Gardening events 2019

Telegraph Gardening

Until 21 March


Exhibition: International Garden Photographer of the Year exhibition at Sissinghurst Castle Garden

From castle to prison, working farm to world renowned garden, Sissinghurst Castle has a history as rich as any, and now it will be playing the part of exhibition centre, hosting a display of winning photos from the prestigious International Garden Photographer of the Year (IGPOTY).

Showcasing the inexhaustible variety of beauty, intrigue and entertainment to be found in the natural world, the exhibition will feature winners from categories such as Beauty of Plants, Wildlife in the Garden, and Wildflower Landscapes. Entrance fees and opening times can be found on

Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Biddenden Road, near Cranbrook, Kent, TN17 2AB


2 February – 3 March


Snowdrop walks at Rode Hall & Gardens

Snowdrop Walk at Rode Hall & Gardens, Cheshire Credit: UK City Images

Wander through an impressive 70 varieties of snowdrop on the mile-long walk through Humphrey Repton's Rode Hall gardens for an enchanting introduction to spring. The walk takes visitors through the cascades of snowdrops in the Old Wood and Wild Garden, down to the Lake and around the white borders of the formal Nesfield garden in front of the house, showcasing the Hall's stunning kitchen garden and vistas down the Colonel's Walk. 

At the Halls itself, the Courtyard Kitchen is a lovely place to refuel, and if you make it down for either February 2 or March 2, you'll be treated to a farmers' market offering local artisan produce.

£5 admission for adults, children enter for free.

Rode Hall & Gardens, Cheshire ST7 3QP;

9 February - 10 March

 Colombian orchid exhibition at Kew Gardens

Completing an orchid display in the Princess of Wales Conservatory at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew  Credit: Dan Kitwood / Getty 

As lovely as snowdrops are to admire in winter, those more inclined to the more colourful might enjoy this year's Kew’s orchid festival, celebrating the world’s most biodiverse country through a spectacular display in the Princess of Wales Conservatory. Alongside the 5,700 orchids on show, visitors will walk through a rainforest brimming with butterflies, toucans and a life-sized jaguar. Tickets are £18. Visit to book.

Kew, Richmond TW9 3AE​

9&10 February


Snowdrop weekend in Fordingbridge

St George's Church in Damerham will be hosting two days of snowdrop celebrations as their displays around the ancient churchyard bloom. Homemade refreshments will be available and there will be plenty of stalls selling local produce, bric-a-brac and plants.

12:00-4:00PM; St George’s Church Damerham,Fordingbridge SP6 3HD

10 February


Open garden for NGS Snowdrop Festival 

Sandhill Farmhouse, Sussex

The garden at Sandhill Farm House is open for the annual National Garden Scheme snowdrop festival and promises a range of rare and interesting varieties both on display and available to purchase. Several early flowering spring bulbs will also be on sale; tea, coffee and hot chocolate provided. See the NGS website for details of all 92 open gardens and events in the Festival.

Tickets on the day, £5 adults, children free. 

 12noon - 4pm, Sandhill Farm House, Nyewood Road, Rogate, Petersfield, Sussex GU31 5HU (

10&17 February 

North Yorkshire

Snowdrop days at Goldsborough Hall

The 12 glorious acres of the Royal Gardens of Goldsborough Hall will be open for two days in February for visitors to enjoy their famous snowdrop displays, made up of single galanthus nivalis and double galanthus nivalis flore pleno, as well as a collection of more than 60 rare varieties. 

10AM-4PM; Goldsborough Hall, Goldsborough, North Yorkshire HG5 8NR (

14 February


Talk: Charles Dowding on no dig gardening

Horticulturalist and avid no dig gardener Charles Dowding will be giving a talk on how to have healthy soil and enjoy easier harvests through the no dig method. Dowding has written nine gardening books and currently writes for national and international magazines, has his own Youtube =channel, and appears regularly on TV programmes such as BBC Gardeners' World.  Admission is £5 on the door, or free to members of Plant Heritage. 

The Dorford Centre, Bridport Road, Dorchester DT1 1RR

15 February - 10 March


Scottish Snowdrop Festival

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh will be holding guided walks showcasing their intriguing collection of specialist snowdrops every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from February 15. Grab your hat and scarf (it’s bound to get nippy) and meet at the John Hope Gateway at 11am. Entrance is £6.

