Tag Archives: Cottesbrooke Hall

Cottesbrooke Gardener’s Fair celebrates fifth anniversary in June 2012

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

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Some pictures from Friday at Cottesbrooke Plant Finder’s Fair

A successful fourth Cottesbrooke Plant Finder’s Fair took place this weekend. There’s a photo gallery here which shows Friday’s opening, courtesy of @nosylocaljourno Hilary Scott.

The show had lots of quality plantsmen and talks from highly regarded garden writers and designers included in the entry price.

There were some issues on Friday when visitors had to wait in traffic jams for an hour or more just to get in, and the event certainly needs more loos and food options. It certainly something tricky for the organisers – the event is clearly attracting more visitors but a lot of its charm comes from the fact it is held on a small country estate with small country roads. The solution may be to show/buy tickets once the car/coach has parked up.

The weather held out and hopefully visitors took the chance to look at the beautiful gardens, tended by Phylip Statner and his team.

Some people travel miles to this fair and its quality of plants is undeniable. Hopefully by ironing out some access issues it will continue to be an essential date on the garden calender and thrive in Northants for years to come.

What were your thoughts/experiences?

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Sunshine and showers as gardens open across Northants, June 24-26, 2011

Lots of gardens open this weekend, and  don’t forget there’s also the Cottesbrooke Plant Finder’s Fair running Friday to Sunday.

Opening on Saturday evening to make the most of the longest days, June 25, 7-10pm  and during the day on Sunday, 2-6pm will be West Haddon Gardens, Northamptonshire, NN6 7AP

Eight private gardens will be open ranging from small courtyards to a garden with a croquet lawn! Teas available.

Lime House
The Mews
Clover Cottage
Townley Barn
Weslyan Cottage
The Crown Courtyard
16 Field Close
11 Field Close

Open Sunday June 26, 2-6pm, are Finedon Gardens, Northamptonshire, NN9 5JN.

Visitors will see three very different gardens all with lots on show and there are teas and plants for sale. The gardens opening are:

67-69 High Street
24 Albert Road
11 Thrapston Road

A glorious three-acre garden, Flore Fields, Northamptonshire, NN7 4JX opens between 2-5.30pm on Sunday, June 26.

Owned by Lady Catherine Morton, the estate has specimen trees, box hedging and many fine roses.

The Menagerie, Horton, Northamptonshire, NN7 2BX   is open on Sunday from 2-6pm.

It’s s a rare opportunity to see this unique, quirky and beautiful private garden. There will be teas and plants for sale, and be aware that this is one of the more expensive openings, at £8, but going to the NGS to help charities.

It has little follies, like Hobbit houses hidden in the greenery, a large walled garden with fountain and climbers, plus stunning views and varied planting. The Menagerie was once, literally, a zoo and folly on the estate of the former Horton House, once home to Henry VIII’s sixth wife Catherine Parr.

 

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Cottesbrooke Plant Finders’ Fair – expensive plant supermarket or enriching day-out?

Cottesbrooke Plant Finders’ Fair started four years ago in the grounds of a magnificent stately home in Northamptonshire.

The ethos was to be up-market, presumably to entice the wealthy North London-folks up the M1. Potential exhibitors, paying a lot for a stand on which to sell their wares, were vetted before being allowed into what was being pitched as an exclusive club. Garden gnomes and bedding petunias wouldn’t be entertained in such exclusive company.

However, after a slow start, and despite the economic climate, the up-market  ethos seems to have worked. The number of exhibitors at the Cottesbrooke plant fair for 2011 has nearly doubled from year one and currently stands at 60.

This year’s fair is set to take place from Friday June 24th – Sunday June 26th and is open daily from 10:00am until 5:30pm

For the uninitiated,the Plant Fair brings a lot of nurseries and horticultural sundries all together in one place selling their wares, plus your admission fee gives you a chance to tour the very lovely gardens.

There are also high-profile guest speakers, including Dan Pearson, Helen Yemm, Stephen Lacey, Val Bourne, Derry Watkins, Juliet Roberts and local garden buffs Ursula Buchan and James Alexander Sinclair. Last year they charged extra for access to the talks but the 2011 entry fee includes the talks (subject to availability (of seats, presumably)). 

There’s a plant crèche to stash your purchases, a free plant swap for those organised enough to bring a pot of something with them and help available to take purchases back to the car park.

A word of advice: The food queue was horrendous last year so a picnic might be advisable. It’s not too far from the car park to nip back for your lunch.

A mixture of plant nurseries from as far afield as Ireland will attend, including Crûg Farm Plants from North Wales. Visitors can see craft demonstrations and browse the garden sundry stands including two from Holland who specialise in tools.

Carla Cooper, Cottesbrooke’s Administrator said “This is all good for the local economy and in time may give the county’s tourism a little boost. In fact next year we hope to offer local hoteliers a preferential ticket price so that they can offer a Fair weekend break deal”. 

Here’s the price for up-market though: entry to the fair is £8.50 on the gate. Thankfully, this year there is an advance booking line where tickets are £6.50, although annoyingly, there’s an additional £1 ‘booking fee’ PER TICKET. The booking line is 0845 130 7778 and charged at a local rate. Children get in free.

If the weather stays fine, this could be the CPFF’s best year yet. Visit www.cottesbrookehall.co.uk for more details and a list of exhibitors and speakers.

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Northants NGS open gardens

The NGS open gardens scheme gets into full swing this weekend with several private gardens opening for charity. Open garden visiting is a real pleasure and as well as having a nose around, there are usually very good home-made teas and plants for sale.

This weekend’s events are as follows:

Flore Spring Gardens, Sunday April 17, 2-6pm

Five gardens of varying size, with flowers, fruit and vegetables. Teas available. Entry is £4, children go free.

3 Meadow Farm Close
Bliss Lane Nursery
The Croft
24 Bliss Lane
The Old Bakery

Flore is just outside Northampton, past junction 16 of the M1, on the road to Daventry.

Cottesbrooke Hall Gardens, Sunday 17, 2-5.30pm

Gorgeous large country house gardens in a stunning setting. While there are formal gardens around the house, don’t miss the ‘wild’ garden with a stream at the bottom and masses of primroses and bulbs. The gardens aren’t open that often and this is a wonderful time of year to visit.

Teas available. Admission is £5.50 adults and £2.50 kids

Litchborough Spring Gardens, Sunday April 17, 2-6pm

A very beautiful postcard English village, Litchborough has four gardens of various sizes open, including a 300-year old cottage and large landscaped gardens. Admission is £4.

Bruyere Court
Orchard House
4 Kiln Lane
The Hall

Litchborough is on the other side of the A5, between Daventry and Towcester

Briarwood, Barton Seagrave, Kettering, NN15 5AF, open Sunday April 17, 10am-3pm, admission £2.50

A new addition to the NGS scheme, Briarwood is in two parts with quirky sculptures, an S-facing lawn and borders with spring bulbs and blossom trees, mature hedging, palms, climbers and a fish and lily pond. There’s a secret garden with summerhouse, small orchard, raised bed potager, greenhouse and water feature.

Cakes and plants for sale.

Enjoy!

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