Star guests for allotment festival

A Q&A with Britain’s most trusted gardening expert and an award-winning theatre production are set to make the first Allotment and Garden Festival at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage (8-9 September) an extra special ‘home-grown’ event.

15 August 2012

Marion Morgan, events programmer at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust said, “This festival weekend is all about celebrating the best of the local community, so we are absolutely thrilled that Professor Stefan Buczacki , one of the leading lights of British gardening, who happens to live in Stratford, has agreed to open the show.  With more than 50 books and 2,000 radio and TV broadcasts to his name, Stefan is the byword for trusted horticultural advice, so if you want answers to your gardening problems, make a date to attend his Q&A session on Saturday morning.

“We have also been lucky enough to book the Edinburgh Fringe Festival prize winning show Allotment, presented by Nutshell Theatre.  This is the only element of the festival which is not strictly local, but we couldn’t resist the opportunity to host this acclaimed production with its intriguing tagline – ‘life, death, pink fir apples and the secret power of worms’!”

There will be three performances of Allotment on Saturday 8 September.  On Sunday 9 September local theatre company Tread the Boards, another Edinburgh Fringe winner, will be performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream throughout the day.

More than 20 local producers, craftspeople and community groups have applied for stalls following publicity about the new festival in Midweek Herald.  There will be stalls selling hand-made cards, soap, jewellery and pottery, garden furniture and accessories, and demonstrations and workshops of garden and country crafts. The Tudor team from Mary Arden’s Farm in nearby Wilmcote will showcase the Secrets of the Tudor Stillroom, demonstrating the use of herbs and edible plants for cosmetic, culinary and medicinal use.  

Food and drink will all be locally sourced, from barbecue snacks to ice cream and delicious cakes.     Transition Stratford will be holding one of their regular picking sessions in the orchards at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, then turning the fruit straight into the freshest apple juice on their stand. 

Abi Moore, operations manager at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage said, “It’s good to see the range of local businesses, community groups, and individual craftspeople getting involved by taking stalls and running activities for the weekend.  With our extensive grounds we have plenty of space, so if anyone would like to take advantage of having a free stall at the Festival they should get in touch immediately (contact or by phone 07775 581865).”

Tickets for the Allotment and Garden Festival (excluding a tour of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage) will cost £3.50 (concessions £2.50), valid for both days.  Normal tickets to visit Anne Hathaway’s Cottage will include entry to the Festival.