Arboretum Pl, Edinburgh EH3 5NZ (

16 February


Potato Day 

Over 80 different varieties of potato seed will be on sale in the Daniel Owen centre, along with a variety of other vegetable seeds including onion, shallot, garlic, rhubarb, strawberry and a number of soft fruit bushes. Experts will also be on hand to give advice, and refreshments will be available all day. Admission is free.

9AM-2PM; Daniel Owen Centre, Mold, Flintshire, CH7 1AP 

16-24 February


York Gate Garden Snowdrop Week

Credit: Ben Charles

Following its first ever and very successful snowdrop ever last year, the charming one-acre garden in Adel will open its gates again to visitors and galanthophiles during February. Drifts of snowdrops will be on display, including unusual varieties and installations of the Japanese art of ‘Kokedama’, providing an interesting way to display some of them. 

Specialist snowdrop breeder Anne Wright from Dryad Nursery in Tockwith, North Yorkshire will also be holding a lecture, ‘Make more of your snowdrops’, on Wednesday 20th February. Her talk will show how best to plant, propagate and breed these beautiful winter gems. Tickets for the talk are available in advance at

Admission is £6, with children entering for free.

Back Church Lane, Adel, Leeds, LS16 8DW; 0113 267 8240 (

17 February


Snowdrop Sensation Day

Back for its fifth year following the success of previous events, Great Comp Garden opens its doors early for Snowdrop Sensation Day, a must for both experienced and budding galanthophiles. There will be an early morning sale of rare and unusual snowdrop bulbs, but the highlight of the day will be an insightful talk by horticulturalist and galanthophile Val Bourne.

Val has dedicated much time to tracking down the latest variety of snowdrop. She will be talking about the famous galanthophiles she has met in her time, and the snowdrops associated with them. 

Visitors will be able to enjoy the grounds of the Garden, which will remain open for the rest of the day. Teas and lunch will also be served in the Old Dairy Tearoom. Normal admissions apply, book Val's talk here for £8.  Gardens open 10am-4pm, talk at 11:30am. 

Great Comp Garden, Comp Lane, Platt, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN15 8QS (

17 February


Snowdrop celebration at Blakenham Woodland Garden

Blakenham Woodland Garden will be hosting a celebration of the beautiful snowdops blooming in the grounds. Flowering shrubs and plants will be for sale, and teas and coffees will be available in the Green. Entrance is £4 with children entering for £2. 

10AM-5PM; Blakenham Woodland Gardens, Little Blakenham, Ipswich, Suffolk IP8 4LZ

21 February


Talk at Botanic Garden

Lemons Xanthe Clay

One for the food obsessed; author Helena Attlee will be giving a talk, ‘The Land Where Lemons Grow’, on a her extraordinary journeys through Italy to uncover the history of citrus fruits. She will be delving into their curious past, from the origins of the Mafia among citrus groves to meeting Orthodox Jewish citron merchants in Calabria. Tickets £15.

Andrew Wiles Building, University of Oxford, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Rd OX2 6GG (

21&24 February


Snowdrop Tours at Beth Chatto Gardens

The Beth Chatto Gardens in Essex are, like so many other gardens around the country, home to a great variety of snowdrops. However, if you want to find out more about the history of the flower, or get advice on dividing and planting, this is one for you. Join garden director and snowdrop enthusiast David Ward for a guided walk and pick his brain on all things snowdrop related. Tickets  £15, or £12 for Friends of the Garden.

Beth Chatto Gardens, Elmstead Market, Clacton Rd, Elmstead, Colchester CO7 7DB (

23 February


Bosvigo Hellebore Day

Hellebores at Bosvigo, Truro, Cornwall

Hundreds of flowering hellebores for sale, spring garden open, food served all day in the 18th century kitchen beside a roaring log fire (01872 275774 ).

10am-4.30pm, Bosvigo House, Truro, TR1 3NH  (

23 February


Seed potato day

Hosted by national potato enthusiast and campaigner Alan Wilson, St Philip and St James Church Hall will be holding their first every seed potato day, with over 70 varieties up for sale – including a number of varieties rarely found on the market. Wilson, the former technical manager for agronomy for Waitrose, has written two books on potato growing and is a keen advocate of the organic movement. He will be on site to give advice and dish out some tips and tricks for growing the best potatoes. Admission is £1, with all proceeds going toward the church. 

