The 2010 Holker Garden Festival took place from 4th-6th June with three days of bustling crowds totalling approximately 23,000. For the most part the weather was glorious as visitors explored the marquees and watched the many attractions in the arena.
Sarah Ross, Festival Manager comments; "The Holker Garden Festival is a tremendous annual event and not only offers a great day out for people of all ages but also brings in valuable revenue to the local area as it attracts visitors from across the North West. Attendance was up and we are delighted with the overall numbers which is in part due to the E-ticketing we have implemented this year through the Holker website, which has definitely helped to boost the turnout. We also had our celebrity gardening expert Carol Klein at the Festival on Saturday who proved very popular and was a draw for many gardening enthusiasts who flocked to the Horticultural Marquee to ask her expert advice."
In the 'Made in Cumbria' Marquee, Carol awarded first prize to Haverigg Prison Smokery as the Best Stand and runners up prize went to Manocia Shatwell of Manocia Bags, both prizes were provided by English Lakes Hotels.
The centre piece of this year's Festival was the seven show gardens, with Sharp Paving Ltd taking the award for Best in Show. Their garden, entitled Trinity, has been designed in recognition of the number three, referencing its significance within the meaning of Life (past, present and future) many cultures and also properties of magic from Celtic times.
In the Horticultural Marquee Dibley's Nurseries won Large Gold and Best in Show with a display of Streptocarpus, foliage begonias and other unusual houseplants. The judges were impressed with the high standards set by the exhibitors commenting that the quality demonstrated by some of the show gardens would have achieved gold awards at Chelsea.
Lord and Lady Cavendish have been hosting the Festival now for 18 years and invest a great amount of time and effort in ensuring it is a success. Lord Cavendish explains: "This is the best show yet, both in terms of weather, exhibitors and atmosphere. We are always striving to improve on the previous year so that we can ensure a high standard throughout the show. The Festival was initially conceived as we wanted to do something for the local economy which as with all rural economies can be fragile. We believe that the Holker Garden Festival is not only a flagship event for the estate but also the whole community."
The Ilex Bar & BrasserieOpen for lunches - including a very special Sunday lunch -
This weekend’s damp weather didn’t affect the fiery fun at Holker with a full house for the chilli eating competitions hosted by Darth Naga. A packed Courtyard watched on as 10 competitors (on each day) took part in the lively competition. Saturday’s competition was the most entertaining yet with Darth commenting it was best one he had ever hosted - humorous contestants were encouraged by the lively crowd - with Jordan from Barrow taking centre stage. Joint winners took the trophy on Saturday and Ed Duffy was crowned Sunday’s winner after reaching around 250,000 scovilles.