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Toby Buckland in the kitchen garden
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Toby Buckland’s Garden Festival

September 16, 2017 - September 17, 2017

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A bumper harvest is coming to Toby Buckland’s new garden festival at Forde Abbey near Chard in Somerset on 16th and 17th September, in the shape of the region’s growers, bakers, chefs, willow weavers and flower farmers who are sharing their knowledge in two days of talks and workshops, along with more than 150 exhibitors selling plants, tools, sculpture, crafts and artisan food and drink.

Headlining in Forde Abbey’s Great hall on Saturday is Charlie Dimmock of BBC Ground Force fame, and on Sunday BBC One Show gardener Christine Walkden is sharing her vast knowledge of grow your own, along with talk on garden bulbs, making meadows, growing dahlias, edible and cut flowers.

Festival host Toby says, ” Welcome to my new festival! Whether you want to watch or get hands on, there is loads to see and do as we’re revelling in all the fun and flavours of the season, as well as showcasing the skills that shape our gardens and the rural crafts of the region. With its stunning walled kitchen garden, lakes and abundant herbaceous borders, Forde Abbey is the perfect location for our harvest festivities.”

Highlights at Toby’s Garden and Harvest Festival include:

  • Celebrity garden talks from Charlie Dimmock, BBC One Show garden expert Christine Walkden, BBC Big Allotment Challenge presenter Jim Buttress and Toby Buckland.
  • Two-day programme in the Demo Teepee on seasonal pickle making, growing cut flowers, fermenting veg, edible flowers, botanical soap making and natural dyes, grow your own beer with beer sommelier Ben Richards.
  • Gastro Garden demo’s from The Pig at Bath chefs, and local chef and smallholder Ed Mello on charcuterie and cheese-making. Devon Distillery are bringing their Still on the Move so visitors can make their own Festival gin. Plus apple-pressing and cider-making (and drinking!)
  • Tea Tent Demo’s where you can try your hand at basket-weaving, corn dollies and NatureMakes crafting with natural foraged and found material for ages 5 and up.
  • Artisan Marquee with talented West Country craft makers offering watercolours, textiles, ceramics, glassware, paper art, gifts and handmade jewellery.
  • Ready, Veggie Bake competition – see the results in Forde Abbey’s Chapel.
  • Scything demo’s from Dorset scythe trainer Chris Riley; advice on making meadows and managing grassland from Meadow in your Garden; demo’s on making willow garden structure, vintage tractors and shepherd huts.
  • Twice-daily garden tours of Forde’s champion trees with Thornhayes Nursery’s Kevin Croucher and tours of Forde’s Walled Kitchen Garden with head gardener Danny Burlingham.
  • Specialist nurseries offering a riot of seasonal colour including herbs, exotics, garden bulbs, seeds, perennials and shrubs.

Tickets £10 in advance online, under- 16’s free, £8.50 for groups more than 10 and garden clubs, £12.50 on the gate.

Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th 10am – 5pm at Forde Abbey, Chard, Somerset, TA20 4LU.

Workshop Timetable

The celebrity talks which run on both days of the festival will take place inside this historic building, in the Great Hall and in the Chapel.

Please see Toby’s website for full details of tickets and talks.


September 16, 2017
September 17, 2017


Forde Abbey
Forde Abbey
Chard, Somerset TA20 4LU United Kingdom
+ Google Map
01460 220231


Toby Buckland
07561 261615

Historic Houses