It’s The Green Fingers Festival at the Eden Project this month. Until 21st June, all sorts of gardening delights are included with your Eden admission.
Every day, there will be a selection of tours, talks and demonstrations to choose from. There’s something to appeal to everyone, from the most-devoted amateur horticulturalist to grubbing-about-in-the-soil preschoolers.
There are talks, tours and demonstrations from the Eden team, celebrity gardeners and RHS experts. From orchids to vegetables, there are tips to be picked up for all sorts of gardens. For those who enjoyed the famous grass-cutting scene in Poldark, there’s even a scything demonstration. Famous names include Charlie Dimmock, talking about water features and ITV’s David Domoney will be delivering “Confessions of a TV Gardener”.
At the weekends, there’s a family focus with sessions from CBBC’s Skinny Jeans Gardeners, as well as a chance to meet mummies’ favourite, Mr Bloom from CBeebies. Wack’s Wicked Plants will be introducing their carnivorous plants to gruesome young gardeners in “Love at First Bite.”
This festival is a great opportunity to pick up gardening tips. Small gardens can learn from big ones; and there is nothing like visiting a beautiful garden such as Eden, to inspire the amateur gardener. We may not be able to build a biome in our back garden, but we may spot a plant we’d really like to introduce to our own domestic plot.
We are a nation of gardeners, and love visiting gardens as well as tending to our own. In 2012, The Garden Museum in London had a temporary exhibition, “Garden Open Today”, about 300 years of garden visiting. Gardens attached to stately homes were initially visited by the favoured few; and only then by applying in writing to the House’s senior staff. Eighteenth-century Stowe in Buckinghamshire, (now The National Trust) was the first garden designed to be opened to the public. Stowe was set up to embrace tourism in a very modern sense – it even had its own accommodation for visitors at The New Inn.
Since then, visiting gardens has become a real British pastime. We have become increasingly interested in garden design, growing our own produce, and our relationship with nature, making destination gardens into places where we can really learn. Events such as Eden’s Green Fingers Festival encourage us to develop our gardening skills, as well as enjoying the beautiful environment.
If you miss the Green Fingers Festival, don’t worry – Eden offers an all-year-round programme of gardening courses. The National Trustruns a great programme of garden events – you can download their iPhone gardens app or visit their website’s events calendar to find out what’s on.
Of course, you can pick up tips just by exploring gardens. Our gardens break offers tickets to Eden and Heligan as well as accommodation. Be inspired this summer, and get those green fingers busy!