corpses would be too great in the latter case).
Judging by the number of plants that I had to dig up, the disease had been with me for some time (one year at least, probably two), and now that I know the symptoms I have started to notice it in many other places. Most notably a well-known Grantham DIY emporium, which was selling packs of clearly diseased plants (but member of staff took two packs, immediately looked up the RHS page on his smartphone and promised to report the problem to the head buyer), and a Grantham garden centre (where the staff member seemed vaguely interested but hadn’t bothered to remove their spectacularly diseased display plant from show a couple of hours later).
I suspect this is the problem: the small plants on sale at the DIY outlet must already have had the disease when they were sent out from the nursery that raised them. The large plant at the garden centre was probably also sent out from a central supplier. It only takes one or two such suppliers to send out sickly plants to chains of retailers and independent outlets around the country to spread a disease in no time. And even though this downy mildew is specific to aquilegias, I suspect that its resting spores, which are released into the soil (and hence the wider environment) from the rotting leaves, can probably be passed around in pots of other plants that have stood near to the infected aquilegias. I only hope I’m not guilty of innocently spreading it to any other gardens that I have visited or donated plants to before realising that I had the disease here.
Do I sound paranoid? I am. My wife has just come home from visiting a friend a couple of villages away, who had just said to her, as she left, “Isn’t it dry? Look at my aquilegias!” She broke the news as gently as she could…
(PS It wasn’t us who had passed on the mildew to them! We haven’t been to their garden, nor they to ours, in the last couple of years at least.)
I must apologise for not having kept the website up to date this year. The site is a WordPress blog. WordPress have updated their software and advise that all users should now be upgrading to the latest version of the software, which sounds simple enough. But they also warn that there is a danger that in doing so, the data on an existing blog or website may be lost. Therefore any existing websites or blogs should be backed up before the new software is installed. I’m afraid that I haven’t had time to embark upon this long and involved process for the several WordPress sites that I currently run, for various personal reasons too complicated to explain here.
I would also like to modernise the SLGS site, giving it a new look to make it more flexible and mobile phone user-friendly, and need to choose a new “theme” for that purpose. When I have some time to upgrade the software I also hope I will be able to try out a different look or two and see what works best.
The Spalding Branch of the British Cactus & Succulent Society is holding a
Cactus & Succulent Plant Sale
on Saturday 22nd April 2017, 10am – 3pm
at Holbeach Community Centre, Fishpond Lane, Holbeach, Lincs, PE12 7DE
Sales by 15 leading cactus nurseries and growers (see below). Free admission. Ample free parking.
Refreshments available all day. For full details visit www.spalding.bcss.org.uk (Charity Number: 290786)
- Ralph Northcott, Cactus Shop Winkleigh, Devon
- Bryan and Linda Goodey, Southfield Nurseries Bourne, Lincs
- Shaun Biggadyke King’s Lynn, Norfolk
- Rob Stevenson Caistor, Lincs
- Lily Cartier and Philip Greswell Spalding, Lincs
- Derek Bowdery, Eau Brink Cacti King’s Lynn, Norfolk
- Stuart Riley, Plantlife Nursery Eastbourne, East Sussex
- Richard and Wendy Edginton, Seedling Cacti Norwich, Norfolk
- Doug Sizmur, Kent Cacti Orpington, Kent
- Gordon and Joan Foster, Oak Dene Nurseries Barnsley, South Yorkshire
- Keith Larkin, Keith’s Cactus Books Market Harborough, Leics
- David Neville Southampton, Hants
- Tony Irons Portishead, Somerset
- Graham Charles Stamford, Lincs
- Cliff Thompson Waterlooville, Hants
Sharron has put together another exciting programme for next year (despite a bit of input from other members of the committee, and some discussion of titles of talks, it’s basically Sharron, as programme secretary, who finalises almost all of the details every year).
It ranges from local garden designer Ken Rawson’s personal reminiscences of one of last century’s greatest British plantsmen, Christopher Lloyd, through a talk on salvias, arguably the up-and-coming genus for vibrant high- and late-summer colour, by Huntingdon nurserywoman Janet Buist of Pennycross Plants, to well-known broadcaster, garden designer and writer Bunny Guinness on “Transforming Your Garden”. Plus Manchester plantsman Kevin Pratt, who’s a specialist in fritillarias and Stachyurus amongst other things, and Steve Edney, head gardener at The Salutation, an historic garden originally laid out by Edwin Lutyens in Sandwich, Kent, who will be discussing the successional planting in that garden’s spectacular Long Border.
We also have a special evening members’ garden visit to our SLGS members Rob and Claire Bailey-Scott’s lovely garden at Gosberton, which I featured in an earlier posting.
But most exciting is the fact that, for the first time in some years, SLGS are venturing abroad. Tempted by tantalising reports of the Open Gardens weekend in Amsterdam, which includes many private gardens not visible from the street and never open to the public at any other time, Sharron has organised a long weekend coach trip (16–19th June) at a very reasonable price, with a possible optional extra excursion to Piet Oudolf’s own garden, and other details to be arranged.
- To download a pdf of the detailed programme, along with a tear-off slip to join or re-join the society, click this link.
Bryony Baxter, a student at Newcastle University, is currently distributing a questionnaire helping her BSc study of wildlife gardening. Her email is below.
It would greatly help Bryony if you could fill in her online questionnaire. It should take only a few minutes, and there are some interesting questions. Just click on the link below.
And if you belong to another gardening, wildlife or natural history society and think some of your fellow members might be interested, please pass on the details to them, too.
