John Challis, the actor and author best known for playing Boycie in the BBC’s most successful ever sitcom Only Fools and Horses is to speak at Toby’s Garden Festival in April 2018. Keen gardener John will be at the two-day garden fiesta on 27th and 28th April at Powderham Castle signing copies of his book, Wigmore Abbey: The Treasure of Mortimer, an autobiographical account of creating his house and garden in Herefordshire with wife Carol.
Being a mother is a tough job, especially when you live in one of the poorest parts of Africa. Shockingly, one in three children in sub-Saharan African are stunted due to malnutrition which can seriously affect their long term development.
Enchanted Christmas is one of the highlights at Westonbirt Arboretum, an illuminated celebration of trees in winter.
It is Westonbirt’s signature winter event, featuring a spectacular one-mile illuminated trail, highlighting the striking structures of Westonbirt’s trees as they are illuminated against the winter night sky.
Each year a new lighting design is created so visitors can experience different specimens, paths and vistas in the tree collection. The route is on hard paths so it’s fully accessible for mobility scooters.
Highgrove, the private estate of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall in Tetbury, Gloucestershire is open until Sunday, 17th December for Christmas shopping.
Highgrove’s Orchard Room will be laid out with the opportunity to shop, eat, laugh and be merry with an exclusive Christmas shopping and dining event, guests can skip the hustle and bustle of the high street and shop with ease and a glass of complimentary champagne in hand in the beautiful settings.
The history of Hestercombe, just outside of Taunton comes to life as acclaimed photographer, Trish Morrissey brings two new bodies of work to the gardens, inspired by the last female occupants of Hestercombe House, Miss Warre (1790-1872) and Mrs Portman (1854-1951) who both independently ran the estate.
Morrissey has created the work, which includes stills and film, through a residency at Hestercombe – immersing herself in the individual’s lives through archive material such as photographs, drawings, and letters.
Corfe Castle becomes an even more magical setting in the build up to Christmas when contemporary lighting, lanterns, beacons and braziers add to the atmosphere of the thousand year old surroundings. Starting on Saturday, 9th December there’s 11 special evenings where the winter lights will dazzle and impress when you can step through the gate into a castle adorned with a 23ft Christmas tree and Tudor themed decorations.
St Edward’s Church, the medieval Church of England parish church in Stow-on-the–Wold, will be hosting a traditional Christmas Tree festival from Thursday, 7th December until Sunday, 10th December. It will feature a display of Christmas trees decorated by children, organisations and businesses in the town. There will be a best tree in each category award voted for by the public. Entrance for adults is £2 and the festival opens from 10am to 5pm Thursday to Saturday and 12.30 to 5pm on Sunday.
St Edward’s Church, Stow-on-the–Wold, Gloucestershire, GL54 1AF.
Toby’s Garden Festival won Bronze in the category of Tourism Event and Festival of the Year at the prestigious Devon Tourism Awards 2017. It’s the first major award for the popular two-day festival co-owned by Country Gardener magazine.
The awards ceremony was held at The Guildhall, Plymouth with guest speakers, Devon polar explorer Ann Daniels and Independent travel editor, Simon Calder.
Niwaki, the worldwide supplier of tripod ladders, fine pruning tools and other gardening tools from Japan have a special open day on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th November. Niwaki Open House, open from 10am to 6pm on Saturday and 10am to 2pm on Sunday is the perfect opportunity to see the entire range of secateurs, pruning shears, woodworking tools, Japanese kitchen knives as well as the legendary three legged trip ladders. The Japanese tools are becoming increasingly popular with gardeners and the open day offers the chance to add them to your Christmas gift list.
Set against the dramatic backdrop of the garden in winter with its amazing textures and surprising colour and scent, RHS Rosemoor’s Winter Sculpture Exhibition is open and runs to Sunday 18th February. It’s an exciting eclectic mix of exhibits from a diverse collection of sculptors, and using a wide variety of media including steel and glass to cement and pottery. Visitors can pick up a trail and see how many sculptures they can discover through the garden.
Free, guided sculpture walks leave the Visitor Centre at 11.30am most Wednesday mornings.