Always a key date in the garden diary, the 2010 Holker Garden Festival may still be two months away but behind the scenes this year's exhibitors are busy planning to guarantee a blooming show. As well as beautiful displays from top horticulturalists, stunning show gardens and floral marquees this year's special guest will be celebrity gardener Carol Klein.
The 18th annual Garden Festival will take place at Holker Hall & Gardens in Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria, 4th to 6th June and has attracted several first time exhibitors this year offering specialist plants and rare species, all guaranteed to delight even the most discerning horticulturalist.
Slack Top Nurseries chose to grow alpine plants because they seemed a perfect fit with the rather extreme climate endured at the nursery which is situated at 900ft in the Pennines. With over 25 years experience of cultivating Alpines, Slack Top Nurseries is one of the UK's top ten specialist growers, with a case of medals to prove it. Coming to Holker for the first time this year Slack Top will be presenting a new way of displaying alpines in contemporary containers that are easy to move around the garden for a different look, with plants that don't require masses of water and can provide a long season of interest.
Sue and Richard Proctor have been Hosta enthusiasts for many years but the opportunity to turn their enthusiasm into a business did not occur until their retirement five years ago. They now run Sue Proctor Plants, a small garden nursery and have grown their catalogue of Hostas to around 250 different varieties including many new and hard to obtain plants. As well as specialising in Hostas they also grow a range of complimentary perennial plants and grasses. Sue and Richard will be bringing a wide selection of popular Hostas to Holker as well as some of their favourite rare varieties.
Mandy Plants specialise in Mandevilla, sometimes called Dipladenia, a tropical climbing plant from Brazil which comes in pretty shades of red pink and white with large trumpet-shaped flowers and glossy green foliage.
Liz Panton opened Mandy Plants in 2009 following a change of career. Having always loved Mandevilla, Liz found that they were not widely available in the UK. A year on, with some encouragement from her husband who has a strong horticultural background, Liz has a greenhouse facility in Cheshire where she grows the many varieties of Mandevilla. Having attended ten flower shows in 2009 around the country, with their first attempt in Floral Marquees they won two gold medals and one silver gilt at Shrewsbury, Bath and West, and Harrogate shows. For 2010 Liz has doubled the show attendance including exhibiting at the Holker Garden Festival.
Opening times for the 2010 Holker Garden Festival are from 10am to 5.30 pm. Advance tickets are available to buy online at www.holker.co.uk. Children under 16 go free when accompanied by an adult.
Marie Saunders at Apples & Pears Marketing
T: 0115 925 5999