In future I hope to be able to bring you a summary of Bryony’s findings.
I am a student at Newcastle University studying Bsc Countryside Management and for my dissertation I am looking at how wildlife gardening is contributing to biodiversity in South East England.*
I am inviting participants from gardening clubs, horticultural societies and environmental groups in South East counties to complete a questionnaire about gardening behaviours and wondered whether you could distribute this questionnaire to your members or people who would be interested?
It is an online questionnaire with a total of 23 questions and I would really appreciate all gardening enthusiasts spending approximately 10 minutes to complete it. Results shall remain anonymous and confidential.
Here is the survey URL: https://www.esurveycreator.com/s/0b6c9d3
*Although Bryony’s research was originally targeted at Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, West Sussex, Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire and Surrey, she has now had responses from all over England, so she’s happy for anyone to fill it in.
I have received this list from Janet & Martin Blow, organisers of the Plant Hunters’ Fairs. Unfortunately for us, most of them take place in the Northwest or West Midlands, but I thought you might like them to refer to when planning your holidays or a day out. (There’s a descriptive list of the venues, followed by a full calendar of the events. Note that, for some reason, the venues are not in alphabetical order.)
The closest fairs for most SLGS members are probably Pottertons Nursery at Nettleton in North Lincolnshire (28 May) and Southwell Minster gardens (13 Aug).
Plant Hunters’ Fairs:
New venues for 2017
We have some great new gardens and venues for our specialist plant fairs this year:
- Bramall Hall, Stockport BACK AFTER 2 YEARS BREAK (Sunday 2nd April)
- Hoghton Tower, Lancashire (Saturday 8th April)
- Pottertons Nursery and Garden, Lincolnshire (Sunday 28th May)
- Bosworth Battlefield, Leicestershire (Saturday 24th June)
Extra events to be held at the following venues
- Abbeywood Gardens, (July and September)
- British Ironwork Centre (May and July)
- Henbury Hall Gardens, (July and September)
- Middleton Hall (April and July)
2017 Event Highlights
NEW – Hoghton Tower
Hoghton, Nr Preston Lancashire PR5 0HD
Saturday 8th April 2017 10am-4pm
Entry Plant Fair only £1.00/Optional entry to Gardens only is £2.20
Optional entry to House and Gardens is £10 adult and £8 concession
A new venue full of history and beauty and our first Plant Hunters’ Fair in Lancashire.
Hoghton Tower, a Grade I listed building, is the ancestral home of the de Hoghton family. The de Hoghtons are descended directly from Harvey de Walter, one of the companions of William the Conqueror, and through the female line from Lady Godiva of Coventry, wife of Leofric, Earl of Mercia. Re-created in 1565 by Thomas Hoghton, this ancient, fortified, hilltop manor house occupies a commanding position, 650ft above sea level. The Tower lies mid-way between Preston and Blackburn, with magnificent views of Lancashire, the Lake District and North Wales. Hoghton Tower is the only true baronial hall in Lancashire.
The gardens (optional at extra cost) follow the winding escarpment lined with giant beech trees, ancient moss-covered walls and spring s daffodils along the north side of the Tower. Look right to find the stonemason’s name concealed in the randomly-sized stones. As you pass through the ancient doorway, notice the oak trees planted by royalty on either side of you. Discover now three separate, very different walled gardens as narrow openings lead from one to another, almost as if you are walking into different open-air rooms. The Wilderness Garden, with its large expanse of perfectly maintained lawn, herbaceous borders and topiary is the first garden you will encounter. Spot the romantic Dorothy Steps leading to the East Wing and take in the view over the parapet walls to the ancient woodland. Through another narrow doorway and you are in the Rose Garden, the most formal and intimate of the three with its abundance of colourful roses, formal flowerbeds, terracotta vases and lines of clipped yews. An ancient wooden doorway leads you on to the striking Ramparts Garden. Looking over the castellation, the horizon opens to a vast view of the gentle rolling countryside and towards the distant shimmer of the Irish Sea.
Houghton’s Vaio Tea Room which epitomises the spirit of the classic English tea room, will be open offering a wonderful menu using both local and seasonal products. The Stables Gift Shop will also be open.
NEW – Bosworth Battlefield
Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre & Country Park,
Sutton Cheney, Nuneaton CV13 0AD
Saturday 24th June 2017 10am-4pm
£1.00 Entry to Plant Fair P&D parking/Entrance to the Country Park is FREE
Award winning exhibition optional at normal entry prices
A new venue full of history with a heritage centre, cafe and country park.
Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre tells the dramatic story of the Battle of Bosworth on 22nd August 1485, which marked a major turning point in English history.
Bosworth Battlefield is home to a trail which invites you to discover the Battle of Bosworth whilst enjoying breath-taking views. The trail comprises of a 1.25 mile (2.2km) walk with audio and visual interpretation about the battle and surrounding area. Climbing Ambion Hill near the Battlefield Heritage Centre the trail also includes a stunning walk-through sundial which features the thrones of Richard III, Henry Tudor and Lord Stanley. The panoramic view from the sundial provides the opportunity to see the actual battlefield site in the distance, the church of nearby Market Bosworth and other local landscape features.
Discover more about the Battle of 1485 where Richard III fought for his crown and lost his life, and Henry Tudor became king! The Visitor Centre (optional at normal entry prices) gives insight into the battle and medieval life and also includes a film theatre.
Enjoy a delicious range of hot and cold food and refreshments in the beautiful historic Tithe Barn Café.
Don’t forget to visit the lovely gift shop with a range of unique gifts and souvenirs.
