The 24th Holker Garden Festival experienced the year’s hottest temperatures yet, as the showground was drenched in sunshine this weekend. It was smiling faces all round as both trade sales and Friday and Sunday visitor numbers were up, with 22,000 people flooding through the gates over the weekend to see floral magnificence, live entertainment, inspiring arts and crafts and hundreds of exhibitors.
Popular TV gardening personality, Charlie Dimmock proved to be a huge hit on the Saturday. Enjoying her very first visit to Holker, Charlie comments, ‘It’s been lovely to visit the Holker Garden Festival and I’ve been really impressed with all the wonderful horticultural exhibits, crafts and produce. I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the new Kitchen Garden Roadshow and joining my fellow gardening panellists. It’s always a pleasure to meet other keen gardeners and hear people’s gardening stories. I hope there will be many more visits to Cumbria.”
The crowds were met with more new exhibits and attractions than ever before, with a Rural Crafts Pavilion, new Arts Village and the new Kitchen Garden Roadshow providing entertainment for all. Charlie’s attendance in the Kitchen Garden Roadshow was one of the highlights of the show as people squeezed in to the marquee to hear her gardening knowledge.
Awards were presented by the judges and Cavendish Family on the Friday with John Roberts of Sharp Paving Ltd winning Large Gold and the Lake District Historic Houses and Gardens Trophy for Best in Show, for their garden named ‘Bridging the Gap’. The Lucy Cavendish Award (in the Horticultural Marquee) went to East of Eden Nursery based in Carlisle. Judges commented on the consistently high standard of exhibits at the Holker Garden Festival, with a high number of gold’s being presented in the Horticultural Marquee this year.
Sponsors GSK Ulverston experienced a busy schedule of ‘Sowing the seed for Science’ activities in the Holker Tipis and new, live entertainment by the Black Eagles went down a treat on the showground with people crowding round to see their fun acrobatics.
Jillian Rouse, Festival Manager comments “What an absolutely wonderful show we’ve had. The sun shone and it’s been a fantastic success. It’s lovely to hear all of the positive comments from exhibitors about sales figures being up on last year; we had so many comments about the quality and selection of trade stands and produce. Lots of gold’s and large gold awards given in the Horticultural Marquee too, which were greatly deserved. We really appreciate all of the hard work that our exhibitors put in to the show, along with all the visitors attending; they are what makes the festival a success.”