It’s Official, Plants Are Cool.
Botanicals feature in everything from the latest designer dresses, to wallpaper and the best artisan gins, and Pinterest’s Top 10 trends for 2019 – succulents and green walls.
Plant-based diets are in with The Economist declaring 2019 the ‘Year of the Vegan’ while Veganuary saw thousands ditch their usual meat dishes in favour of veggies. Well-being, another big trend that’s here to stay, focuses on outdoors as the best place to be for mindfulness.
TV gardener Toby’s Buckland’s award-winning Garden Festival promises to be a paradise for plant-lovers, along with plant talks and demo’s, vegan food and fun plant-themed entertainment and a wonderland of potted flowers and bulbs, vegetable plants and herbs, succulents and house plants to see and buy.
Now in its sixth year, the two-day plant bonanza returns on 3rd and 4th May at Powderham Castle, near Exeter in Devon, with more than 100 nurseries and garden-related exhibitors already signed up.
Chelsea Flowershow medal winners Floyds Climbers will delight visitors with cascades of blooming clematis; Devon-based pink breeders Whetman Plants International are introducing three new scented pinks ‘Red Carpet’, ‘Pink Ruffles’ and ‘Bridal Star’ all hardy repeat-bloomers, and Cornish nursery Lilies and Chillies will stock the Japanese ‘Itoh’ paeony ‘Bartzella’ which flowers for longer than normal paeonies and has custard-coloured blooms as big as side-plates.
Talking plants will be BBC Gardeners’ World presenters Joe Swift on Friday 3rd and Frances Tophill explaining ‘What to Grow Where’ on Saturday 4th, while the new lakeside Talks Tent hosted by Country Gardener Magazine gives voice to the festival’s knowledgeable nursery-people who’ll be sharing inside tips on climbers, bulbs, orchids and coastal plants.
Plant-based diets are catered for too, with Feniton Foods treating the festival VIPs to a vegetarian feast in Powderham Castle’s magnificent Music Room, and Devon crepe and waffle maker Lemon Jelli serving up a tasty vegan treat in the shape of their banana, maple, pecan and coconut cream crepes.
The new plant-themed festival site layout for 2019 also reflects the gardening theme, turning the tree-lined avenue leading to the castle into a bunting-covered Horticultural High Street of nurseries and a Garden Village dedicated to growers, garden designers, seeds, tools, sheds and furniture, while Exmouth’s land-train will be festooned with flowers and on hand to ferry visitors between the zones.
Buy advance tickets online for £10 from tobygardenfest.co.uk or Exeter Tourist Information office (from 1st March). Children under 12 go free.
Toby’s Garden Festival: Friday 3rd and 4th May 2019 at Powderham Castle, Kenton nr Exeter EX6 8JQ. Advance online tickets £10 from www.tobygardenfest.co.uk £12.50 on the gate, children under 12 go free. Free parking, plus all talks are free to festival visitors