NEW – Pottertons Nursery & Garden
Moortown Road, Nettleton, Caistor, Lincoln LN7 6HX
Sunday 28th May 2017 10am-4pm
Entry to the fair and gardens: £3.00 in aid of the National Garden Scheme (NGS)
We are really thrilled to be part of Rob and Jackie Potterton’s NGS opening in 2017 with a new Plant Hunters’ Fair: our first ever in Lincolnshire!
Rob Potterton is a stalwart of our plant fairs and we are really looking forward to visiting him at home and getting to see to where all those lovely alpines are grown and also getting the chance to share Rob and Jackie’s beautiful garden for the day. Their large garden contains many planting features including alpine rockeries with pool, stream and waterfall, raised beds, troughs, tufa stone bed, crevice garden, woodland and peat beds. All extensively planted with hundreds of varieties of alpines, bulbs and woodland or shade loving plants, providing lots of colour and interest all year round but will be at their peak in late May. Visitors are welcome to explore the garden and can join one of the nursery tours that will be conducted throughout the day (these will be run approximately every hour). In addition, you can discover the story of this family run garden and nursery through a photographic display detailing the history and development of the nursery, exhibitions, show awards including Chelsea Gold medals and the making of the garden. As an added bonus Al from Studio 8 Pottery will be demonstrating his craft throughout the day. There will be cream teas and light refreshments served in the garden with both covered and open air seating available.
Bramhall Park, off Hall Road
Bramhall, Stockport, Cheshire SK7 3NX
Sunday 2nd April 2017 11am-4pm
Fund Raising Event for special projects at the Hall: £2.00 Entry to Plant Fair
Free entry to the 70 acre parkland. Entry to the Hall is optional at normal prices.
This popular fair returns in 2017! We are really thrilled to return to Bramall Hall after their major refurbishment. Bramall Hall’s restoration is now complete thanks to a £1.6million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The Plant Fair is a fund raising event for special projects at the hall and has proved hugely popular, rapidly gaining a reputation as the best specialist plant fair in the area offering a dazzling array of plants all for just £2.00 entry to the fair. There is free entry to the 70 acre parkland. Bramall Hall is one of Cheshire’s most historic houses with surrounding parkland in the style of Capability Brown.
Visitors can now enjoy the Hall again and see the dramatic improvements that have been made to the historic rooms, architecture and fabric of the building. The impressive plaster ceiling in the Withdrawing Room has been repaired and re-painted, objects and items of furniture have been conserved and hundreds of panes of historic, stained glass that were dirty and broken now sparkle in the sunshine. The rooms have been brought to life by new interpretation and there is an exciting programme of activities designed to bring the Hall and its restoration to life for all ages. Major building development has converted the rundown and under-used stable block into a modern facility for visitors that now houses a new café which is a bright and airy space with a glass frontage that opens onto the walled garden serving freshly prepared dishes and homemade cakes. A gift-shop, small visitor centre and most importantly for us: the walled garden provides a new and larger home for our plant fair! We can’t wait to return for this very popular plant fair.
Henbury Hall Gardens
Henbury, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK11 9PJ
Saturday 1st – Sunday 2nd July 2017 10am-5pm
Sunday 17th September 2017 10am-5pm
Half Price Entry to Gardens & Plant Fair only £2.50
A great Plant Hunters’ Fair with HALF PRICE ENTRY to this rarely open to the public garden and plant fair of just £2.50. Henbury Hall is a hidden gem in the heart of the rolling north Cheshire countryside, a setting of almost magical peace and tranquillity. This rarely open to the public 12-acre gardens have recently undergone a transformation to awake them from years of slumber and are just waiting to be explored and loved.
Set in an undulating landscape and surrounding two magnificent lakes, the gardens contain many fine trees and shrubs including some rare specimens as well as more intimate spaces such as the walled garden. The old Foster & Pearson glasshouses, which were derelict, have been restored and the garden is steadily building up a collection of exotics concentrating mainly on temperate and tropical pteridophytes and Orchidaceae. The aim is to gather a Henbury collection of significant botanical importance. Highlights of the collection include the large group of Pamianthe Peruviana, the wonderfully flamboyant Amaryllid (which is sadly now extinct in the wild) and the rare Blechnum Palmiforme from Gough Island in the territory of Tristan da Cunha. We particularly loved the hidden garden.
We have two great events here one in the height of summer and the other at the start of autumn: the garden has lots to offer in both seasons.
Refreshments will be served in the old courtyard.
Ness Botanic Gardens
Ness, Neston, Wirral CH64 4AY
Sunday 26th March 2017 10am -4pm
Sunday 3rd September 2017 10am -4pm
Entry £1.00 to Plant Fair (redeemable when paying for optional entry to the garden)
We are thrilled to hold our Plant Fairs at the wonderful Ness Botanic Gardens again this year. We shall be in the lovely, sheltered site in the herb garden with the entrance in the corner of the right-hand (as you come into the venue) car park – look out for the Friends of Ness gazebo at the entrance! Ness is one of the leading gardens in Cheshire / Merseyside and has a wealth of garden inspiration from large borders to alpines. This well-established plant fair features many highly respected specialist nurseries. The garden includes superb collections of Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Camellias, Cherries and Heathers as well as the National Plant Collection of Sorbus. Refreshments available in the visitor centre.
