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BBC’s Alys Fowler seeds an Arts & Crafts trail to Devon in 2012

Following a highly regarded launch event in 2011, the Arts & Crafts Garden Festival at Coombe Trenchard is set to grow in size and stature in 2012 with a range of exciting announcements in the pipeline.  Event founders have revealed that the 2012 event will fittingly take place on the Jubilee Weekend (1st & 2nd of June) with a ‘Best of British’ theme. Coombe Trenchard is also delighted to announce that the renowned Gardens Illustrated magazine will be joining the Festival as a key sponsor and introducing a range of ‘Garden Talks’, headlined by TV gardener and columnist Alys Fowler. 

Visitors to the 2012 Festival are set to discover a host of respected plant nurseries and designer makers, personally invited to exhibit their skills and to collectively celebrate the Coombe Trenchard 'Arts & Crafts' resurgence. Within the captivating Edwardian Estate, Plant Heritage National collections will sit beside fresh new nurseries, such as Toby Buckland.  An array of show gardens, restoration & history tours and ‘Art in the Garden’ exhibits will also be added for the second Festival. 

Sarah Marsh, organiser of the garden festival at Coombe Trenchard say “We  have been thrilled by the response to the inaugural event in 2011, and the interest in next year’s Festival has been tremendous. We are determined that we continue to curate a unique and ‘Simply English’ celebration of the gardening tradition, whilst bringing alive the ethos and values of the Arts & Crafts era, which we are passionate about. The support of Gardens Illustrated magazine is very much appreciated and we’re looking forward to announcing which other nationally-renowned gardeners will be joining Alys Fowler for the ‘Garden Illustrated Talks’.”

Alys Fowler, TV gardener and columnist says: “Having heard so much about the first garden festival at Coombe Trenchard, I was excited to be invited to get involved. I am a great admirer of the Arts & Crafts era and I am very much looking forward to experiencing the Walter Sarel designed Gardens, and seeing the restoration work that the Marsh family have been doing on the Estate.  With the Jubilee celebrations, coupled with a fantastic ‘Best of British’ theme, I’m sure we will all have a brilliant time in the beautiful Devon countryside.”

2012 Festival features list so far:
New for 2012:
Gardens Illustrated magazine hosted garden talks - headlined by Alys Fowler
National plant collections arranged by Plant Heritage Garden restoration & history tours, provided by the Marsh family Art in the Garden Schools deckchair design competition (Best of British themed)Show gardens (Best of British themed)Best in Show awards

Back by popular demand:
British designed and made garden products
British grown specialist plants
Ask the Experts - plant identification and advice provided by Plant Heritage
Freshly prepared fantastic food
British Rules Croquet
Music in the garden
Makers at work
Plant Crèche

For more information: www.coombetrenchard.co.uk

Visitor Information:
Opening Times: 10am - 5pm on Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd June
Admission Prices: Adults £7.00, Under 14 free, Advanced tickets £6.00
Online Booking: For advanced ticket sales please visit http://www.coombetrenchard.co.uk

Issued on behalf of the Gardens Illustrated Arts & Crafts Garden Festival at Coombe Trenchard by Excess Energy.  For further information, supporting images or interviews please contact: Tom Cowle – tom@excess-energy.co.uk / 07815 122950 - Rhona Gardiner – rhona@excess-energy.co.uk / 07740 410052.

Notes for Editors:

About the Gardens Illustrated Arts & Crafts Garden Festival at Coombe Trenchard

The Festival is a unique and ‘Simply English’ celebration of the gardening tradition, set within the captivating, historic surrounds of Coombe Trenchard Estate on the Cornwall and Devon border. 

The Coombe Trenchard Gardens were designed by Walter Sarel who, like Edwin Lutyens, was an architect who saw the garden as an extension of the house. They both worked closely with Gertrude Jekyll during the Arts & Crafts era. Sarel’s plans for Coombe Trenchard’s gardens came to fruition in 1906, at the height of the Edwardian enthusiasm for gardening and when many clients had the money, land and staff to garden on a grand scale. Sarel and Jekyll worked in collaboration to create the gardens at the neighbouring Lewtrenchard Manor, a few years after Sarel’s solo plans for Coombe Trenchard were completed.
Today it is still clear to see the work of Sarel, in the hard landscaped architectural features that have withstood the test of time. Most of the planting schemes, and any possible influence from Jekyll, can be appreciated from photographs taken during the early 1900s at Coombe Trenchard.

About Alys Fowler

Alys started gardening in her early teens and after leaving school trained at the Royal Horticultural Society, the New York Botanical Gardens and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. She started working at BBC Gardeners' World as a horticultural researcher, and soon progressed to the role of Head Gardener.Alys has published work in The Guardian, The Garden, Gardeners' World magazine, Gardens Illustrated and Horticulture Week. She writes a monthly blog for Gardeners' World and her first book called The Thrifty Gardener: How to Create a Stylish Garden for Next to Nothing, was published in 2008 by Kyle Cathie.
Alys appeared at the Gardeners' World Live show and can be seen in the latest series of Gardeners' World, now based in Birmingham. Her second book, The Edible Garden, about vegetable and flower gardening, was published last year and was accompanied by a BBC2 series of the same name. Alys features every month on The Guardian website in short gardening films and her latest book, The Thrifty Forager, was published in Sept 2011 by Kyle books.