Green fingers everywhere are twitching for the start of National Gardening Week (30 April–6 May) and the four RHS Gardens are leading the way with a series of exciting events to inspire everyone to grow. The Week is scheduled slightly later this year for the likelihood of better weather and more spring colour, and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is encouraging everyone to share their ‘Passion for Plants’ and join in with one of the nation’s favourite pastimes.
RHS Garden Rosemoor will kick off the week early with a talk by award-winning garden designers Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg on Sunday 29 April. The Harris Bugg Studio team, whose Kitchen Garden design for the new RHS Garden Bridgewater was recently announced, will discuss their passion for plants and take questions from the audience. On 1 May, Rosemoor will then play host to Radio 4’s Gardener’s Question Time with chair Eric Robson and panellists Anne Swithinbank, Bob Flowerdew and Neil Porteous, for which tickets are available now from the RHS website. Throughout the week there will be opportunities to meet key members of Rosemoor’s horticultural staff and learn about the specialist areas of the garden they look after, plus daily SOS sessions with the Advisory team.
At RHS Garden Hyde Hall near Chelmsford, Essex, Chelsea gold medal winner Professor Nigel Dunnett and Gardener’s World presenter Adam Frost will discuss ‘Pushing the Boundaries of Gardening’ in the brand new events space overlooking the famous Dry Garden. While the talk is scheduled to take place on the evening of 1 May, visitors to the garden earlier in the day will also have the opportunity to see Adam plant the first Pax (peace) rose at RHS Garden Hyde Hall to commemorate the end of the First World War. Each day during National Gardening Week there will also be a chance to join a ‘Garden Secrets Tour’ during which members of the horticultural team will share the tips and tricks they employ to keep Hyde Hall looking its best all year round.
Up in North Yorkshire at RHS Garden Harlow Carr there’s a celebration of beautiful spring and summer flowers during National Gardening Week, with sweet pea workshops on Monday 30 April and Tuesday 1 May and the Tulip, Daffodil and Rhododendron Show over the weekend of Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 May. Meanwhile on Wednesday 2 May, RHS Advisor Martin Fish will host a walk and talk around the garden, and on Friday 4 May visitors to the garden can meet the Community Outreach team to plant up a pot to take home with them. A charming and light-hearted look at gardening through the lens of the early 20th century class system, described by The Guardian as ‘Downton Abbey with gardening tips’, the performance of one-man play Old Herbaceous by actor Giles Shenton on Thursday 3 May is not to be missed.
At RHS Garden Wisley near Woking, Surrey, gardening columnist and TV presenter David Domoney will give a talk in Wisley’s Plant Centre on 30 April about where his love of the garden began and the plants that have become his favourites on the way. Known and loved as the co-host of ITV’s Love Your Garden alongside Alan Titchmarsh, David will give visitors the chance to glean insider knowledge from a multiple RHS Flower Show award-winner. Then on 1 May, rising star of the gardening world and RHS Ambassador Jamie Butterworth welcomes green-fingered youngsters to a reading of the fun and educational RHS book I Can Grow A Sunflower and will show them how the giant blooms grow from tiny seeds. After listening to the story, budding gardeners can take the chance to plant a sunflower seed with Jamie to take home and grow in their own gardens.
More information about activities and events at the four RHS Gardens during National Gardening Week can be found on the RHS website at https://www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/whats-on-at-rhs-gardens/national-gardening-week.
Across the country, many other gardens and organisations are getting set to take part in the week, with dozens of events listed on the National Gardening Week website at www.nationalgardeningweek.org.uk. Participants include the Dorothy Clive Garden in Shropshire, Amisfield Walled Garden near Edinburgh and the Daisybus Gardens in Pembrokeshire and many more, with rarely-seen private gardens, community groups, museums and care homes just a handful of the organisations getting involved.
Photo credit – RHS.org.uk