Chester Road, Delamere, Cheshire CW8 2HW
Sunday 9th July 2017 10am-5pm
Sunday 24th September 2017 10am-5pm
SPECIAL LOW ENTRY PRICE TO GARDENS AND PLANT FAIR ONLY £3.00
(Normal entry is £5.50)
Plant Hunters’ Fairs come to Abbeywood Gardens in Cheshire just as the gardens show their mid-summer best in July and again as they mellow into autumn in September. The gardens have plenty to see and enjoy with 6 acres divided into separate garden areas, each with its own distinctive character and themed planting. The long flowering naturalistically planted herbaceous borders of the main garden, are divided by impressive yew hedges into the pool, chapel and pergola gardens each bursting with sensational colour. The exciting and vibrantly planted Christopher Lloyd-inspired Exotic Garden is filled with Dahlias, Bananas, tender perennials and annuals is a real showstopper. The newest feature is a fabulous planted prairie garden. The gardens are all set against a glorious backdrop of the Utkinton Hills. You can enjoy a walk around the rest of the estates 40-acre arboretum. The vegetable garden grows soft fruit, seasonal root crop and salad all of which are served as part of a delicious seasonal menu in the Garden Café. As always, we are offering great value for money with a special reduced entry to the gardens and fair – just £3.00.
Norton Priory Gardens
Tudor Road, Manor Park, Runcorn, Cheshire WA7 1SX.
Saturday 29th April 2017 10am -4pm
FREE ENTRY TO PLANT FAIR
Optional entry to the walled garden is normally £3.50 but pre-booked groups of 15 or more can take advantage of a special group entry rate of £2.40. Please see the Norton Priory website, http://www.nortonpriory.org for more details.
Free Entry to this popular Plant Fair featuring highly respected specialist nursery with expert advice from enthusiastic nurserymen.
The 2-acre Walled Garden was built between 1757 and 1770 for the Brooke family, the owners of Norton Priory. When the Brookes left Norton Priory, it became neglected and overgrown, until work began in 1980 by Runcorn Development Corporation to reclaim it.
The garden was featured on BBC TV’s “Hidden Gardens” series with Chris Beardshaw.
Essentially a kitchen garden, it would have been the source of fruit, vegetables and flowers for the mansion house. Today there is an orchard, a fruit garden, a vegetable garden, various ornamental borders and the beautiful Rose Walk. Norton Priory is home of the National Collection of Tree Quince (Cydonia Oblonga). These are dotted around the garden and the site and include 20 different varieties. The Walled Garden is also the location of a number of Norton Priory’s “hidden gems”, including the Ha-Ha Wall, the Ice House and the Wildflower Meadow. The plant fair is held just outside the walled garden and runs from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. with free entry to plant fair and tearoom.
Castle St, Whittington, Shropshire SY11 4DF
Good Friday 14th April 2017 10am -4pm
Free Entry to Plant Fair (£1.00 per car to park)
Our first ever fair on Good Friday will be at Whittington Castle on Friday 14th April – just right for the busiest gardening weekend of the year!
The strikingly picturesque and romantic ruins are steeped in much history, tales of bitter border warfare, romance and legend. Whittington is a small rural community in Shropshire close to the market town of Oswestry. Whittington Castle sits in the centre of this lovely village. The existing Castle is set in about 12 acres of ground and is the remains of a Norman home. The plant fair and castle grounds are free to enter and in addition the castle’s usual amenities including the tea-shop and bookshop will be open.
Middleton Hall, Middleton, Tamworth, Staffordshire B78 2AE
Sunday 9th April 2017 10am – 5pm
Sunday 23rd July 2017 10am – 5pm
Entry to Hall, Gardens & Plant Fair only £2.00
Our plant fairs at this Staffordshire gem have already proved to be very popular. With entrance to the grounds, gardens, hall and plant fair all for just £2.00 we know you’ll be bringing your friends and family to make a day of it. The grounds are a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) including a nine acre lake, noted Walled Garden and a children’s play park. Adjacent to the grounds are the RSPB reserve, Middleton Lakes. Middleton Hall has a special place in the history of our understanding of plants. It was the home of Francis Willughby, the naturalist – an original Fellow of the Royal Society – and it was here that he brought his teacher and friend, the first great English naturalist, John Ray. Ray compiled his Catalogus Angliae here, one of the first attempts at a comprehensive listing of British plants. Today there are large and small walled gardens, herbaceous borders, orchard and sunken garden. There is an adjacent Craft Centre, with specialist shops and cafe.
British Ironwork Centre
Whitehall Aston, Oswestry, Shropshire SY11 4JH
Sunday 14th May 2017 10am – 5pm
Sunday 30th July 2017 10am – 5pm
£1.00 in aid of Hope House Hospices.
There’s always so much to see at this eclectic venue with something for everyone of all ages. The £1.00 entrance fee going to Hope House Children’s Hospices. We have raised nearly £3000 for the charity so far and this year we have two events to boost that total even more.
The fair and sculpture park were buzzing with plant lovers and their families with the keen ones on their marks well before the 10am opening time and still going strong at the 5pm close.
The British Ironworks Centre not only boasts a working smithy and a showroom featuring the biggest choice of quality British ironware for both indoors and garden use but also the Shropshire Sculpture Park featuring a safari in ironwork that has to be seen to be believed! The venue has lots to see and explore with something for all ages, plus the bonus of a great Plant Hunters Fair to enjoy!
The Forge Café will be open serving a wide range of fresh bean to cup coffees as well as loose leaf teas. For those looking for something a little sweeter there is a range of delicious cakes, bakes and treats. Also available a range of jacket potatoes, homemade sandwiches and other light lunches. Entry to the plant fair and all other attractions is £1.00 in aid of Hope House Hospices.