St Philip and St James Church Hall, 91 Kings Road, Fleet, Hampshire GU51 3AR


23-24 March


Furzey Gardens Local Residents' Weekend

Anyone with an SO43 postcode is invited to Furzey Gardens to come and enjoy the beautiful grounds free of charge. Visitors have the opportunity to meet the team and find out about the various events taking place throughout the year, including their mothers' Day afternoon tea on March 31 from 10AM-4PM. Tickets for this can be bought in advance by residents, or later on in the month for £19.95 per person. 

School Lane, Minstead, Lyndhurst SO43 7GL (

30 March - 8 June


Bluebell Spectacular at Hole Park Gardens

The award-winning Hole Park Gardens in Rolvenden will be open every day from March 30 until June 8 for visitors to enjoy the gorgeous bluebell blooms in their 10-acre wood. For the first time this year, owners may bring their dogs into the gardens provided they are kept on leads, making this a lovely springtime option for dog-walkers.

Light lunches and homemade cakes are available in the Coach House, where apple juice, local beer and homemade jam and honey produced from the fruit and bees on the Hole Park Estate can be purchased.

Admission is £7.50 for adults and £1 for children. 

11AM-6PM; Hole Park Benenden Road Rolvenden Cranbrook TN17 4JA (


6&7 April


Cornwall Garden Society’s 2019 Spring Flower Show

This year the prestigious Royal Cornwall Showground in Wadebridge will be hosting the popular annual flower show, promising a kaleidoscope of colour as well and a fun family day out. Competition classes this year include daffodils, magnolias, camellias and rhododendrons, and more than 120 nurseries will be on stalls selling all manner of rare plants. 

Experts will be partaking in a Question and Answer session on the main stage, and there will be plenty of activities to keep children entertained, not to mention a wealth of fantastic Cornish food, drink and produce available to take home. Tickets are £10 in advance and £11 on the door, with under 16s entering free.

Whitecross, Wadebridge PL27 7JE (

13 April


Talk: In Conversation with Turn End's creator, Peter Aldington

Architect and plantsman Peter Aldington is renowned for his ethos of linking building to lanscape, inside to out, in innovative and incredibly succinct ways. He will be speaking at Turn End about the cluster of three houses on the Turn End estate in relation to their outside space. He will also talk about other examples that have brought him the greatest number of listed buildings of any living architect. Tickets are £50 and include morning tea and coffee.

10:00AM-1:00PM; Turn End Townside Haddenham Aylesbury Buckinghamshire HP17 8BG (

25 April


Charterhouse Garden tour

The unique historic site and almshouse of Charterhouse in Clerkenwell will be opening up its gardens to visitors on certain dates throughout the spring, summer and autumn. The gardens have been carefully designed by former head gardener Claire Davies for the past nine years, and are now under the care of new head gardener Kate Robinson. The tours will reveals the series of beautifully planted courts normally closed to the public. Other dates for the tours include 16 May, 20 June, 11 July, 15 August and 12 September. Tickets are £20. 

Charterhouse Square, London EC1M 6AN


17 - 19 May


Chantilly Flower Show

One of the leading events of the gardener's calendar for over 30 years, the 2019 Chantilly Flower Show will bring together over 200 exhibitors in the majestic grounds of Domaine de Chantilly. The theme of this year's show, the 'Sans-Souci' will highlight plants able to adapt to the climactic hazards that now accompany the life of the garden and gardener, with specialist nurseries coming from all over Europe to compete for the top prizes.

Tickets are from 14 euros.


21&22 June


Garden Museum Literary Festival at Houghton Hall & Gardens

This year the Garden Museum Literary Festival will be held within the stunning 18th century grounds of Houghton Hall & Gardens, with a full programme of over 30 speakers sharing what inspires them in the gardening world. Talks by designers such as Tom Stuart-Smith, Julian and Isabel Bannerman, and Catherine Horwood have been announced, with the full lineup to be announced on February 16. 

A major theme of this year's festival will be the artworks commissioned for the landscape by Lord Cholmondeley, featuring works by James Turrell, Sir Richard Long and Anya Gallaccio. Tickets are limited to 150 so best to buy them early. Tickets range from £30 for day tickets to £110 for the full weekend. 

Houghton Hall & Gardens, Bircham Rd, King's Lynn PE31 6TY (

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