Cottesbrooke Gardeners’ Fair (formerly the Plant Finder’s fair) is celebrating its 5th anniversary this year offering lots of plants for sale from some of the country’s most prestigious nurseries.
The Fair, held in the stunning grounds of Cottesbrooke Hall in Northamptonshire, takes place from 22-24 June and is open daily from 10:00am – 5:30pm.
Parking is promised to be better this year although visitors may have to expect some queueing seeing as it is located in a lovely rural village. Ignore the satnav and follow the signs.
Speakers are always a highlight at Cottesbrooke – and this year you can catch Helen Yemm, Chris Beardshaw, Cleve West, James Alexander Sinclair and River Cottage’s Mark Diacono sharing their wisdom. Talks are £5, bookable in advance when you buy tickets , or first come, first served on the day. Top topiary snipper Jake Hobson will be offering wisdom for free.
In the Skills Tent will be a free rolling programme of practical, drop-in/drop-out, hands-on talks and demonstrations given by horticultural experts from Northamptonshire’s Moulton College. Subjects range from sustainable water use, allotment gardening, pests and pruning to general gardening advice. It is not necessary to book – first come, first served.
In the Inspire Tent, hosted by James Alexander-Sinclair, you can have a free 20-minute, one-to-one session with a garden designer to help you with your own garden design challenges. These are bookable on the day on a first come/first served basis.
There are over 70 hand-picked exhibitors including some of Britain’s leading specialist nurseries and growers.
There will be extra food stalls this year too, or you might want to bring a picnic to enjoy in the grounds. There’s also a chance to have a posh tea on the lawn with full china, tea and cakes.
The ticket price is £12 on the door Friday and Saturday and £10 on Sunday (it’s £9.60 or £8 in advance by calling 0845 130 7778) and children 14 and under are free. (The website booking seems to change a £2 fee, which seems to defeat the object of buying in advance).
This includes free entry to the gardens, plant shuttle, parking and Plant Swap. There is also a NGS Plant Creche for visitors, and additional car parking in place for this year.
Upon arrival to the event please do not use satnav, but follow directional signage. If you have pre-paid tickets follow signs for the HALL CAR PARK and please have tickets ready and display rear-view mirror hanger. Visitors who wish to buy tickets on the day must follow signs for the AVENUE CAR PARK.
It’s a lovely day out if you love your plants. We’d recommend taking plenty of cash for your purchases. And perhaps a brolly, although we hope you won’t need it.
Here’s a link to pictures from last year’s Cottesbrooke Plant Finder’s Fair