Arley Estate, Upper Arley, Near Bewdley, Worcestershire DY12 1XJ
Sunday 11th June 2017 10am – 5pm
Half Price Entry to Gardens, Arboretum & Plant Fair only £2.50
We fell in love with Arley Arboretum on our first visit – the peace enfolds you and scenery enthrals you – it’s a magical place. So we are really thrilled to return to this lovely place on the borders of Shropshire and Worcestershire. Go back in time and watch the Severn Valley Railway trains steam across the hill from one of the magnificent signposted walks. The garden provides the ideal day out, a dream escape from the bustle of everyday life. The Arboretum offers plenty to do for all ages from the Italian garden with its fountain for the adults, to the Dinosaur and Fairy Trails and maze for the young ones. Add to this a mid-summer plant fair and we’ve the perfect day out for plant lovers. Refreshments available from the tearooms. Entry to fair, gardens and arboretum is £2.50 for adults (half normal price) and £1.00 children.
Big Lane, Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 1ST
Saturday 25th March 2017 10am – 4pm
Bank Holiday Monday 29th May 2017 10am – 4pm
Saturday 12th August 2017 10am – 4pm
FREE ENTRY to Plant Fair & Country Park (charge to park)
We are really pleased to bring Plant Hunters’ Fairs to Derbyshire with three great events at Carsington Water; a superb location rich in wildlife, scenery and activities for people of all ages. Boasting a Country Park with plenty of space for family games and picnics, and also the recently refurbished visitor centre and a brand new children’s play area, Carsington is a great place for a family day out. There is also a sailing club and trout fishery for those looking for an activity to get involved with. Dogs and barbeques are welcome in the Country Park. There are 8 miles of paved walks from short strolls to long serious walks. The reservoir was always conceived as a natural looking haven for wildlife and exciting space for water-based activities co-existing in harmony. The restaurant serves a wide range of lunches and refreshments and has windows and a terrace that give panoramic views of the water and park.
Hodnet, Market Drayton, Shropshire. TF9 3NN
Saturday 3rd & Sunday 4th June 2017 10am – 5pm
Special Low Entry Price for Gardens and Fair £3.50
Of all our wonderful venues Hodnet Hall Gardens have been the most popular destination for group trips and is the ideal day out with something for everyone. We have nurseries coming along from as far afield as Cornwall, Scotland and Lincolnshire to make this a very special day out for all garden lovers. There are 63 acres of gardens criss-crossed by good paths with grand vistas, intimate, secluded areas, a walled kitchen garden, magnificent lakes; the glorious setting is almost beyond description!
There have been gardens at Hodnet since the 11th century when the Heber-Percy family constructed their first house in the parkland. Their serious development began in 1921 by the late Brigadier Heber-Percy and today, is renowned as amongst the finest in the country. Forest trees provide a wonderful backdrop for formal gardens planted to give delight during every season, woodland walks amongst flowering shrubs and a daisy chain of ornamental pools.
Hodnet have recently been awarded National Plant Collection Status for Cercidiphyllum (burnt sugar trees). Visitors can explore the gardens, meet top nurserymen and women and enjoy light refreshments in the picturesque restaurant. What more could you want on an early summer’s day? Entry to the garden and fair is at the very special price of just £3.50 for adults and free for children aged 16 and under. (Normal entry is £6.50 for adults and £3.00 for children)
Donington Le Heath Manor 1620’s House
Donington Le Heath, Coalville, Leics LE67 2FW
Saturday 6th May 2017 10am – 4pm
Sunday 6th August 2017 10am – 4pm
Entry to Gardens & Plant Fair only £1.00
Entry to the Manor House is optional and at normal prices.
The 1620s House and Garden at Donington le Heath, formerly Donington le Heath Manor House, has undergone a stunning refurbishment in order to tell the story of its former owners and residents.
This rare and beautiful house is a surviving example of a family home built in the 13th century and then modernised in 1618. The house has been home to many families over its 700 year history, but the Digby family, which included the Gunpowder Plotter Sir Everard Digby, lived in the house for over two hundred years. It is towards the end of the Digby ownership that the newly refurbished house is focused, showing how people lived in late Elizabethan and early Jacobean times.
Visitors can now see the beautifully restored period rooms and talk to our volunteers about the history of the house, the families that lived here and about life in the 1620s. The house is set in beautiful 17th century style gardens with labelled plants and flowers, an orchard, herb gardens and a maze.
The Old Barn Tea Room will be open and serving home baked cakes, light lunches and a range of hot and cold drinks. Entry is only £1.00 for the Plant Fair and Gardens. Entry to the Manor House is optional and at normal prices.
Mill Lane, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK10 4LF
Sunday 7th May 2017 10am – 4pm
Half Price Entry to Gardens & Plant Fair only £3.00
Free Guided Tours Available
Adlington Hall is one of the oldest and most historic Cheshire houses. The 2,000 acre Estate contains parkland landscaped in the 18th century in the style of ‘Capability Brown’ complete with ha-ha. The Lime Avenue dating from 1688 is one of the oldest surviving in Britain and leads to a woodland Wilderness with winding paths, temples, bridges and follies in a rococo manner. A path through the laburnum Arcade leads into the formal Rose Garden, then on to the Maze created in English Yew. The Father Tiber water garden provides a peaceful haven with its ponds, fountains and water cascade and the parterre provides a colourful addition to the east wing. The plant fair will be held in front of the house again this year and will feature top quality nurseries specialising in a varied range of plants with something for every plant lover. There will also be free guided tours of the gardens throughout the day. Refreshments available. Entry to garden & fair is at the special low price of £3.00 half the normal entry price.
