Tag Archives: Helen Yemm

Cottesbrooke Gardener’s Fair 2012 – Friday

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Plant fanatics braved the weather on day one of the fifth annual Cottesbrooke Gardener’s Fair.
While there were no queues for the car park, visitors did have to cope with rather a lot of mud.

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As gardeners tend to manage in all weathers, numbers through the gates were high.

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But some visitors voiced surprise the show wasn’t cancelled, especially after coaches got stuck in the boggy conditions and the passengers were asked to walk the rest of the way.
The fair is bigger than when it launched as the plant finders’ fair five years ago, and the organisers have done well to spread the excellent nurseries and craftsmen down the hill.

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The food and drink stalls are far more plentiful and you can take picnics. There’s still free access to Cottesbrooke’s gorgeous gardens, and talks and advice this year from the likes of Chris Beardshaw, Helen Yemm, Mark Diacono, Coton Manor’s Caroline Tait and James Alexander Sinclair.

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Saturday will see Chelsea gold medal-winning Cleve West added to the bill.
On Friday there were a lot of people leaving by lunchtime, possibly because of the rain and boggy car park, but all seemed to have cars full of plants. The majority stayed and, dressed for the weather as gardeners sensibly are, enjoyed the Cottesbrooke gardens.

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By 4pm, the sun had come out. Hopefully the ground will dry out a little overnight.
There’s not a lot Cottesbrooke could have done about the weather, and the car park team did a great job helping anyone whose car needed a push and there’s even a tractor on standby.

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The show goes on tomorrow and Sunday, and you shouldn’t be put off if you wear a decent raincoat and wellies.

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There’s some great plants for sale and even in the rain, Cottesbrooke is a lovely garden visit. And at least it’s not the Isle of Wight!
Fingers crossed for a couple of dry days . . .

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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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