Select Your Cookie Preferences

We use cookies and similar tools that are necessary to enable you to use our website, to enhance your experience, and provide our services, as detailed in our Cookie Notice. We also use these cookies to understand how customers use our services (for example, by measuring site visits) so we can make improvements.

If you agree, we'll also use cookies to complement your website experience, as described in our Cookie Notice. This may include using third party cookies for the purpose of displaying and measuring interest-based ads. Click "Customise Cookies" to decline these cookies, make more detailed choices, or learn more.

Toby’s Festival Programme

walled kitchen garden

Throughout the Festival, we have hands-on practical demonstrations running in our Demo Yurt and around Forde Abbey, including in the beautiful Walled Kitchen Garden at Forde Abbey. Covering a range of country crafts and what-to-do-now topics, our experts will show a diverse range of harvest topics including how to make soap and natural dyes using flowers from your garden, plant and manage wildflower areas, scything, and grow bulbs, home-grown fruit, veg and flowers.

It’s very informal – many demo’s are free and no booking is needed, just turn up, others will be available for a small charge to cover the cost of materials and will be available to buy online in advance.

Saturday 16th September

Tea Tent

NatureMakes: Making boats & fairy houses from natural materials – all ages

Jane Welsh: Basket Making

Cornucopia: Audrey and David Rolfe making corn dollies


Thornhayes Nursery: Apple Ident Display

Simple Pleasures: Bulb Display

Ready Veggie Bake!: Cake Competition Display

Demo Tepee

Homemade Preserves with Kamil Oseka, Head chef The Pig at Bath

Grace Alexander: Grow your own flowers and natural arrangements

Make a Wheatsheaf the boys from Taylors Traditional Bakery show you how

Fermenting Veg with Katie Venner, Radio 4’s The Archers fermenting expert

Two Thirsty Gardeners Cider Making – Nick and Rich show you how

Forde’s Trees

Kevin Croucher: Tree Tours – meet 12.30 at the Plant Creche

Gastro Garden

Ed Mello – Cheese-making, smoked meats and charcuterie

Make your own Festival Gin – with Cosmo from Devon Distillery and his Still on the Move

In a Jam with your Jam? – Antonia Mottola’s pickle and jam surgery all day both days from her stall

Great Hall

Charlie Dimmock: In Conversation with Jim Buttress

Toby Buckland: Practical Autumn Gardening

Jim Buttress: in conversation with Kamil Oseka and Ollie Hutsonfrom The Pig

Alan Down: Lasagne Style Bulb Combos

Long Grass Area

Chris Riley: Scything – all days demo’s on meadow and long grass management

Walled Garden

Danny Burlingham, Head Gardener: Kitchen Garden Tours

Sunday 17th September

Tea Tent

NatureMakes:Make boats & fairy houses – all ages

Jane Welsh:Basket Making

Cornucopia – Audrey and David Rolfe show how to make corn dollies


Thornhayes Nursery:Apple Ident Display

Simple Pleasures:Bulb Display

Ready Veggie Bake!:Cake  Competition Display

Demo Yurt

Edible Flowers: Grow your own flowers for edible arrangement with Jan Billington from Maddocks Farm Organics

Hog & Tallow:Botanical Soap Making

Dazzling Dahlias:with Rob Evans owner of award-winning Pheasant Acre Plants

Flora Artbuthnott: Make natural dyes from garden plants

Forde’s Trees

Kevin Croucher:Tree Tours – meet at 12.30pm at the Plant Creche

Forde’s Willow Tunnel

Stefan Jennings:Weaving willow garden structures

Gastro Garden

Ed Mello:Cooking/Charcuterie/Cheese-making/Smoking

In a Jam with your Jam? All day jam and pickle surgery with Antonia Mottola of Bunnies’ Love

Great Hall

Christine Walkden:Grow your own Fruit & Veg

Toby Buckland:Practical Autumn Gardening

Ben Richards – grow your own beer

Jim Buttress:Compere/Q&A

Alan Down:Lasagne Style Bulb Combinations

Long Grass Area

Chris Riley:Learn to Scythe & manage wild meadows and long grass

Walled Garden

Danny Burlingham, Head Gardener:Kitchen Garden Tours

Kitchen Garden Tours

Dating back to the 19th century, the Kitchen Garden is the working part of the garden situated behind the house, a series of rectangular beds bisected by paths and edged on one side by lean-to greenhouses. At this time of year, the Kitchen Garden is replete with cut flowers and vegetables, including dahlias, cosmos and marigolds in full bloom, with ripening pumpkins, cabbages, kale and blocks of sweetcorn. In the adjacent greenhouses there are grapevines dripping with bunches of grapes. Today the kitchen garden produces enough fruit, vegetables and flowers for use in the house and tearoom for much of the year. From here you can access the shop and Forde’s lovely Plant Centre.

Danny Burlingham, Forde’s head gardener will be running guided tours of the garden both days of the Festival, giving a behind-the-scenes look at what’s grown, his tips for success and advising on some of his favourite varieties.

Tickets are £10 in advance online here (£12.50 on the gate on the day). Children under 16 get in free and as well as all the activities happening from 10am – 5pm both days, you’ll be able to enjoy Forde Abbey’s stunning gardens, the highest powered fountain in the UK, the dahlia-filled herbaceous borders, arboretum and lakes – plus guided tours with the brilliant Danny Burlingham, Forde Abbey’s Head Gardener.

Follow us on instagram for the latest news and updates.

Posted on September 11th 2017

Loading... Updating page...