Consall Hall Landscape Gardens
Consall, Wetley Rocks, Staffordshire ST9 0AG
Sunday 23rd April 2017 10am – 5pm
Entry to the 70-acre Gardens and Plant fair only £3.00
This is a great opportunity to visit this rarely open dramatic and enthralling landscape garden in the heart of the North Staffordshire countryside. There are over 70 acres of lakes, garden and landscape to explore via four miles of paths with many covered areas to sit. You can truly make a day of it whatever the weather.
The fair continues to attract the cream of our specialist nurseries and there will be something for everyone from alpines to ornamental trees; from azaleas to asters. All are real growers, full of enthusiasm and knowledge for their plants. The nurserymen and women are always happy to offer expert advice to help less experienced gardeners select the right plants for their gardens. For hardened plantaholics there are always those little treasures to discover that can’t be obtained elsewhere.
Visitors can enjoy the gardens and fair for the special event price of just £3.00, which makes it one of the best value days out anywhere. Large tearoom serving teas and light lunches.
Cholmondeley Castle Gardens
Malpas, Cheshire SY14 8AH
Sunday 21st May 2017 10am-5pm
Half-Price Entry for Gardens & Fair only £3.50
Cholmondeley Castle Gardens is said by many to be among the most romantically beautiful gardens they have seen. The Gothic revival castle – a product of the early 19th century – stands on a high rise above a lake and is surrounded by sweeping lawns and a variety of mature trees, including cedars of Lebanon, oak and chestnut. The surrounding gardens provide a lovely mix of colour and height, with intriguing walks around the lake. There is a temple water garden, rose garden, rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias and a variety of mixed borders. For children there is a play area and all the family will enjoy the breeds of farm animals, including llamas, alpacas, African pygmy goats, and varieties of sheep, pigs and the famous longhorn cattle. Why not bring a picnic and enjoy magnificent views across the deer park mere, with its many varieties of wild birds together with an excellent view of Cholmondeley Castle? There is also a pretty tearoom open for coffee, light lunches, homemade teas, ice creams and snacks. Plants will be at the heart of the event and we have a brilliant line up of nurseries each with something new, different and unusual for every Plant lover. Half-price entry on the day for the gardens and plant fair of just £3.50.
Weston-under-Lizard Nr Shifnal, Shropshire, TF11 8LE
Sunday 30th April & Monday 1st May 2017 10am – 5pm
Special Low Entry for Gardens & Plant Fair £3.00 (adult entry normally £6.50)
Sunday 10th September 2017 10am – 4pm
Gardens & Plant Fair £2.50 (September Date)
Weston is an award-winning stately home set in 1000 acres of “Capability” Brown wooded parkland planted with spring bulbs, bluebells, azaleas and rhododendrons. There is an Italian Parterre and formal gardens. For this special event, Weston Park are offering a great value entrance price of just £3.00 (adults / children) for the May plant fair, gardens, parkland, and £2.50 for the September event. The Deli and Cafe is just the place to stop off for a selection of excellent coffee, cakes, snacks and light bites. On the other hand, you can enjoy lunch in the Granary Grill, Bar & Restaurant. The house will also be open from 1pm (additional charge). There is also a great adventure playground for children and the miniature railway will be running (additional charge).
If your garden is looking a little tired after summer, then the autumn plant fair is a great opportunity to find some late blooming plants to cheer it up. Autumn is also the perfect time to plant ready for next year’s bloom. The soil is still warm and plants have plenty of time to establish and make themselves at home before winter. The nursery folk will be more than happy to give you the benefit of their experience in planting and caring for the plants you buy so you can get the best from them. With entry just at £2.50 for the Gardens & Plant Fair, it is a great chance to enjoy the changing season at Weston.
The Dorothy Clive Garden
Willoughbridge, Mkt Drayton, Shropshire, TF9 4EU
Sunday 16th & Monday 17th April 2017 (Easter Sunday & Monday) 10am – 5.00pm
Sunday 27th & Monday 28th August 2017 (Sunday & Bank Holiday Monday) 10am – 5.00pm
Special Low-Price Entry to Gardens & Plant Fair £3.50 (standard adult entry normally £7.50)
These have become two of the best loved garden events in the area wooing visitors with a winning line up of the best nurseries around, a most charming and beautiful garden and a truly relaxing and inviting atmosphere.
The 12-acre Dorothy Clive Garden features a superb woodland garden, alpine scree, gravel garden, a damp garden and spectacular flower borders. It is equally famed for its dazzling spring display of rhododendrons and azaleas with massed drifts of bulbs and the stunning and colourful late summer flower borders. Explore the gardens, sit and relax in the many seating areas, and enjoy the tearoom’s home baking on the terrace lawn, whilst enjoying the lovely views of the surrounding countryside. We always have a long list of nurseries wanting to attend this event so we put together a great mix of plants and specialities to delight plant lovers of every level of experience. The garden offers a great special event price on these days of just £3.50 for entry to the garden and plant fair.
