PROGRAMME FORUM 2019 updatedBack to the grapevine

5th & 6th October

Cranborne Garden Centre and Manor Gardens, Walled Gardens of Cranborne Chase, N. Dorset

Walled Kitchen Gardens used as Garden Centres & Nurseries

Program for Saturday 5th October
9:00 am Registration in the Garden Room, Cranborne Garden Centre – coffee and tea available

10:00    Welcome from Susan Campbell

10:10 – 10:40 Patrick Fairweather – ‘Patrick’s Patch-a community project making business sense’
10:45 – 11:15 Charlotte Casella – ‘the Walled Kitchen Gardens of Cranborne Manor’

Coffee break 11:15 – 11:30

Garden Tour 11:30 – 1:30pm – a walk through Cranborne Manor gardens, and walled garden with Georgianna Campbell

Lunch 1:30 – 2:15 – return to the Garden Room for buffet lunch

2:15 – 2:30 – Richard and Jill Rallings – Mynd Hardy Plants, the Nursery in the walled garden at Delbury Hall, Shropshire

2:30 – 3:00 – Mark Pitman – Longstock Park Nursery, part of the Leckford Estate ’60 years of a walled garden – rose nursery to successful plant centre’

3:00 – 3:20 – Andrew Haynes – will introduce the gardens at Edmonsham (our first garden visit on Sunday 6th)

3:30 – 3:50 – Q&A with Claire Whitehead of Cranborne Garden Centre (TBC)

3:50 – 4:30 Tea and discussion

We have arranged to meet back in the Garden Room for an early evening reception with drinks and canapés from 6-8pm, to finish by 8:00pm so people can go on for dinner afterwards.
It has become a great way for everyone to meet informally after the day’s events and we hope you can join us.
There will be a small charge.

Sunday 6th October

10:00am – meet at Cranborne Garden Centre carpark, to organise car shares and to leave some cars for the day.

Our first garden visit will be to Edmonsham. Owned by the same family for generations the current owner is Julia Smith. Only a 5 minute drive from Cranborne, Andrew Haynes will meet us there, and be available to answer questions. Since Andrew arrived as Head Gardener in 1984, produce the kitchen gardens has been grown organically. The walled gardens themselves have been in continuous cultivation since they were built.

From Edmonsham, we will drive to Kingston Lacy. Now under the ownership of the National Trust, it was the home of the Bankes family, until bequeathed to the Trust in 1982. The walled garden is currently undergoing considerable restoration. Restoration of the ornamental glasshouses, (J Weekes & Co.) was completed in January 2019. We will have time to visit the walled garden, before heading on for lunch at Long Crichel House

Jamie and Rose Campbell have kindly invited us to visit their highly productive kitchen garden, where we’ll also have lunch. The cob walled kitchen garden required considerable restoration when they moved to Long Crichel, it now supplies them with vegetables all year round.

After lunch we’ll drive to Deans Court for our final garden visit for this year. Now run by Sir William and Lady Hanham, Deans Court has been in William’s family for nearly 500 years. The kitchen garden is enclosed by an 18th C serpentine wall and was the first organic garden in the country to be accredited by the Soil association, under Lady Jane Hanham.
William will meet us in the Walled Garden to tell us about the history of the walled gardens and background to the work they now do, supplying vegetables and salad to the Deans Court cafe.

We will finish the day back at Cranborne Garden Centre, to collect cars and to complete our weekend in Dorset.


Rob Willetts

Dear Lucy, Susan and Mike (in no special order).

Thank you so much for organising another spledid Forum, yet again. Thank you, too, to our speakers on Saturday for their interesting and delightful input to the weekend.

Special thanks to Alitex (and the Cronin’s of Croome – Weddings, Barmitzvah’s and Forum’s), and our marvellous hosts on Sunday for welcoming us so openly and with great enthusiasm; a mark, perhaps, of everyone involved in the crazy world of kitchen gardens. Plus, in the case of Rose and Jamie, for feeding us so deliciously, too.

Last, but not least, thanks to all my fellow delegates for ensuring the weekend went with a swing (but far too quickly).

Here’s to Forum 2020!

Best wishes, Rob Willetts.

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