The National Memorial Arboretum
Croxall Road, Alrewas, Staffordshire, DE13 7AR
Saturday 2nd April 10am – 4pm
Saturday 28th May 10am – 4pm
Saturday 6th August 10am – 4pm
FREE ENTRY to Plant Fair & Arboretum (charge to park)
A special place of memorial and inspiration with so much to offer visitors, secluded gardens to explore, a nature reserve, a lovely restaurant and three brilliant specialist plant fairs. The arboretum and fair are free to enter. There are 150 acres of wooded parkland where visitors can both enjoy and learn about the trees and their surroundings, and reflect upon their special symbolism. Many of the memorials are placed in peaceful gardens. Although still a ‘young’ arboretum in excess of 50,000 trees on the site are rapidly growing into a unique living tribute. Come for a day out to enjoy the peace and tranquillity, the trees, the memorials, the history, the sense of national pride. Have lunch or drinks in the Arbour Restaurant; above all enjoy the experience. The land train, which runs every 30 minutes, is an enjoyable way to explore the site.
Southwell Minster Gardens
Southwell Minster, Church Street, Southwell, Nottinghamshire NG25 0HD
Sunday 13th August 2017 11am-4pm
£1.00 Entry to Plant Fair
We are pleased to return to the Archbishop’s palace Gardens in the lovely town of Southwell with a great Plant Hunters’ Fair featuring highly respected specialist nurseries with a really great mix of plants and specialities to delight plant lovers of every level of experience. It’s just the right time to pick up some Summer flowering plants to give your garden a boost and the nurseries will have just the right plant for your garden with nurseries specialising in plants of all sizes for a wide range of garden situations from hot sun to cool shade. Refreshments available.
Sugnall Hall Walled Garden
Sugnall, Stafford, ST21 6NF
Saturday 22nd April 2017 10am – 4pm
Sunday 25th June 2017 10am – 4pm
Entry to Garden and Plant Fair £1.00
The 2 acre Walled Kitchen Garden at Sugnall Hall near Eccleshall Staffs dates from 1738 and has been restored as a working kitchen garden producing fruit and vegetables to serve in the tearoom and for homemade jams and chutneys on sale at the garden. In April, we have bluebell walks. For those of you who have caught the “grow your own” bug the garden will be an inspiration. Entry to the fair and garden is only £1.00 with free parking.
Wolverley, Worcestershire, DY11 5SY
Easter Saturday 15th April 2017 10am – 4pm
Saturday 2nd September 2017 10am – 4pm
Free Entry to Plant Fair and lakeside restaurant
What a wonderful setting for a plant event! From the mile-long approach drive to the heart of this 156 acre arboretum the beauty of the setting just keeps on unfolding. The arboretum features over 3,000 species of tree and shrub from all over the world. Pathways wander through the landscape of trees, pools, meadows and farmland. You can explore the farm with its sheep, lambs, cattle and rare breed poultry. The visitor centre and lakeside restaurant serve a wide variety of home cooked meals and light refreshments including meats from the farm. Why not take your tea on the terrace overlooking the main pool whilst drinking in the beautiful surroundings? Entry to the plant fair and access to the restaurant are completely free with free parking. Entry to the arboretum is optional and at normal prices. Groups of 25 or more booking with the garden in advance are offered reduced entry prices to the arboretum. (Contact the arboretum direct to arrange).
Upper Battlefield, Shrewsbury SY4 3DB
Saturday 1st April 2017 9.30am – 4.00pm
Saturday 8th July 2017 9.30am – 4.00pm
Two events for 2017 with free entry. Battlefield 1403 is a something quite different for Plant Hunters’ Fairs and has a lot to offer our plant fair visitors!
Today Battlefield 1403 is a bustling farm shop, butchery, deli, cafe and exhibition, but over 600 years ago this was the site of one the bloodiest battles fought on British soil. After visiting the plant fair and shop at Battlefield 1403, take a walk around the boundary of the 100-hectare battlefield. The Battle of Shrewsbury was fought between King Henry IV and a rebellious faction led by the Percy family in 1403. The significance of the battle lies not just in its political ramifications as precursor to the Wars of the Roses but also in the fact that it was the first time that the English longbow was used on both sides. Battlefield Church is said to have been erected over the site of the mass burial pit dug immediately after the battle. Now looked after by The Churches Conservation Trust, it provides an opportunity for quiet reflection.
The Battle of Shrewsbury exhibition explains the facts as we know them and introduces additional fun facts for children. Exhibits on display include a full armoured “Sir Nicholas”, various weaponry, a longbow archer and other medieval artefacts.
What makes the farm shop, deli and Sparrow’s Cafe so special is the celebration of low food miles, only buying British and that means no lemons or grapes in sight, fresh seasonal products with full traceability. The cafe cooks fresh daily with local ingredients, serving loyal visitors that return time and time again. The staff are passionate and that shines through from advice given from the team of butchers, to the staff in the farm shop being able to tell you where the vegetables were grown. The cafe cooks up a storm daily using local produce sourced from the estate and local producers.
Tilstock Rd, Whitchurch, Shropshire SY13 3JQ
Sunday 19th March 2017 10am -4pm
FREE ENTRY to Plant Fair & Lakeside Walks
Entry to this plant fair and lakeside walks are completely free. We will be holding our first fair of the 2016 season here. The event offers the opportunity to pop along and visit many specialist nurseries at no charge and to get the gardening season off to a great start. The picturesque, 50 acre site is on the outskirts of Whitchurch, Shropshire where you can enjoy a stroll around the lake or simply relax and enjoy the wildlife. Once you have worked up an appetite, you can enjoy a delicious breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea in the lakeside café. Everything is freshly made using only the best local ingredients from Shropshire, Cheshire and Wales. There is ample free parking.
Meet our Nurseries
We aim to bring plant lovers the best selection of gardenworthy plants regardless of current fashion or fad, all backed up by a passion for plants.
When you visit our fairs you will be struck by the variety of plants on sale – each stall is different – by the knowledge and enthusiasm of the nursery folk and by the quality of their plants. We know from what you tell us that garden lovers appreciate the opportunity to discover the unusual and new and but also to rediscover those old and heritage varieties from the past, lost to cultivation but for the efforts of these dedicated nurserymen and women.
We give priority to RHS Medallists, National Collection Holders and small specialist growers at our events. Many of the nurseries you will meet have demonstrated the skill and dedication needed to win coveted RHS medals. Plant Hunters’ Fairs are a rare opportunity to see so many top class nurseries outside of the big (and expensive) shows.
You can discover which nurseries are attending each event on our website: http://www.planthuntersfairs.co.uk or contact us on 01270 811443.
2017 Plant Hunters’ Fairs – calendar
Sat 18th National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas, Staffs. DE13 7AR 10am-4pm
Sun 19th Dearnford Lake, Whitchurch, Shrops. SY13 3JQ 10am-4pm
Sat 25th Carsington Water, near Ashbourne, Derbyshire. DE6 1ST 10-4pm
Sun 26th Ness Botanic Gardens, Wirral, Cheshire. CH64 4AY 10am-4pm
Sat 1st Battlefield 1403, Shrewsbury, Shrops, SY4 3DB 9:30am-4pm
Sun 2nd Bramall Hall, Bramhall, Stockport SK7 3NX 11am-4pm BACK AGAIN!
Sat 8th Hoghton Tower, nr Preston, Lancs. PR5 0SH 10am-4pm NEW VENUE
Sun 9th Middleton Hall, Tamworth, Staffs. B78 2AE 10am-4pm NEW DATE
Fri 14th Whittington Castle, Whittington, Shrops. SY11 4DF 10am-4pm
Sat 15th Bodenham Arboretum near Kidderminster, Worcs. DY11 5SY 10am-4pm
Sun / Mon 16/17 Dorothy Clive Garden, Newcastle, Staffs. TF9 4EU 10am-5pm
Sat 22nd Sugnall Walled Garden, Eccleshall, Staffs. ST21 6NF 10am-4pm
Sun 23rd Consall Gardens, Wetley Rocks, Staffs. ST9 0AG 10am-5pm
Sat 29th Norton Priory, Runcorn, Cheshire, WA7 1SX 10am-4pm
Sun 30th / Mon 1st May Weston Park, Shifnal, Shrops. TF11 8LE 10am-5pm
Sun 30th April / Mon 1st May Weston Park, Shifnal, Shrops. TF11 8LE 10am-5pm
Sat 6th Donington Le Heath Manor House, Leics. LE67 2FW 10am-4pm
Sun 7th Adlington Hall, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK10 4LF 10am-4pm
Sat 13th National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas, Staffs. DE13 7AR 10am-4pm
Sun 14th British Ironwork Centre, Oswestry, Shrops. SY11 4JH 10am-5pm
Sun 21st Cholmondeley Castle, Malpas, Cheshire, SY14 8HN 10am-5pm NEW DATE
Sun 28th Potterton’s Alpine Garden and Nursery, Nettleton, Caistor, Lincs.LN7 6HX 10am-4pm NEW EVENT!
Mon 29th Carsington Water, near Ashbourne, Derbys. DE6 1ST 10 4pm
Sat/Sun 3/4 Hodnet Hall, Hodnet, Market Drayton, Shrops. TF9 3NN 10am-5pm
Sun 11th Arley Arboretum, Near Bewdley, Worcs. DY12 1XJ 11am-5pm
Sat 24th Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre, Nuneaton, CV13 0AD 10am-4pm Fair £1.00 NEW EVENT!
Sun 25th Sugnall Walled Garden, Eccleshall, Staffs. ST21 6NF 10am-4pm
Sat / Sun 1st /2nd Henbury Hall, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK11 9PJ 10am-5pm
Sat 8th July Battlefield 1403, Shrewsbury, Shrops, SY4 3DB 9:30am-4pm
Sun 9th Abbeywood Garden, Delamere, Cheshire CW8 2HS 10am-5pm NEW DATE
Sun 23rd Middleton Hall, Tamworth, Staffs. B78 2AE 10am-4pm EXTRA DATE
Sat 29th National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas, Staffs. DE13 7AR 10am 4:00pm
Sun 30th British Ironwork Centre, Oswestry, Shrops. SY11 4JH 10am-5pm EXTRA DATE
Sun 6th Donington Le Heath Manor House, Leics. LE67 2FW 10am-4pm
Sat 12th Carsington Water, near Ashbourne, Derbys. DE6 1ST 10am-4pm
Sun 13th Southwell Minster Garden, Notts. NG25 0HD 11am-4pm
Sun/ Mon 27/28 August Dorothy Clive Garden, Newcastle, Staffs TF9 4EU 10am-5pm OUR 10th YEAR!
Sat 2nd Bodenham Arboretum near Kidderminster, Worcs. DY11 5SY 10am-4pm
Sun 3rd Ness Botanic Gardens Wirral, Cheshire, CH64 4AY 10am-4pm
Sun 10th Weston Park, Shifnal, Shrops. TF11 8LE 10am-4pm
Sun 17th Henbury Hall, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK11 9PJ 10am-5pm EXTRA DATE
Sun 24th Abbeywood Garden, Delamere, Cheshire, CW8 2HS 10am-5pm EXTRA DATE
Plant Hunters’ Fairs,
Phone: 01270 811443,
Full details of all our events are on our website: www.planthuntersfairs.co.uk